FMA Homonculi vs FMAB Homonculi
For anyone familiar with the Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series, you’ll know that
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is undeniably the better of the two they are two very different series. The differences appear in origin stories, character development, the removal of or addition of other characters, the meaning behind where alchemical power comes from, and who are the Seven Sins Homonculi and what their personalities are like.
Now, while I should state that I have an incredible bias towards Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in every way possible, what follows is my comparisons between the Seven Sins Homonculi in each series, with absolutely no unbiased commentary whatsoever. I just wanted to make that clear.
Fullmetal Alchemist – Envy
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|I can’t be the only one that had trouble with Envy’s gender?|
Envy was the same physically in either series (with the exception of his monster form) but there were some key differences in his motives that affected his personality. To quote the wiki:
“In the first anime adaptation, Envy was the first homunculus and the only one with no desire to become human…”
Now, someone explain to me, how the literal embodiment of “I want that because you have it!” is the only homonculus to not desire to be human in a series? How does that make any sense?!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Envy
|Well that’s not horrifying|
I adore the symbolism of this form. He just had to take in all those souls. Why? Because that’s what envy is. It’s that hollowness, that emptiness inside. The desire to fill that in this monstrous way is such a perfect embodiment of enviousness. Envy’s other form also embodies envy. (When making an argument for why a character named after a trait embodies that trait, I’m feeling very redundant…)
|Evokes the perfect mixture of pity and disgust.|
|Greed, also known as the deadly sin of fabulousness!|
To be fair, I feel there are less writing and character development sins with Greed in this series. He wanted it all, but I don’t feel he fought for it as hard and depression seemed to take over at some point as well.
|Can’t touch this.|
|Poor, fat, baby.|
|Get in mah belly!|
|What a lost, vapid expression.|
|If I can’t use you, what good are you?|
Fullmetal Alchemist – Sloth
|I can’t be the only one that thought this was lazy writing.|
This. Drove me. Crazy. Your mom is back and alive and walking around as not your mom and in far sexier clothes but somehow that was kept secret from you even though you both work for the government and in the same building no less.
Compared to Brotherhood’s version of Sloth, this really felt thrown in at the last minute and she didn’t seem to exemplify any characteristics of anything, let alone sloth.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Sloth
A giant beast of a creature enslaved to do your bidding, constantly moaning “Mendokuse” (what a bother, how annoying, etc.), now that’s Sloth! Everything about him screams how greatly he is irritated at the work he’s been given. He’s large, slow, and unbearably inconvenienced. We don’t see much of either Sloth in either series, but with this Sloth, that made sense. He had literal underground work to do for most of the series. It fit into the plot well and his emergence into the plot was just really satisfying.
|This is really getting in the way of all the digging he’s supposed to be doing.|
|This isn’t Wrath. It’s insanity.|
In this series, Wrath is Izumi’s attempt at bringing back her child that she lost, which, in and of itself pisses me off, because it robs the ENTIRE SERIES of ONE OF THE BEST SCENES IN ANYTHING EVER!
|I have nothing comedic for this level of sadness.|
When Edward was determined to find out whether the body they brought back was even their mother, he discovered that the creature they buried didn’t even have the same hair color as their mom. After this discovery, they called Izumi to let her know, and she thanked them. Edward didn’t understand this at the time, which confused me. Ed and Al were so grateful that they didn’t put their mother through that. Why wouldn’t they also understand Izumi’s relief? She says, in absolute solace, that she’s so thankful she didn’t kill her child twice (not that she killed her child the first time).
Having Wrath come back as her child completely robs the series of this profound realization (as does this series’ entire take on homonculi). It also reaffirms that you can, in fact, bring back loved ones, but incompletely, and as homonculi, whereas, in Brotherhood, it’s affirmed that you cannot, in any way, bring someone back after they’re gone. This sharp difference between the series is exemplified in the way Izumi is made to bear the burden of her mistake in caring for Wrath in this series, instead of giving her the relief of letting go. It diminishes her strength of character for the rest of the series in a way we don’t see in Brotherhood.
Furthermore, this kid isn’t wrath. I’m sorry, but he isn’t. He’s a child with a temper tantrum exploding back and forth between delightful glee and rage, only resorting to the latter when he doesn’t get his way. Do you think true Wrath would care about getting his way in any way that that was the only consequence to inducing his fury? No! Wrath would be full of rage and violence and bloodlust regardless of circumstances. That’s the point! We all feel rage, and every other sin, depending on circumstances. A character that only feels an emotion some of the time isn’t a character that deserves to embody that trait exclusively.
|Your joyful exuberance sickens me.|
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Wrath
|Now, this is the face of wrath.|
King Bradley does so much better as wrath because he embodies both cool wrath and full-blown rage. When he’s “calm, cool, and collected” he makes it very apparent that it comes from a place of arrogance, of complete assurance in his strength and ability, but not so much as a leader, as as a soldier. This, to me, makes perfect sense. Wrath isn’t concerned about getting its own way. Wrath is concerned about wrath. Wrath is concerned about violence. Wrath is concerned about having an outlet for their rage, and whatever gives them that, is whatever they’re on board with.
|I have a sword. Now just give me someone to stab.|
|I’m just brimming with self-assurance. Can’t you tell?|
While King Bradley is largely calm and composed, and even at times, prideful, he is far more humble than anything else. He places much of his value not in himself, but in Father or in “the plan” or in progress, however he sees it, and this is true of Bradley in both series. Now, while pride can masquerade as humility, it is my personal opinion that, more often than not, Bradley’s humility is genuine.
He doesn’t care much about himself. Even when he describes how he used to be human and the process he underwent to become a homunculus, it’s as if he’s detached himself from either category and is more concerned with goals as something to put weight into. That is the attitude of someone who sees the big picture as bigger than themselves. That’s not the attitude of Pride. In these ways, Bradley is far too reserved to be Pride.
In other ways, he’s too unreserved. His gloating is forced, and his ego is obvious. Painfully so. People truly consumed with pride have learned how to hide these traits most of the time, because being prideful doesn’t get you the attention and accolades you’re after. You have to learn false humility, and prideful people know this. Bradley doesn’t. There’s no way he got to that level of power and didn’t learn it either. It’s just awkward and forced and disappointing.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Pride
|The villain we deserve|
Whoever animated Selim Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood deserves all the awards. The body language, the facial expressions, the insane amount of control and manipulation he exudes are palpable and he’s everything you want in a villain. He’s intelligent, conceited, manipulative, full of disdain, and impatient with failure but patient towards the end goal. His composure is impressive and it makes it all the more satisfying when he loses it in the end.
He totally knows how to play the sweet, innocent, little, school boy, the perfect child, and then, on a dime, switch over to a power hungry, impatient, warlord-esque, manipulator dangling his power over your head, just in case you forgot how easily he could squash you. And boy, does he love reminding people of that! His ability to go from wide-eyed wonder to consumed with disdain and compete assurance is proof of his understanding of how pride really works. It’s manipulative. It’s patient. It’s judgmental of others. And it’s sure it’s going to win.
|You could eat the smugness off a plate its so real.|
So these are entirely my own reasons for why I think the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rendition of the seven deadly sins evoked more of the true characteristics of the vices. Feel free to agree or disagree below!