Anime aesthetics: Edward and Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist) I don’t think of Equivalent Exchange as a law of the world anymore. I
think of it as a promise, between my brother and me. A promise that
someday, we’ll see each other again.
So I’m rewatching the 2003 series for the first time in years, and from what I can tell, Greed and Kimblee have opened a bar together. Did they, like, get wasted one night and decide that this was a good idea? And now Greed looks genuinely heartbroken as Kimblee betrays him and destroys everything they created together? What is going on?!?! What is this dynamic???
while i'm in rant mode wow so many shounen anime credits focus on the one girl character in the show laying around passively and sexily
it’s ridiculous you’ll be at the credits of a show thats basically all about guys except the credits are like e"LOOK! THE ONE GIRL! LAYING AROUND ATTRACTIVELY! WHILE A LOVE SONG PLAYS! THIS IS THE MOST ATTENTION WE’RE EVER GONNA GIVE HER ENJOY IT!“
I was reminded by this by looking at the Winry tag and being reminded that in the 2003 anime even though the hardly give her any screentime the credits were all her?
but mostly her like….splayed out on the floor or playing with her dog and doing nothing. which is fine, I’m sure Winry hangs out and chills and plays with Den a lot but uh the credits made it seem like "oh yeah we will devote our credits to that one girl in the show we never give any screentime and only show her like, posing or doing "cute” things that’s cool". Like sure Winry’s cute and hangs around the countryside but that’s not all her character is? shouldn’t credits that focus her show all the different sides of her character?
Contrast the FMAB credits that focused on Winry actually showed her DOING WHAT SHE DOES MOST OF THE DAY, building stuff, working as a mechanic, helping people, and also like, talking on the phone, flirting and smiling cutely, getting mad, It actually showed who she was as a character and she was still REALLY cute and attractive. And also, because there was actually more than one important teenage girl character in this show it flipped over to the other girls, got to show May playing with HER pet, and Lanfan standing all dramatically.
what i’m saying is I love the idea of credits devoted to the ladies but actually show them doing stuff and show who they are what their personality is like rather than “oh hey cute girls” plz?
Anime aesthetics: Dante’s Homunculi (Fullmetal Alchemist) Either out of love or foolish curiosity, human
transmutations are attempted. And when these attempts all backfire, a
different life is created. A being that has its own body and mind, but
no soul. That is how the damned are born.
the fma fandom needs to stop labelling shit like ptsd and depression “manpain” or “angst” or “being emo”
(most commonly seen by certain people alleging things about FMA1’s depiction of Roy Mustang - who clearly is suffering from PTSD - and Edward Elric - who is clearly depressed - and how it’s not the same as Brotherhood)
this shit is fucking serious and making fun of it and pretending that it isn’t that bad is exactly what stops real people suffering from this shit from getting help.
furthermore, the fact that these people only bitch about the men being “whiny” reeks of the stupid sexist value that men should “push through” their issues, no matter what shit they’ve seen. Saw your best friend blown to bits in front of you? push through it. Been teased every day of your life? You’re a guy, push through it.
even when they’ve slaughtered countless people or saw some gross twisted form of their “mother” on the floor and had to draw an array in their own blood to save their brother’s soul, apparently they’re just supposed to “push through it” because they're guys.
this is, naturally, discounting the fact that men are actually human beings who are very capable of being psychologically scarred.
this kind of shit that perpetuates these idiotic and sexist values actually prevents people from getting help.
you know what happens to people who don’t get help for PTSD or depression or other psychological disorders?
bad things. like, suicide bad.
male suicide rates are often much higher than female suicide rates. there is a strong correlation between the high rate of male suicides and the lack of support for men suffering from mental illness, especially ones like depression and PTSD which have a long-standing social stigma. (primarily that men with PTSD are “cowards”, an idea that has been perpetuated literally for over a hundred years, although they had different names for PTSD then, aaaand that men with depression should be able to “man up” and get through it)
also, if your main gripe with FMA1 is that your OTP doesn’t get together, that’s totally legitimate!
but don’t throw other characters under the bus and perpetuate extremely terrible and toxic beliefs just so you can champion that your favourite version is “the best” (which is entirely fucking subjective anyway, but whatever).
(oh and before anyone sends me hate or calls me an MRA for pointing out facts: 1. my picture is a very cute spanish/german actor please don’t think it’s actually me i am not as cute or as funny as daniel brühl, 2. i’m a feminist, 3. seriously you’re gonna call me an mra for pointing out that men have higher suicide rates because of societal pressures put upon them to “man up”?? seriously??? please reevaluate your life choices and get off the internet for a while)
Al: Yeah, you helped us and stuff now go away it’s dangerous I guess
Winry: Hey but I-
Ed: STOP TRYING TO IMPACT THE PLOT.
Winry: So, my input is THIS
Ed: rrrght as much as I worry about you being in danger I have learned to respect your input and personal autonomy
Al: Yes Ma'am!
Ed: but I can’t let you-
Winry: Ed stop it.
you should run away
So this isn’t meant to start a “2003 vs original” fight or anything, but make a larger point about how lady characters can be handled in narratives, and I think the difference between how Winry’s handled in the manga and the first anime is just a pretty good illustration of that?
See, I flippantly said that the first anime made it so Winry did nothing during a certain scene that was adapted from the manga and someone was like, that’s not true, and gave me photographic evidence that Winry basically TRIED to say the same things in that scene but Al TALKED OVER HER so he could ANGST some more- and basically Winry continued trying really hard to help after that but kinda wasn’t acknowledged as doing so. And well, that’s true! But I don’t think the 2003 anime should get points for that? It’s like- there’s no such thing as a bad character. I truly believe that. It’s about whether the character is given room to develop and used to their fullest potential. 2003 anime Winry is basically the same character as Manga Winry, only a lot less developed and repeatedly sidelined by the other characters and the narrative itself.
Winry’s character is show TRYING to impact the plot in 2003, but it rebuffed by the other characters and the circumstances the narrative constructs. She saves Ed and Al on a tractor, they tell her to go home. She tries to talk to Al, he talks over her. She tries to talk to Roy about you know, killing her parents, he decides to ignore her and give a speech to Ed and Al instead. She goes on a secret investigation with Sheska and discovers Sloth…it’s completely useless because she can’t warn anyone and Ed and Al find it out on their own. She’s kidnapped the second she enters the narrative and not given the oppurtunity to save herself, she’s made to stand silently and watch the bros fight. She’s not allowed to put her foot down, say it’s my way or the highway and have others listen to her. It’s not that I’m shortchanging Winry’s character in either continuity. It’s that one continuity allows her actions to have impact and the other doesn’t. One narrative respects her and the other doesn’t.
And that’s a larger problem in fiction. A female character can be presented a kickass, proactive lady who tries really hard, but it the narrative refuses to focus on her or let her accomplish things and if the narrative constantly suppresses her or even punishes her when she tries to have a voice- that’s just, really bad. It’s like saying “Girls, don’t try to accomplish anything, the world won’t let you.”
And no, I don’t care if it’s because 2003 focused more on Ed and Al. That’s not an excuse. You can focus on the protagonists without shortchanging other characters. In fact, if Ed and Al exist in a bubble and no one else can impact them or have a role, why the hell do other characters exist at all? And on a personal note, I think 2003 Ed and Al had really circular, self-centered, shaky development precisely because of the “all about them” attitude. How the hell am I supposed to sympathize with an Ed and Al who don’t listen to Winry when she has good advice and treat her like shit?
On a final note, Ed has an entire character arc in the Manga/Brotherhood where he learns not to keep the truth from Winry and to respect her decisions and not coddle her. He goes from keeping from her who killed her parents because he wants to protect her to after discovering this is a hurtful and disrespectful thing to do, telling her immediately when she’s in a hostage situation because he “doesn’t want to betray her by decieving her” and then following her plan to get them all out of the situation because even though he doesn’t like the risks she’s taking, he respects her right to take them and do what she wants with her own life. So basically, Ed has a whole arc where he learns it’s better to respect and listen to the woman you like rather than keep things from her and try to control her in the name of protecting her.
In an anime aimed towards boys, this is a really important lesson to have. The manga is specifically teaching young boys that girls have important input and you should respect and be honest with them and listen to them. It’s a really great and uncommon lesson in a shounen story. But the 2003 never shows anyone learning to listen to women or respect them. The protagonists ignore Winry’s input and keep things from her and sideline her till the end. So boys come away from that thinking what every other shounen manga teaches- “it’s okay to take girls for granted and ignore them and treat them as secondary.”
I was going to say he looked like a kid wearing his dad’s clothes, until I realised that the only male adult clothing likely to be in the Rockbell house would have either belonged to Winry’s dad or Hohenheim…