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Fullmetal Alchemist: Representing the German Übermensch

The anime and manga series, Fullmetal Alchemist, shows heavy influence from a young German (Some would even say Nazi Germany). Nietzsche is said to have been Hitler’s favorite philosopher; however, that is not the focus of this topic. The focus and reason for this topic is to discuss how alchemy, in the universe of Fullmetal Alchemist, makes people the Übermensch (translating in English to Overhuman or Superman). Nietzsche believed that the Übermensch would be the next part of evolution (if I remember correctly), so how does Fullmetal Alchemist handle these humans, that know alchemy, that are clearly more powerful than the average person. Colonel Roy Mustang, one of the series most powerful alchemist, can, with a snap of his fingers, destroy an entire town. Major Armstrong could be seen as an Arian ideal for the Übermensch. He is not only physically strong, but he represents perfection in form and art.

  • Definitely think the focus should be on Armstrong himself. A compelling argument, and using FMA as the backdrop with Armstrong as primary example would be extremely effective. My six years of University have led me to believe this anyways. – smartstooge 1 year ago
  • Wouldn't the homunculous be the superhumans? I wouldn't say Roy is all that special, any alchemist could produce fire with a snap if they had similar engraved gloves/hands. Edward and his teacher are a more compelling argument because they've evolved past needing circles to perform alchemy by using the circuits in their bodies attained through knowledge. Still, knowledge isn't an evolution (although having the capacity to understand it might be, and even then they don't process all that they see). The homunculous are an actual next step up from average humans; they don't need to age, they have inherent super powers, and regenerative abilities. I think the article should address the homunculous and enlightened humans even if it only serves to continue to promote Armstrong as the anime's intended ideal. – Slaidey 1 year ago
  • I wouldn't consider the Homunculus in this. The reason being is that the Homunculus were not humans in the first place, while Alchemists like Armstrong have made themselves more than a normal Man. Also, one of the points of being a state alchemist was to be made better than humans. Someone should also consider whether the State Alchemists are the Übermensch, or they are all working towards becoming the Übermensch. Edward, Alphonse, and their teacher may be enlightened, but they are only like that because of the path that they took. – garland41 1 year ago
  • A side note: while Nietzsche was a favorite philosopher among the Nazi brass, he was staunchly opposed to Nazi ideals. His Nazi relatives, after his death, twisted his message and pushed him toward popularity within the Third Reich. That doesn't really change the übermensch message in Nazi narratives, but it is an important distinction when talking about Nietzsche himself. – Kristian Wilson 1 year ago
  • That's a good point from Slaidey about the fact that the alchemists aren't necessarily evolved but just have certain knowledge and skills that could theoretically be learned by anyone. Even Armstrong is just a man who, through serious discipline, has made himself as strong and smart as he is, yet is not necessarily evolved (although it would be very important to discuss his image as the hulking blonde guy who is spoken of so highly).At the same time, garland41 has really made the important point that the situation could be one of becoming Übermensch, not necessarily already being them. Given that this discussion would dismiss homunculi as being not human, I think the strongest piece of this discussion would be the State Alchemists' work towards becoming something more. After all, the FMA series holds very high aesthetics and themes from late 1800's - early 1900's Europe. – carp000 1 year ago
  • I agree with the comment on Major Armstrong looking like an Arian, but Mustang isn't exactly super powered because of his ability to snap and create big explosions, this only happens because of the gloves he wears that cause sparks and then the fact that he compresses the oxygen around him to cause the explosions. Also, the fact that there is Fuher does support the Nazi statement a little bit, but back to the point of superhumans fit the humunculi a lot better. After all, they are basically evolved humans with skills to manipulate their own bodies. – BrainiacGamer3 1 year ago