Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 59 – Blinded by the Light

In a result that honestly shocked me, I prevailed against Blogsuki in the second round of the Aniblog Tourney. I have no doubt that if Jason took this whole thing seriously and mobilized his voters, he would have trounced me (not that I would be too upset; he’s been at this for years — I can only hope for that sort of longevity!); however, I nonetheless appreciate the support from everyone who reads this site. I try my best to provide writing that is of interest to people, so I suppose I am doing something right! Anyway, enough of that. On to the non-self-congratulatory part of this post people actually care about.

Probably nobody actually expected Mustang to willingly go through human transmutation. A little subtle touch that is nice is that BONES doesn’t make a big deal about showing Hawkeye signaling Mustang to let him know backup is on the way; I didn’t even go back to see if she actually does wink to Mustang, because it doesn’t really matter. The action is something only the two of them should notice — if anything, Hawkeye should wink while the camera is focused on Mustang. Some things are meant to be shared by as few people as possible.

But of course Mustang is hijacked by the Homunculi and forced to “perform” human transmutation anyway. The result is a not-so-subtle jab at the inherent unfairness of the world, and the role God — the Truth — plays in it. (I should probably note that I am an atheist, but mostly because I find it difficult to believe in any sort of higher power. There wasn’t any singular event or series of events that drove me away from religion.) From a storytelling standpoint, what I get from Mustang’s sight being taken away boils down to the Truth being an asshole. That’s basically it. The world is often a cruel, bleak place, and if people are looking to God to place a Band-Aid on the planet and make everything all better, then they had better wake up and look elsewhere.

That disconnect between God as a perfect being and His imperfect, often unjust world is one of the most interesting things about Christianity to me, because I expect it would be one of the more difficult to reconcile for a believer. (But my Christian friends would be able to elucidate on that far better than I ever could.) I will say, however, that I never really liked the mindset of blaming God for everything. It strikes me as a view that takes away far too much responsibility away from mankind — that our wills and destinies are essentially out of our hands. This is not true. If the world is unjust, then it should be our goal to make it just rather than pointing fingers. And, really, that’s what Fullmetal Alchemist is all about.

Whether a God exists, and whether He is ultimately just is beside the point to these characters. They know only one way: To move forward as best they can, to make do as much as possible no matter what cruelties the world throws their way. Ed and Al screw up at the beginning of the series — sinned, if you want to call it that — by fucking with forces people just cannot touch. Was there a Reason — a Purpose — to their mother’s death? None that I would be able to understand. But as they go along in their journey, they realize that no matter how cruel the past is, and no matter how impossible it is to change the past, it doesn’t mean the future has to be as unforgiving.

It’s a completely shounen message — probably incredibly trite depending on who you are — but that doesn’t make it a load of shit. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say Mustang keeps moving forward and fights despite his blindness, and that Ed and company give him as much support as possible. Life is tough; it is cruel; it is unfair. But it’s ours. Once we lose control, it isn’t really a life at all.

The episode itself is pretty good. Gold-Toothed Scientist meets an end befitting of his assholery. Mustang’s blindness was a big, “Oh no!” when I first read that part in the manga, but I’m hoping he doesn’t get his sight back, because that would go against just about every message the series espouses. What I’m really hyped about, though, is Scar vs. The Wrathinator. This is where Wrath will show why he is the best Homunculus. Even while mortally wounded in multiple places (and probably infected by that dirty sewer water, yuck), Wrath is still ready, willing and able to take on a badass like Scar. Heaven or hell, let’s rock.

14 Responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 59 – Blinded by the Light”

  1. Scar vs Wrath looks baaaannnngginnnn.

    Personally, I love Wrath (along with almost every other character in this show). He may be a bad guy, but he’s got honor, at least when he’s fighting. Plus he’s old, and there’s nothing more awesome than an old guy kicking ass.

    • Wrath and Greed are my favorite Homunculi because, along with being generally badass, they also have that touch of humanity to them, which makes them more interesting, especially since it manifests itself differently in both of them. Wrath had a pretty shitty human life, so he doesn’t like them, and yet there are still little things here and there that connect him with humans (such as the honor you bring up); Greed, on the other hand, seems to identify with humans a great deal, particularly since he is bonded with a human right now, haha.

  2. Wow you beat out Jason, congrats!!!

    Riza didn’t actually wink at him as much as she glanced up (probably at Jerso). You can see Roy glancing up after that as well as he realizes what’s about to happen. I didn’t realize that this was actually a ‘signal’ last episode though, I thought it was their way of showing Riza ‘dying’ by having her eyes roll back into her head.

    • fathomlessblue Says:

      The scene was done slightly different in the manga. Here you see Riza glance up to tell Mustang help has arrived so he stalls and says he won’t do human transmution. In the manga she give him a strong glare (silently telling him not to go through with it) so he doesn’t. I thought the was cheapened a bit with Roy going from someone who would allow a loved one to die for the greater good to the lines being used as a diversion.

      It was weird that Wrath later uses the same manga lines abut being surprised that Roy would let her die when in the anime the scene doesn’t suggest that at all

      • They didn’t do away with that part completely, actually. Roy mentions that she was glaring at him as if threatening to bust a cap in his ass if he did it. The fact that they knew reinforcements were coming was new, though.

  3. fathomlessblue Says:

    I had a real good chuckle watching this ep. After all that talk a few posts back about Wrath being a grizzled old man of the classic western variety and what does he give us: a mexican square-off/showdown scene with Scar. Fantasic!

  4. Pride > Wrath

    As awesome as Wrath is, I couldn’t help but give a little cheer when Pride entered the scene again. Although I think I’d still take the original series Greed as being my favourite homunculus…but who talks about the first series anymore anyway~

    • Clinton Says:

      umm Greed has the same personlity in this series so he is better then the Greed in the first seires (plus he lives longer)

    • Pride is a little creeper, and I definitely want to see him lose more than Wrath, but Wrath is cooler. Wrath is also WAY better in this series than in the first FMA.

  5. BigFire Says:

    For those of you thinking what price Pride paid for doing human transmutation, you’ll noticed that the skin on his face is flaking out… One thing homunculus has over normal human is their regeneration. and his just got donated to the cause.

  6. *Looks left*

    *Looks right*

    Miao’s a crap blogger, you deserved to win.

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