Roy Mustang

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Roy Mustang
Fullmetal Alchemist character
Mustangteam.jpg
Roy Mustang by Hiromu Arakawa
First appearance Fullmetal Alchemist manga chapter 4
Voiced by Toru Okawa (Japanese, 1st series)[1]
Shin-ichiro Miki (Japanese, 2nd series)[2]
Travis Willingham (English)[3]
Profile
Aliases Flame Alchemist

Roy Mustang (ロイ・マスタング Roi Masutangu?) is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa. In the series, Mustang is a State Alchemist of Amestris' State Military as well as the superior of the series' protagonist, Edward Elric. Mustang holds the title of the "Flame Alchemist" (焔の錬金術師 Honō no Renkinjutsushi?) for his ability to create fire with alchemy, and he ambitiously strives to become the next leader of Amestris. Despite his ambition, as the series continues Mustang decides to overthrow the State Military after his best friend, Maes Hughes, is killed by the homunculi, who are controlling the Military. Therefore, with his most trusted comrades he resolves to defeat the Military.

Besides his appearances in the manga and the anime, Mustang has also been featured in other media from the series such as Makoto Inoue's light novels, the original video animations and the Fullmetal Alchemist video games. Since his introduction in the manga series, Roy Mustang has been well received by readers, appearing second in each popularity poll from the series. His character has also received praise in various outside media, with many of them focusing on his character and development in both manga and anime.

Appearances[edit]

Roy Mustang is introduced in Fullmetal Alchemist as a State Alchemist working for Amestris' State Military and as Edward Elric's superior. Outwardly arrogant and playfully manipulative, Mustang is intelligent and adaptable.[4] At the beginning of the series, he appears as a ruthless careerist and a womanizer. However, he is known to bear strong feelings towards Riza Hawkeye, although he seldom shows it. He is also eventually shown to be a rather paternal commander who greatly cares for the emotional and physical well-being of his men. This earns him the fierce loyalty of his subordinates.[5] This paternal nature stems from his experience in the Ishbal Civil War where he was forced to kill using his flame alchemy, despite having learned it to help people. After the war ended, Mustang resolved to protect his subordinates. Angered with how he was used in the war, Mustang decided to become the country's next leader.[6] A powerful alchemist in his own right, Mustang wears gloves with transmutation circles that create sparks or flames when he rubs his fingers together. By adjusting the oxygen densities in the surrounding atmosphere through alchemy, he can create flames anywhere in the surrounding area at will and manipulate them as he desires.[7] While it is often commented that Mustang is unable to produce fire with his gloves wet,[8] he can as long as he has some way to call up flame.[9]

Following the death of his best friend, Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes, Mustang investigates the incident in secret despite the military closing the case after convicting Maria Ross. Trusting in Ross's innocence, Mustang fakes Ross's death and engineer her escape from Amestris.[10][11] While breaking into a military laboratory, Mustang kills Lust, an immortal creature known as homunculus, who was investigating his actions and was going to kill subordinates.[12] Recovering from his wounds, Mustang learns that the Führer King Bradley is also a homunculus and tries to expose him to the top echelons of the military.[13]

This move costs Mustang and deprives him of his subordinates - Bradley places Hawkeye under his command and authorizes the transfer of Mustang's remaining personnel to the far reaches of Amestris.[14] Mustang is later contacted by General Olivier Armstrong, who is intending to join forces with various troops to attack Central City. He then meets up with his subordinates and the four attack Central's military while Bradley is gone.[15] Mustang later confronts the homunculus Envy after learning that he was Hughes' true murderer—fueled by rage, Mustang easily defeats Envy. As Mustang prepares to finish Envy, he is convinced by Hawkeye not to kill him, not allowing his thirst for vengeance to consume him.[16] Later, the homunculi attack Mustang, forcing him to use alchemy to become the fifth human sacrifice needed for their leader.[17] This results in Mustang losing his eyesight as part of the sacrifice, although he continues to fight with Hawkeye to help him direct his attacks.[18] However, after the final fight is over, a former comrade, Tim Marcoh, appears with a Philosopher's Stone and offers to use it to restore Mustang's eyesight on the condition that he promises that he will be a part of a movement to restore Ishbal. Mustang accepts and is put in charge of the East region, as Brigadier General.[19]

In the first anime[edit]

During the first anime, Mustang remains at Eastern Headquarters for the early portions of the series until he is transferred back to Central after Hughes' death.[20] When pursuing the Elrics after the Stone's creation in Liore, Mustang learns that the Führer is a homunculus, and tries to expose him to the top brass of the military by revealing the truth about the Führer's secretary, Juliet Douglas.[21] Although Bradley intends for him to die in combat during the Northern Campaign, Mustang instead stays in Central, making his move to avenge Hughes's death. Mustang then moves on to the Führer's mansion and stages his fight.[22] Mustang is able to defeat Bradley when his son, Selim, unwittingly brings the skull of the man from which the Führer was created and weakens Bradley. As Mustang escapes the Führer's mansion, he is confronted by a maniacal Frank Archer, who shoots him. Hawkeye arrives in time to save the man she loves and kills Archer.[23]

In Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa, Mustang resigns from both alchemy and his rank to become an ordinary enlisted man in a remote outpost. However, when Central is under attack by armies and airships from a parallel universe, Mustang steps up and takes command, using his alchemy to defend Central. Mustang and his comrade Alex Louis Armstrong are able to find a hot-air balloon to reach the airships, where he is reunited with the Elric brothers, and helps them gain entry into the airship. At the end of the movie, Al says that Mustang and his team are now responsible for destroying the Amestris side of the Gate.[24]

In other media[edit]

Besides his appearances in the manga and the anime, Mustang also appears in most of the Fullmetal Alchemist original video animations, which are omake of the first anime and the film sequel.[25] In the fourth light novel from the series written by Makoto Inoue, Fullmetal Alchemist: Under the Faraway Sky, Mustang, Hughes and Armstrong find a village populated by children while they are in holidays.[26] In the following title Mustang also appears investigating a case involving chimeras beasts.[27] In video games from the series, Mustang commonly appears as a supporting character to the Elric brothers' investigation of the Philosopher's Stone as well as new attacks to the State Military.[28] He is also featured in several cards of the Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game.[29] Mustang's character is featured in the second volume from the character CDs series from Fullmetal Alchemist. The CD was published on December 15, 2004 under the name of Hagaren Song File - Roy Mustang. The tracks were composed by Kazuya Nishioka and performed by Toru Okawa, Mustang's Japanese voice actor in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime.[30]

Creation and conception[edit]

Before Fullmetal Alchemist started publication, Arakawa had already thought that during the series Mustang and his soldiers would fight against the antagonist Lust. She wanted that fight to be one of Mustang's most impressive scene in the series, so she decided to give him calmer situations before such scene. Having had only one important scene before his fight against Lust made readers from the series criticize Mustang's appearances; in order to change the readers' opinions about him before the outcome, Arakawa set up the sub-plot of how Maria Ross was accused of killing Maes Hughes and Mustang would intervene there. When King Bradley was revealed to be an antagonist from the series, Arakawa wanted to mark the differences between him and Mustang as while both have subordinates, Mustang is unwilling to sacrifice them unlike Bradley. As an important part for the series, Arakawa had troubles drawing that and is unsure whether the result was good.[31]

When the first guidebook of the series was released, Arakawa was surprised by the large number of images featuring Mustang and supposed he was a character "that's easy to mess with."[32] Regarding Mustang's popularity within fans, Arakawa stated that while some consider him good-looking, it is still above average and that he was not too tall.[33] While checking sketches she made before the series, Arakawa comments that most featuring Mustang are comical with few of them showing him with a serious expression.[34] After ending the series, Arakawa was asked by several fans if Mustang and Riza Hawkeye ever got married. She commented that they could not marry as it would result Hawkeye not being able to continue serving Mustang due to military regulations.[35]

In the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, Mustang was voiced by Toru Okawa,[1] while in the second anime Okawa was replaced by Shinichiro Miki.[2] In the English dub of the first anime, Mustang was voiced by Travis Willingham. Willingham first auditioned for the part of Mustang after Justin Cook said he would be just right for the role. He also auditioned for Armstrong, but that went to his colleague, Christopher Sabat. Travis also stated that during production, he and Vic Mignogna re-recorded several parts as he was not satisfied with the result.[36]

Reception[edit]

During January from 2007, Oricon made a poll in which they asked Japanese fans from manga and anime which characters from any series they would most like to see in spinoff series. In the survey "Men's choices" Mustang ranked sixth.[37] In the July 2009 issue from Newtype, Mustang ranked sixth in the survey best anime male characters.[38] In the August 2009 issue his rank changed to #8.[39] In another Newtype poll from March 2010, Mustang was voted as the eleventh most popular male anime character from the 2000s.[40] He has also taken high places in the Animage's Anime Grand Prix polls in the category of best male characters.[41][42] His character has ranked second in all of the popularity polls from series developed by Monthly Shōnen Gangan, being each time surpassed by Edward Elric.[43][44] Merchandising based on Mustang's likeness has also been release including figurines, keychains and gloves for cosplaying.[45][46][47] Shin-ichiro Miki, Mustang's Japanese voice actor in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was the winner from the fourth Seiyu Awards in the category "Best Supporting Actor Awards" for his role as Mustang as well as Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Lockon Stratos.[48] NTT customers voted him as their eleventh favorite black haired male anime character.[49]

Publications of manga, anime and other media have commented on Mustang's character through both manga and anime. While reviewing the first volume from the manga, Manga Life found that Mustang's character was more mature in the manga than in the anime.[50] On the other hand, in the review from the first anime's last episodes, Lori Lancaster from Mania Entertainment liked Edward and Mustang's relationship as although they never act friendly, most Mustang normally lies to the Elrics brothers in order to protect them, making Lancaster note that both characters have similar personalities.[51] Sakura Eries from the same site notes that Mustang "steals the show" during the volume 10 from the manga. She praised his fighting skills shown in such volume during his fight against Lust and Gluttony. Additionally, when in the same volume Maria Ross was revealed to be alive and that she was not killed by Mustang, Eries remarked his work as leader and that she took back her negative comments regarding Mustang when she thought that Mustang really killed her.[52] These sub-plots were also commented by IGN's D. F. Smith as it expanded Mustang's character much more than in the first anime series where he had relatively smaller appearances.[53] Lydia Hojnacki from PopCultureShock noted Mustang's character as one of the reasons she likes the series, noting his personality and relation with the Elric brothers.[54] When he watched Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa, Anime News Network writer Theron Martin mentioned that when Mustang "makes his dramatic return in a cheer-out-loud moment", he remarked the audience "went wild at that point".[55] In IGN's review of the same film, Jeremy Mullin commented that he wanted to see Mustang's counterpart from Germany as several characters from the series had their counterparts, but then said "it does make it fun imagining what" he would be.[56] David Smith from the same site cited his role and ambitions in the first anime series in the feature "Ten Things I Learned From Fullmetal Alchemist" which had comments on his flaws.[57]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Director: Yasuhiro Irie (April 5, 2009). "鋼の錬金術師". Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Tokyo Broadcasting System.
  3. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (November 20, 2004). "Mother". Fullmetal Alchemist. Cartoon Network.
  4. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). "Chapter 4". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-920-8. 
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  6. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2007). "Chapter 59". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 14. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1380-5. 
  7. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). "Chapter 5". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 2. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-923-9. 
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