“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, after years part 3/3
When I look at the Brotherhood from the perspective of the whole series, I instinctively think of him as the best shonen-battle-manga. I finished watching this anime some time ago, so I could look at it from a proper distance. I keep my words from previous FMA texts - Arakawa has made a manga without errors. The series is completely consistent and at the same time surprisingly consistent in its assumptions.
Fullmetal Alchemist additionally benefits from the fact that Arakawa has changed, like King Midas, the ills of many battlefield players into advantages. It's about not killing opponents and the so-called friend no jutsu, nakama power, friendship is magic and the like. Many authors sometimes resort to a hackneyed, sometimes emotionless way, or completely out of it. The actions of the Elric brothers were motivated in a rational and understandable way for readers. This is not due to some messianic reasons, as is the case in several popular series. The desire to help comes straight from their hearts, they have experienced a lot of suffering in life and have learned the taste of loss too well.
The author not only accumulated all the important characters in one place but also created one of the best endings in the history of this type of manga. Apart from some less interesting threads, such as the fight of immortal soldiers with Scar, Ed, and the rest of the group, each episode is overloaded with great moments. If I wanted to write about everything that I liked, then the text would be unbelievably long, so I will limit myself only to what caught my attention the most.
Maybe I will start with very well written relations between the Elric brothers and their father. Arakawa throughout the comic brilliantly built their turbulent relationships, showing here and the flashbacks of their few meetings. Watching the same events, but observed from a different perspective, we notice a completely different context of the scene. I was just captivated when a lovely couple had to split up. Thanks to the second flashback, the brothers' father does not look at such a cool bastard as it was seen from the perspective of children. The author excellently presented on the example of Hohenheim and his sons that through emotions and our current state, we can draw wrong conclusions and make a bad judgment. Then, in an equally natural way, she answered Hohenheim's doubts and finally settled accounts with the past and reconciled with the children.
Before it happens, however, we will have several episodes filled to the brim with pure awesomeness. Their number is overwhelming (I don't know anime that would keep me in suspense for so long), not to mention the content. You can see the difference in the comic drawn by a woman and a man. The FMA author watches over these small, subtle details that many males simply don't pay attention to. It complements the character and emotions of the characters through appropriate facial expressions, body language, and apt, extremely vital texts. When I look at Wrath or Roy, when he doesn't hold back, I feel pure fury emanating from them. When I recall Winry and Ed's accounts, I have nothing to complain about, he is natural to the very end. When I think about characters, I don't have anything to fault. All of them behave as they should and there are no bizarre character changes, as in some Shounen Jump manga.
Homunculus deserves a separate, longer discussion, which has a significant share in the last several episodes. I will start with Wrath, who in my opinion is one of the best badass in M&A history. Bradley is simply an uncontrollable, fucking element causing destruction. He was not moved by the bombing, he was not discouraged by the long distance to the base. The tank did not stop him, his opponents were not able to defeat him in a 1 in 1 fight. The guy went through relative obstacles through all obstacles, like a hot knife in butter. Each scene with his participation is authentic gold. Only Scar was able to fight with him more dignified, although I'm not sure of his victory if Furer was in better shape. I will say more, I find it quite doubtful because he was close to defeating Ishval, and if he was in better shape he could win.
Greed-Yao did not cope so well with his friend, but he made upon other matters. The relationship between the embodiment of greed and the prince was one of the most interesting in the whole series. They felt mutual respect, exchanged experience, and complement each other perfectly, not only on the battlefield. This is not the forefront when it comes to the "distribution of strength" in the FMA, but watching their fights is pure pleasure. When Greed was dying I felt involuntary sadness. The guy was angry, but he had his "villain's honor" understood in his own twisted way. I like "feisty shoes, with a note of good in my heart", like Greed or Vegeta from Namek.
In the end Pride is my second favorite Homunculus. The author perfectly depicted his character using text and drawings. Similarly to the rest of the brothers, he behaves like the embodiment of his sin and manifests the qualities that we associate with pride. For example, feeling superior to others, excessive self-confidence, which can often be fatal or makes it easier to rationalize e.g. murders, or growing rage when someone irritates his ego. Pride often speaks with an arrogant, dismissive, very confident tone, and the movements of his shadow remind me of moving a predator. This was best seen when he devoured Gluttony and during his meeting with Hohenheim. It was simply a wonderful sight, when the blond man stuck invisible needles straight into Pride's most sensitive point, and he was trembling and fighting his temptations not to shorten his uncle's head. What I am saying was trembling, an understatement, he was seething with pure fury and murder in his eyes, imagining himself as gutting Hohenheim in hundreds of different ways. No less liked the scene with the absorption of Glutonny, against the will of the person concerned. The fat horror, the total lack of respect and emotions on the part of the older brother, and the reactions of the rest built the right mood of "horror".
Sloth is a bull's eye when it comes to creation, a great shot of the essence of the sin of laziness. When he fought with the Armstrong siblings, I often thought to myself - damn, the type is really capable, if he wasn't so lazy, he could be stronger than Wrath and Pride. I'm not kidding, the guy was beating with very solid warriors and if he had a little more luck and reason, he would calmly massacre them all. Arakawa perfectly showed his power on the example of the above Armstrongs. Sloth speed was shown as the best blows in "Dragon Ball". You can feel a lot of strength and superhuman dexterity in it. While a brother will have a moment of doubt, it will frighten Olivia, the devil embodied in female, extremely bitchy skin, it is a real feat! Anyway, not only Homunculus shocked her. The major, despite some behaviors, is surprisingly strong, resilient, and clever. If he were a bit stronger and would fight Wrath "to the death", he would not be in a losing position.
As much as I admire Wrath, Pride, and Greed-Yao, so Envy is one of the best things Arakawa has come up with. I have never seen such an excellent thread of this type and I am talking about all art or pop-culture here. The moment when Envy realized that her existence is shit worth and that everyone generally has her ass is simply brilliant! Her last jerk, an inept attempt to convince herself that anyone cares, what she has to say to the world, the desire to camouflage her weaknesses with someone else's vices, just to make any contact ... Well, it's a masterpiece, I'm not surprised at Envy, it was a blow straight into the very heart and total destruction of her world, which was based on sheer jealousy and muddy foundations.
As for the final segment of the whole story, this one is perfect. I don't think even the invasion of the palace at HxH was as exciting to me as the military coup at Central. There is nothing to crumble on listing the single best scenes, so let me just say briefly - the one, let's call it conventionally "arc", is epic as a whole. Each of the characters who take part in the finals has a part with it. Sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, but she had some input in dealing with the Father. And here you could feel the meticulousness of Arakawa when it comes to the smallest details. The coup itself is so well carried out that I melted over Olivia Armstrong's command skills. He still makes very good and apt decisions, he skilfully uses his soldiers to spread chaos and information noise. Once again, you can feel that the author contributed to research and properly transferred the effects of this to comic books.
This is only an introduction to the last segment of the final. This is a unique cluster of great fights, memorable for a long time, as well as the devilishly atmospheric part of the Brotherhood. Instead of focusing on each of them, I'll summarize it quite briefly - everything is awesome here and I wouldn't change anything. In the past, I was only disturbed by the final fight with my father, but this time she didn't bother me at all. I saw the finals, which suited me better, but basically, I have nothing to fault. There were so many "emotional bombs" in the form of the fight of the sacrifice of Greed, the fight of Scar and Bradley, as well as the Father with human sacrifices and a whole host of others, that I could stop for a few offenses.
The ending of the comic is just good. No fireworks, no surprises, we got what you could guess at all. Edek and Al separate and go to explore the world and help others, Amestris received new, better power, Hohenheim could die alone. In one sentence - everything ended well. It will be difficult for me to get to know a better battle fighter. I'm afraid that FMA may be such a one-time shot because it will be difficult to find another so good mangaka who will plan it well and think it over and then draw it.