Joined: 10-November 04
Member No.: 2,152
I'll just copy my post from the other forum I posted in.
I realized that there was a lot more symbolism in FMA then I thought. I knew there was a lot of symbolism when I first watched it. There was the whole idea of humoculus and being named after the seven deadly sins. The idea of the deadly sins were used in Dante Aligieri's Divine Comedy, and Dante is the person controlling the homunculus.
In addition, a lot of the symbols used in the series are real symbols used, like the snake and cross or the Ouroboros, which is the what I'm mainly focusing on.
So I was browsing through curious articles are Wikipedia when I came across this in the Ouroboros article.
"Homunculi represent the seven deadly sins in the series and which were created by various alchemists in the attempt to bring humans back to life. This reflects an outstanding similiarity to Jung's belief of Ouroboros as an archetype of Death & Rebirth, as the Homunculi themselves are reborn humans made by alchemists. It is also interesting to note that Homunculi have a tendency to come back to life after being killed, and furthermore bring about their own demise, thus a snake biting its own tail and recreating themselves. The tatoo itself has some special abilities as well when touched by an alchemist. On a related subject, all alchemists in the series use Alchemy arrays which are circular designs (again circulating power as a tenet of both the symbol of Ouroboros and Alchemy itself within the series). Some alchemists however, have the ability to clap their hands together thus forming a circle with their body and arms, once again manifesting the power of Alchemy through circulating power." (Collective Essays on Archetypes of Modern Culture)
The Fullmetal Alchemist ouroborus contains another symbol within the circle. The symbol, in alchemy, is the seal of solomon. While the symbol has other obvious meanings, in the context of alchemy it represents the union of the fire symbol (up pointing triangle) and the water symbol (down pointing triangle). In alchemy the union of elements in opposition is symbolic of both transmutation and ultimately the quest for the Philosopher's stone. Fullmetal Alchemist Ouroborus Fullmetal Alchemist Ouroborus
In Fullmetal Alchemist, several characters adopt the symbol of a snake fixed on a cross. That symbol can be taken as the opposite of the Ouroboros. The winged snake on the cross representing the fixation of the volatile. As the Oroborus represents the cycle of birth and death, the snake on the cross represents fixed continuing life.
Wow, I've never noticed it before until now. The ouroboros symbol representing Death & Rebirth, while contrary, the snake and cross symbol representing continuing life. Plus the whole human transmutation thing forming the creation of the homunculus.
And contrary to most beliefs, alchemy isn't only the transmutation of metals into gold. It's also the transmutation of a person's soul and the spiriual transformation of the self.
Damn, I sound like my English teacher with this post.
Beware of the Killer Lolis!!!
Currently watching: Utawarerumono, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Fate/Stay Night, Jyu Oh Sei, Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Ouran High School Host Club, Bleach
Joined: 7-December 09
Member No.: 72,103
I'm not sure if this is the right thread to post it, but I have some general informations about the Philosopher Stone and the sulphur chemical element. These curiosities can be related to the manga / FMAB as well.
I hope that I'm not writing something that has already been said somewhere P:
Studying mineralogy for my next exam I've found out an interesting mineral that is the Cinnabar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnabar As you can see it is red as the philosopher stone should be, besides the chemical composition of this element is HgS that is mercury and sulphur. Well I've found out that this mineral was a chinese alchemical ingredient to reach the immortality and seems that some emperors died swallowing extracts of this mineral trying to lengthen their lives (due the mercury). Old chinese scrolls say that the famous "Terracotta Army" is surrounded by cinnabar rivers too. Isn't it similar to the whole Xing alchemy?
Besides in organic chemestry the SH (S=sulphur H=hydrogen) group is called "mercaptan". This word derives from latin and means "take the mercury" (mer=mercury* captio=take something) because compounds with this kind of group were used to extract the mercury. Now what this has to do with FMA? Well Kimbley's name "Zolf/Solf" is similar to the Italian (and other latin languages) word "zolfo" that means "sulphur" and funnily Kimbley has almost always a philosopher stone with him or two as seen in the manga and in FMAB
Probably I'm reading too much into it but it was funny to do this type of researches (and useful too 'cause I have to study these things)
*argentum vivum is the exact latin word for the mercury element but lately they started to use the word mercurius as the name of the god
Joined: 1-March 12
Member No.: 89,670
I'm actually starting a Thesis Paper with Fullmetal Alchemist (Brotherhood) as my subject and have been doing research on the religious / historical aspects of it. (Large part of why I joined this forum) Certainly interesting.
Here are some examples (I'll omit parts that've already been mentioned) purely on speculation, correct me if I have it wrong ><
- The entire Ishvalan war of Extermination started over the killing of a child by a soldier acting on his own will. A single person. This parallels WW1, where Austrian Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrillo Princip, part of a Bosnian terrorist group that certainly did not speak for the entire Serbian nation. In both of this incidences, outcry over these killings did not come until a while later and escalated to a huge scale.
- Yeah, Scar wears a cross on the back of his jacket, almost as if he's carrying a cross on his back. Like Jesus. Carrying the weight of humanity's sins and trying to rid the world of it.
- Gate of Truth = Gate to the garden of Eden, anyone? In FMA's case, however, it's reversed. In the original garden, Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden through the gate because they had committed a sin, and thus learned the 'truth'. In FMA, characters also commit the sin of human transmutation and also learn the 'truth'. However, both instances 'taint' their humanity, flawing them.