Back in September I posted this thread in regards to when Edward's birthday is. I'm glad it's become a good reference for everyone.
Now I'd like make you dizzy with Al's Birthmonth, the 'plot hole' that is Alphonse's Age, and the passage of time that went missing. This info post is going to give you answers; but probably not the kind you were hoping for.
WHOOHO! Watch me avoid school work like the plague... *ahem*
Oh, FMA plot hole. An ugly one too.
This is a plot hole for anyone beating their heads over how old Al is and also in reference to the passage of time that has occured.
It seems Bones forgot how they spent the first half of the series solidifying the ages and dates associated with the boys (they listed their ages several times in the first half of the series... then seemed to give up that consistancy in the 2nd half).
The information they give in the second half of the series for the boys ages is in no way consistent with the information they give in the first half of the series.
The information provided for the boys ages are correct until Bones screws up at episode 32. The information they provide us with in the second half regarding Al's age (and the passage of time) is not mathematically possible.
The boys MUST be one year apart between Feb 2 (episode 1; 10 & 11) and Oct 3 (episode 3; 10 & 11) of any given year (let it be 1910 or 1915 they will be 1 year appart between those times, no one's birthday falls in February thru September).
Just to cover Edward breifly once more; his birthday must be the end of January for this to happen (October + Gracia's 3,1/2 remaining pregnancy months (episode 5) = End of January or Feb 1). In order for the boys to be a year apart for 9 months, Al's birthday has to fall in later October, November, December or January.
Before moving on, this is a side note; Hughes said Elysia's birth was early. The End of January would actually have been early for her birth. Gracia would have been full term in February sometime. Ed's b-day falling End of January gives her anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks early. NO ONE is the size Gracia is unless you're about to pop >_>
Moving on, and with all that said, at some point in time the boys will be the same age because Al's birthday must fall between the end of October and early January (I doubt Ed and Al are both born End of January or something would have been mentioned about the closeness of the dates).
In episode 6, just after Ed's 12th birthday, the boys ages are listed again (11 and 12) to reaffirm that between Feb 2 and Oct 3 there's a one year difference. I doubt little more than a month has passed between Ed's b-day and the Qualification Exam because Nina was in her winter coat and there's still snow on the ground. At the LATEST that date should be End March, but February sometime is more likely. Also, the memory of Ed boiling the water without a circle is still fresh in Al's mind.
Insert plot hole. By episode 10 (1914), the boys are 14 and 15 again. In episode 23, Ed has his birthday (1915) - which means he turns 16. So sometime in the 3 months prior to that Al must have turned 15 in order for them to be a year apart between Feb 2 and Oct 3. This never happens. Still, in episode 32 (obviously a summer episode), Al is 14. Even at the end of the whole series, they're still hinting that Al was 14 because of the "4 years" of lost memories. Obviously, there's no way that works; since 1915-1910 = 5 years.
Personally, I'd go with the information given up to episode 25 (end of the first half) because it was all accurate until then. The series ended around the fall season of 1915; if you go with information in the first half, Ed should be 16 and Al 15. By the time you get to episode 32, the facts loose integrity.
Thank you Bones for your ugly plot hole. >_>!
Arakawa-sensei! I leave this problem up to you to solve.