※ Permission to upload this was given by the artist.
Free! :: Chibi Sailors¬ Dedicated to Zerrin! Happy birthday sweetie ♥
that’s not a weird question! It’s actually a fanmade manip!
Post-Mockingjay AU - Peeta and Katniss’ daughter learns about the Hunger Games
Rémy and I were considering what would Ed be like if he’d never attempted the human transmutation of his mother. If, to go even further, he grew up happily, with his mother alive, and in his optimal environment. Without the need to learn alchemy so quickly, to train or fight, to join the military and survive against a ton of people who want to kill him…would he be the fighter he is?
His nature is argumentative. He will yell, scream and rail against people who disagree, who call him short, or who rub him wrong. However, I don’t think that he, by nature is a fighter. He’s verbal, and theoretical. This shows in his love of research, and quest for knowledge. He wants to find the Philosopher’s Stone, and he goes after it by diving into books. It’s only the fact that people are trying to stop him, that he needs to fight them off.
Teacher’s philosophy is another thing that has shifted where he might have ended up. I think Ed is an intellectual, but as Ed has said, you have to train the body to train the mind. Without this quest, or the training he received (solely because he wanted to learn, and he ended up with Izumi, who’s a very physical person) he’d probably spend much more time in the mental world. He also has this streak of kindness, empathy and a firm knowledge of the beauty and rights of human life. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have such a firm belief against killing.
Alphonse, by contrast, is very nice and sweet on the surface. He cares about others, and isn’t shy about it. But, he’s got a sassy streak, and is colder in his judgements towards others. He is a physical guy. He’s very good at the fighting, and doing, and he excels more than Ed at the practical alchemy. It’s ironic, or perhaps telling, that he’s the one that lost his physical body. Katie has a headcanon that when he goes to the East, he learns as many different styles of martial arts as he can, and I think that’s very likely.
There is a difference in their fighting styles as well, that you can see in the anime. Edward is defensive. He dodges, and ducks, using his smaller size to his advantage. He uses the sword arm to block, and mainly engages with people who have attacked him. He never goes in to wound, or especially kill, only to prolong the fight until he can get away, or the person stops.
Alphonse is quick and efficient. He moves to take someone down with as few moves as possible. This is why, in their sparring together, the fights last a while, but ultimately, Al always takes Ed down. In their fight on the roof, the reason Ed won so fast or at all was because he was using the opposite of his usual fighting style, and took him down in one move. Al wasn’t prepared for that, not that Al wanted to fight in that moment anyway.
An example that illustrates all this is Greed’s kidnapping of Al. Al, when threatened (somewhat vaguely, honestly) goes immediately to ‘well, I’ll beat you up and make you tell me what you know’. Ed, when he got there, is yelling and making noise, but he makes no move to attack until Greed does. Also, if Greed hadn’t kidnapped Al, he probably would have been interested in talking with him, since all Greed wanted from the start was an exchange of information.
In short, Ed is all bark and no bite (unless you attack him or his loved ones). Al is no bark and all bite. You think he’s the sweeter younger brother until he really isn’t.
The fact is, they are very well constructed characters. They both have a surface persona that has characteristics that are very much them. But underneath, there are traits that are also them, and is very different, or in opposition of their surface character. This is how humans are, and the fact that Arakawa created such intricate people to read about is an indication of her skill.
This is part of a long conversation Rémy and I had, which included other upcoming topics of meta, such as why Ed should not be a stay at home dad, the topic of killing in the manga regarding Ed, Al and Winry, and disabilities and dreaming, among other things. Those will be upcoming soon. Thanks for reading!
asdfghjkl Princess Mononoke is actually one of the studio ghiblis I still haven’t seen omg but I believe this link should work!