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YMMV: Fullmetal Alchemist

Both Series

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Both series have this in spades. Both cannons have their own takes on the characters and themes of the story. Add the multitude of fandom interpretations and head cannons to that, and you have a colorful hodge-podge of different (and sometimes conflicting) ideas and analyses. This in addition to both versions of the story being very good and having passionate fanbases, has caused many a flame war.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Complete Monster: This trope has its own page.
  • Crazy Awesome: Armstrong and Barry The Chopper in both series... but for Barry, this trope applies better in the manga version.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Rose for those who ship Ed and Winry.
    • On top of Rose, Winry has also been on the receiving end of anger from Yaoi Fangirls because of this trope - although the fact that she's close to both Elric brothers means some of them will just ship her with the other one instead.
    • Mostly subverted with Riza, perhaps because her relationship with Roy is close enough to the line between platonic and romantic (in the manga/Brotherhood - it doesn't get elaborated on much at all in the 2003 anime) that fanfic writers can easily shift her into the former role if they'd rather Roy be with Ed or Hughes.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: FMA has a lot of Ship-to-Ship Combat, but the single most popular couple in the fanbase (at least in terms of amount of fanfiction/fanart dedicated to each) is Roy/Ed, especially among Japanese fans.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Envy, and Wrath in the 2003 anime.
  • Gateway Series: Both series can easily be this as no matter which adapation you watch, both are part of the reason anime has become more mainstream in the west. The series being aired on Toonami also helped give Toonami the much needed views and both became many newcomers first anime.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Maes Hughes is very popular with the American fanbase, much to the surprise of the Japanese creators.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Alphonse, Edward, Izumi, Lan Fan, Alex Armstrong, Hawkeye, Mustang... oh, almost every good guy.
    • The trope might as well be called "Fullmetal Woobie".
    • Armony from the first PS2 video game.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ed. Al. Roy.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The series is very popular with gay fans of the Bara Genre due to a preponderance of characters who fit The Bear and Big Beautiful Man archetypes as a result of the straight female mangaka's Author Appeal.
  • Memetic Sex God: Roy Mustang often has this effect in fanfiction, which, to be fair, is not that dissimilar from his character in the actual show ( although, it gets subverted in the manga/Brotherhood). The difference is in fanfiction, he tends to have this effect regardless of gender, whereas in the anime we only see it happen to women (and in fact, many of the men around him can't stand him for stealing their girlfriends).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Shou Tucker turning his daughter and the family dog into a chimera. Some even believe he had already been past the MEH back when we first met him, as he had already done the same thing to his wife.
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: Some fans of the manga feel this way about the 2003 series; conversely, part of the 2003 anime's fanbase considers it the far superior work. The majority falls somewhere in the middle, but the flame wars tend to drown them out.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Royai for Roy Mustang/Riza Hawkeye, Edwin for Edward Elric/Winry Rockbell, Royed for Roy/Edward, Hyuroi or Hyuroy for Roy/Maes Hughes, LingFan for Ling Yao/Lan Fan and AlMei or AluMei for Alphonse Elric/May Chang.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Royai vs. Royed, Edwin vs. Royed, Edwin vs. Alwin, Royai vs. Hyuroi...let's face it, it's all over this fandom. But particular mention goes to Edwin vs. Ed/Rose, the mother of all FMA ship wars coming off of the 2003 anime.

Manga and Brotherhood

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Did Bradley's last words show that he really did care about his family or that he didn't care about them at all? It's actually fairly obvious but people love to argue.
    • And then there's Truth. God Is Evil? Good Is Not Nice? Divine distributor of ironic punishment or just does it For the Evulz? It's up for debate.
    • 4 Koma Theater. Scar. Winry’s Parents. Will never be able to look at Scar the same way again. We need a “Crowning Moment of Ridiculous” page, but “Funny” will do for now.
    • Was Miles actually right about Grumman planning to let Roy and Olivier take the heat as traitors, while he swooped in to take over the government?
    • It's generally agreed from The Reveal about his spy network that Roy Mustang is exaggerating his reputation as The Casanova at least somewhat. But the degree to which he is - whether he's actually completely hopeless with women who aren't Riza (or even not into any women at all), or he just dates about the same amount as a typical affluent, attractive, single 29-year-old - is a question that's caused a surprising amount of Internet Backdraft among the fandom. Roy's sex life is apparently Serious Business.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Ed and Al, to the point that Winry has to invoke He Will Not Cry, so I Cry for Him far more often than is healthy over the first half of the series.
  • Anvilicious: The flashbacks of the extermination of Ishbal have a distinct 'war is bad' vibe to them. Not that it wasn't completely accurate.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Base Breaker: Much like Dante below, Father qualifies as this. Is he a threatening villain that nearly succeeds in his plan, or is he just a Generic Doomsday Villain that lacked the charm Dante had.
    • May became disliked by some fans during the last arc. While understandable that finding a Philosopher's Stone to save her clan is important, the fact that she listened to Envy and was guilted into going back to Amestris by a Homunculus who she has seen turn into a monster and has shown not to be trusted, made it hard for some fans to stay attached to her. Yet, at the same time there still some fans that admire her for choosing to save Hawkeye, rather than pursuing the stone which can save her clan and protecting everyone against Father when there Alchemy was rendered ineffective and they we're all vulnerably against him at the time.
  • Broken Base:
    • Is Brotherhood's animation style bold, crisp, and original, or ugly, washed out, and far too cartoony?
    • Was the manga's ending incredible or did it feel like fanfiction?
    • Is Brotherhood a better adaptation of the manga or not? Somewhat of a separate question from the "which canon is better" debate, since even a lot of people who preferred the manga found things to dislike about Brotherhood adaptation-wise.
    • Are Roy and Riza 'obviously' in love with each other or just platonic? Or is it truly ambiguous? Same with Al and May.
    • In more recent years, a big debate has sprung up over whether the manga (and Brotherhood by extension) are truly deserving of their feminist cred. The results have been... explosive, to say the least.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Envy, Kimblee and Lust in particular.
  • Ear Worm: Any of the Brotherhood openings, especially #3, Golden Time Lover.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Though the series is full of likeable people, Lan Fan is very popular among the Brotherhood fandom, despite only being a secondary character.
    • Ditto Sheska, who many fans lament the disappearance of in the manga, where she simply goes "poof" plotwise. The fact that she looks like a female Kensuke Aida doesn't help matters at all.
    • Being an Ensemble Darkhorse has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!! Both the Major and his sister are definite favorites of the fandom.
    • Amongst the bara fans, Scar is a big time example. Darius and Heinkel were also popular enough in fanart to get a doujinshi.
    • Greed is probably the most popular Homunculus behind Envy, especially considering how minor of a character the former is compared to the latter.
      • In the manga poll, Greed I and II were ranked the 12th and 13th most popular characters respectively (the highest ranked Homunculus, only behind Envy). If they were both ranked as a single character (since they are the same person), then Greed would have scored higher, maybe even higher than Envy.
    • Maes Hughes, for being a hilarious Doting Parent of a Knife Nut.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Envy is a dick in every sense. They're just so damn awesome at it that the fans tend to find them amusing anyway. Kimblee also fits. Greed also seems to lampshade this trope as he alternates between Cool Evil and Cool Good at massive Face-Heel Turn and Heel-Face Turn speed.
    • There's Wrath. A guy who can do all those feats of implausible awesome should have been here by default. He took down a tank. With a sword.
    • Most of the Homunculi, then.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Lust, obviously. And this canon's version of Kimblee has a huge number of fangirls.
  • Faux Symbolism: Several Christianity references in the manga, most obviously the names of the homunculi. Even so, Arakawa says that "Christianity doesn't exist in that world".
  • Foe Yay: Roy and Olivier.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In one of the omake after Pride consumes Kimblee, Pride is seen spitting him out in disgust. A few volumes later Kimblee ends up depowering Pride from within and allowing Ed to reduce him to his true form in disgust.
    • Any moment where Ed's shortness and his sensitivity about it is played for laughs, after the revelation that it's because Al's body has been drawing nourishment from him to survive.
  • Genius Bonus: Van Hohenheim is named after Paracelsus, a.k.a. Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. In-story, the dwarf in the flask i.e. Father names him Van Hohenheim but initially suggests he take on the name Theophrastus Bombastus.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The scene in Brotherhood where Ed and Al see Bradley while talking with his wife and son is already quite unsettling for them because they know that he’s a homunculus, but it gets even worse if you know that his son is a homunculus, too. One has to feel sorry for Mrs. Bradley.
    • In a flashback to Xerxes, the king ordered a "waterway" to be dug around the kingdom. One of the workers comments "Nothing less to be expected from the King of Xerxes, he even thinks about commoners like us!" Eeeeugh.
  • Hell Is That Noise: When the mannequin soldiers are awakened during the Promised Day. If that first scream from one of the mannequins was from a character in any series being tortured by Satan in Hell, it would've been among the more terrifying examples. Which, considering their very state of existence as well as the Big Bad of the series, well
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Ed mentions that if he ever went to see God, he'd probably get sent right back to earth. Guess what he does twice; once to escape certain doom, and again to save Alphonse in the final chapter. And that's without accounting for the very start of the story in the first place, meaning he's secretly speaking from experience and then it happens again.
    • Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey, who are the dub voices of Roy Mustang and Lust respectively, are now married. With that knowledge, just try to watch episode 19 without laughing at some point. This also makes Mustang talking about bringing Lust onto her knees into a whole 'nother context...
    • Years ago, Vic and Cait did a funny/adorable marriage proposal skit at a con. We all know the last scene of the manga.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ed, Mustang, the second Greed, Scar, Pride and Envy.
  • Level Breaker: The final fight had every character being as hammy and taking as much screentime as possible.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Kimblee and Father.
    • Roy Mustang always has a plan when he is involved, and often pulls them off with elegance and style.
  • Memetic Molester: Mr. Garfiel in the 4koma skits. No one is safe. Not even Ed.
  • Memetic Mutation: Regarding everything that happens once Father successfully activates the national transmutation circle:
    • Major Armstrong's Catch Phrase "X HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG LINE FOR GENERATIONS!"
  • Misaimed Fandom: Roy's curbstomp of Envy was enjoyed a little too much by the fandom. Envy, from the 2003 series, was a massive Karma Houdini who managed to get away with a lot of atrocities without any real retribution, so many saw his torture at the hands of Mustang as belated Laser-Guided Karma. Word of God is that the intent was to show that Roy was getting close to succumbing to He Who Fights Monsters.
    • Now that the anime has come out, Roy's mad rage and Envy's pain and fear are easily evident in their voices, so this is less of a problem.
  • Moe:
    • May Chang. Small and cute. Also badass, but that's another story...
    • Also Nina, Elysia, and any cat that finds its way into Alphonse's armor...
    • Lan Fan can be pretty Moe in her more vulnerable moments, particularly while she's recovering from losing her arm.
    • Arakawa herself doesn't seem too fond of the concept, having complained about in one volume's opening pages.
    Hiromu Arakawa: MOE, MOE, MOE! Everything's coming up MOE! Enough already!
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Bradley not only headed Amestris during the rebellion, but rejected Loug Lowe's proposal to sacrifice his own life to end the violence, saying one life is only equivalent to one life (and presumably intending to kill all the Ishvalans).
    • Envy killing Hughes and almost getting Maria Ross executed for it, and starting the Ishval rebellion by killing a child and framing an innocent soldier for it (who got court-martialed and presumably executed) and if the later wasn't enough, when Ed and Al find out this from him, he proudly gloats about this act.
    • Homunculus Father crossed his in his backstory when he manipulated Hohenheim, the King of Xerxes, and the King's Alchemists into making Philosopher's Stone bodies for both himself and Hohenheim out of every single soul in the country. Seeing the MO of this guy's Satan-based objective in action is truly horrifying.
  • Narm:
    • The first opening sequence of Brotherhood is mocked for the bit where Ed loses his arm and leg, Al loses his whole body, and Winry loses...her balance.
    • The fifth opening might have worked had it come earlier, but by the time it arrives it's pretty absurd to see a show that's become wall to wall HSQ moments suddenly get such a soft, gentle theme song.
  • Narm Charm:
    • After Father swallows Hohenheim, he looks like he's pregnant. This is offset by the fact that Father's One-Winged Angel is absolutely terrifying.
    • Father's appearance before swallowing a god also qualifies. How ridiculous it looks only makes the shit that much crazier.
    • The aforementioned eyecatches actually manage to come off as pretty badass in episode 44, where they're played just after the title character's triumphant and unquestionably awesome reentry into the series after being missing for an episode.
    • The ham-tastic delivery Father's dub voice actor does as he pulls God down to earth would normally induce huge spiels of laughter in any other scenario. In this one, it induces that nervous, Oh-my-god-I-feel-my-brain-breaking-MAKE-IT-STOP sort of laughter.
  • Nightmare Retardant: If something terrified you in a volume, chances are the omake will make fun of it in a such a way you'll never be able to take it seriously again.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Roy is talking about how all his loyal men (and woman) have been taken away, while going over the chess pieces representing them, the bishop in the panel is tipped onto its side.
  • The Scrappy: In addition to Tucker, the unnamed gold-toothed doctor is also not well liked, often being referred to as a "bastard".
  • Superlative Dubbing: Like its predecessor before it. Possibly moreso as nearly all the original cast is brought back and have experience for the roles. Even the newcomers for Al, Scar, etc. manage to capture the spirit of their characters. In particular, Travis Willingham's deeper and more confident delivery as Mustang is considered a big improvement, as he'd had several years to hone his craft since doing the first series.
  • They Just Didn't Care: A criticism frequently leveled at Brotherhood, mostly on account of the rushed early episodes, which are an unfortunate side effect of trying to cover all the events of the manga covered in the 2003 anime to catch new viewers up to speed, without staying on them long enough to bore people who saw the first anime.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Envy's chibi true form is guaranteed to make you giggle or want to huggle him/her even when s/he's being broiled alive. Perhaps even more in that case. Also, Gluttony.
    • Slicer could count, when he's reduced to just a helmet.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The cyclops army.
    • Then there's the reincarnated Xerxians. Even the characters got a bad vibe when they showed up.
  • Wangst: Al's serious consideration that he might just be a fake-soul-in-armor that Ed created, and Winry and Pinako are in on the joke.
  • What an Idiot: When the heroes, after long enmity and a fight, finally reduce Envy to a mostly-helpless larval green thing, they... put him in a jar and give him to May Chang so that she can save her family's fortunes with the secret of immortality. There are several problems with this.
    • Although May, Ed, and a reforming Scar are not the kind of people to kill a helpless opponent, the soldiers and Yoki should have fewer reservations, particularly as Envy has been incredibly dangerous, and immediately demonstrates that he is only mostly helpless.
    • The secret to immortality that Envy knows involves some really nasty, evil things and there's no good reason to think that he knows a better method. Edward has already refused to use a Philospher's Stone because of it, as has May herself, not to mention how most of Scar's people were literally killed for it. Thus, none of them should be okay with it being given to an Emperor who May had said earlier wouldn't hesitate to use it. If Envy did know a better way, it's doubtful he'd tell her because he likes nothing better than to see people tearing each other apart.
    • They're sending Envy off with an unsupervised kid. May can handle herself in a fight, yes, but she is soft-hearted and Envy is an excellent deceiver.
    • In conclusion, nobody at all should be surprised that Envy talks May into a nest of zombie-like abominations that he uses to regain his full power. It's an Idiot Plot to ensure that both May and Envy will be in Central in the final arc.
      • When Al is trapped in the dome with Pride and allows Pride to beat out morse code on his head for hours until reinforcements show up to free him. Al is naive and trusting to a fault but surely he's been around the military enough to figure out there was some kind of foolery going on there.
  • The Woobie: Half of the sympathetic portion of the cast need hugs.
  • Woolseyism: Xing's answer to alchemy (renkinjutsu) is rentanjutsu. This word refers to Chinese alchemy, but actually using something like "Oriental alchemy" or "Xingese alchemy" would get pretty stale and unwieldy after a while. The rentan refers to the goal of Chinese alchemy, the elixir of life. Drawing off of this, Funimation dubbed it as "alkahestry", after alkahest. As a universal solvent, alkahest was another hypothetical goal of alchemy and would have had valuable medicinal applications; if you understand the reference, "alkahestry" manages to convey Chinese alchemy's greater concern with medicine than with gold and sounds exotic next to "alchemy". The substance was supposedly invented by Paracelsus, whose birth name was Von Hohenheim, and the fictional Von Hohenheim was the inventor of Xingese alkehestry.

2003 Anime

  • Adaptation Displacement: Even a few years after Brotherhood, this is usually where casual anime fans' minds go when someone mentions "Fullmetal Alchemist". At least, in the West.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Being kidnapped and nearly killed by a serial murderer would traumatize most people for life, but Winry seems to bounce back pretty quickly.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Hohenheim gets a lot more of it here than he did in Brotherhood (where he's seen as more unambiguously benevolent): is he a wise atoner who feels bad for all the Body Surfing he's done or a suicidal Jerk Ass whose excuse to abandon his children and wife Trisha doesn't cut the test and who unintentionally helped the Nazis.
  • Ass Pull: It's hard to think of the Alternate Universe twist as anything other than this, considering the complete absence of any foreshadowing, and the amount of Fridge Logic it raises in regards to the Gate of Truth and how Alchemy functions.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Envy, Wrath and Rose are among the most polarizing characters. In the case of the latter, this is probably why she suffers Die for Our Ship more often than Ed's other love interests (with the exception of her double in Conqueror of Shamballa).
    • Dante as a Big Bad is often a lightning rod for the debate over which anime is better. Some fans of Brotherhood believe that she's less interesting and imposing than Father; however, just as many prefer her over Father, praising her abhorrent selfishness and her role as Edward's Shadow Archetype. Most fans seem to agree that each fits their respective continuities, and that which one you prefer ultimately comes down to personal tastes.
  • Broken Base:
  • Contested Sequel: Some fans view The Movie as a touching send off to the characters that ties together most of the loose ends left over from the series. Others see it as a kick in the junk that resolves nothing and simply screws everyone over worse than they were screwed in the series.
  • Crowning Soundtrack Of Awesome:
    • Michiru Oshima's score is considered to be a masterpiece. The openings and endings aren't anything to sneeze at either.
    • Several tracks stand out in particular, such as Bratja and Dante's various themes.
    • the Kelas
    • "Regret", the song played entirely on the harmonica that plays during Mustang's flashback of the Ishval war in Episode 13.
    • "YOU'RE GETTING ATTACKED BY GERMAN ZEPPELINS, HAVE SOME BEETHOVEN".
  • Cult Classic: For many of its fans.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: In comparison to the more optimistic manga/Brotherhood, many viewers complain about this during the final quarter.
  • Deader Than Disco: Has sadly become this among many anime circles that prefer Brotherhood. Averted for the most part, though, as Brotherhood didn't get the high ratings or the status as a Gateway Series that the original did in the West. In fact, there's still quite a fanbase for the 2003 anime on some sites like tumblr.
  • Die for Our Ship: Rose gets it a lot from some Edwin shippers and Yaoi Fangirls. Even with all the horrible things that happened to her, getting an expanded role in this version did not help her with shippers. And in turn, a lot of Ed/Rose fans hate Winry; Yaoi Fangirls generally tend to leave her alone, though, as it's more common for them to make AlWin Ship Mates with RoyEd.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Envy gets even more of this than he does in Brotherhood, likely due to his more sympathetic motivation of being the failed transmutation of Dante and Hohenheim's son, and resenting his father and half-brothers. But it's to the point where some fangirls seem to forget that he's so evil; some of them even ship him with Ed!
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Lust.
    • Envy seems to get around pretty well in fanfiction for one of the most unambiguously evil characters in the series.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Envy and Wrath.
  • Foe Yay: Because Greed is the incarnation of one of Dante's lovers, he involuntarily feels affection towards her and is drawn to her home, despite the horrible things she does to him.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Brotherhood completely eclipsed this series in its native Japan, but the first anime remains the more popular and influential series on American shores. It's hard to tell whether it was simply due to it falling during the aforementioned Anime Boom while Brotherhood came after the bubble burst, or because the first anime captured something in Western audiences that Brotherhood just didn't.
    • However, the past few years have shown many people becoming more accepting of Brotherhood over the original.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In episode 22, Envy asks Ed if he wants him to turn into a taller version of Ed. Then comes episode 50 and we find out Envy was Hohenheim's first son and looks a lot like a taller version of Ed.
    • Selim Bradley. A human boy in the first anime and King Bradley (Pride)'s adoptive son. Bradley kills him in a fit of rage in the finale. In the manga and Brotherhood, Selim turns out to be Pride (Bradley is the manga's Wrath), oldest and deadliest of the Homunculi, and Bradley works for him.
    • In one of the flashbacks, a young Ling Yao can be seen, wearing sunglasses similar to Greed; while he has no important role in this anime, he becomes the new Greed in Brotherhood and the manga.
    • At the end of the (non-canonical) OVA "Kids", there is a prominently displayed photograph of an elderly Ed shaking hands with an important-looking, formally dressed man who bears a moderate resemblance to Barack Obama. (The OVA was made more than three years before he was elected President of the United States.)
  • Incest Subtext: There's significantly more of this in this version than in the manga/Brotherhood, which is a large part of the reason that Ed/Al is as popular of a ship as it is (probably the second most popular slash pairing after Roy/Ed).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Wrath and Scar
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Envy was a big one for this series, despite being even more evil here. Ed in particular is even more of a "fandom bicycle" among the 03 fans, since he never got a canonical love interest in this version.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex God:
    • Everyone wants Lust, no exceptions. Sloth also fares well in this department.
    • It's a joke among some fans of this anime that everyone (yes, everyone) is in love with Ed and he just can't see it.
    • Envy, of all characters, seems to be this among certain parts of the fanbase.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by both Scar and the Homunculi. Envy crosses it with the murder of Hughes and enjoys dancing over it again and again. Depending on who you ask, Bradley's came with either Marta or Selim's murder, or The Reveal that he engineered the Ishvalan War to try to make a Philosopher's Stone, and wants Lior to be a repeat of Ishval.
  • Narm: Scar standing up to an absurd amount of punishment in his swan song episode, until it starts to feel like Monty Python. Plus he apparently carries Kimblee's body to a rooftop in his teeth.
    • Cyborg Archer. The design is ridiculous, and it stretches Schizo Tech to the absolute breaking point.
    • Dietlinde Eckhart's convoluted Motive Rant at the end of Conqueror of Shamballa might count
  • Narm Charm: How many fans feel about TerminArcher
  • No Yay:
    • Dante hitting on Ed. It gets even worse when you consider that she's mainly doing it to "be loved by the son of Hohenheim."
    • There's also a bit of Les Yay between Dante, in Lyra's body, and Rose...which wouldn't have been that bad, were it not for the fact that Lyra's body was rotting and she wants to take Rose as her next one.
    • And then there's the fangirls who ship Kimblee with Archer. As if the fact that they're both psychopaths wasn't bad enough, one of them is a half-mechanical cyborg!
    • The episode with Psiren, where she repeatedly unzips her outfit in front of Ed, and makes some decidedly seductive remarks? At this time, Ed is 15 years old.
    • The tendency of Envy to be a Launcher of a Thousand Ships among some parts of the fanbase, tends to have this reaction among the rest.
  • The Scrappy: Noah from The Movie. It turns out it's a pretty good thing the writers didn't create the Ed-Noah-Alfons love triangle originally planned for the film; hardly any fans like her, and instead they ship Ed and Alfons together.
  • Squick: The scene where Izumi Curtis eats that crumb off of the the island boy's face was done in a manner that suggested it was supposed to come off as sweet, but it ended up more gross than anything.
  • Stoic Woobie: Lust. Mustang can give off this impression sometimes, considering his guilt over his part in the Ishvalan war.
  • Strawman Has a Point / Hannibal Has a Point: The lecture Dante gives Ed and Al about how Equivalent Exchange (in terms of being a principle for life, outside of its use in alchemy) is crap. The fact is that, yeah, she's right that there are a lot of times in life where the effort you put into something is disproportionate to what you get out of it (for example, she talks about how Ed, as a Child Prodigy, passed the State Alchemist exam with flying colors on his first try, while others had been slaving away and repeatedly failing it for years). Hohenheim later gives Ed a more optimistic take on it.
  • Superlative Dubbing: Formal reviews of the series rarely pass up mentioning the overall quality of the voicework in the English version. It helps that all of the actors involved loved the series to death and put their hearts into it.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: It's notable that many (though certainly not all) of the complaints about the series come from fans of the manga, rather than from fans who saw it as a stand-alone series. Conversely, it's not unheard of for those exposed to the franchise through the 2003 anime to sometimes have this attitude towards Brotherhood.
    • Watching Brotherhood first causes this reaction, as the changes in the 2003 anime make it difficult for them to watch.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Psiren. Meant to be a Classy Cat-Burglar with sympathetic motives for her crimes...except each and every time those motives are shown to be lies, and she even tries to murder Ed. Her motivation for wanting to give the town visibility (and even then, it's ambiguous whether she actually cares about that) is kind of drowned out by that.
  • Values Dissonance: Izumi's domestic violence against the Elric brothers; Ed and Al abusing each other.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Envy. Although, unlike in the manga/Brotherhood, he does get a canonical gender at the end.
  • Wangst: Some people find it excessive the way this version handled Al's identity crisis after his confrontation with Barry the Chopper. In the manga and Brotherhood anime, Winry gives him a stern talking-to and he quickly snaps out of it. Here, he gets an additional episode to stew over it and even when he comes to his senses, it has lingering effects on his later Character Development.
  • What an Idiot: Both involving homunculi and their deaths:
    • Wrath takes Ed's sample of Mrs. Elric's remains into himself to deny Ed using them on Sloth. Wrath fuses with Sloth. Ed and Sloth figure out what is very stupid about this immediately.
    • Pride when he strangles Selim for bringing in his Achilles' Heel - giving Mustang the chance to use it against him - rather than telling Selim to run away with it.
    • Rose in the 2003 anime had a lot of those moments. A priest says he can bring her BF back to life. She believes him. She later sees the disturbing, horrid, disgusting body that was clearly made out of parrots (who had all their feathers plucked out) that's going to be used to make a replacement for her dead boyfriend and she's still on the fence about it.
    • Al has two of these in the final third, like stopping Martel from killing Kimblee, thus making him responsible for everything Kimblee does afterward, holding on to the idea that Sloth is his mother long after it's clear that she's trying to kill both him and Ed. To be fair on the second one though, even though he knows it's not his mother, Sloth still looks and has memories of her. She even acts like her to toy with the Elric brothers and it happens to work far better on Alphonse.
  • The Woobie: The Elric brothers, many times. Wrath, Winry, Rose, Roy, Izumi, even Jerkass Woobie Scar and Stoic Woobie Lust.
  • Woolseyism: In the episode with "Warehouse Thirteen", one of the characters mentions that the house only appears at night, and that it's a "Were-house". The pun works brilliantly in English.

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