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:
[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.)