Just rewatched the FMA trailer… Gracia is pregnant in the photo which is obviousely from THAT scene… I’m crying… They better not have changed the timeline… Hughes can’t die before he actually gets to be a dad…
Okay, so a few people have shown interest in hearing an unpopular fma, so here goes: Hohenheim was not a good father. Now, before anyone immediately disagrees, I’d ask you to please hear me out, because I do have a real argument for this, and it isn’t just a post bashing Hohenheim. (And this analysis will be talking about fmab Hohenheim, because there’d be a whole lot more to say about 03 Hohenheim)
Before I say anything else, I’d like to start by saying that I like Hohenheim as a character. The way he was written was compelling, and he added so much to the plot and development of other characters. He tries his best to be a good person, and at heart, just wants to do what’s best for the people around him. And there’s absolutely no doubt that he loved his wife and two sons more than anything else in the world. And I’ve seen people argue that that fact alone makes him a great parent. However… that doesn’t automatically make him a great father, or even a good one.
Loving your child is not the only requirement of a parent. Being a good parent requires you to be there for your kid, to encourage them, to help shape the kind of person they are. It requires being an active presence in your child’s life. And Hohenheim just didn’t have that. He left his wife and two kids at home when both Ed and Al were toddlers, and went off to travel. I understand why he had to leave, and I’m not saying this wasn’t something important. But the fact of the matter is that he left his home, and he didn’t return, didn’t even spare the time for a simple phone call for over ten years. Ten years. And he didn’t even bother calling his family to check in on them. I probably wouldn’t even be making this post if he decided to give Trisha a phone call every couple of days and talk to the boys.
He found out about his wife’s death ten years after it happened. He had no idea one of his sons became a state alchemist until three years after the fact. He just wasn’t there for so much of his sons’ lives, to the point where Ed doesn’t even recognize him as his dad anymore. Hohenheim didn’t fulfill any of the duties a father is typically supposed to fulfill, and he wasn’t there for his children at a time when they needed him most and were left on their own. Had he been at home with Ed and Al, their human transmutation attempt might not have even happened! They lived by themselves for ten years only loosely supervised by Pinako, then Izumi, then nobody.
When Hohenheim did decide to return to Resembool after ten years, there’s no doubt in my mind that he was ecstatic at the prospect of seeing his family. He obviously loved them immensely, and that love and need to protect them was one of his main reasons for leaving in the first place. But he returned to a burned down home and two broken sons (one if you count the fact that Hohenheim only met up with Al muuuuch later on in the series then Ed). This was a direct result of his bad parenting because had he been there for Ed and Al, had he been active in their lives, there would have been so much less tragedy.
Someone could argue that when Hohenheim came back for the Promised Day, he was there at a time when his sons needed him most… but what about all the other times? What about the night Ed and Al attempted human transmutation? What about Ed’s painful automail recovery? What about the time when Ed decided to become a state alchemist? Being there for one huge moment of your child’s life and helping them then doesn’t redeem you for leaving them to their own devices for over ten years without a word. He played a minimal role in raising his kids in the couple years he did stay at home with them, then left them to grow up on their own without a dad.
Hohenheim was a good person, and he loved his family so much, but like I said earlier, love alone doesn’t make you a good parent. It requires playing an active role in raising your children, and let’s face it: Hohenheim couldn’t do that.
Hohenheim, in canon: So you’re Greed, you say? Ah yes, you’re the evil creation of my blood-brother homunculus monster who slaughtered everyone I held dear and is currently planning to slaughter everyone again, but on a 100x larger scale. I met your brother Pride recently. He tried to murder me. You’re the one who’s been dad-ing my son lately? Thanks for that. Doing me a real solid here. I haven’t had much time for dad-ing lately. Ed needs the guidance, and the exercise. Btw I’m not even going to ask if you’re evil or not since that seems rude. I just trust you. Your siblings have killed thousands. Please take good care of my son.
Compared to the favorite male character choice, this one was a piece of cake. Riza is hands down my favorite because she is a badass woman who doesn’t need no man, but sticks beside her idiot colonel because he’s her idiot colonel dammit I will go down with this ship.