Man I forgot about this scene because it was cut out of Brotherhood but WOW ED YOU’RE RIDICULOUS and you make the cutest faces. Talking about getting Al’s body back.
Al: Our problem is how to open the portal.
Al: We could do it if we pay the proper toll…
Ed (stares at his hand)
Al: YOU’RE THINKING WHAT’S ANOTHER LIMB OR TWO AREN’T YOU.
YOU CAN’T DO THAT. WE PROMISED EACH OTHER WE’D BOTH GET OUT ORIGINAL BODIES BACK.
Ed: I…I know! You’re right! We made a promise.
ED JUST CAUSUALLY CONSIDERING MAYBE JUST CUTTING OFF REMAINING LIMBS yep that totally won’t be bad i did it once right AND AL IS LIKE “NO. NO. NO STOP IT NO NOT HAPPENING WHAT IS WRONG WTH YOU.”
I find the weird kind of line Ed and Al have to walk with each other really interesting. Like, Ed harbors all this guilt over what happened to Al, so Ed doesn’t really have any intention of getting his fleshy arms and legs back, it’s really not even a thing to him compared with seeing his brother trapped in a body that can’t feel. This scene shows he would be totally okay with being even MORE automail’d up if it meant helping Al.
But it’s really important to Al that the mission be about Ed too. At the same time that Ed feels so bad that Al is in this situation and he’s responsible, Al feels terrible about what happened to Ed too. Even though automail isn’t really that terrible to live with compared to what Al has to deal with, Al feels bad that Ed did this thing all for him and went through all this pain for him. He feels how immense that was, and how much love motivated that. So he’s convinced that he has to make it up by getting Ed restored too, because that’s the only thing that will make it okay. So whenever Ed tries to make it about Al, Al’s like “NOPE NOPE WE’RE GETTING YOU BACK TOO RIGHT” and Ed’s like “oh okay”.
And that’s how come Ed always says “We need to get our bodies back” because even though he doesn’t really understand, he knows it’s important to Al to say it like that, that he PROMISED Al they would do that. And he respects his brother so much that he will always keep his promises to them, even if he doesn’t get it, even if he doesn’t want to. It’s like how he wouldn’t kill himself to save Al because he knows Al said “I don’t want that” and that’s that, it would be a betrayal of his brother to go against his wishes. But whenever Al’s NOT around, he always phrases it like “yeah, I need to get my brother’s body’s back” because that’s what’s actually important to him.
Which is why I think it was really significant for Al that he was able to give Ed his arm back. The moral wasn’t that disabilities are awful things that need to be reversed, because obviously Ed still has his leg gone and that’s okay, but it was what it meant to Al. It meant that he got to show he’d do the same for Ed, repay his brother, to protect him for once. Being able to give Ed back what Ed gave up for him allowed Al to make peace with what happened and not feel that guilt anymore, and then Ed was able to get Al back. They both worked together to reach a point where they no longer had to feel like they weren’t hurting each other anymore, and that’s why the ending is so well thought out and works so well.
I really like the dynamic here, because even though we see a lot of brotherly relationships in a lot of series, there’s that really important camaraderie here that I never really articulated and you did it really well?
For example, in most animes/mangas where the main characters are in a familial relationship, the be-all end-all sacrifice is death. Yeah, both Ed and Al would die for each other, but it goes farther than that. They would survive for each other, because neither would ever want to be alone because dude, that’s really scary to them. And wow wow wow, that’s a really important to any kind of relationship, especially one like theirs, where basically they need each other more than they need the sacrifice.
But yeah, you actually said it really well. I love this.