Whew… It’s been a while since I did an Inconvenient Questions post, hasn’t it? I did Big Hero 6 while it was still in theaters, and I’d like to thank you guys for making it one of my most viewed posts ever, but that was back in the fall. I really need to get back in the saddle on this thing. But in order to do a proper Inconvenient Questions post, I need a movie or mini-series that doesn’t make any damn sense. I need one that Cinema Sins hasn’t gotten to yet. In other words, for the first time, I’m doing an anime movie.
But which one should it be? There’s no point to using the pokemon movies, and while the Steins Gate movie was certainly idiotic, there aren’t that many questions I can ask about it. No, I promised to do FMA and Negima this month, and since I already tore the Negima movie to pieces, I guess that leaves FMA Brotherhood’s big movie, The Sacred Star of Milos. Apparently Japancinema.net calls it the best entry in the franchise, so let’s see if that claim holds up.
As usual, this post is going to contain spoilers. I’m watching the whole movie straight through, and I won’t be giving context for most of these questions, so if you’re looking to keep up, it’s best you buy a copy for yourself and watch along with me!
Let’s get this thing started!
1: Not sure how I feel about that Bones logo.
2: Opening exposition says that the Alchemist who opens the doorway will find a true nightmare. Does that mean this movie will be exploring the other side of the door?
3: Why am I getting flashbacks to the movie Anastasia?
4: Why would you give your child daughter a window seat to a firing squad slaughter? Wouldn’t a good parent sit her in the aisle, so she wouldn’t have to see it?
5: How can she sleep with her head on a thin wooden armrest? We’re talking serious neck pain here.
6: Has he really read those books so often that he’s memorized the page layouts, and can immediately pick out a page that shouldn’t be there? Based on her reaction to seeing him read them, and his willingness to let her see him do it, I’m guessing she wouldn’t be so surprised if that were the case.
7: Loved one goes to investigate scary noise cliché. And why does she go after him?
8: Ed getting scared by a party popper is really funny, but how did a heavy suit of armor sneak up on him?
9: An explosion from another building that far away broke their windows? Mythbusters frowns upon this.
10: How did Ed and Al drop out of the air to surprise him?
11: How did he activate that transmutation circle on his palm? By willing it so? There has to be some kind of cause and effect here…
12: How much blood did he lose making those other circles, exactly?
13: Why does Mustang have such a tsundere-like reaction when he sees the Elrics?
14: Nobody else investigating that crime scene noticed that missing picture from the paper? And why wouldn’t he take the whole article? Hell, if he has no qualms about blasting a hole in the side of the building, why not stuff the whole damn page in his pocket?
15: And if he has something on him that can cut the picture that neatly, then why did he have to bite his finger to bleed?
16: Blasphemy, that island clearly looks like a Jellyfish!
17: Shouldn’t Ed and Al be upstanding citizens, providing an example for people to follow? Why didn’t they buy train tickets? I wouldn’t have pegged them as the power abusing type.
18: Yeah, border towns are so annoying… How dare they expect you to follow the law!
19: Why did they take off their masks before running away? Would have saved time by leaving them on…
20: How did that dapper gent hear them from another car?
21: Why are spies so bad at their jobs?
22: What train are they on, the coincidence express?
22A: I’ll give them one thing, it’s the most well animated entry in the franchise. This is some Miyzaki quality shit.
23: Wait, the passengers were all waiting to ambush the flying terrorists who were waiting to ambush them, and the poor military didn’t know about it?
24: How does anybody… Even a werewolf… Survive that jump?
25: Why are the military such poor shots? Are they the same ones from Pixels? I bet Adam Sandler could take down all of those gliders.
26: Shouldn’t the soldiers have swapped out their blue uniforms for red ones? Because, you know…
27: How does Al see that woman so clearly from so far away?
28: And how did she grab that thing in free-fall while spinning like a top, with only one hand?
29: The weight of her body pulls Al’s head off, but doesn’t pull his arm out of it’s socket? You’re lucky that rescue scene was so awesome, or I’d be pissed right now.
30: Hold up. How do all of these people instantly grasp exactly what happened to Al?
31: How did Ed transmute rope from metal?
32: Why is Winry in this movie? Is she here to drop that plot point about his arm being numb, so it can come into play later? Well, job done, you go now.
33: Again, why is Mustang acting like such a tsundere?
34: So Armstrong’s the one who cut that picture out of the newspaper? He then hid the paper under the prisoner’s mattress, just so he could give the picture to Mustang? I know I’ve run into more convoluted excuses for cameos before, but they all involved Stan Lee.
35: Can’t Al use alchemy to escape that cell?
36: So not only has this society that doesn’t understand God’s domain know all about human transmutation and seeing the gate, but Julia knows who the Elric Brothers are? More on this later.
37: A couple of brilliant scientists didn’t understand what lava is. They thought it was like freaking mako from FF7. Can I have my money back?
38: Miranda’s the only female member of this terrorist group… She must be an important character.
39: Does Julia know what brainwashing is?
40: Oh god, more of this… Why do they think a volcano is going to gain their society it’s independence?!
41: How did Ed pinpoint all of those people hiding underground?
42: Does all of Amestris get the same newspaper?
43: They’re taking Winry with them? Why?
44: If there’s an automail engineer in Milos, doesn’t that make Winry’s inclusion in this story kind of pointless?
45: Oh, so it’s not just the hicks in Milos, but it’s also the Cretans who want to use the magma for energy. Does anybody in Amestris know how volcanoes work?
46: Shouldn’t the secret police be better at not tripping alarms?
47: That’s not a very well-hidden tunnel exit, you know.
48: They shoot people on sight for climbing the cliff, but Julia just got arrested? What the hell’s so special about her?
49: Oh no, Pedro… Who’s going to tell his sexy wife?!
50: When is she going to ask her brother what happened that night?
51: Doesn’t healing alchemy technically count as human transmutation?
52: What was that thing he turned into earrings? Was that a landmine?
53: Snap-on earrings? Those don’t hold very well.
54: So Al was just biding his time? Okay, so, these people have researched Alchemy. They know what it can do. Instead of handcuffing Al, wouldn’t it have made more sense to separate him into pieces and put each one in a different cell? Even if they didn’t expect a suit of armor to have enough strength to break a pair of cuffs, they should have figured that he has the ability to take his damn hands off. Hell, HE should have thought of that.
55: Through all of their alchemical research, they somehow got the wrong name for the Philosopher’s stone… And only the Philosopher’s Stone? Wait, let me guess… They called it the Sanguine Star so they wouldn’t have to put the words “Philosopher’s Stone” in the title. The fact that it’s the same damn macguffin the rest of the series is based around is supposed to be some big spoiler, isn’t it?
56: Three identical wolf chimeras? What’s up with that?
57: I get the Elric brothers needing floatation devices, but why doesn’t Julia know how to swim?
58: So Miranda knows the stone has pultiple names, but Julia didn’t until now?
59: Hey, buddy… You’re cutting your hand pretty deeply. Does it hurt?
60: Why are they dumping all of this exposition on the Elric Brothers? Do they really need to know all of this?
61: They automatically believe that the star requires human lives? Nobody’s going to ask for clarification, or evidence, or something? At the very least, I would have asked “Where did you hear that?”
62: And her parents knew about it? How the hell did they figure it out?
63: Wasn’t that Ashley guy cutting up his hand earlier? Where’s all the blood?
63A: Not a question… I’d just like to point out how funny it is to hear somebody who was cutting an inch-deep shape into his own hand ask somebody else how much blood they’re planning to spill.
64: Oh shut up, Ed. Without the stone, they’ll just get killed anyway. Can’t you get off of your high horse and look for a way to help them succeed without the stone? Oh right, you’re only that smart in the original series.
65: So men in this society die in combat, but women die picking flowers and giving birth? That seems mighty patriarchal for a society that has a woman in charge of her own air force.
66: Are Mustang, Hawkeye and Winry going to serve any purpose to this story other than dumping exposition? Oh, and I just love how Mustang claims dwelling on the past is pointless. I agree, the present story doesn’t need to be overstuffed with character’s from the show’s past.
67: Why isn’t Winry sitting with them?
68: Was Ashley’s backstory recycled from Scar?
69: And was moustache-guy recycled from Yoki?
70: There are a few dots missing, Al. Pay attention.
71: Did she just call an old man by the title of “Old Man?” Jeez, even Old Man MacGucket gets more respect than that.
72: How did that bracelet get so much bigger?
73: Was this shot of an underground ghost town… No, it can’t be. They couldn’t have stolen this idea from Conqueror of Shamballah. There’s no way they’d be that stupid. Is there?
74: Man, I don’t know what to question first. The fact that moustache guy was following them undetected, or the fact that he was REALLY banking on them putting the tomb’s lid back where they found it when they opened it up. Can I just ask both?
75: Why is Creta on fire? Did I miss something?
76: If Alphonse can use alchemy with his hands off, without creating a circle, does that mean this movie takes place AFTER he saw the doorway?
77: I know I used this joke already, but are blue coats the new red shirts?
78: HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE. Now, I know enough about storytelling to know what “Men are expendable” means. It means that in a fictional story, it’s easier to see a bunch of male no-names die, so you can kill them by the dozens. But female deaths are reserved for making the audience feel bad, and for making the villains appear more evil. It’s lazy, it’s sexist, and if this movie really built the Milosian army with the express purpose of employing this trope, then that’s just disgusting. That’s the specific reason why Miranda is the only female member of her own army… So she could be betrayed and stabbed in this scene. “Oh no… I’ve seen more than twenty people did in this movie, but a man stabbing a woman? That’s just tragic!” Are you fucking kidding me?
79: How much blood does she have in her? I doubt one person could fill those pipes alone. Or hell, even that second person.
80: Were her boob size suddenly increased to make this stabbed-in-the-lower-back scenario look more sexual?
81: Why does his voice get raspier the second he reveals his evilness?
82: Also, why do you need blood to complete a transmutation circle? I mean, I thought all you needed was the circle, and enough human lives standing inside of that circle. If the pipes are already in the shape of the circle, shouldn’t it have already made the stone by now?
83: Why explain all of this before you kill her?
84: Now he’s ripping her clothes off? Isn’t there enough sexualized man-on-woman violence in this scene?
85: Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just casually bleeding from an open wound in my side.
86: How is Miranda still alive? And how is that guy just now starting to feel pain?
87: How does that transmutation circle know what angle it’s supposed to be viewed from to be correct?
88: For Ed to pull that much material out of the tower they’re standing on, wouldn’t he have had to reduce the tower’s mass significantly?
89: -There’s really a stone just sitting right there out in the open, just waiting to be taken?
90: What kind of alchemy does faux-Ashley specialize in, exactly? There has to be some in-universe science behind it, right? How is he just shooting lightning?
91: Wait, that’s how the Philosophers Stone works? You have to swallow it? Seriously?
92: Didn’t Roy and Riza know Ed was in the area before they departed? Why are they surprised to see him?
93: Was catching moustache guy the only plot-specific purpose that Hawkeye had? There are other ways that could have been done…
94: If Ed is such a good alchemist that he can create something as intricate as a pulley with a long-ass rope in it, then why can’t he just use alchemy to fix his automail arm?
95: Winry, there is literally no reason why Ed couldn’t have just visited that Milosian automail engineer without you. I mean, if he was Ed’s one hope and then he died, you showing up in the nick of time to use his inventory and then struggling against time to understand his foreign tools would have been pretty bad-ass, but that didn’t happen, did it? REMIND ME WHY YOU’RE HERE?!
96: Is it so those EdXWin junkies wouldn’t be bored?
97: Where the hell did her brother come from? Where was he hiding this whole time? You can’t just deus ex machina this shit, it’s too important!
98: I know this is a common enough movie mistake, but you do know lava doesn’t have to touch you to burn you, right?
99: Couldn’t the Philosopher’s Stone just turn the lava into water? It’s supposed to break all the rules, so why the fuck would this be impossible?
100: Al and Julia should be dead by now. There’s no way around it. That rock may be blocking the lava from touching them, but it… along with the ground they’re standing on… Should be superheated by now. That, along with the lava flowing all around them, they’re both basically in the world’s hottest oven right now. How far can peoples’ suspension of disbelief stretch, anyway?
101: Oh, for crying out loud… Ashley’s mask isn’t a flat object. It has three dimensions. In order for Ed to cut it in half, he’d have to have cut open his face, too. I’ve had three Irish Carbombs since the movie started, so how am I not drunk enough for this shit to make sense?
102: And if we’re doing random, pointless cameos, how has the construction of a giant Stone transmutation circle not caught the attention of the homunculi?
103: HOW THE FUCK DID JULIA GET AWAY FROM THE LAVA THAT WAS SURROUNDING HER, AND HOW DID SHE DO IT WITHOUT TAKING ANY DAMAGE?!?!
104: And how did an earring amplify her power so much? Is that earring more powerful than a fucking Philosopher’s Stone?
105: Couldn’t the Philosopher’s Stone just turn the lava… And the entire volcano… Into a solid rock?
106: So, each stone has a power output limit before they disappear into thin air?
107: If Mustang, Hawkeye and Winry weren’t in this movie, would the outcome have been any different? Like, if the Milosian engineer fixed Ed’s arm, and Moustache guy just fell to this death, would anything have turned out differently without those three?
108: So, Julia saw the gate, but can she transmute without a circle now? I think I’d like to see her do that at least once.
109: Why does he think she’s pretty now? She was pretty before.
110: Why’s Ashley putting the mask back on if his face is fixed? Is this, like, a V for Vendetta situation?
111: Why exactly is this movie held in such high regard? It’s really well animated, and has a lot of awesome action set pieces, but it’s terribly written, and it doesn’t make any sense. Why the intense fanhood?
And that’s that, folks. I’d love to see your answers if you have any. In the mean time, stay tuned next week for a post about a topic that’ll be near and dear to any Negima fan’s heart. As for Inconvenient Questions, you won’t have to wait more than half a year for the next one… I’ll be posting one in October!
See you then?