Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa

Chad pointed out yesterday that we were coming up on a year of not-watching the Fullmetal Alchemist movie. As he was quite right, we popped it in the DVD player.

Short version: didn't suck, but really should have been several episodes, not a movie.

Long version:

I really liked the ending, both the moment when I thought they were going to be separated again, permanently, for the good of the worlds—angst! arising from personal growth and the choice to do the right thing!—and when Al showed up and said, "Duh, Mustang's an alchemist too!" (Did Ed used to be hypnotized by the hard choices, or is this part of the way he was damaged?)

The use of our world's history was kind of weird. On one hand, the movie got good tension from the building of support for the Nazis. On the other, history in the specific instance of the Beer Hall Putsch ends up unchanged. I think we're supposed to think that the victory is in (1) keeping alchemy from bringing extra weapons to bear (except it wouldn't have even if Ed hadn't done anything) and (2) finding the atomic bomb that was brought through (somehow) and keeping Nazi Germany from using it. Which is a kind of a deferred resolution.

(I would like to think that there are a lot of post-movie fics in which Ed, Al, and various gypsies accompany Fritz Lang to Paris and America in the mid-1930s, but somehow it doesn't seem the kind of thing to catch the interest of most writers in the fandom.)

Speaking of fic, there are a lot of points at which the movie requires the viewer to infer motivations and explanations, which did the emotional impact of the movie no favors. Wrath's self-sacrifice; why, exactly, Daddy was in Envy's mouth (though hey, Ouroboros!); Hughes as a Nazi; Mustang sulking off in the ass-end of nowhere; and so forth. Also, since I'm fascinated by the metaphysics, I really wanted more about the little black grasping things that came through the Gate.

Anyway, didn't ruin anything retroactively, but the choice to get distance between it and the series in my mind was a good one. Though nearly a year was probably more than necessary.

Also, vayshti is looking for meta thoughts on Ed's clothes during the series (warning: link is to a post with spoilers for the entire series). Anyone able to help?

Tags: anime, fullmetal alchemist

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