Panel Video: Fullmetal Alchemy at Anime Boston 2016

A panel I gave at Anime Boston 2016, talking about the real-world alchemical tradition and how Fullmetal Alchemist references and builds on it.

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2 thoughts on “Panel Video: Fullmetal Alchemy at Anime Boston 2016

  1. A theme I’ve seen in at least three major anime is the idea of a crisis that empowers the Jungian shadow, and compels a confrontation in which the character either accepts the shadow and obtains power, or rejects the shadow which then consumes them and transforms them into a monster. The character in question may or may not have the option of choosing the outcome.

    The examples are Persona 4, (which is a video game but very anime) in which nearly every party member chooses rejection and undergoes transformation into a boss fight, and then get a second chance (through player defeat of the boss) in which they do acceptance and receipt of power, allowing them to join the party; Bleach, in which consumption by the shadow is the origin of Hollows, ordinarily unavoidable and only avoidable for the main character due to mad science that affords him the opportunity to instead get a DBZ power up; and Madoka Magica, in which a scenario in which consumption is inevitable is replaced by a scenario in which acceptance is inevitable.

    – – –

    I wasn’t able to hear the good suggestion for Alphonse’s shadow.


  2. Yep. It’s a VERY popular concept in anime and video games. Another example: despite the name, Id in Xenogears functions as a textbook-perfect example of the personal Shadow.

    That’s a very interesting description of the difference between the original Madoka universe and the one Madoka created. I like it!


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