My Top Ten Stories of All Time: 7-6

Moving down the list, we’ve got my 7th and 6th favorite stories of all time!  Displaying some of the most thematically powerful storytelling I’ve experienced in my life, we’ve got some stories that, in my mind, have very undeniable quality, yet aren’t quite the things that have touched me on a personal level.  They’re wonderful stories, that I’ve loved to analyze and enjoy, and as such, have distinguished themselves as a cut above the rest.

And well, here they are.

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Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: A Theological Analysis of The Homunculus, Alchemy, and The Truth

Now, now, now, I know what you’re thinking.  Symbolism?  You mean like those cool tattoos the homunculi have?  The seven deadly sins?  Father’s Jesus symbolism?  We’ve seen that before!

No way, that’s simple stuff.  Here on Reading Between, we got bigger fish to fry.

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood has received critical acclaim from many sources, myself included.  It is one of the greatest anime of all time, in my humble opinion, and a big part of that was an adventure that perfectly blended action, character development, and thematic strength.  Among its thematic strengths, was the prevalence of knowledge, and the seven evil Homunculi or artificial humans, each named for one of the famous Seven Deadly Sins.  This is common knowledge, however: and what is lost in many a symbolic analysis of the series, is a meaning that is far greater.  What I am talking about is The Dwarf in The Flask, The Homunculus, known as Father.

Father is one of my favorite anime villains of all time, but not for an imposing presence, not for his sheer evil, not even for really being a stereotypical “good” villain throughout the series.  Rather, Father sums up the thematic patterns of Full Metal Alchemist WONDERFULLY, his existence in and of itself so full of symbolism, that I’m surprised people haven’t noticed it.  Yes, Father does fit the “wise old man,” Jesus stereotype, he dresses in white, and his name alludes to God himself, but man, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Just a heads up, this is gonna be LONG and DETAILED.   And is in fact, the LONGEST and MOST DETAILED analysis on Reading Between up to this point, that tackles basically everything about FMA, from the thematics of alchemy, to the symbolism of Father himself, to even what the Truth actually is.  So, hope I can keep it entertaining and educational for ya’ll- let’s get it started.

…Or you could skip to the TL;DR version at the bottom.  It’s cool, you can do that too.  :P

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Some of My Favorites: Five Great Anime Antagonists

In any anime, any genre, a good antagonist almost always steals the show.

Although not always, they often provide the driving force, and are a huge part of what make the anime something notable.  As great as a protagonist may be, part of that greatness is certainly derived, from the extent to which the antagonists push them to their limits.  Through the villain, the story is pushed to higher stakes, the plot becomes something worth being invested in, and our interest as watchers increases.  And, honestly, there’s quite a lot of villains that meet these criteria- lots of them are done really, really, really well.

That being said, I’d like to talk about some of my personal favorite villains that fit the bill- the five villains that, in my book, encompass what villains in any anime should be.

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