you know what the fact people nag me for hating on 2003 when i wasn't even makes me want to actually hate on 2003
and by hate i mean critically analyze how they just didn’t give a shit about winry’s character arc
SURPRISE GUYS I REALLY LOVE WINRY ROCKBELL. so i’m gonna want to talk about the narrative I believe screwed her over.
and the Scar episodes are coming up on FMAB and it made me think about how 2003 could not be bothered to devote much time to Winry’s pain. at all.
okay lets talk about Winry’s whole deal with Roy in 2003
or complete lack of deal
Not only do Ed and Al just…not care at all about what happened to Winry’s parents and don’t face any consequences about not really letting her in the loop at all, there’s the fact FMA 2003 had Winry have this huge non-reaction about it.
Like THIS DUDE KILLED HER PARENTS!!! but all it takes is going and finding out Hughes was his friend, and she…decides not to confront him?
Like how does that make any sense? Why isn’t Winry allowed to seek justice? To be angry? to actually work through her issues? Why are they magically resolved? She actually avoids him. How on any level does this make sense for Winry’s character. Wouldn’t she want to judge Roy for herself? Wouldn’t she want to ask him how he felt, how could he?
It’s not like 2003 Winry did not share manga Winry’s traits of being brash, direct, temperamental and curious. Winry is not the type of person to avoid confrontation, to not seek answers. Why would 2003 just have her magically know Roy is a good person? She says she feels like she respects him DESPITE NOT EVER HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH HIM. She just magically knows Roy is a good dude. Her only basis for this is that Hughes was his friend? so what? Maybe Roy just hid his misdeeds from Hughes? Why would this be all Winry needed? why does she have to somehow smoothly be okay with Roy, why can’t the anime let her react like a normal person and want to tear him apart?
The answer is because the 2003 anime cared way more about Roy’s pain than Winry’s pain, and they did not want Winry’s pain to share any screentime with Roy, ever. All Winry’s pain was meant to do was reinforce that Roy has it so hard, but he’s really a good guy! Even the girl he orphaned inexplicably respects him! That’s why we don’t see Winry’s parents alive and well, just have them be prop corpsees for Roy to freak out over. That’s why Winry sings Roy’s praises despite the fact HE IS HER PARENT’S MURDERER and SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HIM. That’s why we don’t get a scene where she points a gun at Roy and asks him to give her parents back. Because that would require Roy to actually have to explain himself to Winry directly, to actually be at her mercy, for her to actually have any power over him- for her narrative to be privileged over Roy’s for one split second and 2003 can’t have this.
The closest we get to confrontation is when Roy has Winry handcuffed and lead behind him and refuses to talk to her- yeah, not only does he rob her of her family, he robs her of her agency and right to confront them. It fucking infuriates me when I see the gif of Winry saying “like you killed my parents, Roy?” (in a ~somewhat angry voice~ because yeah, you’d only be mildly pissed at the dude who orphaned you sure) and Riza gets between them. FUCK OFF RIZA (2003 actually made me say these words omg. yah pitting ladies against each other awesome) Winry has every right to confront him over this and he has the obligation to turn, look her in the eye, and answer her.
no. 2003 decides it’s way more important for him to make a speech to Ed and Al about why he decided to atone. because god forbid one moment of 2003 not be about Ed Al and Roy. God forbid he actually explain himself and apologize to Winry, the one he owes and explanation, god forbid we hear HER rage at Roy and demand answers. Nope, let’s just have him explain it to the boys while Winry bears silent witness, totally fine with the fact this guy won’t even bother to look her in the eye and tell her this shit directly.
None of this is for her character development. Winry doesn’t change significantly, this doesn’t let us know something new about her or give her any self realization, much less any agency. Winry’s arc with scar in the manga culminates with her realizing her self worth and escaping her captors. Her “arc”, if you could call it that, with Roy, leaves her handcuffed at Roy’s mercy, silently watching his back as he yells at Ed and Al about how he’s gonna be fuhrer. Yep, even though he orphaned her, Winry is just used to prop up Roy’s narrative.
This is what makes the manga so amazing to me I guess. Winry’s arc is actually about her, about her development, her feelings explored and she never plays second fiddle even though Scar’s side of the story is told. She gets to be angry, she gets to confront, she gets to have the killer at her mercy and choose what to do about it. Ed and Al take a backseat, literally back off, and let her have that moment be about her.And her decision defines her character.
This shouldn’t be amazing. But it is, because 2003 is proof that it is so, so easy for a narrative to just refuse to give a female character that kind of agency and individual arc.