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Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #22

Winry's choice.

  You don't want to invite comparisons to this...
 You don't want to invite comparisons to this...

Oh, so he’s Fuhrer King Bradley now? They’re just going to pile the titles on, aren’t they? Because they really don’t mean anything.  I brought up last time how I saw some similarities between Bradley and Palpatine, and I suppose I was more on the money than I initially thought. After this episode, it's clear that they’re also both supposed to be Hitler analogs. Somebody brought up before that the Ishbalan/Ishvalan war was supposed to be an ethnic cleansing and, after I see how the spot color in the flashbacks blatantly emphasizes that the Alchemists have blue eyes, it's unavoidably clear which specific ethnic cleansing it's supposed to represent...  

And, honestly, that's  disappointing. Maybe it’s because WIZARDS was such an awful movie, maybe it's got something to do with that infamous Usenet rule about every online argument inevitability brining up the Nazis, but I always roll my eyes whenever fantasy writers use World War II for such blatant allegory. At best, it shows conceptual laziness, as you know there are plenty of other horrible moments in history to reference. At worst, it gets a fantasy dangerously close to crossing the lines of bad taste.  
Anyway, with that rant out of the way, there was still much to enjoy in this episode...

  • Scar's origin finally gave the metro-zealot the sympathetic tragedy he needed. He got his brother's amputated arm sewn onto his own stump? That's rough. There's also the great added dimension of him being a pariah amongst his own people, too. He doesn't have any friends at all, does he?
  • The prince got bad ass in this one. The part where Gluttony’s eye slit in half was a hell of a surprise! Of course, the sin got right back up and tried to eat these kids, but that doesn't diminish the badassery. 
  • I’m a sick person, so I couldn’t help but find the transition to the end credits darkly amusing. Winry’s having herself a good cry on Ed’s shoulder and what are the first lyrics of the song? “Let it all out…. Let it allllll out…”

Watch this episode, “Backs in the Distance,” below, make your own decisions, and then read my comments on the previous episode here.   

   
Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of 
  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &   UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  & here .
SamJaz is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 10:24 a.m.
 

From TvTropes:

The whole Ishval situation was inspired by the plight of the Ainu people, which is unsurprising given that the author's from Hokkaido. Most Western fans have little to no clue of who the Ainu people are, or their relation to Ishvalans. Ironically, though, they notice a strong (but likely accidental) resemblance to the Islamic peoples of the Middle East (single god, desert-dwelling, very traditional yet advanced culture and a reverence for not messing with "God's creations"), and given that Amestris seems pretty well based on a certain European power and the time period of the show (self-proclaimed to be in the 19-teens), it's very easy to see why everyone west of the Ganges would come to that conclusion.  


So, yeah. Surprisingly, it's not the Nazi's for once. Who knew?
And you're gonna love Ling over the next few episodes.
 
As for the blending with the outro, get used to it. The show likes to do that a lot, and usually very, very well. Best example (for me) was on episode 26.
rubberluffyon Nov. 3, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
King isn't a title.  It is his first name.  So he is The Fuhrer, King Bradley.  
 
Also, while the episode plays heavily on the blonde-hair/blue-eyes vs the Isvalans, well, SamJaz covered that quite well with his quote from TVTropes.  An interesting stylistic choice, as I like the greyscale of flashback with the colored racial features, but perhaps does scream "NAZI" more than it should.
zaldaron Nov. 3, 2010 at 12:04 p.m.

hmm interesting I actually did think it was nazi here but turns out given tv tropes it isn't who knew.  Don't care either way as that is something important to always remember to my mind but ah well. 
I don't find you sick for enjoying the blending of the outro with the show...unless you are thinking about letting it all out in another way....hmm think I should stop now. 
 
And yes scar actually becomes sympathetic...more so as the show goes on without losing any of his baddassary.  Very hard line to walk but yet another thing the show does amazingly well (seriously I ended up liking this show a LOT more than I expected after the first one)
SamJaz is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.
SO!  Turns out that the Ainu are a group of Russian/Japanese tribal people that only gained ethnic minority class in 2008. Before that, they were treated quite badly. As in, Ishvalan badly. 
They also dressed and acted a LOT like the Ishvalans, albeit being Russian/Japanese. There was also Ethnic clensing at some point. In Japan. Not a proud moment methinks.
Arakawa grew up near where this was going on, so it's clearly affected her, what with the focus the Ishvalan's get in the series. 
 
@rubberluffy:  Yeah, his son's Selim Bradley, isn't he? Yeah, his name's King Bradley. It makes sense once you learn his backstory.


MrASSH0LEon Nov. 3, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.

I thought it was a reference to the war with middle-east lol
SamJaz is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.
@mrassh0le: Lol, lots of people thought that too. But no, it's ethnic cleansing in Japan, done by the Japanese to the Ainu, who were pretty much Ishvalans with normal hair and eyes.
Roldanon Nov. 3, 2010 at 5:44 p.m.
@SamJaz said:

" @mrassh0le: Lol, lots of people thought that too. But no, it's ethnic cleansing in Japan, done by the Japanese to the Ainu, who were pretty much Ishvalans with normal hair and eyes. "

Didn't stop Bones from making the Amestris Parallel world a nazi filled Germany in the FMA movie. God i hate that movie xD...
SamJaz is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.
@Roldan: I'm sorry, what movie? There was a movie of the first anime series where Ed went to Germany and joined with a cult of Nazi Alchemists? Don't be absurd. No one would ever be that insulting. 
...
Apparently it did happen. I'm just glad I stopped watching the first series of FMA when people started turning into wood. Dodged a massive bullet there.
CharredKnighton Nov. 3, 2010 at 7:40 p.m.
@mrassh0le:
Fullmetal Alchemist started a couple months before 9/11 so the Ishvalan massacre is merely a coincedence since Arakawa couldn't forsee  anything like that actually happening.
SamJaz is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 7:59 p.m.
@CharredKnight: Granted, there was the first Gulf War, but Japan wasn't exactly involved there.
sotyfan16on Nov. 3, 2010 at 8:27 p.m.

Ling was pretty damn cool here. Parrying with Bradley no less! But he sure is in a pickle now (wonder who will save him...).

I liked the classic look of the flashback with limited color. I very much thought of Jews and Nazis during that point. I'm glad I know the real truth behind Ishvalan prejudice and discrimination now. I count myself in the group leaning toward Nazi Germany but I never fully decided and therefore left the door open for other theories. 

With this episode I think Scar now gives thought to possibly his powers for a higher, better mission. Sucks that Winry found out about her parents like that but another thing FMA does is have secrets spoken when the one they are about is secretly listening. I knew she wouldn't shoot him but I hoped for the opposite. I mean, give me at least an arm graze or kneecap! I would have been floored and thrilled to see a headshot or one in the chest. 

And lastly I guess I'll say I haven't seen the FMA movie but it's on my "watch" list.

FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Nov. 3, 2010 at 11:54 p.m.
I know it's silly, but every time I hear the title of "Furhrer King Bradley" I always think of the movie "The Great Dictator" (1940).   
 
I wonder who will even get that reference?
No_name_here staff on Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" I know it's silly, but every time I hear the title of "Furhrer King Bradley" I always think of the movie "The Great Dictator" (1940).    I wonder who will even get that reference? "
You think he looks like Hinkle?
No_name_here staff on Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:15 a.m.
@SamJaz said:
" SO!  Turns out that the Ainu are a group of Russian/Japanese tribal people that only gained ethnic minority class in 2008. Before that, they were treated quite badly. As in, Ishvalan badly. 
They also dressed and acted a LOT like the Ishvalans, albeit being Russian/Japanese. There was also Ethnic clensing at some point. In Japan. Not a proud moment methinks.
Arakawa grew up near where this was going on, so it's clearly affected her, what with the focus the Ishvalan's get in the series. 
 
@rubberluffy:  Yeah, his son's Selim Bradley, isn't he? Yeah, his name's King Bradley. It makes sense once you learn his backstory. "
Thanks for the head's up!
SamJaz is online on Nov. 4, 2010 at 10:16 a.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: You're welcome. Glad we cleared up the whole 'Nazi' thing.
FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Nov. 4, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: 
Not too much, It's absurdity of such a grandiose title. I start to then imagine seeing Bradley dancing around his office with an inflatable globe.
rubberluffyon Nov. 4, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
But as I said, King isn't a title, it is his name.  Fuhrer is his only title (unless you count Wrath).
zaldaron Dec. 23, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.
@rubberluffy: yea but having king as your first name...that is still ridiculous..

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