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28 September 2004 @ 09:33 am
An introduction--somewhat opinionated, hold onto your butts  
*waves* Hello all. I go by the handle Nabuca online usually. I'm both new and not new...I've been watching this community on and off before I decided to subscribe to it. Got into FMA sometime after Febraury, read both the manga as well as watch the anime. Big supporter of Ed and Winry, as well as Roy and Riza, because yes I must do the whole cliche "My favorite pairings are blah blah blah!!!1one"

Where someone to really ask me what my favorite pairings are, or if I'm a supporter of yaoi/shonen ai, or yuri/shoujo ai, you'd might as well ask me if I'm into romance novels or something. I really seem to lack what alot of fans have, and thats the understanding of the huge hype over same-sex pairings, more specifically same sex pairings between two males. It really makes me wonder if this is merely the result of the fact that current modern-day thought--to be more specific--the U.S. culture in general, is highly repressed. The U.S. in and of itself was founded on very strict Puritanical principles. Not only was homosexuality highly discouraged for a long time in history, or more specifically U.S. history, so has sexuality in general. Now that times are starting to change, I find people, mostly young females, latching onto the whole homosexual phenomenon like rebellious teens after a bottle of their father's booze. And I make this metaphor because, for example, in Europe drinking laws (and depending on where you are, NO drinking laws), are far more lax there than in the U.S. And yet still there are far-less alcohol-induced crimes there than in the U.S. I was raised by an Irish Roman Catholic household, the laws against me drinking where very lax within family circles, and yes although I've done my fair share stupid things under the influence, I've always taken responsibility afterwards, and I've never really seen alcohol as such a big deal as most kids around me did. By the same token, I myself am a transgendered bisexual male (FtoM). All of my decently-sized circle of friends I surround myself with are gay or lesbian, with the exception of one. All of us seem also to not grok the hype over same-sex pairings in anime fandoms, unless of course such pairing is already present, or hinted at such. I used to think that this was a thing mostly common with straight young females, but then I am also under the understanding that either a.) older, or b.) gay/lesbian females and males share this hype too, but as I understand it those numbers are a bit fewer. I've watched the pattern of same-sex pairing fans in the GWing fandom, and I'm noticing similar patterns in the growing FMA-fandom as well. Though personally...I am of the opinion that FMA as a whole really is NOT condusive to same-sex pairings. Then again I'm not a romance-novel type person either, just in general. I've written a small handful of shonen ai fics back in the day. I'm not sure if I pulled it off right, and I notice most people who do, don't seem to pull it off right either, but then again I'm really not one to judge that, so I generally avoid it altogether with a few exceptions. At any rate, it really seems to me like the whole "must pair the prettyboys together"-thing has gotten so out of hand in recent years. Its as if some people are desperate enough to pair someone with anyone or anything with a phallus...OMG EdxTree-stump!!!11

Now...understand that just because I don't agree to something or subscribe to a certain thought, does not mean that I don't respect other people's right to agree with a certian thing or subscribe to that thought. This rant is merely a musing over what I see as a common trend that has flared up over the past several years. It also expresses my wish to participate in some more refreshing lines of conversation...I found loyalwolf108's informative post a rather refreshing change from the usual talk and banter that goes on in fandom communities. For one thing, I've always had an invested interest and fascination with Hermetic Philosophy or alchemy (I found myself very intrigued when I first discovered FMA's exhistence), and it would be interesting to see more discussion on the alchemical symbolism in FMA or the poetic licensing that goes on in the series versus real-world alchemy and alchemical principles. This is assuming that not many conversations of like have gone on already, and I am merely too daft to have seen it, or merely too busy with stuff outside of the glowing computer monitor, as what tends to happen frequently.

At any rate, I'm done. I feel as if I've rambled like a homeless wino, and perhaps I have, though in all reality I'm merely just waking up and waiting for the caffeine in my coffee to slam my system. I will, therefore, go back to lurking, and nursing my skull. Somedays I feel like a flaming zeppelin fell down onto my head.

>.>...

Yes.

~Nabuca
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Akeboshi - Wind
 
 
heliwood on September 28th, 2004 09:54 am (UTC)
Hmm.
I must disagree with this, and for many reasons, but what I will state here is that I think Ed and Winry are very even in maturity but express it in different ways. I highly doubt that any relationship between Ed and Roy would work, its something I never could understand, and I've given up trying. I think this also proves my point that Winry is grossly under-appreciated and misunderstood. I love the girl, I find her to be a very strong-willed and courageous character.

ex_saraswath377 on September 28th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
What are you disagreeing with in particular? I had a main point but a lot of sub-points ^_~

I think what bothers me about Winry is not what she is but what she represents, and this can relate to fandom in general. She is the female that waits, and I'm automatically biased against that sort of character even if I don't want to be. Izumi is refreshing because she insists she's a housewife and yet kicks ass and has her husband following her. That's unusual in anime (and Western sources of art as well) and near-nonexistant in shonen anime. Winry is the female we see all the time, the tagalong violent sexualized (ED3) but ultimately passive female. Even Liza to some extent falls victim to these stereotypes but I can forgive her because she's actively protecting her precious person, not passively complaining that they're doing dangerous stuff and never home.

For me, she almost picked up interest in her interaction with Liza and her near-anger at Roy, but that anger was resolved all too quickly and she returned to being passive.

Yaoi for many females is a source of empowerment; it is not one I necessarily agree with but is set up in opposition to the hentai/yuri movements that objectify females.

Keep talking; I find this interesting. ^^ (Or anyone, feel free to jump in with insightful comments...but I'm not going to respond to flames and I would hope we're mature enough not to post any.)
Marikaitou_marina on September 28th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
*raises hand* Um. I'm a yaoi fan and I LOVE Winry's character. I don't particuarly see her as "waiting" for anyone. She has a life and career at her home, what reason does she have to leave? Is there something wrong with females working at home? (not saying this as a personal attack, I'm genuinely curious if you think there's something wrong with it that implies that she's weak) Winry's nowhere NEAR a weak "housewife" type, she's strong, sensible, has her hobbies and loves her two best friends. I think she REALIZES she'd be in the way if she was following them all the time, that's why she doesn't try to travel with them perpetually. I mean, after the Ishbal incident later in the anime, she has the sense to go back home because she KNEW there was going to be trouble following.

And really, what's wrong with being a housewife? If that's the way of life that a woman has chosen herself through her own free will, I don't see anything wrong with it. Women's liberation is all about women being able to make those choices for themselves. My mother was a housewife for most of my life, simply for the sake of being able to stay home and take care of my brother and I. Now that we're grown, she's gotten a job of her own. She doesn't regret the years she spent raising us, and it CERTAINLY doesn't make her any less of a strong woman.

I'm really curious, what exactly do you think Winry is "waiting" for? And I'm curious how you interpret her as "passive." Is it JUST because she stays at home? And I'm honestly confused as to how ANYONE can interpret Hawkeye as falling victim to female stereotypes. Care to share some insights?
ex_saraswath377 on September 28th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
The anime and manga both tend to stress that she's waiting to make a home for the boys. What bothers me is NOT that she's doing that, but that she waits and continues to complain about them never coming home, doing dangerous things without her, et al. Go or stay.

Oh no, I definately don't think there's anything wrong with being a housewife - my mother's similar to yours. I just think Winry's character is inconsistant and alternately passive and aggressive. The extremely quick resolvance of the her-Roy conflict REALLY annoyed me, because her interaction with Liza and her anger at Roy actually made me like her for the first time. EVERYONE in this show has extreme reactions to things (and most people do have quite extreme reactions to things like, oh, having their parents murdered by someone), and her extremely quick recovery and forgiveness didn't seem realistic. She's passive in the sense that she barely ever initiates action in the story, whereas all the other characters do. Al has this problem in the anime too (but not in the manga >_<).

You're right about Liza, I think I was intending to say something other than what I said and I forget now what that was. ^^;; It's been a long school week.
Nalavashi: Elricsnalavashi on September 28th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
Yaoi for many females is a source of empowerment; it is not one I necessarily agree with but is set up in opposition to the hentai/yuri movements that objectify females.

Thank you for that! This is one of the main reasons I love yaoi, but I've never been able to actually put it in words that make sense the way that statement does. <3
ex_saraswath377 on September 28th, 2004 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
You're welcome. :)

I think, given the usual submissive position of females in anime, we're entitled to some leeway just because generally pairing the guys together is MUCH more interesting than pairing them with the women because they're better developed character-wise. Not to say that the women are stereotypical in FMA because for the most part they're not - but for a lot of other series that's true.
Spooksspooks21 on September 28th, 2004 11:12 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
This isn't insightful, really, I just wanted to say that I agree with a lot of what you've said. I personally find Winry--as she's portrayed in the anime--the same way. She's passive at times, and she just doesn't get it sometimes, though she has shown growth through the series, I don't think she's there yet. I think she might get there eventually, but then, Ed might still have his nose in his books then. (*cough* Al/Winry yay!)

I like Hawkeye too much to pair her with Mustang. That probably sounds terrible, as I love Roy, he's great. But! I don't think Hawkeye would risk Mustang's career to be romantically involved with him. It would undermine the strong support she's given him otherwise, and anyway, it's so refreshing to have a strong female character doing something for a male character and not being motivated by obvious romantic interest.

That goes for Winry, too, I don't see why she would have to be interested in Ed to do the things she's done. She's done her best, she's always seemed to look for what she can do to help both brothers. This is not saying that I can't see Winry as being interested in Ed; I can. I just don't see it reciprocated (Ed/Alchemy, OTP XD). A girl can be just a friend in the same way a guy can be just a friend.

But hey, this is just me. Yay for everyone liking what they want and writing/drawing/discussing according to what we all respectively like. It'd be a boring fandom if everyone agreed and did all the same things.
Marikaitou_marina on September 28th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
I THOROUGHLY agree with everything you said about Hawkeye. A woman doesn't have to be in love with a man to support him and want to protect them. I see them as having very deep respect for each other. And I honestly don't believe that Roy would ever see her as a romantic partner. That doesn't make her any less valuable to him or to their association, however.

PURELY my opinion though ^.^
whimsy-chan: Trowa Bartonwhimsy_chan on September 28th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
I like Hawkeye too much to pair her with Mustang. That probably sounds terrible, as I love Roy, he's great. But! I don't think Hawkeye would risk Mustang's career to be romantically involved with him. It would undermine the strong support she's given him otherwise, and anyway, it's so refreshing to have a strong female character doing something for a male character and not being motivated by obvious romantic interest.

Word. I would hate to see Riza become Lucrezia Noin. >_< (Oh no! It's a Gundam Wing fan! RUN AWAY!!!) I like her very much just the way she is. I prefer her to be motivated by a genuine belief that what Roy is doing is right and a desire to help him reach his goals than by any sort of romantic interest in Roy. I don't dislike Roy/Riza fics, but they've never really grabbed me, either; I think you've just hit on the reason why they've never grabbed me.

That goes for Winry, too, I don't see why she would have to be interested in Ed to do the things she's done. She's done her best, she's always seemed to look for what she can do to help both brothers. This is not saying that I can't see Winry as being interested in Ed; I can. I just don't see it reciprocated (Ed/Alchemy, OTP XD). A girl can be just a friend in the same way a guy can be just a friend.

Word^2. I have nothing to add.

Ed/Alchemy, OTP

That so needs to be an icon. Do you mind if I steal?
Spooks: it is a FMA icon.spooks21 on September 28th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
Word. I would hate to see Riza become Lucrezia Noin. >_< (Oh no! It's a Gundam Wing fan! RUN AWAY!!!) I like her very much just the way she is. I prefer her to be motivated by a genuine belief that what Roy is doing is right and a desire to help him reach his goals than by any sort of romantic interest in Roy.

Yes! That's a great comparison with Noin, there. (Hey, no running for being a GW fan, I'm one, too, though I'm not in the fandom anymore.)

Ed/Alchemy, OTP

That so needs to be an icon. Do you mind if I steal?


Go right ahead. ^___^
whimsy-chan: grinwhimsy_chan on September 28th, 2004 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
Yes! That's a great comparison with Noin, there. (Hey, no running for being a GW fan, I'm one, too, though I'm not in the fandom anymore.)

^__^ GW was my gateway anime, so I have much fondness for it regardless of its flaws. But I'm not part of the fandom anymore, either. It was my first fandom, though! I've been through the wars; I can take anything now. *is tough*

Go right ahead. ^___^

Thank you!
ex_saraswath377 on September 28th, 2004 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
I did forget to mention in my first post that I like Al/Winry because I think they compliment each other much better and wouldn't murder each other like Ed & Winry. <3

The big problem with Roy is that he inspires these insanely strong feelings in those around him, and it's difficult to tell whether those feelings are just extreme closeness or love. I think that's why there's a lot of Roy/Hughes even though Hughes is married, just because they're SO CLOSE, and the same goes for Roy/Liza. My personal opinion is if they DO get together, it will be a long time after any scary events happen. (And I'm still trying to understand chapter 39. That...was kind of unnerving.)

I'm all for ANYONE doing whatever, as long as they don't bash me for what I like or proclaim that their pairing is the be all/end all - because hey, Hagaren really isn't about pairings.
Spooksspooks21 on September 28th, 2004 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
I think we share a lot of the same opinions. Or at least they're similar enough to make me nod and say, "Yeah, cool."

I'm all for ANYONE doing whatever, as long as they don't bash me for what I like or proclaim that their pairing is the be all/end all - because hey, Hagaren really isn't about pairings.

Agreed. ^__^