When it comes to anime, fans have seen it all. The medium has everything from dragons and magical cats to moon-destroying monsters who teach. There is no limit to what anime can do, and fans are always asking for the medium to better represent its viewers. So, you can see why a guy like Edward Elric is important.
Yes, the hero is the star of Fullmetal Alchemist, so he is important for that alone. The franchise is known as one of shonen’s best leads, and Edward stands as a top-tier hero within the genre. His small stature and big heart are well-known within the fandom, but some tend to forget the hero is really disabled.
So, one fan took it upon themselves to remind the world why Edward’s visible disability matters.
Over on Tumblr, the user Fandoms and Feminism laid out all the important parts of Edward’s devastating disability. As a double amputee, the hero has plenty of hardships to face, and his automail accounts for several of them.
When a fan asked if Edward was truly disabled because of his advanced prostheses, the Tumblr user stressed no amount of tech could replace what Edward had taken from him. “Having prosthetic limbs (that more than once break and need repair) doesn’t make him not disabled,” the now-viral post reads.
Fans continued to share moments where Edward faced the realities of his disability. Not only did the hero have to undergo an extremely painful surgery as a kid to get his automail prostheses, he continued to experience phantom limb pain. Edward had to learn how to write all over again, couldn't go anywhere too hot lest his automail burn his skin, and more. It was even alluded that Edward's height came about because his heavy prostheses stunted his growth as a child.
“Ed can’t actually do everything perfectly and experiences a lot of extra hassle, problems, and pain people without automail don’t have to deal with,” the post finishes.
Of course, Edward is not the lone disabled character in anime though he may be its most famous. Bleach's Jushiro Ukitake was so sickly that he became disabled, and Shanks of One Piece lost his arm. Other series like Guilty Crown, Hunter x Hunter, Code Geass, and My Hero Academia all feature disabled characters as well. Naruto has also championed disabled characters with its most famous being Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha. The pair were able-bodied for much of the franchise, but its ending saw the ninjas become amputees. Naruto and Sasuke each lost an arm during their final battle at the Valley of the End. While the blond-haired ninja went on to get a high-tech prosthetic, Sasuke chose to live without one and relearn how to fight and perform jutsu one-handed.
Do you agree with this Fullmetal Alchemist post? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!