Fullmetal Alchemist: One More Thing

Cover for Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

2003-2004

Aniplex (translation)

I didn’t intend to go back to this. I swear.  And I know I should be writing about bell hooks right now. But I thought of an excellent example of the kind of humor that I talked about in my first post on FMA, in which I discussed how the series combines serious drama with very broad humor.  But I thought of a better way to explain it, so here it is:

Posed photograph of several characters in Fullmetal Alchemist

[A “photograph” of the military characters from Fullmetal Alchemist, including, from left to right, Breda, Falman, Havoc (seated), Feury, Mustang, Hawkeye, Hughes (seated), and Armstrong, who is so tall that he is only visible from the mustache down.]

Photographs are fairly important in the series, actually. In this case, there’s some screen glare, emphasizing the fact that this is intended as a photograph, and the colors are slightly faded. It’s meant to be nostalgic and rather sad. You look at these people and think of how many terrible things have happened to them since then, how this was back when they were all younger and less damaged and alive and stuff (though to be fair, the most ridiculous characters are still ridiculous).  The effect is intensified by how the body language of all the characters is expressive of what we know about them.

And, um. Then there’s Armstrong, on the right, with most of his head out of frame because he is too tall to fit in this picture. This, too, is consistent with his character, as it would probably not have occurred to him to adopt a pose that would allow him to be seen at the expense of his dignity. But, you might say, isn’t that a very silly joke to insert into this moment of sad nostalgia?

The answer is: yes. Yes, it is. And this is pretty much exactly what I meant.

(Also, he is sparkling again. Ah, Armstrong.)

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2 Comments

Filed under Anime, Television

2 responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist: One More Thing

  1. Do I need to get you a life-size cardboard cutout of Armstrong for Christmas?

  2. Ahahahahaha.

    1) Life-sized? Will I need a higher ceiling??
    2) Does it come with sparkles?

    …Actually, it’s funny, I’m not even particularly obsessed with Armstrong, he’s just a really good example. If I hadn’t been trying to quickly make a very specific point, I might well have pointed out exactly how other characters in the picture are posed in ways that are exactly appropriate to them. For instance, it somehow makes sense that Hughes is lounging about on the floor, that Fuery looks a little stressed and confused (although at least his clothes seem to fit better than usual), that there’s a slight distance between Mustang and the characters around him (he’s doing his “dashing and aloof” thing), etc.

    Also, I can’t swear to it, but I kind of suspect that this picture sits on Mustang’s desk, in lieu of family pictures. Hmm.

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