"Nothing's been perfect." - Imperfection Makes the World Beautiful

Have you ever watched Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese anime?

by Hiromu Arakawa (Author, Artist)
© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep5
© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS
— Fullmetal Alchemist Ep5

I've been watching this on Netflix for two weeks in English and learned many beautiful words, phrases, and the concept of life throughout the episodes.

I can highly recommend this anime even to adults, though many scenes are too cruel to watch... Anyone who is interested in science might find this anime interesting since it brings up alchemy as science and quite logical.

In this anime, two things especially touched my heart. I picked one of them for this article, and the other one will be in the next article.

Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga/anime created by Hiromu Arakawa. This is a story about Edward and Alphonse Elric seeking a way to get their bodies back with their skilled alchemy and a legendary Philosopher's stone. Modeled after the 19C, Europe. More details can be found in Wikipedia: Fullmetal Alchemist or FANDOM

This post contains spoiler.

"Nothing's been perfect."

The first quote is from Van Hohenheim, who is the father of the Elric brothers.

© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep.51; Van Hohenheim
© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep.51; Van Hohenheim

But nothing's ever been perfect, haven't you realized that yet? The Earth turns on the tilt to the axis, just doing the best it can.

Van Hohenheim (Hohenheim of Light) — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 51

This script is from the ending of the very last episode, the conversation between Edward and Hohenheim. Ed wasn't satisfied with his unexpected situation and was seeking the next move.

Doesn't this Hohenheim's words sound encouraging? To me, it does.

Throughout my life so far, there have been so many things that make me feel frustrated, confused, depressed, etc. I also have many examples that I can prove myself not being perfect at all.

But all of them are just fine. Because "nothing has been perfect" and never will be.

What's more, I think this is beautifully translated from the original Japanese script. The original is like this;


(English subtitle says: "We can't say that everything is perfect. The whole world is imperfect, after all.")

Van Hohenheim (Hohenheim of Light) — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 51
  • 全て: all, whole    完全: perfect    世界: world    不完全: imperfect

If I were a translator, I would translate this as the English subtitle assigned to this script. This is good. But don't you think the English dubbed script is a wonderful analogy using the tilt of the Earth? The translators must be talented and have a sense of art!

Our world is imperfect, but it's still there for us.

The Hohenheim's words reminded me that my friend once told me like this;

The world is imperfect because we, the imperfect human beings, are the ones who are building it, not the perfect God.

When I heard her saying this, my frustration towards many undesired circumstances had gradually gone. No offense, but I felt like, "That's so true. Nobody is perfect, then how could our world be perfect? It can't be."

Then, this Roy Mustang's words in the same episode also sounded beautiful to me.

© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep.51; Roy Mustang
© 荒川弘/鋼の錬金術師製作委員会・MBS — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep.51; Roy Mustang

Nothing's perfect. For the world's not perfect. But it's there for us, trying the best it can. That's what makes it so damn beautiful.

Roy Mustang (the Flame Alchemist) — Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 51

Mustang was on the hospital bed after the huge battle with the Homunculus. When his subordinate—the lieutenant—said to him, "Your plan was perfect, and you did your part. But I should have gotten there sooner to protect you...," Mustang said these words to her. Oh, what a great boss..

If you're interested, you can watch the whole series on Netflix, which I did (as of 02/02/2021). After watching the entire story, I feel like purchasing the comic books, the whole 27 volumes 😂   This was that much interesting with deep life lessons. I'd love to give a round of applause to Mr. Hiromu Arakawa and the associated creator teams.

by Hiromu Arakawa (Author, Artist)
by Hiromu Arakawa (Author, Artist)
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