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[personal profile] lennan
I started to respond to this post in the Hagaren_manga LJ community, but when it started to get too long and I realized that I wanted to use other comparisons, I decided to take it to my journal. And I realized that it was going to be a fruitless debate à la BleachAsylum when Ichigo turned into Ichistein, the scene which I'm going to mention here because I think the situations are similar.


Honestly, I don't think that the point of the chapter was making one kill "pure" versus another. The issue is this: if you can kill out of rage and vengeance so easily, how will this make you the "good" leader you want to be? Once Roy dirties his hands by becoming ruthless for "small" reasons (not to demean personal feelings, but as a leader, I don't think a person has the luxury of being a "regular" person anymore, the responsibilities are greater. This is why a lot of people are simply not qualified to be leaders), he can no longer be the "good" leader he wants to be. If his judgment of how to deal with one enemy is so clouded by his personal vendettas, then how is he supposed to deal with larger crises? Ones that require finesse, ones that are more complicated with direr outcomes than who killed Maes Hughes? Would his judgment then be equally clouded? Would he stop listening to reason and his advisors? How would he then view the people he's supposed to rule and protect?

If Roy did kill Envy in this manner, he then would be no different from Father and the Homunculi, who view humans simply as resources. In essence, he becomes Stalin. Secondly, the chapter wasn't about Envy at all or even really about killing him, but about Roy. And who Roy is. In many ways, the chapter illustrates the same moral problem explored in Bleach's Lust chapters. The same issue came up about the nature of the killing. To some people regarding FMA, talking about who kills whom and why one way shouldn't be done is just splitting hairs. In Bleach, the issue was the end justifies the means (which is pretty relevant in FMA as well, but I didn't see much about that). Here, Roy would still have to kill Envy since he, like Bleach's Ulquiorra, is an enemy. But the problem with the way that Ichigo offed Ulquiorra, and the way Roy would have offed Envy is the same. It asks the same question: is killing some part of himself really worth ruthless vengeance over Envy or, in Bleach, is trampling over all of his ideals of battle and honor worth defeating Ulquiorra? To me, the price is too high. And both manga agree with my sentiment. If you have to kill a part of yourself to kill something else, how is that justice? How is that right? Nothing was gained, no one would have won (except maybe Envy or Ulquiorra). The conflict in both instances was of moral ideals of the soul not simply about what type of kill is right; between being an "enlightened" person who rules with benevolence and prudence and the warrior who fights honorably, or a beast who lives only to satisfy his lowest emotions. Flatly, what would have happened is that Roy would have betrayed his own ideals and by doing so, he would become a hypocrite if he continued to say that he would rule by his ideals. Same for Ichigo.

Scar said it best: as another person consumed by vengeance, he had no right to preach to Roy, but he wanted to see what kind of world such a person would make. I can't say that it would be a particularly nice one, since it shows the darkest aspect of Roy's character. In addition, Roy's actions would become empty of meaning in the end because he would have forced Riza to act and in the end destroy her as well as him. This is why I think it was important that Roy didn't have the chance to kill Envy, especially considering that we're not reading a dark story about the spiraling descent of the well-meaning man into darkness.

From a purely personal standpoint (as in if I were in his place, not me personally), yeah, I suppose you could argue that Roy killing Envy in a mad rage is justified or that it doesn't make a difference whether he did or Riza did, since killing is still killing. But that's simply taking Roy without taking who he is and wants to be. The problem is that Roy is not a person like Kimblee, nor supposed to be. If it were Kimblee, then that behavior would be expected and understood, while hopefully not condoned. Sure Kimblee suffers no delusions nor romanticism about events in his world, but he's also completely destructive to society if left to his own devices. The key difference is the ideals that drive a person.

Also, I could talk endlessly about why Envy committing suicide is the most appropriate form of death for him, but that will probably be later. XD
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