Joined: 22-January 05
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<Editing the thread title, and adding "and other analogies to FMA story, Post your FMA analogies here!! ^^" to expand the discussion scope of this thread. ^^ 04/16/07 ~Tombow>
ETA: April 16, 2007 by Tombow First, what I'd like to point out and remind everyone, is that we don't really know what Arakawa had in mind when she wrote FMA, and Ishivarans in the FMA (as far as FMA manga goes, she is still writing the story, but we also know, from the Interviews she gave, that she already has the ending of FMA manga, and pretty much known that from the beginning of FMA.)
Having said that, FMA is a very interesting story, and we can draw many analogies to the situations we know/learned personally, be it Palestine situation, European colonialism, the history of Indian natives in the U.S., or the Japanese-Americans in the concentration camps during WWII, and so on, and I'd like to expand this thread as a thread where we can post such analogies to FMA story.
<Thanks Hilde Knight, for opening this thread!! I know you have been MIA from our board sometime, but.. hope you don't mind us expanding the scope of your thread to include more wider discussions. ^^ 04/16/07 ~Tombow> ========================================= <The following is Hilde Knight's original post. ^^>
As you can guess, there is a great possibility for spoliers here. Beware.
War is a current issue that is plaguing our newspapers and televisions, and it also plays a big role in Fullmetal Alchemist.
Watching FMA the first time through, I noticed some similarities between the war that is taking place in Iraq right now and the attacks on Ishbal. Most of the things I noticed at first were petty and vague such as things like skin color (that probably sounded incredibley racist). Obviously, things that are, as I said earlier, petty and generally insignificant.
However, after watching through it a second time, I was able to take notice of more things that struck me as similiar. An example of this would be that, in a way, the head priest of Lior could be compared to Saddam.
What really struck all this, though, had to be in episode 14 with the men in the same building as Roze and the children she was looking after. I believe Roze said something along the lines of "We don't need your help, we have our own legs," which I feel to be very comparable to what we are doing in Iraq right now.
I know I'm definitely not the first to bear witness to this comparison, so I want to hear everyone elses' thoughts on the differences and similariities between Ishbal and Iraq.
Also, I don't mean to turn this into flame-fest. This isn't supposed to be about your thoughts on whether we should be in Iraq or not so don't derive the topic at hand into that.
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QUOTE(Toby-Chan @ Mar 16 2005, 04:01 PM)
Just because there are similarities, dosen't necessarily mean it's allegorical. But just because it isn't allegorical, dosen't mean it's not applicable.
I don't think FMA was mean to be a symbolic protest in any way shape or form. The Ishbal War is not Iraq, Vietnam, or any world war. It is, essentially, any war. There dosen't have to be a historic or modern parallel to illustrate the horrors of humankind in such situations.
This seems similar to when Tolkien was accused of racist allegory in Lord of The Rings, or that it was theorized that his series was symbolic for the rize of hitler, or that the ring stood for nuclear weapons. However, Tolkien said himself that he dislikes allegory, however he supports applicability. The difference being, he wasn't selling propaganda with which to tell a historical tale, but it might be clear to anyone that the ring has equivalent effects to great power. Those who have it become obsessed and sick with their infatuation. They desire it, becoming less and less of the good people they once were, just as there are humans, even the best intentioned ones who become corrupt with their power and greed, from the corporate criminals of Wall-Street, down to the little kid hall monitor who abuses his priveleges for the first time. It's not a shallow retelling, but a complex and less preachy way of portraying that element of human nature.
In the same way, the horror of war and violence in general is reflected upon in Fullmetal Alchemist, and that is meaningful enough.
QUOTE(hitokiri @ Apr 16 2005, 09:57 AM)
why do people have to overanalyze and look for hidden meanings where there are none? you could compare the ishbal war to just about ANY conflict. WWII with the concentration camps, the native american exterminations, even the crusades... you name a war and there's a possible comparison. its just like the morons that thought the LOTR novels were a social comentary about war... it, just like FMA, wasn't.... ITS JUST A FREAKIN KIDDIE STORY!!!
I'm with these two guys on this, it doesn't have to have a message, except, that FMA is not just a kiddie story. Full Metal Alchemist has some heavy themes and I wouldn't show it to kids as it might give them nightmares. (OMG! Nina was turned into that thing and was exploded by the scary man!)
In fact, LOTR isn't a kiddie story either, its a VERY LONG series, its definately beyond grade school reading.
As was said in an essay about Ender's Game: "One thing adolescent readers gain is that the book does not lend itself to the standard toolset of literary analysis. Find the metaphors and the symbols and what do you have? A few obvious and uninteresting observations, because this book is not about how cleverly the writer has encoded his "meaning... What distresses me is that there are actually teachers of literature who think that that is a useful and meaningful assignment, as if fiction were an essay in disguise, and fiction that is NOT an essay in disguise were not worth a serious reading."
Sometimes having a good story, that doesn't preach about which way you should live, is a virtue in itself. Ender's Game or FMA doesn't want to give you easy solutions and it doesn't need to either. Their main goal is to entertain mostly by the fact that you're too old to be watching "Snow White," wherein, the witches always die and where the white girl always gets to live happily ever after, simply because the fates conspire to make it so. The simple fact that you relate to the former and not the latter should speak volumes about the life you are living.