With millions of people in the anime fan club, it’s almost next to impossible to make them all agree to something. Even the most obvious and trivial events spark debates. The anime fandom is quick to point out flaws in characters and criticize them for one thing or the other. So, it’s almost impossible to find something they agree without exception. It becomes even more challenging when one discusses a character. Most characters are able to polarize opinion and make fans disagree with one another.
To find a character that doesn’t polarize opinions and make all fans universally agree appears to be an extremely unlikely task. But it is surprising how a beloved character from the Full-Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is able to unite fans and make them agree that he is without flaws, someone too good for his own sake. Maes Hughes, the Amestrian soldier, worked in the Investigation department under State Alchemist Colonel Mustang, who was also his best friend. A loving, considerate, amiable character who on occasion was irritating as well. Maes is someone the anime fandom can’t seem to hate. Even the people who despise the Full-Metal Alchemist Brotherhood can agree that Maes was a great guy.
Father to the three-year-old Elicia, Maes was a family guy. He loved his wife and daughter to the point that he would often irritate or embarrass other characters with his display of affection for them. He was also an uncle figure for the Elric brothers. Always overly hospitable, he would often anger Edward Elric with his antics, which in turn would often call him “kidnapper” on various occasions. But that doesn’t really mean that the Elric brothers didn’t love him. Behind all this childish fooling around, they had a deep affection and respect for him. Everyone who knew Maes simply loved him, as he was someone who could be trusted.
Just because of his childish antics, it should not be forgotten that he was a veteran of the Ishval civil war and had made sacrifices for society. His demeanour was an elaborate coverup for the person that he was inside. Skilled, shrewd, analytical and calm he was able to focus and investigate matters way better than anyone else. He was probably the first person to fully comprehend the enormity of the state secrets which endangered the existence of the world. In moments when he let his stupid antics aside to have a serious conversation, he would immediately appear to be a person wise beyond his years.
It came as a huge surprise when he was killed brutally by Envy while he was trying to uncover secrets of the state to Colonel Roy Mustang. He died a hero, fighting for the well-being of the society. But his sudden demise never left the consciousness of the viewers, but it also served as a great turning point for the show. It’s because of his passion for avenging the death of Maes that Colonel Mustang ends up killing Lust.
No matter how stone-hearted one is, Maes was able to arouse deep sorrow when he passed away. It was not as if there were very few people who died on the show. But Maes being the person he was, made his departure too tough to reconcile with for the fans. It is no surprise that the anime fandom can’t seem to hate him. There was nothing to dislike. How can anyone hate a considerate, caring man who loved everyone he surrounded himself with and died a martyr’s death fighting for the betterment of society? For the future of not just his child but for the children of everyone else too. Maes was undoubtedly someone who just can’t be hated and, in this sense, he is a great unifying figure for the anime fans who usually don’t universally agree with anything.
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