seriously how fucking impressive is it that what happened to Nina is treated as one of the most horrifying and traumatic things that happened to Ed, something he can’t help but remember every few chapters? That we get all these heartwrenching callbacks? He doesn’t EVER get over her or forget her. It’s not that he constantly angsts over it either, it’s just something that seriously impacted him, the horror of what happened is something he tries not to think about but is sometimes forced to think about.
Anything connected with her triggers flashbacks that freeze him in his tracks. I just have to say it again and again- so many narratives would just have had Nina be shock value, forget about it after a couple episodes of angsting, and have Ed stop being angry and upset over it since he has “bigger” traumas, re: his mom and his brother. She’s just some little girl he knew for a week, right? 2003 even had him just casually allow Tucker to walk around free, like the what Tucker did to Nina was something he could just drop.
But no, what happened to Nina was sick and gross and unfair and showed Ed the truly horrible things alchemy does to innocents. And he can’t just let her go. She deserves to be remembered. Which is why even in the very last chapter, Ed and Al bring up that they want to help people like Nina. They want to stop another Nina from ever happening. They want to do right by her. The entire narrative they never stop remembering and mourning and caring about Nina, and they do it without being endlessly dour about it and the horrificness of what happened to her is never lost and that is just amazing and something so few narratives do- have multiple character deaths, multiple horrifying events, but every single one is treated respectfully and never forgotten and always important to the plot. Hiromu Arakawa does not do deaths just for cheap shock value. If she does them, she will damned well make it necessary and important and integral to the plot and development of everyone remaining.