It’s been a few weeks since we shot that one Vice Pit about mopey anime heroes, so I honestly can’t remember if we brought FMA up during the discussion. We always end up having more to say than we have time for, so maybe this particular post will be more like an addendum to that video because the death of the Elric Bros’ mother is (yet another) interesting counterpoint to the murder of Luna in CASSHERN SINS.
Anyway, Sam sees a positive alternative here to sullen, depressed anime heroes - - how Ed and Al’s loss hangs over them throughout the course of this saga without ever bogging them down. Myself, I see an intriguing parallel in how both series essentially start with the main characters violating some major taboo of their worlds’ natural orders, and in how each series is then driven by their respective condemnations to correct their transgressions.
We got a little high falootin’ in that video - - likening these plot commonalities to the openings of OEDIPUS REX, MACBETH and other classics of literature - - but I think there’s some basic wisdom to what we’re groping at.
FMA is a worldwide phenom, of course, and I’m convinced that SACRED STARS OF MILOS isn’t going to be the last iteration of it. If you group it with other big, globally-successful superhero franchises (which is what FMA is, when you boil it down), it really becomes clear that their common ingredient aren’t just tragedies in the heroes’ origins, but tragedies that the heroes are at least partially responsible for.
Spider-Man becomes a vigilante because he lets a burglar get away and kill his father, Iron Man starts off as an arrogant ass who’s wounded by the very weapons he recklessly sold to terrorists, et cetera. The quest for redemption - - even a mild one - - is perhaps intrinsically more compelling than the seeking of revenge or the simple pursuit of justice.
That's where my mind drifts to while I'm watching a different riff on material I've already seen. Haha...