3 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

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There’s no doubt that Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is a well loved and popular anime title. The number of mentions on best anime of all time lists, it’s most favourited status on MAL, and the sheer number of fan arts and fan fictions about the characters speak volumes of how the fan base loves this particular work. And there are plenty of good reasons to love it. Really great story that is given sufficient episodes to really develop, rising action that really drives toward a climax, a great main and supporting cast and even fairly solid villains, not to mention the heart and humour the anime brings to its tale. However, this isn’t going to be a review of FMA Brotherhood, but rather taking a look at 3 life lessons you can learn from watching the diminutive alchemist and his bound-to-a-suit-of-armour younger brother.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Alphone and Edward Elric

Lesson 1: Someone who shares the same goals as you is not necessarily your friend.

This one should be self-explanatory but sometimes it is almost as though people crave someone who understand them so much that they overlook this point. Throughout the course of the story, Edward and Alphonse run into many a character who is seeking a philosopher’s stone and their motives are wide ranging as are their uses for the incomplete stones they come across. In the case of Full Metal Alchemist, the brothers can almost assume that anyone sharing a similar goal as them is probably up to no good and will become a hindrance sooner rather than later.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Crimson Alchemist

At the same time, the brothers cannot complete this journey on their own. They need those who support their goal but may not necessarily share it to assist them on their way. And that’s the important lesson here.

Winry may not ever want to be an alchemist and she personally has no desire to possess a stone, but she does understand what drives Ed and Al and she supports them with everything she has. Her goal is not the same, but it complements what the brothers wish to achieve which makes Winry invaluable in more ways than one.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Winry

While finding someone who does share the same goal can be great, just because someone doesn’t necessarily want the same thing as you doesn’t mean they can’t understand what is driving you. This comes through incredibly clearly throughout Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Lesson 2: A government that can manipulate the information provided to its people cannot be trusted not to become corrupted.

As much as I try not to get political on my blog, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, through its fictional institutions but based on fairly familiar government structures, manages to make some fairly good points about political power and corruption.While it gives no actual solutions to the points it raises, it becomes quite clear that Amestris as a country is rife with corruption with those in the inner circle benefiting while those on the outside simply become fodder for the machine.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Fuhrer Bradley

A large part of the issue is that the government controlled all the records and there did not appear to be much in the way of independent reporting of events going on. With both the war in the past and the ongoing events in the story, cover-ups and lies were frequently fed to the public and the main characters manipulating their actions and responses.

And while I don’t assume that our governments are actually being run by homunculi that are trying to bring about the end of the country, the point about providing truthful information to the public was fairly well made and is as relevant now as it was when this story first came out (if not more so).

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Lesson 3: You can’t stop tragedy but how you deal with the tragedy is more important.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is a story built on tragic events. The war in the past that took Winry’s parents, the death of the Elric’s mother, Nina, Hughes, and so on. However, on each of these occasions we see characters dealing with the tragedy in their own ways and we see that some responses are more helpful than others.

For Edward and Alphonse, they refused to let go of the past and the tragedy and instead of accepting what had happened and moving forward, they created a secondary tragedy when they tried to bring their mother back to life. This cost Edward a leg and his brother his whole body and Ed only saved him through giving up an arm (puts a whole new twist on the costing an arm and a leg). There were a few factors that played into this. For instance, their incredibly young age and the absence of any other parental figure. While Winry’s grandmother certainly tried to look out for them, it wasn’t enough during such a tragedy to keep them from taking this path.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood young edward

And the tragedy may have ended there with the brothers never going any further except that Mustang came along and offered Ed a lifeline. For the remainder of the series we see Edward clinging to that hope and thread as he journey’s forward. When he meets Tucker and Nina and that encounter inevitably leads to tragedy, Ed, while he feels the tragedy, doesn’t make the same mistake again of trying to deny the tragedy or make it go away. Instead he ensures Tucker can’t hurt anyone else and then seeks comfort. It doesn’t make the tragedy of Nina any better, but at least a secondary tragedy was avoided.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Nina
Let’s all just pretend she lived happily ever after.

What lessons have you learned watching Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood or from another anime?

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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This Art Club Has A Problem Episode 3 – Lessons to Takeaway

This Art Club Has a Problem Episode 3

Week 3 of Yomu’s collaboration and this week I’m looking at the lessons to takeaway from the episode. Turns out This Art Club Has a Problem is surprisingly deep. Remember you can check out the other posts in the collaboration or get involved by visiting Yomu’s blog.

So let’s begin.

Lesson One – Don’t Make Assumptions

Uchimaki has a problem this week when Colette (who we finally met) tells him she lost her locket with a super precious picture inside. Uchimaki immediately assumes the locket must contain a picture of her parents who apparently went back home and left her in Japan and he visualises an entire tearful farewell scene. This makes him feel kind of stupid when he realises the only thing in that locket is… well watch the episode and find out.

Lesson Two – Some People Just Can’t Be Helped

Still looking for Colette’s locket, Uchimaki does the sensible thing and actually asks her where she’s been. At first she answers but then she suddenly gets super paranoid about what he might do with that knowledge. Honestly, at that point he should have just walked away but I guess we also learn that Uchimaki is either really, really, really nice or he’s a sucker for blondes.

Lesson Three – Some Times You Have To Cut Your Losses

It becomes apparent that Colette has actually not lost her locket, and at the inconvenient moment of right after she all but accused her two club mates of potentially stealing it, and she’s forced into a situation where she has a choice. She could: A – admit that she made a mistake and apologise. B – Pretend she’s a magician summoning her locket. Clearly she chooses option B. The problem is that the lie is apparent and there’s just no saving the situation so she’s just making things worse for herself. You know what they say, know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and know when to walk away.

Lesson Four – Sometimes The Other Person’s Happiness Is Enough

Usami is put in an odd position this week where Uchimaki seems to have lost his inspiration mostly because he can’t think of a hair-style for his latest waifu. After first suggesting a bob (can’t imagine why) she ends up giving him a magazine of reference images of women’s hairstyles (though she isn’t altruistic enough not to post-it note the bob). Still, she was genuinely happy for his happiness as he leafed through the magazine and began to get enthused again.

Lesson Five – If You Are Cornered and Running Isn’t An Option, Sometimes You Just Have To Grin and Bear It

Look at those pained smiles. Usami’s friends visit the art room and then, mostly to mess with her, decide to have a drawing contest of the two. They position her closer and closer to Uchimaki before finally presenting their work. Personally, I think Usami should have chosen to run away when her friends first said they were going to visit the art club but having left it too late, she was trapped with no way out. Nothing for it but to smile.

Finally – If Your Friend Is A Reporter Your Life Is Fair Game (Watch Out)

Yep, they made front page. I think the lesson here is self explanatory though.

And that is it. Six lessons from This Art Club Has a Problem Episode 3. Looking forward to next week’s themes.

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BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT – PREMIUM EDITION
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Assassination Classroom Episode 44

Review:

The first half of this episode is pure fun. The students show us the full extent of their training as they go to see their teacher one more time. Then we get a lecture about life lessons, which fits with the show so we’ll ignore the fact that it puts a serious downer on the episode. However, we then shift to one final attempt by mad-scientist guy to kill Kuro-Sensei and in the process devaluing everything the students have worked for. While it seems doubtful this will be successful it really seems like a cheap plot device to wring just one more battle out of the series before they activate their laser.

Still an enjoyable series and the end is definitely near.

Assassination Classroom is available on AnimeLab.