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Old 2010-06-27, 03:35   Link #2041
karice67
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The message I got through Greed's story was rather apolitical too: "All you need are friends"...

Also, based on the penultimate episode...
Spoiler for for those who haven't seen 63:
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Last edited by karice67; 2010-06-27 at 03:58.
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Old 2010-06-28, 06:55   Link #2042
mechalord
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The author is Japanese. I thought it could be an allegorical take on the politics of asia.

Father could be a representation of modern China. Xerxes would be ancient China. Modern power built on the remant of a former Empire. The souls of the philosopher's stone, the chinese people and chinese culture? The are suppressed by the guy in charge.

Father would be marxist government leaders. He publicly portrays himself as virtuous and without moral equal, a living model of marxist virtues, subduing human nature, working for a greater ideal. But in reality he's the greediest and most selfish person in society. He would be Mao or Lenin? Gets an elite to follow along w/ promises of glory.

Like a totalitarian government, Father injects himself under the entire country, controlling the flow of "energy" the alchemists draw their power from. He also runs the entire government from the chair he uses to control the power of alchemy.

In the end the governments own greed helps bring down its downfall? Human nature wins. Human nature isn't all bad. Even from Greed can come good. Freedom wins out. Capitalism is like the homunculus Greed? In the end, Capitalism will make it all work out because humans not only desire material wealth, they desire human companionship. Greed has a limit and will seek out balance.
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Old 2010-06-28, 07:21   Link #2043
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I don't know if all these political allegories are all that spot on. Nonetheless, I really do not want to open that particular can of worms...
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Old 2010-06-28, 18:21   Link #2044
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Feels like a stretch. In any case, my stand on that is if it isn't obvious to most, it probably isn't true
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Old 2010-06-29, 01:29   Link #2045
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The only IRL country I can see allegorically represented here is Nazi Germany, represented by the totalitarian military leadership of Amestris, complete with the attempted racial genocide. But there are plenty of holes in that comparison. She may have taken some of the trappings of Nazi Germany to represent Amestris (certainly the official translation of "daisoutou" to "Fuhrer", when there are other legitimate alternatives), but I don't think any full-on allegory was intended.

And of course Xing = China. It's very obviously an Eastern counterpart to Amestris' Western culture, and certainly appears more Chinese than Japanese (or Korean, etc.) to me... Plus, what little Xingese writing we see over the course of the series is all kanji (hanzi), with no kana.
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Old 2010-06-29, 22:28   Link #2046
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechalord View Post
The author is Japanese. I thought it could be an allegorical take on the politics of asia.

Father could be a representation of modern China. Xerxes would be ancient China. Modern power built on the remant of a former Empire. The souls of the philosopher's stone, the chinese people and chinese culture? The are suppressed by the guy in charge.

Father would be marxist government leaders. He publicly portrays himself as virtuous and without moral equal, a living model of marxist virtues, subduing human nature, working for a greater ideal. But in reality he's the greediest and most selfish person in society. He would be Mao or Lenin? Gets an elite to follow along w/ promises of glory.

Like a totalitarian government, Father injects himself under the entire country, controlling the flow of "energy" the alchemists draw their power from. He also runs the entire government from the chair he uses to control the power of alchemy.

In the end the governments own greed helps bring down its downfall? Human nature wins. Human nature isn't all bad. Even from Greed can come good. Freedom wins out. Capitalism is like the homunculus Greed? In the end, Capitalism will make it all work out because humans not only desire material wealth, they desire human companionship. Greed has a limit and will seek out balance.
I think you are reading this way too deep, it's just a story.
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Old 2010-06-29, 22:58   Link #2047
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Originally Posted by omimon View Post
I think you are reading this way too deep, it's just a story.
While there certainly are people who try to bullheadedly read something into every little thing that happens in every story, even when there's clearly nothing there (...the right half of that transmutation circle back in page 7 of chapter 46 is a clear analogy to the Prussian Artistic Revolution of 1476...) I don't think that's the case here. While I don't personally think there are any hard analogies anywhere in her work, there are a number of allusions here and there, so there's no need to obstruct discussion.

Or at least wait until the navel-gazing becomes untenable... ^_^
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Old 2010-07-01, 05:36   Link #2048
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If there is anything allegorical about FMA, I believe it's over-confidence of artificial power and not believing in one's self.
If you replace transmutation into money in a way I believe the story still makes sense.
You can't buy real friendship and you cannot really change fate no matter how much you're willing to pay.
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Old 2010-07-01, 10:43   Link #2049
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
If there is anything allegorical about FMA, I believe it's over-confidence of artificial power and not believing in one's self.
If you replace transmutation into money in a way I believe the story still makes sense.
You can't buy real friendship and you cannot really change fate no matter how much you're willing to pay.
That's an interesting metaphor. I actually thought of alchemy akin to technology today. I think we rely too much on technology and you know when it comes down to it we really can't do much with our own intelligence and abilities anymore.

I also think technology has taken away from interaction and reliance on other human beings.

By Ed giving up alchemy he is forced to rely on himself and his friends. But through giving up alchemy he is able to learn more about the world around him since now he has to take the time.
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Old 2010-07-04, 06:04   Link #2050
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the world they live in is technologically advanced in context.y.

Their communication and transportation seem to be straight out of the early 1900s but some other stuff is extremely advanced. Their biomedical engineering, medicine, and bionics seem to be more advanced than anything in the real world.. It's somewhat funny that they have bionics which can interface with a human nervous system but lack computers and air travel. The manga falls into the dieselpunk genre.


Alchemy is not a metaphor for technology in the series. Technology is portrayed as a part of average life, a necessity. The protagonist has a bionic arm and leg through most of the series.
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Old 2010-07-04, 08:49   Link #2051
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechalord View Post
the world they live in is technologically advanced in context.y.

Their communication and transportation seem to be straight out of the early 1900s but some other stuff is extremely advanced. Their biomedical engineering, medicine, and bionics seem to be more advanced than anything in the real world.. It's somewhat funny that they have bionics which can interface with a human nervous system but lack computers and air travel. The manga falls into the dieselpunk genre.


Alchemy is not a metaphor for technology in the series. Technology is portrayed as a part of average life, a necessity. The protagonist has a bionic arm and leg through most of the series.
Well first of all I am not necessarily saying this is precisely what Arakawa was trying to say but I still see a parallel with alchemy & over dependence on technology. Ed compared alchemy to a science after all.

I also don't think alchemy or technology is automatically bad and yes good comes from it. But over dependence on it can be a bad thing.

And no I am not saying that alchemy is the only form of technology the FMA world has. I was looking at a theme not a straight comparison of something from this world and their world.

Another similar story I can think of is the bible story of the Tower of Babel. God made everyone speak a different language when they tried to build a tower to get close to God. This sort of reminds me of the reason Truth took something away from the humans who performed human transmutation (but no I don't think Truth is akin to the Judeo-Christian God).
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Old 2010-07-04, 16:14   Link #2052
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You know I think it's fine that everyone has their own interpretations.

I for one (from when I watched the first series on) always saw many parallels between human transmutation and genetic engineering. What is the definition of a human is a question that often pops up in the series and in discussions over experiments on fetuses.
What is impossible? Bringing back the dead is, but changing genes or creating chimeras isn't.
What should we refrain from doing even when it's possible? Just because the science gives us the means to do something, shouldn't our ethics set limits to what is right? Specially, the case of Nina enforced that impression on me.

But it's only one interpretation on only one of the aspects of the series. And I think it's part of it's beauty :3
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Old 2010-07-04, 19:21   Link #2053
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Opening doors or gates when they shouldn't... Playing 'God' or even daring to become one... It should be a familiar story by now.

Full Metal Alchemist is the classic story of human beings "going too far" for selfish misplaced ideals, and without giving a damn of the consequences. Even Father's story is ironically a human one.
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Old 2010-07-05, 03:36   Link #2054
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Yeah, it doesn't seem like creating a philosopher's stone opens the gate either. Only when you play god and try the impossible you open the door. Like kujoe put it - going too far.
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Old 2010-07-05, 04:54   Link #2055
mechalord
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Al opened the gate a few times, at will, after the first one. He crossed the gate when he teleported Ling and himself out of Gluttony. Ed pretty much says he is going through the gate. Teleportation relies on a loophole to equivalent exchange. You destroy one human to rebuild him equally as he or she is on the other side.

Father teleported all of the "sacrifices" to his room without going into the white room but pulling them through the gate.



Going through the gate is not that hard. It's getting out of the white room where you can see your gate that's a bit tricky.
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Old 2010-07-05, 05:40   Link #2056
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Way I see it, any transmutation that involves calling a soul "back" opens the Gate and takes a "toll". Ed and Al during the attempt to revive Tricia, (possibly) Ed again to bring back Al (although we didn't see it), and Izumi with her child. Also, if one knows how to open the Gate, they can open it under the right circumstances. Father and Hoho in Xerxes, Ed to get out of Gluttony, Pride and Mustang (using Goldtooth's knowledge) under Central, and of course Ed again to give up alchemy and get back Al. One's "first time", so to speak, may have to involve actual human transmutation and the toll (Father's body for Hoho, whatever Goldtooth became for Mustang, and Xerxian souls and Mustang's sight, respectively, for the tolls).

The pinning of souls to armor is a question mark for me. Chimeras (Tucker style) I can see avoiding the Gate, since it's a melding of things present, but soul affixing is real soul alchemy, manipulation of souls separate from the body, having much more in common with the kind of alchemy that got Izumi and the boys in all that trouble than anything else we've seen. It should open the Gate as well, you'd think. Of course, we don't know who actually affixed Barry and the Slicer brothers. It could have been Father, who had obviously already opened the Gate. It could have been Goldtooth, but usage of a Stone may preclude needing to open the gate (since the Stone pays the toll). Or it could have been some other nameless alchemist who either died during the attempt or later in one of the Human sacrifice "test runs" Father may have needed to perfect his plan...
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Old 2010-07-05, 06:53   Link #2057
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I think you are reading this way too deep, it's just a story.
All the best stories have a meaning behind them, and FMA is one of the best!

Its interesting to see what other people took as away from it. There's alot of morality and philosophy shown & discussed by the characters. FMA did make me think, which I LOVE from a narrative.

The only political message that I seemed clear to me was the similarites between Ishval & real world's Middle east.
Considering Armestris is frequently refered to as the west (& the Armestris characters being Aryan in appearence) & Xing as the east (with the characters being clearly Asian), and Ishval is right in between (that & along with the racial similarities of the Ishvalian people & those from the middle east...on top of the religious fundamentism).
I thought the Ishval massacare reflects the Wests invasion of Iraq (and now Afghanistan), especially considering the after effects on the returning soldiers (many have commited suicide after returning home & expressed guild over their actions, which FMA touches on with Mustang & co)
Not a happy issue, but interesting.
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Old 2010-07-05, 08:12   Link #2058
Kirarakim
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The only political message that I seemed clear to me was the similarites between Ishval & real world's Middle east.
Considering Armestris is frequently refered to as the west (& the Armestris characters being Aryan in appearence) & Xing as the east (with the characters being clearly Asian), and Ishval is right in between (that & along with the racial similarities of the Ishvalian people & those from the middle east...on top of the religious fundamentism).
I thought the Ishval massacare reflects the Wests invasion of Iraq (and now Afghanistan), especially considering the after effects on the returning soldiers (many have commited suicide after returning home & expressed guild over their actions, which FMA touches on with Mustang & co)
Not a happy issue, but interesting.
Although I think you can certainly see parallels to the Ishval Massacre in many real life wars/genocides I don't think Arakawa had one specific example in mind.

Although she did compare the Ishvalans to the Ainu not anyone from the Middle East.
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Old 2010-08-07, 09:34   Link #2059
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Looks like we're getting another chapter. Maybe more?

http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=252736
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Old 2010-08-07, 10:55   Link #2060
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"Hagaren Summer time"? Sounds good. More FMA is always good, either way.
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