QUOTE (Bluestrike @ Jul 9 2011, 11:35 PM)
The issue with me isn't HIM not killing anyone, it's the fact that he refuses to let anyone ELSE kill anyone.
You have a problem with Al's resolve not to kill here, yet presumably do not bat an eye when Ed suffers a debilitating injury from Kimbley for the very same reason in the manga? If this is not the case, then please forgive my misapprehension. However, I strongly suspect you are being unfairly critical of FMA1 Al.
He is a naive, kind-hearted 14 year old child; one who considers it his explicit duty to protect the weak and to avoid killing at all costs. These are noble goals, and on these grounds I fail to see the basis for complaint against Alphonse. That a 14 year old harbors such beliefs at all, let alone possesses the strength of heart and body to see them through is already exceptional. I feel you expect the impossible from an already conflicted, damaged youth.
As for his desire to prevent others from killing; Alphonse does his best to serve as mediator between the people around him and the unyielding cruelties of life. This attitude has many parallels in the manga; most notably, Riza's refusal to allow Mustang the finishing blow against Envy and Ed's prevention of Kimbley's assassination at the hands of Miles and his sniper team. To argue that such an attitude is commendable in situations when its exercise just so happens to end favorably (Roy could very easily have reduced Ed to ashes or been killed by Riza; by all rights, Ed should have died in that mine shaft), while using that very same attitude as a slander in an environment which requires considerably more moral fortitude to maintain it (FMA1 does not pull punches with its plot...ever), seems to me, at best inconsistent, and at worst amoral and utilitarian.
Just because Arakawa's story provides an out for her characters does not imply we are to assume they would not have done the same thing even if the consequences of their actions had
been fatal. Likewise, just because FMA1 presents a merciless depiction of life's hardships, this does not make Alphonse moral stance any less praiseworthy. Also, let's maintain perspective here - Scar and Kimbley are hardened killers, and it is precisely their inability to move beyond vengeance - to break the cycle of hatred, as Arakawa might say - and to behave as civilized humans which precipitates their demise. That Scar died is perhaps regrettable, but as he himself admits, he had long ago abandoned the teachings of both Ishvala and his master and deserved to live in torment for his crimes.
One further note; Alphonse' refusal to let Scar kill Kimbley had absolutely nothing to do with his transmutation into a bomb. This happened after Scar had already 'killed' him; it was unexpected for both Scar and Alphonse that Kimbley would survive his insides being reduced to a red pulp with enough energy to outwit Alphonse and perform a final transmutation. If anything, the crucial factor in this development was Ed's pocket watch, which he left with Archer as a childish slight against Mustang only to have it receive an illegal augmentation treatment by Tucker. So yeah, you can go ahead and blame Edward for that one.