I have a couple of questions for this community, since I'm very new to the fandom, and many of you seem to have been around the block a time or two. I'm actually in the middle of editing a story that I'm writing and wanted to make sure I had my facts straight.
First, was Ishbal a city or a nation? The impression I got from the anime was that it was a city that acted as a flash point for the entire Eastern Rebellion, but later you usually hear the characters referring to "Ishbal," not "The Rebellion." Not to mention that the Ishballans seemed to have a certain racial profile (brown skin and red eyes), that made them easy to distinguish, which would seem to apply to a nation of people.
Also, as a nitpick, is it "Ishballan" or "Ishbalite?" (I'm not even going to get into other possible spellings of "Ishbal." I'm writing it the way the official translators at Bones/Funimation/whoever put it out).
My second question is about the technology. Ametresis (I'm not too sure of my spelling here), as a parallel world would seem to follow our years of post-WWI, but instead of developing machinery, they've developed alchemy. Fair enough.
So, if they've developed alchemy instead of machinery, what type of war equipment do they have? My knowledge of weaponry is very limited, but it would also seem to be on par with late 1930's Europe...but I would have thought that something would have to give? That they're behind "Earth" as far as mechanics are concerned. Do they have shells? Have they started to use trench warfare or are they still lining up and running at each other? We know they haven't seen anything flying in the sky except birds, so the planes of the time that a lot of characters are named for would be out of the question, as would bombs and strafing runs. To put it more concisely, how are they fighting these wars?
And finally, we know that the State Alchemists were sent to the Eastern fronts, "during the last years of the war." The alchemists always seemed to me to be the equivalent of dropping a nuke in terms of widespread destruction, but they were obviously there for awhile before they got the amplifying red stones. How long were they there? We know those red stones pretty much ended the war, but what I want to know is how long they were there before that.
I could probably think of more questions, but I think this is enough for a first post.