Solf J. Kimblee – The Psychopathic Realist (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)


it doesn’t get any better than that
I can feel it deep in my bones like a part of me I never noticed before that
sound is an extension of my being on this land this land that’s governed by
death I will paint it red with this shard of destruction I couldn’t dream of
a more fulfilling fill Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is a story full of
characters fixated on breaking through the bonds that the world has seemingly
placed upon them whether you look at the brothers improbable quest for restoring
their bodies Ling’s desire for kingship breeds underlying need for human
connection or even father’s endeavor to defy and overtake God these characters
are overcome with an ambition that seems to supersede what is actually possible
given the hands that they have been dealt in life and while there is no
shortage of characters that are willing to remain and not reach higher than
their stations the narrative is lacking in the type of person that is able to
address some important themes by cutting through idealism and blind ambition to
see the world for exactly what it is until we properly meet Sol J Kindley
note that this video will be about the kimbley of the original manga and
Brotherhood not the one from the 2003 adaptation while there are some
parallels between the two Kimberley’s they do diverge in several big ways and
I just happened to find the Brotherhood version far more appealing the crimson
alchemist is actually one of the first characters in the series that were
introduced to but we aren’t really allowed into his world until further
down the road and what a cold twisted world that proves to be above all things
Kindley is a bona fide psychopath. he relishes in pain suffering and
destruction and describes the sounds of agony and bloodshed like absolute music
to his ears he seems to have a sort of almost erotic fixation on extreme
auditory stimuli in general with the sounds of the explosions that he creates
being particularly pleasurable to him but as prominent as his psychotic traits
are they’re surprisingly not the characteristics that define him
in an interesting move when it comes to his characterization kimbley contrasts
his love for violence with a great amount of pragmatic realism he is part
sadistic agent of destruction and part eloquent a moral realist he dismisses
morality as a nuisance that only serves to distract people from their true goals
and his ability to see things from a cold and neutral standpoint makes him
one of the most insightful characters in the series using his cut-and-dry
philosophy to see situations as they are without getting led astray by fanciful
notions you’re insane kimbley my standards do
tend to differ from society’s however if I survive this battle then the world
will have chosen my sanity over yours there’s a bit of playful wickedness and
the idea that one of the most amoral individuals in this setting is the one
that seems to see things that clearest seeing us everyone in the story
acknowledges that kimbley sees things far differently from society from a
certain point of view it could be construed that his brand of immorality
is one that has its benefits from a logical standpoint that maybe this
allows him to see things clearer than anybody not that I’d ever be one to
advocate moral decay and the series conclusion is one that contradicts some
of Kimberly’s ideas but it’s hard not to concede that his philosophy has its
practical advantages now while his lack of morals helped make him the textbook
psychopath kimly is not only self aware of this but
able to reel it in when he needs to he was able to pass his state Alchemist
certification test by hiding his psychopathic traits further displaying
how pragmatic and logical he is Kim Lee’s philosophy in life is one tinged
with nihilistic aspects but while most nihilists are defined by a concrete
disinterest in all things Kim Lee is far from apathetic and detached from the
joys and extremes of life he has never went astray from the action he has been
shown to let his rage get the better of him and his hedonism dictates his
behavior at times upon being at the brink of death he is overcome by
excitement because he is reminded that his choice to live on the edge is truly
what makes him feel alive since he is always operating so close to death death its closing in one who spreads
death and destruction must accept their pursuits he will never be far from
either but what could be more beautiful than doing work that puts your soul at
risk because that’s what it means to be alive at least on this battlefield this tendency of his to live life on the
edge ensures that he always remains honest while he isn’t adverse to using
deception if he needs to Kim Lee never act in a way that would be traitorous to
his convictions and true self and being someone who operates in such radical
truths he can immediately sense dishonesty because of his ability to
eliminate bias and analyze situations without the burden of a moral compass or
a side to truly belong to Kim Lee is the character most capable of calling people
out on their foolishness or hypocrisy for the majority of the series the
brothers fight against the tide constantly looking for ways to defy
their fate and bypass equivalent exchange which is made doubly difficult
when the two resolved to not harm any innocence in the process but when
Alphonse tells Kimberly that he wishes to both save people and get his body
back Kim Lee dismisses this as foolish idealism he says that life follows
equivalent exchange and as such things probably won’t ever work out perfectly
for them the world doesn’t allow for anyone to
have their cake and eat it too and he tells al that if he hesitates on
his original goal due to this meaningless morality he may end up not
accomplishing either of his goals and this is quite a resounding statement
that not only adds an element of cynicism to the narrative but is a
sentiment that the audience may have shared at that point in the story he
constantly mocks the paradox and EDD in Al’s unwillingness to kill despite their
desperate yearning to get their bodies back he says that this is a naive and
unrealistic way to go about life given their goals but what’s important is that
he is not malicious when he debates ethics with them Kim Lee speaks
legitimate truths based on what is known in this situation he is a bit of a
mediator laying the facts out there and allowing the brothers to do with his
words what they will all the while being entertained by their journeys in one of
the flashbacks to the ishbalan slaughter this type of reasoning is shown again
upon seeing Hawkeye and Mustang agonized at the fact that they’re killing
innocents Kimberly reminds them that this is their
job they were not told that this would be glamorous or that they were going to
be righteous upstanding soldiers they joined the military by choice knowing
that things may come to the they were told that their job was to
follow orders and now it’s time to follow through with their oath
essentially he tells them to man up because this is what they signed up for
it was meant to be used to help people so why is it being used to kill them
instead because that’s the job we state alchemists have been given to do you ask
why we’re here killing these people instead of protecting them because this
is a war and that’s what soldiers do isn’t that right you think this is our
job to cause tragedy well that’s how it seems
that’s enough Kimberly I’ll tell you what I don’t get did you people expect
something different you act like you’re surprised like you didn’t choose this
did you put on that uniform thinking you wouldn’t be asked to kill the one thing
worse than death is to avert your eyes from it look straight at the people you
kill don’t take your eyes off them for a second
I don’t ever forget them because I promise that they won’t forget you
Kimberly finds quite a bit of entertainment in pointing out the
stupidity of morals while he never really says much about his views on
power from what we see in the story I’d imagine that his thoughts on it are
similar to that of Kings Bradley but contrasting Bradley he concerns himself
much more with people because they fascinate him and when it comes to the
military he wants to point out the blatant hypocrisy and those who
ironically champion righteous morality as if they’re the better people for
feeling some remorse Kimberly is fine with bloodshed on a grand scale but he
has absolutely zero tolerance for naivete and others seeing themselves as
righteous when they contradict this with their actions he does enjoy fighting
quite a bit but Kimberly usually only battles someone when he has a point to
prove or a job to carry out his true fights tend to be ideological ones where
he wants to prove the flaws in his opponents
and the views he champions tend to be ones that are quite damning on humanity
as we see in the very same scene Kindley says something that alludes to another
important trait of his personality his belief that humans are inherently
violent in nature tell me miss you’re not very happy to be here are you
well you don’t appear to be but can you honestly tell me in that split-second
when you take down an enemy you don’t allow yourself to feel the slightest
tinge of satisfaction and pride in your skills well miss marks and what’s
interesting here is that while horrified Hawkeye doesn’t actually deny this or
tell Kimberly that he’s wrong this is one of the few times that he actually
ends up the idea that mankind is full of posturing hypocrites acting as if
they’re on some moral high ground when deep down everyone is the same
and just hide it to varying degrees although he doesn’t verbalize this that
much it is an idea that defines him he knows of the inner darkness in people
because he is possessed by that darkness kimbley really has no true allegiance in
the grand fight of the story and when he isn’t killing the masses because he
needs his fix he legitimately doesn’t display any malice to anyone unless they
show a lack of consistency or conviction he does not value himself as someone who
is above taking orders because he sees and acknowledges the truth of hierarchy
and his place in it however he does not let this hierarchy
define him kimly is distinct and that while
everyone has grand goals to take down homunculus humans alchemy or even God
his ultimate goal is to be an observer of the war to come all the while
engaging in his explosive and violent urges along the way though he is on the
homonculus side he is only there because of the powers they bestow upon him he
has no stake in this fight he just wants to see what happens when humans and
homunculus clash he’s interested in seeing what the world’s fate will be and
believes that the battles outcome will be a cosmic endorsement of that size
philosophy do you have any idea what they’re doing what you’re helping them
to achieve I’m curious to see how the world will change both sides clashing
will against will life vs. life humans are the homunculi
which one will triumph which side does the world prefer they’ll monk you’ll I
like to see themselves as the next step in the evolution of humanity but that’s
for history to decide in his final contribution to the story kimbley
remains as consistent as ever he’s able to remain individualistic within the
huge amount of souls in prides body thinking of their nightmarish screams as
a lullaby he points out the shameful irony of a homunculus named pride
wanting to jump ship into a human a lower life-form in order to escape
mortal peril pride has no pride as a monk ulis and lives its life in direct
opposition to what it stands for and as such kimbley deems it unworthy of
existence logical until the end doing what he sees as the natural order in the
world Kindley boughs out from the story with satisfaction and the tip of a hat
kyndley is very similar to hunter hunters Hisoka
he has hedonistic tendencies he’s a bit of an agent of chaos he doesn’t take
sides and he simply takes part in the things that interest him the most
notable similarity between the two for me however is that like Hisoka kimbley
is a great narrative tool for balancing the story though while Hisoka is a
counterweight when it comes to tone kimbley balances things more
thematically and ideologically the writer of the series he modo Arakawa
goes through great lengths to ensure that the flaws of her characters are
laid bare to the world Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is not a story
about idealized people flawless in every way and righteous in their path to
victory it’s a story about simple flawed humans struggling within themselves as
they walk the path that they hope with all their might is the right one no
character in this story is without their hypocrisy Zoar personal faults and
kimbley is the narrative tool used to great effect to ensure this without his
constant questioning of our protagonists and antagonists viewpoints we would have
a story lacking in believability when it came to the nature of its characters his
interactions with the main characters really accentuate exactly what ed and Al
were standing for and why they were actually
a bit foolish to do so and yet one could argue that this foolishness is admirable
as all hell for what it represents we never might have viewed Mustang
Hawkeye and Armstrong as truly flawed people if he didn’t call them out we
would never have known about prides tragic flaw if Kimberly hadn’t actively
demonstrated it himself and one of the most impressive things about this is not
just that Kimberly does all of it but that he does it without feeling forced
and while being totally in character with his need to cut through morality
and his ability to challenge character philosophy using the known rules of the
world’s being a byproduct of his characterization Kimberly is quite an
exceptional character for someone who has a relatively minor role in terms of
plot impact he leaves his mark on the narrative as a whole through his
contribution to its themes and philosophy through his interactions he
brings to light some things that the audience may not have thought about
regarding the world and setting and emphasized and strengthened the ideals
of the characters and message of the narrative through his direct questioning
of pre-established ideas Kimberly also just adds a bit of chaos factor to the
series while remaining completely consistent to his ideals and personality
and though his state was short-lived the crimson alchemist is a great example of
how to use secondary characters to add balance reveal insight present character
flaws and emphasize the ideals shown by characters through confrontation he can
be quite an undervalued character and I feel like the narrative would have a
very distinct something missing if he was absent thanks so much for taking the
time to watch this video Kimberly is a character that a few of
you have wanted to know my thoughts on so I hope that I didn’t disappoint and
many many thanks to the patrons who stuck with me this past month despite a
lack of content one last thing I just like to thank displayed for sponsoring
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much again for checking out the video I wish everyone the best and I’ll see
you in the next one you

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