strongly agree | agree | neutral | disagree | strongly disagree
I just.. really love Al, i’m s orry
If you want me to take it, I can?
Al has plenty of flaws and development, and I think if you miss them, you weren’t reading the story very closely.
Al spends the entire series struggling with his hatred for his body and makes leaps and strides in learning to accept it. His tendency to be polite and stew in his own stuff lead it to build and build until he lost it at Ed and hurt him pretty badly. He was unaware the whole time that Ed was full of self-loathing and guilt, and he needed Winry to set him straight. After that, Al very slowly started making strides on his own, until he was finally able to balance his desperation to get his body back with valuing the fact he had one and was even alive and people loved him no matter what…this lead to his ultimate decision to delay getting his body back in order in order to fight to save the world, a decision I seriously can’t see the boy who screamed at his brother he didn’t even feel like a real person at the beginning of the series. This gif set outlines the development pretty nicely.
The other huge flaw is, though he hides it well, he is terribly insecure and dependent on Ed at the beginning. He pretty much goes along with whatever Ed does and follows his lead. His insecurity is to the point he literally thinks Ed might have created him as a puppet and he never speaks up when Ed is taking all the responsibility for their actions. It’s clear he also feels really guilty that Ed sacrificed his arm to save him, and helpless to do anything for him. He could only watch helplessly on when Scar attacked Ed.
But he starts to develop. It starts with the small step of reminding his brother that Hughes death is both their responsibility and problems. Then He’s finally able to speak up and assert that he had equal responsibility in the transmutation and it’s wrong for Ed to blame only himself.
Then, he starts getting space from Ed that he starts gaining some independence and realizing he can function without him. He even willingly seperates himself completely from Ed twice by the end of the series. Remember when he got posessed and blamed himself for it, but then was able to come up with a strategy to fix the situation? This helped him prove to himself he didn’t need Ed to clean up his messes. Then we have his final sacrifice, which was a deliberate contrast to the scene early in the series with Scar- Al has grown enough that he realizes he can do something in this situation and he’s also finally able to set his guilt to rest by repaying his brother’s sacrifice. Finally, he’s on equal footing with Ed. And at the end of the series, he’s independent enough to go out on his own.
it should be mentioned that while his independence from Ed grows, so does his faith in his brother- he goes from “I think you might have lied to me forever and I’m your puppet i hate this body and who says you can keep your promise” to “if I don’t value this body, I’m not valuing what Ed did for me” to “I know Ed will keep his promise so I can do sacrifice myself”.
Al’s final flaw is his naivete, which is just as bad as Ed’s and actually never really gets better in some regards, he just learns to own it along with his idealism. He was easily tricked by Pride even near the very end of the series because he tends to be naive.
tldr; just because Al is a kind person doesn’t mean he didn’t go through a LOT of development.