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Fridge: Fullmetal Alchemist
Fridge Brilliance
  • The Seven Deadly Sins and their opposites.
  • Wrath forces Ed and Roy to remain State Alchemists and keep their mouths shut by threatening the people they love. Ed receives the code name "Fullmetal Alchemist" because he used the metal in the floor for his alchemy exam (and his two automail limbs). Likely, the State gives codenames to alchemists in case the person in question finds out about something they shouldn't. The State has to think of a certain person whenever someone says their alchemist name so as to find someone the State can use to blackmail the alchemist into silence. Ed would think of Winry (who built his automail) and Al (who has a body made "fully" of metal). Riza, who gave the Flame Alchemist a source of alchemy research, ends up working for Bradley. This even extends to Shou Tucker, the Sewing-Life Alchemist: the phrase "sewing life" brings the idea of birth to mind — which means children like Nina Tucker. As for the Strong Arm Alchemist...well, that one's spoken for itself for generations.
  • In the 2003 series, Izumi told the Elrics that she condoned her masked friend tormenting and beating the living shit out of them for one reason: "I sent him to make sure you wouldn't die." Given Izumi's teaching methods and some subtext, one can reasonably assume that she meant to scare the Elrics back to whence they came. This holds more weight when Izumi's buddy, as the mysterious tormentor, stops beating up Al after Ed stands up to him: he realizes that the boys have the courage and strength of character to see Izumi's trial through to the end.
  • In a world where eye color indicates ethnicity better than any other physical trait (red for Ishvalans, blue and brown for Amestrians), why do only Ed (and later shown Al and Hohenheim) have yellow eyes? At first, you could mistake this for the anime wanting to make the hero look distinctive, but it makes sense when you take Xerxes into account: he and his sons carry the genes of a people who no longer exist.
  • Edward managed to successfully bring back Alphonse from the dead and keep both their lives intact the process. How did he do it? He eventually figured out what price someone could pay (aside from their own life) to bring someone back from the dead: THE ABILITY TO DO IT AGAIN.
    • And for anyone else it would have cost their life. Ed managed it because his soul had a prior connection to Al's. Mustang even makes a point of this afterwards.
  • Why would Father manufacture a secret army if he had planned to turn the country into a philosopher stone before it could be used? Why does said army look like him? Answer: He was creating a nest.
  • An omake shows Father getting a lifetime subscription to a newspaper. In the end of the series, we find out his intention for causing the entire plot.
  • In one chapter, a group of bandits shoot Hohenheim. The shots break his glasses, as well. Later on, we see his glasses and clothes still in their damaged states. Why didn't he just repair them with alchemy? Because every time he uses alchemy, he uses the philosopher's stone inside of him, which means he uses up part of the souls of the Xerxes people. So Hohenheim makes sure to never use alchemy for trivial things.
  • The military accepts a 12-year-old Ed into its ranks, and the story justifies it. In his entrance exam, Ed used alchemy without a transmutation circle, which let Bradley know Ed had opened the Gate. Since Lust knew that circle-less alchemy meant someone had opened the Gate, we can reasonably assume Bradley would know, too — and he could have received the order from Father if he didn't. Ed eventually discovers the actual purpose of the State Alchemist system: to collect candidates for human sacrifice and keep in them under the military's control/on Father's leash. Since Ed has already performed human transmutation, Father would absolutely want him under his control. As the supreme leader of the military and the direct commander of the State Alchemists, Bradley only needed to say that Ed would pass for it to happen. Ed didn't pass because of his age or his talent, but because it meant Father would gain a valuable piece in his plan — and of their own free will, to boot. Father must have laughed.
  • In the 2003 anime, our world's technology developed down the path of physics and machinery rather than alchemy. Can you think of a certain person who was obsessed with alchemy who also happened to be the pioneer of modern physics? It comes full circle with Irene and Frederick Joliot-Curie: physicists who invented modern alchemy.
  • In Brotherhood, why are the Elrics' old family photos in color? Color photography was already been invented by the start date of the events of the story, but you'd hardly expect ALL the photos, including Ed & Al as babies, to be in color, especially coming from a small town like Resembool...] Good old (analog) Photographs only became commercially viable once the optimal chemical composition and processes needed of negatives and how to "fix" (develop) them were found. And an entire country full of enthusiastic state-funded alchemists (aka proto-Chemists) will definitely have an advantage in speedily finding said chemicals...
  • Ling in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga as a Big Eater character with Eyes Always Shut and Obfuscating Stupidity is kind of old. His appetite, coupled with his desire for immortality and power, is clever foreshadowing to him becoming the new Greed.
    • Similarly, in one of the first episodes of both series, Ed sits in a church, announcing his disbelief, and explains that humans are made up of common elements which could be purchased "with a child's pocket money." At first thought, this seems to just be a declaration of how inexpensive it is, but the brilliant part was that he wasn't speaking metaphorically, he was speaking from experience. It was a stealth confession.
      • Seemingly nodded to again in the second ending of the second anime, which shows Ed and Al (who look to be the same age as they are in flashbacks to their human transmutation attempt) happily plunking down a fistful of change on the counter at a store and carrying home big paper bags... This, however falls firmly into Fridge Horror.
    • Hohenheim's explanation of Pride's appearance also gives an explanation about Envy's powers; envy is coveting what someone else has. His powers correspond to this by easily allowing him to become that "someone else".
    • Also, Envy's true form is green in color.
      • Not to mention Envy's true form is an incredibly pitiable embryo-looking creature. Another reason why he envied us so.
    • When a lot of the Japanese voice cast was replaced for the new Brotherhood adaption, many fans were upset. But as the plot took off, the new voices made perfect sense... because they highlighted the differences between the versions of the characters. For example, Roy is less cynical and more earnest this time around, so his younger-sounding voice is perfect. Riza's voice is higher and sweeter, which fits her more empathetic portrayal. Envy's more sadistic and masculine sounding voice suits just how much he loves to Kick the Dog.
    • Consider Bradley's sympathetic backstory and how it is recounted in the Brotherhood adaptation. In the manga, it was something of a Pet the Dog scene which made you pity Bradley, despite all of the awful things he had done and would do in the future. In the anime, however, Bradley, in keeping with being a somewhat literal That Man Is Dead example, is narrating his own life objectively and thus completely understands that he was turned into a monster by evil people, but yet he still follows them. By doing this, it shows that he's Not Brainwashed, but rather is doing evil willingly.
    • Did any of you notice one thing about Father? He's Greedy, and continues to be so even after he discards Greed from his body, meaning that, in a way, he embodies the sin of Greed more than his son.
      • It goes way beyond that. This excerpt from the FMA Wiki sums up Father's hypocrisy quite nicely: Though it's stated numerous times that Father has expelled all of his sins, it's interesting to note he acts in a way similar to that of the sins: He seeks power at all costs (Greed); views humans as "ants" (Pride); devours souls with no self-control (Gluttony); has a desire for a family like humans (Envy); prefers to let others do his bidding for him (Sloth); feels anger towards any opposition, principally Hohenheim (Wrath); and lusts after becoming a perfect being (Lust).
      • Getting into Mind Screw territory, Father commits at least three of those sins against the corresponding desire. He subjects Sloth to hard labor, steals from Greed (more than once), and treats Pride more like a tool or a trained animal than an ally. A rather disturbing trend, potentially going into Fridge Horror when considering Lust...
      • The opposite may be true, actually. Minus his sins, Father is an empty shell of a personality in a way that made him rather pitiable to me. He briefly demonstrates a capacity for kindness during the time that he has his Greed in him (as Greed himself noted that the desire for friendship is a form of Greed), but apart from that, Father doesn't really do anything but continue mindlessly following his plan. Up until the climax, he's an object in motion, forever remaining in motion because there is no opposite force to act on him, but without any sense of conviction or desire to remain so.
      • Plus, the thing about pride? You see all that make you what you are as valuable. If Father was so full of pride, he'd never want to abandon his prized sins in totality-yet at the same time is too arrogant to admit he sees value in humanity. Simply put, Father's pride makes him unable to abandon his sins-fitting, given pride is considered the sin that leads to all others.
      • It may not just be pride. Envy, despite saying that he's better than us puny humans, is jealous of our qualities. Could this be how, deep down, Father feels?
      • Also despite being the closest thing to Satan, Father is the farthest thing from the sterotype we associate with the Devil. Considering how Father(and traditionally the Devil) has a god complex, he'd want to look the part—even down to intentionally defying the stereotype in pretty much the same way.
      • He also is even going for the entire Catholic Trinity: He is the Father (Obviously) and he is (because of the nature of the Homunculi) the Son (Sons and Daughter, considering Lust). The last part he is looking to acquire is the Holy Spirit (Truth).
    • Kimblee's and Pride's interactions counter each other. First off, Kimblee essentially represents light with his white suit, specialization in alchemy based around bright explosives, and alchemical circles tattooed on his hands that involve the sun and moon, which are both symbols of light. On the other hand, Pride obviously represents darkness and shadow, which can easily see by looking at his powers. As such, Kimblee and Pride's interactions are light and darkness (or shadow) working together in tandem. And this makes Kimblee being devoured by Pride a moment where the shadows engulfed the light.
      • Good Lord. That makes Chapter 106 even more awesome. The light can always chase away the darkness in the end.
    • How did Ed transmute himself into a philosopher's stone, invaded Pride's being and destroyed him from the inside out? He'd already pulled that trick once before, way back in episode 41 when he used his soul as a philosopher's stone to heal himself.
    • The homunculi are named after the seven deadly sins. In the manga, they were all created by Father. Therefore, they are Sins of the Father.
      • And are thus visited on the son(s).
    • When reading 107, it finally hit why despite having Father rid himself of his 'sins' in the form of the homunculi, he still seemed to posses enough greed to go after Godhood. The avarice he imparted on Greed wasn't absolute as the Ultimate Shield made us believe, no, the thing he wanted the most in the whole world were friends and companions like Ed has. Everything else he was after was missdirected greed on his part.
    • The last opening theme of Brotherhood is from Hohopapa's perspective.
      • So Trisha reaching her hand out is Hoho's POV, and not Ed's? Makes sense, given what happens.
      • So is the first opening.
    • There's a scene in the episode where Greed's killed where Bradley seems to want her to become a State Alchemist, and Izumi declines, and rightly doesn't trust him. Izumi is clearly talented enough to be one, and so the fact she isn't is significant, as is the related fact that she didn't fight in Ishval. Coupled with things like the scene where she is able to lift up Sloth and throw him, Despite Izumi's Hair-Trigger Temper, she is really holding back and could kill quite easily. Although he probably already leaned in this direction, Ed can follow in her footsteps, because he's just as Hot-Blooded, but also refuses to kill.
    • In the stinger for episode 28 of Brotherhood, Father finishes off Gluttony and reabsorbs his stone back into his body, promising to revive him with all of his memories intact. Now, you might ask yourself why he would do this, as it doesn't serve him any strategic purpose, and his 'love' for his 'children' is largely just a front. But near the end the series, Hohenheim suggests that Father created the homunculi so that he could have "family". Yes, as much as Father acts like an uncaring and manipulative bastard, his act of resurrecting Gluttony with his memories restored proved to be an act of fatherly love, however twisted it may have appeared to be.
    • Regarding the deaths of the Homunculi:
      • Roy Mustang, who is known as a womanizer, is the one to kill Lust.
      • Bonus Points: By showing up, he stops her from killing Hawkeye.
      • Though I'd argue that in the 2003 anime: Lust who had been characterized by her desire to live, essentially dies when the man she loves is gone, Lust is effectively dead from then on not smiling or enjoying life. Even when she is permanently killed she doesn't seem to think she's losing anything. Lust lost her lust for life due to love, which seems more befitting for someone whose characterized for using others for her survival.
      • Armstrong, who's been constantly berated by his sister for not putting his full effort into the war, kills Sloth.
      • Bonus points: he kills him by making him fight so hard he didn't have the energy to heal himself.
      • Selim kills Gluttony by EATING him.
      • Envy and Greed get themselves killed, both in manners that are almost paradoxically befitting of the sin they represent.
      • Specifically: Envy commits suicide out of shame and humiliation when a mere human being feels pity for him. Greed was melted down for his most valuable part.
      • Wrath is killed by Scar, a man consumed by hatred for humanity because of his troubled past.
      • Bonus points: he uses Creation Alchemy (which was HATED by Scar and almost all other Ishvalans) to help him do so.
      • And for extra bonus points: King Bradley, the Sin of Wrath, died peacefully.
      • And finally, Edward, the one who was so confident in his abilities that he thought he could play God by bringing a human back to life, is the one to defeat Pride and send him back into his true form.
      • Which was foreshadowed in chapter 83: "Now that I think about it, the moment I decided to become a dog of the military, I gave up any pride I might have had anyway!"
    • Why does Father's separation of his sins and eating Truth would have led to his reabsorption into the Gate? But when he's fighting Hohenheim in episode 55, Father says he won't "lower himself to [humans'] level. When Ed goes into the gate a few episodes later, Truth asks him if he's willing to lose alchemy/lower himself to the level of normal humans to save Al, and he replies that he's been an ordinary human all along. Ed's answer is what lets him and Al leave with Truth's blessing, and saying/believing the opposite is where Father went wrong.
  • Episode 26 of the English Brotherhood dub has a beautiful piece of fridge brilliance that you really only notice after rewatching/rereading the series several times. To clarify, it isn't the fact that Ed punched open the Gate, but right before he performs that human transmutation. He apologizes to the souls of the Xerxians within Envy's Philosopher's stone, before he uses them. Later, when Hohenheim is using the souls of the Xerxians within him to create a counter to Father's Nationwide Transmutation Circle, he says the exact same thing. It becomes even more epic, when you realize that, in the fight against Pride, Ed turns himself into a one-soul philosopher's stone. And then, all of the comments about Ed being exactly like his father become even more epic. He is literally following his father's footsteps.
  • At the end of Chapter 58 of the manga, during the flashback of the Ishval Civil War, the Ishvallan members of the military are imprisoned. At the start of Chapter 59, the first Ishvallans are used in experiments to create a philosopher's stone. If you look closely, they're the same ones who were in the Amestrian military and had been imprisoned.
  • How can the armored Alphonse talk to himself (the skinny, naked Alphonse) beyond the gate? Because the skinny, naked Alphonse is actually Truth, wearing his body the same way he wears Ed's arm and leg! This also explains why Truth comes off as a Jerkass God — we usually only see Ed's version of Truth...
    • In addition, Truth says that he "is you," and thus acts similarly to how the person seeing him does: Nice to Al, rude to Ed until he learns his lesson, after which Truth praises Ed, and downright evil to Father/the Dwarf in the Flask.
      • So basically "Truth-kun" is the part of you, a "One", that is connected to the Universe, the "All". Or, viceversa, an avatar of the "All" who is specifically connected to a "One".
    • It goes further. a body of Al tells him that it will return him, when Al chooses to abandon his body, when seeing in what condition it is, and goes to his armor. How can anyone except Truth return Al?
  • The whole sequence where Mustang and his crew are staging a coup in Central? It's Operation Valkyrie! Or rather, it's Operation Valkyrie if Colonel von Stauffenberg had succeeded. The conspirators use an explosion to kill the Fuhrer, then systematically take control of the capital while pretending to be suppressing a (nonexistent) coup by those closest to the Fuhrer (the generals in FMA, the Schutzstaffel in Real Life). All signs suggest that they will succeed, but then comes an unforeseen complication: the Fuhrer comes onto the radio saying "Hi guys, I'm not dead. My, my, some people have been naughty."(In FMA, it's because Bradley is Wrath and in real life they didn't use a big enough bomb). Of course, throw alchemy, homunculi, and the Briggs Bears into the mix and the game changes entirely.
  • Mrs. Bradley slapped her husband the first time they met. He promptly started hitting on her. Given that he's Wrath this makes so much sense.
  • When Al is punched in the side by Number 66, he falls to his knees as if winded. Later, we learn that his metal body is connected to his physical body beyond the Gate, so it probably felt the attack, and responded appropriately, making this a case of foreshadowing as well.
  • In Brotherhood, Father's voice seems incredibly strained like he's struggling to say or pronounce certain words. Then he takes off his "skin", which has his talking become much more fluent, because the body is holding him back.
  • Dr. Marcoh refers to the Philosopher's Stone as "the Devil's research", and anyone with a conscience who at first wants to use it but then actually discovers what needs to be done to create one quickly goes through Heroic BSOD and agrees with him. This seems like it's just a commentary on how evil it is to wipe out large swaths of people for a powerful artifact. But consider these three things: the fact that the cost of the stone is specifically taking people's SOULS, the fact that anyone who would go ahead and do this anyway is probably the kind of person that would be described as having no soul, and the obvious Satanic Archetype that is the Big Bad of the series and the driving force behind the creation of the likely very first Philosopher's Stones, and it should hit you at some point. The true underlying reason why the Stone is called the Devil's research is a clear Lampshade Hanging on Father being the Satan-analogue, and the reason most people know about the Stone first and then have to look around to learn the price for making one is by design because the Stone is used as a tool to draw people into Father's personal Illuminati.
    • Makes even more sense when you realize the Homunculi were the ones giving Marcoh's research team their marching orders to create the stones they did, so he would probably know this.
      • Makes even more sense than that if you take into account that the first one to actually know how to make a Philosopher's Stone was a homunculus, a creature often described in the series as an empty shell or a soulless body.
  • Kimblee's motives for screwing over Pride and helping Ed. It wasn't a Heel-Face Turn or a last ditch effort at revenge. No, it was actually true to Kimblee's moral code. He made it clear when he earlier tried to recruit Ed to help him hunt Scar that the reason why he sided with the Homunculi was to egg on the war between them and the humans. He wanted to see which species was truly superior. By Pride deciding to attempt to take a human container, he ironically answered Kimblee's question.
  • In Brotherhood, Pride, being the most powerful homunculus, has powers of all the other homunculi:
    • His shadows can pierce anything (Lust/Wrath).
    • He can eat things much larger than his entire body (Gluttony).
    • He can hide inconspicuously amongst the public and control a person’s body (Envy, although Pride is much more limited in this regard).
    • He can lift heavy objects with no effort, as seen when lifting Al, and can move quickly, although Pride can only do so in the darkness (Sloth)
    • The only homunculus he doesn't share a skill with is Greed, who is the only one to abandon Father. Pride would not dare to relate to anyone as insolent as that now, would he?
      • The above makes sense, but at least visually, Pride's shadows, Lust's spears, and Greed's armor seem to be made out of similar "indestructinium".
      • Moreover, if you watch when Heinkel is trying to kill him, even though his clothes are repeatedly torn by lion's claws, he never once bleeds. Heinkel was explicitly not holding back. Pride has Greed's Ultimate Shield on constantly, without ever looking less than human.
    • After having his container and powers destroyed, we see Pride's true form: a tiny, unassuming infant. What was Father's true form: a tiny, unassuming shadow ball. Like father like son, huh?
  • In episode 61 of Brotherhood, Pride attempts to take over Ed's body to replace his own, which is slowly crumbling. Given that he thinks rather lowly of humans, this seems rather unhonourable for someone named Pride, and it is. But that's the thing; he represents the sin of pride, not the virtue.
  • If Ed supplies Al's body with nutrition, which is why he sleeps so often, it begs the question, "Why does Al still look so weak when he comes back from the other side?" Other than the obvious reasons. Ed still has plenty of physical strength and appears healthy, so maybe he just received most of the benefits. But look at Al once he returns to his body and can barely walk without Ed's help or the use of crutches. Are his muscles unused and thus lacking in strength? Are his bones weak and brittle? ... Maybe Winry was right. Maybe Ed should have drank his milk.
    • The difference is that Ed was getting plenty of physical exercise, what with the running around and the fighting, whereas Al's body, for all we know, has been sitting still in front of the gate for five years. He's like a coma patient laying in bed, fed by the tubes: he's getting all the nutrients he needs, but over time his muscle would still disappear.
  • Come to think of it, since Ed is constantly supplying Al's body with requirements for survival... Do we ever see Ed fight in peak condition?
  • When you first meet Selim for the first time pay attention to the conversation he has with Ed and Al, about how he calls Xing's alchemy the alchemy of a inferior country and how he wants to be useful to his father. This isn't anything out of the ordinary seeing how he is the son of the Furer and would be taught this mindset. However later it makes sense when you think about it when he is revealed to be Pride: of course he would call another country's alchemy inferior as Amestris was founded by Father by using their own alchemy fitting with the pride theme, and being useful to his father, not the country, not Bradley, but Father.
  • During the hilarious scene where Ed and co. walk in on Winry changing and chaos follows, throughout the scene, part of the chaos is provided by Den constantly barking in the background. Note that the whole time, Greed is holding onto Den, which is probably why the dog is barking- animals go crazy when in the presence of homunculi.
  • The Amestrian flag has a chimera on it- talk about hiding in plain sight.
  • From the first episode of Brotherhood, Isaac McDougal brought about some very deep foreshadowing, especially with the phrase "Do you know what shape this country is in?!" About a dozen episodes later into the anime, we find that Amestris isn't as what we originally believed, especially being the main base of operations for Father, his homunculi, and his soldiers that are devoted to his twisted cause, and we were assumed he meant that. THEN Ed pieces together all the outbreaks that happened over the years of the country's following with help of Valman listing them, and when he connected the dots... it showed the pattern of a transmutation circle. All within the round shaped country. Ed realizes this in-universe too when he flashes back to what McDougal was ranting about.
    • A related piece. You know how Isaac is Still Wearing The Old Colors despite his open disdain for the military and their actions in Ishval? That's because even in his madness, he still fights to protect his country—perhaps now more than ever, knowing the truth he foreshadows.
  • Fridge Brilliance from Brotherhood: Remember Selim's essay? The one he read to his mom and Bradley about how much he loved his dad? Cross that with his actions in chapter 106 (especially when Ed points out that Father doesn't care for his well-being) and it's entirely plausible that his essay about his wonderful Dad was actually about his Father.
  • Why did King Bradley loose the ability to regenerate when he was turned into a Homunculus, and Ling didn't? Because Ling didn't really "fight back".
    • Bradley explains, when he revealed his backstory to Roy, that after the experiment he only had one soul left in him, as opposed to other Homunculus who have multiple souls. Their regeneration and long lives are due to them consuming multiple life forces. This also explains why Bradley ages.
  • Ed and Al have a lot in common with Scar and his brother. Ed sacrificed his right arm to bring his brother back. Scar's older brother sacrificed his right arm to save Scar.
  • Dante and Edward’s relationship is far deeper than it seems to be, and that Dante is one hell of a Shadow Archetype to Edward:
    • Firstly, both Dante and Edward had an opportunity to restore a loved one using the Philosopher’s Stone. Edward, after learning the true nature of the stone, refused to sacrifice society’s undesireables (convicted criminals) to restore his brother, even though he was clearly tempted. He, like Alphonse, decides that they don’t want to be restored if a single person needs to die. Dante, like Edward, sacrificed undesireables (persecuted “witches” and those dying of the plague, who were more innocent than the criminals), but she didn’t hesitate for a moment. When Hohenheim nearly died as a result of the transmutation, she also didn’t hesitate to sacrifice their butler to restore her loved one to a new body, showing that she came to the opposite conclusion.
    • Continuing from the first point, Dante shows what Edward could have become if he had compromised his morals for Alphonse. Both Edward and Dante are exceptionally gifted alchemists, but Dante, unlike Edward, allowed her natural talent to feed her ego. Edward connects with non-alchemists like Winry and develops meaningful relationships with the less gifted. Dante, on the other hand, separates herself from the rest of humanity. As Izumi pointed out, she looks down on the masses from her hilltop, seeing them as nothing more than “petty, egotistical things” who didn’t deserve her help. Dante’s Grand Theft Me plot is a twisted reflection of Ed and Al’s journey to restore themselves: if tens of millions of lives need to be sacrificed so she can live for another year, so be it. Contrast this with Edward, who frequently uses his alchemy to help others. If Edward didn’t have Winry, Alphonse, and Izumi to keep him in check, he could have easily gone down this route.
    • Both Edward and Dante demonstrate atheistic beliefs, but their convictions lead them to different conclusions about reality. Edward is clearly suspicious of gods and religion, but believes in a meaningful world governed by Equivalent Exchange. He has a strong appreciation for human life. Dante, however, believes the world is innately meaningless. She demonstrates a clear disdain for humanity, which is reflected through her belief that her homunculi should be purged of human emotions. Edward’s beliefs make him a humanist, while Dante’s lead her down the path of nihilism.
    • Dante and Edward are forced to see the valid points in each other’s philosophies at the end of the series, and Dante is defeated because, unlike Edward, she fails to re-evaluate her beliefs. Edward accepts that the principle of Equivalent Exchange is flawed, but sticks to his humanist principles and doesn’t embrace Dante’s doctrine of a “beautifully chaotic world.” Dante’s moment of clarity is much more sutble than Edward’s – when Gluttony comes in and breaks down over Lust’s death, she stares at him for a moment and looks visibly uncomfortable. In this brief moment, she sees the strength of humanity and realizes that people may have dignity after all. Instead of changing her beliefs like Edward, however, she remains closed-minded and purges Gluttony of his humanity. What she doesn’t realize is that his humanity allowed Gluttony to fear and respect her, and without that, Dante becomes just another meal to him.
    • Ultimately, Fullmetal Alchemist focuses on Edward and Alphonse’s coming of age. They’re thrust into an ugly world, but instead of abandoning their principles and becoming like Dante, they find a middle ground. They realize their philosophy on life isn’t perfect and there’s always room for growth. In a story where growing up is the central theme, Dante is the ideal antagonist because she flat-out refuses to grow and learn from the world around her.
  • In the first anime, Shou Tucker is a Shadow Archetype to Ed as well. Like Ed, he is a gifted "scientist" who falls victim to hubris and breaks a grave taboo out of a combination of desperation and curiosity. Like Ed, his recklessness ruins his life, robs him of his only family and leaves him horribly deformed. Like Ed, he regrets his choice and becomes obsessed with trying to undo it; seeking the Philosopher's Stone to this end. He's Ed's twisted shadow all along. Like Dante, the ultimate difference between them is Ed's moral inclination that ultimately inspires him to abandon his arrogance and self-centeredness and change his ways.
  • The first series really does not get enough credit for how drastically - and subtly - Ed matures over the course of the story. Between the snarky, arrogant boy in the first episodes and the composed, selfless young man by the end of The Movie, there is a painstakingly gradual and vast transformation that can be traced down to individual turning points over the course of literally the entire series. It's really one of the most impressive instances of character development in anime, and describing it in detail would take up an entire essay's worth of material (perhaps to be filled in here at a later time).
  • Did nobody else find it brilliant that Father narrates Brotherhood?
  • After Scar is rescued from being attacked by Lust and Gluttony, he stays incredibly still and asks stuff like where he is and how he got there. Besides the obvious reasons for asking, from what we know of his backstory, he would definitely want to double-check every single fact of his rescue so he doesn't make the same mistake he did with the Rockbells.
  • In Dante's Inferno, there are verses that talk about the punishment that the sinners withstand in Hell. It says the lascive, who tainted themselves with the dirt of the world, shall be cleaned by firestorms. The gluttons, who eat smaller creatures uncontrollably, shall be eaten by bigger creatures. The envious, who looked at the others with darkness on their eyes, shall have those eyes burned. The wrathful, that used they limbs to harm the others, shall have this limbs torn apart. The slothful, who refused to do their task, shall be punished with endless tasks. The greedy, that seeked for gold, shall bath in a pot of boiling gold. And the proud had to carry big rocks. Now let's compare this to the manga: Lust was burned to death by Mustang. Gluttony was eaten by Pride. Envy got his eyes burned by Mustang. Wrath lost all his limbs fighting Scar. Sloth had to dig holes. Greed The First was boiled in a pot in order to reverse back to his Stone form. Pride was stuck in a rock dome. Everything matches.
    • Not entirely right, but not entirely wrong. In fact, this comes from the next part of the work, Purgatorio, the tower of purgatory where souls would be cleansed of their sins before entering the Earthly Paradise. In the seventh tier just before earthly paradise, those with carnal sins have them purged by walking through a wall of fire while Lust the Lascivious dies in a similar fashion. In the sixth tier, those with sins of over-indulgence in bodily comforts are deprived of their sustenance just as Gluttony the Voracious perished after having Ed, Ling, and Envy pulled from his stomach before Scar drains the philosopher's stone that sustains his life. In the fifth tier, we find the covetous and prodigal, who are made to lay penitently and are unable to move as Greed was placed literally by Wrath and figuratively by Ling after losing the last of his former minions. The fourth tier is for the lazy, who are made to exert themselves to the point of exhaustion as Sloth the Indolent does while battling the Armstrongs and Sig. The third tier is for the angry and violent to walk in acrid smoke as blinded as they were by rage as Wrath the Furious was blinded by an eclipse. The second tier is for the envious, who are forced into a pitiful guise and have their sight taken like Envy the Jealous was reduced in size and blinded by Mustang. And finally there are the vain, who are indeed bent low by the weight of heavy stones as Pride the Arrogant was brought low partly as a result of taking in Gluttony and Kimblee, as well as Alphonse's armor when he was trapped. If they had been defeated in that order, it would have been even more poetic for having it be the reverse of Dante’s journey, especially how the stop before the first tier of purgatory was the last circle of Hell, where Satan stood trapped forever for trying to usurp God just as Father is consumed by the Portal of Truth for trying to do the same.
    • The correlations can be thought of as relations to some of the heroes; specifically, the ones who went through the gate. Womanizer Mustang (lust) 'burns' away his idealism with his crimes in Ishval, Izumi (greed) who coveted a child became too infirm to move around, Edward (wrath) of the infamous hot temper lost his limbs, Alphonse (envy) who wants the comforts of human life was forced into the unfeeling armor, Hohenheim (sloth) who despaired in the face of Father spent much of his life-force attempting to save Amestris, Pride (Gluttony) ate all to gain power is forced to depend on that which he despises, and Father (pride) who sought to rule god is brought low with the weight of truth.
  • Out of all the units that Ed could have been assigned to as a State Alchemist, why Roy Mustang's? Why not somewhere more regimented where Ed could have been constantly watched? Several reasons. Father was keeping several of his potential sacrifices in one place. Ed was already a viable candidate, Roy was ambitious enough while Alex could be manipulated through threatening his family (well aside from one elder sister...) and had previously suffered PTSD. Furthermore many of the soldiers Ed interacted with came across as decent human beings. This gives Ed a reason to stick around when the hammer came down. Rather than Edward just evacuating Risembool and fleeing the country to deprive Father of one of the sacrifices necessary for his plan, Ed would instead stand by his friends and comrades... several of whom were also sacrifices. Basically it boils down to Ed being too strong-willed to easily indoctrinate. As an orphan, Ed had few emotional attachments outside of his own hometown. Give him comrades that could become a surrogate family and Father could be assured that he would stay and fight no matter what and that holds true for Al as well. In other words Roy being Ed's immediate superior was not an accident...
  • In The Sacred Star of Milos, we see young Julia collapsing upon seeing her dead parents and the apparent death of her brother, Ashleigh. When he reappears and retells that scene from his perspective, the flashback shows Julia already unconscious before he is attacked. What seems like a plot hole at first glance is actually a hint that he's lying and is not Ashleigh at all.
  • Another thing about The Sacred Star of Milos. In the movie, Ed tells Julia that the Star will consume her soul if she eats it. Now many people online seem to think something like that doesn't make sense in the series. However, let's think again about two of the Homunculi in the Manga/Brotherhood. Both King Bradley/Wrath and Lin/the Second Greed are Homunculi made by injecting a Philosopher's Stone inside a human body. Now if one recalls as well, Wrath's stone consumed the souls of all previous candidates that failed to contain it until it got into Wrath. And when the 12th candidate became Wrath, he had burned up every souls in the stone save for one because he resisted it. And in contrast, when Lin accepted Greed, no souls were consumed in the process. Now if we look again at the movie, both Julia and her brother swallowed a Star of Milos, which is simply another Philosopher's Stone. In a way, they did just like Wrath and Greed. The main difference is that their stones, or rather Stars, were not made by Father, thus did not held any kind of Sin/Homunculus within them. However even without a Sin/Homunculus inside of the stone, there was still the risk that the Stars' combined amount of souls can consume the soul of the one that swallowed it, or at least affect it to an extent.
    • This might border on Fridge Horror when we consider the possibility that the Stars could have essentially turned Julia and her brother into pseudo-Homunculi, or made them immortal. But then again, their Stars seemed a bit limited compared to the Amsterians Philosophers' Stones. Difference in creation maybe?
  • As King Bradley talks with Mustang in his office, he mentions how the reason he was shaking during Maes Hughes's funeral was out of anger because of Elicia's crying. When Roy brings up Selim in turn, he states that Selim is better behaved and responds to Roy's what-if about Selim finding out his own father's a homunculus by saying that Selim will never be a weakness in his life. Well, of course he's not scared of his son being used as a weak point by his enemies when his "son" is actually his oldest and most powerful brother in disguise.
  • In the first series, Ed's iconic cross-and-serpent is the insignia of Dante. Why that symbol? Well, recall Dante's hatred for - and possible responsibility for the destruction of - a certain religion for which the cross is a holy symbol, and the serpent an evil one...
    • Another interpretation for the Flamel is that the serpent on the cross is Christ, shedding the sinful human body to achieve divinity and Eternal Life. Sounds familiar, huh? It helps that medieval symbolism was not always as fixed as one would like to think and that one animal could be a symbol for Christ in one context and for the devil in the other.
    • The symbol, called the "Flamel Serpent", has its origins from the Book of Numbers from the Bible. In the passage, the people of Israel had been amidst their 40-year exile from the Holy Land. In one of their (several) moments of complaining against God for their plight, God sent a plague of flaming serpents among the people. Anyone who was bit died. The people turned to Moses, who in turn, went to God. God told Moses to place a brass serpent upon a cross and place it where it could be seen. All who looked upon the cross would be healed— a bit of foreshadowing for the New Testament. Nicholas Flamel, a Renaissance-era alchemist, used the symbol as a shorthand: "To make useful the volatile"— rather like making anti-venom from venom, or making dynamite from more volatile chemicals. In a sense, the soul is volatile energy, and of course, the purpose behind crafting a Philosopher Stone is to make that energy more useful. This parallels the Ouroboros tattoo the Homonculi bear, as the Ouroboros is alchemic shorthand itself. If the serpent is merely biting its own tail in the depiction, it refers to an "unending cycle"— infinity. However, if the serpent is actually devouring its own tail, it is shorthand for "changing unto one's purest form". Considering the Homunculi are supposedly the purest form of the sin they were named for, this is not at all surprising. —FM Kitsune
  • Why Mustang was able to get his eyes healed, even though he was forced to open the Gate? The answer is a kind of Loophole Abuse: since he entered the Gate, Truth took away his sight. However, he didn't technically trespass, so he could get back his sight if he payed a big enough price - like Marcoh's Stone. Which is exactly what happened when Al paid himself in exchange for Edward's arm.
    • There's no loophole involved. Using a Philosopher's Stone to restore what they'd lost was the entire reason the Elrics set out on their mission to begin with, and the only reason they never actually did was because they were uncomfortable using the product of human sacrifice for selfish gain. They're very idealistic that way. Mustang is more pragmatic than that.
      • Hang on a second, if that were the case, then what about Izumi? When she encounters Hohenheim late in the series, Hohenheim rearranges some of her organs but flat-out tells her that he can't restore what was taken from her because it was the toll she paid to open the Gate, despite the fact that he is, himself, a Philosopher's Stone. If he can't do anything for her, why did that work for Roy? Because Izumi paid the toll willingly, even if she didn't know what she was doing. Mustang, on the other hand, knew exactly what human transmutation involved and refused to do it. Truth showed lenience in his case - even though he took Mustang's sight as the toll, he allowed it to be restored because Mustang didn't open the Gate, but was forced through it. This holds with Ed and Al in the finale, too. Both brothers knew what would be demanded of them to save the other, and they made their transmutations willingly and with an expectation of finality, because they didn't expect to ever have to pay the toll again (Al believing he would be at rest, and Ed already having decided to give up his own alchemy). In both Ed and Al's cases, it was a choice they made; the only reason the Truth gave them what they wanted was because they'd learned their damn lessons and they were paying very steep prices to get their happy ending. Mustang never had that luxury, so he was given amnesty.
      • Note the first sentence in this particular thread: why Mustang was able to get his eyes healed. Roy's case was particularly different from that of Judeau, an alchemist featured in a mangahood side story who tried to transmute his masters' daughter back to life and got his eyes taken away altogether due to wanting to see her again. The fact that Mustang still had his eyes intact, albeit disabled, was a gift from Truth who clearly recognized the difference between Roy and Judeau's cases, as well as foreshadowing to us that he would be able to get his sight back.
      • Not exactly, because while Judeau wanted to see his master's daughters with his eyes, Truth took those away. Mustang meanwhile, wanted to see Amestris as a great country, with him protecting the people under him and so on. Sounds like a man of vision, eh?
  • Being a Japanese work set in the West, it explores the fears prevalent in Western society. First we have the seven homunculi, who represent vampires, being that they are souless, not restrained by human rules or morality and drink "red water" made of human souls which grants them power and immortality - an obvious allegory for blood. Wrath even dies when hit with sunlight (it blinds him suddenly, giving Scar an opening). Given that vampires are seen as those who have rejected god and thus cannot walk in the sunlight (the sun is used as a metaphor for God in the first episode) and it even occurs while Wrath lectures Scar about there being no god. And in the first anime, they are literally the undead. The Chimeras represent werewolves, being humans with the power, abilities and (to some extend) instincts of beasts. The mannequin soldiers are zombies, no explanation needed. Finally, Father represents our more modern (and equally ridiculous) fears, namely both aliens (he comes from beyond the gate) and artificial intelligence (he was created by human scientists). Today we are afraid of slightly human yet more powerful beings disregarding our worth and killing/enslaving us, such as AM in I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and Skynet in Terminator and basically every alien invasion story in existence.
  • In Brotherhood, Gluttony and The Truth both share a large smile with big, square teeth. While this may seem coincidental, they are the only characters to hold the said attribute, perhaps foreshadowing that the two are connected through Gluttony being Father's failed attempt to synthesize The Gate, technically making Gluttony a gatekeeper like The Truth.
  • In the 2003 Anime, everyone is really speaking German, regardless of the dub. Granted, there's a lengthy period between the series and Conqueror of Shamballa where Ed could have learned the language, but considering he and a few other characters from Amestris communicate perfectly with German characters, it's probable that (at least the inhabitants of Amestris) actually speak German.
    • Though Edward lands in England at first and Hoho. presumably speaks to alter!Ed in english, unless he's an immigrant.
  • Whenever the Truth takes something from someone, it takes the entire body part: Ed's leg, Al's body, Izumi's organs. On the other hand, Roy only lost his eyesight, not an actual organ. Since he didn't really commit the taboo, he got a lighter version. Crosses into Fridge Horror once you realize that had he actually preformed human transmutation, he would have likely lost his eyes.
    • Which is exactly what happened to Jude in the OVA The Blind Alchemist.
  • Why does Lust not actually act, well... Lusty? In Christan doctrine indulging in sex is not a sin because it is a necessity, what is a sin is to invoke lust in others. Seems Father reads the bible.
    • Alternatively, it could just be that Lust is a symbol for sexual lust while having a personality of bloodlust.
    • Lust was a sin of Father, who's true form is a little, genderless ball of shadow. Father would logically lack a sex drive, and thus Asexual his Lust also would lack a sex drive.
    • It could also be more as a non-sexual derivative of the traditional definition: lusting for power from and over other people. Related to greed and envy, but more manipulative in nature.
  • There is a reason as for why Hohenheim's plan to destroy Father's body (implanting in Father the souls he himself possesses in order to destroy him from the inside) did not work as planned. When he sheds his "skin", we see eyes appearing in the darkness that covers the ceiling. Father's own lair is his emergency container for when he doesn't have a proper body.
    • This reflects how Pride is able to move his shadow freely in the tunnel underneath Amestris but he's restricted near his "container" Selim when outside.
  • In the first episode of Brotherhood, Isaac McDougal probably was able to activate multiple transmutation circles from a distance by using alkahestry.
  • Sloth can move fast — he usually doesn't, because he's lazy.
  • Hohenheim never officially married Trisha Elric, meaning Ed and Al have their mother's last name. This is most likely for two reasons; one, if they'd made their marriage official, it would have been registered and inevitably gotten back to Central, meaning that Father and the Homunculi would have been able to track the family down and use them. Two, it's highly unlikely that Hohenheim actually existed in any database or census taking in Amestris or anywhere else, considering he'd been trying to stay under the radar for five hundred years; he wouldn't have been able to get married legally in any case.
  • Father's name is a clever Stealth Pun. First, it makes the Homunculi the quite literal "sins of the father." Secondly, it makes him the "Father of sin", fitting the Satan analogue like a glove.
  • In the 2003 anime, some people thought it was strange that Sloth was titled as they were, but the name does have accuracy: despite stating several times that she's going to kill the Elric Brothers and cut herself off from them, she barely does anything about it until around her death.
  • One that may be obvious to some but when Scar kills Shou Tucker and mercy kills Nina he commends two souls to god. Fridge Logic sets in though when you realise that he actually killed Shou, Nina AND Alexander. One guess which one was left out in his prayer.
  • Greed never lies. He always keeps his word, because if he doesn't, he won't "own it" get it?
  • During Chapter 21 of the manga, on the train ride to Dublith, Sig and Izumi talk about why she accepted the Elrics as apprentices. Then Sig states that there's no room for them, to which Izumi replies that it's not needed yet. The reason Izumi deserts the boys on Yock Island for a month was not only to train their minds and bodies, but also to give her time to make room for them, because she could innately tell that they would succeed in figuring out her riddle.
  • 2003 Anime. Remeber way back of why the Elrics started looking the for the philosopher stone? King Bradley encourged Al to. That's right Pride set them on their search that lasts for most of the series.
  • In Conqueror of Shamballa, you've got Eckhart and the Thule Society utilizing rocket-powered aircraft in their Gate-aided trip to Amestris. So why didn't the Germans take hold of that technology? Simple. They came back to Earth utterly wrong, which would probably dissuade people from trying it again for a while. And even if Ed and Al didn't destroy the facility containing the portal, there's also that tidbit called the Treaty of Versailles...
    • Due to the fact that the Thule Society knows at least a thing or two about "Shamballa" and the means to get there, it's also likely that the Nazis would "inherit" at least some of that knowledge and make various attempts later on to pull off the same thing. This in turn could lead to Ed and Al finding themselves dealing with Ghostapo and top secret digs in the desert. Also, there's the matter of the uranium bomb that ended up across the Gate...which could end up being discovered by some scientists in a place called Los Alamos, New Mexico.
  • Why Gluttony is always paired up with Lust so much rather than the other Homunculi? Lust is simply best for him to work with.
    • Pride has to guard the tunnel and play the role of Selim. He can't be seen with Gluttony. Same reason for Wrath. Public figures need to keep up their appearances. Greed is rogue and has no loyalty to his siblings. Envy does his best work in espionage. Once again, Gluttony sticks out too much. Sloth has to dig the tunnel and is to lazy to keep watch over Gluttony. Lust not only has the patience to deal with Gluttony, she doesn't need to be seen too often in public, so she is best to be his babysitter.
      • Additionally, their sins coincide; both are rooted in strong desire for more of something than you need.
  • Jealousy is natural. Envy is to wish harm to someone out of jealousy, which isn't natural. Let that sink in for a moment...
  • In the beginning, Lust tells Gluttony he can't eat Cornello as that kind of trash would make him sick. In actuality, she needed his body intact so Envy would be able to impersonate him.
  • Winry's unknown inspiration to Ed's choice in the finale.
  • You know the scene where Maes Hughes threatening his daughter's friends with a cocked gun? While it works as Crossing the Line Twice Black Comedy, it's actually Crossed The Line Thrice, making it more hilarious and somehow heartwarming. You see, he didn't really want to harm those little guys, he's just mildly threatening them. If you notice, he is considerably more skilled with knives than with guns. Every kill he made is by using knives, and he never made a successful shot with a gun. Even in the manga, his last attempt to spit on Envy is made by using a knife. While everyone on Ishbal brings rifles, he's consistently using knives. It's very probable that he did that stunt just to get a good laugh, even for the boys, when they realize he's just kidding and they're not in any danger.
  • During his fight with Bradley, Ling says that Bradley is no true king to which Bradley retorters that "There are no true kings in this world!". At first it seems odd for him to say that, being that is Fuhrer KING Bradley. However it makes sense as the series goes on because Bradley is the ruler of the country yes, but he's just a servant of Father. Thus, to him there is no real kings or rulers because every ruler will have someone controlling them!
  • It's almost blink and you miss it, but during their fight under Central, both Hohenheim and Father transmute dragons at each other. These dragons both have rather specific designs, a chinese style for Hohenheim and a more western style for Father. Fridge kicks in when you remember that Hohenheim helped found Alkahestry in the Oriental based country of Xing and Father brought Alchemy to the very much Western and Central European based Amestris.
  • By the end of the manga/Brotherhood series, Greed the Avaricious becomes FULL of Fridge Brilliance. We already know about all the foreshadowing in his actions leading to the inevitable realization that what he always wanted more than anything was to have True Companions. But let's take this one step further. One of the overarching themes driving the story is that nothing in this world can match the value of the human soul. Under the laws of Equivalent Exchange, it's the whole reason using human transmutation to revive the dead is doomed to always epically fail. One way we could describe friendship for the purposes of this entry is the freely and earnestly decided bond between souls. Greed's truest desire isn't a mere subversion of greed—it's the ultimate application of greed! What he desires above all else is the most valuable thing on earth! That last statement is all but confirmed by the "right answer" which Ed gives in order to finally get Al's body back from Truth, btw.
    • Taking this further, Greed's rebellion against Father makes total sense when you remember that Father is, again, a Satanic Archetype. Father, like the Devil, trades in corrupting and devouring souls as a defining part of his agenda. Likewise, FMA's conception of the soul as the most valuable property of a human being and the logical conclusion thereof that anyone who would trade it away to achieve some earthly goal is cheating themselves is also preceded by The Bible (and other religious texts). As Mark 8:36 famously asks, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" When Greed cited having his own ambitions as the reason he refused to come back to Father's side, he was speaking a larger truth than he'd even imagined—his great desire ran both directly against and far higher than Father's! Again, Truth would concur, given his stern lecture towards Homunculus upon the latter's return to the Gate.
  • In the 2003 anime, we find out that Dante's been pulling Grand Theft Me in order to live longer. She also prefers doing this on young girls and women, presumably because of her vanity, (She outright tells Rose to eat up so that she can wear Dante's clothes). This being the case, Izumi's illness from attempting Human Transmutation actually saved her life (albeit temporarily)!
  • The final battle against Father is one massive Fridge Brilliance. After getting what he thinks is the power of God, his first real taste of power is against people who were once human, or are still human. In the end, Father is defeated by human hands, not by alchemy he created, not by a Homunculus though Greed plays a role in defeating him, but instead by a single punch by Edward. He's defeated by the same people he thought were simply pawns and fuel for his actions.
  • The fact that Hughes was able to figure out the big conspiracy ages before anyone else had a clue seems a bit odd at first glance, especially considering he's not an alchemist, so he wouldn't immediately think of a transmutation circle. Then you remember, he's head of the Amestrian military's Investigations Office. It's his job to figure things out and think outside the box.
  • Greed and his minions were hopelessly outmatched and destroyed by King Bradley when Bradley raided the Devil's Nest. After returning later in the series, however, he puts up a much better fight. In fact, he even goes as far as to engage Bradley extending his Ultimate Shield only over his arms and still gives him the fight of his life. To make sense of this, one has to remember just how he returns: in Ling's body. Sometime after stomping Greed and killing off his minions, Bradley ended up in pursuit of Ling and Lan Fan. Seeing how the Xingese royals that crossed into Amestris are far more skilled than Greed, they were able to elude Bradley. Second Greed wasn't stronger, he was more skilled thanks to Ling's martial arts prowess and Stone-sensing ability.
  • Anime!Bradley being crueler and more evil than Manga!Bradley actually makes sense when you think about it: Anime!Bradley represents the Sin of Pride, not Wrath, so his thing is all about being selfish and apathetic to the suffering of others.
  • In the first Anime, Edward declared making a Chimera to be "the most depraved form of alchemy there is". A few episodes later, we learn that he knew a little girl who was made into a Chimera.
  • In the 2003 anime, the homunculi created by people's failed transmutations are referred to as that person's "sin". This is mostly just symbolic, but when you think about, it works on a more literal level too:
    • Scar's brother and Lust: Scar's brother not only lusted for Lust as well as loving her, he also immersed himself into the world of taboo by dabbling in alchemy (taboo in the eyes of Ishbalans).
    • Izumi Curtis and Wrath: Izumi is quite familiar with the Sin of Wrath, as she's very quick to anger and very violent when angry.
    • Ed, Al and Sloth: The Elrics fell into despair over the loss of their mother and both of them have gone through more sorrow and hardship than the majority of the cast.
    • Dante and...the rest of the homunculi: Dante has committed pretty much all of the seven deadly sins, but the homunculi she created (Envy was created by Hohenheim, but it's possible that Dante helped him out) seem to embody the sins she commits the most; she commits Greed by wanting power and caring only for herself, Envy towards Trisha for "stealing" Hohenheim from her, Gluttony by wanting to expand her lifespan longer than it should be and Pride by being totally convinced that she's better than she actually is and seeing herself as superior to humanity as a whole.

Fridge Horror
  • Remember when we saw Riza with that crazy tattoo on her back? And then we found out that that tattoo was her dad's research? Roy eventually studies that research in order to perfect flame alchemy. He saw Riza SHIRTLESS at some point. What's more, her dad gave him permission to look at his research. Which means that Riza's dad pretty much gave Mustang permission to see his daughter shirtless.
    • Might not be so horrible, considering it's only an extension of the Hawkeyes' trust for Roy and in fact may signal that Berthold was yet another Shipper on Deck for Royai, perhaps the first ever chronologically. It almost becomes heartwarming to think about. However, considering the role this had in leading to Roy and Riza's serving in the soul-shredding Ishval War of Extermination, which in turn led to the two's destiny together as death-seeking atoners trying to change the system…that trust would be bent so horribly wrong it doubles down on the Fridge Horror.
  • The vindictive creature by the gate, that calls itself Truth, God, whatever. Imagine what kind of horrible afterlife (if there is one) that thing has waiting for everyone.
    • Maybe not. Judging from the chapter 109, when Trisha and Hohenheim are reunited, it looks not so bad, at least for them.
  • In Episode 1, the ice alchemist is trying to kill Bradley for what he did to Ishval. He's trying to protect the world from him. When we learn about the conspiracy and the homunculi, his actions suddenly make perfect sense.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the cycloptic flesh golems which eat people are pretty gruesome, but if you take a good look you will notice that they have all flat teeth. Ow.
  • The fifth ED from FMA Brotherhood is clearly from Hohenheim's POV and addresses Trisha. At one point, the lyrics, "I watch as the shards of memories disappear one by one; the memories of when you were still with me." The image while this is being sung? Hohenheim's house. Which Ed and Al burned down. Now we know what he was thinking when he returned home after all those years... Also, perhaps why he took the family photo - he was worried Ed would also destroy it.
  • In the first anime, alchemy is fueled by the souls of the dead from our world. That means every bit of lazy, trivial alchemy Ed does during the series is using up souls of the dead. Repairing that radio? Fixing a toy horse? Repeatedly repairing his coat? Dead people. Worst is that people kept using alchemy after the fact was stated. This explains why Izumi says to only use alchemy if you need it, not if you can fix it without using it. She knew all along.
    • Also, let's think about what time period it was in our world while Ed and Al were on their journey. That's right - shortly before and during WWII. It is heavily implied that the victims of the war fuel alchemy.
      • The only reason that such major feats of alchemy which are powered by deaths in our world are possible in their world is because of the Holocaust and World War II. That's right, all the death, destruction and massive battles in Amestris are brought to you by the genocidal Nazis.
    • Even worse, the Spanish flu pandemic killed at least another 50 million people. It's almost as if the war wasn't enough and something else had to balance the books for the sake of alchemy.
  • The chimeras are regular animals alchemically combined. Some chimeras talk. A talking chimera indicates one of the 'animals' used to make the chimera was a human.
    • What Tucker did gets even worse when you realize it was not only completely avoidable, it was pointless. The military had already made talking chimeras, better talking chimeras, that were in fact basically still the human but with animal form and enhanced instincts. Nina only suffered because the military didn't trust Tucker enough to get him involved.
      • Alternatively, he actually was the one who kickstarted the whole human-chimeras plot. Presumably, they performed an autopsy on the first dead chimera and found out it had been human. However, they also noticed that Tucker was an untalented idiot (thus also unfit for human transmutation), so they kept him in the dark while putting the gold-toothed doctor in charge.
  • Also, it is implied that the souls inside the Philosopher's Stone suffer from incredible pain; this is worse once you consider that the souls inside of Father and Hohenheim have been Philosopher's Stones for more than 400 years.
    • Thankfully, half the Xerxians are in body of Hohenheim.
  • It is shown in the manga and in the second anime that Marco has found a way to destroy the Philosopher's Stone and that one's soul could act as a stone as is shown later; that means he would be able to destroy your soul.
  • Since Father was made of Hohenheim's blood, that Ed and Al are related to the homunculi, since the homunculi are parts of Father. The horror fades, though, when you imagine them having a family reunion, and since Ed, Al and Father are of the same generation, that means Ed and Al are the homunculi's UNCLES! One of the bonus comics acknowledges this. The Homunculi ask their uncles for money.
    • At one moment, Lust and Greed have a kind of flirtatious (in a threatening way) conversation. If you think about it, that's an odd combination of Brother-Sister Incest and Selfcest.
    • Episode 48's second commercial card depicts Gluttony looking panicked. At first you might think it references the fact that he has just been getting his chubby butt handed to him by Lan Fan, then about five minutes later Pride, his older brother, devours him. May also double as Fridge Brilliance.
  • Why are there so many people in Rush Valley with Mechanical limbs? Are they all accident prone or do they chop off limbs to get automail?
    • They lose their limbs elsewhere, and they come to Rush Valley to get the best automail and have it maintained by the best mechanics.
  • So Hohenheim has about 536,329 souls in his body (not including his own, obviously), that are all conscious and fairly aware of what's going on around Hohenheim, meaning they probably see and hear most if not all of what he hears, so there's a good chance that 500,000+ people were there in his head, even during intimate moments with Trisha.
    • Also bathing and changing clothes with that many people in your head might have been a bit weird... no wonder Hohenheim is such a Cloud Cuckoolander.
    • Considering Trisha and Hohenheim's reputation amongst the fangirls, they may want to see it.
  • A small one for shippers. Ling mentions that the Emperor has 50 wives and that they bear all his children. At the end, when Ling becomes Emperor, he gets 50 wives and none of them are Lan Fan.
    • Just think of it like Jessica says in "Dune" to her son's lover when he enters a political marriage with another woman. "Think on it, Chani: that princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine — never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine — history will call us wives."
  • Trisha died of an illness which would appear to be nobody's fault, and it isn't anyone's really, but... Hohenheim's got awesome enough medical alchemy even to cure Izumi Curtis' Incurable Cough of Death. He could totally have saved her. That's got to hurt even against the background of massive, massive Survivor Guilt he already had!
    • Except for the fact that Izumi's cough is caused is caused by losing a vast section of her intestinal tract from her attempt at human transmutation and Trisha's illness seems to be of unknown origin.
      • According to the Norwegian translation was the illness contagious, which makes one wonder what it really was and what would have happened if any of the characters close to her caught it. Might even double as a Does This Remind You of Anything? hinting to Hohenheim having some sort of illness that got caught by her...
  • When the Homunculi dies, they turn to dust which in turn stain people's clothes or worse enter everyone's lungs. Nothing more horrifying than having those particles of Homunculi inside your biological system.
  • So if Sheska/Schieska/Scheska was buried under all those books, unable to dig her way out under her own power...what would've happened had our heroes not stumbled across her apartment when they did?
  • Sheska/Schieska/Scheska witnesses the two Hugheses, and then she's never seen again...
    • She's seen near the finale.
  • Remember when Father sucked the souls out of everyone in Amestris? If they all got their souls back, they should be okay, right? Except for people who were in cars when it happened.
  • If Father became affable after reabsorbing Greed due to the latter representing his desire for friends, then how must he have been before expelling Wrath? Could Greed’s departure from the group have been an attempt to escape from the wrath of a demigod?
  • In the first anime, even if Selim would have survived Pride's choking him to almost near death, he still would have been killed by Archer, whom was also firing at Roy Mustang.
  • In the finale to the 2003 anime, Dante and Rose both appear to be wearing wedding dresses. Given Dante's intentions for Ed after switching bodies with Rose, this could imply that she was going to try and force Ed to marry her, just to spite her ex-boyfriend.
  • We never see Dante die. It's implied but for all we know she could have escaped. Imagine that, the Big Bad gets away unscathed and continues to kill and steal bodies in the future.
  • The Philosopher's Stone is said to grant an alchemist the power to violate the laws of Equivalent Exchange. With The Reveal that the Stone imprisons souls and converts them into high energy, this statement seems to be proven as technically false. However, the show's motif about the value of the human soul still applies when it comes to the Stone—the transmutations are still governed by natural law, they can still be undone by other transmutations, and even the Stone's brand of immortality can expire depending on how frequently the souls are used up. To create and use the Stone is to destroy human souls for a superpower battery with incredible yet ultimately finite power. It's both a technical violation and an ethical perversion of Equivalent Exchange.

Fridge Logic
  • If Father's grand plan is to consume all the souls of Amestris in preparation for... um...wrenching open the sky and eating God, then why did he bother creating the puppet army? It doesn't seem to factor into his strategy at all.
    • They're still useful for using against the countries he didn't eat yet.
      • That and like the Xerxes array, the points on the Amestrisian array need a lot of bloodshed to set it up. What better thing to use for massacres than a fully-equipped army?
      • It could also be seen as another way to convince the higher-ups into the plan. There's an entire army of undead, mindless soldiers that will (supposedly) obey your every command and never attempt to steal your position; what more could a corrupt officer want next to immortality? Job security and more power.
    • They each have a soul and it can be taken as Father gathering more souls to absorb.
    • Because the most effective way to lie is by telling the truth. There is only so far that empty promises will carry a person; promising great things and delivering nothing will eventually lead the people you're trying to deceive to wonder why you're so full of shit, and being proven full of shit is antithetical to a successful deception. Father's been playing this game too far and proven himself too clever to be caught up in a simple failure of "Promise them x, give them y, and then have everyone turn against you when everything you're giving them is wrong". Instead, he promised x, and then he delivered x, and did y behind everyone's backs. This allows his true plan to avoid any suspicion; people don't ask questions about what you're doing when you're giving them what they want.
    • It's entirely possible father had nothing to do with creating the puppet army, and it was instead a plan entirely devised by the military, most of whom remained unknowing of his plans.
    • Was Father even sure he would have enough souls to eat the Truth by performing the plan on Amestris? He certainly didn't have enough with half of Xerxes. Maybe the army was a plan B, in case he needed to make a third giant circle with points of bloodshed, he wouldn't have to rely on a human government, subtly manipulated by himself and the seven Homunculi, and could just go all out with an immortal army.
  • In episode 26 both Ling and Ed go through the Gate and come out the other side with their clothes on. While standing in front of the Gate, Ed has all his clothes. So why, in episode two, did Alphonse leave his clothes behind?
    • Truth-kun is actually a nudist?
    • In all seriousness, this is because Ed paid their toll for going through the gate with Envy's philosopher's stone. In episode 2 Al's body was his toll.
    • When Al's whole body was taken, he left his clothes on the ground as symbolism, so he wouldn't have spontaneously generated clothes.
  • In the last two chapters of the manga when Ed gets his arm back and it's just as strong as his other arm, but when Al gets his whole body back it's really weak.
    • Actually it isn't; the arm is shown to be less muscular, and while Ed fights with his right arm just as well, he delivered his most powerful attacks with his left. Consistently.
    • Ed's a lefty. He always was. watch the scene from the exam episode. He mentions that his wrist hurts from all the writing, and is rubbing his left arm.
      • It's very possible that Ed is a natural lefty in the first anime (from which that scene comes, and is already after the transmutation), not in the manga. Proof; in the last panel, Ed is writing out the formula with his right hand. http://www.mangafox.com/manga/fullmetal_alchemist/v006/c023/18.html
      • Ed is a natural righty in both anime series and the manga. (Just watch Episode 3 of the 2003 series, and Episode 2 of Brotherhood, where there are multiple examples of young Ed drawing/writing/using a knife right-handed.) This would explain why his left wrist is tired after taking the exam (it takes more effort to use it because it is not natural to him). It also explains why Mustang is always complaining about how illegible Ed's handwritten reports are—Ed is either having to use his non-dominant (left) hand, or he doesn't have fine motor control of the automail on his dominant (right) side.
  • Kimblee's last-second betrayal of Pride for trying to take Edward's body as a host. While the given explanation is that he's disgusted by Pride's hypocrisy, why did he think nothing of it any time before, since Pride's host is still a human body? He just decided randomly to at first ignore it and then, witnessing the act, act out against Pride? Of course, this is Kimblee, so he might just have done it outright For the Evulz.
    • Most likely he was unaware that Pride was using a human host rather than being his natural body shape. After all, most homunculi are at least vaguely humanoid in their natural forms.
    • Also, we still don't know how human Pride's body was, or if it was just a container created by Father. It disintegrated after all, which normal people (including Homunculi hosts like Bradley) don't do.
    • It's made pretty clear that Wrath was Father's first attempt at making a human-based homunculus. Pride's container was artificial just like the bodies of the other homunculi that were engineered before King Bradley. What isn't clear is how similar was Pride's "container" to the bodies of his siblings? The others say that aside from their philosopher's stone core, their bodies are made nearly identical to the bodies of human beings. Yet Pride doesn't bleed and it seems that he's hollow on the inside, judging from how he looked when he was breaking apart.
  • Fridge Logic from the first anime series. It was established that the gate leads to our world and that Ed lost his limbs from the freaky black children in the gate, but WHERE DID AL'S BODY GO?
    • Al's body was taken by the gate-creatures too, and presumably kept there inside, though we never see it until he gets it back at the end, not having aged or changed at all.
  • What happened to London-Ed? If Ed took his place at the then end, then the other boy must have died in the fire, but this is only ever implied.
  • Fridge Logic in the first series, it was revealed that failed human transmutations create homunculi. Ed and Al almost kill themselves making one, Scar's brother almost kills himself making another, Izumi almost kills herself making another. How did Dante survive making the other four?
    • Well, obviously you are forgetting Envy is Hohenheim's. But here's an interesting thought. Gluttony is comically grotesque and misshapen. A complete Gonk. Could this be because he personified this sin in real life, and was as mentally disabled? Could a loved one have seen him dying due to his weight and attempted to resuscitate him before he fully expired? All other homunculi appear normal, so what could be the reason he looks so strange? Perhaps he wasn't really dead at the time but someone attempted a full-on human transmutation anyway. Evidence supporting this idea could be his unerring child-like love of Lust. It seems a lot like Wrath and Sloth doesn't it? Lust is his Replacement Goldfish for whomever his humanity left behind. However he is far more infatuated than a simple child/mother relationship. He wants her as a friend, mother, possibly even lover. He is GLUTTONOUS for LUST. And Pride? He embodies the sin of Pride because he TRANSMUTED HIMSELF. It was mentioned somewhere he was Dante's 'first,' she may have convinced him he could gain immortality this way, same as her, playing upon his PRIDE. Furthermore King being his first 'name' could be another hint as well as his regal bearing. It isn't just a pun! Greed is a bit iffy but based upon his nakama, perhaps he was a Robin Hood-esque thief who 'died too soon' and one of his number was an experienced alchemist, then attempted to bring him back. How did he die? Probably from keeping more than he was giving away, leading to a deadly betrayal, followed by a remorseful transmutation.
    • Why she didn't get all of her limbs/body parts torn out by creating them?
      • Either she did lose some part of herself, and just "jumped" to a different body, or Hohenheim performed the transmutation.
  • When Ed regained his arm, the socket of his automail was still there. Shouldn't the socket have prevented the fleshy arm from regrowing or something? Why does it basically disappear?
    • The arm didn't regrow, it sprung into existence fully-formed where it should have been. Ed still has chunks of the automail socket embedded in his shoulder during that scene, which probably hurt like hell and would have had to have been surgically or alchemically removed after the battle.
  • This could be either Fridge Brilliance, Horror, or Logic depending on how you look at it. As noted under Lust's Opposite-Sex Clone entry in "Characters" she shares some physical similarities to Father. Now consider that (A) she is the embodiment of Father's lust and (B) Father based his appearance on Hoenheim...
  • How the fuck did more people in the military not figure out that Al was an empty suit of armor? Random people that Ed and Al come into contact with in their travels who know anything about alchemy, manage to figure it out pretty quickly. Ed is a super-powerful alchemist who does alchemy without a circle (and in the manga/Brotherhood, so does Al), Ed keeps getting sent on missions related to possible leads for the Stone, Al is never seen without the armor (a preference for wearing it is one thing, but never taking it off? like that's not gonna raise some eyebrows?), and - the most important part - the military is already doing experiments of soul-bonding with armor with convicts. It was always portrayed as particularly dire that people outside of Roy's command never find out the truth about Al, or he'd be a science experiment in Lab 5 and Ed would be kicked out of the State Alchemist program. But it should have been easy for some opportunistic schmuck to figure out the truth, when all the clues were lying there and so obvious. In the manga/Brotherhood, you could use the excuse that Wrath would have pulled strings to ensure nothing happened to them because he needed Ed and Al as potential human sacrifices, but there's no such excuse for the 2003 anime... (And even in the former case, said argument could be debunked by pointing out that throwing Al in Lab 5 would be a good way for the military and homunculi to keep an eye on him in the lead-up to the Promised Day.)
    • "So you're saying, the brother of one of the most beloved alchemists in the military, a man so badass that he constantly wears a suit of armor and can transmute weapons without a circle, is secretly a hollow suit of armor? How would you even do that?" Remember, people thought Ed wore automail after losing limbs as a child. Not all the evidence that we have access to is available to the people they meet, in fact most of the military doesn't even understand how to perform alchemy nor why alchemy without a circle is important. Plus they constantly think that Al is the Fullmetal Alchemist, a famous national alchemist who obviously couldn't get certified if he were just an empty suit of armor.
    • Also note that Mustang and his men don't know about all those things. The truth is that nobody would have touched either of the brothers no matter how public this fact got, but nobody knew how important they were. Also remember when they first went up north and the guy giving them a ride asks Al if he is wearing automail? Most people probably assume that half the armor is mechanical.
  • Ed and Al go and visit Izumi about three years after their failed transmutation attempt, even though they must have figured out that she also attempted human transmutation because she can perform alchemy without drawing a circle. She is the only person they know who has also been beyond the Gate, yet they wait years to talk to Izumi to see if she has any information or advice for them on getting their bodies back?
    • It's no secret that Izumi terrifies the two brothers. They most likely would have put that off as long as possible until they felt it was absolutely necessary to talk to her about it. They even said as much at one point in the manga.
      • That still makes no sense, as when they finally went to visit her, it was on a whim and only because they were kind of close to where she lived after their encounter with Paninya. They have no greater reason to see her now than earlier, so they could have kept putting it off.
  • After Wrath stabs Roy ALL THE WAY through both his hands, shouldn't there be a whole lot of severed nerves, muscles and tendons, and probably even bone? How can Roy possibly have enough motor control to use his hands/fingers to even get into the snapping position as shown on the rooftop in the final battle? Also, We see his hands all bandaged up in the hospital scene, but in the real world it would be doubtful he'd even be able to ever hold a pen again, at least without the Stone.
    • Blame Truth, going through the Gate must have some healing factor involved, or there's no way Izumi would be alive. Plus, Mustang would be needed, Truth was stacking the deck.

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