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yellowduckie
Please pardon me if the answer was blatant in some episode, but I truly have trouble figuring this out.

Wasn't Roy promoted to Brigadier General at some point near the end of the series? Why then, after the mess with the King Bradley Homunculus did he end up being a lowly corporal in the beginning of the movie?

Was he demoted? Why? Because he killed the homunculus? Because he didn't start a war or something?

Or was it self-imposed? Truly, I can see why he would want isolation from the warfare and murder and psychological guilt, therefore, retreating up there in the artics, but to give up his position and all or his subordinates? especially since rank and moving up were so important to him throughout the series!

And when his former subordinates went up to go visit him, were they trying to get him to go back to Central and lead them again? therefore suggesting that he voluntarily became a lowly outpost guard?

Any information/thoughts/insight?
Tombow
It's not clear from the movie, and many of us are still trying to figure out Roy's transformation between the end of anime series and the movie.

One bit of information I found recently... on Japanese official Hagaren movie site (sorry, the link no longer works) if you click on Roy Mustang under "C" for Charactor, it briefly says (not directly but in a run-about kind of way) in Japanese that the demotion was according to his intention. So, I guess it's self-imposed.
Ouro-boros
He was promoted at the last episodes to Brigadier General, although his subordinates treat him as "colonel". Bones stated that in the movie he droped his title by own will because he was going to go to the front lines because he felt horrible for the crimes he had committed.
Ladymercury (unable to log in)
I feel that's so OOC it hurts. Roy isn't one that would just demote himself for something like that.
Reika
yeah, specially after he got to be brigadier general and he killed the homunculus that was giving orders to have wars... It puzzled me very much when I read the news.
Neko_Nayru
yeah, it confused me too....
just another reason to say..."stupid bones"
Carnal Malefactor
Once again, you people prove that you can't think outside the box. rolleyes.gif
Katana Alchemist
what is the only reason that roy mustang cared about rank at all during the series? what was his main goal during the series?
roy's purpose in the military is to become fuhrer, the dictator of amestris and change how the country runs. that is the ONLY reason he cares about promotions at all.
like i've said before, guilt is a huge part of who roy mustang is. he is guilty for what he did in ishbal, so he's trying to make his life useful again by changing the country so people never order others to do ridiculous things like kill doctors again.
so bradley is dead. the government changes hands. now it's a democracy. the military isn't in control anymore, running the country with an iron fist. this is what roy wants! i can't imagine what would make him happier. why would roy want to change that? even if he was a perfect leader he'd still be a dictator and the next leader might not be so great.
so we return to his guilt. i think that after helping his main goal become accomplished, roy just loses interest with the power & politics of being a military higher up. however, he still feels guilty and tries to deal with it this way.
i think his actions are perfectly in character.
Reika
@What, no bacon?: Why do you generalize? Keep yourself on topic, please.


For the little I could understand of movie's dialogues... he said he wasn't able to use alchemy since the day he killed the fuhrer, I suppose that had something to do with him dropping his title, as well as to be depressed for Hughes' death. :s or what I suppose it was because of, seeing him in front of his grave made me think it was because of that.

---------EDIT-------

@Katana Alchemist:
But I don't think it's "normal" to make him get depressed NOW, I mean, he had a reason to be depressed when Hughes died, and when he was in the war, and after that. But after showing us how he was overcoming that, suddenly, after killing the fuhrer and making him get as depressed over Hughes' death and the crimes he made, as much as to say "I don't want to keep my title of Brigadier General" (Where he can give a better service to Amestris people) and "I'm going to the front lines", I think that's very OOC. I mean, What's the point of dropping your title because of your crimes if by doing that you are going to go to the front lines to kill more poeple if it's needed??? I found that quite out of place, and even more for Roy.
Carnal Malefactor
QUOTE(Reika @ Oct 22 2005, 07:50 PM) [snapback]303188[/snapback]

@What, no bacon?: Why do you generalize? Keep yourself on topic, please.

I'm neither generalizing, nor going off topic. The fact that you people say that what he does is OOC is emblematic of the apparent small-mindedness of people who repeatedly carp about the anime. We know for a fact that Roy has a conscience, and that conscience is what compels him to basically exile himself and drop his title. You can question whether this is an appropriate course of action on his part, but to assume that it's OOC just because Roy has an ambition to become fuhrer is bullshit.

@Katana Alchemist,

Thank you, that was a very good explanation.
Reika
I answered you above with more than "it's just because he wanted to become fuhrer". Besides, that's not the important thing, the important thing is that he wants to help people, and that's why he wants to go to the top. That's how I've seen him at least, and by saying he drops his title when he's never acted so "I'm tired, I don't want to continue", makes me think he's out of character. Besides what means to drop his title.

---EDIT---

I forgot to add that it wouldn't have surprised me that much if we were shown at the end of the series that he was, or was starting to be, depressed. But he was smiling and he was the one that told Riza that she shouldn't feel bad, that the world was imperfect. So I think that either, something happened we didn't see that got him into that, or there was a drasticall change of attitude on him.

So with all this facts and ideas and impressions I got... I have to say I didn't like the outcome of Roy's character in the movie. But that's just my opinion.
seventh_sky
I don't know what it is about this forum and jerks.

But anyway.... I thought Roy's great ambition was to become fuhrer so that he could help the people who were in situations like him, you know, so that people wouldn't have to feel the way that he did when he had to kill innocents. I really don't think it's in his character to just give his goal up that easily.
blackrider76
i think theres no point in going to the top, now that theres a democracy; he goes to the frontlines so he can protect the country, since it has already been changed for the better
Reika
But how can you protect your country with a title that only tells you "kill the ones they tell you to kill", I mean, fuhrer or democracy... if they want you to kill someone, you'll have to kill. At least, being Brigadier General, he would have some power to "manipulate" things for the better, at least better than being a depressed corporal that is waiting for Hughes' to appear, without using alchemy because of his trauma. Don't you think?
Carnal Malefactor
Some of you seem to forget that the whole system of government for Amestris was changed at the end of the anime. The office of 'Fuhrer' no longer even exists.
Reika
true, now that you mention it, does someone know how does it work now??

Anyways... If he is so depressed and he doesn't want to become fuhrer... why is he still on the military. this is just some idea but, I was thinking, let's suppose he's so depressed that he doesn't want to even join the parlament higher ups, nor become fuhrer nor anything, he doesn't use alchemy and he doesn't even see Riza, he's depressed because of the crimes he made... Then why is he still on the military?What's he doing in the front lines? I don't know... wouldn't he be happier being a ... *shrugs* baker? XDD (For example), At least he wouldn't be killing more people, that is one of the reasons of his suffering.

Or do you think it's just autotorture? ^^U
seventh_sky
What she said XD

I just really don't think Roy would ....give up so easily, you know? Giving up his postion seems like giving up to me.
Katana Alchemist
there's some things i don't you guys are all considering...
roy is supposed to be a human being. he is not a moral compass or an instrument that automatically does the thing where he would be most useful. his stated goal is to help (actually, i don't even believe he ever says that. he says "to change the way this country works") but he there's more going on here than just his duty to accomplishing his goals.
i think we can all agree then, that just because something might be the best course of action for him to take in whatever goals he has, doesn't mean that he chooses it. he's not perfect and there are some other factors here.
-guilt is the big one. we know he killed a lot of people, he killed the rockbells, he somewhat blames himself for hughes' death, and i'm going to guess he now blames himself for what seems to him to be the death of ed.
-he doesn't think highly of himself as a human being. throughout the series he says things like "i wasn't even able to pull the trigger," "even a life like mine has some use," and "us alchemists are such sick predictable things." at least at the end of the ishbal rebellion, the only reason he has for living AT ALL is his mission to transform the country. that's it.
-command has its benefits and its risks. though you can change things from the top a lot more, you also open yourself up to much more responsibility and potential for guilt.
-he doesn't have to worry about being given outrageous orders to do horrible things. he has stated quite clearly he will never follow them.

ok then, here's what i think has happened. his goal of changing the country accomplished, roy honestly sees no reason to retain his rank. he's likely sick of having blood on his hands, he views himself as some sort of sinner, etc. plus, it's a reality in the army that the lives of officers are of a higher priority than the lives of foot soldiers (this isn't unfair, it's just so that the leadership can stay intact. otherwise everyone might die).
in one way, you could perhaps view his self-imposed exile as a little selfish. he doesn't want to hurt anyone else, so he's surrendering leadership and having to make decisions so that he is only responsible for himself.
he carries a gun because he's just a normal foot soldier.

then the crisis in central happens. roy puts his little pity party on hold and comes into central. notice how he instantly takes command. he is a natural leader, and the fact he's doing it all in a soldier's uniform just shows how ridiculous things are otherwise.
Ladymercury (unable to log in)
Sorry I am failing to think outside that box. rolleyes.gif

The military regime's political power was transferred to the Parliment (weither or not the parliment has elected officials is a different story). That is known. We already know he can't become a Fuhrer now. That's already been explained.

But what I am saying that makes this OOC is:

Why would Mustang give up what he has EARNED over something he has dealt with and moved on with nearly ten years ago? The Ishbal, Hughes, and Coup incidents at the end of the anime were something he had accepted.

Riza: The plan was perfect.... But, because I didn't come in time
Mustang: There is no such thing as perfection, that's why this world is beautiful.

To:

Breda: Its just like you, Colonel, to choose such a rual area....
Mustang: I am doing what I can to serve my country...
Havoc: Colonel.
Mustang: I haven't used alchemy once since that day.
Breda: The Flame Alchemist....
Mustang: Why I try to, I see those who have passed away due to my foolishness. This eye.

It makes no sense. It makes no complete sense. From someone accepting the fact that this is why the world is beautiful to ' holy crap i'm emo all of a sudden over these events that I've obviously accepted two years ago ' makes no sense.

Why now? Why would he just give up something so easily? Why would he want to force himself into the front lines so easily which would involve him possibily killing again? Why give up the chance to have some position which could have him have some influence on the parliment? I mean, high military officials have some say in government. I mean, look at the four generals in the armed forces of the United States. Each of them report directly to the President.... The President is the Commander in Chief.

Each leader in the history of the world was always had some control over its military as a direct commander.

Roy is too cocky and to brash of a person to just give up everything to be a corporal. I mean, come on, a police officer? In the boonies? What can he do for his country in the nothern distric of Ametris? Everyone knows there's nothing up there, so why subject himself to solitude?

After the incident, he was still referred to as Brigader General Mustang. There was no mentioning of him being demoted for the incidents that happened, so the fact that he took the fall for everyone makes no sense. I mean, they reported the Fuhrer as 'missing'.... They never said he was 'murdered' since there was no body left to claim that Mustang did murder the Fuhrer.

Did Roy have a midlife crisis that involved him just heading into a state of major depression? I mean, with this line:

Havoc: Plus, I feel as if the person Colonel is waiting for isn't the Lieutenant...

Were they saying that Roy was waiting for Ed? That he was depressed over Ed's departure from their world? Why? Wasn't this issue put to rest in ep 49? Didn't they accept that fact that they might not see each other again? Why would Roy brood over Ed and not Hughes then?

There's just so much that makes Roy requesting for his own demotion out of character and not making any sense.

(and wow, did he get one major demotion... ribbons and everything are gone xD).

PS: Then again, we can't base everything on this current translation since when Mustang first meets Breda and Havoc he refers to them as Lieutenant and then at the end during the fight he refers to them as Ensign.

Obvious error.
Tombow
QUOTE (Katana Alchemist @ Oct 22 2005, 08:45 PM) *
.....ok then, here's what i think has happened. his goal of changing the country accomplished, roy honestly sees no reason to retain his rank. he's likely sick of having blood on his hands, he views himself as some sort of sinner, etc. plus, it's a reality in the army that the lives of officers are of a higher priority than the lives of foot soldiers (this isn't unfair, it's just so that the leadership can stay intact. otherwise everyone might die).
in one way, you could perhaps view his self-imposed exile as a little selfish. he doesn't want to hurt anyone else, so he's surrendering leadership and having to make decisions so that he is only responsible for himself.
he carries a gun because he's just a normal foot soldier.

then the crisis in central happens. roy puts his little pity party on hold and comes into central. notice how he instantly takes command. he is a natural leader, and the fact he's doing it all in a soldier's uniform just shows how ridiculous things are otherwise.

This is very similar to one of the possible explanations I came up with. and currently the most plausible one in my mind.
Still, the complete 180 from the end of series to what he was in the movie caught me off guard, and I wonder there are more explanations.

@Ladymercury - I like your midlife crisis theory!! tongue.gif
Reika
I agree in everything with Ladymercury, it's what I was trying to say, more or less.

QUOTE
After the incident, he was still referred to as Brigader General Mustang. There was no mentioning of him being demoted for the incidents that happened, so the fact that he took the fall for everyone makes no sense. I mean, they reported the Fuhrer as 'missing'.... They never said he was 'murdered' since there was no body left to claim that Mustang did murder the Fuhrer.


You don't need to look for what happened with his demotion in the series or movie, there was an article where BONES stated that Roy himself demoted himself. That means that no higher ups told him to be a corporal.

QUOTE
Havoc: Plus, I feel as if the person Colonel is waiting for isn't the Lieutenant...

Were they saying that Roy was waiting for Ed? That he was depressed over Ed's departure from their world? Why? Wasn't this issue put to rest in ep 49? Didn't they accept that fact that they might not see each other again? Why would Roy brood over Ed and not Hughes then?


This is something that I, sincerelly, refuse to believe. I thought and i hoped that the reason he was like that was Hughes (which wouldn't make much sense either to fall depressed after that much time), but not because the film leaves this clear, but because he suddenly appears out of the front lines, in front of hughes tomb, and then he makes his reapearition out of nowhere. Which made me think that his depression could have been because of Ed too, because he appears just when some strange things appear and who knows, maybe there were rumors about Ed being in Amestris again. Oh God, I hope it wasn't because of that... It wouldn't make much sense, would he be more depressed about Ed being gone than Hughes' dead??? If his reappearance it's not because of Ed's arrive to the world... why is he at that precise moment in Amestris? Why did he recover from his huge depression of two years long that didn't even let him use alchemy right now?

QUOTE
there's some things i don't you guys are all considering...
roy is supposed to be a human being. he is not a moral compass or an instrument that automatically does the thing where he would be most useful. his stated goal is to help (actually, i don't even believe he ever says that. he says "to change the way this country works") but he there's more going on here than just his duty to accomplishing his goals.


True, but does this mean that everyone should act the same way?

Not everypeople react the same way to the same facts, that's why everyone is unique and have their own personalities. The personality I noticed from Roy through all the series doesn't match with the way he reacts in the movie, besides the fact that it is too sudden for me. It goes from a "I won't give up" to a "I'm giving up on all" (that much as to make Hawkeye say "I don't want to see you in that state").

You can compare it with when Ed gave up on the PS because it used human lives, he did it because it was inside of him to do it, because he didn't want to kill anyone for his goals, but just because his personality and what's inside of him too is to not give up, which is one of the strongest points of his personality that comes out through all the series, he reacts once again like himself and once again takes the path of trying to recover their bodies back to normal, which is his goal, as Roy is to help change the country to the better and keep it good as best as it's possible. That's what makes them special. Another fact is that I think that by doing what he did... was like leaving Hughes die for nothing, and I don't think Roy would let that happen.

Of course he is a human being and because of that he can get all that depressed, but Roy has proved us that he has a very strong will and personallity that won't let him fall down so easily. And when I mean easily, I mean as easily as to give up on everything after he killed the "bad guy" (to put it in short) and was near the higher ups. And even if he would have such a "I give up" attitude, don't you think that Hawkeye and the rest wouldn't let him fall down? They've been there for him all those years, helping him, and supporting him, he's not alone, but still he went to such point that even Hawkeye left him alone (that, or Hawkeye is OOC (which I think she is too, not only because of this)).

QUOTE
Breda: Its just like you, Colonel, to choose such a rual area....
Mustang: I am doing what I can to serve my country...
Havoc: Colonel.


note the "I am doing what I can to serve my country"... Wouldn't he be more usefull in the higher ups? as Brigadier General or even Colonel? Being a corporal without alchemy just makes him a little pawn to kill people and kill himself when he's not of use or can't deffend himself.

To keep a character on character is to keep him reacting by some coherent personality standards that go through an equeally coherent reaction and attitude line (they balance each other and balance the character). Some could say that because he acted some "surprising" way in the movie or that he acted that way through some isolated point of the series etc that went ouf of that "line" he would act that way, but we could say that he was "out of line" too, or "out of character"(no matter how human it was that attitude), because it went out of the coherence the character showed through the series that kept the character balanced and developing in a coherent way. The result of this isolated reactions and attitudes is the unbalanced feeling it gaves us and the kind of questions of: "why is he that way? what happened? wouldn't he act this other way? Why did he say and do that? What's wrong with him? Don't you have a feeling that something's wrong with him?" Which is what many of us are wondering.

That's how I see it and that's why I say that Roy was OOC in the movie.
Dai
Hi people, I just realized something...

It is said (by Ross) that a National Alchemist, even if he is not in the military, has Major-like status... so even if Roy is demoted to corporal, he is still a national alchemist, isn't he? So the only way he is under his former friends (Havoc & co) is that he is National Alchemist no more.

Is it said in the movie?
Reika
It's not said, but I think you could take it that way since he dropped his title as "Flame Alchemist" too. He doesn't use alchemy anymore, so he can't be a state alchemist, right?
Dai
I suppose, but I think the movie should have cleared that things XD

thanks.
Reika
I think they tried to show and develope and show the consecuences of too much things that didn't explain and should have been explained in a very short time for all that.

I hope they do some OVAs or something to explain what really happened in between those years.
Ladymercury (unable to log in)
Reika: Thanks for agreeing with me XD I thought people were gonna rip me apart or something. Lol, umm, what I meant with the whole higher ups not demoting him was that there is this popular theory floating around that Roy took the blaim for everyone after the coup incident. XD I already knew that Roy volunteered, or supposedly volunteered.

Um....... If Roy is a corporal, that means he is not a state alchemist. Which means he even gave up that title. State alchemist are the equivalent of a major. lol

Major Edward Elric <-- lawl.
Reika
no need to thank me XD you just had the same opinion as mine XD, and yeah... sometimes I'm scared of talking too XD

I don't think he took the blame for everyone... they don't seem to mention anything about it in the movie...
seventh_sky
Everybody took what I was going to say XD

Seriously, though, I just don't think that he would give up all that he'd worked so hard for just like that because he felt 'unworthy' or something. When he felt bad about killing those doctors, he pledged to himself that he'd rule the military and fix things. If he feels bad now, why would he just all of a sudden decide to punish himself for no real reason?

(I apologize if that post made no sense XD)
Ladymercury (unable to log in)
XD Yay, so we're not all crazy in thinking that Roy is OOC. XD
Reika
XDDDDDDDDD no, I don't think so XD
seventh_sky
I explained it to a friend and she thought it was OOC, even though she hasn't seen very much of FMA at all....
Miniskirt
yeah, I thought he was very OOC too
kaizenyorii
the muddled ending to Roy from the movie is why we should all put our faith in the manga and hope for a better explaination/conclusion.
TheVileOne
QUOTE(seventh_sky @ Oct 23 2005, 09:21 PM) [snapback]303535[/snapback]

Everybody took what I was going to say XD

Seriously, though, I just don't think that he would give up all that he'd worked so hard for just like that because he felt 'unworthy' or something. When he felt bad about killing those doctors, he pledged to himself that he'd rule the military and fix things. If he feels bad now, why would he just all of a sudden decide to punish himself for no real reason?

(I apologize if that post made no sense XD)


Did you even watch the end of the series? HE CAN'T BECOME FUHRER ANYMORE! THE TITLE OF FUHRER WAS DISOLVED!

He achieved his goal of helping the country and making it a better place to live. HE ACHIEVED HIS PURPOSE AND GOAL! In other words, he LOST HIS PURPOSE AND GOAL HAVING ACHIEVED IT! So Roy just doesn't know what his purpose is anymore and he drifts through life.
Reika
but he said "I'm doing what I can to serve my country", he could do more in the higher ups,and he drop his title and the alchemy because of the crimes he commited. The goal was never mentioned when talking about his demotion in any interview nor anything, I think that's some conclussion you can get to when trying to explain his behaviour.
TheVileOne
QUOTE(Reika @ Oct 26 2005, 05:44 AM) [snapback]304513[/snapback]

but he said "I'm doing what I can to serve my country", he could do more in the higher ups,and he drop his title and the alchemy because of the crimes he commited. The goal was never mentioned when talking about his demotion in any interview nor anything, I think that's some conclussion you can get to when trying to explain his behaviour.


So what? At least I'm actually trying to think about valid explanations.

After everything that Roy has been through, his depression and post-tramautic stress makes a lot of sense to me.
kaizenyorii
are you two gonna have another battle like on that other topic?

and TheVileOne, how come youre always so hell bent on trying to say the animated version of FMA is perfect? its like every time someone raises a question about it you imply that theyre dumb
Carnal Malefactor
I would actually fathom to say that he had been planning the exile since right after he defeated Bradley. That would certainly explain the way Riza was looking at him at the end of the series.
TheVileOne
QUOTE(kaizenyorii @ Oct 26 2005, 07:02 AM) [snapback]304552[/snapback]

are you two gonna have another battle like on that other topic?

and TheVileOne, how come youre always so hell bent on trying to say the animated version of FMA is perfect? its like every time someone raises a question about it you imply that theyre dumb


I never said it was perfect. I just think its great, brilliant, and emotional. I think the manga is as well. So what's the problem?

And just a little FYI kaizenyorii, you say people raise a question about the anime? I answer the questions.

Seeing what Roy has been through and where he is in the movie, its NOT that hard to fill in the blanks. The series, while he was alive and well did leave him in a bad place. He lost his eye. And he also lost his goal of becoming Fuhrer. Combine that to all he has done over the years, what happens to him in the movie was inevitable. He no longer had the goal or purpose of becoming Fuhrer and he just became a lost soul. Sometimes this HAPPENS to people. Its perfectly IN character and appropriate to me.

Seventh_sky is saying, "I showed it to a friend and even she thought it was OOC even though she hasn't seen much of FMA." What does that have anything to do with it? Are we supposed to invest in the opinion of someone who has not even watched as much FMA and invested nearly as much time in it as we have? They obviously could've missed some huge and significant details.
Tombow
QUOTE(What, no bacon? @ Oct 26 2005, 02:05 AM) [snapback]304553[/snapback]

I would actually fathom to say that he had been planning the exile since right after he defeated Bradley. That would certainly explain the way Riza was looking at him at the end of the series.

That's a new and interesting angle, to me, of looking at this, and I think it's certainly plausible.
So, they had that sweet and tender moment at the end of the series, knowing what Mustang will become later...
Wow, that's deep.
TheVileOne
Agreed Tombow. I think that itself is a great observation.
seventh_sky
What I was trying to say was that someone who doesn't even know that much about FMA can see that Roy's decision was way OOC!!!

And even if the post of Fuhrer was dissolved, wouldn't Roy just find another way to get a leadership position of some sort instead of demoting himself for no particular reason?

Why would he punish himself for killing someone who was truly evil and manipulating people to start wars???
Carnal Malefactor
QUOTE(seventh_sky @ Oct 26 2005, 09:14 PM) [snapback]304799[/snapback]


Why would he punish himself for killing someone who was truly evil and manipulating people to start wars???

He wasn't punishing himself. Why is that so hard to understand? He wanted to get away from everything for a while.
seventh_sky
If he really wanted to do that, wouldn't he quit the military all together?
TheVileOne
QUOTE(seventh_sky @ Oct 27 2005, 01:14 AM) [snapback]304799[/snapback]

What I was trying to say was that someone who doesn't even know that much about FMA can see that Roy's decision was way OOC!!!


Guess what seventh sky? I'm someone who DOES know much about FMA. And I can see that Roy's decision was NOT out of character. What do you have to say about that? Just wondering.

QUOTE

And even if the post of Fuhrer was dissolved, wouldn't Roy just find another way to get a leadership position of some sort instead of demoting himself for no particular reason?


Nope. Roy is a soldier, not a politician. The government is now controlled by politicians, a parliament, not the military. A life of a soldier is all Roy knows. Could he be a govt. leader if he really wanted to? I think he can. But what you don't understand is that Roy Mustang does not.

QUOTE

Why would he punish himself for killing someone who was truly evil and manipulating people to start wars???


He's not punishing himself for that all, don't know where you got that.

How about how he couldn't save that little boy? How about how he couldn't save Ed?
Katana Alchemist
here's the thing with you people saying you don't understand why he would be punishing himself or make rational logical decisions about how he could best serve his country.
let's review the career of roy mustang.

-he participated in an unjust war, where his combat style is BURNING PEOPLE ALIVE, including children.
-he killed unarmed doctors while they clutched a picture of their child.
-conversely, he deceived a superior (gran) by letting marcoh escape. while the right thing to do, it means he can no longer serve the military pretending to be an obediant soldier. he's betrayed both "sides" now.
-he's tried to kill himself at least twice in his early career.

let's stop right there. here's the critical part. listen carefully. when he and maes have their discussion at the beginning of episode 25 (the flashback) he's in ruins emotionally. he doesn't care for his appearance and he certainly doesn't care for his life. the guilt of his actions has gutted him. this is not the bright, charming colonel that we see throughout most of the series.
what brings him out of his depression? the pledge to change the way the country runs. i think a lot of the bright charming colonel we see throughout the series is an act. just like how you might act differently to suck up to someone and get what you want, roy is trying to act the perfect soldier and get what he wants. his demons have not gone away. his mission also helps him by distracting him so he's not focusing on all the sins he's committed in his life.

-he's brought two kids into the military. perhaps for their own good but it's not an absolutely black & white issue.
-his best friend was killed trying to help him.
-he likely feels bad for the "death" of ed elric at the end of the fma anime series. even if he wasn't directly responsible, i'm sure he feels some guilt that ed appears to be dead.

ok, now we've reached the end of the anime. his goal has been accomplished. however, now the weight of his actions in ishbal plus the mistakes and guilt he has gathered throughout the FMA anime come crashing down onto his shoulders.
he doesn't want to have anymore blood on his hands anymore by making the wrong decision. the only person he wants to be responsible for is himself. that's why he goes out there in the middle of nowhere. it's not that he thinks he can serve his country better that way.


that is why his actions are not out of character.
TheVileOne
I see a lot of people like katana alchemist coming up with FANTASTIC and well thought out points.

The best someone else can say is that someone who does NOT know much FMA thought it was out of character. Right smile.gif .
Reika
Ok, just one thing:

The fact that the demons are not away doesn't explain how he came to the conclussión in the end of the series that doesn't understand in the movie.
TheVileOne
I think Katana alchemist and others already explained it. I don't know how it can be explained so coherently any further.
Katana Alchemist
a lot of people, when they are beset by depression or other problems in their lives, try to distract themselves by throwing themselves into work or hobbies or doing a whole bunch of other things. if they seem like they've gotten over things and almost appear to be functioning better than before it is because they're working hard, very hard. they do not want to slow down or have dead time that allows their problems to catch up with them.
(that's why, when someone has died, if people close to them seem to be all better and haven't mourned them at all, you shouldn't necessarily be angry at them. it may not be that they don't care, on the contrary, they're just trying hard not to let things catch up with them.)
but anyway, roy works his ass off, we know that. we know that he was near the breaking point but didn't kill himself. he took up this quest to give his life meaning.
it may seem like a big transition between awesome roy that we see throughout most of the series and the poor guy who's run away to a remote corner of the world later. he's not distracted anymore by his quest, plus he has some new things to feel guilty about as i outlined above.
roy is a natural leader and is better able to serve his country as a higher up, i'm not disagreeing with anyone on that. i think we see him realize that in the movie. he makes his entrance and saves a crumbling central under attack. it's probably not even a conscious thing. he just sees an emergency and moves to solve it. by showing him doing all this in a mere foot soldier's uniform just shows how badly that role fits him. when we see riza smiling at him, i think it's because he finally knows where he belongs and has stopped running away and she is happy for him. he's stepped back into the role he is best in.
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