Why Fullmetal Alchemist Is One of the Most Important Things That Happened To Me
Today is October 3rd. If you haven’t watched Full Metal Alchemist, that might not make sense to you. But if you have, this is a day remembered by fans. It is the day that Ed and Al, determined to restore their lives back to normal, burned down their home. I wanted to call out this day not only because it’s a part of the story, but also to take a moment to reflect on how awesome my life is because of FMA.
I was a late bloomer in the geek world. I watched anime growing up, but I didn’t have a group of people around me who also watched it, so I didn’t know that amazing groups, fandoms, existed. I went along, in my bubble, watching my Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors, Ranma, Iria Zeiram [ok who else watched that one? i loved it!], quietly for many years.
Then I got through college, I only had one job, and suddenly, I had so much free time! It was an amazing feeling. Before long, I stumbled upon a manga, Fullmetal Alchemist. I hadn’t read manga before, but I was intrigued by what little I had heard about the story. This was in the spring of 2006.
By summer of that year, I had revived my livejournal account and had joined several FMA communities there after catching up on the anime and finishing what there was of the manga, and was attending my first Anime Expo in cosplay as Edward Elric. I won’t show any pictures, because I made my automail out of the back of a silver binder and my wig was terrible, but it didn’t matter. What mattered is that in that one weekend, I realized I need all these people in my life.
And that is exactly what happened. Not long after Anime Expo, there was an FMA gathering, where I met more awesome amazing people, including miss Space Pirate Queen and Fortune Cookie.
The story continues on. I went to Yaoi Con in the fall of that year with one of the girls I had met at AX. And there, I met even more people. By the winter of 2006, I had a network of friends, of fandom friends, of GEEKS, that I had never had before. It felt amazing. I felt alive, and I was starting to feel like myself, being with more people who were excited and passionate about something.
Eventually, this new found passion and geekiness would end up being a major breaking point in my relationship at the time. I felt like I had to hide who I was at home, and if I didn’t, I was made fun of. It was so frustrating, to finally discover myself, and not be able to embrace it fully.
But everyone I have met, as the years have gone by, have shown me that where I am now, it is the right place. I’m with someone who appreciates my geekiness, and my friends are all people who understand that as well. I watch anime, I cosplay, I read manga.I have kept in touch with most of the people I have met over the years, and I met them all because I started reading Fullmetal Alchemist.
So today I wear my red hoodie with the flamel on the back, and my State Alchemist watch, and transmutation circle earrings, to remind myself that it’s okay to be a geek, and it’s okay to be yourself, because then your life is just that much better.