Joined: 28-March 05
Member No.: 10,673
Hope it's ok for a newbie to start a new topic; I've looked through the forums and this issue doesn't seem to have been addressed.
I devoured the entire series last week and I think it's some of the best writing/character development I've ever seen in an anime, but the more I think about the ending, the more I believe that Ed betrayed all of the growing up and learning that he did throughout the series when he made his final transmutation. Let me explain...
In episode 48 Ed tells Izumi that he plans on destroying the philosopher's stone. This action would be the culmination of Ed's learning to be an adult and clean up his own mistakes (in the same vein as destroying the homunculus). It can be argued that one of these mistakes was binding Al's soul to the armor in the first place, the selfish act of a child too afraid to face life alone. Al pretty much comes to the conclusion that he should have died as he makes the choice to resurrect his brother. Al's sacrifice was beautiful, but more importantly, it put Ed in the position to be a true hero, to act with maturity and responsibility, making sure that no one ever searched for the philosopher's stone again. We're even led to believe this is what Ed will do when he tells Rose he plans on destroying the underground city. However, instead of facing the lonliness of surviving, ensuring the downfall of research on the philosopher's stone, and gracefully releasing his brother's spirit, Ed takes what I consider to be the selfish act of using alchemy again, leaving Al to take the hard and lonely road of survival without his brother. Worse, Al is perfectly positioned to continue the search for the stone, the very quest Ed wisely realized was nothing but trouble!
So, sorry for the long post, but I'm dying for someone to discuss this with. Any thoughts are much appreciated!
Eternium elder: Fry, it is my duty to inform you that the fate of humanity, the fate of our race, indeed, the fate of all that exists and ever will exist rests with you. You are the single most important person in the universe.
Joined: 29-March 05
Member No.: 10,733
Yeah, but if you take that outlook doesn't selfish lose its definition since, according to what you just said, everything is a selfish act? Kinda eliminates the point... Not that its necessarily wrong, just that it makes it impossible to debate this, really.
Frankly, regardless of Ed's particular inner motives at the time, whether he wanted Al to live for his own sense of accomplishment on some level, or to fulfil his promise, or whatever, he didn't think that he would survive the attempt at transmutation, since what he intended to offer was his own life, so you can't really accuse him of being selfish, if you ask me. I suppose you could do so if he wasn't sacrificing himself, but if he was truly being selfish, what would he gain from it? He thought he was going to die at the time, so I really doubt he was doing it for himself in any way, whether consciously or subconsciously. Though I can definately see the reasoning for the other side here.
Great idea for a topic Fullmetal Gradstudent.
Humankind cannnot gain anything without giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy's first principal of equivelent exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only truth.