I really dislike the scene where Riza’s throat is cut in order to make Mustang perform human transmutation. It was painful to see a strong female like Hawkeye getting turned into some damsel in distress/plot device just to give Roy something to angst about.
Um except the plot actively ensures he doesn’t save her because she orders him not to? Like, that scene is not a cheap shot - that scene is reiterating a point that’s continually made throughout the series that these two people, despite the labels they wear on the outside of commanding officer and subordinate, are equals and her voice and her opinions and her choices carry as much weight as his. (Witness: post-Ishval, asking him to scorch the tattoo of her back - an action he clearly doesn’t want to do and is later haunted by, but he still does it. Roy never sits up and refuses, the story never gives him an opportunity to say, “No, I won’t do this and because I’m a man, I have more agency over your own body than you do and can decide what should and shouldn’t be done to it.” Their relationship functions as one founded upon mutual trust and understanding, and even the fact that she is his adjutant is based on her choice.) She’s bleeding out on the floor and he’s in agony over it but still, still he listens to her (or rather, acknowledges the glare on her face) because it’s her body they sacrifice, her life, and she gets final say on whether it’s worth risking everything over or not. Damsel in distress would imply the narrative sidelines her to second place within her own arc which it blatantly never does - okay, yes, the Homonculi are more concerned over Roy’s pain than Riza’s desires, but the actual story gives their feelings equal weight.
Also, despite the fact she’s bleeding on the floor, Riza is astute enough to notice that people are coming to both her and Roy’s rescue, and is astute enough to SIGNAL ROY WITH HER EYES that they are about to recieve backup so don’t you fucking dare do anything stupid. SHE DOES THIS WHILE BLEEDING TO DEATH. PERFECT SOLDIER, UR FAVE COULD NEVER ETC.
And who saves Riza from bleeding to death? Not Roy. Roy is pretty (cough) useless in that respect. May saves her. Riza is not saved from death by her boyfriend, but a badass preteen girl. The scene furthers Riza’s story as much if not more than it furthers Roy’s, and then it furthers May’s story as well, by showing her valuing human life over a chance to get the philosipher’s stone. AND it subverts the hell out of the typical damsel-in-distress sitch cuz Arakawa rocks like that.
I honestly don’t see how anyone could interpret this scene as Riza being a damsel in distress I am flummoxed.
Especially since two seconds later, Roy is injured and in distress and Riza visibly angsts about it (AND IZUMI HAS TO BABYSIT HIM SO HE DOESN’T GET KILLED for the next two episodes/several chapters) Whhhy doesn’t he get the damsel in distress label for that? Oh yeah he’s a guy guy’s strength is never compromised in the eyes of the audience.