priestess_grrrl (priestess_grrrl) wrote in fm_alchemist,

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FMAB 17: the subtle nuances of Roy Mustang

Okay so you might not have noticed this unless you are as obsessed with Roy's emo faces as I am, but there were some really interesting subtleties in Ep 17 that I thought were worth noting. Thanks so much to moogledaime for the screencaps. Spoilers for FMAB 17, up to manga vol 10 (past this point in the story).

So first thing I have to say is, this part in the manga made me so fucking emo that I actually had to stop reading it for a while. Arakawa seriously had me hook, line, and sinker with this storyline. I was just like, but, but, but, ROY...! *makes gaspy fangirl noises* So I was really interested to see how they would treat this arc in Brotherhood, if they would drop any clues as to Roy's state of mind, etc.

The most upsetting aspect of the whole thing for me was Roy and Edward's interaction yes because I ship RoyxEd but let's not go there. I was honestly more okay with the idea that Roy had actually killed Maria Ross than I was with the way he treated Ed. He was so fucking ice cold, and of course at the time the reader doesn't know that Roy actually had to make that decision on the spur of the moment because Ed interfered in an extremely delicate situation (as he is wont to do). Roy really had no choice but to play it out that way - it wasn't like he could stop and explain the details to Edward in the middle of the alleyway while he was desperately trying to save a woman's life, never mind trying to keep the rest of his mutinous plans a secret. All we see, however, is Roy apparently viciously murdering a female subordinate, then turning against Ed violently when he confronts him. This is the first and only time in the canon in which Roy hits Edward (not counting the Fullmetal/Flame episode in the first anime, which was partially tongue in cheek).

So as I was scanning the screencaps of ep 17 for Roy's emo faces (like I do every week), I was pleasantly surprised to see that in fact, Roy does let his face slip briefly during that scene. Look carefully at the following screencaps:

Ed gets in Roy's face:

Roy clocks him:

A moment of hesitation...! (look closely at the full size image)

"Crap, I really didn't want to hurt him..."

Back to business!

I love how they did that! It's just a split second as you're watching it, but it's enough to show that he actually regrets what he has to do. Of course Ed himself doesn't see it, and Ed's devastated face was so emo I was clutching my Ed Medicom doll the whole time...! (trying not to get chocolate on him because I eat chocolate when I'm emo!) As a whole, I thought the episode was fantastic, and I was really impressed by their use of subtlety and their knowledge of the manga as a whole.
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