Winry Rockbell

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Winry Rockbell
Fullmetal Alchemist character
WinryArakawa.jpg
Winry Rockbell
First appearance Fullmetal Alchemist manga chapter 9
Created by Hiromu Arakawa
Voiced by Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese, 1st series)[1]
Megumi Takamoto (Japanese, 2nd series)[2]
Caitlin Glass (English)[3]
Profile
Relatives Pinako Rockbell (Grandmother)

Winry Rockbell (ウィンリィ・ロックベル Winryi Rokkuberu?) is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa. Winry is a 15-16 year old mechanic who often spends time with the central characters, brothers Edward (Ed) and Alphonse Elric (Al), who are childhood friends of hers. Specializing in mechanical repair, specifically prostheses called automail, Winry services Ed's replacement arm and leg. Originally meant to be introduced in the series' first chapters due to its lack of female characters, some of Winry's traits are based on Arakawa's own life. In the first anime adaptation, Winry is voiced by Megumi Toyoguchi in Japanese and by Caitlin Glass in the English version. In the second anime adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, she is voiced by Megumi Takamoto in Japanese, with Glass reprising the role in English.

Besides being in the manga and anime series, Winry is also in the first anime's sequel film and original video animations (OVAs). Readers of the manga have ranked her among the top ten characters in the series. Periodicals and other media for manga and anime fans have praised her for her attitude, her relationship with the Elric brothers, and her development across the manga series.

Appearances[edit]

Winry's first appearance in the manga is when the Elric brothers return to Risembool in order to ask Winry and Pinako to create another automail for Edward's right arm after it was destroyed by the criminal Scar.[4] Winry is portrayed in the series as kind, optimistic, and sincere, acting as a concerned family member to the Elrics in their company. She had known Edward and Alphonse since childhood. In the story, she was orphaned at a young age when her parents were killed while serving as doctors in the Ishbal war. She lived with her grandmother in Risembool from then on. Known as an "Automail Otaku", she is fascinated by any and all types of machines, tools, and excels in building and repairing automail. Along with her grandmother, Pinako, also a famous automail engineer, the two run a small shop out of their home. They made and installed Edward's automail arm and leg after he lost his original limbs in a failed human transmutation of his mother.[4] Winry takes it upon herself to make sure that his automail is in top form travels to service them when it is needed.[5] In the first anime series, it is hinted that Winry and Edward share romantic feelings for each other, but this is never confirmed. In the manga and second anime series, Winry eventually realizes that she loves Edward and has for most of her life.[6] After three all-nighters, she forgets to add parts to Edward's automail and so it breaks after one of his fights. Winry goes to Central City to fix Edward's automail.[7]

While the Elrics continue their search for the Philosopher's Stone, Winry accompanies them to Rush Valley. There she meets a pickpocket named Paninya. They become friends because Winry is interested in her automail legs and Winry convinces her to try to earn her money honestly. Winry also meets the family of Dominic, an automail engineer, and when Dominic's daughter-in-law goes into labor, Winry successfully delivers her baby. She asks to be Dominic's apprentice, but is refused both because Dominic doesn't take apprentices and because he has an unexplained past with her grandmother, Pinako, and is terrified of her. He introduces her to another engineer named Garfiel, who happily takes her on.[8] Some time later, Winry returns with the Elrics to Central Headquarters and finds that their friend Maes Hughes was murdered.[9][10] When the Elrics confront the criminal Scar once again to get closer to the Philosopher's Stone, Winry discovers during the fight that Scar killed her parents.[11] She points a gun at Scar, but Ed jumps in front of her and pins the gun down. She's distressed that she couldn't bring herself to shoot, but Ed reassures her that her hands aren't meant to kill, but are meant for saving lives. [12] After Scar escapes, Winry returns to Rush Valley, deciding that since she has customers that depend on her, she needs to do her best for them and is therefore glad she was unable to shoot. She asks Ed and Al not to die, and Ed tells her the next time he makes her cry they will be tears of joy. After this, she realizes she has been in love with him.[13]

Winry is used as a hostage by the military to gain Edward's obedience. State Alchemist Solf J. Kimblee tricks Winry into coming to North Headquarters, saying that Edward's automail needs maintenance, but really just to use her as a hostage.[6] The Elrics are forced to capture Scar for the military, but Winry later bandages him as she thinks her parents would have done the same.[14] In order to both evade the military so she can no longer be used against the Elrics and secure freedom for her allies, she decides to pretend to be Scar's hostage to cover her group's escape.[15] After staying in Liore for a short time, Winry is taken on a military train back into Resembool in a water tank. When she goes into her house, she finds Ed in her room, who tells her to leave the country, but she refuses.[16] Two years after the Elrics return to Resembool, Winry and Edward confess their feelings to each other and both are seen in the epilogue holding their children.[17]

In the first anime[edit]

Winry's role changes in the first anime. In Rush Valley, Winry meets Ed and Al's teacher, Izumi Curtis, and learns how her son became the homunculus Wrath.[18] Winry continues traveling with the Elrics until she discovers that her parents were killed by Ed's superior, Roy Mustang, while talking with two Ishbalan boys. Winry goes to Central to meet Mustang, but is unable to talk to him when she hears from several people that he is highly respected by his friends including the deceased Maes Hughes.[19] Winry later meets the librarian Sheska who suspected the woman Juliet Douglas, who is in fact the homunculus Sloth, for being responsible for Hughes' death. Both are attacked by Sloth, but the homunculus retreats when Winry recognizes her as Ed and Al's mother.[20] Winry and Sheska go to Resembool to tell the Elrics about Sloth.[21] Ed and Al soon set to fight the homunculi but only Al returns as Ed finds himself in a parallel universe.[22] When he finally returns in the movie sequel. Winry reveals that she has prepared new automail for Edward, and upon his return, attaches them to him. After Edward is forced to leave her once again, Winry continues working on automail with her grandmother.[23]

In other media[edit]

In the first 2007 OVA, a drunken Winry confronts Edward about pictures of him and Noah that appeared in a magazine featuring shots and tidbits of the movie. In a second OVA, Edward is shown as a grandfather with three grandchildren with one of them being identical to Winry. In the third OVA, Winry herself does not appear, though Envy takes on her form and is kidnapped by Greed together with Al.[24] Winry has her own character CD named Hagaren Song File - Winry Rockbell (Hagaren Song File - ウィンリィ・ロックベル?). Released on June 22, 2009, the CD features tracks based on her character performed by her Japanese voice actress in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, Megumi Toyoguchi.[25]

Creation and conception[edit]

Hiromu Arakawa wanted to introduce Winry in Chapter 3 of the manga due to the lack of female characters in the first two chapters and because of her importance, but her editor told her it was too soon to do it. Arakawa was satisfied with her debut, considering Winry a "buffer" who helps the reader understand the Elric brothers' problems, since, although she finds it hard to talk to them, she is able to understand their feelings. Thus Arakawa thinks Winry has the most difficult position of the three.[26] Winry's occupation in the series was inspired by Arakawa's opinions about how people had to work hard in order to eat.[27] Additionally, the way Winry and her grandmother Pinako welcome the Elrics into their home after the Elrics' mother's death reflected Arakawa's views on how people should react to social problems.[28] When asked in 2006 who her favorite Fullmetal Alchemist characters are, Arakawa found it hard to decide, but at the time she picked Winry along with the Elrics and Riza Hawkeye.[29] Arakawa has also stated that she enjoys drawing Winry immensely.[28]

Megumi Toyoguchi voices Winry in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, but Megumi Takamoto voices her in the second. In both English adaptations, Caitlin Glass wound up voicing Winry, even though she never thought to audition for the role. Glass tried out for Al, Rose, Lust, and Hawkeye; it was her audition for the character of Rose and her previous "hyper" voice in the Spiral series that won her the role, after reading only a single line of Winry's dialogue.[30] Glass reprised her role in the second anime series.

Reception[edit]

In popularity polls from the manga published in Monthly Shōnen Gangan Winry was commonly featured in the top ten, reaching fifth place in 2009.[31][32] In the July 2009 issue from Newtype, Winry ranked ninth in the survey of best anime female characters.[33] In the 2004 Animage Anime Grand Prix poll, Winry was voted as the third most popular female character.[34] Several types of merchandising exploit based on Winry, including action figures, key-chains and patches.[35][36][37]

Critical response to Winry's character has generally been positive. Writing for Pop Culture Shock, Lydia Hojnacki listed Winry as a female characters she likes from the Fullmetal Alchemist while commenting on her relation with the Elric brothers.[38] Mania Entertainment's Jarred Pine liked how Winry's character is further developed in the manga than in the first anime, highlighting her first meeting with Riza Hawkeye, writing "It is such a simple scene, but it really speaks volumes about the characters."[39] Her confrontation against Scar in the manga was praised by Sakura Eries from the same site, who was "on the verge of tears".[40] Holly Ellingwood, a writer for Active Anime, also praised the moment, describing it as an "emotional struggle" and noting that "her own actions afterwards are some of the most riveting of these latest chapters".[41] Ellingwood also praised Winry's appearance in the first anime noting that her "enthusiasm for anything and everything mechanical and sheer enthusiasm is a welcome change from the dire episodes preceding her arrival." However, she was saddened that her character did not appear until later episodes as the series' focus moved to the search for the Philosopher's Stone.[42] Similarly, Ben Moscrop from UK Anime Network found the episode in which the Elrics and Winry go to Rush Valley as it helps developing her character regarding her relationship with the Elrics to the point she "really shines through."[43] Anime News Network's Carlo Santos praised how her appearance in the north from Amestris while meeting the Elrics brothers was a "complete game-changer" due to her status as a hostage.[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (October 18, 2003). "おかあさん......". Fullmetal Alchemist. Tokyo Broadcasting System.
  2. ^ Director: Yasuhiro Irie (May 10, 2009). "希望の道". Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Tokyo Broadcasting System.
  3. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (November 20, 2004). "Mother". Fullmetal Alchemist. Cartoon Network.
  4. ^ a b Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). "Chapter 9". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 3. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-925-3. 
  5. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2008). "Chapter 71". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2536-5. 
  6. ^ a b Arakawa, Hiromu (2008). "Chapter 70". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2536-5. 
  7. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). "Chapter 14". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 4. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-59116-929-1. 
  8. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). "Chapter 19". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 5. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0175-8. 
  9. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2006). "Chapter 35". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 9. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0460-5. 
  10. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2006). "Chapter 36". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 9. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0460-5. 
  11. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2007). "Chapter 46". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0839-9. 
  12. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2007). "Chapter 47". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0839-9. 
  13. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2007). "Chapter 48". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0839-9. 
  14. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2008). "Chapter 72". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2536-5. 
  15. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2008). "Chapter 73". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2536-5. 
  16. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2009). "Chapter 84". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 21. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-3232-5. 
  17. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2011). "Chapter 108". Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 27. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-3984-3. 
  18. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (October 15, 2005). "Sin". Fullmetal Alchemist. Episode 31. Cartoon Network.
  19. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (November 19, 2005). "The Sinner Within". Fullmetal Alchemist. Episode 36. Cartoon Network.
  20. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (December 3, 2005). "With the River's Flow". Fullmetal Alchemist. Episode 38. Cartoon Network.
  21. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (January 21, 2006). "The Stray Dog". Fullmetal Alchemist. Episode 43. Cartoon Network.
  22. ^ Director: Seiji Mizushima (Match 18, 2006). "Laws and Promises". Fullmetal Alchemist. Episode 51. Cartoon Network.
  23. ^ Mizushima, Seiji (Director) (July 23, 2005). Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (Motion picture). Japan: Bones. 
  24. ^ Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium OVA Collection (DVD). Funimation. 2009. 
  25. ^ "HAGAREN SONG FILE-WINRY ROCKBELL- Single Maxi" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  26. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). 鋼の錬金術師 パーフェクトガイドブック 2. Square Enix. pp. 168–172. ISBN 978-4-7575-1426-3. 
  27. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2007). Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 12. Viz Media. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-4215-0839-9. 
  28. ^ a b "Equivalent Change". Newtype USA (A.D. Vision). January 2006. 
  29. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2006). Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles. Viz Media. pp. 100–105. ISBN 1-4215-0768-4. 
  30. ^ O'Connell, Margaret (2007-01-08). "Sequential Tart – The Fullmetal Interview Part 1". Sequentalart.com. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  31. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2006). Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles. Viz Media. p. 5. ISBN 1-4215-0768-4. 
  32. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2009). 鋼の錬金術師 キャラクターガイド [Fullmetal Alchemist Character Guide]. Square Enix. p. 3. ISBN 978-4-7575-2574-0. 
  33. ^ "NT Research". Newtype, Issue 8 (Kadokawa Shoten). July 2009. 
  34. ^ 第26回アニメグランプリ 2004年6月号 (in Japanese). Animage. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist Winry Rockbell Action Figure". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist Zip Charm Part 2 (Set of 4)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  37. ^ "FullMetal Alchemist: Patch – Winry (Iron-On)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  38. ^ Hojnacki, Lydia (December 31, 2008). "Three Reasons Why I Love Fullmetal Alchemist". Pop Culture Shock. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  39. ^ Pine, Jarred (July 25, 2007). "Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. #16". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  40. ^ Eries, Sakura (May 3, 2006). "Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. #12". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  41. ^ Ellingwood, Holly (March 20, 2008). "FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST (VOL. 6) ADVANCE REVIEW". Active Anime. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  42. ^ Ellingwood, Holly (October 17, 2007). "FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST SEASON ONE PART ONE DVD BOX SET". Active Anime. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  43. ^ Moscrop, Ben (September 25, 2006). "RIGHT TURN ONLY!! Sodium Hypochlorite". UK Anime Network. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  44. ^ Santos, Carlo (May 26, 2009). "RIGHT TURN ONLY!! Sodium Hypochlorite". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 15, 2009.