Log in

No account? Create an account
10 May 2007 @ 04:13 pm
I have a question connected with FMA the movie: Conqueror of Shamballa:

Why does Al have transmutation circles on his gloves, even though he remembers the Gate?
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: L'Arc~En~Ciel - 'Link'
ankhutenshi on May 10th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Continuity issue? In the manga, Armor!Al can preform alchemy without a circle, but in the anime, he needs to draw the array.

Not sure, really. :-/ Sorry.
Kat ♫ Auste: Edwardaustere_flare on May 10th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)

I think it's because when Al saw the Gate, he was still a soul bound to a suit of armor resurrecting his older brother. Then when Ed brought him back by sending himself to the other side of the Gate, Al's memories of being in armor were wiped and he was back to his original age when he and Ed first tried human transmutation, and so that probably also means his memory of seeing the Gate was also taken from him.

At least, that's my opinion.
Ketita: winryketita on May 10th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
I get the feeling that Al in the anime doesn't actually remember the Gate. If he did, he'd probably remember what happened during the years he was in the armor.
So, since Anime!Al can't do alchemy without a circle because of a plot hole he has transmutation circles on his gloves so it will be as if he can do alchemy without a circle, and thus be more like Ed.

I think.
Barb: Alphonse - Just an Ordinary Dayid_anonymous on May 12th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
Anime!Al couldn't do alchemy without drawing a circle because of the fact he couldn't remember the Gate. According to my understanding of the plot, it's necessary to remember the information passed to you through the gate in order to perform a transmutation without a circle.

Now if you *really* want a plothole, answer me this: Why can the elder Tringham perform alchemy without a circle? XD!
Ketitaketita on May 14th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
*sigh* see, when you post when you're really tired and it's late in your time zone, then you do silly things. Trust me to pick one of the plot points in the series that actually isn't a plothole. I do know better.
I goofed. Please let me live it down?

(and, btw, if the memories cannot be transferred from the soul to the mind, then how come when Al first woke up in the armor he didn't lose his memories? If the data isn't transferred, then it makes sense that it would be both ways...)
And I'm not even asking about Russel.
Starlight Dreamer: EdwardxAlphonse - Truthstarlitedreamsx on May 15th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
(is id_anonymous)

I'm relatively certain that whether or not memories can be transferred from the soul to the mind isn't something covered in the anime much, though I'm pretty sure it's touched on in the manga. It's been so long since I read the manga so I don't remember for certain the details.

If you're talking about why Al doesn't remember when he gets his human form back, that answer is simple. For all intents and purposes, the 4 years of journeying didn't happen for Alphonse, though they actually did: if that makes sense. Al's memories of the journey were taken by the gate as payment for Ed's sacrifice to return him to his original body. They only return to him when he passes through the gate with his brother, because he's making some sort of sacrifice. *shrugs* It's not the best or most clearly explained theory, though. I still personally think it would have been best if they left the gate alone, as just some energy source or perhaps a form of 'God' like in the manga. *shrugs again*

And yeah, before this gets any longer or rambly or makes even less sense, ending now! XD;
Ketita: winryketita on May 15th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
Actually, I always thought that in the anime the reason Al didn't remember anything was because his body was in a sort of stasis inside the Gate, and when Ed pulled him out, it was simply the same Al from way back then. Not that he had actually traded his memories, but that the memory loss was a by product of the fact that he was returned to his original body. I was looking for the reasonable answer that made sense with the plot. Sorry...
Going by that, it basically means that Al's soul was pretty much completely disconnected from his body, and that the memories he gained while he was a soul just got lost when he got his body back.
However, all this is shot to hell when he randomly gets the memories back when he goes through the gate. he's lying. he didn't REALLY get them back >:D
If my theory had been correct, however, it means I guess that when Al first became the armor, he should have lost every single one of his memories of being human.

I think that having the Gate trade limbs is one thing, but memories are just a bunch of electrical impulses! (Though, I'm influenced by the manga I guess, where it's pretty much "give something physical [limbs] get back something spiritual [knowledge] in return. We haven't yet seen it possible to give something like memories and get back anything) What would the Gatelings do with that? Ed and Al might as well have traded a bunch of batteries for their bodies...

and another random question, while we're at it- Why did Eckhart, who went through the Gate once, gain Super Speshul Awesome Powers, and Ed, who went through about five times, didn't?
and rambly = <3
Starlight Dreamer: Edward - Faithstarlitedreamsx on May 15th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
*yawn* Either way, I'm too tired to theorize today. Besides the fact it's somewhat pointless in the long run as it's just a story. I guess we can leave the memory loss as a minor plothole (minor because there's explanation, but it doesn't make much sense and is explained poorly) and decide that Arakawa makes more sense when writing plots than BONES. ;)
puloy^elbikamuro_ishigami on May 10th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
I think that was because by then he has forgotten everything ever since the day they tried to revive their mom..well, there was supposedly a time in the anime where Al remembered about the gate and he tried to try transmuting without an array but Ed stopped him because they didn't know what might happen with the Philosophers' Stone..
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 10th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
austere_flare's got it.

Al didn't remember the Gate at the start of the film. Later, he begins to get his memories back, and that, presumably, is when he'd remember seeing the Gate.

I don't think it's an anime plothole that Al can't do alchemy without a circle. The same point comes up in both the anime and manga that Al initially doesn't remember the Gate as Ed and Izumi do. The difference is that he and Izumi try to tackle this in the manga, with Al recalling it only when Martel dies inside of him (I think?).

By contrast, in the anime they don't come back to the topic of Al's memories of the Gate, so this never gets solved. Ed and Izumi think that he should have the ability to do alchemy without a circle, but has simply blocked out his memory of the Gate. Which is sad because non-circle alchemy is the only noticeable 'exchange' the brothers got for their transmutation. In the anime series, as far as Al's concerned, he's gained nothing, whilst Ed, who has lost less then him, has gained this ability which very few alchemists have.

What really bothers me about the film's alchemy is how the heck Al is able to 'detach' his soul. What precisely is he sacrificing to this? Now that is a continuity error.
hiryuu on May 10th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
yep yep, i agree completely. and i also had the issue with that "transmutation" ability of Al's. in the japanese commentary, i think the director said something about this. i can't quite remember exactly what he said, but i remember Romi Paku (Ed's VA) asking about it and the director guy explaining.

but i seem to have that problem with a lot of the transmuting going on in the anime. like, i can understand how the air compressing and the altering oxygen levels and all that is part of alchemy, but... Siren?? Siren was NOT an alchemist, she was like a witch. i mean, she pulled an Anime!Sloth and turned herself into water to break into that room. HOW IS THAT ALCHEMY?? there's no equivalent exchange being made there at all!

argh, i should make a post about this. i'll find all those transmutations that made no sense and post about them. XD
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 10th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
The manga does make more of an effort to explain how alchemy potentially works, but leaving enough out or vague for us to know that, for all intents and purposes, this is a rationalised form of magic. That is a neat way for Arakawa to do it, because she is giving just enough canon detail for the theory and practice of alchemy to seem plausible (within the rules of the FMA 'universe'), without taking the whole thing too seriously.

In the anime, I agree that in some cases it is a different story. It's been a while since I saw the Siren episode (it's one I feel free to skip over when I re-watch, because there's little important info there), but, yes, from what I can remember, Siren's ability was rather fantastical.

I don't recall her actually turning herself into water, but if that's the case, then the writers just broke with one of the important points of the anime's continuity - you can't use alchemy upon yourself like that.

The one that makes the most sense is Roy's alchemy, with him transmuting gases. And it just happens to look awesome. Ed was a fool to think he could take him on in ep.13
hiryuu on May 10th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
ooh, yes. Arakawa-sensei is a bloody genius like. she really knows how to make a world and tell its story. i read in an FMA fanfic somewhere... Ed yelled something about "magic" just being a term for something that science hadn't figured out yet.
i've heard that a lot of the anime stuff has had to pass through her and get approval... i guess Siren just completely slipped past the defenses. (i only like that episode because there's lots of funny randomness going on... it's like crack FMA XD)

hey hey hey, Ed could take the colonel if he had the right training for it. XP Roy's got the one up 'cause his alchemy covers some major distance and is easily manipulated. i think if Ed clapped his hands and then snapped the fingers of his auto-mail, he could get a similar reaction. i wonder why he hasn't tried that yet... but yeah, he really got quite pwned in that episode. poor guy. XD
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 10th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, if Ed had the training, he'd be a better challenge to Mustang. The funny thing for me was that he seriously thought he could get away with punching the guy. And Roy, to put it crudely, pwned him, because Ed got to cocky and it quite literally blew up in his face. Mustang's disadvantage is that his ability works so well in combat only within a certain distance, so that it appears to be his only trick. Ed is far more versatile with his alchemy, and has his martial arts too.

I think Ed would need to learn a whole different method of alchemy to transmute gases the way Mustang does, because its about a lot more then creating a spark and knowing the right array. I think it is something which takes a lot of practice, as Ed would be dealing with a state of matter we haven't seen him use up until this point. He's definitely used earth and water, but I can't recall him transmuting either fire or air. (Oh, neat elemental parallels, yay.)

I'd disagree with that fic comment of Ed's. It's very in-character for Ed (who has trouble seeing beyond the neat little box of science), but I really don't think 'magic' works like that. (Cue for my alchemy/magic rambling. Feel free to ignore, I'm just bashing out some ideas because your mention of magic intrigues me....)

Things that were once thought supernatural have since been explained with science (look at how people used to explain lightening, or the seasons), but from a fantasy point of view, I think magic is about something far more metaphysical , something which is by definition beyond the natural, material world.

The distinction, I think, is that what is magical is not what has the potential to be explained by rational science (which would likely be Ed's argument for...pretty much everything, despite the fact he's seen the Gate and should know better), but what cannot be explained by it and its ideas of empirical evidence.

This would include the Gate (not termed 'magical', but definitely not scientific) as a concept and a reality - the fact it cannot as a whole be grasped by human intellect is what shifts the nature of alchemy from the purely and concrete physical (as the Elrics once thought 'equivalent exchange' to be) to some quasi-scientific/magical borderline. Some people might say that in doing this Arakawa has made something a bit pithy, a bit of a sloppy premise. But I think that ambiguity about her notion of 'alchemy' is what makes the concept so great. In a series which is basically fantasy action/adventure, I just adore it.

I have had for months this crack-fanfiction idea for FMA, exploring what sort of magic and supernatural things would exist in a world with an 'ultimate science' like alchemy.
- End rambling.
c_b_syndromec_b_syndrome on May 11th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
I have had for months this crack-fanfiction idea for FMA, exploring what sort of magic and supernatural things would exist in a world with an 'ultimate science' like alchemy.

Do it! I'd LOVE to read it!
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 11th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
It's very much in the planning stages, but I'm very glad to hear you'd be interested. I was thinking the whole premise would be too 'crack' to be worth taking too far, but I've just fallen for the idea regardless. To my mind, the possibility just seems so right, if undeniably odd.
c_b_syndromec_b_syndrome on May 11th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Another continuity error that gets me:

At the practicals, when Ed discovers he can do alchemy without an array, there is one man who is endangered because he used too much energy to build the tower...

Yet... later on, in The Other Brother's Elric, Pt 2, the Tringham brothers use alchemy on a whole forest with no ill effects. What's wrong with that picture? Something of that scale had to take an enormous amount of energy, and while it would be logical that different people have differing amounts of energy to spare, there STILL should have been -something-.

I can, sorta-kinda, understand the lack of energy loss with Ed and Al for obvious reasons, but that hardly made sense.
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 11th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
The only sort-of reason I can think of is that *both* of the Tringhams perform the transmutation on the trees. Fletcher starts off when he causes the trees to absorb the red water, but Russell then pitches in to help.

But I think the only real example of a transmutation tiring the alchemist - which makes sense for the 'exchange' - is in the alchemy exam. When really, if they were taking the time to emphasise that the guy in the exam was tired out, you'd have thought they'd show some consistency later on. Though it did give Ed someone to really outshine with his little display, which was sheer luck anyway....
Shark Bait: Elricgrifstar on May 11th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
I honestly... don't really see why the gate and Al's gloves have to connect actually. The only plothole(among five bilion other things that happened in the movie, but I dun wanna talk about those >.>;; ) that I still understand what the gloves are actually supposed to do.. I mean, they're appearently made to transfer his soul into other objects, but then he was also using them for other kinds of alchemy, like in the desert. And I always thought the other catch with alchemy was every array had a different purpose and could only do one thing..

... In my own personal opinon though, I really don't think all of Al's memories were completely wiped out anyway, rather just "blocked", especially for the fact they start to come back at the end. And then there's the deal with instincts and habits too, which supposibly stay no matter if you can't remember anything or not. Hell, if I recall in the movie (sub or dub, though I think it was the dub..) Al said something about having his soul in other things felt 'familiar', or got used to it... *braindead at the moment and haven't seen it a long time* x_x
lmd_84lmd_84 on May 11th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
That array on the gloves is an odd one, actually.

It would seem more reasonable that certain shapes within a circle correspond to certain things depending on what is to be transmuted - on a basic level, the elements involved. I'm not sure that a single array can be used for one thing only, only that it can be applied to similar types of things, things made of similar materials.

But in the film Al transmutes so many different things (the water in the desert, the air, the armoured...things in Lior) using the same circles that I just decided that it was another hole on the part of the writers, because it corresponded to nothing we'd learnt in the tv series' canon. By the canon notions of alchemy, it doesn't seem feasible for a single array to cover such a wide range of transformations, especially the soul one, which is otherwise flawed anyway.

You're right about Al saying something about having his soul in other things felt familiar, but I haven't seen the film in a while either, so I can't remember the exact quotation.