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Sensenic
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ May 19 2006, 12:10 AM) [snapback]397290[/snapback]

Meow, a lot of stop happened.

Double posting! Bad Sensenic.

Hey, look at the difference between the posting times. It's not my fault if no one had anything to say between the 2 times I had... \( u_u)/
#1_alchemist
fullmetal alchemist manga should release every week like naruto and bleach! I hate waiting T^T sad.gif ... but i guess it wouldnt be as good quality as a monthly release one. But its soooo long! i want to see some more RoyxRiza! (hopefully) tongue.gif
BlindSword
Aww, the wait just adds to the suspense, which makes it that much better.
#1_alchemist
thats true. each time its close to the release i become so excited its crazy... laugh.gif
Magical Poof
If you think about it, more pages are released from Naruto and Bleach each month than FMA... Which makes me sad. ;_;

So many errors in this chapter, though... Will they fix them for the manga? Did they fix the past ones? I don't have any of them in Japanese, and the English version hasn't come out yet, so does anyone know if Lust got all her lipstick back during the chapter where she was killed? I remember her lipstick disappearing sometimes...
#1_alchemist
thats not fair! fullmetal alchemist manga is better than naruto and bleach, so they should have more!! ohmy.gif
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Antimony
We also know that the higher ups are counting on Kimbley to end things, and he's going to use the stone Marcoh made. Imagine what big explosions he could make! He'd be unstoppable until his stone ran out of juice. And maybe he also blows up his fellow Amestrian soldiers along with Ishballans, which lands him in jail.
Nepharski
QUOTE(Antimony @ May 20 2006, 02:50 PM) [snapback]398347[/snapback]

We also know that the higher ups are counting on Kimbley to end things, and he's going to use the stone Marcoh made. Imagine what big explosions he could make! He'd be unstoppable until his stone ran out of juice. And maybe he also blows up his fellow Amestrian soldiers along with Ishballans, which lands him in jail.

Actually, I'm thinking they put him in jail not because of something he did, but because of what he had the potential to do (assuming he does, in fact, go mad during the campaign).
Colette
About the Stone that they made with only a few Ishbalans, my guess is that that's the stone they gave Cornello. It didn't have many lives, so it probably wasn't very powerful.
Yoku_Aijin

[/quote]
Actually, I'm thinking they put him in jail not because of something he did, but because of what he had the potential to do (assuming he does, in fact, go mad during the campaign).
[/quote]


That got me thinking, I remember ( I think the father said it.) that it was said that Kimbley had the potential to be one of the human sacrifices. This is just a shot in the dark here, but hwat if they locked him up when he went crazy to keep him under control until the time was right?On page 34 of chapter 59 Kimbley was sitting at a table with I'm assuming where some higher ups and Doctor Marcoh. They wanted Marcoh and Kimbley to mett and they also said. " We're counting on you Major Kimbley."

Does it matter if your sacrifice is insane? (Doubt it.)
Nepharski
QUOTE(Summoner Colette @ May 21 2006, 07:14 AM) [snapback]398708[/snapback]

About the Stone that they made with only a few Ishbalans, my guess is that that's the stone they gave Cornello. It didn't have many lives, so it probably wasn't very powerful.

Who knows. I don't think FMA specifies how many sacrifices you need, but you're probably right about number. The more sacrifices you use, the more powerful the stone becomes. They only needed a few for Kimbley.
Antimony
QUOTE(#1_alchemist @ May 20 2006, 05:27 PM) [snapback]398321[/snapback]

thats not fair! fullmetal alchemist manga is better than naruto and bleach, so they should have more!! ohmy.gif
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FMA chapters take up more pages then Naruto and Bleach do, so that's why they take longer to come out. I like it that way because it makes the wait worthwhile and it means each new chapter will have a lot of meat to it.
Antimony
QUOTE(Nepharski @ May 21 2006, 04:18 PM) [snapback]398907[/snapback]

QUOTE(Summoner Colette @ May 21 2006, 07:14 AM) [snapback]398708[/snapback]

About the Stone that they made with only a few Ishbalans, my guess is that that's the stone they gave Cornello. It didn't have many lives, so it probably wasn't very powerful.

Who knows. I don't think FMA specifies how many sacrifices you need, but you're probably right about number. The more sacrifices you use, the more powerful the stone becomes. They only needed a few for Kimbley.


I can agree with that. Kimbley's stone only needs to be used once so it only needs a few lives. The one Cornello used would need more because he was using it all the time to perform 'miracles.' Also Kimbley is stronger then Cornello was (a third-rate hack!), so he could possibly use a weaker stone and still get better results.
#1_alchemist
QUOTE(Antimony @ May 21 2006, 02:57 PM) [snapback]398991[/snapback]

QUOTE(#1_alchemist @ May 20 2006, 05:27 PM) [snapback]398321[/snapback]

thats not fair! fullmetal alchemist manga is better than naruto and bleach, so they should have more!! ohmy.gif
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FMA chapters take up more pages then Naruto and Bleach do, so that's why they take longer to come out. I like it that way because it makes the wait worthwhile and it means each new chapter will have a lot of meat to it.

lol i guess youre right. But think about it, one month is very looooooong. And what happens if something VERY interesting happens and you want to see what happens. But no, you have to wait a whole month!
MonsterEnvy
I'm not sure where you got the 'only can be used once' idea, but it makes one think. It's possible that the point of the stone is to just blow up a whole city or something and not need to worry about the individuals.
Atley
@monsterenvy

But, Hohenheim has a ponytail, and he's not my idea of sexy.
Antimony
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ May 22 2006, 02:55 PM) [snapback]399465[/snapback]

I'm not sure where you got the 'only can be used once' idea, but it makes one think. It's possible that the point of the stone is to just blow up a whole city or something and not need to worry about the individuals.


http://groups.msn.com/FullMetalAlchemist/c...o&PhotoID=14181

"The Philosopher's Stone! ... If we have this, the annihilation campaign will be over quickly. We're counting on you, Major Kimbley."

The army is planning to end the war in one fell swoop. They only need a temporary stone for a single blow from an already strong alchemist. Kimbley+Philosopher's Stone=Atomic Bomb

QUOTE(Atley @ May 22 2006, 03:08 PM) [snapback]399470[/snapback]

@monsterenvy

But, Hohenheim has a ponytail, and he's not my idea of sexy.


Um ... what does that have to do with anything? When were we talking about Hohenheim or how sexy he is? blink.gif
MonsterEnvy
A while ago, a said something about how Kimbley had a sexy ponytail.

Hoho's ponytail is sexy too, but I'd take Kimbley anyday.

Really, it's only a matter of time before we see a Kimbley-Hoho fanfic...

can't believe i just typed that, much less thought of it

Anyway, @Antimony: I interpreted that line as meaning that it will accelerate the annhilation campaign by allowing Kimbley to make much larger explosions. As is, his power is relatively short range, though devastating. If it could be magnified to larger proportions, he would be effective enough to make many other alchemists redundant.
Nepharski
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ May 22 2006, 11:55 AM) [snapback]399465[/snapback]

I'm not sure where you got the 'only can be used once' idea, but it makes one think. It's possible that the point of the stone is to just blow up a whole city or something and not need to worry about the individuals.

Well, what I think is that the number of sacrifices affect how powerful the stone becomes. For example, Kimbley's stone has only a few humans, but he's not using it to attain god-like powers, just amplify his abilities (I'm assuming). My guess is the stone is just powerful enough to give him a big advantage over the home team, that's all.
Redthorn
QUOTE
I remember ( I think the father said it.) that it was said that Kimbley had the potential to be one of the human sacrifices.


Actually, Kimbley is specifically ruled out as a candidate in Chapter 52 -- it's said he doesn't "have the nerve to open the Doors." (If the translation is correct.)

IPB Image

The speaker is unidentified, but it's one of Bradley's chiefs of staff. And whoever it is could be wrong, I suppose, though they all seem pretty well-versed in some of the details of Father's plans, come to think of it....
Sensenic
Oh my, if it isn't Redthorn back!

After reading your comments on the raw, and since I don't have access to the write-ups (didn't bother to check how to, I'm too lazy for my own good tongue.gif), I'd like to hear your final opinion on the chapter, if you don't mind smile.gif
Redthorn
QUOTE(Sensenic @ May 30 2006, 04:39 PM) [snapback]403570[/snapback]

Oh my, if it isn't Redthorn back!


Eh, not so much "back" as "just dropping in to see if anything interesting is happening." Discovering that the issue was more error-laden than I already knew was a bit of a shock. I may have to add some kind of notice to the recap about that....O.O

Had to correct that factual Kimbly error though. It's a reflex.

QUOTE

After reading your comments on the raw, and since I don't have access to the write-ups (didn't bother to check how to, I'm too lazy for my own good tongue.gif), I'd like to hear your final opinion on the chapter, if you don't mind smile.gif


Just pick up a free LJ account and drop a request at the appropriate place on "maytree4real" to get added to the Recap Readers security list. It's a minor nuisance but not a big deal and won't cost you a cent. Though I am contemplating rebirthing the security list as an LJ community (but some of the LJ FMA fandom irritates me excessively, so I'm ambivalent about whether I want to do this or not.) Read the journal to get updates on my recap distribution ideas and decisions as they occur.

But a quick summary: Initial dislike more or less transmuted to real loathing upon careful rereading and recapping. (The recap comments are quite detailed and harsh on this, plus I contrast with a page from Art Spiegelman's "Maus" for emphasis.) The only redeeming features were a slightly increased appreciation for Armstrong, and being glad that Hawkeye's character wasn't disemboweled (metaphorically speaking, not literally) the way I was afraid she was going to be.

Initial reaction still stands, though. It was dull, nothing interesting or surprising happened, my liking and respect for Hughes and Mustang took a deep nosedive from which I'm not sure they'll recover, and there were numerous things that look like genuine mistakes (maybe they aren't, but they look like it right now) which are not typical of the book. Very much a sub-par chapter in an arc that was already sub-par to begin with. I'd grade it a C- at best. The creators (Arakawa and/or her assistants) really just didn't seem to care much about this chapter.

This isn't the same as saying I'm writing off the entire manga, just like I don't stop watching my favorite TV shows when they have an off week. But this chapter was BLECH.

I should add that I have a sensitivity to the situation where authors create characters who do really reprehensible things and then ask me to care about them anyway, and Mustang is rapidly falling into this category. Hughes is dead, so he doesn't matter at this point, but really...why am I now tempted to root for Bradley? I've liked Mustang up to this point, but seeing him do his thing in Ishbal makes me want him dead. I don't see how he can be redeemed for mass murder, I just don't.

I still have some hope that Knox's comment about "recognizing that thing [Mustang] made" when he examined the fake-burned-Maria-Ross in Chapter 42 means Roy managed to save a bunch of Ishbalans by making fake bodies while allowing them to escape...but even if he does something like that, it's still really too late for him. He already sold his soul in the name of militant nationalism, and you can't get a refund for that.

A bit of a digression here: When I was in my teens, Stephen R. Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" books were all the rage among fantasy readers. Except....generally only the guys. The reason? About fifty pages into the first book, the "protagonist", not likable to begin with (and, to be fair, not intended to be likable), rapes a girl he randomly comes across. Most female readers of fantasy stopped at that point and read no further, because a rapist protagonist is not someone we can identify with. At all. (I should add that I knew of several guys who wouldn't read any further either; I'm not trying to say that all the guys were perfectly okay with Thomas Covenant's actions either.) I had the same problem with the Gerald Tarrant character in C.S. Friedman's "Black Sun Rising" trilogy -- he torments and kills young girls so he can feed off their terror, but I'm supposed to regard him as a hero because it's for a "greater cause"? No thanks. More recently I'm trying to figure out if I want Jaime Lannister in GRRM's "Song of Fire and Ice" to be redeemed or to die a horrible prolonged death. Yes, there are reasons, very understandable ones, why he became evil and amoral, and it's interesting to watch him try to overcome those tendencies, but...he threw an eight year old boy off a tower to try and kill him! (Ending up just breaking the boy's back and crippling him for life. Nice!) How the hell does a person "make up" for something like that?

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.

Ahem. Sorry for the rant. But I used to really like Roy Mustang, and now he disgusts me. That makes me sad. (Same for Hughes, but as I said, he's dead, so he doesn't matter.)
Lietunant Hawkeye
I am so excited. and it was getting so good.i hope riza and roy make an appearance
Nepharski
As casual as he seems to be about the war, I doubt Hughes did much killing, if any, during the Ishbal Campaign. Seems more like a "Book keeper" officer, although as Lust said, "That arm's good for more than just pushing paper," so perhaps he might kill out of self defense, but I question if he was actually on the field of battle, getting his shots in.

I think what makes this war harder to "Read," is the fact that we now know that the war was for dark purposes. It wasn't nationalism, however. The "Offical story" which "Everyone knew" was that a rebellion had broken out in a province of the nation, and it was necessary to quell that rebellion. Regardless, simply by looking at Mustang, you can tell he hates himself for what he's doing. He hides it in front of Hughes, but the way he talks about "Killer's eyes."

And I've always liked Armstrong, even if he is a bit overzealous.
Redthorn
The excuse the soldiers were given (which some of them apparently didn't even believe) was that the civil war had to be stopped to "stabilize the region for trade." In other words, for the good of the nation -- nationalism. Certainly that was Mustang's reason for being there -- "I'm joining up as a military alchemist because my nation needs me to defend it from threats." No idea why Riza was there given her father's attitude toward the military.

We readers know the war had other purposes, but no one who is actually present there beyond Bradley and his chiefs of staff have any clue about that at the time it happened.

I don't actually think the war would be any "easier" to read about if it weren't for "dark purposes." I don't think the reasons behind genocide make any difference to the horribleness of it.
Nepharski
QUOTE(Redthorn @ May 30 2006, 06:17 PM) [snapback]403664[/snapback]

The excuse the soldiers were given (which some of them apparently didn't even believe) was that the civil war had to be stopped to "stabilize the region for trade." In other words, for the good of the nation -- nationalism. Certainly that was Mustang's reason for being there -- "I'm joining up as a military alchemist because my nation needs me to defend it from threats." No idea why Riza was there given her father's attitude toward the military.

We readers know the war had other purposes, but no one who is actually present there beyond Bradley and his chiefs of staff have any clue about that at the time it happened.

I don't actually think the war would be any "easier" to read about if it weren't for "dark purposes." I don't think the reasons behind genocide make any difference to the horribleness of it.

Oh, see, I missed the part about commerce when I was focusing on how an Ishbalian child was shot which started up a massive rebellion in the area, creating the "Need" to calm it down with force. Excessive force, unfortunately.

And I never said the reasoning somehow made the genocide "Better." Butchery remains the same practice it's always been, in any culture, in any language. I'm asuming Roy joined the military to defend against threats, and was sent to quell the uprising. "Stabilize the region for trade" is a politician's wording.
simargl
QUOTE
Oh, see, I missed the part about commerce when I was focusing on how an Ishbalian child was shot which started up a massive rebellion in the area, creating the "Need" to calm it down with force. Excessive force, unfortunately.


All the "reasons" for the war are starting to confuse me.

1. Religious differences over alchemy.
2. Ishvalan child shot.
3. Interferance from neighbouring countries.
4. Stabilizing the area for trade.

And none of them are the "real" reason - marking a point on the country to make an array.

Are they all just lies to cover up the truth? How many lies do we need? And what makes Ishval so special that it needed so much more military and political effort to destroy than say, Lior, or any of the other points on the array?

Or did the Ishvalans fight back harded than everyone else?

I've got a gut feeling it's got something to do with Ishval's "Warrior Priests".
Sensenic
Thx Redthorn for your thoughts. I cannot give a reply right now, m'afraid happy.gifU Too many things to think about...

In short I can say I agree that it was not the best chapter indeed, but it was very interesting to me.
QUOTE(simargl @ May 31 2006, 10:51 AM) [snapback]403800[/snapback]

QUOTE
Oh, see, I missed the part about commerce when I was focusing on how an Ishbalian child was shot which started up a massive rebellion in the area, creating the "Need" to calm it down with force. Excessive force, unfortunately.


All the "reasons" for the war are starting to confuse me.

1. Religious differences over alchemy.
2. Ishvalan child shot.
3. Interferance from neighbouring countries.
4. Stabilizing the area for trade.

And none of them are the "real" reason - marking a point on the country to make an array.

Are they all just lies to cover up the truth? How many lies do we need? And what makes Ishval so special that it needed so much more military and political effort to destroy than say, Lior, or any of the other points on the array?

Or did the Ishvalans fight back harded than everyone else?

I've got a gut feeling it's got something to do with Ishval's "Warrior Priests".

Let's see...

IIRC, all those you mention are "reasons", but to different things (except one...).
The real reason being making a point to the array was already accomplished. They just need deaths or conflict or whatever... I mean, the only point they're missing is in the North, and in no other case such a big massacre (that we know of) has taken place, let alone the deployment of alchemists...

As I see it:
They needed conflict in the South East, as one of the points, right? Here's Reason 5, the "real" one
There is a land in the South East with a very strict and harsh religion, whose people are even genetically different from Amestrians (dark skin, red eyes)... these differences have ALWAYS been reason for conflicts here and there (as there always are). Here you have Reason 1
So what is needed i the spark to set off the fire... When the army is already considering the possibility of attacking Ishval, Envy disguises as an officer who opposes to it and kills a child. The officer is killed, the Ishvalans, in rage, start a rebellion, and the Amestrian army fights it. There, you have the conflict, the deaths, the South East point for the Amestris circle. Mission Accomplished. And here you got Reason 2

But, ooops, seems those Ishvalans are tough guys... they're making the fight last for years and they're starting to make your military slowly run out of cannon fodder... And you need the military to keep the conflicts already present with the Aerugo and Creta... and the Northern tension with Drachma requires soldiers too...
Plus, one of your generals from the East finds out sth... Aerugo has found out about how the Ishval rebellion is weakening the Amestrian army and therefore provides them with more weapons to help them! (Here's Reason 3) OK, that does it, we'll have to wipe that area clean if we don't want to lose risking too many needed military power on there... What do we do? Well, we send the National Alchemists, because they're supposed to be there for this kind of situations (even if the true reason is to find and secure Human Sacrifice Candidates) and, well, it can also be a good testing ground to see what are they capable of doing, no?

Does it sound good?

And, about "Stabilizing the area for trade", dunno. When did they say that, Redthorn? Me no remember... huh.gif
Keoni
@ Sensenic: Nice explaination biggrin.gif
@ Redthorn: I woudn't worry about ranting happy.gif Personally I prever people who rant like you to people who go: "OMG thatz juzt a reallyreallyreallyreally goodzz Chppie!"
laugh.gif
There's something I'd like to react to though...
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 happy.gif
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"
You must have known this allready. Why does it bother you so much that he killed people then?
As for your mitigating circumstances. There are no such things in a war.

Yes, he is flawed and yes, he did horrible things. But I don't hate him for it. If I did, I'd have to hate my grandfathers and uncles for killing people in the 2nd world war too. thpse things happen. And at least Roy feels bad about it, it would be worse if he didn't care at all.

I don't mean to offend or attack you or anything, I just wanted to give my point of view. smile.gif




Redthorn
QUOTE
And, about "Stabilizing the area for trade", dunno. When did they say that, Redthorn? Me no remember...


Here:

IPB Image

QUOTE
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"
You must have known this allready. Why does it bother you so much that he killed people then?
As for your mitigating circumstances. There are no such things in a war.

Yes, he is flawed and yes, he did horrible things. But I don't hate him for it. If I did, I'd have to hate my grandfathers and uncles for killing people in the 2nd world war too. thpse things happen. And at least Roy feels bad about it, it would be worse if he didn't care at all.


There's a difference between Omaha Beach and My Lai. If members of my family had been on Omaha Beach, I would have been proud. Their opposition were German soldiers, and the objective was military. (The location had also been carefully chosen to minimize civilian involvement.)

If members of my family had been at My Lai, unless they were one of the helicopter crew that tried to stop the massacre of the civilians, I would be completely ashamed of them.

You shoot an enemy soldier, that's sad but necessary.

You burn up non-combatant civilians, especially your own people or the people you're supposed to be trying to help, and you're a monster.

Ergo, Mustang is a monster. He wasn't fighting to protect anything, and he didn't restrict his targets to Ishbalan guerillas. He fried helpless people who were doing nothing more than running for their lives.

What did I expect? Well, I was hoping for two possibilities. One I've already said: That Roy was smart enough to pull a large scale fake-out to make the brass think he killed a bunch of Ishbalans when in fact he didn't. The other was that he would use his alchemy once, then become aware of what he was doing and STOP -- like Armstrong did. Instead he just kept going. And going. And going. Like the goddammed Energizer bunny.

I do believe that there is a distinction between a valid and a non-valid military target in a war. Munitions dump = valid target, and if you're there, you should expect to be attacked. Orphanage = non-valid target.

This is what the Rockbell doctors were counting on -- the fact that their clinic will not be considered a valid military target. Even the Ishbalans Ed met back in the Xerxes desert (Chapter 41) thought what happened at the clinic was shameful, even though their people were being slaughtered indiscriminately.

There ARE distinctions to be made. All battle is not equal, nor are all wars.
#1_alchemist
QUOTE(Lietunant Hawkeye @ May 30 2006, 04:20 PM) [snapback]403620[/snapback]

I am so excited. and it was getting so good.i hope riza and roy make an appearance

Everyone wishes the same thing. smile.gif
Colette
Redthorn brought up some good points on Roy....


But I agree on what Nepharski said about Hughes. He probably wasn't involved in the battle field.
MonsterEnvy
Tsk. I can't believe you're all losing faith in our beloved flame alchemist!

Yes, Roy definitely did some horrible things, but that is the point of this manga. None of the characters are supposed to be morally black or white, but instead in a very greyish sort of zone. I really feel like there will be more to Roy than we see now... however, seeing him making fake bodies seems very out of character. He obviously hates what he is doing, but at the same time seems resigned to it. This chapter was important in helping us understand the horrible experiences of the massacre and how Roy, Riza, Hughes, Armstrong, Marcoh, Knox, and, perhaps most importantly, Kimbley, felt about it. They all reacted somewhat differently, and that's really quite important for the manga as a whole.

Now, after defending the chapter, let's defend Roy.

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. Of course, this is not an excuse for his actions, but it makes Roy not much worse of a person than your average soldier, and a hell of a lot better than someone like Kimbley, who not only enjoyed the massacre, but went out of his way to kill more efficiently and more people.
Nepharski
QUOTE(Redthorn @ May 31 2006, 01:59 PM) [snapback]403960[/snapback]
IPB Image

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?
MonsterEnvy
Was there argument on that point? I thought that your interpretation was apparent...

However, they also wanted more official control of Ishbal. There had been some question as to who actually ruled it, and when Amestris had sort of overextended itself into Ishbal, it made the conditions ripe for a rebellion, which was sparked by the death of the child. After the rebellion was quelled, the region was supposed to be used to trade. However, it's impossible to trade out of a barren desert, which was Mustang's point.
Nepharski
QUOTE(MonsterEnvy @ May 31 2006, 05:35 PM) [snapback]404150[/snapback]

Was there argument on that point? I thought that your interpretation was apparent...

However, they also wanted more official control of Ishbal. There had been some question as to who actually ruled it, and when Amestris had sort of overextended itself into Ishbal, it made the conditions ripe for a rebellion, which was sparked by the death of the child. After the rebellion was quelled, the region was supposed to be used to trade. However, it's impossible to trade out of a barren desert, which was Mustang's point.

Redthorn suggests that the publicly know "Point" of the conflict was for trading purposes, not stamping out an uprising.
Redthorn
QUOTE
Now, after defending the chapter, let's defend Roy.

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. Of course, this is not an excuse for his actions, but it makes Roy not much worse of a person than your average soldier, and a hell of a lot better than someone like Kimbley, who not only enjoyed the massacre, but went out of his way to kill more efficiently and more people.


Saying "Well, at least Roy isn't as bad as Kimbley!" is....a very, very weak defense of the man. Kimbley is not one of our protagonists; we aren't being asked to cheer for him. There is no reason to compare him to Mustang as a character at all -- they serve very different purposes in the story.

And feeling bad because you murdered hundreds of innocent civilians doesn't make them any less dead. It means Roy feels bad, that's all. That makes him pretty typical. But "typical" isn't what I want from my fantasy protagonists. If sounds to me like you're saying, "Hey, Roy did what any normal person would do -- kept his head down, followed orders, killed a lot of people, and felt bad about it afterward. That's normal."

Well, I would dispute that most soldiers would willingly murder hundreds of unarmed and helpless fleeing civilians; I don't actually think that's normal behavior for a soldier. But even if you assume that it is normal -- then it has simply been established that Mustang was a "Good German". And I really don't care about the adventures of the Good Germans. They're typical people, yes. Normal. Uninteresting. Boring. Why is this guy worth my time?

If the best that can be said about Roy Mustang is that he was "not much worse than your average soldier" -- I call that "damning with faint praise." If Armstrong could realize how awful the things he was doing were and try to take action, why can't Mustang? Why is Mustang the protagonist and not Armstrong?

I think I'm beginning to understand why in that character popularity poll, the staff of the manga gave Armstrong "10,000 votes." They knew something about him and his strength of character that we readers hadn't been given insight into yet.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I used to perceive Mustang as a hero, as someone I could respect. Now, he is at best just a typical guilt-ridden guy trying to somehow make amends for the unforgivable, and at worst he's an outright war criminal and ought to be in the cell next to Kimbley. In any case, I just don't respect him.

(And I'm not even touching on the fact that Mustang, like Ed, betrayed his teacher and everything his teacher stood for when he used his alchemy that way. At least Ed only hurt himself and Al (who also participated) when he did that.)

--------------------

This excerpt below is from "A Song for Arbonne" by Guy Gavriel Kaye, because he says it better than I ever could. The character speaking first, Blaise de Garsenc, is set on taking the throne away from the rightful king of his home country because the king has embarked on a religious crusade in a neighboring country and has been, in an interesting parallelism, killing every civilian he can find and in particular burning women alive at the stake.

"This is a seizing of Garsenc Castle from you, brother. I am sorry, but it seems a necessary first step, since you yourself are doing nothing at all. Worse than nothing, actually. I intend to take Gorhaut from Ademar with my own countrymen, and without burning women either."

"I had no choice about that," Ranald said fiercely.

"Not so." It was, surprisingly, Valery of Talair, behind Thaune by the portcullis. He was invisible in the fog, his disembodied voice flat and final as that of some judge at the iron gates of the afterworld. "We can say no and die. It is a choice, my lord of Garsenc. In the face of some things asked of us it is the only choice."
simargl
QUOTE
Let's see...

IIRC, all those you mention are "reasons", but to different things (except one...).
The real reason being making a point to the array was already accomplished. They just need deaths or conflict or whatever... I mean, the only point they're missing is in the North, and in no other case such a big massacre (that we know of) has taken place, let alone the deployment of alchemists...

As I see it:
They needed conflict in the South East, as one of the points, right? Here's Reason 5, the "real" one
There is a land in the South East with a very strict and harsh religion, whose people are even genetically different from Amestrians (dark skin, red eyes)... these differences have ALWAYS been reason for conflicts here and there (as there always are). Here you have Reason 1
So what is needed i the spark to set off the fire... When the army is already considering the possibility of attacking Ishval, Envy disguises as an officer who opposes to it and kills a child. The officer is killed, the Ishvalans, in rage, start a rebellion, and the Amestrian army fights it. There, you have the conflict, the deaths, the South East point for the Amestris circle. Mission Accomplished. And here you got Reason 2

But, ooops, seems those Ishvalans are tough guys... they're making the fight last for years and they're starting to make your military slowly run out of cannon fodder... And you need the military to keep the conflicts already present with the Aerugo and Creta... and the Northern tension with Drachma requires soldiers too...
Plus, one of your generals from the East finds out sth... Aerugo has found out about how the Ishval rebellion is weakening the Amestrian army and therefore provides them with more weapons to help them! (Here's Reason 3) OK, that does it, we'll have to wipe that area clean if we don't want to lose risking too many needed military power on there... What do we do? Well, we send the National Alchemists, because they're supposed to be there for this kind of situations (even if the true reason is to find and secure Human Sacrifice Candidates) and, well, it can also be a good testing ground to see what are they capable of doing, no?

Does it sound good?


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?

It's just my gut reaction. Of course, I have been wrong (many) times in the past...

QUOTE
Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I used to perceive Mustang as a hero, as someone I could respect. Now, he is at best just a typical guilt-ridden guy trying to somehow make amends for the unforgivable, and at worst he's an outright war criminal and ought to be in the cell next to Kimbley. In any case, I just don't respect him.


Although it's obvious Arakawa is a bit "off" with this arc, I going to assume for the time being that she has her reasons for presenting Roy this way. But why?

I keep thinking of how Arakawa keeps linking alchemy to spiritualism. She seems to be hinting that to use alchemy ethically, it must be thought as something sacrad rather than simply as a science. The Xingese get it, the Ishvalans sort of get it(Warrior Priests), Izumi gets it, she taught it to Ed and Al, but they didn't get it until learning the hard way, Sensei Hawkeye got it and he *tried* to teach Mustang, but Roy just doesn't get it.

Perhaps this links back with Riza, and her tattoo that represents "Ultimate Alchemy". Roy doesn't get a glimpse until Hawkeye is convinced he "gets it" - ie he knows the ethical use of alchemy.

It reminds me of Arthurian myth and the story of the Holy Grail. Lancelot was the best knight in the land, but he was barred a glimpse of the Grail because of his sin with Guenivere. Perhaps Roy will face something similar? Until he makes amends for his sins (is that even possible considering what he's done?), he doesn't get the power, and he doesn't get the girl.
Sensenic
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 happy.gifU, 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. (happy.gifU again)

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. smile.gif
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 sad.gif


WARNING: Wall post ensues. tongue.gif

--------------------------------------------
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]
IPB Image

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?

No tongue.gif

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 tongue.gif ) (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.
\( u_u)/

-----------------------------------------
Second, on the boring and disappointing chapter... I found it quite interesting myself... It's true that it had those mistakes sad.gif 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... sad.gif
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 sad.gif ). Ack.
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.

A pity. sad.gif

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 happy.gifU

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 happy.gifU

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! smile.gif ):
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 happy.gif
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 happy.gif)

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 happy.gifU)... 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 sleep.gif), 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 sad.gif 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
simargl
QUOTE
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.


I'm hoping this is where Riza comes in. I've felt since I saw him kill Lust that manga!Roy was a ruthless SOB, and Riza may not just be supporting him in his goal - she may be there to keep him in line and stop him from going power mad.
Nepharski
QUOTE(simargl @ Jun 1 2006, 06:05 PM) [snapback]404601[/snapback]
I'm hoping this is where Riza comes in. I've felt since I saw him kill Lust that manga!Roy was a ruthless SOB, and Riza may not just be supporting him in his goal - she may be there to keep him in line and stop him from going power mad.

Considering Lust was evil and about to take out Al and Riza, and tried to take out Havoc and Roy, as well as untold manipulations and deaths of other peope, as well as the potential for many more, forgive me if I'm less than resentful of his actions against her.
simargl
QUOTE
Considering Lust was evil and about to take out Al and Riza, and tried to take out Havoc and Roy, as well as untold manipulations and deaths of other peope, as well as the potential for many more, forgive me if I'm less than resentful of his actions against her


I'm sure as hell not resentful, but he had his "eyes of a killer" look to him.

He did the right thing by protecting those who needed to be protected. I'm not criticising his actions at all. But can you image anime!Roy doing that?

I haven't seen all the anime yet, but I'm seeing a huge difference in how anime!Roy and manga!Roy have dealt psychologically with the war in Ishbal, and with being a soldier in general. When you compare them, they're like completely different characters. That's why I'm thinking manga!Roy may be heading in a different direction to his anime counterpart.
Nepharski
QUOTE(simargl @ Jun 1 2006, 08:44 PM) [snapback]404697[/snapback]

QUOTE
Considering Lust was evil and about to take out Al and Riza, and tried to take out Havoc and Roy, as well as untold manipulations and deaths of other peope, as well as the potential for many more, forgive me if I'm less than resentful of his actions against her


I'm sure as hell not resentful, but he had his "eyes of a killer" look to him.

He did the right thing by protecting those who needed to be protected. I'm not criticising his actions at all. But can you image anime!Roy doing that?

I haven't seen all the anime yet, but I'm seeing a huge difference in how anime!Roy and manga!Roy have dealt psychologically with the war in Ishbal, and with being a soldier in general. When you compare them, they're like completely different characters. That's why I'm thinking manga!Roy may be heading in a different direction to his anime counterpart.

Sorry. That whole bit about being a ruthless sonnova....kinda threw me off, there.
simargl
QUOTE
Sorry. That whole bit about being a ruthless sonnova....kinda threw me off, there


It's all right. My fault. I didn't really make myself clear.



(Personally, I like him better this way.)
Michiyo-
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Michiyo-
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