Okay so this chapter starts off with a pretty misleading nightmare. The whole thing seems to indicate that Ed still ahs sme regret over the fact that he can't ressurect his mother and that he has limits. The fact Ed says 'it hurts' as well seems to imply that he still hasn't got past his mother's death. This isn't true, as we'll learn in future chapters, and actually I recall Al flat out saying he and his brother have no desire to try and ressurect her? So what's it all about? Well in future nightmares and flashbacks we'll learn that Ed is carrying a lot on his conscious and that he feels pretty guilty about lot of things. This nightmare was probably brought on by what Tucker was taunting him about in the previous chapter, the fact that Ed committed a terrible sin. The 'it hurts' line while referring to his leg (which aches in the rain as we'll learn later) is probably also referring to the fact Ed is carrying alot of guilt. Note that Ed is ALONE in his scene. He's worrying about the burden he carries, and the burden he believes he carries ALONE.
Interesting to note are two little things that go by unnoticed at first. First off we learn that Ed's father was an Alchemist, that's actually pretty obvious and explains alot. However note that Ed is using Alchemy to please his mother in his dream? In future chapters we learn that pleasing their mother is the entire reason they learnt Alchemy in the first place, so it's a nice little touch.
So Ed and Al go to see Mustang and find out from Hawkeye that Tucker is dead. Okay is it me or does Hawkeye's action here completely contradict this line in the previous chapter;
"That's the logic of an adult, sir. Even though Edward acts older than his years, he's still a child."
So why is Hawkeye treating Ed like an adult here? This line from Chapter 5 is even weirder when Mustang is the one who treats him like a child in later chapters. I'm gonna take a guess that Hawkeye figured there's no point lying. There's a difference between lecturing a child on nihilistic ideals like Mustang was, and telling them someone has died. Hawkeye is pretty matter of fact about a lot of things actually, the reasons for this will probably come up alot in the future, but let's face it; Hawkeye can be damn cold about things sometimes. Actually read this part of teh chapter properly, she's not maternal about it at all. Nor is she soft. She just tells Ed and Al that Nina died and that they don't wanna see what resulted. That's pretty cold. Yes it's a kindness but I can think of about nine better ways to put it than she does.
We're also introduced to Hughes and Armstrong, nothing particularly intresting about them is revealed in their first scene, aside from the fact that Mustang and Hughes are clearly at ease with each other. Bare in mind how laid back and jokey Hughes is about this murder, I mean 'you expect us to put this corpse on trial?' is pretty flippant given the circumstances. This shows not only are Mustang and Hughes confortable with each other, but that they're used to behaving that way around fairly grisly and horrible circumstances. Hmm...
Ahh the Homunculus, I love these guys, all of them are such interesting characters to talk about. Well nearly all of them. So yeah after I finished reading FMA I got to thinking and realised that the Homunculus all represent their sins in some ways, some of them obvious (like Sloth and Greed) and some of them less obvious (like Envy) but then you have Lust. Oh boy Lust, are you ever a thorn in my side. With such brilliant writing in place, the fact Lust barely appears and seems pretty shallow and not representative of her sin at all... annoys me. However I do think a case can be made for Lust being an allagory for a womaniser or the female equivilent.
How? Well let me explain. A womaniser is someone who uses women for their own pleasure and discards them, having little to no interesting in them other than sexual gratification. While Lust never does that, she DOES use people and discard them quite frequently. Yes all the Homunculus are guilty of this, but Lust is by far the most dispassionate about it. Take this exchange for example;
Gluttony: "Will a lot of people die again?"
Lust: "Yes, I guess they'll die."
Wow, could she care less? If that was Wrath, Pride or Envy we'd have had some long diatribe about how they will die because that's all they're good for and how much they hate humans, bla, blah, blah. Lust doesn't care and actually she never seems to show any caring for what becomes of humanity. She's by far the most cold, never showing any emotion towards humans beyond how they'll be used for their goals. We'll see more examples of this as time goes on, but for now I wanna talk about two lines regarding Envy.
First is; "Why should I be a crusty old geezer? When I can be young and cute."
What can we get from that? Envy LIKES his human form. Yes he uses it for disguise purposes and because frankly his true form isn't practical for his job but it's pretty clear that Envy's idea of what looks good is a human. He's not the only Homunculus who will show a preference for human form either as time goes on. For now this is just a little hint towards Envy's true nature. Also there's this response from Lust in teh Viz translation;
Lust: "Even though inside your the most ruthles of us all."
Okay can someone who knows Japanese confirm something for me? Did she originally say he was the most monstrous
of them all? Because think about it, what she said isn't even close to being true. Wrath and Pride are by far more ruthless than Envy, in fact Envy is pretty bumbling alot of the time. I'm guessing she's originally saying monstrous because that would make sense both for why she said it and for why the translator translated it as ruthless. Either way this clearly meant to be a hint to Envy's true form (as is Envy's reaction to being called a monster) but it's kind of lost in the english. Also note that Envy goes apesh*t in later chapters when his true form is mentioned by Greed, but he just seems mildly annoyed here. Clearly he's more comfortable and fonder of Lust and Gluttony.
One last thing about this scene because I've analysed it to death already, but does anyone else think it's weird that Lust and Envy only mention the Colonol and Ed in regards to Scar? Why not Al? Well I don't think they know Al took part in the attempt to ressurect Trisha Elric at this point. Why? Well yeah Lust and Gluttony were in Liore when Al lost hsi head and was revealed to a few to have no body, but we never saw them seeing that. In fact they never really start addressing Al as a potential sacrifice until way after this. In fact not until AFTER the events of Dublith unless I miss my guess. So like I said I don't think they know about Al's body yet. Also note they call Ed "Our human sacrifice" not "One of our human sacrifices". Again maybe I'm reading into it too much but I think Ed's the only one they have confirmed at this point. Think about it, they haven't met or heard of Izumi yet, Mustang clearly hasn't opened the gate and like I said, I don't think they know about Al. So what about Hohenheim I hear you cry? Well later on we'll learn they're not even sure if Hohenheim is ALIVE, so obviously they don't consider him a sacrifice at this point. Wow, they seem pretty calm considering they've only got one confirmed sacrifice, that's confidence for you.
Okay this actually a plot hole I wanna point out here. Hughes and Armstrong discuss how all they've been able to acquire from witnesses is that Scar has a x-shaped scar on his face. Also in Chapter 7, they'll be surprised after he loses his glasses to see he's Ishbalan. That would make sense in the anime where Ishbalans are only known for their red eyes, but in the Manga... they're known for white hair and dark skin as well. Did the idea that Scar was an Ishbalan NEVER enter into anyone's mind at any point? Also why wasn't that learned as well from witnesses? If they saw enough of him to learn he had the scar I'm fairly certain you'd notice his skin and hair colour as well.
I like how much Mustang panics about Ed and Al as well, it shows that despite his gruff way of dealing with them, he does truly care about them.
So this scene with Ed and Al in the rain seems to contradict what I said about how Ed isn't still interested in resurrecting his mother, but I still think it holds up. Ed's punishing himself here for even thinking about trying to save Nina. He doesn't say 'I wanna bring back Nina' he says that he's an idiot because he's thinking about trying to solve something no one can fix. This goes pretty well with what I said before about how Ed is baring guilt on his own. He's beating himself up over what is probably an idle thought anyone would have had in that situation. Ed tends to hold himself to a standard that no one could live up to, and this scene is an example of that.
Al is pretty bad for that as well, but he seems more accepting of the fact that he and Ed really haven't learned anything and are trying to go against the world. But again, they both seem to be beating themselves up over this whole thing in a pretty unnecessary way. We'll see a lot of that, people in FMA seem to love baring guilt on their own and punishing themselves unnecssarily.
So Scar turns up and... Ed and Al run for it? Okay we've seen these two fight Terrorists and crazy Cult Leaders, so now they run from one day? Yeah well bare in mind that they just saw Scar kill someone in front of them and state out right he intends to do the same to Ed, I think anyone would run. This whole sequence is another huge tonal shift, done pretty well actually, compared to the lighter hearted Volume 1. There he faced the villains with bravery, but his life was never in any real danger. I think this may also be the first time he sees someone die in front of him, something sadly he'll see more in the future.
I also love the fact that Ed acknowledges many people hate him, but also says that he doesn't deserve to die. Interesting. We'll get into why that's interesting later, but anyway.
Also note Ed says 'he has no choice' before he attacks Scar. So were Ed and Al running because they wanted to avoid fighting Scar? We'll learn that indeed the two dislike violence when it's unnecessary (we saw that in Chapter 2) but I do think it's more of a case of 'crap I can't run' than 'okay I guess I'll have to fight him'. Interesting that Scar assumes the latter, thinking that Ed isn't afraid when clearly he's terrified. Why? Well we'll see as time goes on that Scar has a hard time seeing Alchemists, indeed anyone attached to the Military, as human beings. So the idea that Scar wouldn't notice that Ed is scared, is pretty believable.
We also learn that Scar's power is based on understanding materials and that he understands Alchemy to some extent. This will seem to make sense in the next chapter, but really it doesn't completely make sense until waaaaaaaaaay later on in the story. For now it's a couple of nice little hints to the reveal of how his powers work in Chapter 7. I also love how Scar takes the whole 'Al has no body' thing in his stride. Again Scar thinks of Ametris' people as inhuman, so yeah seeing that would probably just cement his belief.
So the chapter ends with Ed's arm shattered, one of the most iconic images in the series. Easy to see why as the drawing is freaking amazing. One of the best Aarkawa ever produced.
Overall Chapter 6 is a great chapter, with a lot of interesting little things to notice, that you wouldn't have ever taken notice of the first time around. This is why I think the idea of rereading these chapters is fantastic