Ling & Greed – Brothers In Arms (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)


I’ve always really admired Fullmetal alchemist Brotherhood Not just for it’s quality which is obviously great, but for the style of show it is and how this contributes to its popularity Brotherhood is one of the most popular anime of all time and this is fact but the difference between it and some of the other most popular anime ever is simply that it is really really good and This is pretty strange if you think about it on a shallow level you think that the best shows will be the most popular But by my perception it turns out that this isn’t usually the case The shows that I personally believe to be of amazing quality don’t tend to be the most popular For example Fate/zero is brilliant for me and easily a personal favorite But it heavily focuses on character ideology and dark themes which are definitely not for everyone Monster is great as well But incredibly slow-Paced gritty and methodical which doesn’t work for some in this instant gratification centric world In general lots of Great shows Tend to cater to a specific audience and optimize their resources in that niche Keep in mind that this is all just my subjective opinion But let’s take a look at the top five most popular anime on my anime list Attack on Titan was pretty epic and quite good But nothing masterful due to its limitation in some areas notably characterization and characters Death-Note was a show that I very much enjoyed, but again It was a step down in quality compared to the very best for me personally I haven’t seen either sword art online or angel beats, but the general consensus is that neither was a masterpiece In general there seems to be a tiny bit of a trade-off between the consensus of a show’s quality and its popularity So why is Brotherhood so popular? Because it has everything First-Class action, really good characters, great music, relatable themes, emotional storytelling, and adventure through mysterious and foreign land, an awesome Magic-esque system, A myriad of various themes, and an absolutely, wonderful brotherly relationship Fullmetal alchemist Brotherhood has nearly everything that the industry has to offer, and it does it all really well Certain shows that try to cover all aspects of the medium to apply to a wider audience Usually stretch themselves thin and lack a distinct focus, but this isn’t usually a problem with Brotherhood I definitely have some issues with the show, but they aren’t very big and they don’t greatly affect the appeal of the show and speaking of the appeal of the show I found myself most invested in and most interested in a pair of characters That don’t actually have too much to do with the overarching main plot of the story I was enjoying Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood throughout its first episodes But I immediately became more invested when Ling Yao was introduced He’s a good character in his own right But this could also be just because I have an affinity to the type of character that he is and then there’s greed a bonafide Anti-hero and one thing about me. Is that I love a good anti-hero So I enjoyed these characters individually, but what really made them shine is when the narrative put them together Ling hails from the Eastern region of Xing he’s the 12th son born to the emperor and a descendant of the Yao clan He’s considered royalty and a candidate for ruling but the throne succession process in Xing is more brutal and bloody than you would think with assassination attempts being made on candidates on a regular basis as such he definitely hasn’t led a sheltered childhood and such a demanding life has made him intelligent Deceptive and tactical not to mention an absolutely amazing samurai Ling’s ultimate goal is to restore pride to his clan and so he sets out on a mission with his retainers Fu and Lan Fan to Amestris in order to find the coveted Philosopher’s stone and the secret of immortality In the hopes that this will lead him on the path to kingship This is his motivation at the start of the series and is maintained throughout Essentially being the essence of Ling’s character at the root of everything he does In terms of characterization ling is aloof, playful, and sometimes Careless in his behaviors and actions He’s childish. He likes to annoy Ed, and he does little things for his own amusement But beneath this behavior is a young man completely and totally driven by his ultimate goal Ling is extremely perceptive and resourceful always observing situations to see how he can best benefit from them He is totally possessed by his endeavors and will do nearly anything to achieve them Actually really similar to Griffith from Berserk in that regard, though obviously not quite as extreme But the other defining trait of a ling is what makes me like him so much, and is actually where he contrasts griffith in a big way: He just cares so much for people As demonstrated through the raw agony he displays at the prospect of losing people that are close to him The one thing that Ling lets get in the way of his goal is his drive to protect the people that he cares about like Fu and Lan Fan This is his objective drawback in his quest for the Philosopher’s stone And this would be his tragic flaw if Fullmetal Alchemist was a darker story He absolutely can’t stand when those in power dismiss Or don’t appreciate the assistance of those loyal to them because he believes that without others to rely on people are nothing He cares, and that’s what I really love about him Ling is so awesome to me because his endeavours which might otherwise seem selfish and reckless are driven by good morals He doesn’t do this sometimes drastic things that he does for personal pleasure or Glory His actions are dictated by a simple desire to do good by his clan and all those that depend on him Ling has the hopes of his people resting on his shoulders and this is so clear when you examine the pure desperation in some of his actions and behaviors when it seemed like his goals were either closer or farther than ever before He’s under an insane amount of pressure and while he is good at hiding it little cracks in the Facade sometimes show themselves throughout the series another trait of Ling’s character that really demonstrates his Righteousness are his beliefs on the duties of those in power and his idea of what a King is The topic of Kingship is one that really fascinates me, and I love hearing different perspectives on it in fiction Fullmetal Alchemist didn’t really cover the topic as deeply as something like Fate/Zero for me, but through Ling’s journey We see a perspective pretty similar to Saber’s idea, that a King’s duty is for the people Ling totally believes that an emperor should dedicate himself to serving the people not only because the right to rule is granted by the people, but because it should simply be a King’s duty An ideology like this was scrutinized by many in the much darker and more cynical world of the aforementioned Fate/Zero But for some reason this attitude does not seem nearly as naive in the comparatively more optimistic world a Fullmetal Alchemist Because of this, I really believe that Ling would be a good emperor, worthy of leading Xing His retainers believe it too and see that he is really a special person which drives his point home For Lan Fan and Fu this is a young man worth dying for Ling’s character Arc was a welcomed subplot to run parallel to the main story regarding the Homunculi, Father, and the brothers search for a way to get their bodies back It was really pleasing to see his success by the Story’s end Because of how rewarding it felt that all the sacrifices he made had ended up being worth it This investment in a character can really only be achieved if said character is likable enough for you to want to see him succeed And I thought that Ling was exceptionally appealing He wasn’t a character that added anything truly different to the narrative, but nonetheless I was almost instantly drawn into his character when he was introduced This fascination only increased as the story went on and we explored Ling at greater. Depth and slowly realized who he really was Until he solidified himself as one of my favorite characters in the show through his unorthodox selflessness Greed is not actually a completely extraordinary concept for a character The man who starts antagonistic and robotic but learns to care for others is a pretty common character type But if done properly then it can be very effective as seen in series Like Hunter Hunter Greed is the stripped away part of the dwarf in the flask’s personality that represents all of his… Well greed As such, and as you’d expect, Greed is completely full of avarice and desire He has a confident demeanor and comes off as a little bit in love with himself He starts his role in the series as quite a bit of an antagonist, but distinguishes himself from his fellow homunculus in three ways Firstly, Although he might say otherwise Greed forms very meaningful connections with others he was quite clearly attached to his allies at the beginning of his Arc Not to mention his mental distress after he murdered his old friend And while he seems oblivious to this at certain times He acknowledges during many parts of the story that perhaps his greed encapsulate more than just sex, glory, and power Second, Greed has a backbone and stands up to Father unlike the rest of his siblings Lastly, Greed doesn’t harbor a hatred for humans like the rest of his family. While he does think of them as tremendously weak and puny He never really expresses outright dislike for their existence like the other Homunculus and eventually these feelings expand Now these traits might not seem too significant, but they’re key to all of the development that Greed experiences Seeing Greed grow and learn throughout the show was really a treat mainly because of the way his character discovered What really mattered in life and how his redemption helped him to fulfill his true desires It’s clear that he pursues these grand ambitions and seemingly materialistic goals only to fulfill the emptiness in his soul Greed is not human and hasn’t been taught to care for others or to love and Most importantly he hasn’t actually been loved by his family This is why he gravitates to a crew that care for him early on and to a group of allies that support each other later He craves the affection of others at the beginning of the series He didn’t notice and believed that the emptiness that he was feeling will be solved by avarice and primitive gratification But this never really achieved what greed was looking for Through his journey with Ling and the relationships he develops with others Greed slowly begins to open up and accept people into his life perhaps beginning to realize that this is what he truly desires As the series goes on he gradually learns to respect humans for their character and perseverance He begins to care for Ling and the others and he soon realizes that all he wants is true friends to experience life with This is communicated more bluntly than ever through his tragic sacrifice at the end The Greed from the beginning of the series would never have even thought of sacrificing himself to save these humans But that’s the beauty of his character development He learned so much, within a relatively short span of time, about himself and Was finally able to find what he had been searching for his entire existence Greed and Ling are easily two of the best characters in the series individually But when you sort of combine them as a story of Fullmetal Alchemist did a really interesting and quite heartfelt relationship begins to Emerge The two initially began sharing a body and using each other as a means to their individual ends Ling learns of Greed’s immense power and immortality and sees it as a path to kingship Greed simply needed a body But this dynamic doesn’t remain so simple for long Greed soon begins to really respect Ling for his unflinching Determination to reach his goals and likens it to his own lust to achieve his respective ambitions He begins allowing Ling to have more freedom to use his body and loosens the reins a bit and This all just triggers the two men to slowly learn to accept each other and learn to cooperate in a mutually beneficial way The two are literally inside each other’s heads, so they learn a great deal about one another so eventually Ling learns enough about Greed’s internal state to find out that the homunculus is missing the warmth of Basic human connection and that this is the root of all his behavior I think that Ling really sees through Greed’s subconscious act even if Greed may not even have known yet himself And this understanding sowed the seed of a really great friendship as the two men learned more about each other and really became a fantastic team that cared for one another pinning these two together was really stroke of narrative genius that allowed for some fantastic exploration and development and Some really cool moments that played around with the two people in one body mechanic Ling and Greed seem on the surface to be completely different But through the slow uncovering of the two’s internal feelings it becomes pretty clear that they’re actually kindred spirits at heart both of them simply care for others and would find life meaningless and void without the love of friends Of course this is far from a unique take on the characters And you could actually apply that description to a number of Fullmetal Alchemist cast but the unique context of their scenario and the way that their characterization reveals itself was poignant and made the to stand out If you think about it the two men were really pretty simple characters, but simple does not mean ineffective Especially when care is put into the relevant characteristics to help the individuals shine It was really interesting to me to see the way that Greed and Ling’s relationship developed and by the show’s end They were by far one of my favorite aspects of the story Not to mention that their fight with Bradley in the show’s Climax was mind-blowing ly badass Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is definitely not a story that lacks heart and emotion But these two friends elevated that aspect of the story even further and I’m honestly not sure that Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Would be one of my personal favorite shows if Greed and Ling weren’t a part of it

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