Well, on this topic I believe I have to give my opinion too. Specially to you Redthorn, since I asked explicitly for your opinion and am saying nothing afterwards
U, feels kind of disrespectful. But it's just that I need to slowly think things a bit and organize myself, cuz my mind is a nice little chaos. (
In case you haven't noticed, I'm asking (in my weird logic) for you to stay here so we can have good discussions on this manga.
I mean, I used to have nice conversations with Dingbat, and others before her (whose names I can't remember), but they all have been disappearing from here
WARNING: Wall post ensues.
First, on the trade thing, thanks for reminding me (didn't have the chapter available at that point), and I have to go with what Neph said
QUOTE(Nepharski @ Jun 1 2006, 02:28 AM) [snapback]404144[/snapback]
QUOTE(Redthorn @ May 31 2006, 01:59 PM) [snapback]403960[/snapback]
Okay, now that the origin has been cleared up, I'd like to deliver my take on that same line.
Standard procedure in "Civilized" warfare is to meet the enemy in combat, defeat them, and then rebuild. What Hughes means, to me, is that what the goal is supposed to be is "Quell the uprising so we can return to normal conditons and fix up the Ishbalian quater." This isn't about an Empire. Ishabl was already a territory of the nation, not a future conquest. The ideal war allows both sides to return back to prosperity after the conflict has been settled. Thus, Hughes' point is that, "If we're only quelling a rebellion so that we can SAVE the area from utter destruction, why are we CAUSING utter destruction?"
Does that make sense?
Yeah, at that point that's what they were discussing... "What's the point of this annihilation if after the war the country cannot make a benefit out of it?" That's an standard way of thinking for your standard military bureaucrat (this is what Google translator gave me
) (AKA Hughes), I guess. Little they know that Father's gang cares little or naught about the country's welfare and only about wiping these bothersome Ishvalans out because their purpose had already been accomplished whatsoever.
Second, on the boring and disappointing chapter... I found it quite interesting myself... It's true that it had those mistakes
and that it "taught" nothing new about the horrors of war... But it is always nice to have a little reminder... Now if it only would reach certain people... *idealizes* *goes back to reality*
On the other hand, it did have interesting elements. Namely, how a PS (incomplete) is made, we get to see Kimbley and "hear" both his full and his alchemist name for the first time (I blame the anime for forespoiling this), "the eyes of a murderer", the reason Riza snipe'd at Roy (that certainly was a surprise to me), etc. Not comparable to the Big Climax the last chapters were, true (and logical, a climax now it is not), but not that bad either.
Anyway, that's just my humble opinion, for everybody to know. ( u_u)/
And finally, the topic of the week:
On Hughes and Roy, considering how much I liked them, I admit you have certainly made me lose some respect for them...
Specially for my oh so liked Hughes, when you made me realize that in that comical scene about his "beautiful future" they were standing in an area full of Ishvalan corpses (which allowed that surviving one to remain there acting dead and try a final attack on some Amestrians
But yeah, that's how Hughes was, I guess... we saw it in the Blue gaiden: a guy who will do ANYTHING in order to protect those he loves and to be able to be with them... Even if that anything is to kill coldly for what he believes to be the sake of his country.
On Roy... I'll leave it for the next post. This is taking too much... ^_^UU
EDIT: Ooops, the board fused them together.
And now for sth completely different:
QUOTE(simargl @ Jun 1 2006, 06:01 AM) [snapback]404232[/snapback]
Everything you said makes perfect sense. I'm just looking at it from a story telling perspective. It seems like overkill. Since Amestris was expanded by conquest, wouldn't there be many other ethnic pockets that could cause similar trouble?
That we have been told about... no, there aren't
The other circle points, as far as we know, are squirmishes with neighbour countries, so that makes Ishval the only "ethnic pocket" (I didn't know this expression).
and yeah it is overkill because it was Bradley's cold and simple decision... A tree in his garden was growing more than expected so he chose to unroot it. In Spanish we say "cortar por lo sano" = "to cut on the healthy part (an arm or a leg)" which means to solve a problem "excessively" to make sure to prevent further trouble.
Now on Roy... Just like I did with the chapter, I think I'll simply put my opinion on here, doing my best efforts to explain it clearly, because I see here no one's convincing no one
I'll start from Keoni's and monsterEnvy's POV, they made a really good job of putting into words some thoughts of mine, partially ( thanks!
QUOTE(Keoni @ May 31 2006, 06:53 PM) [snapback]403902[/snapback]
QUOTE(Redthorn @ May 30 2006, 02:25 PM) [snapback]403580[/snapback]
Mustang barbecued thousands of innocent civilians just because someone else told him to. How can I respect or root for him after that? I guess I was holding on to some illusion that there were mitigating circumstances surrounding what he did in Ishbal, but now we've seen there are none at all. So he feels bad about it now. Boo hoo for him. Tell it to the dead, Mustang. Tell it to the mothers and fathers whose children you burned to death. Just don't tell it to me.
I still root for him. And No not because I'm a silly fangirl
Roy served in Ishval, we all knew that, right? When you get send into war, you are send there to kill people. plain and simple. And he wasn't send as a normal soldier, he was send with the "extermination brigade" (...)
Yes, he is flawed and yes, he did horrible things. But I don't hate him for it.(...) And at least Roy feels bad about it, it would be worse if he didn't care at all.
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ Jun 1 2006, 02:10 AM) [snapback]404129[/snapback]
He keeps his 'good side' in the manga by wishing for the end of the conflict, and questioning authority, like Hughes. He also hates his 'killer's eyes.' Roy keeps his humanity and life through the massacre by both numbing himself and going through with the orders. In a military state like Amestris, a young man like Mustang without family like Armstrong's might very well go the way of countless ishbalan soldiers. It's really a rather bad idea to oppose the state. In any case, Roy chose to keep his freedom, his position in the military, and quite possibly his life by simply following his orders.(...)
(I cut out the parts I don't agree much with if you don't mind
Now, from this... I agree with them that in this circumstances he was kind of "forced" to do that. (And I don't mean literally forced, eh... they said it better than me)
As I told once to someone who complained about Marcoh being a pansy and running away instead of fighting the evil guys (or sth like that), everyone is different. And specially in extreme situations like that, you cannot expect everyone to act the same way, and definitely not everyone will act heroic... In this, hagaren does quite a realistic job in presenting how different people experienced the horrors of war and its sequels.
So, Roy, how do I see him? I see young Roy as a really good, naive and caring person who reacted to the horror he was put into this way: he created a barrier to block his emotions, unlike Armstrong who is overwhelmed by them. Keep in mind that I'm not saying neither one or the other is good or bad, depends on the circumstances.
But, unfortunately, due to this circumstances, in Roy's case this barrier works too efficiently, making him some times become a cold blooded killing machine indeed. Proof? The gaiden, in there you can clearly see how he "activates" it. His attittude afterwards: how he decided to stay under the military for his own ambitions without a doubt after Bradley's "offer", how he fought Lust, Armstrong's comment on "how only someone who can live the horrors of war and be able to stand afterwards
should get to rule the country in order to avoid war to happen again" (in the anime, that is said by Mustang himself, that's his real purpose for so insistingly trying to reach the Führer's position) and how he gave Breda strict orders to kill off Maria Ross in the improbable scenario she really was Hughes' killer...
All this already proves, to me, that while being an all-around nice guy, 30-years-old Colonel Roy Mustang can really be a serious Son Of A B... if he wants to. And this is why he is given to us as one of the heroes: he is struggling not to repair what he did, but to avoid that circumstance to repeat, and he will do anything necessary to stop Daddy's gang (and, yes, sometimes this "anything" goes too far. I hope, I have been hoping for a while now, he learns to correct it). Armstrong is also given to us as a hero, BTW, someone who ran away from the battle (I agree that in this case it was better than what Roy did) but now decides to fight, but this time not "killing" the ones he's ordered to, but, like Mustang, the hands who are pulling the strings behind all of this, by his own choice.
And about Roy's decision to sweep aside his morals, obey and kill, I understand, is what you cannot forgive. "Tell it to the dead, Mustang". And here is where we disagree.
On this topic, tho', I'll have to get really serious, and I really hope I'm not misunderstood... As a reference, I'd point you to read Naoki Urasawa's Monster
(I dunno how many times I've advertised this series here. But, hey, it deserves this and much more!) and to watch the Trigun
anime (I'm more or less an over-clumsy version of Vash
U)... They really share my opinion on ethics, morals, forgiveness and whatnot, specially Monster
To put it in one phrase, I'd look worse upon someone who killed once but really wasn't affected by it than someone who did a massacre and then truly and completely repents of it. I believe in "reinsertion", "redemption" (boy, does this sound religious... it's not my point, just to clarify. It's just lack of both vocabulary and a dictionary
), younameit... I'm not saying the person should be forgiven for what he's done, specially not forgiven by the victims, but I believe everyone has the right to try to be happy as long as they don't bring pain to others (much pain, that is. It's impossible to never hurt anybody), and if that person has changed and is determined to do so, s/he has full rights to do it. What I really DO NOT believe in is in punishment, I don't believe that the solution to people who hurt people is to hurt them, I don't believe that the solution to unhappiness is more unhappiness... That is, knowing Roy has really changed and is convinced to not do that again, I would never put him in a jail or bring him more suffering in some way...
The BIG problem on this criterium is discerning whether a guilty person really has changed or not, to know whether that person would kill again or not. I'm perfectly aware that this is too hard or directly impossible to discern in real life, unfortunately
Therefore making it actually impracticable, and then come the jails and stuff... But in this case, a fictional manga where we're the omniscient (omniscient about Roy's personality and thoughts, in this case) spectators, this criterium is much easier to apply, and I believe Roy is one case of a person who has really redeemed himself (or is very close to it) and punishing him would do no good, neither to him nor to the remaining Ishvalans, as it would not return the dead to them.
Meh... it is really difficult to explain, and even more in a language I'm not native... Please do watch those 2 I mentioned before, they give out this message way better than I do x_x