Why are we still obsessed with Nina Tucker?

Shou Tucker may have managed to earn himself the spot of ‘Most Hated FMA Character’ for what he did to Nina, but why does he have such an impact?

If close escapes and miraculous rescues are your thing, it’s best to stop now: anime isn’t afraid to kill large numbers of people, and sometimes those people haven’t even left childhood. Whether baby Conny’s on The Promised Neverlandthe Hyakuya orphanage in seraph of the end or even Honma Meiko from anohana, Kids of all genders are fair game when it comes to the anime scythe. However, there is one child victim that the anime community at large still can’t seem to forget: Nina Tucker from full metal alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Nina’s transformation into a chimera by merging with her beloved dog Alexander remains a particularly sore spot for ten years after the conclusion of FMA:B, as is his resulting death, and his father is universally vilified for his murder. However, while Nina is undoubtedly a tragic character, is there a reason why her death resonates so strongly with audiences, especially on a show that already includes mass genocide, body horror, and the deaths of so many other characters? darlings? Nina is, in fact, much more than just another child death; it’s the themes and the emotions as well as the pain her death brings that make it stick in the mind so effectively.

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Nina being licked by her dog Alexander

First and foremost, Nina’s death is a betrayal on a fundamental level from father to son; one of the most taboo actions in society. As if a father sacrificing his daughter wasn’t enough, when full metal alchemist places so much importance on family relationships, Shou Tucker’s use of his only daughter is even more revolting in contrast. Shou Tucker and Nina also established a father/son relationship beginning in the story that is finally resolved in the ending, when Edward is able to reconcile with his own father.

Shou Tucker, the Dwarf in the Jar, and von Hohenheim at some point represent the wandering father who neglects his children or is willing to sacrifice them entirely. Shou Tucker, being the last, is unforgivable both in history and by the morality of our own society, while the Dwarf in the Jar is simply the escalation of Shou Tucker’s ideals, willing to sacrifice everything he needs to achieve. its objectives. .

Second, there was the possibility that Nina could have been saved. With child deaths in anime, there is often a sense of inevitability. conny in The Promised Neverland could not have been saved. Norman and Emma arrive too late to save her life, and even if they had arrived sooner, they wouldn’t have done much more than die themselves. However, Edward and Alphonse spend the days leading up to Nina’s transformation at the Tuckers’ house, learning half-truths about the previous talking chimera and hearing the story of Nina’s missing mother. They return to the Tucker house to find the chimera that was created from Nina and Alexander, only to find out in horror when Nina tells Edward what had happened.

Every sign was there, and the brothers take it the wrong way. This is a huge personal failure for them, showing them unable to protect a single girl. However, once is not enough, as Nina is soon killed by Scar, when the avenging assassin arrives to take Shou Tucker’s life. Although killing Nina is Scar’s act of mercy, it is what takes Nina forever. In this way, Nina Tucker dies twice and the Elrics feel completely responsible and helpless.

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FMA Nina Alejandro

The way Nina’s death is framed also leads to its lasting impact. While many child deaths happen to start a story with an unexpected sacrifice: The Promised Neverland and seraph of the end both place obvious instances of child death in the first episode or so: Nina doesn’t show up for several episodes, and because the show had just completed its first action-packed episodes, it was easy for audiences to let their guard down with a sweet girl weaving flower crowns.

Also, because Shou Tucker came across as a reliable and helpful character, there was no need for immediate alarm, especially compared to the recent introduction of Lust, Gluttony and Envy. However, while the deaths of children at the beginning of the shows can be played for effective shock value, Nina’s was simply shocking, setting the plot ablaze by timing her demise just when the series could have taken a pause.

The result of timing, prevention, and the sheer atrocity of a father experimenting on his son in an anime so focused on the importance of family cemented Nina Tucker as one of the most tragic child deaths in all of anime. The pitiful cry of “Ed…ward” is probably something many can still vividly remember, as well as the horror of realizing that the Elric brothers weren’t going to make it in time to save the day. Nina Tucker’s death was the realization that full metal alchemist it’s not about tragic backstories, but also about tragic lives, which helped make it one of the most beloved anime of all time.

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