How Ishvalans Ishvalans are depicted in Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood

The 2003 series of full metal alchemist is drastically different from the faithful 2009 manga adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist brotherhood. These differences were largely due to the manga still being ongoing at the time of the 2003 series, resulting in an anime-original story for the second half of the plot.

One major departure is the role of Ishval and how neither adaptation stayed completely true to the source material. This resulted in two unique adaptations with different results for the Ishvalan people.

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The Ishvalan Civil War

Just some Ishvalans from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

On fullmetal Alchemist, The Ishvalan Civil War began when an elite team of soldiers from Amestris stormed an Ishvalan temple and massacred the monks inside. The Ishvalans began to riot, and King Bradley used soldiers from the east to forcibly suppress them and heighten tensions. The goal of the homunculi in starting the Civil War in Fraternity it is different from the original. In the 2003 anime, the goal of the homunculi was to create enough despair that someone would feel compelled to create and use a philosopher’s stone.

On fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, The Civil War began when Envy (disguised as an Amestrian soldier) shot and killed a young boy. The Ishvalans retaliated, and it was not long before war broke out. Thanks in part to familiar terrain, supplies of weapons from neighboring countries, and guerrilla tactics, the Ishvalans managed to fight the Amestrian soldiers to what seemed like a stalemate. The war climaxed with the issuance of King Bradley’s Order 3066, which recruited all state alchemists to the front lines of the war. With the overwhelming power of the state alchemists, the Ishvalans were killed and forced to take refuge across the country.

Similar to the homunculi’s goals in the 2003 series, the homunculi started the Ishvalan Civil War to cause as many deaths as possible. It is revealed that the difference between Brotherhood and the manga is that the massacre served as one of the ten intersection points that create the nationwide transmutation circle.

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depictions of brutality

Lone Ishvalan walking in decimated Ishval

One of the biggest and most notable differences between the Ishvalans in FMA and FMAB is how much they have suffered. In the 2003 manga and series, the Ishvalan Civil War and its brutality were highlighted. This added much-needed nuanced themes of distrust of the military and questioning of orders. One of those examples was Fraternity’The decision to retcon Mustang’s decision to follow the unethical order to kill the Rockbells. This retcon was detrimental as the event provided a great deal of information about Mustang’s mistrust of his superiors.

Another example of a missing event in Fraternity it was the day that Brigadier General Basque Grand ordered the use of the Philosopher’s Stones in the Ishvalan Civil War. This resulted in the state alchemists almost completely decimating the population of Ishval in a single day. Fraternity It also lacked the haunting scenes of homunculi using Ishvalans in human experimentation. In the 2003 series, Ed is shocked to learn that the military have been using the Ishvalans to create the Philosopher’s Stones.

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Differences in Repairs

citizens of ishval from fullmetal alchemist

Appearing in the manga and Fraternity it was High Cleric Lowe, who was the leader of the Ishvalan faith. Lowe’s final prophecy, “The wrath of God will punish you (Bradley) for your wickedness” was fulfilled at the climax of the series when Bradley was momentarily blinded by the sun’s reflection on his sword, allowing Scar to wound him. fatally. As Ed’s understanding of alchemy reveals, the “Sun” is a representation of “God” and since Scar proclaimed himself to be “the wrath of God”, Lowe was correct in his final prophecy.

Furthermore, at the end of full metal alchemist, the Amestrians assisted the Ishvalans in their return to Ishval and helped rebuild their homes. Oddly enough, that was the full extent of the repairs seen in the 2003 series and would be altered in Brotherhood. The end of Fraternity described a more action-oriented and forward-looking approach to the situation. Roy Mustang, now holding the rank of Brigadier General, asked Major Miles to help him oversee the rebuilding of Ishval. Additionally, Mustang proposed to make Ishval an eastern trading post to revitalize the local economy. To stimulate the Ishvalan economy into action, Mustang arranged for the widespread cultivation of wheat and cotton to be owned and traded by Ishvalans.

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In a 2003 series finale battle against Alphonse and Scar, Kimblee used the last of his strength to transmute Alphonse into a living bomb. Scar was then fatally shot by an Amestrian soldier while protecting Lust. Realizing that he had no choice, Scar used the last of his power to complete the entire city’s transmutation circle and create a Philosopher’s Stone within Alphonse to save him. In the movie Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa both Lust and Scar’s Earth counterparts are revealed to be alive and traveling as Roma.

On Fraternity, Scar managed to mortally wound King Bradley and survive the final battle. While he was recovering from his injuries, he accepted Major Miles and General Armstrong’s invitation to rebuild Ishval and restore his culture. The last seen appearance of him is in a photograph with his hair grown out and Major Miles still accompanying him in the process of restoring Ishvalan.

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Ed creating a weapon with alchemy

In the 2003 series, the Ishvalans repeatedly make it clear that alchemy goes against Ishval’s teachings. Since Isvalans believe that only the earth god Ishvala should be able to “give life” to inanimate objects, alchemy is considered heretical. The implications of being found practicing alchemy are also serious. Once an Ishvalan has been seen practicing alchemy, he is exiled and shunned from society. This taboo dates back to the 2003 anime-exclusive branch of Ishvalan alchemy called “Great Arcana”.

The last known user of the Great Arcana was the former Ishvalan exile seen in full metal alchemist (2003), episode 36, “The Sinner Within”. The Ishvalan exile then taught the forbidden art to Scar’s brother, who used it to revive his love, accidentally creating Lust from the souls of deceased Ishvalans. While alchemy draws its power from the deceased souls of Earth that pass through the Gate and the living souls trapped in the Philosopher’s Stones, the Great Arcana draws its power from the already deceased souls in the area. On Fraternity, The Ishvalans consider alchemy sinful, but they no longer take action or go into exile. The difference between constructive and destructive alchemy for Ishvalans is also noted in both series.

The differences between the two series stem primarily from the need to diverge from the source material in the 2003 adaptation. Scar’s fate, the brutality of the war, the taboo nature of alchemy, and subsequent reparations all serve to give the two adaptations their own unique identities due to their different portrayals.

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