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

Continue reading “Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: A Theological Analysis of The Homunculus, Alchemy, and The Truth”

Sin, the Book of Genesis, and Playing God: a Death Note Analysis!


WARNING: Religious topics, particularly those discussed in the book of Genesis, will be used in this analysis.  If that’s not your cup of tea, skip the post and move on!

What would YOU do, if you had a book that would kill anyone whose name was written in it?  This is the dilemma presented to one Light Yagami, who chooses then, to become “Kira,” God of the new world.

Death Note has earned a huge following since its release all the way back in 2006, and for good reason.  Providing a very, very unique concept that enthralled the minds of many, the idea of owning a “Death Note,” the series has become an anime legend.  In the series, this concept was supplemented by massive amounts of symbolism, adding huge amounts of depth to the series that made it extremely memorable.  That being said, I would like to take a quick look at just one of many aspects of the symbolism that can be seen in the series- sin, and how Light’s eventual downfall reflects the Fall of Man.

Despite being based at least partially on research and analysis, this is very much an opinion on how Death Note uses religious concepts, so if you do wish to continue reading, you can take whatever opinions I throw out with a grain of salt.  There are many, many ways in which to interpret Death Note, but what’s for certain is that there is certainly meaning to find here.  And of course, it might go without saying, but spoiler alert.  Without further ado, let’s get into the intricacies that Death Note has to offer us!

Continue reading “Sin, the Book of Genesis, and Playing God: a Death Note Analysis!”

A Look at Xenoblade Chronicles: Gnostic Roots

Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the most INTERESTING games I’ve ever had the pleasure to play.  Between great characters, a crazy setting (the entire game takes place on the bodies of two planet-sized robots like what the hell) inspiration from,  of all things, ancient Gnostic beliefs, and a great story to boot, Xenoblade is ridiculous in the best way possible.  There’s many, many things in the game that i could talk about, from the depth of its characters, to the philosophy it presents regarding Divine Command Theory and the definition of a God, but for now, for those unfamiliar, we can go over the basic Gnostic ideas it presents- namely, the conflicts between the godly figures in the game.

And, oh yeah.  SPOILERS.  We will be going over basically all of the biggest plot twists of the game, including the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles, so don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled.  Mind you, it’s still a phenomenal game even if you do know the plot, so do as you wish!

And yes.  This topic has been covered before, by Chuggaaconroy, by other blogs, but it’s still an interesting thing to look at, and this can easily be a springboard to other interesting thoughts.  So, if you’ve seen this before, you might not be surprised, as a fan of the game.  So.  Yeah. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Continue reading “A Look at Xenoblade Chronicles: Gnostic Roots”