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Fullmetal Alchemist Discussion Board > Fullmetal Alchemist Discussions > FMA Character Discussions
Amalthea
Hawkeye is a great asset to the FMA manga. Not only is she an extremely tough woman, but her sarcastic sense of humor and gutsy moves are always fun to watch.

One thing that always bothered me, though, is just how much Mustang seems to consume her own personhood. Yes, we understand she is going to stick by his side no matter what, and that she will pull the trigger without hesitation for his sake, but I'm left feeling... what else about her? She's said (and even showed) multiple times that with Mustang gone, she has no reason to live. For someone as strong as Riza, that kind of resolve seems almost like she's dependent on him to me. It's important to keep strong relationships, but what else about her own individuality? When Mustang was about to kill Envy, yes she stood up to him, but she had said with Roy completely gone she'd have no reason to carry on her own life.

Maybe I feel this way because I'm not a to-the-grave RoxRiza person (not that I'm against it) and wanted to see more of Riza's own personhood than solely her relationship with Roy.
ramencat
It's not so much that she can't live without him as she feels she has no right to live unless she is bettering the country, as repentance for all the people she killed. She also feels responsible for the people Roy killed, since she was enabled him to do that by giving him her fathers secrets. Keep in mind that Riza was, what, 19 when she went to Ishval? She seems to have led a fairly sheltered life before that, and suddenly she's having to kill people who she has no quarrel with. This has obviously impacted her. It is very likely that she and many other veterans, Roy included, have PTSD. After the war, she was emotionally scarred, with nowhere to go and an enormous amount of guilt. Helping Roy was the only way for her to move forward. She sees him as the only hope for a better Amestris and views it as her role to help get him there. She is to some extent, dependant on him, but I think he is just as dependant on her, especially after Hughes death. Though they act strong, the war has left them in a fragile emotional and psychological state. Roy depends on Riza to guide him in the right direction should he doubt himself, and Riza depends on Roy as path to redemption. If it seems like she depends on him more than he on her, it's simply because he doesn't show it, not his style.

So... that was kind of rambling, but I hope it clears some things up. smile.gif
Ruingaraf
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Jun 3 2010, 12:15 PM) *
Hawkeye is a great asset to the FMA manga. Not only is she an extremely tough woman, but her sarcastic sense of humor and gutsy moves are always fun to watch.

One thing that always bothered me, though, is just how much Mustang seems to consume her own personhood. Yes, we understand she is going to stick by his side no matter what, and that she will pull the trigger without hesitation for his sake, but I'm left feeling... what else about her? She's said (and even showed) multiple times that with Mustang gone, she has no reason to live. For someone as strong as Riza, that kind of resolve seems almost like she's dependent on him to me. It's important to keep strong relationships, but what else about her own individuality? When Mustang was about to kill Envy, yes she stood up to him, but she had said with Roy completely gone she'd have no reason to carry on her own life.

Maybe I feel this way because I'm not a to-the-grave RoxRiza person (not that I'm against it) and wanted to see more of Riza's own personhood than solely her relationship with Roy.


(from someone who's been trying to write her perfectly and explain all this for years)

Short explanation: She really honestly is that dependent on him. Healthy? No. Understandable in a psychological sense? Absolutely. Even the strongest people have flaws and weaknesses, and hers is him. As a person, the tattoo destroyed most of her sense of individuality, self worth, etc., not just because of the nature of her being literally objectified but because of the age it must have been done at (12-16, since if she had been younger than twelve the growth of her skin would have distorted it) since that's the age when the psyche forms individuality. Beyond that, Roy is the only person she has ever formed any kind of mutual, normal relationship with, since her mother is dead, her father was nuts, and she was apparently a shy child. The fact that she defines herself by what she can do for others supports this, since she doesn't have an internal sense of who she is or that she exists. So instead she works herself hard and gets that confirmation from others.

And I don't think she'd kill herself, but it would effectively destroy her psyche and any hope of ever being close to anyone. You know how she puts up that cool, emotionless front? Imagine it getting a lot colder and never, ever cracking.

@ramencat: Although PTSD accounts for some of it, I would disagree and say that's nowhere near all of it, having gone through PTSD simultaneously with my best friend. I can speak from expereince that it does create a bond with the feeling that 'no one else can truly understand' it does not cause that type of dependence.

This is what I constantly tell people-- if you want a strong female role model that depends on no one, she is not it, as it can be argued that she has individuality issues. Go for Izumi.
Amalthea
I agree that the circumstances of Ishbal and her upbringing had a lot to with not only how she perceives Amestris and her countrymen, but how she views herself. I'm not discounting her bond with Roy, but I still would have liked to explore more of her own character in the series. Not as Mustang's comrade or possible love interest, but as the person Riza Hawkeye.

Even Winry who doesn't have the tough exterior like Hawkeye has her own sense of individuality. She has a great passion for automail, and she's living her dream of being a mechanic away in Rush Valley despite having a close tie to Ed.

I just never felt that with Hawkeye, and it seemed to me that many fans liking of her had more to do with the "lol cute romance" with Roy than her character. Fandom will be fandom, I suppose.

Riza probably had a lot of self-confidence issues. In many ways, before meeting Mustang, she may have been the loneliest of them all.
ramencat
@ruingaraf I wasn't trying to insinuate that PTSD was entirely responsible for her dependence on Roy. It also has a lot to do with the reasons you mentioned, but since those were not as clearley implied in the manga, I felt out of place forming a theory around it, as I have trouble "reading in between the lines" due to my Aspergers Syndrome. PTSD and war are more familiar subjects than interpersonal relationships for me, so I just focused on that. Riza's psychological state is the result of a number of influences. That was just the one I understood best.

@amalthea I never considered Roy and Riza to have a romance, per se. They exist in a unique state of co-dependance and understand each other better than anyone else, but their relationship is more like that of a couple that has been married for years than a romance. That is what makes me part of the Royai fandom, actually; it's a different, more mature and complex sort of relationship than others I've seen in manga.

It's hard to explore Riza as an individual because she centers her identity around other people, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. A leader is nothing without support. Besides Riza's devotion to Roy isn't "dis guy is hawt so i'll follow him", but "it is my only option to follow this man."
Ruingaraf
QUOTE (ramencat @ Jun 3 2010, 08:42 PM) *
@ruingaraf I wasn't trying to insinuate that PTSD was entirely responsible for her dependence on Roy. It also has a lot to do with the reasons you mentioned, but since those were not as clearley implied in the manga, I felt out of place forming a theory around it, as I have trouble "reading in between the lines" due to my Aspergers Syndrome. PTSD and war are more familiar subjects than interpersonal relationships for me, so I just focused on that. Riza's psychological state is the result of a number of influences. That was just the one I understood best.

@amalthea I never considered Roy and Riza to have a romance, per se. They exist in a unique state of co-dependance and understand each other better than anyone else, but their relationship is more like that of a couple that has been married for years than a romance. That is what makes me part of the Royai fandom, actually; it's a different, more mature and complex sort of relationship than others I've seen in manga.

It's hard to explore Riza as an individual because she centers her identity around other people, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. A leader is nothing without support. Besides Riza's devotion to Roy isn't "dis guy is hawt so i'll follow him", but "it is my only option to follow this man."


First of all, I'm Asbergers, too. And half a dozen other things. And I get really sick of hearing people use these as excuses. It should not come up in regular conversation, get over it. Asbergers also means your IQ is likely 20 points above average or more; it's not like you're mentally retarded. Just a different brain configuration. If anything, those extra IQ points are a trade off for the social fail, and at least in my opinion, a pretty damn good deal. smile.gif

And I consider it... a romance? Kind of? They're odd, since the bond is old and not new. But there's romantic intention and I find it fascinating, soooo...
deet-tastic
Alot of what I believe on this subject has already been beautifully pointed out, so I won't repeat anything. I will say though that Hawkeye is one of my favorite characters, not because I ship Royai, but because of how.. well-built she is, on Arakawa's part.This topic alone is another reason why Arakawa is as amazing a writer as she is.
Look at this deep topic on just one character from her story... And a side character at that. smile.gif
Just proves how much more amazing she is.
Gukumatz
Reading this topic suddenly made me remember the time Edward visited Riza's apartment to return her gun and hear about Ishval. She had a bunch of unopened boxes from the time she moved from Central. How long had it been since they moved? Wasn't it at least a few months? At the time, I remember thinking it strange that someone would leave everything unopened for so long. On reflection, that was a perfect example of the difference between her outer appearance (e.g. how she is at work) and her inner psyche (e.g. the state of her private apartment).

http://www.onemanga.com/Full_Metal_Alchemist/58/07/
ramencat
@Ruingaraf: Hey, hey, I'm not trying to excuse anything. I was just saying that's why I felt unqualified to delve into that particular aspect of this subject. I do consider Aspergers a good deal. I'm sorry if I sound, or have previously sounded, hostile. It was just a passing comment.

And it does point to Arakawas strength that Hawkeye is such a complex character. It's pretty amazing that we can have such a deep discussion on aspects of this character that have only been implied.
Amalthea
Part of the reason I started this thread is because Riza is such a complex character, both on the surface and inside. That particular trait of her always confused me, and I had a really hard time articulating my point.

I do think that her individuality issues are negative traits, but it certainly makes her an intricate character and fleshes her out more. smile.gif
heartwing713
I personally think that Riza follows Roy because she DOES have hopes and dreams and a sense of what she herself wants in life and who she wants to be, not because of a lack of that. The point in the manga/brotherhood that most exemplifies that for me is the scene where Roy tells her about his dream and she responds "I think that's a wonderful dream". This was all before Ishbal. I personally think that Riza, being the intelligent woman that she is, has always wanted the same thing as Roy, even before she knew him, but didn't know how to express it or even fuly understand what she wanted. Roy, being so open and outgoing and inwardly strong (as opposed to her outward strength) gave her a means to understand and pursue those dreams. It makes sense that she would want a world where people take care of each other (since she obviously has a dependant nature and since she lacked that kind of nurturing as a child). She has dreams and ideas which she came to on her own, what she lacks is a strong anchor; a way of pursuing those dreams and keeping herself grounded. Roy gives her that. That explains why her apartment is in the state that it's in (unpacking is something she wants to do, but is easily distracted from by work because work is more solid). I see Riza like a very strong electrical current: She is powerful and has the drive to use that energy, but needs something to conduct that energy, which in her case is Roy.

Long story short: Her personal goals are to create a world where people live and protect each other, or at the very least create a government which enables that. Roy is the means, not the goal itself. Without the means, she sees no way of achieving her goal due to her own inner weakness (not to be confused with a lack of individuality). Without a clear path set out for her, she feels as though she would simply float away.

I hope that wasn't too long-winded. I sort of just had to let my brain puke all over this post...since my backspace key is broken XD
Ruingaraf
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Jun 4 2010, 07:12 PM) *
Part of the reason I started this thread is because Riza is such a complex character, both on the surface and inside. That particular trait of her always confused me, and I had a really hard time articulating my point.

I do think that her individuality issues are negative traits, but it certainly makes her an intricate character and fleshes her out more. smile.gif


I agree completely that she's much more interesting than people give her credit for. I really hate having to explain to people that I don't love her as a character because she's an uberawesome gun women (which was the default assumption, before Brotherhood) or because I love Roy and think he needs some arm candy. What's interesting is all of her flaws and shortcomings, as well as that kindness that makes its way out on occasion, like with Ed after the Scar fight or even with Hayate. She is also possibly even more stubborn than Edward in certain situations.

Ultimately, as a writer myself, I think it's possible that Arakawa didn't want to put too much focus on her to take away from the brothers. She developed her as much as she possibly could as a side character.

@heartwing: It's not that she doesn't have hopes and dreams, per se, but that most people would choose individual dreams, not pushing someone else to the top. And personally I don't think dependancy would surface in the interst of general wellfare, I would say that's just her being idealistic.
Amalthea
Yeah, I think some people didn't really know to look past the fact that she's the hardened female soldier, or that she only serves as Mustang's subordinate/possible lover. With Mustang's womanizing tendencies, I'm not sure he's even ready for a serious, long-lasting romantic relationship with one woman, but that's an entirely different topic. Her development in the manga and Brotherhood is infinitely superior than her character in the first anime.

Come to think of it, Riza shares a lot of similarities (strengths and weaknesses) with Lanfan. Much more than Winry, for sure.
heartwing713
@Ruingaraf: I see your point for sure. It is pretty confusing and complex trying to dissect Riza's character. Every time I think I have it figured out, she surprises me. I guess that's why we have this thread XD. I do think though, that her dependency didn't necessarily develop as a result of her interest in the general welfare, but that the dependency was already there along with her interest in helping others and the two traits come together in her drive to aid Roy. As for most people preferring to pursue their own dreams instead of pushing someone else to the top, with a dream like Riza and Roy's, which requires someone being at the top, naturally means that only one person can be at that pinnacle. Riza shares Roy's dream, but does not share his inclination toward leadership. Some people simply make better subordinates than they do leaders. Riza recognizes this, so she supports Roy rather than trying to do the same thing he is.

I just thought of something else, too. The way that Riza is fighting to keep Roy on track is commonly viewed as a manifestation of her devotion to him, but look at it this way. Riza was the one who chose on her own to entrust the secrets of her tattoo to Roy. She is responsible for his power, as she gave it to him. She has to keep him on track not just because she wants him to acheive his goal, but she wants to make sure he stays true to the idealism they both share. She has a duty to police him, which she took up completely of her own accord.

Wow...this is an awesome thread. I love how deep this discussion is getting! All of you guys are so interesting to talk to, I'm really enjoying this.

P.S: I definitely see the comparison to Lan Fan, great point biggrin.gif
deet-tastic
I absolutely love this thread, and I wish I had way more free time than what I do. (I'm on here at 1 AM almost right now >_>)
I'd be all over this if I had even a spare hour in my day besides late at night.

When I first got into fullmetal, I found that I loved Riza because of how strong a character she was. ( and her kick A moments as well, I will admit) . Hawkeye was different.. The stereotypical anime girl character is super skinny, big chested, and ditzy with the random suggestive scenes. That's just the unfortunate way it is. But here we have Riza Hawkeye, who is so well put together by Arakawa that it just amazes me. That's what made me love Hawkeye, her strong attributes and character. And this thread just goes to prove all these things I've thought since I became a fullmetal fan.
Flamez_Freak
Well , riza is one of the few main female characters (in shonen anime/manga) who have maintained them selves to have sound/kickass characteristics throughout the series .
The others just transformed , from loud mouthed , arrogant characters to emo craps . . That is why i like riza soooo much .
saldon
she is awesome
Turdaewen
I think people DO tend to misunderstand Riza quite a lot

Riza is definitely does not lack personality and "self thinking"

First of all, Riza NEVER said she hadn't a reason to live if Roy died. She said she would not have a reason to live if she failed her mission, which is to make sure Roy get to the top, but it's not because 'of Roy' in a strict sense, but because of all the story with the Flame Alchemy and her mission of making Amestris a democracy.

So, she's after the DREAM of making Amestris a peaceful country, not being able to "love Roy". She's a strongly idealistic woman, who giver up all her life for a propose.
It so happens that the man she's supposed to protect is the man she loves, but she doesn't do it because she loves him. And that scene is the very proof of that: If Riza couldn't "live without Roy" than why the hell would she kill him for? The only explanation is: their goal and their dream is more important!! In Riza's mind, Roy's dream (which is not actually only his, but it's her's and it's Hughes') is more important than ANYTHING, including Roy's life, including her own life.
She lives FOR that "Ideal Amestris" and she said it more than once why she does everything she does: "to sacrifice herself so that other people can live happily and peacefully".

For Riza, making Amestris safe is more important than ANYTHING in her life. That's what drives her and not her "attachment to Roy".


Most people read the 'I'll crush my back and destroy this body with the Flame Alchemy" as a 'romantic' line when in fact, it isn't. And if we pay attention to Riza throughout the manga, that gets pretty clear. Riza puts her duty (not as a Military and not as Roy's aidee, but as a "worker for an idea") before anything else and that makes her deeply independent and strong.

She's the kind of person that, if realized her feelings for Roy would get in the way of what they were doing in ANY sense, she would walk away.

Does that mean she doesn't love him? Not at all. If fact, I believe she loves more than most women characters I've seen. But not in "lovey-dovey" or even angsty the way people usually portray it. Even because, if she was so dependent of Roy, they would never go as far as they went.
Roy needs a truly strong woman to be beside him to work as a sort of 'conscience voice" and that's the reason why Riza is with him, not because "she's in love with him".

Arakawa is an author who always builds very complex and very strong women in several different senses and Riza is no exception... we just have to learn to "Read her the right way", or we'll be just like the Dr. Goldtooth and King Bradley, taking Roy and Riza's relationship for granted and ending up getting so scre**d up for it. XD


So, in short: Riza does what she does because they have a goal to achieve and not because "she can't live without him".
heartwing713
Turdaewen, I always love reading your posts. You have so much insight into FMA, especially Riza, and I find it really interesting to hear what you have to say.

I agree with what you're saying completely, you even managed to change my mind about some of the things I was saying before. I do think, though, that Riza does have a tendency to fall away from that idealism and lapse into putting all her dreams on Roy (for example in the Lust scene. She was definitely giving up there) What people tend to do when looking at Riza though (and I was doing this a little in my earlier post myself) is think of the Riza in the Lust scene and the Riza in the Envy scene as the same Riza (in terms of emotion) when in actuality, the Lust scene was a moment of weakness while the Envy scene was a moment of strength I think.
Turdaewen
QUOTE (heartwing713 @ Jun 7 2010, 05:16 PM) *
Turdaewen, I always love reading your posts. You have so much insight into FMA, especially Riza, and I find it really interesting to hear what you have to say.

I agree with what you're saying completely, you even managed to change my mind about some of the things I was saying before. I do think, though, that Riza does have a tendency to fall away from that idealism and lapse into putting all her dreams on Roy (for example in the Lust scene. She was definitely giving up there) What people tend to do when looking at Riza though (and I was doing this a little in my earlier post myself) is think of the Riza in the Lust scene and the Riza in the Envy scene as the same Riza (in terms of emotion) when in actuality, the Lust scene was a moment of weakness while the Envy scene was a moment of strength I think.

Thanx! ^^

Yeah, of course! She's human, so she DOES has feelings and they can win over her mind every now and then. Being strong does not mean being rational all the time. I just don't think that that translates into a sort of dependent behavior of hers in regards to Roy. Although their characters are deeply connected to eachother, it's not like Riza 'only exists as a character' because of Roy.
spectator
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Jun 5 2010, 12:17 AM) *
With Mustang's womanizing tendencies, I'm not sure he's even ready for a serious, long-lasting romantic relationship with one woman, but that's an entirely different topic.


Mustang's womanizing behavior is only a disguise on his ambition to be a Fuhrer. Think of it this way, to work hard blatantly for Bradley's seat would only be suicidal. Of course, the top brass would have consider Mustang as a threat. The way Mustang does his job (ie. procrastinating, womanizing) would divert the attention on him while he climbed his way up to where he is now.

From my observation, especially after watching Bleach, I notice that a lot of shounen manga have the tendency to put female characters as being passive and supportive, rather than being independent. The worst part is, many times you can see those female characters were 'saved' by men, rather than having a chance to help themselves.

Geez, it's 21st century already, and they still draw 'snow white' and 'cinderella' manga?

Sometimes, I feel very insulting, as a female. I guess those manga called 'shounen' for a reason.
Hagaren_4ever
^ This does happen a lot in shonen manga, I agree. But I think this just comes from a lack of understanding of the opposite sex. Most of the time it is males that write shonen manga, and I think that the reason FMA has its female characters as independent as they are is because Arakawa herself is female. I can usually tell if it was a man or a woman who wrote the manga, based on their understanding of the opposite sex. (A lot of women have pre-misconceptions about men, too, so it's often times easy to tell if a woman wrote it based on her male characters)

Riza, I think, is a little dependent on Roy, but not because she is a woman, because Roy is dependent on Riza too. They need each other mutually. And although I don't know much about Bleach, I'm sure that they probably have a more co-dependent relationship than a lot of other shonen series, where the woman needs the man, shows her emotions on her sleeve, and stays in the background while the man goes on the adventures. (i.e. Hinata and Naruto, first anime Ed and Winry)
spectator
Looks like we have a go from Tombow! biggrin.gif

Riza is an interesting character to study, I admit. (Sounds like an anthropologist)

From all her actions, she seems like she is too dependent on Roy. I think it is somewhat true. She has no family and who knows how she grew up with. Roy is kind of like her mental support. Everyone needs somebody to some extent. No one can live alone. Roy is her motivation. I think when he tellls her his goal, Riza finds it very noble, which is the possible reason she then enlisted.

Her dream shatters in Ishaval. After that event, the noble cause turns to atonement. Both of them are trying to redeem their mistakes. The journey is getting more difficult as Roy climbed his way to the Fuhrer's seat. This is also another possibility that both of them depend on each other more often than not. Working together for that long, feelings grow too, not nescessary for it to be romance.

I think Roy's goal is Riza's goal. The same goes to the rest of their team. Ishaval has changed them. They do not live for themselves anymore, but use their lives for humanity.

*Lights on* I finally understand Arakawa sensei's motive, after breaking this down. Sorry, can't talk much here. it's about chapter 108
Turdaewen
I guess it depends on what you understand by "dependency". (that was a GOOD line lol)

Usually, psychologically speaking, "dependency" is something far deeper and more... let us say 'negative'? than just having a deep connection or relationship with another person. Dependency is a form of needfulness, of emotional immaturity, of lack of autonomy.
Of course, Riza may depend on Roy in many ways, but then to say she's dependant of him is something far more complicated (and, in my view, a sort of mis-comprehension of her character).

People are not islands, so, therefore, they depend on others both physically and emotionally to be able to be healthy, "funtioning" and even happy. And the people who we are closer to have a bigger role in that sense than other people, OF COURSE. We all have attachments or we wouldn't be human. But that's far from saying we're dependent in one another, if you know what I mean. We need the others but, at the same time, being a healty, mature adult also means to have a great degree of autonomy, which Riza has!

She chooses what she wants to do or not. She doesn't do it FOR Roy: she does it for herself. She's influenced by the want of being around Roy, but she does is consciously, and not by a unconscious drive or something she cannot control/understand.
Her attachment to Roy is not bigger than what someone has with a very loved husband or child, or even friend. They may have a stronger bound than most 'families' do because of their history, but it's not something "beyond their better judgment", as some people put it.

Remembering once again the psychological meaning of dependency, it's usually applied to people who are addicted to drugs of some sort. It's beyond someone's willpower.

So, yeah, the way I see it, it's a little out of line to say Riza is dependent of Roy.

Maybe is the lack of a better word in English to differ "types" of attachment. And that may even affect the way we understand the concept of attachment. (like "Passion" and "Love")
Misty- Nala
QUOTE (FailToImpress @ Mar 7 2010, 11:29 PM) *
QUOTE (zonkiethegreat @ Feb 21 2010, 05:20 PM) *
I think Winry is an emotionally strong character, whereas Riza is the opposite. Riza is mostly strong physically, and a great sniper. However, when it comes to emotions, Riza hides them, and whenever someone provokes her, (like Lust implying to her that Mustang is dead) she breaks down and totally loses it. To me, as a woman, that is NOT a strong enough character.


Hm, you make a good point. I hadn't really thought of it like that before.


Good point. It's like Riza has comitted her life to Colonel (which she has). She has no personality, I don't find her interesting. Plus, I can't understand why everyone keep fearing/admiring her. At least in Fanfiction (remind me if this has also happened in manga or both animes), she keeps threatening people with a gun to get them to do paperwork. I have no idea where they got that information, someone please remind me, but it pisses me off. Of course it's natural to fear of being shot but I'm sure Riza wouldn't shoot anyone. She would be court martialed for harming a comrade or he CO.
All that bashing about her shooting skills always piss me off. It's like she is the only one who can aim and harm the target. Hello, basically everyone in the military can shoot, why praise Rize so much. I'm sure there people who can shoot just as well or better than she can. I'm sure Havoc is more talented than she is.

All in all, I think she is a soldier with no personality, and has only committed her life to following orders. She's a puppet.


<@Misty- Nala - I moved your post from Anti-Riza fanlisting thread since here others can join in on further discussions on your analysis of this character. But, if you did not intend to have such further discussions on this, I apologize and please let me know so that I can delete your post here, and then please feel free to repost on Anti-Riza fanlisting thread with your simple statement of your dislike of this character. ^^ ~ Tombow>
Irena
QUOTE (Misty- Nala @ Jul 21 2010, 08:05 AM) *
Good point. It's like Riza has comitted her life to Colonel (which she has). She has no personality, I don't find her interesting. Plus, I can't understand why everyone keep fearing/admiring her. At least in Fanfiction (remind me if this has also happened in manga or both animes), she keeps threatening people with a gun to get them to do paperwork. I have no idea where they got that information, someone please remind me, but it pisses me off. Of course it's natural to fear of being shot but I'm sure Riza wouldn't shoot anyone. She would be court martialed for harming a comrade or he CO.
All that bashing about her shooting skills always piss me off. It's like she is the only one who can aim and harm the target. Hello, basically everyone in the military can shoot, why praise Rize so much. I'm sure there people who can shoot just as well or better than she can. I'm sure Havoc is more talented than she is.

All in all, I think she is a soldier with no personality, and has only committed her life to following orders. She's a puppet.


The whole "rawr imma shoot you" thing is almost entirely fanon. A lot of people misinterpret Riza's character in that way. As for her skills with a gun, don't forget that she is a sniper, which requires a lot of specialized training.

I don't really see why following orders makes her a puppet. With that argument, you could say that Havoc, Falman, Breda, Fuery, Buccaneer, etc. are all puppets because they happen to follow their orders.
Turdaewen
QUOTE (Irena @ Jul 21 2010, 04:22 PM) *
QUOTE (Misty- Nala @ Jul 21 2010, 08:05 AM) *
Good point. It's like Riza has comitted her life to Colonel (which she has). She has no personality, I don't find her interesting. Plus, I can't understand why everyone keep fearing/admiring her. At least in Fanfiction (remind me if this has also happened in manga or both animes), she keeps threatening people with a gun to get them to do paperwork. I have no idea where they got that information, someone please remind me, but it pisses me off. Of course it's natural to fear of being shot but I'm sure Riza wouldn't shoot anyone. She would be court martialed for harming a comrade or he CO.
All that bashing about her shooting skills always piss me off. It's like she is the only one who can aim and harm the target. Hello, basically everyone in the military can shoot, why praise Rize so much. I'm sure there people who can shoot just as well or better than she can. I'm sure Havoc is more talented than she is.

All in all, I think she is a soldier with no personality, and has only committed her life to following orders. She's a puppet.


The whole "rawr imma shoot you" thing is almost entirely fanon. A lot of people misinterpret Riza's character in that way. As for her skills with a gun, don't forget that she is a sniper, which requires a lot of specialized training.

I don't really see why following orders makes her a puppet. With that argument, you could say that Havoc, Falman, Breda, Fuery, Buccaneer, etc. are all puppets because they happen to follow their orders.


Yeah... I can count with ONE hand the number of Fanfictions I've seen that portray Riza as she is and not some OOC character. That whole "shooting everything" also pisses me off, because that has NOTHING to do with Riza!!

As for her not being as strong a character as Winry, I don't think there's even a competition in that sense. They very different roles and situations during the story
Winry is not in the center of the action, she was never inside a fight, she was not in the Ishval Massacre, she has never shot a person in her life... her strength is in other direction: in being strong and patient for Ed and Al, for being their emotional support and everything.
And the fact that Riza breaks down at that particular scene that doesn't mean Riza is "weak emotionally". That would be senseless if you look at all the other difficult situations Riza faces in the series: Ishval, Hughes' death (after all, he was her friend, too), her parents death (just like Winry's), the whole situation with Envy... If she indeed was a character weak emotionally, she would never be able to face Mustang like that, to contradict him and, moreover, in the disposition of killing the only person who's like a family to her to prevent him of turning into a monster.
And Winry also has her moments: she breaks down and almost kills Scar when she discovers he killed her parents. If Riza was to be 'weak' because she lost it for Lust, than so would Winry, for loosing it to Scar.

So, measuring 'strength' through such situations makes no sense at all. Nor does comparing Winry's actions to Riza's.
Does it mean Winry is not a strong character, or that she's weaker than Riza? Not at all! It means they're diferent characters, with different experiences in life that makes them react and submit themselves to different situations.

As I've said before, "being strong" has nothing to do (in Riza's case) with being cold and distant or not having emotions. The strengh of Riza is not in not being desperate, feeling pain or guilt or anything of that sort, but in understanding that these feelings cannot stop her for doing what she has to: once the situation is over, she needs to pick herself up and continue with her mission.

I think it makes no sense to compare two women characters, one who's 16 years old and another one who's around 28 years old, has lived through an abandoned childhood and a War.
For me there shouldn't even be a competition between Winry and Riza, because they're both immensely interesting, strong characters, with similarities and differences and identifying yourself with one or another is a mere question of your own experience in life, and not if the character is strong or not. In fact, I don't think there's ONE woman in Arakawa's work who's not a strong woman.

Quite the contrary: I see a lot of similarities and a sort of complicity between Riza and Winry (even showed in that "Simple People" Gaiden) that they see themselves in the other: Riza sees herself in Winry, and Winry sees herself in Riza: they're are both orphans from a early age, both living with the men they loved as they grew, both of them having to face difficult times in their childhoods... Riza wants Winry to not go through all the hardship she had to go through...
I see the same as relationship between Ed and Roy, though Roy and Ed show that in their own way, being brats to eachother, while Riza and Winry, being women and, lets face it, not prone to such silliness, friendly to eachother.

And confrontation between Riza and Winry are fan-based and consequence of a senseless competition on "who's better" (the same with Ed and Roy, or EdWin and Royai... ¬¬')
Sannom
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Jun 4 2010, 11:17 PM) *
Come to think of it, Riza shares a lot of similarities (strengths and weaknesses) with Lanfan. Much more than Winry, for sure.


This has lead me to "categorize" the main female characters of the manga, in fact.
On one hand you have the "bodyguard" category, women whose primary characteristic is their unfettering loyalty to a man and his goals, and who have taken upon herselves to protect that man so that he can reach his objectives. They do it because they believe in those goals and want to see them achieved, even if it means "forgetting" all the rest, including their own aspirations and ambitions. In that category, you have Riza and Ran Fan.
On the other hand, you have the "mother" category. They are independent, strong willed, with ambitions and dreams of their own, really protective of the people they love, and they will never hesitate to get into a leading position. And as the name of the category indicates, they often have something that reminds of "mothers" kind of character : Winry and Izumi have the regular set of skills of a housewife beside their main trade, Olivia is a mother to her men, etc.
The only one that seems to fit in neither is Paninya huh.gif I should probably create a "tomboy" category only for her tongue.gif
Ayla
After reading through this really intersting thread, I decided to give my opinion as well^^

I think Riza is a very strong and individual character. She has the same wish that Roy has and that is for Amestris to become a peaceful country. She didn't get that wish just after the war...-no she had it from the beginning. I think it may have been influenced by her fathers hatred against the military...and that Amestris is a country leading many wars is no secret.

She could just never put her wish into words. That was Roy. He put her wish into words and that's exactly why she follows him. Because she knows he shares the same dream. Plus, he has the means to do it. And she decided to support him on his way to become Fuhrer- because she knows all that and because she doesn't WANT to be on top.

Her desire to protect Roy and make sure he doesn't stray from the path he's set out to walk is both because she feels like it's her duty, her responsibility as the one who gave him the secret to Flame Alchemy and also because she loves him. It's not that she can't live without him, it's that her goal would have been unachievable without Roy- as is his goal without her support. They both need each other- as partners in every sense. But they're both strong individuals in their own way.
She reprimands him when needed, she shows him the right path whenever he looses sight of it- not only because she loves him and wouldn't want him to do something he regrets, wouldn't want him to destroy THEIR dream, but also because it was her who gave him the Flame Alchemy.

The scene where she pointed her gun at him only prooves that fact. She isn't dependant on Roy, she SUPPORTS him. If she had just let Roy have his way in his rage, then he'd have lost the ability to become Fuhrer. Oh yes, he still could have become the Fuhrer, but he wouldn't have been the Fuhrer Amestris needs in order to gain peace and remain peaceful.

And she shoves away her own feelings in order to achieve her dream, THEIR dream. She can't let herself get distracted by love and she knows that. By keeping Roy in check she shows how much she cares. By keeping her distance and not giving in to her feelings, she ensures that they won't get in the way of her goal.

There are moments of "weaknesses", like that scene with Lust.

Agh, sorry for my ranting sad.gif
Amalthea
Wow, Ayla. Sounds like you really hit the nail on the head assessing Riza's character

I wondered a lot about the scene with Riza pointing her gun at Roy's head, but then going around and saying she has no desire to live a happy life alone. This is part of the reason I thought she might be dependent.

I have a new way of looking at it though. With Roy gone, the dream the two shared together would be gone as well. Riza knows she cannot accomplish such a task on her own.

So it isn't just Roy who she is protecting, but the goal to bring about peace to Amestris as well. If she had stayed in the army after Ishabl just for Roy, I would have a problem with that. But she knows with her abilities that is the best way to bring about the change to the country.

And yes, Riza does probably still have identity and indivudality issues. This can from many results, such as growing up alone with her distant father, to the tattoo on her back, to Ishbal war and from changing so much as a person since she was a teenager.
Ayla
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Aug 8 2010, 05:06 AM) *
Wow, Ayla. Sounds like you really hit the nail on the head assessing Riza's character



Thank you! But I couldn't have done it without reading this amazing thread first biggrin.gif
Honestly, as a Royai fan I have to admit it was kinda hard to imagine Roy just being "used" and not really needed in a personal way by her (which is not the case, like I hope I clearified in my argumentation). And it was also hard to imagine Riza as a person without any indiviuality (which is DEFINITELY NOT the case^^), or that there should be nothing more than a working relationship between them (and there definitely is more IMO^^). My point is: assessing Riza's character really was a challenge smile.gif
Kokoro
You know, the first thing I tried to do as a member here was start a thread like this dedicated to Hawkeye beyond the Royai, but it was closed. Perhaps the manga needed to come to an end for it to be possible to talk about Hawkeye without overlapping comments in the Royai thread and a separate Hawkeye thread.

I thought I would just repost what I did in my thread to start up a little discussion about our girl.

---

It might seem redundant to some to create a Hawkeye discussion thread since the Royai discussion thread tends to double as both a discussion of Roy and Riza’s characters as well their relationship. However, as a gen fan, that thread tends to get way too shippy for my tastes, and I hope that there are others who share my feelings and want to talk about Hawkeye as her own character. She is, after all, one of the most popular characters in the series, right? We must like her for more than just her relationship with Roy…

No doubt, Roy and Riza play a big role in each other’s lives. Still, I feel like the fans sometimes fail to see Roy and Riza, but particularly Riza, outside of their supposed “romantic” interactions with each other. How rare is it to come across Hawkeye fan fiction that doesn’t involve romance with Roy? Roy gets off a little better, but not by much. There’s so much more to their relationship than possible romantic feelings. Here is a place to consider and discuss their love, their respect, their understanding for each other in a more platonic way. How did they interact when he was her father’s student, if they interacted at all? What feelings did they have when they discovered the other in Ishbal? How responsible do they feel for the other’s actions there and after? I think we should discuss questions like that without shipper goggles on, without all the squee, if we want to truly understand the characters. Not everything is about romance!

Riza also has interesting interactions with other characters. So here’s a thread for discussing the role she plays in her team and her relationships with them. What does she think of them? Does she deal with each of them differently? What do they think of her? Or talk about how she interacts with the Elric brothers or Winry. How does she handle her dealings with Ed in comparison to Al? Consider her life outside of work. Does she have many friends? What are her hobbies? What does her apartment say about her? Speculate on her past and her family. What was her relationship with her father like? Or her mother? How did the tattoo get put on her back? What the heck happened to make Old Man Hawkeye so crazy? Does she even know that she’s related to Grumman, and what kind of relationship do they have if she is aware?

So, this thread is dedicated to considering Hawkeye’s character without all the mushy, gooey romance, to give her the respect she deserves by seeing her as more than just a love interest. Roy deserves one of these threads too, I think, but I’ll leave that to someone else. So let the discussion, speculation, adoration, and more begin!

I suppose I should start with some kind of discussion question to get the ball rolling. The best place to start seems to be the beginning. What do you think Riza’s early life was like? What part of Amestris was she born in and when? What was her mother like? How and when did she die? Was her father always as creepy as he seemed in the flashbacks? Did he change after the death of his wife (heck, was she even his wife)? From what was seen and discussed in the manga, do you think he loved his daughter and was just a little distracted by alchemy? Or do you think he was a neglectful and abusive father?

---

So, that's basically the kind of thread I tried to start up originally. Roy deserves his own consideration as well, I think.

Anyway, shall we discuss our various interpretations about how Hawkeye was raised and her relationships with her parents?
Hoshino Hikari
I found this thread so interesting than I decided to register immediately. I've surely read that kind of discussions before, but never so... fascinating. Some of your words really touched me. Thank you very much.

I should have thought more about Riza as an individual person. I've been blind because I couldn't considered Roy and Riza apart. Yes I must say it, I'm fond of Royai and even though this thread made me think a lot, it won't change. Their relationship is... I don't know. Amazing. It's almost like I was in love with this relationship... Without exagerating. I've never seen that kind of bond in the others fictions. It's stronger than anything. But it'd be better if I argue about my point of view. So I'm beginning now.

Riza has never been dependent of the others. Until she met Roy, she lived alone with his father, who didn't seem to worry about her. When he died, Mustang asked her what she was going to do. She was ready to carry on studying and living on her own. I think at this time, when Roy told her his dream, he showed her a way to follow. Riza is naturally altruistic and as she was totally alone, she decided to live for the others' happiness. In first time, she helped Roy and gave him her father's secret. Because she believed in him. She trusted him, and found his ideals wonderful. Here is their resemblance: they're orphans who aspire to the happiness of their country. They don't live for themselves, but only for that thing. Furthermore, before the Ishval war, they were separated. Riza chose herself to join the army. She didn't want to follow Roy. She just took the same way. "I was also the one who chose to go into the military academy wishing for the happiness of the people." She said it many times: nobody forces her to do anything. She's her own master, and so she's independent.
"The extermination of Ishval. That was where everything began", said Roy. Riza and he were affected by this war for life. It changed their reason to exist. They stayed in the army not just to help people, but to create a new nation. To do it, Roy had to become the Führer. And Riza had to guide him and to put him back in the right path. Neither of them lived for themselves, or for each other. They just had the same dream, the same will. They were together to realize this dream.
And because there was nobody else. Riza had no family, Roy an adoptive mother. Hughes too - he was the one who had to push him to the top. He died. So there was just Riza. She never left him.

I think Roy and Riza love each other, but not just any love. It's very special. A bit like what is called "a platonic love". It's stronger than friendship, stronger than brotherhood. They'll never show their feelings to each other. They just know it, they don't need to say anything. The battle against Lust proved that Riza was very attached to him. She wanted to die at this time, because she thought Roy was dead. The battle against Envy proved that she didn't want to live without him. Because he represents on the one hand their aim, and on the other hand the person she likes more than anything in the world. Her only family. But their aim is more important. And I think she would have killed him. She would have done it. After... I'm not sure, but I think that, indeed, she couldn't live without him. Try to imagine Edward living without his brother. It's the same thing. Riza has friends, she has a life, she's survived the death of her parents, and she said it: she can keep on living, but she doesn't want to do it. And Roy said "I can't lose you". So they need each other, in every way. Moreover, the only time we've seen Riza crying was when she thought he had been killed. So it seems to be obvious that they like/love each other. It's a fact.

Now I'm going to try to answer all these questions about Riza. I think that, when her father died, she knew Roy enough to appreciate him and ask him not to die, because she cared about him, but she didn't knew him so much: he didn't know that she had no family except her father. I guess they became closer after he told her his dream, and when he was studying alchemy with her.
I don't think her father was very close to her, but not abusive. She said that she was scared of him but she believed in his words and his dream. In fact, this dream to bring happiness, was it Berthold's, Riza's and Roy's dream? Did both of them wish for the same thing? Riza and Roy decided to change their country thanks to Hawkeye's alchemy. Otherwise, it'd have been difficult. Alchemy is the center of all. It connected them, and it is the cause of their guilt during the war. Their dream is nothing else than a way of atonement. A duty. That's why they can't live for themselves or for each other.

Well, I'm getting off the subject. I'll stop it now. Thanks for reading.
Turdaewen
I think it's a little funny people normally say about "Riza's personal goals", that should be detached from Roy both as a person and as what they relationship is about...
I mean, being independent really means to "care for nothing but yourself" or even put yourself before others?

That's very un-Riza-like. She's this altruistic, self sacrificing person on her own and not because "she met and fell in love with Roy Mustang", so why can't people see her dedication to Roy as her own goals?

She says like 5 times during the series: this is what I chose for my life, I do this with my own free will, I do this because this is what I want"

I mean, many of us have a life purpose as to help a country, a city, dedicate yourself for something you believe in, so why would Riza's choice in following Mustang would be different? For the mere fact that she loves him? Does it mean that, if she didn't love him, than she would not be following him? Is she following him because she's dependent on him or because she seen IN him the means to achieve what SHE believes in?

I see that there's no single motivation to someone's live and that is especially true in FMA, since the characters Arakawa has build are so deep and believable.
We tend to think that, in order to a woman to be considered independent, she must act like a cold, unrelying person who "earns her own money and care not for others might think or do about her". And that couldn't be more wrong.
Riza's independent because she is in charge of her own decisions in spite of all the hardships and problems she'll have to go through to achieve what she dreams. But she's clearly not pursuing "Roy's dream": she's pursuing her own, which incidentally, crosses with Roy's and, for that, they join forces to work together for a common goal, but she didn't "leached" that dream from him: she had it before she even joined the military and will have regardless if Roy continues down that path or not.

and THAT's why she pointed that gun at him and why she said she would kill herself afterwards: because her goals would have been turned apart, and not because "Roy would not be alive".

So Riza does has her own goal: to sacrifice her life for the people of Amestris to be happy. To make the man most like to be the "perfect Führer" (both for his integrity and his character) get to the place where they could stop the fightings.


But, in a sense, people are also right in one part: there's no way we can talk about Riza without talking about Roy AND vice-versa. Not because they're co-dependent, nor because they are "a couple", but because they represent polarities that, together, make a whole and cannot be spoked about without its counterpart.
Just like light and darkness, which are two different things, with individual characteristics, but cannot be understood without the other, Roy and Riza personify two "sides" to a whole in such an intrinsic sense you cannot truly understand one without understanding the other.

So, Riza is not a character who's "under" Roy's: she MAKES him. Neither is more important or dominant. Her characteristics complete those of Roy (and don't come from the relationship between the two)
Amalthea
QUOTE (Turdaewen @ Aug 16 2010, 05:10 PM) *
I think it's a little funny people normally say about "Riza's personal goals", that should be detached from Roy both as a person and as what they relationship is about...
I mean, being independent really means to "care for nothing but yourself" or even put yourself before others?

That's very un-Riza-like. She's this altruistic, self sacrificing person on her own and not because "she met and fell in love with Roy Mustang", so why can't people see her dedication to Roy as her own goals?

She says like 5 times during the series: this is what I chose for my life, I do this with my own free will, I do this because this is what I want"


Who talked about having Riza completely cut herself off from Roy? And I don't think anyone said anything that Riza should depreciate Roy's presence in her life.

I wanted to know about Riza's development as an individual, beyond her relationship and history with Roy. I fail to see how that is a bad wish for a reader and fan of Riza Hawkeye. It's much clearer to me now why she has these issues, as Ruingarf already explained the reasons for it to be skewed in her case. And while it's not healthy for her, for her characterization it actually makes her more unique, I think. I am okay with this flaw of her's now.

Riza is not the protagonist of FMA, so I know she can't get as much screentime and explanation as Ed and Al and such, but other charactrers in the series had that separate personal growth. As people have said, due to their portrayal, it was difficult to view Riza's progress in the story as her own character without Roy. Yet this was not the same for Ed and Al. Or the Armstrong siblings. etc. Obviously these characters also have huge connection to each other, but it is different. And that is fine. Royai itself is a huge part of the FMA fandom, so that probably is partially a reason for these perceptions of them.

I've come to enjoy Riza's partnership with Roy. A lot more than I used to. Yet even though I long to learn more about Riza's past and such as a person, I can continue to enhance my interest and love for her (and other characters) by being active in the FMA fandom by having discussions like these to learn even more about their seemingly endless depth.
Turdaewen
QUOTE (Amalthea @ Aug 17 2010, 12:01 AM) *
Who talked about having Riza completely cut herself off from Roy? And I don't think anyone said anything that Riza should depreciate Roy's presence in her life.

I wanted to know about Riza's development as an individual, beyond her relationship and history with Roy. I fail to see how that is a bad wish for a reader and fan of Riza Hawkeye. It's much clearer to me now why she has these issues, as Ruingarf already explained the reasons for it to be skewed in her case. And while it's not healthy for her, for her characterization it actually makes her more unique, I think. I am okay with this flaw of her's now.

Riza is not the protagonist of FMA, so I know she can't get as much screentime and explanation as Ed and Al and such, but other charactrers in the series had that separate personal growth. As people have said, due to their portrayal, it was difficult to view Riza's progress in the story as her own character without Roy. Yet this was not the same for Ed and Al. Or the Armstrong siblings. etc. Obviously these characters also have huge connection to each other, but it is different. And that is fine. Royai itself is a huge part of the FMA fandom, so that probably is partially a reason for these perceptions of them.

I've come to enjoy Riza's partnership with Roy. A lot more than I used to. Yet even though I long to learn more about Riza's past and such as a person, I can continue to enhance my interest and love for her (and other characters) by being active in the FMA fandom by having discussions like these to learn even more about their seemingly endless depth.

No... I think you got me wrong... XD
I was referring to the idea of Riza not having an individuality of her own, of being a character merely subordinated to Roy. People usually say as if "since Riza's goal is the same as Roy, that means, she has Roy's goals and not her own and that she doesn't have a life, cause she's living Roy's life", you know? It is as if Riza could not have "her own goals" as long as she was working alongside Roy, which is bizarre.

My point is to question whether people need to have completely (or mostly) "detached" lives in order to have their own way of "viewing the world", or (what I believe) can have their own goals and have them coexist with the goals of others and unite them in a single direction (and that, for me, is not a lack of self esteem or something out of dependency). The way I see it, Riza's individuality IS the fact that she'd dedicated to Roy cause. It's not like he made her believe in it, if you know what I mean, so, being that, Roy is a part of the whole that makes Riza who she is as a person. And I also don't think that Riza's character is different than any other in the sense you mentioned, it's just that she's such a "less common representation of ideas" that people usually mistake her for "not having much of a personality of her own", which is certainly not true. (and I'll show you why in this post)

But I also think that there's very few things we can actually talk about Riza without at least mentioning Roy (as it is to say about Winry without talking about Ed and Al), because our lives are not build of "little boxes" where we can separate what it entirely ours and what is related to others, cause everything is ours and, at the same time, is built in our relationship to others. Everything is a whole and, to be able to understand it, we must look at everything at once.

But I don't think AT ALL that, because Riza's character needs to be understood in context with Roy's means she doesn't have a position of her own and that she doesn't have beliefs that are her own and, somewhat, different than Roy's. And, in context, many people tend to think like that. As if she's "merely the guy's bodyguard" when she's a lot more than that.

And, in a way, we can say Riza is a protagonist in FMA, since she's the female character in the series that is up with the most things. She's the one that appears most, that is always in the center of action, she's the most popular... She appears and has more "things about her" than any other female character. And more than most men as well.


But, as is common with Arakawa, the FACTS behind the characters are not evident because she, simply, doesn't like being so "didactic", or "giving lessons" about her characters. Her ways of writing and giving the fans the story is always very subtle, not accessible to people who are distracted. In order to understand Arakawa's mangas, you have to be paying attention, cause she won't say it to you: you'll have to figure it out for yourself.
Like in real life, Arakawa's characters don't explain themselves nor their motivations, but those are implied in very clear ways, so we can get to them if only we truly understand Arakawa's logic. She wants us to investigate the story and go "ah, so this person did this because of that!".


But in regards to Riza...
I think we do know many things about her, like the fact that she has had a very lonely childhood aside from her contact with Roy, that her mother died (probably from a disease, but that is only my guessing) when she was very young, that whether her father was abusive or not, he's pretty much estranged from her (for whatever reason), to the point of her saying she was scared of him.

We also know she was a extremely shy and dreamy girl, hugely idealistic and, in that sense, also very romantic (in terms of believing in dedicating your life to a cause). We also know she joined the military with that spirit of wanting to achieve that and had a huge deception, a true existential crisis, where she had to rethink all things she believed in, in order to continue on with her life. We know she was deeply disturbed and feeling guilty for all that happened in Ishval and, even more that anything: she blamed herself for being naive and felt like it was her duty to make it up to it (even though she knew she could never "make up to it", she HAD to do everything in her power to "do the opposite", or she would crumble).

She believed it was her fault Roy had become such an assassin and she started to realize that the situation the country was on was due to people's ignorance. She realized that, the quest she always dreamed of would demand her life and that she would have to sacrifice herself so that she might redeem from that naiveté and for people to be able to acquire that "peace".

Riza, as an individual, is the personification of what her name means: she's a Guardian. Not a guardian only to Roy, but a LOT more importantly, she a guardian of ideas, of values, of memories... She's the one that says "I remember" and, therefore, she can retain that and bring to people the things that have been forgotten, the motifs behind what is happening now. She can be a constant reminder of "what I have to do and why".

And that is on her own, not "because of Roy", you know? Although it has everything to do with him (because he's the one that needs a "reminder"), it's HER. This is not a consequence to her relationship with Roy. It's her own individuality.
Hoshino Hikari
QUOTE (Turdaewen @ Aug 16 2010, 02:10 PM) *
I mean, many of us have a life purpose as to help a country, a city, dedicate yourself for something you believe in, so why would Riza's choice in following Mustang would be different? For the mere fact that she loves him? Does it mean that, if she didn't love him, than she would not be following him? Is she following him because she's dependent on him or because she seen IN him the means to achieve what SHE believes in?


What you say seems like Riza was using Roy to achieve her own aim. But, in fact, both Roy's and Riza's dreams are not (how to say that?) their own dream, realized for themselves, it's for their country that they're fighting. Nobody else. In a way, it's wrong to say that they're using each other to reach their aim. Yes they need each other to do it, but whatever the way they're going about it, it's not for themselves. So it's not important to know if one of them has his/her own goal. They want to realize this goal together. For their country. No matter who thought about this dream in first, the fact is that both of them are giving their lives to do it.

Riza is not dependent on him. She met Roy during the Ishval war but was it not a coincidence? She didn't join the military to see Roy again, but to help people. I think that staying with the other after the war was also a way of supporting the weight of their crimes. They were inevitably united by alchemy, Riza's father secret. Roy wanted to use alchemy for happiness of the people whereas he killed them instead. So did Riza, as she said, she believed in his father's words about alchemy. They were crushed by their own beliefs. It's not that Riza "copied" Roy's dream. She had the same. They shared it. That's all. But if she hadn't seen him at the war she'd have continued to work in the military, trying to bring happiness with her hands. Roy and she, after the war, found a way to change their country. They felt responsible, and they literally sacrificed their lives. Mustang wanted to become Führer and he needed her to succeed. He couldn't do it alone and he knew that Riza was the best person able to help him and to put him in the right path. They trusted each other and they perfectly knew to what extent they were involved in this duty of reconstructing their country. Both of them were naturally active. They couldn't do something else.

Of course Riza is not just a bodyguard. Even though she's completely devoted to her work, their goal, she had her life and her personality. As all the humans.
Turdaewen, I think you're totally right about Riza's life and convictions. I appreciate your point of view. I just want to add that Riza's father wasn't very close to her, it's sure because she was scared of him, but in his last words he thought about his daughter. He apologized and he cried. Moreover, Riza said that she was scared of him when he was talking about alchemy. And yet, she clearly said that she trusted his words. She believed in his father's dream, in his alchemy. There's an another fact. Roy said that they were "smoldering in destitution" whereas Hawkeye made her daughter go to a well-known school. So, is it an indirect proof of his attention? He wasn't sociable, but I think he loved his daughter.

Riza was also very affected by Kimblee's words. It's certainly an important point. She couldn't forget what he said: "Don't avert your eyes from death. Look forward. Look at the people you're killing in the face. And don't forget them. Don't forget. They won't forget you either." I think these words placed the truth into Riza (and Roy). I say once again, she couldn't do something else that giving her life to realize their aim. It was the only way for them. Their characters are that they wouldn't have borne it otherwise. That's why they chose this way.

I like this idea of guardian. I agree: Riza is a person who wants to protect the other. In fact, so is Roy... As you said, it's not because of him. They're just similar in many ways, that's all.

About her, someone (Amalthea) said a sentence which really touched me because of its truthfulness: "Riza probably had a lot of self-confidence issues. In many ways, before meeting Mustang, she may have been the loneliest of them all."
Indeed.
Turdaewen
But that's exactly what I meant! And what I'm trying to pass (though, apparently, not very effectively, lol) in the past two pages of this discussion.
BlackCarson
I totally agree with Turdaewen (Have I mis-spelled it?). In lots of fanfictions Riza is very, very OOC, and I think there is more to her than just that 'I'm-a-badass-and-I-shoot-everything-I-want' attitude that fanwriters give to her.
I don't think at all that Riza is a shallow character, drawned and nullified by her relationship with Roy, this is a big misunderstanding. I think Riza needs Roy as much as he needs her, and they treat each other as equals.
She is a woman with personality and a strong will, and I personally think that for her Roy doesn't represent her chains and her inability in breaking them, nor an insane dependency on him. It's quite the opposite, in fact. For her, Roy is an opportunity to change the world and build a "self". Her own words when she asks Roy to burn her back are proof of her desire of being an individual. However, Turdaewen explained way better the way I feel about her character.
I'm sorry for my bad english, but I wanted to say my opinion. XD
yadi ina
i found this topic, so I wanted to say.

The initial question was something about "Riza is dependent Roy"
I am convinced that there is a kind of dependence, but the big difference is that on this occasion, is mutual. Roy Riza depends as much as she of him.

Although I'm not sure call it "dependent", Hawkeye has been shown to be an independent person in the dialogue with Roy at the funeral of her father, she says, "thinks he can stand alone" but also speaks of thinking, this shows that is a rational, prudent and independent. Recall that Hawkeye was a mad alchemist sensei and I do not care for her daughter has therefore had to take care of herself and her father.

Furthermore, the reason he joined the army was by the words of Mustang, she wanted to see people happy, and more than that, she wanted to be happy, so I wanted to help get that happiness. But when he realized what he was doing in Ishbal with the power that she confided, was responsible for the barbarities of Ishbal.


So she asks him to burn his back, not having to carry that guilt and that no other man could use it. However, the consequences were and that's when Roy sees that she looks the same as him and suggested her to be his bodyguard. This is very important because, with or without Mustang, she would stay in the military, but voluntarily decided to have dumbbell with Roy and reach a mutual goal, to make amends and try again to bring peace and happiness to people .

Riza is aware that it can not pursue happiness if it fulfills its purpose, but with so much in common ... Is it possible that you could not fall in love with Mustang? I doubt, however, It is somewhat difficult. since their work and the training must take, is an example of a soldier, cold and obedient but superficially, as a soldier should not stir. Riza has brought against both the army and Mustang on many occasions. But it is also capable of displaying an image to sweet and maternal, as well as having a somewhat sarcastic sense of humor and even cruel, like Mustang.
What's more, shared goals and mutual feelings perhaps simply rely on someone.

I hope you understand my point, because I get excited and still has not mastered the English language very well.
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