HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
full metal alchemist
full metal alchemist
 



Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Lets' Discuss FMA:Brotherhood Plot Holes! (Note- Major Spoilers!), Many SPOILERS follow
KingBradley08
post Jul 7 2010, 07:15 PM
Post #1


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 7-July 10
Member No.: 74,798



Alright, I will admit, I was a big fan of the first FMA anime. Though it had some significant plot holes, and I wasn't super fond of the ending at the end of the movie, I still feel the story as a whole is very deep and holds together quite well.

I know there are a lot of haters of the first anime out there, especially those who are out to make it seem like the manga and brotherhood are PERFECT in comparison and LEAGUES beyond the 2003 anime. Some people, I believe, take this a little too far. It's kind of a natural human reaction that when someone hears someone praising or bashing something and they disagree with that, that they feel they need to take it in the opposite direction, sometimes to the extreme. With this in mind, it really, really bothers me when people go as far as to say that the manga and Brotherhood don't have any plot holes, the story holds together WAY better than the first anime, it's perfectly crafted with no inconsistencies from beginning to end, etc. If some people would get off their manga/Brotherhood high horse and stop to think about it for a second, while the manga and Brotherhood may be good stories overall, they also have their plot holes. In my opinion, the first anime did have some big plot holes, but Brotherhood as at LEAST as many, if not more, lesser plot holes that may add up to be even more significant than the ones in the first anime.

Futhermore, no one seems to be talking about them anywhere on the internet, so I decided to go straight to the source, join this site, and point out all the ones I could think of here, in the hope that people will be realistic and realize that they exist, and maybe even treat the 2003 anime with a little more respect. Here we go (note- I've seen the entire Brotherhood series, but only read pieces of the manga, so please point out/let me know if some of these are explained in the manga but not in Brotherhood); in no particular order:


List of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood/manga plot holes

#1) The first time Father reabsorbed Greed, he COMPLETELY reabsorbed him into his body, as in he became like he was before he gave birth to Greed. The second time he reabsorbed Greed, Greed not only retained his consciousness, he somehow was able to nullify Father’s alchemy/regeneration and turn his body into charcoal (or weak carbon), which, for some reason, Father wasn’t able to turn back to flesh, despite the fact that he STILL had THOUSANDS of souls within him. Also, it was stated his body was supposed to be MADE OF Philosopher’s Stones, not contain one like the Homunculi (in other words there’s no part of him, except for his soul, that’s not a Philosopher’s Stone). However, when a hole was punched him him, they are all suddenly seen escaping. When Father punched a hole in Hohenheim (and when he was shot many times in the manga), the souls didn’t escape. Also, how could Father destroy Greed just by biting down on him, especially if he was in such a “weakened” state?

#2) Father’s arm was still inside of Ling AFTER he removed all of his Philosopher’s Stone and Greed. How was Ling able to survive being run through if Father removed his Philospher’s Stone? Seems this was done/stretched just for the sake of convenience to the plot.

#3) Also, did Ling actually figure out how to gain immortality with the Philosopher’s Stone he took back to Xing? If not, why did he become emperor? And if he didn’t learn how to insert it into himself to make himself immortal while in Amestris, who’s to say the emperor simply wouldn’t have taken it from him to use on himself? In the manga, May said that the emperor is the kind of person who might do that, hence why she didn’t want to take back to him the method of creating the Stone, or the fact that it’s composed of human souls—because he just might actually try to make one to prolong his life.

#4) King Bradley constantly keeps his Ultimate Eye covered with an eyepatch. Yet somehow, he is still able to use it to dodge and predict anything and everything. He also removed this patch when fighting Greed/Ling at Central HQ, commenting that, like when he fought Ling before, that it was his “blind spot.” So, he is able to, at least partially, see through what we assume is a completely opaque material (or it could just be inconsistent writing either way—he can use it when covered by his eyepatch, but it’s still somehow his “blind spot?”). However, Buccaneer is able to stab him by thrusting his sword through Fu into Bradley, impaling both of them, commenting that “even with Godlike eyes, there’s no way you can dodge an attack that you can’t see!” A solid, opaque object (Fu) was blocking Buccaneer, just like how Bradley’s eyepatch is a solid, opaque object. Seems like this was done for convenience of the story.
-->#4a) A supplement to that: How would Bradley be able to avoid a _hail_ of bullets? Some of the bullets/artillery shells would block from view some of the other bullets/artillery shells, especially when facing a whole platoon or army. Futhermore, when he was still rising up through the ranks as a young man, wouldn’t it be possible that some of the higher caliber bullets could pass through the men nearby/in front of him who were blocking his view and still be able to hit him without him seeing them? He explained to Greed that his Ultimate Eye is the reason he was able to “dodge flying bullets on the battlefield” and rise to his current rank, but situations like the ones just mentioned must have arisen at some point, right?
-->#4b) Also, the ONLY thing I can think of to explain that is that his eyepatch appears opaque from the outside, but allows him to at least partially see through it from the inside? Even this is somewhat of a stretch, though, in my opinion.

#5) Why do Selim and King Bradley act like father and son even when no one is around or when they think no one is around? They seem to have an inconsistent relationship (sometimes occasionally when no one is around, their roles will switch; Selim is Pride and older than/senior to King Bradley/Wrath). Also, why would Selim drop over and over again to his mother and others around him that he admires/likes/wants to be like the Fullmetal Alchemist all the time? Wouldn’t it be smarter not to do that, as a homunculus? And how come his eyes glaze over and he gets so excited when he meets Alphonse? I don’t think he could be that good of an actor—it’s not all that believable. Neither is his complete personality change from when we think he’s just a normal boy, Selim Bradley, to when we find out he’s actually Pride. It’s just not portrayed/developed well, in my opinion.

#6) Why the HELL would Lust think it’s okay to kill both Alphonse and Roy Mustang? NONE of the other homunculi, including Father, EVER try to kill EITHER of them, EVEN when they discover the nationwide transmutation circle, AND stumble across Father’s lair. Even after Lust is killed, they never take it even close to that level by trying to harm or eliminate any of them. Totally inconsistent and ridiculous. Lust is also aware of Father and the other homunculi’s motives and what they are and are not willing to do, and that totally goes against that. She would’ve majorly screwed things up/made things difficult for Father if she had actually killed them, and I’m sure none of the other homunculi would’ve been happy with her if she had done that OR handled it in the way she did.

#7) Pride doesn’t seem to be injured in the same way as the other homunculi when fighting Heinkel, and isn’t seen regenerating, but still comments his Philosopher’s Stone has been weakened from fighting him. This is odd and inconsistent.

#8) How could Edward know what would happen when he made himself into a Philosopher’s Stone to invade Pride? He could’ve been lost in the torrent of souls or sucked in by Pride; he has no idea what would’ve happened.

#9) Is Pride’s “true form” shadows or the small infant seen after Edward defeats him? They’re completely different substances. Selim says he needs a new “container” when his body is breaking down , but what’s left when he is defeated IS a container. Also, Hohenheim remarks that Father made Pride in his image—as a mass of shadows, implying that the SHADOWS may actually be his real body. Hard to make sense of this.. it seems a little inconsistent.

#10) Father DOES seem to genuinely care for his “children” at first (except for Greed, whom he only melted down and reabsorbed because he openly rebelled against him and was potentially a big liability). He toasts the rest of the homunculi goodwill after reabsorbing Greed, calls Gluttony “my son” and takes care to recreate him with all of his former powers and memory intact after his Stone runs out, AND seems to confirm by his reaction Hohenheim’s accusation that the REAL reason he expelled his sins and created the Homunculi is because he wanted a family. Yet all of a sudden he abandons Pride, and Edward does convince Pride (or at least gets under his skin about it) that Father doesn’t care about him. This COULD be interpreted as Father simply wanted to take care of business and then return to Pride, or thought Pride could handle himself. Things don’t QUITE add up no matter which way you look at it.

***#11) Scar: this is a big one. So, it’s eventually discovered when he’s fighting King Bradley that before the Promised Day, he tattooed his left arm with his brother’s reconstruction array. So, he uses his right arm to destroy surrounding materials and sever Bradley’s arms, and his left arm to CREATE spikes which rise up from the ground. HOWEVER, it has been stated many, many times throughout the series, the three steps of alchemy are: understanding, deconstruction, and reconstruction. In other words, you have to 1) Know what you’re deconstructing, 2) BREAK IT DOWN, and 3) reconstruct it. That arm ONLY has the array for RECONSTRUCTION on it. Therefore, he shouldn’t be able to transmute ANYTHING without using BOTH of his hands (or perhaps even clapping them together first like Kimblee did to perform his alchemy), to deconstruct and THEN reconstruct it. The only thing I could POSSIBLY see his left arm being able to do (and this is a stretch, since it’s been made very clear you HAVE to go in order with those three steps of alchemy and there haven’t been any other cases of an entire step being skipped in the manga or in Brotherhood) without his right arm is bonding things together, like turning hydrogen and oxygen in the air into water, etc.

#12) Mustang—If he couldn’t see, how could he clap his hands and create that barrier from the ground when fighting Father with Hawkeye? He couldn’t see what material, or at least what kind of stone, he was transmuting. It’s possible he just already knew since he’s been in HQ a lot, but not necessarily in that particular area of HQ. Edward couldn’t break Buccaneer’s automail arm when fighting him for the first time near Briggs Fortress because he didn’t know what it was composed of (he thought it was made of iron, but it wasn’t). Also, if I remember correctly there are other times when characters used deconstruction without knowing what they were deconstructing.

#13) Sloth didn’t need to be hurt/killed as many times as the other Homunculi, especially Envy/Lust—look how many times they are “killed” vs. the few times Sloth is killed. Yes he suffered massive damage each of those times, but Lust/Envy often had their WHOLE BODY incinerated; one time Mustang even took Lust’s Philosopher’s stone out and it had to regenerate her body from NOTHING, which is equivalent to destroying her ENTIRE BODY once (Sloth never incurred that much damage), and regenerating it once.
-->#13a) Note: I admit this MAY be because Sloth is bigger and therefore has much more mass than the other homunculi, therefore takes more energy to regenerate his whole body; still though, that might be a stretch.

#14) Why didn’t Edward keep his automail as diamond-hard carbon when fighting Father? It wouldn’ t have been destroyed then, most likely. It seemed to be in this form when fighting Pride in Father’s lair, because he was able to block his attacks. Did he THEN transmute it back afterwards?? Why? Seems like this was done SOLELY so that Alphonse would later transmute his soul to restore his flesh-and-blood arm, when in fact that situation was easily avoidable by Edward.

#15) Greed- I think it’s idiotic that Greed doesn’t fully (or even close to fully, really) harden his body when fighting others, especially homunculi. I know he explained that he doesn’t LIKE to because it covers his handsome face, but if that’s the case, WHY would he break it out almost right away when fighting Edward and Izumi, and then NEVER use it again until the VERY end as Greed/Ling (junk like this has been done in other anime series too—a character will go full-out in his first appearance, but then never do that again for the rest of the series, even when his life is in danger; it’s just done to “punch up” the story or something at the expense of inconsistency)? Had he done this, instead of simply only hardening his arms as he usually does, he wouldn’t have been captured and melted down by father, would basically be nearly invincible when fighting (except against alchemists) and could make short work of his opponents, and most importantly, had NO REASON to run away from or be scared of Bradley when he attacked him in his residence and Bradley tried to decapitate him. This is DEFINITELY done for the convenience of the story, in my opinion. No fun having a character that’s too powerful or invincible, so we’ll just make it that he’s too dense to figure out he could win ALL his fights and not get himself into NEARLY as much trouble if he just completely used his powers rather than half-assing it. Total crap. Bradley could never beat him if he fully used his Ultimate Shield, and neither could Pride. Making it so he doesn't utilize it fully most of the time when he easily could only creates forced and artificial tension/drama.

#16) The thing with Greed being able to regenerate but Bradley not being able to just isn’t explained well, or at least fully (yeah, you could argue his thing about explaining that after fighting the Philosopher’s Stone when first becoming Wrath he was left with one soul and therefore couldn’t regenerate.. but I don’t buy it. How could he have any powers as a homunculus anyway with just ONE soul, like any ordinary humans? Their super speed/strength/etc. assumedly comes from the stone, which contains a multitude of souls). Although Bradley’s missing ability to regenerate might explain his aging (all the other homunculi who can regenerate don’t age, although not enough time passed to see if Greed/Ling would age), it still seems like this was done for convenience—he’s already hard to kill with his Ultimate Eye, so he would’ve been impossible for the characters to kill if he could regenerate as well.

#17) The thing about Hohenheim dying at the end because he ran out of Stone.. I don’t buy it. He should’ve become a normal human if he had only his soul left. Furthermore, Bradley said he was left with only one soul after becoming Wrath, and Hohenheim is very similar to a Homunculus anyway (the structure of his body is identical to Father’s). Bradley didn’t deteriorate into nothing and/or die after this, and neither should Hohenheim have. Maybe my argument is a stretch here, but I still think it’s dumb that he died at the end just because he only had one soul left.

#18) Eclipses don’t usually last as long as was depicted; Father should’ve started his transmutation RIGHT before the moon completely covered the sun, not right when it did. By doing that he risked the eclipse ending and the circle surrounding the eclipse dissipating before opening the Sun’s door/gate.

#19) Although Alphonse was very upset when he met his body in front of the doors when his soul left his armor body after it was transported to Father’s lair along with Edward, Izumi, and Mustang, because he knew that it was so atrophied and weak that he wouldn’t be able to use it to fight… WHAT could he have traded to get it back??? The body was calling his soul to it, as in the body probably wanted his soul to return to it in the gate/doors. Did Alphonse really think he could just take his body back to Father’s lair without paying a price? This part definitely doesn’t add up. AND Alphonse is an accomplished alchemist who’s even seen the Truth; there’s no way he could be so dumb or ignorant as to not know that he’d have to pay something to get his body back and couldn’t just “take it with him” just because. Makes no sense at all. If anything, trying to unite his body and soul would end with BOTH being trapped in the gate/doors. Although, really, Alphonse probably should have just stayed there, at least for a period of time (if that was an option), without uniting with his body, so that Father wouldn’t have a fifth sacrifice to use.

#20) Aren’t Ed, Al, Izumi, Mustang, and Hohenheim supposed to be human _sacrifices_?? They weren’t sacrificed at all; they were fine at the end, and Father even had to try to kill them AFTER the eclipse transmutation was over because they were clearly not dead. What was their role in the transmutation, why were they even required? I think if these were five random Alchemists that the reader was not familiar with OR were just people that the homunculi forced to perform human transmutation who weren’t major characters or important to the plot, Arakawa would’ve written it so that they would’ve died. But obviously no one would want to see five major characters die, so it was, in my opinion, done for convenience of the plot.

#21) Mustang should’ve lost his eyes, not just his eyesight, in the human transmutation, just like Judau did in the “Blind Alchemist” side story. This is just straight inconsistency, which in my opinion arose most likely because 1) readers didn’t want to see him without his handsome face, i.e. missing eyeballs & scars around his eyes, 2) the author intended his sight to be restored later (psh, like I never saw that one coming.. he kept his eyeballs to make that easier to happen for God’s sake). You could argue the punishment might’ve been lesser because it was a FORCED human transmutation that was performed against his will, but still—that might be a stretch. I mean he even gained knowledge from the doors/gate in exchange—he could use the clapping transmutation after that, so it was a legit human transmutation.

#22) Why would Father and the other homunculi have waited till the last minute to finish up SO much of this stuff? They had over 400 years. If Sloth was even slightly slower in carving the tunnel, it never would’ve worked out. They should’ve gotten on the thing with Ishval and Briggs WAY earlier. Also, letting Mustang roam (relatively) free instead of holding him like they did Marcoh allowed him to rebel and could have cost them dearly.

#23) Forcing someone to perform a human transmutation is ridiculous anyway, in my opinion. I think Arakawa might’ve painted herself into a corner with that one (just couldn’t figure out how to make it so Marcoh or Mustang would willingly perform human transmutation, or accidentally developed them so much that it would’ve then been very out-of-character to do that), and used that as an “out.” By the way, one of the sacrifices is going to be a Philosopher’s Stone in human form (Hohenheim)? How do you know that’s even gonna work?? He’s not actually a human anymore. Wouldn’t that screw things up? How do you know if that would even work out? Plus, you think it’s gonna be easy to subdue a human Philosopher’s Stone? Finally, Hohenheim has powers equivalent or near-equivalent to Father; if he HADN’T reached Father’s lair first, or hadn’t come in time, would father actually have been able to use alchemy to transport him there like he did with Ed, Al, Izumi and Mustang? Who’s to say he wouldn’t be able to resist something like that, considering he and Father are identical?
AND Father tried to steal his Philosopher’s Stone before the eclipse transmutation? Wouldn’t that kill him and therefore eliminate him for use as a sacrifice?
-->#23a) Come to think of it, much of the way Father planned his grand scheme seems rather poorly thought out and could have easily failed.

#24) Why did Father return to his original ball-of-shadows form when he was brought before the doors/gate at the end? Hadn’t he said before, when Hohenheim destroyed his body and it was revealed that his shadow form had grown to adult size, that he had evolved beyond that form in the 400 years since he was a ball of shadows in Xerxes? To me this is equivalent to a human infant growing up into an adult in the country of Amestris, then being reduced back to an infant when brought before the doors.

#25) I almost decided to let this one go, but alas, here we go: we’ve discovered that Father used the machine in his lair to spread the Philosopher’s Stone in his body throughout Amestris to dampen the effects of alchemy in that country, and to “turn off” alchemy there when needed. However, we’ve also discovered that Philosopher’s Stones usually have a size proportional to how many souls they contain. The number of people in Xerxes when the populace there was transmuted into a Stone was at least one million (AFTER using the stones in his body to perform some alchemy, and setting up his own nationwide transmutation circle, Hohenheim stated that he had a little over 500,000 souls in his body). With all of the people there, Xerxes is much smaller in physical size than Amestris. So, would half of the souls in Xerxes really be enough to completely cover the ground in Amestris (or really under the ground, but you know what I mean)?

***#26) Long-distance transmutation- ah, this is a big one, and one of my favorite (or least favorite) plot holes in the manga and Brotherhood. It’s said that alchemy is incapable of long-distance transmutation, while alkahestry (also known as "rentanjutsu") is. The long-distance transmutation is done by drawing a transmutation array on the ground, putting knives in each of the points of the array, reading the “dragon’s pulse” to understand where the flow of chi in the Earth lies and in what direction(s) it’s flowing, throwing ANOTHER set of knives at a distant object in the same formation as the original set of knives, and then transmuting. HOWEVER, there have also been instances of somewhat long-distance alchemy transmutation in the manga. Kimblee is seen doing it when he kills Scar’s family. Edward is seen doing it when chasing after Paninya in the mountainous area of Rush Valley (this is the most obvious example, ESPECIALLY in Brotherhood). And there are many other instances of that happening throughout the series; an alchemist is able to transmute a distant object or set of objects, often by letting the alchemic energy they’re using flow through the ground, or a nearby wall or path. Yet the Elrics are very surprised when they see May do her long distance transmutation, when they themselves are capable of similar or near-similar feats. I just don’t think this was thought out very well by Arakawa beforehand, or she slipped up and wrote some inconsistencies without thinking about it, because I’m still not entirely sure of the difference between long-distance alkahestry transmutation and just transmuting a not-so-nearby object using alchemy.

*A lot of plot points, including the ones above, seem to arise from dumb luck, and involve poor planning/leaving things to chance on the part of several characters, and it often seems like the author didn’t think it all the way through. AND it seems like a lot of the inconsistencies also arise from, as mentioned before in some places, for the sake of CONVENIENCE to the story. Things like that really cheapen it, in my opinion.

*Finally, not exactly a PLOT HOLE but something that’s still always bothered me: I don’t find Olivier very convincing or realistic as a character. She was STILL mad at her brother EVEN after she found out the war in Ishval was a manufactured atrocity, done for the purpose of completing Father’s plans? Also, he didn’t RUN AWAY from the battlefield like a coward, he was tired of being the cause of death for innocent people—he knew what was happening was wrong. And why does she hate Mustang? Is he really a “rival” for her? He’s two ranks below her. Is Alex Louis Armstrong or Edward (the equivalent to a major) a “rival” for the higher-ranked Mustang (a major is also two ranks lower than a colonel)? And why are they rivals at all if she doesn’t even want to become Fuhrer? Inconsistent, in my opinion. And, she’s unreasonably harsh on people, (in a way that makes you question how someone like her got to such a high rank), to the point of being dangerous or even mentally unstable or murderous.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
penguintruth
post Jul 7 2010, 08:03 PM
Post #2


State Alchemist (Major)
****

Group: Members
Posts: 540
Joined: 10-July 08
From: Here
Member No.: 60,921
Gender: Male



Some of these are as silly as the plotholes of the first series. And by that, I mean some of them aren't as big of plotholes as you think.

Though how Roy can get his eyesight back using the Philosopher's Stone is beyond me. Even if you follow the reasoning that he was forced into a human transmutation, why should Truth care? Hohenheim said that Izumi cannot regain what she lost again because that was her sin, so why should Roy? For that matter, how does Edward know that sacrificing his Gate is enough to get back Alphonse?

Olivier probably didn't have a problem with the war. The only part of Father's plans she really got angry about was that her and her soldiers were being manipulated. To her, no matter what the reason, cowardice is cowardice, and Alex certainly didn't do anything to try to stop the massacre. If he had turned on the military she would probably have had more respect for him, since she's more than willing to turn against her superiors if it suits her.

She's a bit of a vicious b***h. That's why I love her.


--------------------

Fullmetal Alchemist is over! Thank you, Hiromu Arakawa! ;_;
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KingBradley08
post Jul 7 2010, 08:29 PM
Post #3


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 7-July 10
Member No.: 74,798



QUOTE (penguintruth @ Jul 7 2010, 11:03 PM) *
Though how Roy can get his eyesight back using the Philosopher's Stone is beyond me. Even if you follow the reasoning that he was forced into a human transmutation, why should Truth care? Hohenheim said that Izumi cannot regain what she lost again because that was her sin, so why should Roy? For that matter, how does Edward know that sacrificing his Gate is enough to get back Alphonse?

Well, Edward was able to get back his arm and his brother, so I bet Izumi could even find a way to get back her internal organs (that is, if Hohenheim.. hadn't.... rearranged them..... maybe not such a great move after all, lol), if nothing else by trading her door of truth like Edward did. I mean it kind of makes sense.. a Philosopher's Stone is made of souls, and each soul is worth quite a bit in the world of alchemy, so I bet he could trade some or all of it back for his eyesight.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KEKU
post Jul 7 2010, 09:06 PM
Post #4


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 7-August 09
From: Canada
Member No.: 70,497
Gender: Male



QUOTE (KingBradley08 @ Jul 7 2010, 11:29 PM) *
[Well, Edward was able to get back his arm and his brother, so I bet Izumi could even find a way to get back her internal organs (that is, if Hohenheim.. hadn't.... rearranged them..... maybe not such a great move after all, lol), if nothing else by trading her door of truth like Edward did. I mean it kind of makes sense.. a Philosopher's Stone is made of souls, and each soul is worth quite a bit in the world of alchemy, so I bet he could trade some or all of it back for his eyesight.

That wouldn't work. As explained at the end, Mustang couldn't do that because if he sacrificed his Gate, then he wouldn't be able to get back again.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
RaphieL
post Jul 8 2010, 04:31 AM
Post #5


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 28-June 09
Member No.: 69,755



Japanese manga doesn't always have to make sense you know. sleep.gif


--------------------

Hagane no reinkinjutsushi Fullmetal alchemist 2001-2010
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tombow
post Jul 8 2010, 05:42 AM
Post #6


A sentient plant of some kind
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 19,780
Joined: 17-September 05
From: USA
Member No.: 23,115
Gender: Male



<General Reminder to everyone>

On our board, we go by the idea that all FMA fans are welcome to our board, regardless of their preferences, and also we don't promote "hater vs hater" talks among FMA fans on our board, whereas more fact and logic based discussions on the subject are encouraged. smile.gif

"Plot hole" is a very valid discussion topic, in my opinion, and if we can discuss FMA:Brotherhood plot holes here "unbiased" (i.e. without "FMA-1/FMA:B is better than FMA:B/FMA-1" undertone,) I think this may produce some interesting and informing discussions here.
Please keep that in mind when you add your posts. smile.gif (just a general reminder, especially for new members who are not used to our board yet. ^^)


---

@KingBradley08 - I would like to discourage turning this thread into another "FMA-1 supporter vs FMA:B (and/or FMA manga) supporter" thread, and hence I edited your original thread title and changed it to somewhat of more "neutral"("boring" XD) tone. I hope you don't mind. smile.gif
(By the way, welcome to our board! ^^)


===============

Sorry for the interruption, and now please go back to "FMA:B anime plot holes" discussions. biggrin.gif


--------------------

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hawkflame
post Jul 8 2010, 07:01 AM
Post #7


Apprentice
**

Group: Members
Posts: 230
Joined: 1-November 09
From: New Jersey
Member No.: 71,737
Gender: Male



A lot of the "plot holes" you listed aren't really plot holes per se- I mean, whether or not they're called "sacrifices" is just a semantics issue; would it really have mattered what they were called? It's not really inconsistent that Truth took Roy's eyesight rather than just his eyes- Truth metes out whatever punishment it feels fits the "crime" and is not necessarily fair on a case by case basis.

And as far as Wrath's abilities go- there's never been any indication that any of the homunculus' abilities have anything to do with the number of souls in their stone. Homunculi abilities don't necessarily have anything to do with alchemy in the first place (alchemy can't give you super speed, for instance) so why would they be powered by the souls?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Anomia Grey
post Jul 8 2010, 07:25 AM
Post #8


Apprentice
**

Group: Members
Posts: 143
Joined: 12-October 07
From: UK, studying the tea ritual of the natives
Member No.: 52,145
Gender: Female



I think a lot of the plot holes come with FMA being a serialised comic published in monthly installments as opposed to a novel that's written out and planned all at once - it's hard to keep track of all the subtleties, and keep the quality of the writing consistent throughout such a large stretch of time. Arakawa also said that one of her sources of inspiration for FMA was B movies - so while there's no doubting there are some deeper questions in FMA, especially about conceit and human dignity and whatnot, I read in an interview she sees herself as more of a comedy writer that tries to perk sad stories up with comedic moments (well, FMA does have it's fair share of heart breaking moments). But the point is, she might not have ever really cared that much on the coherence of alchemy - as original as it is, it is nonetheless only a prop.*

That being said, I'm still not happy with some of the plotholes - #11, 14 and 19 are all good points, and #3 has been bothering me ever since I read the last chapter. My personal solution to the latter is that the king died before they got there anyway, but it is a bit annoying.

Another one that bothers me (let me know if you brought it up and I missed it)

#27 When Father was crawling towards Ed to... eat him, or whatever you want to call it, if Mei had enough strength to cast a long distance transmutation circle, why didn't she just hit father, or built a wall between him and Ed, or do anything other than sacrifice Al? Al sacrificing himself for an arm seems so much against the whole 'you have no right to throw away your life' moral of the story. Oh, FMA, we know you love shirtless Edward handing it to the villain the old fashioned way more than anything, but really now - after you've wowed us with counter transmutation circles and character reveals and all that jazz, you make Al (and the rest of the cast) look like retards just to have the fight end with Ed punching father in the face?

To be fair, I felt Ed's last transmutation seriously eclipsed (no pun intended) Father's demise. It just felt that that was what we had been waiting for, and it felt in a way detached from the final battle and all that. It was indeed a brilliant and original conclusion to the brother's journey, and definitely in tune with Ed's character development, but I felt it didn't really need the whole Promised Day thing to happen.

*sighes* I'm happy i got that out. Now on to the previously mentioned plotholes:

#1) Uh, this is where I once again invoke the magic of character development** - I think that 'souls' are able to retain more or less of an individuality when separated from their minds and bodies and stuck into a PS according to who they were in life. Most voices are drowned out in general outcry of thousands of confused and tormented souls, but strong willed individuals can stand their own, communicate with the other souls (Hohenheim), and even destroy the receptacle (Greed, Ed, Kimbley). Unlike the first anime, brotherhood never explicitly states any difference between the souls of homonculi and those of humans (Father has a personal Gate of Truth, which we know all humans do), and Pride being 'domesticated' by the end of the last chapter further enforces this. We don't know that much about the first Greed, but I guess he had neither Kimbley's unnatural tolerance to despair, nor Edward or Hohenheim's inner strength to stay in one piece and take out Father from within. But as we've seen in 106 (or 105?i can't be bothered to check) when Father revived those Xerxesians, souls that had been part of an undiferentiated whole immediately resumed their own personalities when given a body. So Greed didn't immediately return to his old self, but soon regained his memories once nudged. The second time he was swallowed, he was no longer powered by an internal vacuum, but by the awareness that he was on his way to becoming a more complete entity than father ever was...

Alright, I'm a bit sleep-deprived and this isn't doing any good to my argumenting skills. I'll re-edit with some more comments when I'm a bit more coherent, I hope I made some sense in there.

* I think the 'real-life' alchemical texts and beliefs that inspired Arakawa are generally more serious business - people never seem to make up their mind about it, but alchemical texts seem to have been just as much about reaching a more enlightened state of mind as hey were about proto-scientifical chemical experiments. The process of creating a philosopher's stone was a symbol for the stages of development of the novice on his way to a So I started off quite sceptical ('oh this flashy silly stuff has nothing to do with actual alchemy but I like the guy in the armour so yeah let's give it a go') but then was really surprised when Al got turned into the Philosopher's stone, or Edward turned his soul into one just as he was reaching maturity as a character, and yes know I might be looking too much into it, but every once in a while FMA has shown that Arakawa (or the anime writer) has done his research, and I will always love the show(s) for it.

** Could this be a trope? ^^


--------------------
FMA's entry on TV Tropes' Better Than It Sounds page:

QUOTE
Military specialist searches for a magic rock recipe to get his brother out of a can. In one version of the story, the rock is their father, in the other version the rock is us.
Or: Children see a Thing Man Was Not Meant To Know, run around country looking for another one.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JackDawkins
post Jul 8 2010, 09:04 AM
Post #9


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 29
Joined: 12-March 10
Member No.: 73,219



QUOTE (Anomia Grey @ Jul 8 2010, 08:25 AM) *
#27 When Father was crawling towards Ed to... eat him, or whatever you want to call it, if Mei had enough strength to cast a long distance transmutation circle, why didn't she just hit father, or built a wall between him and Ed, or do anything other than sacrifice Al? Al sacrificing himself for an arm seems so much against the whole 'you have no right to throw away your life' moral of the story. Oh, FMA, we know you love shirtless Edward handing it to the villain the old fashioned way more than anything, but really now - after you've wowed us with counter transmutation circles and character reveals and all that jazz, you make Al (and the rest of the cast) look like retards just to have the fight end with Ed punching father in the face?


I've seen so many people bring this up....


With a lot of these "plot holes" or "more reasonable options" that people come up with they seem to be forgetting the fact that a story is being told here. As much as someone might like to believe that FMA will work this way the plot won't always move in the direction that makes the most sense all factors considered - it will move in the direction that actually moves the plot forward.

If Mei had attacked Father, or built a wall between him and Ed, or done anything else but sacrifice Al where would that have left us story-wise? Father could turn around and attack Mei, or destroy the wall, or do any number of things that would have still left Ed armless and trapped and Al in a most undesirable position.

And Al sacrificing himself wasn't something done completely irrationally with only the power of brotherly love on his part. He was in a position where he couldn't do anything to help, as well as the fact that his blood seal was cracking so he would have died. His brother was in a position where he couldn't do anything to help and in a position where he was about to die. What Al did was the best option. He knew his soul would go back to his body - Ed would get his arm back and be able to do something again - and he had complete faith in his brother to come back and get him. So he didn’t consider it as “throwing away his life”. It was actually a very wise thing to do strategically. It makes a lot more sense than just attacking Father or delaying the inevitable and probably putting everyone in an even worse situation.

And it actually moved the story forward.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KingBradley08
post Jul 8 2010, 09:37 AM
Post #10


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 7-July 10
Member No.: 74,798



QUOTE (Tombow @ Jul 8 2010, 08:42 AM) *
@KingBradley08 - I would like to discourage turning this thread into another "FMA-1 supporter vs FMA:B (and/or FMA manga) supporter" thread, and hence I edited your original thread title and changed it to somewhat of more "neutral"("boring" XD) tone. I hope you don't mind. smile.gif
(By the way, welcome to our board! ^^)


That's ok, I don't mind. Thanks for not changing the body of the text smile.gif. I agree, I don't want this to turn into a childish hater-vs-hater discussion, but I still don't think I took it too far with that wink.gif. People seem to be getting into it and talking, and I'm very happy about that! lol.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
black~hayate
post Jul 8 2010, 09:48 AM
Post #11


State Alchemist (Major)
****

Group: Members
Posts: 766
Joined: 12-April 09
From: Germany
Member No.: 67,859



I like your points. Some more or less.
I also have something to add!

When Father was completely crazy and tried to get the souls of the north soldiers for a philosophers stone, he screamed "Gimme a stooooone noooooows!" Well, okay. He tried to make a new philosophers stone with their souls. But WHY? He was standing five minutes before that besides PRIDE with tons of souls inside him. With a philosopher's stone inside him! He just could have grabbed Pride and absorb him. Then the Fullmetal Gang wouldn't be able to beat him for sure. This is also questionable.


--------------------
You have to leave me alot of cute messages! I love messages =3


Bark! Bark bark bark!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KingBradley08
post Jul 8 2010, 09:55 AM
Post #12


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 7-July 10
Member No.: 74,798



QUOTE (JackDawkins @ Jul 8 2010, 12:04 PM) *
QUOTE (Anomia Grey @ Jul 8 2010, 08:25 AM) *
#27 When Father was crawling towards Ed to... eat him, or whatever you want to call it, if Mei had enough strength to cast a long distance transmutation circle, why didn't she just hit father, or built a wall between him and Ed, or do anything other than sacrifice Al? Al sacrificing himself for an arm seems so much against the whole 'you have no right to throw away your life' moral of the story. Oh, FMA, we know you love shirtless Edward handing it to the villain the old fashioned way more than anything, but really now - after you've wowed us with counter transmutation circles and character reveals and all that jazz, you make Al (and the rest of the cast) look like retards just to have the fight end with Ed punching father in the face?


I've seen so many people bring this up....


With a lot of these "plot holes" or "more reasonable options" that people come up with they seem to be forgetting the fact that a story is being told here. As much as someone might like to believe that FMA will work this way the plot won't always move in the direction that makes the most since all factors considered - it will move in the direction that actually moves the plot forward.

If Mei had attacked Father, or built a wall between him and Ed, or done anything else but sacrifice Al where would that have left us story-wise? Father could turn around and attack Mei, or destroy the wall, or do any number of things that would have still left Ed armless and trapped and Al in a most undesirable position.

And Al sacrificing himself wasn't something done completely irrationally with only the power of brotherly love on his part. He was in a position where he couldn't do anything to help, as well as the fact that his blood seal was cracking so he would have died. His brother was in a position where he couldn't do anything to help and in a position where he was about to die. What Al did was the best option. He knew his soul would go back to his body - Ed would get his arm back and be able to do something again - and he had complete faith in his brother to come back and get him. So he didn’t consider it as “throwing away his life”. It was actually a very wise thing to do strategically. It makes a lot more since than just attacking Father or delaying the inevitable and probably putting everyone in an even worse situation.

And it actually moved the story forward.


I disagree with you. Changing the consistency of the story, going against earlier established rules, not explaining things well, and people somehow coming out on top in conflict situations almost purely due to dumb luck are "cheap," in my opinion. Anyone can do that; it's the same as a comic book death-- when someone who dies suddenly comes back later and their death is 'explained away,' it totally cheapens the whole thing. That's a reason why I don't like Yu Yu Hakusho very much: a lot of times a character will arrive with a certain power or ability, or a character will use a certain power or ability right away, or totally go all out in a fight... and then never use it again for the rest of the series, even when their life is in danger. That series also seems to have a fair amount of "out of the blue" resolutions of conflict and deus ex machinas.. something that FMA Brotherhood & the manga is not always entirely above.

A story that REALLY holds together well and it consistent can really wow its viewers/readers. It's possible to do both, have a great story that's also consistent from beginning to end. Arakawa was on the way to that... and I think maybe she could've done it if she really, REALLY thought some of this stuff through more (I'm also annoyed that Bones rushed her at the end just so they could finish Brotherhood in time; I KNEW it was a bad idea to start Brotherhood so soon because of that).

That being said, let me say this about Father approaching Edward to consume his soul: first of all, WHY didn't anyone else nearby step in to help? Everyone just yelled at him; Izumi, for example, easily could have stepped in and at least gotten his attention, put up a barrier between him and Ed, or just attacked him flat out. However, especially considering the fact that NO ONE ELSE WAS DOING ANYTHING to try to save Ed, I do agree with Al's decision-- it was one false move and his soul would be gone for good. So, while his soul is still barely in this world, why not trade it back for the full price: Ed's arm? I feel it's portrayed a little clearer in the manga that, literally, that was IT-- his blood seal was already starting to react to the cracks in the armor that had reached it. It was also an amazing moment when it actually happened; I just wish Arakawa had taken an extra page or two to create a situation in which no one else COULD have reached Ed except for Alphonse (and May).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JackDawkins
post Jul 8 2010, 12:30 PM
Post #13


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 29
Joined: 12-March 10
Member No.: 73,219



^

Well I’m not saying that a lot of things you’ve mentioned aren’t problems in the story. A lot of them are – gave me something to think about.

But when people say things such as “Why didn’t such and such do this in such and such situation instead…” those aren’t problems in the story unless they severely conflict with reason, prior characterization, and/or the set up of the working world. I don’t think the scene with Al violated any of that so I don’t consider it an issue.

As for anyone else helping him - I was under the impression that everyone else was too injured from the blast to immediately do anything, and even though it could have been illustrated a little better (I agree with that), it falls under that category of being necessary to move the story forward so I can forgive it.


Also, isn't that first paragraph a bit drastic of a comparison? I think the manga's done a pretty bang up job with staying consistent and explaining things (Brotherhood not so much). And no one has ever died and come back from the grave - that I can recall. And I can't think of anything that I'd consider a deus ex machinas. Though they did overuse the 'last minute saves' a bit towards the end - I expect a certain amount of that from a series like this.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
essa
post Jul 8 2010, 12:42 PM
Post #14


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 26
Joined: 1-October 06
From: Portugal
Member No.: 41,585
Gender: Female



I don't know if this is the right topic for this or if someone has already pointed out, but I've got a question...

I was just re-watching some of the last episodes in fma and while I watched the episode when ed hides in resembool, in his talk with Winry he says that the promised day might be the day they'll recover their bodies or the day when a great tragedy will hit the country.
Well, after seeing the way they recovered their bodies, couldn't they have done it in another day? Because the promise day didn't give them anything to get their bodies back... ok, maybe Ed wouldn't have the idea of sacrificing his gate but still, I think it doesn't make sense what he said. oO were they waiting for the promised day because they knew they'd fight better with the bodies they had? I dunno, I'm confused xD
Tell me your thoughts ^^;


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
AXavierB
post Jul 8 2010, 01:39 PM
Post #15


Apprentice
**

Group: Members
Posts: 156
Joined: 8-June 10
Member No.: 74,365
Gender: Male



If Hohenheim's body is made of philosopher's stone, how are Ed and Al human? In fact, how could he even impregnate Trisha? You'd think his sperm would be made of philosopher's stone too.

If Bradley only has one soul in his philosopher's stone, why doesn't Father just add some more? Wrath would have been unbeatable if he could regenerate.

Father chose the homunculi's powers. Why would he make it so Pride's powers only work with a light source? Why would he tack on an arbitrary weakness that would put Pride at a disadvantage in pitch darkness? I guess you could say it's simply the substance Pride's "shadows" (as well as Father's true form) are made out of that can only materialize if there's light, and Father didn't have any control over that, but in that case, wouldn't Father have the same weakness? Why did no one ever think of depriving him of a light source when he was in that shadow blob form?

Why is Pride's fetus form amnesiac while Envy's still has its entire mind intact? Also, how can this form age? Why do Pride and Envy seem to be the only homunculi who have these miniature forms inside their "containers"? They're also the only homunculi who seem to be capable of parasitically possessing other bodies.

That raises the question, how come Pride can only possess those of a similar genetic background while Envy can possess Yoki? Pride says himself that Ed can be his new container because they both have Hohenheim's blood.

Father was created with Hohenheim's blood. Why, then, does his final scene with Truth imply that he came from inside the Gate?

Ed states that each person's Gate contains all alchemical knowledge. But doesn't this contradict Father's demonstration that the planet's Gate has even more knowledge (nuclear fusion, siphoning souls without an array, creating giant shock waves/particle beams, etc.)?


--------------------
"There is no such thing as wrath inside me."
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 29th August 2016 - 02:05 AM



Copyright ©2003-2004 PhoenixNetworks, LLC. All rights reserved.
Copyright Notice. Privacy policy. Acceptable Use Policy. Terms of Service.
Page Generation Time: 0.0655 seconds.
Currently Selected Stylesheet: css/default.css