Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist)
|Fullmetal Alchemist character|
Scar by Hiromu Arakawa
|First appearance||Fullmetal Alchemist manga chapter 5|
|Voiced by||Ryōtarō Okiayu (Japanese, 1st Series)
Kenta Miyake (Japanese, 2nd Series)
Dameon Clarke (English, 1st Series)
J. Michael Tatum (English, OVAs & 2nd Series)
|Relatives||Unnamed Brother (deceased)|
Scar (スカー Sukā ), also known as Scarred Man (傷の男 Kizu no Otoko ), is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa. Scar is introduced as a villian who targets alchemists working for the state military from the fictional country of Amestris. Scar is from the race of Ishval that was almost exterminated in a previous civil war against the state military, most notably their alchemists. His alias is derived from the prominent X-shaped scar that decorates his brow with his birth name being unknown. As the series continues, Scar's backstory is further explored and he questions his motives.
Scar was created by Arakawa in order to represent the continuous encounter that happened between people from Hokkaido and the Ainu. Therefore, she regards Scar as a complex character as his hatred spanned from the Ishval's civil war. Similarly, his character was received positively by publications from manga and anime, who find him as an atypical villain in the series.
Scar is introduced in the series as a serial killer who targets alchemists working for the state military from the country of Amestris as revenge for their involvement in Ishbalan civil war, which caused the death of several of his comrades. During this war, a state alchemist named Solf J. Kimblee attacked Scar and his friends and family. With the last of his strength, Scar's brother attached his own arm, through means of alchemy, to Scar. This gives Scar the ability to use alchemy despite being a taboo for his people's religion, as Ishbalans believe that only God has the right to create. However, instead of fully transmuting what he comes in contact with, he simply decomposes it into individual elements, completely obliterating the object. Using this ability, Scar tries to kill the state alchemist Edward Elric in Eastern Headquarters, but escapes upon being ambushed by the military. Knowing that the Elric brothers are headed to the first branch library, he goes there to ambush them, but he is found by creatures known as the homunculi. Retreating from them, Scar then joins with the former military lieutenant Yoki and a young immigrant named May Chang to go to Central City to continue his revenge. He finds the Elric brothers unaware that it is part of their plot to lure out the homunculus. During this encounter, Scar involvement in the deaths of parents of Winry Rockbell (who were doctors during the civil war, who Scar had killed while being treated after having woken up to discover his brothers arm attached to his body and killed the Rockbell's in a blind rage) is revealed by Edward (who was unaware that Winry was present at the time) and confirmed by Scar. When the Edward and his brother Alphonse try to beat him while capturing a homunculus, he is saved by May. He agrees to help May find her pet panda in thanks for saving him. Scar and May end up stumbling upon the Elrics in the homunculi lair, where Edward reveals the fact that they sparked the Ishbal rebellion. As he escapes, he finds Dr. Tim Marcoh, a state alchemist who participated in the Ishbalan war, who asks Scar to kill him as he is being used by the homunculi. Scar agrees to fulfill Marcoh's wish in return for the true story behind the Ishbal Massacre. After learning the truth behind his brother's research involving alchemy, Scar decides to spare Marcoh's life to help him learn more. Scar's group makes their way to the North where the secrets of his brother's research are hidden.
During the journey, Scar continues to be the target of the state military and is ultimately captured by the Elric brothers. When they discover that Kimblee is nearby, searching for Scar, a friend of the Elrics, Winry Rockbell, proposes that she be used as a "hostage" by Scar to provide cover for the Elric brothers, and to secure herself from Central's grasp. In the end, he and his group, together with Winry, go through an unused mine tunnel under the city. After succeeding in their escape, Scar joins forces with the Ishbalans as well as Edward's group in order to strike on the corrupted State Military controlled by the homunculi. While attacking their base, Scar fights the homunculus King Bradley. After defeating him, a severely wounded Scar uses the last of his strength to activate the transmutation circle that the Ishbalans secretely made around the city to enhance the alchemists' powers thanks to his brother's notes and stop the homunculi's leader. Following this, General Olivier Mira Armstrong saves Scar's life to aid the military in rebuilding the Ishbalan nation. Scar agrees, deciding to give up his birthname and his nickname.
In the first anime
Targeting Edward Elric, Scar is found by the homunculi, recognizing Lust as his brother's deceased lover. Scar barely survives as his wounds are tended to at an Ishbalan refugee camp. When the Elrics break into the military's Laboratory Five, Scar follows them, confronting the homunculi again. In the laboratory, after seeing Edward refuse the homunculis' offer to obtain a Philosopher's Stone by killing the prisoners held within the laboratory, Scar interrupts them to give the Elrics time to escape. Scar returns to the refugee camp occupied by the remaining Ishbalans, only for it to be attacked by mercenaries posing as the State Military. After he and the Elrics save an Ishbalan child from them, they reach an uneasy truce.
Through further study, Scar eventually comes to realize the true nature of his arm as an incomplete Philosopher's Stone. Concluding that he needs the stone to stop the action of the State Military, he travels to the war-torn desert city of Lior and inscribes a gigantic transmutation circle around the city itself. Learning of his presence there, the State Military arrives in force. Once again, Edward and Scar battle, but they are interrupted by Rose and Lyra, who are allied with Scar. By then, Kimblee leads a small army of chimeras into Lior, and with the evacuation nearly complete, Scar and Alphonse engage him in combat, which ends with Scar managing to mortally wound Kimblee at the cost of his left arm. Kimblee, however, transmutes Alphonse's body into explosive material before dying. To save him, Scar transmutes his remaining arm, and all the power and souls within it, into Alphonse's armored body. Scar uses the last of his strength to complete and activate the transmutation circle around the city, dying as the transmutation took place, and the Philosopher's Stone is completed - within Alphonse, saving his life and killing several groups of soldiers attacking Lior.
Creation and concept
The major conflict between Scar and the State Alchemists is based on Hiromu Arakawa's own background when she lived in Hokkaido. In such region, Arakawa's ancestors took the Ainu's land for their own, but some of them also turned out to be Ainu. This is represented in Scar's revenge against State Alchemists as he ironically uses alchemy like them in order kill them despite being a taboo for his religion. As a result, Arakawa comments that rather than being a common "evil antagonist," Scar's character resulted from several catastrophes that occurred in the Ishbalan Civil War and such a label should be avoided. When illustrating characters, Arakawa states that Scar became one of the easiest ones to design.
In each of the popularity polls made by Monthly Shōnen Gangan Scar has appeared within the top 20. As a result of often sharing his spot with animals and Hiromu Arakawa's alter-ego, the character has been shown angered after the end of the polls, to the point of killing Arakawa.
Critical response to Scar's character and development has generally been positive. DVD Talk writer Bobby Cooper initially noted Scar's story to be one of the series' themes against religion, but concluded that it was not as he was just using his religion to justify his murders. Todd Douglass Jr. from the same site called him "a deep character with a tragic past" as despite being a murderer, he comes to share the same points of view from the Elric brothers across the series. Holly Ellingwood from Active Anime noted Scar to be "a character so much deeper than just a foil for the brothers" [Edward and Alphonse Elric] due to how along the series it is shown his backstory and it is explained why is he determined to kill all the State Alchemists unlike other villains. Mania Entertainment's Chris Beveridge celebrated Scar's introduction in the second anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, remarking that "we learn a good deal of recent history in a short time that paints a picture of exactly what’s going on". While reviewing the second anime's second DVD, Sean Broestl from Anime News Network (ANN) was curious to who is such character, as he is shown in the first episodes but he is never introduced. However, he was looking forward to seeing his introduction and how he would affect the Edward and Alphonse Elric. His second fight against the Elric brothers in the manga and his confrontation with Winry Rockbell were praised by Sakura Eries from Mania who found the former to have its "own surprise moments" while the latter had her "on the verge of tears". Carlo Santos from ANN also praised Scar's fights in following volumes from the manga, commenting that they contain "lots of exhilarating action and creative fighting moves".
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- Ellingwood, Holly (March 8, 2009). "FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON". Active Anime. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- Beveridge, Chris (May 7, 2009). "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #05". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Broestl, Sean (August 5, 2009). "Fullmetal Alchemist DVD 2: The Scarred Man of the East". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- Eries, Sakura (July 25, 2007). "Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. #12". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
- Santos, Carlos (May 26, 2009). "RIGHT TURN ONLY!! Sodium Hypochlorite". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 15, 2009.