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Fridge / Fullmetal Alchemist (Anime)

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This is the page for the 2003 anime. For the manga and Brotherhood, see here.

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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • Dante and Edward's relationship is far deeper than it seems to be, and that Dante is one hell of a Shadow Archetype to Edward:
    • Firstly, both Dante and Edward had an opportunity to restore a loved one using the Philosopher’s Stone. Edward, after learning the true nature of the stone, refused to sacrifice society’s undesireables (convicted criminals) to restore his brother, even though he was clearly tempted. He, like Alphonse, decides that they don’t want to be restored if a single person needs to die. Dante, unlike Edward, sacrificed undesireables (persecuted “witches” and those dying of the plague, who were more innocent than the criminals), but she didn’t hesitate for a moment. When Hohenheim nearly died as a result of the transmutation, she also didn’t hesitate to sacrifice their butler to restore her loved one to a new body, showing that she came to the opposite conclusion.
    • Continuing from the first point, Dante shows what Edward could have become if he had compromised his morals for Alphonse. Both Edward and Dante are exceptionally gifted alchemists, but Dante, unlike Edward, allowed her natural talent to feed her ego. Edward connects with non-alchemists like Winry and develops meaningful relationships with the less gifted. Dante, on the other hand, separates herself from the rest of humanity. As Izumi pointed out, she looks down on the masses from her hilltop, seeing them as nothing more than “petty, egotistical things” who didn’t deserve her help. Dante’s Grand Theft Me plot is a twisted reflection of Ed and Al’s journey to restore themselves: if tens of millions of lives need to be sacrificed so she can live for another year, so be it. Contrast this with Edward, who frequently uses his alchemy to help others. If Edward didn’t have Winry, Alphonse, and Izumi to keep him in check, he could have easily gone down this route.
    • Both Edward and Dante demonstrate atheistic beliefs, but their convictions lead them to different conclusions about reality. Edward is clearly suspicious of gods and religion, but believes in a meaningful world governed by Equivalent Exchange. He has a strong appreciation for human life. Dante, however, believes the world is innately meaningless. She demonstrates a clear disdain for humanity, which is reflected through her belief that her homunculi should be purged of human emotions. Edward’s beliefs make him a humanist, while Dante’s lead her down the path of nihilism.
    • Dante and Edward are forced to see the valid points in each other’s philosophies at the end of the series, and Dante is defeated because, unlike Edward, she fails to re-evaluate her beliefs. Edward accepts that the principle of Equivalent Exchange is flawed, but sticks to his humanist principles and doesn’t embrace Dante’s doctrine of a “beautifully chaotic world.” Dante’s moment of clarity is much more sutble than Edward’s – when Gluttony comes in and breaks down over Lust’s death, she stares at him for a moment and looks visibly uncomfortable. In this brief moment, she sees the strength of humanity and realizes that people may have dignity after all. Instead of changing her beliefs like Edward, however, she remains closed-minded and purges Gluttony of his humanity. What she doesn’t realize is that his humanity allowed Gluttony to fear and respect her, and without that, Dante becomes just another meal to him.
    • Ultimately, Fullmetal Alchemist focuses on Edward and Alphonse’s coming of age. They’re thrust into an ugly world, but instead of abandoning their principles and becoming like Dante, they find a middle ground. They realize their philosophy on life isn’t perfect and there’s always room for growth. In a story where growing up is the central theme, Dante is the ideal antagonist because she flat-out refuses to grow and learn from the world around her.
  • Shou Tucker is a Shadow Archetype to Ed as well. Like Ed, he is a gifted "scientist" who falls victim to hubris and breaks a grave taboo out of a combination of desperation and curiosity. Like Ed, his recklessness ruins his life, robs him of his only family and leaves him horribly deformed. Like Ed, he regrets his choice and becomes obsessed with trying to undo it; seeking the Philosopher's Stone to this end. He's Ed's twisted shadow all along. Like Dante, the ultimate difference between them is Ed's moral inclination that ultimately inspires him to abandon his arrogance and self-centeredness and change his ways.
  • During Mustangs famous "Tiny Miniskirts" speech for what he wants to do when he becomes Führer, both Havoc and Hawkeye were just telling him not to state out loud his intentions to become Führer. He could easily have simply said the miniskirt line so if anyone was eavesdropping they would not see him as a threat or assume he was not being serious.
  • The first series really does not get enough credit for how drastically - and subtly - Ed matures over the course of the story. Between the snarky, arrogant boy in the first episodes and the composed, selfless young man by the end of The Movie, there is a painstakingly gradual and vast transformation that can be traced down to individual turning points over the course of literally the entire series. It's really one of the most impressive instances of character development in anime, and describing it in detail would take up an entire essay's worth of material (perhaps to be filled in here at a later time).
  • We find out that Dante's been pulling Grand Theft Me in order to live longer. She also prefers doing this on young girls and women, presumably because of her vanity, (She outright tells Rose to eat up so that she can wear Dante's clothes). This being the case, Izumi's illness from attempting Human Transmutation actually saved her life (albeit temporarily)!
  • Speaking of Dante, her name; aside from the obvious source, the name Dante has a meaning. What is that meaning? "Everlasting". Dante wanted to live up to her name.
  • Dante is full of this trope. Listen closely to her leitmotif. Now doesn't it sound like that voice is calling out the name "Hohenheim"?
  • Edward declared making a Chimera to be "the most depraved form of alchemy there is". A few episodes later, we learn that he knew a little girl who was made into a Chimera.
  • The homunculi created by people's failed transmutations are referred to as that person's "sin". This is mostly just symbolic, but when you think about, it works on a more literal level too:
    • Scar's brother and Lust: Scar's brother not only lusted for Lust as well as loving her, he also immersed himself into the world of taboo by dabbling in alchemy (taboo in the eyes of Ishbalans).
    • Izumi Curtis and Wrath: Izumi is quite familiar with the Sin of Wrath, as she's very quick to anger and very violent when angry.
    • Ed, Al and Sloth: The Elrics fell into despair over the loss of their mother and both of them have gone through more sorrow and hardship than the majority of the cast.
    • Dante and...the rest of the homunculi: Dante has committed pretty much all of the seven deadly sins, but the homunculi she created (Envy was created by Hohenheim, but it's possible that Dante helped him out) seem to embody the sins she commits the most; she commits Greed by wanting power and caring only for herself, Envy towards Trisha for "stealing" Hohenheim from her, Gluttony by wanting to expand her lifespan longer than it should be and Pride by being totally convinced that she's better than she actually is and seeing herself as superior to humanity as a whole.
  • Related to the above, those who tried and failed to perform a human transmutation ended up losing something correlated with their sin:
    • Scar's brother, immediately after the failed transmutation, is shown with blood on his crotch; he's later seen with a wide scar in that general area. This implies that he lost his genitals.
    • Izumi ends up spitting blood immediately after almost every fit of rage.
    • Edward, who came up with the idea of resurrecting his mother, almost ended up losing his brother as well.
    • Alphonse cannot sleep.
  • Izumi told the Elrics that she condoned her masked friend tormenting and beating the living shit out of them for one reason: "I sent him to make sure you wouldn't die." Given Izumi's teaching methods and some subtext, one can reasonably assume that she meant to scare the Elrics back to whence they came. This holds more weight when Izumi's buddy, as the mysterious tormentor, stops beating up Al after Ed stands up to him: he realizes that the boys have the courage and strength of character to see Izumi's trial through to the end.
  • Our world's technology developed down the path of physics and machinery rather than alchemy. Can you think of a certain person who was obsessed with alchemy who also happened to be the pioneer of modern physics? It comes full circle with Irene and Frederick Joliot-Curie: physicists who invented modern alchemy.
  • Some people thought it was strange that Sloth was titled as they were, but the name does have accuracy: despite stating several times that she's going to kill the Elric Brothers and cut herself off from them, she barely does anything about it until around her death.
  • Bradley being crueler and more evil than his manga counterpart actually makes sense when you think about it: this Bradley represents the sin of Pride, not Wrath, so his thing is all about being selfish and apathetic to the suffering of others.
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    Fridge Horror 

  • Alchemy power:
    • Alchemy is fueled by the souls of the dead from our world. That means every bit of lazy, trivial alchemy Ed does during the series is using up souls of the dead. Repairing that radio? Fixing a toy horse? Repeatedly repairing his coat? Dead people. Worst is that people kept using alchemy after the fact was stated. This explains why Izumi says to only use alchemy if you need it, not if you can fix it without using it. She knew all along.
    • In addition, let's not forget all those creatures inside the gate. Those aren't Demons, they're fragments of human souls from our world, existing in suffering and darkness. Now the haemonculi become incredibly sympathetic characters, as we know why they want to become human: they want to return to their original form.
    • Also, let's think about what time period it was in our world while Ed and Al were on their journey. That's right - shortly before and during WWI. It is heavily implied that the victims of the war fuel alchemy.
    • The only reason that such major feats of alchemy which are powered by deaths in our world are possible in their world is because of Holocaust and World War II. That's right, all the death, destruction and massive battles in Amestris are brought to you by the genocidal Nazis.
      • Your history is slightly off. Conqueror of Shamballa is clearly set before WW2, as Hitler isn't anywhere near dictator of Germany. It's probably set shortly before or during the Munich Putsch, meaning it's the early 1920s. However, it's still horrifying to imagine that all the tragedy of the holocaust and WW2 will fuel alchemy in a few decades to come.
    • Even worse, the Spanish flu pandemic killed at least another 50 million people. It's almost as if the war wasn't enough and something else had to balance the books for the sake of alchemy.
  • Even if Selim would have survived Pride's choking him to almost near death, he still would have been killed by Archer, who was also firing at Roy Mustang.
    • Considering that Roy lived, but either lost his eye or got it heavily damaged, it's possible Selim could've survived Archer's attack... though that's still a best-case scenario. At most, Selim would've been permanently hurt or crippled had he gotten out of the house alive.
  • In the finale, Dante and Rose both appear to be wearing wedding dresses. Given Dante's intentions for Ed after switching bodies with Rose, this could imply that she was going to try and force Ed to marry her, just to spite her ex-boyfriend.
    • She does say that she wants to be "loved by the son of Hohenheim"... Dante definitely wanted Ed for herself, but whether it's out of spite, possessiveness, or a mix of both is up in the air.
  • We never see Dante die. It's implied but for all we know she could have escaped. Imagine that, the Big Bad gets away unscathed and continues to kill and steal bodies in the future.

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