Fullmetal Alchemist has been etched into our hearts ever since we saw it. One of the main reasons behind that was it’s action-packed storyline. The other, and more important, was the deep philosophical meaning. The foremost idea that it puts into a person’s mind is about the value of human life. While it may not seem that way, but in this anime, a human life’s value is infinite.
When Scar loses his brother in the Ishvalian war, he went berserk and started killing every state alchemist he could get his hand on. But later, when he meets the survivors of the Ishvalian war, one of his own asks him to stop the violence. The cycle of hatred is never ending. If you hate, you become hated. The cycle must be stopped either by the victim or the victor. It took time for Scar to comprehend this, but once he did, it changed him forever.
The show is laden with philosophical meaning. The homunculi in the anime are based on us humans. Each representing one of the seven sins as a shadow of humanity. The Father intends to make himself a ‘God’ by purifying himself of all the seven sins. Thus making them into homunculi. This is based on his thoughts that once a human is cleared of all the sins, he can attain true divination. Hohenheim later explains something which i believe holds a huge philosophical significance. He tells father that to be the perfect human, one needs to be human first, and what makes us all humans are our sins and flaws.
Another intriguing thing in the anime is the ‘Philosophy of equivalent exchange’. Now, this fact has been delicately explained throughout the series. The very concept our world is based upon. To gain something, some other thing of equal value must be lost. That is why Edward had to make a great sacrifice to save his brothers soul. To bind Al’s soul to an armor, Ed gave up an arm and a leg. But that isn’t the sacrifice I’m talking about. At the gateway of truth, Ed and Al sacrificed almost everything to have a glimpse at everything that there is that exists; Infinite knowledge. Yet, at the end, Ed gave up his alchemy to save Al. Man has always been in search of answers, digging deeper and deeper. But at some point, we’ve gotta stop. At some point, we realize that there are some things that are not to be questioned and analyzed. This is very well depicted when Ed gave up his portal to save Al,out of empathy for his brother. There are some things which should never be the target of logical arguments, and that is our values, the very principles by which we all live. It is just as Ed quoted, “There was once a hero who flew too close to the sun. His wings of wax melted, and he plummeted back to the earth.”
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