The protagonist of the series. Seeks the secret of the Philosopher's Stone so he can undo the mistakes of his past of trying to bring back his mother to life. The truth behind the Philosopher's Stone, and the connection to the secrets behind the country he lives in drives the story.
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Ed is a more brooding character than in the manga. This is because the writing focuses more on current events, rather than dwelling on the mistakes in his back story — this version of Edward is faced with problems that require imperfect, morally questionable solutions, and he is frequently confronted with the consequences of his decisions.
Artificial Limbs: After losing an arm and a leg during the failed attempt at human transmutation in the backstory of the series, Ed had them replaced with highly sophisticated prostheses called "automail" which are almost perfect replacements of normal limbs, having only slightly worse fine motor control — albeit being made of metal, they come with certain drawbacks and benefits of their own, such as being very sturdy, but also requiring constant maintenance.
The Atoner: Wants to make up for Al losing his body. Later, he wants to make up for his part in the Lior debacle.
Author Appeal: A carry-over from the manga. Hiromu Arakawa likes muscular men, which should come as no surprise seeing how extremely ripped Ed is for a too-short-for-his-age teen.
Badass Bookworm: It comes with being an alchemist. While he's mostly a fighter, it's been shown time and time again he's foremost a scientist- and a damn good one.
Brought Down to Badass: During Conqueror of ShamballaEd is stuck in a universe where he can't use alchemy and his automail limbs have been replaced with inferior versions which are made of cheaper materials and require the pulling of a starter cord to function. Doesn't slow him down a bit.
Child Mage: Alchemy is not an easy thing to learn. Especially alchemy needed to perform Human Transmutation.
Child Prodigy / Teen Genius: He's the youngest state alchemist known, and he was skilled enough to at least attempt to preform Human Transmutation at a young age.
Child Soldiers: Edward received a State Alchemist's certification at the age of 12. As such, he is a part of the military, and although he is given a lot of leeway in what he does, every so often he will be called in for a mission.
Code Name: Upon being inducted into the State Alchemists, Edward was given the title of "Fullmetal", ostensibly referring both to his obstinate personality and his metallic limbs, although it is likely also a joke on his expense by the Fuhrer, as his brother (who is encased in a full suit of armour) fits the title much better at first glance.
It Gets Easier: Ed at first refused to kill anybody. Then he fights and regrets killing Greed, but later kills Sloth with cold precision. By the time he gets to fighting Envy, he has no qualms whatsoever about killing him.
It's All My Fault: Believes he's responsible for Al losing his body along with the deaths of Nina and Hughes.
Knight in Sour Armor: As the series progresses Ed sees more and more terrible things and preforms amoral deeds in return which turns him into a good hearted but cynical hero.
Life or Limb Decision: In the brothers' backstory, when the attempted resurrection of their mother turned out to require another life to balance the act and Al was chosen as the sacrifice, Ed sacrificed his right arm to pull back Al's soul before it was pulled into the Gate (a mysterious metaphysical object that is encountered by alchemists who perform human transmutations) and then affixed it to a suit of armour.
Men Don't Cry: Except twice when Nina dies and then when Ed's soul, at the Gate of Truth, realizes Al just sacrificed his life. He wakes up crying and asks why before noticing Al isn't there.
Mr. Fanservice: His shower scene and the one shirtless scene with all his limbs.
My God, What Have I Done?: The result of trying, and failing, to resurrect their mother. Also, Edward's response to seeing the graves of people in Lior can be interpreted as this, because they were partly as a result of his intervention in the first two episodes.
Rank Up: As a State Alchemist, he became the equivalent of a Major at age 12.
Redemption Quest: Ed's mission in life is to get Al's body back, which was lost when they tried to bring their mother back to life. Although the blame for this falls on both boys, Ed blames only himself, and is consumed with guilt.
Shadow Archetype: Tucker is a very dark one for Ed, having similarly broken a taboo and sacrificed a family member out of hubris, similarly mangled his own body as an unintentional mark of his transgression, and being similarly obsessed with finding a way to undo his mistakes.
Thou Shall Not Kill: Refuses to take a life, even when absolutely necessary. As he is quite a skilled fighter, this is not actually a very big problem for him. This attitude ends when he is forced to kill Greed.
Trapped in Another World: Unwillingly at the end of the first series and then by choice at the end of the Conqueror of Shamballa movie.
Troubled, but Cute: Edward is generally considered the most attractive person in the series, but he has one of the harshest backstories of the cast.
Tsurime Eyes: in contrast to Al's Tareme Eyes. This reflects their personalities, as Ed harsher is harsher and rougher than Al.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Edward is a friend to Colonel Roy Mustang, but the two are fighting as often as not.
Wise Beyond His Years: Edward is very smart for his age. A good example of this is how he figures out Al is truly his brother, not someone else that came into being when Ed attempted to bring Al back after he was sacrificed when they were trying to being back their mother.
You Can't Go Home Again: First burning down his and Al's home in Risembool. Then choosing to stay on the other side of the gate in order to prevent others from invading Amestris.
Edward's little brother, he lost his body during an experiment that went horribly wrong. He survives in the form of a suit of armour, his soul joined to it through the use of a blood seal.
Achilles' Heel: His blood seal is his one real weakness until he becomes a Philosopher’s Stone, at which point even falling into a river doesn’t erase it. Overusing his own alchemy will cause him to fade away, though.
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In particular, his dilemma over whether his memories are real lasts longer and is explored a lot more here.
Adaptation Dye-Job: From blond to dark blond. His eyes are also brown here as opposed to gold in the manga.
Animated Armor: Alphonse's soul was bound to a suit of armour by Edward in order to save his life. The binding seal keeping Alphonse tied to the armour is painted in blood on the inside of the breastplate.
Badass: Alphonse isn't as inclined to fight as Edward, but when he does, he will kick your ass.
Beware the Nice Ones: Subverted. There are hints throughout the series that Alphonse has underlying rage issues, and would go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge if anything ever happened to Edward. In fact, this is the main reason why he empathizes so much with Scar. After Character Development, however, he resolves to make sure that nobody else will be able to carry out their revenge. This turns out to be his main motivation for going to Ishbal, since he's no longer certain about whether or not he should try to get his body back.
Blessed with Suck: Since Al's soul is bound to a suit of armor he is effectively immortal unless his blood seal is destroyed and his body is incredibly strong. However he can't do normal things that regular humans can, such as eat or sleep, and he can't interact with the regular world outside of his friends and family without the risk of someone finding out his secret, which leaves him depressed.
Big Little Brother: Even before the Transmutation he was still about the same size as Edward, this is emphasised in the movie where despite having a body six years younger then Ed's at this point he is still about the same height.
Bishōnen: In The Conqueror of Shamballa, he has grown to become a rather handsome teenager.
Wise Beyond His Years: A good example is how he figures out that he can trade his soul for Edward's arm, since the opposite happened.
You Can't Go Home Again: First burning down his home in Risembool with Edward. Then chooses to join Edward on the other side of the gate knowing they can never return to Amestris.
Younger Than He Looks: Al's ten-year-old soul did not age beyond the point of their mother's botched transmutation, and by series end, he is reincarnated in a body to match. He is later reunited with Ed when the two brothers are approximately thirteen (Al) and nineteen (Ed).
The Elrics' childhood friend, and Ed's automail mechanic.
Cynicism Catalyst: His brother's death appears to have been the final straw, but the injustice done to his people did the bulk of it.
Dark and Troubled Past: Holy shit. Like everyone (except Kimblee) involved in the Ishbalan War, he has heaps of it. Bonus points for realizing his brother was going to sacrifice a lot of his fellow countrymen to create a Philosopher's Stone.
Dark Messiah: To the people of Lior, along with Rose. Subverted since his main motive is creating a Philosopher's Stone.
Heel-Face Turn: He wasn't evil to begin with, but he grew less violent and radical over time.
Hero Killer: Subverted. While he is a State Alchemist killer, he never actually kills any noteworthy protagonists. Likewise, his first on-screen victim Basque Grand was a serious asshole and a recurring antagonist early on.
Hidden Heart of Gold: Despite killing several people and going on to sacrifice many soldiers to create the Philosopher's Stone, he gradually cared for the Elric Brothers and Lust.
Mr. Fanservice: Especially notable due to his radically changed character design (to make him look younger), and the fact that he's at least 8 years younger than he is in the manga and "Brotherhood".
One-Hit Kill: He can touch your arm and make your brain explode. He still has to touch flesh, however, a fact that Ed capitalizes on. When touching materials such as metal, it has to be the kind of matter he thinks it is, or else his ability will not work (Ed changes the metal of his automail arm in his last encounter).
Your Head Asplode: He generally fights by trying to grab someone's head and activating the alchemical circle inside to violently deconstruct everything in the area of effect, resulting in most of the skull being blown away.
A colonel in the military, he is the third most important protagonist in the series behind the Elric brothers. He seeks to become the Fuhrer so he can fix the country, and spread his ideals to the people. And by that, we mean make all the women in the military wear miniskirts.
Death Seeker: Used to be for killing Winry's parents, but has managed to get over that by promising himself that he would never follow any more unreasonable orders.
Driven to Suicide: He's stated he would kill himself, if he had the guts. In fact, as a young soldier in Ishbal he was this close to eating his own gun after killing Winry's parents and had to be stopped by Marcoh.
Eye Scream: Archer shoots him in the eye. He has to wear an eyepatch after that.
Finger Snap Lighter: Roy's gloves are made of a special material that can cause sparks when rubbed together. He uses the gloves as the final step when starting fires, after preparing the area to be incinerated with alchemy.
Hero Insurance: Subverted. Is forced to repair what he damages during a duel with Edward without alchemy.
Hurting Hero: Never got over what he did during the Ishbalan war.
Large Ham: Although usually calm and reserved, Roy occasionally lets his presence be known by striking a heroic pose and/or shouting at someone. Ed lampshaded this when he gives his own impersonation of Roy. In the dub Travis Willingham drew inspiration from his failed audition for... Armstrong.
Men Don't Cry: Tries to pass this off at Hughes' headstone after the funeral.
Stepford Snarker: An increasingly common interpretation of his character in this version is that he's a Type A one of these, suffering from PTSD as a result of his part in the Ishbal Civil War including killing the Rockbells, and that his characterization in Conqueror of Shamballa is the mask coming off. It's supported by him having traumatic flashbacks to his conduct in Ishval when he's in similar situations in the series, such as the one he gets to killing an Ishvalan child during his battle with Ed in "Fullmetal vs. Flame."
"World of Cardboard" Speech: After tracking down Ed and Al late in the series, he tells them about how he contemplated ending his own life once after executing the Rockbells, but then resolved never to follow unreasonable commands again. He tells them he came after them by his own choice, then demands to know why they ran away rather than trust him.
The Gunslinger: Her last name isn't Hawkeye for nothing; she has a great reputation for her sharpshooter skills in the military.
Pet the Dog: Black Hayate's owner... though her idea of training him is a bit shocking.
The Stoic: The war has made her rather cold on the outside.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Riza has her fair share of more tender moments that hint that there's more to her than the Cold Sniper exterior. Especially involving Roy or the Elric brothers.
Fuhrer President King Bradley
The ruler of Amestris. Fuhrer is his military title, he is also the President of the Nation. His name is King, it isn't a title. He came to rule Amestris after leading his nation out of a bloody civil war and setting up a military dictatorship. He is also the Homunculus Pride and Dante's second-in-command. And in The Movie it turns out he's the alternate universe's version of Fritz Lang. Who knew?
Blood Knight: Lets Roy blow him up just to see if he'd survive.
Character Exaggeration: Not as severe as the Kimbley example below, but Pride/Bradley has none of Wrath/Bradley's sympathetic qualities, and has his ruthlessness turned Up to Eleven. He's a mean, vicious bastard and that's about all there is to him.
Dual Wielding: He always wields two swords in combat. Most prevalent when fighting against Roy.
Irony: Has Instantaneous regeneratiion in this version, considerable since In both the manga and Brotherhood, he lacks this feature because he struggled enough to reduce the stone to one soul, basically making him the same as a human, just as fragile, but tough as hell like the rest of the cast. Likewise, it's revealed in The Movie his alternate/real world counterpart is Fritz Lang, a Jew, despite being the Fuhrer of the Fullmetal Alchemist world's equivalent of Germany.
Number Two: Dante's right-hand man, and the leader of the homunculi. Has many characteristics of The Dragon as well, given his status as the most powerful Homunculus; that position however is fulfilled by Envy.
Pride: He doesn't even seem to consider the possibility that he could lose to Roy, and sees nothing wrong with keeping his greatest weakness right in his own home. His pre-fight speech indicates that he holds all of humanity in contempt and sees himself as an agent of God.
Villain Ball: Murders Selim for bringing his one weakness into the room where he is fighting Roy, thus ensuring that the item in question remains present. Moron.
Walking Spoiler: Hard to really talk about him without revealing he's Pride which reveals a lot about the story.
A rather quirky officer working in the records department. He develops something of a parental relationship with the Elric brothers, and assists both Mustang and the Elric brothers in their respective missions. Contrary to his appearance, he is not a man to trifle with.
Lieutenant-Colonel Badass: Hides it well with his quirky persona, but he can be a serious, talented soldier when he needs to be.
Obfuscating Stupidity or Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's either an incredibly skilled investigator and knife expert who hides his skill behind a facade of being an overbearing gushy father and husband, or he really is an overbearing and gushy father and husband who is also an incredibly skilled investigator and knife expert.
Perma Stubble: Throughout the series, he always had a stubble that never grows any longer.
Those Wacky Nazis: Of all the possible people this could have happened to in this show, his alternate world counterpart gets this treatment in The Movie. Notably, despite this trait and the fact at one point he tries to hinder Ed's progress, he's not a real villain (he is Hughes, after all) and even ends up being the one to kill the Big Bad. While he initially shows a little hostility to Noah for being a gypsy (a prejudice that was not exclusive to the Nazis), he just seems to share their political and economic beliefs and genuinely believes the Nazis and Hitler is the best future for Germany (notably, the Nazis don't actually control Germany yet and Hitler isn't dictator) until the end of Conqueror of Shambala, where he no longer seems to be affiliated with them after what he's witnessed.
Ambiguously Gay: His obsession with hyper-masculine beauty and his extreme emotionality both fit Japanese gay stereotypes, and in combination with the fact that he is never seen, mentioned or even hinted to be or ever have been involved with a woman, one begins to wonder...
Author Appeal: The author of the manga likes to draw big, muscular men. This carried over into the anime adaptation.
Badass Mustache: The only hairy part of his body, in fact, the mustache goes past his cheeks.
Bishie Sparkle: Armstrong is particularly famous for this in anime fandom - especially since he's not a bishie at all, and yet he outshines nearly all the traditional examples, as the sparkles show up pretty much every time he's on screen. It's Lampshaded in a scene where Breda is disguised as him, and has paper sparkle-diamonds hanging from his costume.
Catch Phrase: "This technique has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!" is said every time Armstrong is showing off one of his many talents.
Dishing Out Dirt: His particular alchemic specialty is pounding the ground with his fists (where his arrays are located) and using that to create earthquakes.
Genius Bruiser: As a State Alchemist, Armstrong is by definition one of the country's best and brightest, as well as a member of the army. When in a scrap, he fights with his fists to great effect, using them to both attack and to utilize the alchemical circles inscribed on his gauntlets to shape the stone and rocks around him.
Gentle Giant: Of course, when he cools down from chewing the scenery, he can be a very kind-hearted man despite his ripping features.
Large Ham: Everything he does and speaks... he does with a loud voice and lots of flourish.
Ambiguously Gay: Archer seems very content on having Kimbley work under him as a personal assistant, and they are both heard humming the exact same tune, implying they must have to spend a lot of time together. The lines are also changed in the dub to have Archer launch his attack in Lior because Scar thought he could do what he wanted, where in the sub Archer launches his attack because Scar killed Kimbley. Ed even lampshades it in the sub.
Arm Cannon: After his restructuring, his mechanical arm features a built-in machinegun.
Sanity Slippage: Loses quite a bit of his cool after being rebuilt as a cyborg.
Smug Snake: Right down to the smugly superior tone of voice. Of the relatively high-functioning variety, though, as he's not that incompetent.
The Sociopath / Sociopathic Soldier: Like Kimblee's anime counterpart, he could care less about Ishbal's people, soldier or innocent. And when he's a cyborg, he didn't even care about shooting his fellow soldiers.
We Can Rule Together: He offers Izumi a chance to join the military in global conquest. Predictably, she tells him to shove it.
A Colonel during the Ishbal Civil War, who was in charge of it. He was pretty much just your generic General Ripper (even if he didn't become a real General until after the war). He shows up mainly to give Ed top secret information, sometimes in front of a bunch of Red Shirts. He gets killed when Scar simply walks up to him and kills him.
Ascended Extra: In the manga, he is only mentioned posthumously and seen during the Ishbal flashback arc. He gets more exposure (and a personality change) here, and is in fact one of the main recurring antagonists early in the series.
Colonel Kilgore: Turned into one by the anime. Unlike his Manga/Brotherhood equivilent who was an honorable man who killed his jerkass general to let the Ishbalan high priest meet with Bradley to at least try to put an end to the bloodshed, and when fighting in Ishbal didn't seem to have any pleasure in fighting (he was just fulfilling his duty as a human weapon), the 2003 anime paints him as a major Jerkass who loved fighting in Ishbal.
Made of Iron: He's called 'The Iron Blood Alchemist' for the way he sculpts metal into weapons or armor in combat.
Mr. Exposition: His main role is to tell Ed the secrets of the Amestrian Goverment.
Person of Mass Destruction: While he doesn't give his "I am a weapon" speech from the manga/Brotherhood, he still maintains his normal alchemy style of creating [[BFG BF Gs]] and even encasing them around his body to literally turn himself into a weapon.
One of Mustang's closest subordinates. Before joining the army, he was just a typical country boy.
Butt Monkey: Gets mocked a lot for his lack of luck in the romance department.
Demoted to Extra: Havoc doesn't get much screentime to himself here other than Team Mustang's A Day in the Limelight episode, where one subplot revolves around his dating troubles. He's a more important character in the manga and Brotherhood anime, though, playing an essential role in the fight against Lust and Roy's eventual coup.
Ascended Extra: She's only prominent in one or two chapters early on in the manga and never appears again; here, however, she continues investigating Hughes' death against Mustang's wishes until she became something of a second heroine next to Winry.
Brainy Brunette: She didn't become a librarian for Central's largest archive for nothing. She is very intelligent.
Acrofatic: Can make great leaps and run on all fours quickly despite his weight.
Anti-Villain: It's heartbreaking how sad he gets after Lust's death, and when Dante transmutes away all of his thought processes so he can't think of anything besides eating, making him "pure" and basically lobotomizing him.
A misanthropic, psychopathic shape-shifter, with a hate-on for the entire human race, and a sneering contempt for the other Homunculi. If he can Kick the Dog, he will. Turns out that he's really the failed transmutation of Hohenheim's first born son, the oldest Homunculus and The Dragon to the Big Bad.
Arch-Enemy: Unlike in the manga and Brotherhood, where he's no more antagonistic toward them than any of the other homunculi, Edward and Envy's conflict is much more personal and deeper here as it is revealed that he is the Homunculus of Dante's and Hohenheim's son, and he does not like being replaced. As such, he personally goes out of his way to ensure Ed and Al goes through hell (but mostly Ed).
Jerk Ass: Taking the word "asshole" to new and exciting extremes.
Karma Houdini: Sure, he dies in the movie when he's sacrificed to open the portal between Ed's world and the real world, but for someone who killed two major characters, instigated a bloody uprising in one city, and caused a lethal epidemic in a small village, he gets off scott-free. Especially considering he dies while achieving his heart's desire: killing Hohenheim.
Kick the Dog: He's a big fan of kicking people when they're already down.
Lack of Empathy: He's a huge sadist who loves to rub salt in the wounds. Needless to say, he doesn't exactly feel bad for it.
Lean and Mean: In this version, where he's more muscular in the manga
Meaningful Name: Much more so than the other homunculi. His entire character is based around jealousy.
Misanthrope Supreme: Utterly contemptuous of people, and convinced that their lives have no real value.
Nietzsche Wannabe: He hates humanity and even admits he's only working with Dante to kill as many people as he can, as well as torment the Elrics, unlike the other Homunculi who just want to be normal humans.
Shadow Archetype: Gains one in Wrath who shares his fashion sense and personality, but not his level of evil; one could argue that he serves as one to Ed.
Shape Shifter: His defining trait and power. He can take on the appearance of anybody he wants.
Shapeshifter Baggage: Actually subverted, this time around. There's not much reason given to suspect he weighs a lot due to compressing his true form- if anything he's much more agile and faster than in Brotherhood.
Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: He tries using this on Ed at the end of the series. It doesn't work. It does, however, work on Hughes, who can't bring himself to shoot once Envy takes on Gracia's form.
The Unfavorite: Envy is the result of the failed human transmutation of Hohenheim and Dante's son, and hates that Ed is the "favored one".
Villainous Breakdown: Killing Ed doesn't exactly appease him, and he really loses it when he realizes Al will stop Dante's plans and, in effect, his own. After he's sent to the Gate while trying to stop Al from using the stone, Ed (who's a spirit at that point) informs him that Hohenheim is still alive. He forces the Gate open, screaming all the way and losing control of his powers till he's permanently turned into a dragon.
Vocal Evolution: In his earlier appearances, his voice sounds deep and smooth; by the end, it becomes more gravelly.
Anti-Villain: Not as nice as manga Greed, but ambivalent towards the heroes and wants to be left alone with his designs. He crosses the brothers' path mainly because he believes Alphonse can teach him how to become immortal.
Nigh Invulnerable: His Ultimate Shield mode restructures the carbon in his skin into armour, rendering him near immune to stabbing or punching. Ed kills him by transmuting his skin into graphite and stabbing him before he can reform, a trick Greed's manga incarnation would later use against Father.
Suicide by Cop: With the prospect of being imprisoned forever by Dante, he goads Ed into killing him, and with his last words, tells Ed how to kill homunculi.
Slasher Smile: In his normal form, he has shark-like teeth; his Ultimate Shield form is a more traditional example.
Lazy Bum: Takes the easy way out in a moral sense and rarely moves in fights, actually committing murder with one hand while sipping tea with her other at one point.
Boys, I Am Your Mother: Works on Al. Subverted in that she is convinced that she is not their mother, and wants to prove otherwise by killing the Elrics; she uses the trope to mess with them, but doesn't believe it herself.
Tragic Villain: Seeing as how she's formerly the Elric brother's sweet mother, it's upsetting to see her now trying to kill them just so she can become her own person. Moreover, during the battle with Ed and her, Sloth becomes increasingly unsure if she is their mother or not.
Voluntary Shapeshifting: She's not on Envy's level, but her water abilities make her capable of altering her appearance in various ways.
A hot-tempered, needy child, revealed to be the failed transmutation of Izumi Curtis' dead son.Later, he has become tamer, has joined the good guys, and even sacrifices himself to Gluttony so Alphonse and Edward could reuinite.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Well, Sloth's petard anyway. During his last battle with Ed, he manages to grab and absorb Trisha's remains. He later fuses himself to Sloth, freezing her in place and allowing Ed to finish her off.
A state alchemist who served in Ishbal, and creator of the red crystals. Due to his experience in the war he deserts the military, living a quiet life as a country doctor, until trouble comes knocking on his door.
Bus Crash: He is last seen not even halfway into the series when Lust and Gluttony break into the hotel he's at to hold him hostage. He is mentioned frequently throughout the series after that, but it isn't until the penultimate episode that he is revealed to have been eaten by Gluttony.
Death by Adaptation: He lives in the manga and even redeems himself eventually, here he doesn't get the chance.
Death Seeker: He wants to die for what he did to the Ishbalans which he does in this adaptation.
Defector from Decadence: He left the war for the guilt in participating in the Ishbalan massacre he never lives long enough to redeem himself of his guilt.
Mentor to the Elric brothers, she taught them both alchemy and martial arts, both of which she is a master. Despises State Alchemists. Easily the most Bad Ass character in the series.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Her husband Sig is easily twice her size and can match muscles with Armstrong.
Incurable Cough of Death: Due to her failed attempt at human transmutation to revive her stillborn child. Most of her organs were taken as payment and, as later revealed by a doctor, her remaining ones have taken up the slack.
Juggle Fu: Shown to do this with a book while training Ed and Al in a flashback.
Mama Bear: To her students and Wrath, who is the incarnation of her dead son.
Parental Substitute: To the Elrics, who seem to treat her almost like a mother. She appears to reciprocate.
Together in Death: Her spirit meets up with Wrath after he sacrifices himself to open the Gate.
Tough Love: Her treatment of the Elrics. Upon learning the two had committed human transmutation, she beat the crap out of them and then hugged them.
Training from Hell: She subjects the Elric brothers to this, to the extent that the very mention of her name makes them tremble with fear. Considering who her alchemy teacher was, she probably had some hellish training herself.
A former State Alchemist who participated in the Ishbal war. Kimbley is a psychopath and a sadist, believing that "people are empty, worthless beings". He does, however, have some respect for the chemical properties of human beings: he specializes in transmuting things and people into explosives.
Axe Crazy: If you're within about a mile of this bastard, start running now.
Bad Powers, Bad People: He turns you into a bomb by making physical contact. Yeah, no way he's going to be one of the heroes.
Character Exaggeration: Manga Kimbley is an affably evil, philosophical Darwinist with a streak for sadism and a love of explosions. The anime version of Kimbley (which was the first to be featured as a shown character) really only had those last two traits—that last one tweaked into a love of making people into explosives—and they were all there was to him. Justified, since when the 2003 anime was being made, Kimbley had yet to appear in person for more than one or two panels...and all there was to base his character on was the implications that the Ishbal campaign had for him.
Hero Killer: Both those who've served with him in Ishbal and those who've heard about his reputation are terrified of him. He lives up to it, reducing Liore to a smoldering ruin on his own, killing Scar, and nearly taking Al with him.
Misanthrope Supreme: His belief that people are fundamentally hollow has convinced him that killing them for fun is perfectly fine. To give credit where it's due, he holds himself in the same contempt, and doesn't seem to care if anyone kills him.
Psycho for Hire: He's only in the army for the chance to kill people, and takes it well beyond even the most Sociopathic Soldier. He doesn't even have any real loyalty in him; he just likes to hurt people.
Why Am I Ticking?: His alchemy, although the victim doesn't really have time to notice that they're ticking.
Barry the Chopper
A serial killer that goes after young women, he gets taken down by Edward (after a rather terrifying encounter) and arrested. He ends up as one of the guards of the hidden laboratory used to create the red stones.
Break Them by Talking: Gives one mighty lecture to Al, leaving the poor boy questioning his own existence.
Character Exaggeration: Somewhat, in the manga he still plenty crazy but is fairly reasonable and even helps the heroes for a bit. Here, he's just irredeemably evil as after the prison complex goes down. He just finds new work as a mercenary all so he can hurt people.
Crossdressing Voices: An interesting example. Barry is normally voiced by a male in both the Japanese and English versions, but while disguised as a woman in the Japanese version, however, he is given a female seiyuu.
Psycho for Hire: After Lab 5 is destroyed, he works as a mercenary to continue killing people as much as he pleases.
Serial Killer: Killed tons of people back when he was a human being... not much has changed since he became a suit of armor.
Villainous Crossdresser: Before his soul was sealed into armor, he donned a female wig while killing people in his van.
A young girl that the Elrics meet in Lior. She is an orphan whose lover, Cain, has recently died. The High Priest Colonello has promised to revive him, and she becomes very disillusioned when Edward exposes him as the fraud that he is. However, things got even worse as time passed...
Adaptation Dye-Job: Light brown in this version, straw blond in the manga/Brotherhood. May be justified, as he had yet to appear in the manga when he was introduced in the anime.
The Atoner: He wants to make up for what he's done to the family, Dante, and even Envy.
Badass: What little we see of his power, shows him to be an incredibly powerful alchemist.
The Charmer: Makes Ross blush and he isn't even trying.
Death Seeker: In The Movie, it's revealed he's seeking to finally end his own life, using Envy as the means.
Disappeared Dad: It's his disappearance that really starts the events of the story.
The Faceless: At first, until the second season of the anime began.
Hard Light: He can transmute light as an alchemical material, thus earning himself the nickname "Hohenheim of Light".
Historical-Domain Character: The Reveal of Amestris being a parallel world to one similar to ours, combined with some supplementary materials, strongly imply that he may be the alternate version of Paracelsus. Also known as Philip von Hohenheim.
Light 'em Up: His version of alchemy is to literally transmute the photons of light itself.
Light Is Not Good: Played with. He was known as "Hohenheim of Light" for centuries, and he likely pulled a number of Grand Theft Mes over the years, but he's always portrayed as kind and sympathetic (except by Ed), and very repentant of his past.
Mysterious Parent: Trisha claims that Hohenheim left to study alchemy, but he hasn't even left the family a letter since, making Ed believe he just plain left. The series keeps leaving hints it's much more than that until he reveals it all to Dante in episode 45.
Took a Level in Jerkass: To an extent, mostly in the backstory. In the manga/Brotherhood, he had no idea about Homunculus' plan to sacrifice all of Xerxes to transform himself and Homunculus into living Philosopher's Stone and is just living with the consequences of Homunculus' actions. In the 2003 anime however, he for many years has been willing to sacrifices large populations to create Philosopher's Stone so he can keep on living, just like Father and Dante, and is even implied to have wiped out an entire civilization to make one. Likewise, when it comes to his abandoning of the family, his motivations in particular are unfortunately less noble. In the manga/Brotherhood, he left out of necessity to counteract against Father's plans for The Promised Day- something which would have killed his family anyway had he not done anything, while in the 2003 anime he just didn't want Trisha and children to know his true nature, and for that reason abandoned them. He wasn't even aware for quite some time of Dante's plans for his children, and potentially wouldn't have intervened if they hadn't involved them. However, by the time the series starts he's settled down with Trisha, he's no longer walking this rather dark path. He is by no means an antagonist (or even a bad guy at this point the series starts), however, he certainly is not the Big Good he was in his manga and Brotherhood counterpart.
Click here to see her later in the series.
An elderly woman who lives in a mansion in the woods with her current student Lyra, and Izumi's alchemy teacher. As the entry shows, the canny reader might suspect something. Revealed to be the creator of the Homunculi, using them as pawns to retain her immortality. She is the former lover (possibly wife) of Hohenheim and the mother of his first son, who currently serves her as the Homunculus Envy. She then takes over poor Lyra's body to make her goals come true...
Young Dante voiced by: Yumi Kakazu (JP), Monica Rial (EN)
Abusive Mom: To Envy, whom she sees as a tool rather than a son. At best, she is apathetic; at worst, she is emotionally manipulative.
Big Bad: She is the mastermind behind the Homunculi, who in turn drive the conflict of the series.
Body Surf: Dante plans to do this when she learns that her bodies are decaying at an alarming rate. Poor Lyra and Rose.
The Cameo: Dante pops up in episode 58 of Brotherhood, as well as in the "Let's Nab Oprah!" episode of The Boondocks.
Canon Foreigner: She exists in no form in the manga. She exists because the 2003 anime Overtook the Manga and as a result without Father the anime needed a new Big Bad and mastermind behind the Homunculi.
The Chessmaster: Through Pride, she manipulates Amestris' politics and the entire population to suit her interests. Through the rest of the Homunculi, she manipulates events on a much smaller, more personal level.
Consummate Liar: She's a very, very good liar, perhaps one of her key traits that goes in-check with her rampant hypocrisy. In her first appearance, had it not been for her eerie signature theme, despite all the tropes lifted here there would be NO reason to suspect her of being anything else but a wise, friendly old woman. She acted very sincere to Ed and Al, genuinely coming across as said kind, sweet old woman, even going as far as telling the brothers that she legitimately enjoys helping people and that she believes that the human race "needs alchemy more than they will ever known". As she says this to the brothers, she had already instigated the war the Ishbal in an attempt to create the Philosopher's Stone, had manipulated countless people through the Homunculi, instigated the war in Liore, and almost had Ed create a Stone in Laboratory 5. Near the end a flashback with Izumi shows just how much of a liar she was: in a rare moment of honesty, she tells Izumi how she despises humanity and how she doesn't believe they are worthy of her love, and that humanity learning the full power of alchemy would be a "travesty" a complete 180 of her initial meeting with the Elric brothers. This even extends toward her own allies, as Envy heavily implies to Al that the rest of the Homunculi (who, bar Greed, have shown her nothing but loyalty because of her promises) only think that Dante will turn them human and that she has no intention of doing so. Dante even says to Lust in the sub whether or not she'll turn them human all depends on "how I'm feeling" (in other words, no).
Driven to Villainy: If the flashback dealing with her past is anything to go by, she was originally a far more sympathetic individual, and she deeply and genuinely loved Hohenheim. Once he left her side, she was forced to fend for herself and became so embittered that she ultimately resorted to horrific means to maintain her immortality, slowly turning her into what we see in the current timeline.
Evil Old Folks: Being 400 years old tends to do that with you. Double Subverted due to her initially appearing as an old woman before possessing a young woman's body. Still old in the end, though.
Expy: Dante shares many similarities with Father. Both, at one point, had close relationships with Hohenheim dating back several centuries. Both "shared" the secret of eternal life with Hohenheim by means of the Philosopher's Stone. Finally, both plan to turn mass numbers of people into Stones in order to become "perfect" beings.
It is also important to note that Dante and Father, despite their shared desire to become a perfect being, have very different personalities and characterizations. Dante is a petty, horrendously selfish human who relies on emotional abuse to control her minions, whereas Father is a calculating, almost godlike creature who has literally shed his emotions.
Faux Affably Evil: She organizes her homunculi minions like a family and defends Sloth from Envy's teasing when they first find her. Before being revealed as the Big Bad, she provides Izumi with medicine and provides the Elrics with some helpful guidance. However, it soon becomes clear that she only cares about herself.
Hoist By Her Own Petard/Karmic Death: As she needs Gluttony to help make the stone and he was still mourning Lust's death she used her powers to transmute away his reasoning, turning him into a mindless monster that'll obey her commands. However after the Elrics thwart her plans and she escapes in the elevator to the surface. Gluttony appears eating out the bottom of the floor, ravenous and unresponsive to her commands, before coming after her.
Hypocrite: Dante callously tells Ed that people who work hard hardly get anything, but she whines like a sore loser once her own efforts are ruined. Then there's her spiel about the evils of mankind and the horrible things people would do to each other if they got their hands on something as powerful as the Philosopher's Stone fall a little flat when you consider that she herself has instigated what are the worst atrocities in Amestrian history.
Immortality Immorality: Making Philosopher's Stones requires sacrificing multiple lives and she's using them only to extend her own life. She couldn't care less about the people she set up to be killed.
It's All About Me: In the end, she doesn't care about anything but her own immortality. While the family structure of the Homunculi makes it look like she cares about them at first, it becomes very obvious by her treatment of them she really doesn't care for them.
Leit Motif: Unlike most characters, she has a unique, distinctive theme. As you can imagine, it's a pretty clear sign from her first appearence there's much more to her character than meets the eye.
Manipulative Bitch: Oh boy. Just looking at her own allies, she manipulates Envy's -her own son- desire to kill Hoenheim, Wrath's desire to have a mother, and Pride's leadership. Although being Co-Dragons with Envy, it's not so much Pride that she's manipulating, but Amestris' entire government as Pride is the nation's dictator.
Meaningful Name: In a series with antagonists named after the Seven Deadly Sins, a character with the name Dante would pretty much have to be their leader. Of course, it's made clear before her introduction (through Izumi's dialogue with the Elrics and Envy's with the other homunculi) that Dante is most definitely not the nice old lady that she seems to be. Considering some revelations made late in the series, it's entirely possible that she knew about this and took on the name herself.
Misanthrope Supreme: She hates humanity and through the shadows lords over Amestris. She believes humans are very foolish and weak, therefor giving her, an immortal 'perfect' being the right to play with human lives as she wishes.
Never Found the Body: Because Gluttony devours her, of course. Before the movie aired, a few fans thought it was a case of He's Just Hiding and expected her to return somehow, but it's been confirmed that she's dead.
Never Mess with Granny: She was Izumi's alchemy teacher and still a very powerful alchemist even in her old age. Double Subverted after The Reveal. While she physically looks like she's in her late teens to young adult, she's still over 400 years old.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: She hardly seems like a force to be reckoned with when first introduced, but it becomes clear that she's one of the most powerful and deadly alchemists in the series.
Old Master: Even at Dante's advanced age Izumi seems to be respectful of her. And that was only what she showed as a public persona.
The Sociopath: She doesn't care who she's hurting. She doesn't care she's stealing a young woman's ambitious dreams just to live a little longer. She doesn't care she's manipulating her son emotionally. She doesn't care about all the suffering she creates through Pride, like the Ishvalan genocide. In the end, she doesn't seem to care about anything but living longer.
Straw Nihilist: Unsurprisingly so, given her superiority complex and lack of belief in Equivalent Exchange. Twice (first to Izumi, then to Ed) she rants about how humans are foolish and worthless, even describing humans to Izumi as "egotistical things beyond any redemption" To Dante, a human is only good as three things. Philosopher Stone fuel, somebody to make that Stone, or a "lover" (until she gets bored of you).
The Family That Slays Together: Due to her habit of making the Homunculi act like a big, demented family. Subverted as the 'family' completely disintegrates at the end of the story and she doesn't care as her master plan is near completion.
The Unfought: Ed and Al never engage in a true battle with her. She has a very brief struggle with Ed before starting her Breaking Speech, but it lasts for less than thirty seconds before Envy takes over. Instead of fighting them after her Evil Plan is derailed, she escapes and plans orders Pride to take her place. This is justified considering the state of her vessel. Course she never makes it to the surface to execute any of it, and even if she had, Pride had been killed by Roy at that point. So she was screwed either way.
Vain Sorceress: No matter what you think of her personality and master plan, she's still an extremely powerful alchemist. She's also extremely petty.
Villainous Breakdown: A somewhat calm one as she tries to escape the underground city though trying hard to surpress her anger upon knowing both her effort to get a Philosopher Stone have failed and that her body corroding too fast to make another. Then of course Gluttony shows up...
Walking Spoiler: Her role is quite different from what the audience might first be led to believe, and her significance to the story only becomes clear fairly late in the series.
A young state alchemist who serves as the enforcer of Lieutenant Yoki during her first appearance. Later on in the series, she reappears as the newest student of Dante.
The Cameo: Shows up briefly in the movie as her parallel world counterpart.
Defrosting Ice Queen: She first appears as a young woman with ambitions to become a state alchemist. She's also a Knight Templar with a My Country, Right or Wrong attitude toward Yoki and the military. After being defeated by Ed she begins to lighten up on her view, becoming Dante's new apprentice still hoping to become a state alchemist, but also hoping to become like Ed and make a difference in the world for the better. Tragically, she's never able to follow through on her newfound beliefs as Dante hijacks her body.
Heel-Face Turn: After leaving the military and becoming Dante's student, she acts much more friendly and apologizes to the Elrics for her actions.
Walking Spoiler: She is a rather minor character. and has relatively few tropes. She's rather unique in that most of these don't so much spoil her, but they come with being Dante's apprentice, and most of these spoilers are related to her actions. Reading Lyra's spoilers without caution reveals a LOT about why Dante is such a Walking Spoiler and they are NOT minor spoilers. Be warned.
Law, Dorochete, Bido and Marta. Half-human, half-animal beings created through illegal alchemical proceedures, they worked for the military in specialist roles before finding much more fulfilling work with Greed.
The “Sewing Life Alchemist”, whom Ed and Al meet with while Ed is studying for his State Alchemist exams. Ed stays at his house during that time and plays with Nina, but shortly after he passes, Tucker transmutes Nina and Alexander into a chimera. He is said to have been executed for this crime, but ends up in the military’s employ, working on a way to bring Nina back.
Ascended Extra: While not a huge endgame character, he does have a larger role in the 2003 anime than in the manga and Brotherhood.
The Atoner: Doesn’t come off as very sympathetic, though, given how terrible his crime was and the fact that he is committing many more crimes to undo what he did.
Beast Man: A human torso, melded onto the back of a bear/ape like creature's body.
Body Horror: Takes on the form of a chimera when he's seen again.
Determinator: He may have been a prick for what he did to his daughter, but you'd be surprised at the lengths he's willing to go to make up for it.
Evilutionary Biologist: Has combined his wife with an animal to create a talking chimera and later does the same for his dog and daughter.
Fate Worse Than Death: His survival by the end feels like this. Not only is he trapped in a monstrous body, but he's also completely lost his grip on reality.
Guinea Pig Family: Just in the manga and Brotherhood, he sacrifices both his wife and daughter to keep his state alchemist title.
Karmic Transformation: Unlike the manga and Brotherhood where he was killed by Scar, he himself his transformed into a half-human, half-animal chimera.
Lack of Empathy: Subverted this time around. He still sacrifices his wife and daughter just to keep his State Alchemist license but actually shows remorse for his action in the 2003 anime and goes through pretty impressive lengths (for what you'd expect from such a man, anyways) to undo what's he's done and try to bring back Nina via Human Transmutation.
Mad Scientist: He turns his wife and daughter into chimeras for the sake of science. It's every bit as disgusting and infuriating as it was in the manga.
Mix-and-Match Critters: Creates a legion of these for the Military. And during his time in Laboratory 5, he actually becomes one himself.
Scary Shiny Glasses: While occasionally his glasses reflect light very harshly, after he transmutes Nina and Alexander into a Chimera, it becomes much more noticable.
Spared by the Adaptation: Ends up very dead very fast in the manga. He actually survives 'till the end in 2003 albeit after completely losing his mind when he's only able to bring back Nina's body, not her soul.
The leader of the Church of Leto, a cult that controlled the town of Liore. In reality, he was a power-hungry alchemist whose "miracles" were actually performed with a Philosopher's Stone.
Card-Carrying Villain: Subverted. He fancies himself as one, planning to spread his cult's ideology using the Philosopher's Stone power to plan an overthrow of the Amestrian government believing himself to be a Big Bad caliber villain. He couldn't be farther from the truth.
Starter Villain: Just like in the manga and Brotherhood, he is the first villain to be confronted by the Elrics. Naturally, he's also the easiest defeated.
The Tringham Brothers
Two brothers who Ed and Al meet in Xenotime while investigating rumors of the Philosopher Stone. The two pose as the Elrics in order to get support from the town so they may continue their father's research in making stone. However it turns out their father abandoned the research as it involved using pregnant women to help with the process which was killing the town's newborns. He wound up killed by the scientist who was working alongside him (who was later revealed to be manipulated by Lust) and tricked the two boys into continuing the research. The two have a change of heart after realizing the truth and help the Elrics stop the scientist. Later pointing them to where they can find a better lead. They have a short cameo later in the series. Russel is the eldest sibling while Flecter is the youngest.
Canon Foreigner: The brothers do not appear in the manga or Brotherhood. They do, however, appear in the first light novel, which is not written by Hiromu Arakawa but is set in the manga universe.
Green Thumb: The two brothers are proficient at using plant alchemy; at one point, they transmute an entire forest to save a nearby town.
Heel-Face Turn: In their first appearance, the Tringham brothers antagonize the Elric brothers by assuming their identities and working against them. At the end of their story arc, the pair are shown the error of their ways, and become allies to the Elrics.
Nice Hat: Flecter's green hat with large straps and no top to let his blonde hair flow out freely.
Not So Different: The Tringham brothers have a lot in common with the Elric brothers.. The older brothers are stubborn and temperamental, while the younger are more rational and mature. Both pairs are also self-taught alchemists, orphans, and well-meaning.
Spot the Imposter: They disguise themselves as the Elric brothers due to their similar looks to them.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Russel is at least, Flecter just follows along with it but knows what their doing is wrong.
An alchemist who bears an uncanny resemblance to Scar's older brother. Lust met him when Envy unleashed an epidemic in his village, and took on the role of teaching him so as to push him into creating the stone. During this time he fell in love with her. Two years later he sought out Lust again... and it doesn't end well for him.
Unwitting Pawn: To Lust for looking into creating a Philosopher's Stone.
Conqueror of Shamballa
The chairman of the Thule Society who acts as the primary antagonist of Conqueror of Shamballa. She is trying to open a portal to Amestris, which she recognizes as 'Shamballa' so she can utilize their alchemy, which she recognizes as magic, to help Hitler take over Germany. This however turns out to be a lie even to her own men. What she wants to do is open the portal to Amestris not to use it to help the Nazis take over the world, but in order to destroy the other world out of paranoia.
Absolute Xenophobe: Well, she is affiliated with Nazis, after all. Except instead of Jews, she wants to destroy the FMA 2003 world out of fear of their abilities to use alchemy.
Axe Crazy: She will stop at nothing to reach Amestris so she can destroy their entire world out of fear.
Big Bad: It is her desire to destroy the FMA 2003 world that drives the conflict of the story.
Body Horror: After she fails to defeat Edward in her One-Winged Angel, she mutates into something that can only be described as humanoid before being killed by Hughes.
Evil Laugh: Once she loses her stoic personality, she gains this.
Fantastic Racism: Amestris is basically the Germany of Edward's world. Amestris had absolute dictatorships being run by a Fuhrer before Dante and Pride were killed which is what the Thule Society hope to set up with Hitler. You'd think she'd just want to make an alliance with the Nazi party (who have yet to take over Germany) and weaponize the alchemy they cannot normally use for their revolution, but it turns out she's afraid of them and just wants to kill all of them.
Irony/Karmic Death: Once she reaches Ed's world, she starts ranting how the people of that world are monsters just due to the fact that they can use alchemy so easily. Ed and Al manage to send her back through the Gate, leaving her in a monstrous state in front of her own troops. She is quickly gunned down because she looks like a monster.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her name is based off of Dietrich Eckhart, a member (though not chairman- possibly he was only an associate) of the Thule Society and a leader and co-founder of the German Workers Party, which later became the National Socialist German Workers Party. He was a major influence on Adolf Hitler and saw him as the Dark Messiah Germany had been waiting for. She is probably also based on Helena Blavatsky, who co-founded the Theosophical Society which preceded the Thule, and founded the Theosophy occult system. All three were antisemitic Jerkasses who melded the idea of Aryan supremacy with mystical elements, though the real Eckart less than the ladies.
Omnicidal Maniac: She wants to destroy the entire Fullmetal Alchemist world out of fear because of her fear of alchemy.
One-Winged Angel: In the finale she manages to gain some powers from the Gate when crossing it, gaining very advanced alchemic powers in order to combat Ed, far beyond that of any normal alchemist. However, after her defeat and Villainous Breakdown it just devolves into Body Horror.
Straw Hypocrite: Her motivation to reach Shambala initially appears to be because she wants to use their "magic" to help Hitler overthrow the German government, but in reality she is afraid of how easily they can use alchemy and fears the potential that they might one day invade our world, and as a result wants to kill them first. However, when she finally fights Ed, she uses alchemic powers gained from her One-Winged Angel gained by crossing the Gate. Doubly ironic considering her primary fear is how easily the alchemists of Amestris can use their alchemy, and she's at the point she can use advanced alchemy without clapping and can just make circles appear out of nowhere.
Those Wacky Nazis: She's a villain from 1920s Germany (even though the Nazis themselves are not in power yet). What are you expecting? That being said, she does care more about killing all the Amestrians than she seems to care about Nazi ideals.
Too Dumb to Live: When she comes back to our world, she appears in a monstrous form and advances toward Noah, with her horrified lackeys seeing only a monster. She disregards them entirely as she focuses only on Noah. Hughes fires and kills this monster.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: At first she's a good person, if rather...odd. Then, she helps the Thule Society because she believes they'll help her reach Amestris. Then she turns against them when she realizes how evil they really are.
Identical Stranger: Looks and acts quite a bit like Al. Justified, since he's Al's parallel-world counterpart.
Ill Boy: Alfons is constantly seen coughing, and it is implied that he is dying. According to an earlier script, it's lung cancer.
Incurable Cough of Death: A somewhat realistic case: he's literally a rocket scientist, and the fumes from the rocket fuels he was creating have destroyed the poor guy's lungs. As it turns out, that isn't what eventually kills him. It's Rudolf Hess.
Teen Genius: Despite being a teenager, he's an extremely skilled rocket scientist.
Tragic Dream: Already dying of a disease, Alfons is aware that his dream of advancing rocket technology will not last long.