6. SELF SACRIFICE MASOCHISM TAAAANGO! gosh I can’t be mad about this one (I’m not really too mad about any of it except Rose to be honest, I mean it’s not like the existence of this anime tarnishes the manga or anything) it’s just soooo hilarious.
Ed dies a DRAMATIC OUT OF NOWHERE STABBAGEMCENVY DEATH only to come back the next episode. It’s Shounen Cliche 101, in a series which operates around the concept of BRINGING BACK THE DEAD BEING A THING YOU CAN’T DO. Unless you’re the main character, then you can die and come back all you want. The most hilarious thing is that Al does the whole self sacrifice bit to resurrect him, apparently forgetting the speech he made 30 episodes ago about how choosing death is the most stupid thing to do. Ed wakes up and is like, you cannot fucking die for me Al, I’M GOING TO DIE FOR YOU whether you like it or not!!! And for some reason, he is able to retrieve Al’s body and soul but loses the limbs he regained I guess? We have no idea where Al’s ten year old body came from (Wrath aged but he didn’t?) or how or why this even worked, even Ed is confused about it but eventually just handwaves it. Basically Ed starts out the series doing human transmutation to bring back the dead, and ends it doing the same thing, only it miraculously succeeds this time. So much for that moral? Or character growth?
The thing that makes it so funny for me is it’s like someone dies to bring you back and then you plan to die to bring them back. It’s like a FATALISTIC TUG OF WAR. You’re basically slapping your brother in the face saying “nananana don’t even try it”.
The funny thing is whether intentionally or not (probably not, she’s not vindictive like I am) Arakawa seems to call out the silliness of this in the last chapter of the manga when Riza is like “Ed isn’t gonna sacrifice himself to bring Al back is he?” and Roy is like “Ed would never do that because he knows the despair of being left alone without any family, why would he subject Al to that that doesn’t even make sense RIGHT ED.” just lol. Why did they even keep Al’s speech about not choosing death in if it wasn’t going to be a consistent theme like in the manga?
7. Shou fuckin’ Tucker. The fact the anime made the decision that he was a worthwhile character to keep around and didn’t have Scar kill him as was supposed to happen is astounding to me. Basically he’s just there to be a weirdly ranting upside down dog thing with a bunch of Nina dolls. The fact that Ed and Al just basically tolerate him and cut deals with him and aren’t, I dunno, absolutely furious that he’s not in jail and he’s still doing creepy experiments with his daughter and making chimeras is even more baffling. No justice for Nina! HE IS THE ACTUAL WORST PERSON I MEAN WHY WOULD YOU TRUST HIM ED AND AL. Also he just looked ludicrous rather than creepy, especially when they had him wear a hat and coat. He was like Yogi Bear only somewhat deformed.
8. Philosopher’s stones are just bizarre and alchemy is just bizarre. I’ll still never get over that time Scar actually made words come off the page into a floating ball so his arm could…read them or something. SCAR’S SENTIENT ARM THAT HE DID POETIC MONOLOGUES ABOUT AHH GOOD TIMES. That was just one of the times of many the anime just decided “it’s alchemy, we don’t have to explain it”.
9. CRISIS OF INFINITE EARTHS THE FMA EDITION. Seriously, it was just like the old days of DC Comics. FMA Earth 1 and FMA Earth 2!!! Edward Elric vacations in Nazi Germany! It’s just hilarious that they decided to get super literal with the whole “this world parallels the real world! NO WE REALLY MEAN IT LITERALLY WE’RE GONNA POUND YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH THAT!” I also love that apparently our deaths power alchemy…somehow? EVERY TIME A KITTEN DIES HERE, SOMEONE DOES ALCHEMY OVER IN AMNESTRIS. I mean why are there only two parallel worlds, I wonder if there’s a world entirely OF kittens in FMA.
10. I guess the whole gecko ending in general was just…really obvious in it’s haphazard put-together yeah-we’re making it up as we go along-ness. I mean, I guess I don’t really blame the anime. Hiromu Arakawa had her story and all the thematic beats carefully planned out, but the anime had to take her premise and figure out how to explain things from it without really knowing why it was put together the way it was and so it comes out pretty scattered. Well, except according to the omake she did tell them how it was all put together idk it’s very confusing to me. I don’t really understand why they decided to make this anime so early when that was bound to happen (I mean yes I do money but). But oh well, at least we were lucky enough that that decision didn’t keep the actual ending from being made into an anime.
So there you have it! Those are my carefully compiled thoughts on FMA 2003! Now I can shut up with this forever, but if anyone tries to argue with me about it, IIII won’t be hypocrite! I did watch this thing! Yaaaay!