We’ve all encountered it. That moment when the hero declares that they refuse to take another life. That they will never kill because killing is wrong. And although I happen to agree with that, it’s not usually played out in a very realistic manor. Which is what made this same declaration in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood by the Elric brothers stand out. Because they were being realistic about it.
The thing about memorable heroes isn’t that they just say heroic stuff, but that they stick to their convictions no matter what. Edward readily admitted that his stance on killing was stupid considering their position. That he’d probably get killed himself because of it. But he also believed it was worth sticking to regardless. From the time he makes that promise onward, Edward and his brother keep it, which is no small feet. And not all the other “hero” characters agree with this idea, let alone follow it. Riza and Roy, for example, continue their jobs as soldiers and killing is something they don’t avoid.
This is refreshing because, realistically, not every person in a group would agree to one particular method. Especially when thousands of lives are on the line. As noble as the Elrics’ stance is, it’s also extremely dangerous (for enemies don’t follow any such rule). The Elrics knew full well the danger and accepted it, regardless of who agreed with them.
All considering, a few newer shows could benefit from this. Yes, there are naive people who makes commitments without thinking of the consequences. But I’d love to see more heroes like Ed and Al. Ones that know the dangers full well and accept them with confidence. Not because they know for sure they will win, or even because their allies agree with them, but because they know for sure what they’re doing is right.