On 3 October 1910, Edward and Alphonse Elric burned down their house and began their journey. I watched Episode 3 "Mother" and Episode 17 "The House of the Waiting Family" in their honor today. I haven't watched Fullmetal Alchemist since last year on 3 October; it's interesting to go back to the anime medium, because the storytelling strategies and the pacing are so different from what I'm used to now. But if I hadn't needed to stop and do schoolwork, I probably could have sat there and watched the whole thing all over again--it felt like a homecoming.
I will always love this series; it defined the entirety of my 2005 to 2007. It was my first Livejournal fandom, and one of the only things I've shared with a lot of the friends I made at the time, and still love dearly. There were other factors for many of these friendships, but I still associate them with Fullmetal Alchemist, to some degree. People who mean the world to me, like kuchren and hieronymousb (who won't see this) and betterinorange. anat_astarte, ketita, ranty_rie, evil_kat, seers_atemu, isolabela. Offline, wopfan (who won't see this) and reiayanami89. That's basically half a decade, guys.
Fullmetal Alchemist deepened my love of siblingship, of travel, of fandom--the people and the fic and the art and the vids and the crack and the angst and the challenges and the wank and the tentacle porn and the pre-series familial gen. Everything I know and love today. Fullmetal Alchemist was my gateway drug; and whatever fandom I'm in, that's something only FMA can be. ♥
And because I rec these every, every year--two of my favorite Elric-related poems:
TAKING GOOD CARE OF MY BROTHER
Corinne Hales, CSU Fresno
I've exposed the whole underside
Of a fallen sparrow
With a flick of my boot's toe.
Maggots. The belly is raw,
Crawling with disease. The bird
Squawks and one brown wing beats time
Desperately at the dirt.
My little brother cries.
He believes I can heal it
If I want to. I believe
There is no hope.
They say when the time comes a bird
Will push her half-grown to the edge
And over. Who can blame her?
How could she possibly know
Something is so wrong? I can't make myself
Touch it. My brother,
Hands clamped over his ears,
Becomes pure vision,
Shutting out all reason.
And the terrible screeching
That comes from both their mouths
At once demands a miracle
I cannot provide. I scoop
The bird into a tin can
And carry it further
Into the yard where we are burning
Paper trash in a black oil drum.
My brother watching, I toss the thing
Quick toward the flames
And the bird, out of my hands,
Starts to fly.
Without hesitation, it flies straight
As if the miracle has happened,
Into the hot bright heart of the fire.
Corinne Hales, CSU Fresno
No one we knew had ever stopped a train.
Hardly daring to breathe, I waited
Belly-down with my brother
In a dry ditch
Watching through the green thickness
Of grass and willows.
Stuffed with crumpled newspapers,
The shirt and pants looked real enough
Stretched out across the rails. I felt my heart
Beating against the cool ground
And the terrible long screech of the train's
Breaking began. We had done it.
Then it was it front of us -
A hundred iron wheels tearing like time
Into red flannel and denim, shredding the child
We had made - until it finally stopped.
My brother jabbed at me,
Pointed down at the tracks. A man
Had climbed out of the engine, was running
In our direction, waving his arms,
Screaming that he would kill us - whoever we were.
Then, very close to the spot
Where we hid, he stomped and cursed
At the rags and papers scattered
Over the gravel from our joke.
I tried to remember which of us
That red shirt had belonged to,
But morning seemed too long ago, and the man
Was falling, sobbing, to his knees.
I couldn't stop watching.
My brother lay next to me,
His hands covering his ears,
His face pressed tight to the ground.