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Please note that this page is for Headscratchers regarding the manga and 2009 anime adaptation entitled Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. For the 2003 anime adaptation see Headscratchers.Fullmetal Alchemist 2003.

Warning: this page contains spoilers.

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     Selim Bradley and the public 
  • In the Brotherhood anime (I haven't read the manga) it was stated to the public that, after the final battle, King Bradley and his "son" Selim lost their lives in the conflict. But as the audience knows, Selim is alive and being re-raised by his foster mother under the same name he had before. If someone saw Selim, how is Mrs. Bradley going to explain how her new son looks exactly like the first Selim and has his name to boot?
    • "After his father was murdered, Selim was too young to take command. So...we faked his own death. We also didn't want to cause trouble for the new Führer, since we knew factions would want to make him a puppet"...So, 90% the truth!

     Scar's choice of victims 
  • Why is Scar trying to kill Elric brothers two times? He sure hates state alchemists, but those two didn't do anything. Meanwhile Roy Mustang is lonely walking through rain, Kimblee is sitting immobilized in his cell and god knows how many Amerstris soldiers are on vacation or something like that. He can even go after King Bradley (it would end miserably, but Scar has no right to know how badass Wrath really is). So why does he hold such a grudge against Edward and Alphonse?
    • Simple, he found them first.
    • Plus, after the first time, it's more a case of the Elrics having a particular grudge against Scar than the other way around.
    • From Scar's perspective, if you join an organization, aren't you just as bad as someone who was a part of it at the time? By joining an organization, you're by-default okay with their record.
    • Scar wants to kill all state alchemists for a combination of seeing their alchemy as blasphemous and blaming them for the massacre of his people. He's no more discerning than that, he even agrees to let Al go because Al's not a state alchemist. He's also pretty opprotunistic. He wasn't targeting Ed, he was just walking down the street when he heard some call the name of a state alchemist. And with one right in front of him, he obviously goes for the kill.

     The Crest of Blood at Briggs 
  • In Episode 37, Kimblee tells Edward about the plan to kill everyone in Briggs as part of the nationwide transmutation circle and that the higher ups in the military want Ed to be the one to carry this out. Why involve Ed at all?
  • Kimblee doesn't know Ed (and therefore couldn’t really be trusted to judge his character himself), but I'm sure that word would have gotten around within the military that Ed doesn't like to kill people and actively tries to avoid it, enough so that someone like King Bradley might come to know that he wouldn’t make much of a killer.
  • Even if this somehow wasn't ever some kind of gossip in the military, one of the other homunculi should've known this about Ed. Pride could’ve spied on the Elric Brothers while they were in Central, and Envy saw firsthand that Ed was apprehensive about fighting the "people" on his monstrous form and using the Philosopher's Stone, which should have proven to him that Ed probably didn't have the mind to commit mass murder.
  • The homunculi had Kimblee, who could and DID carve the crest of blood anyway, so why did they send Kimblee to try to convince Ed to kill people rather than just sending Kimblee to Briggs to look for Scar and then have HIM carve the crest of blood? Involving Ed just seems like needlessly throwing a wrench into their plan. (Not to mention, that to Father and the military higher-ups, Kimblee was expendable as he hadn’t opened the Gate and they did not believe he would/could. If Edward Elric DID try to kill the soldiers of Briggs he could’ve easily been killed himself and Father would’ve lost one of his sacrifices.)
  • The only explanation I can come up with for this is that Awakawa needed the Elric Brothers to be in this part of the story and didn’t want the antagonists to have a massive advantage (though they wouldn’t be “winning” regardless of what happened at Briggs because of Hohenheim's plan involving the reverse transmutation circle).
  • Note that Pride was begging for his life when Ed destroyed his Philosopher's Stone, and Kimblee had to correct him, saying Ed wasn't that kind of person. The homunculi's fatal flaw is that they underestimate humans, which is what leads to them being outsmarted several times, so they probably thought Ed would cave as easily as Marcoh did if given proper incentive. They pulled the same stunt with Mustang to attempt to get him to do human trasmutation by putting Hawkeye in danger. Even if Ed decided to go through with it, he would probably have backup from Central too, who had taken control of Briggs on Bradley's orders, and maybe even the homunculi because there is no reason for them to hide in the shadows anymore. That would probably be enough to ensure he survived the battle.
    • The homunculi even did try to manipulate the Elrics by threatening Winry, so I'd assume that something like this would be correct.

    Reversed Circle 
  • has anybody noticed that the Nationwide Circle in Xerxes and the one in Amestris are reversed? the one in Xerxes had Five crests of blood on the inner points, but the one in Amestris has ten crests, one on the outer edge, and one slightly back from it. any Ideas as to why it's backwards, and how both can create a stone?
    • Amestris is bigger than Xerxes. The blood crests are placed to capture souls in high density population areas, and the rest of the circle is largely about channeling the souls where the alchemist wants them. In other words, they might be custom circle applications with similar purposes.

    Pride's age 

  • How did Pride stay alive -according to Hirakawa- for 400 years without anyone noticing? I would understand if he kept out of the public eye, but he is the Führer's son. Wouldn't have Mrs. Bradley- after even just a couple of years notice that her adopted son didn't grow? And even if the adoption was recent (which would be bullshit, like what, adopted 4 weeks before the start of the series- intime), he was still in the public eye- they pull out some pictures of him still young, from fifty years before, how could no one have noticed that? Btw, not sure about the picture thing.
    • Given when the series takes place, actually quite easily. Orphaned children would have been a start in the early days of Amestris, while later they could use the excuse of child illness and death. Then they just trot him back out with a new name and excuse for existence.
    • Plus, Father could always age his appearance up a bit - or maybe Pride could do it himself. If so, he probably just keeps the child's appearance to disconcert his opponents and for that extra feeling of superiority at having defeated his enemies as a child.
    • Wasn't it mentioned straight up when they compared the photos of Selim that his age varied a little bit but stayed always within a certain range? So he could age himself up to a certain point and then start over with a new identity in a younger form. Even if someone noticed a similarity, they wouldn't think it could possibly be the same child, maybe a younger brother at most.
    • Actually, since Pride's "true form" was revealed to be a human fetus, it can be assumed that Pride took the body of the "real" Selim Bradley while he was still a fetus. After Pride the sin dies, all that's left is its physical vessel.
    • That is unlikely as that would pretty much make him a human based homunculus, Greedling style

    Al beating Ed 

  • This is referring to the rooftop scene, when Al is questioning the nature of his memories, but both brothers talk about when being younger (before their automail and armour shell). They talk about a physical brawl over Winry- WHICH AL WINS, all I've got to ask is... how? It is made clear throughout the series that Al owns Ed in fights, but that's only 'cause he's a giant armour hulk. How could he win when Ed has a TWO YEAR AGE ADVANTAGE? And it can't be claimed that Al used tricks, because Edward is shown as a far grittier and a more resourceful fighter than his brother, so shouldn't it be impossible for Al?
    • IIRC, it was in the 2003 Anime series that it was specifically called back to that Ed always beat Al. I don't recall that being specifically established in Brotherhood, they seemed more evenly matched as children from what the conversation implied. Ed was meaner, but Al was bigger, it's not too much of a stretch to think that he didn't get fed up from time to time and resort to the same tactics Ed used.
    • Actually, it's just one year, although of course we don't know their exact dates of birth. I'm not entirely sure if we can use them being in the same class as evidence, because it's a small school in the countryside. It is, however, possible that Ed was born shortly after last year's cut-off date, while Al was born just before the next year's cut-off date. (Assuming that Ed was born in autumn, and that the cut-off date is in summer.) That out of the way, it seems that Al is just stronger and more agile than Ed. It's not out of the realm of possibility. I'd also make the case that they didn't start counting who won until after Izumi's training, at which point he also got taller than Ed.
    • Ed is born in 1899, Al in 1900. There you have it. While Ed is better at alchemy, Al is shown to be a better martial artist.
    • The height chart (imagined by Ed) of the kids at the time of the fight, prompted by Winry and Al remembering her comment that she doesn't like men shorter than her, show that not only was Winry taller than both of them, but Ed was already shorter than Al. (Milk, I guess.) Assuming the brothers to be of equal or similar skill, Al has basically had a height advantage since they were old enough to remember their fights.
    • Ed was apparently born in winter according to Arakawa, though she did mention that her definition of "winter" is flexible enough that it could be late autumn or early spring too.
    • When breaking into Lab 5 and fighting the Slicer, Ed admitted Al was probably a better fighter than he is.

    Truth and eating God 

  • If Father has eaten God/Truth, why when Al made the soul-arm transmutation, there's still a Gate and Truth in front of it?
    • Easy. Truth isn't the one that Father consumed.
    • It might not have been God that Father consumed. Rather, he used the gate of the earth and the sun/moon to take into himself all that knowledge and power of the earth and sun/moon. While godlike compared to everybody else, it had limits, just none that could possibly be comprehensible to anybody in the actual series. To take the entirety of God/Truth into himself would require the theoretical gate of the entire universe as a whole. Which might well have been his next plan, if he hadn't been stopped where he already was. His next centuries-long plot could well have been to consume the soul of every single person on the planet, and use that energy to open a gate for the galaxy, and then take it a step or two further, until he had all of existence bound inside him...
    • Also, when Al made that transmutation Father's body was rejecting Truth. Another argument could claim that the other two transmutations made by Hohenheim and Scar reversed the effects of Father's transmutation. Also, because both Ed and Al were used in the making of Father's transmutation, they weren't affected by the restrictions placed on the Gates.
    • There's also the fact that we don't know exactly how Truth works. I mean, at the end when Ed makes his final transmutation it's shown that the Gate isn't a singular thing, every person has one of their own, add to that the fact that Truth calls himself (among other things) "the universe", "one", "all" and "you" it wouldn't be much of a stretch to consider that Father would need to consume "all" or "the universe" or "everything" to actually consume Truth

    Immortals learning to fight 

  • If Hohenheim is Actually 400 years old, why didn't he take advantage of his immortality to learn how to fight? He admits being a crappy fighter, which was a total waste of his absurdly powerful alchemy IMO.
    • Does he routinely get into fights? Does he like fighting? Does continual heavy exertion put wear and tear on his constantly degenerating body?
    • He's never needed to dodge due to possessing regeneration, and this is the same guy who founded a medicine-based science from the same knowledge his counterpart used to found a science structured around war. Seems like he'd like to be an Actual Pacifist.
    • Hohenheim has a ton of respect for all the souls inside him. He probably wouldn't want to "waste" them by getting into unnecessary fights.

    Destroying living stones 

  • When facing off Father, who, you know, is a living philosopher's stone, why didn't they put Marcoh on the front lines, since it's been revealed he can destroy them? And don't tell me he'd be too afraid, since he took down Envy with no trouble at all.
    • It might have been part of the plan, but all the sacrifices were separated from their groups. Also, Envy didn't have a shield. To destroy the stone, Marcoh would have had to touch father, and it took quite a while to destroy his shield. Also, I wouldn't say Marcoh had "no trouble at all" defeating Envy, he was injured and it was a huge risk.

    Stopping the plan earlier 

    Shooting Scar 

  • In episode 22 (about 10mins in) Winry is about to shoot Scar with a gun that is on the ground and the Elric brothers are telling her not to do it but they could have just destroyed the gun with alchemy (so why didn't they?)
    • Same reasons guns don't appear in Harry Potter. Doesn't matter how fast you can clap, a bullet is faster. Someone that distraught would panic and shoot in the case of a sudden movement probably.
    • That probably would have just upset Winry more. It's one thing if she decides not to shoot or finds herself unable to, but to have it taken away would be worse.
    • It could also be considered a bit risky to attempt to transmute something that's in another person's hands, and considering Ed and Al don't want to harm anyone if they don't have to, neither of them would be willing to take that risk with Winry.

    Dimensions of the circle 

  • Just what are the dimensions of the transmutation circle?(I can't remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this but I think I was thinking some thing like does it have to be a perfect circle? How deep can it be? Stuff like that)
    • They never go into deep explanation of how they work. They don't need to be deep, the symbol just needs to be there. They just need to be somewhat touching it, seen when the gloved circles work. Alchemists practice so much drawing perfect circles probably comes naturally. We've seen sloppy circles in the first ED I believe so it does take some time and practice to get it right.
    • Actually, Izumi goes into a rough explanation of the circle in Chapter 23. The circle dictates the flow of power, and the matrices in the circle dictate the function. Circleless alchemy works by clapping hands to symbolize the circle and using the body as the matrix.

    Equipped for a blizzard 

  • In episode 39 Miles (the Briggs Ishbalian guy) says that they "aren't equipped for a blizzard" but they have alchemy, so they could just created the equipment (so why didn't they?)
    • I can't actually name one alchemist that was there, honestly. They didn't equipment to survive a blizzard. They were BAMFs.
    • Alphonse Elric was there.
    • True, but a) the Brigg's didn't know Al could do fancy alchemy like that and b) they insist on doing stuff their way.
    • The plot demanded it. If they had all been together then Ed wouldn't have gotten impaled, Al wouldn't have collapsed, they wouldn't have been separated over the timeskip, etc. It was more dramatic to set up Al on a "only you can do this" quest and then have him make the discovery his soul was drifting away than if he had been together with others and not the only one with saving them riding on him.
    • I imagine they would be limited by the physical materials they have at hand, he'd need things lying around that could be transmuted into the appropriate equipment. It could also be due to Al lacking the knowledge of how the equipment works, as he'd need to build it all from scratch. We've seen them repair radios and the like before, but that could be as simple as reconnecting loose wires or fixing broken valves, stuff that's already in its proper place.

    Armstrong alchemy 

  • Armstrong's alchemy just plain confused me. Not only does he transmute items in mid-air without touching the items (he does this in one of the 50's episodes), he also transmutes without touching the circle and he transmutes from the circle on his glove to the ground without it touching the ground.)
    • I don't recall ever seeing him using his alchemy without striking the ground with the gauntlets...He punches chunks of rock to use his alchemy in the air and when it's not shown it's implied at least.
    • Re-watch the Sloth fight, he slams his gloves into the ground without the circle touching anything but air.
    • Well, like I said with Mustang, it doesn't need to be in direct contact it seems. Remember, this is the Armstrong alchemy that's survived for generations! The gauntlet hit the ground, so that counts. After all, Al's soul-circle doesn't connect the entire armor, but can move it. It's because the iron in the blood transmutes through the iron in the armor, so Armstrong's alchemy channels into the ground when he strikes. It's close, not contact, it seems.

    Kimblee's alchemy 

  • How does Kimblee's Alchemy work? He has two transmutation circles on the palms of his hands that need to touch to work, but human palms have a dip in the center: The symbols on his hands would never fully touch no matter how hard he pressed his hands together.
    • Could be that it works kind of like the alchemy performed by those who've seen Truth; Kimblee hasn't but he does have a Philosopher's Stone, after all. If clapping his hands together symbolises a circle, he could use the stone to amplify the connection between his palms. Or it could be somewhat like Armstrong alchemy and Mustang's alchemy; they don't need to directly touch. Kimblee's tattoos are big enough to cover over the dip in the palms, so there's at least some of them that would be touching; after that they could transmute through that small amount of contact.

    Tunnels for energy flow 

  • In episode 61 it appears that "Father" is using the tunnels to flow energy but energy can easily flow through matter so the tunnels were not necessary.
    • Do you mean the cushion he uses to disable alchemy, or when he used the national circle? For the former, he doesn't use the tunnels, he basically pushes the cushion between the surface and the tectonic plates where alchemy draws its power.
    • Speaking of those cushions, why is he only able to affect alchemy but not alkehestry? I know it was handwaved by "they're using chi or some other mystical b.s. and therefore their alkehestry is not affected" but why not? If he can mess with tectonic energy or whatever they said powers alchemy why should he have any problem messing with chi? This is the guy who swallows the thing that calls itself God disrupting chi should be no problem for him.
    • I'm talking about the nation-wide transmutation circle.
    • The circle needs to be there in some form or another. For such a large scale alchemical reaction, a symbol needs to be there in some form or another. Because Hohenheim was so clever as to use the umbra for a circle, Scar was able to set off a sort of alkahestry anti-motion for the cushion. The circle needs to be there in some form, except for walking Philosopher's Stone's who have so much energy/knowledge they just pull apart the fabric of reality and restitch it right there.
    • Father couldn't disable Alkahestry since it doesn't use the shifting of the tectonic plates to power the transmutations, it uses "the Dragon's Pulse" aka the flow of chi (or someting like that) which is completely different and Father didn't know about. It's hard to disable something when you don't know what it is you're disabling. It's also might not so easy to block the chi as it was putting a layer between the tectonic plates and transmutations to prevent the energy from traveling to the surface.

    Destroying Father's lair 

  • Also, the entire area that Father hides in could have just been destroyed with 20 seconds of circle-less alchemy.
    • One, that's why he has the alchemy cushion to disable it, and two, I'd think Father would be competent enough to make it very sturdy.
    • Still they could do a lot of damage before he could prevent it.
    • It's Father. He kept the other people who could've become Bradley around, and set up a 400 year conspiracy just to get his hands(tongue?) on God. He's bound to have a few protections up.
    • Plus it still wouldn't solve the problem that a homunculus with a HUGE philosopher's stone is around. Hohenheim's counter plan helped to start Father's Superpower Meltdown since since he couldn't contain God with less than half of Xerxian's souls powering his stone.

    Ed's final answer 

  • Where did Ed get the trade the gate idea?
    • Ed's always been good at coming up with stuff on the fly. When he attached Al's soul to the armor, the transmuting ammonia in the dynamite, using his soul as a Philosopher's Stone. Extrapolate a bit and it makes perfect sense. Check the Fridge page for FMA:B for a good explanation too.

    Mustang's alchemy 

  • Mustang makes no sense to me, he transmutes without touching the circle, his transmutations go far further than the circle's area, their is no need for him to click his fingers (a spark that small would have no effect on the flammable gas surrounding him meaning that he must be converting matter to energy {E=mc^2 was known in those times {yes I did actually look up stuff like this because of how much he confused me}) making the energy from the finger clicking unnecessary, if he is transmuting the gases around the glove (which he must be for the spark stuff to work),the glove would explode and why is the secret to flame alchemy so large? I am referring to the tattoo on Hawkeye's back. Surely it would just be a fire-triangle with a circle drawn around it.
    • Alright...When Ed and Al use a lot of alchemy it expands further than where they are, even though technically they would be the circle. I'd say to a certain limit they can connect the elements and extend the range. Since Mustang not only moves the gases but also changes the gases a bit, he can create a perfect path for the spark to follow, and it doesn't matter how small it is. The cloth creates a spark when rubbed together, which necessitates the snapping. The reason for the tattoo being so large is probably because it's more than just a circle. The reason someone can't just pick up a circle and use it is because you likely need to know HOW to do it. Those big books on alchemy? They're how-to's and theories, meaning they have to explain how you move elements, convert them into similar elements, and how to change them. That's likely why the tattoo is so big; it's the secrets to changing the elements in the air. Not only for flame alchemy, being able to suddenly turn the oxygen into nitrogen or helium in an area would be dangerous.
    • There's quite some writing on Riza's back, so of course the entire tattoo is big. If you couldn't read it, what would be the point? That's probably also why it was enough for Mustang to not burn off her entire back, but just the most important spots. Knowing what the circle looks like alone is not enough to perform flame alchemy. Knowledge is absolutely necessary. It's a bit like in Harry Potter. If you have no experience, you can yell Avada Kedrava as much as you like, you won't actually be able to kill someone. And in the end, the reason why Ed is so proficient as an alchemist is not only because he can do clapping mutation, but also because he almost always knows exactly what he's transmuting. That's also why Ed couldn't destroy Buccaneer's arm. Just because his body acts as the matrix doesn't mean he can do everything automatically. So, assuming that someone who has no knowledge about alchemy picked up the gloves and snapped them, there'd just be a spark but no fire, under normal circumstances.
    • It still doesn't make much sense, honestly Mustang makes more sense as an Alkrester (Alkertstist?).
    • Who? Alkahestrist? Listen, they don't go into too much detail except that it's dangerous and very very very dangerous in the wrong hands. It's likely just the tiny details about turning one gas into another. Sparks can go a long way in the presence of a volatile enough gas. How dangerous would turning all the oxygen in the world into helium? We'd all die.
    • But we would sound pretty amusing in the seconds before our deaths.

    Shape of the circle 

  • What does the shape of the stuff inside the circle effect? I know that the Elric brother made a reference to the "transmutation recipe" when they were drawing their mother's circle but that still leaves too much unexplained.
    • They never go in depth into how the markings work. They explain their effects, like in the original anime with Mustang's alchemy. It would be very boring to see them explain every line of every circle so Arakawa went the simple route. There might be an actual graphical representation for it all but all you need to know is that they work because fantasy-science.

    Lava alchemy 

  • Why do people (mainly the circle-less alchemists) avoid abusing it (the possibilities are obvious) I mean they could turn the ground to lava and take down an entire army.
    • Ah...for several reasons... For that specific example, by doing that it'd tend to start where you stand/use it...meaning you'd die. Very fast. That minisun Father made should've roasted everyone inside very fast, but whatever. Second, the heat required to melt concrete/ground would have to come from somewhere, equivalent exchange and all. For why they don't abuse it, the people that would? Probably assisted the Ishbal massacre....Until the final fight, most everyone doesn't go for the kill. It's brutal, cruel, and they're not going to be so evil. Besides, like Bruce Lee stated: I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times. One of the reasons Mustang is so feared is because he's so goddamn GREAT with his alchemy. It takes a lot more concentration to do more than just giant stone fists/etc. I imagine.
    • To add to the "why don't those with circleless alchemy abilities abuse it?" question, I'm only going off the three circleless alchemists (Ed, Al, and Izumi), but maybe, since, they have had, in some sense, all the knowledge in the universe crammed into their heads, they've gained a certain wisdom from going through the portal of truth. They understand how much more powerful they've become and what it had truly cost to gain it (hint: more than just body parts). So that might be one reason why alchemists who use circleless alchemy don't abuse it.
    • However this does raise another question, why didn't Ed just encase Gluttony in nets or something not edible to defeat him?
    • They tried that once...he broke out. And not being edible? That hasn't stopped him before. By the time the finale rolls around they all try to go all out on the Homunculi since they need to die several times to die. It's a lot harder to capture someone than to kill them, especially when they can open their stomach and basically shoot negative matter everywhere. When the last remaining Homunculi were: one that could suddenly expand to several times his size, one that can control effing SHADOW MOUTHS, one that can dash faster than you can see, and...Bradley....capturing seems the stupider idea. None of them are so cruel as to create lava to kill them. Mustang's way of executing the Homunculi was considered a little too cruel...Still.

    Greed continuity 

  • In Brotherhood, is the Greed from episodes 13 & 14 the same Greed from the episodes after uh, episode 28. In the end of episode 44, it seems like it was the same Greed all along but when I read through FMA stuff it refers to post-episode 28 Greed as "Second Greed". So was it always the same Greed or did the "second Greed" just get the first ones memories?.
    • It's the same Greed as the first one - a fragment of Father's soul containing his greed. However, since he shares his body with Ling, there's a need to tell them apart.
    • It's a bit complicated: from the start he is the same in that he has the same... "soul" or whatever it is that homunculi have for a soul. But at first he doesn't have the same memories, hence he sees himself as a different being. But when he kills one of his former mates, his former self's memories return and he more or less becomes one with the first Greed again.

    Cauterized throat 

  • When Riza got her throat cut, why didn't Roy just cauterize it like he did with his wounds he got fighting Lust? He already demonstrated he can do precision burning and that a second or third degree burn is a hell of a lot better than death.
    • He burned her once, he probably didn't want to do it again. And maybe he doesn't want to risk missing because it's in such a delicate place.
    • Also, he was restrained, and in such a way that he couldn't use his alchemy. By the time he broke free and got to her, he may have deemed it too late — or, considering that he'd just been screaming to her and fighting back tears, he may have been a bit too distraught to think of it. Sometimes it's a lot easier to be calm and rational about your own injuries than about those of people you love.
    • What the above person said seems logical. Didn't one of his gloves get cut too? He may have had another one though...
    • Considering the amount of blood Riza lost in that moment, a third degree burn on top of it would have killed her faster. The body's reaction to a burn is to lose fluid to negate the heat - and she'd lost enough having nearly bled to death seconds before. Remember also that your neck has a number of major blood vessels, and if any one of them had been severed, Riza would have bled out in under a minute, whereas with your torso it's a lot more vague and you're a lot less likely to sever a vital blood vessel - your neck's considerably more delicate and a little more difficult to cauterize. There was also a higher probability of getting medical attention immediately after he defeated Lust in comparison to the Promised Day.
    • Also with the burning of her back Mustang almost certainly took his time accounting for anything that might go wrong, making sure he had emergency medical gear to hand, calculating the exact size and intensity of the flame, reading up on some simple biology to reduce the damage he inflicted etc. He wouldn't have rushed something so delicate dangerous and important. Medicinal cauterizeing in such a stressful situation on a very delicate part of the body ain't easy.

    Father vs Ling 

  • During 2nd Greed's death, Father plunges his fist into Ling's chest and proceeds to drain the extra souls from his body. Exactly where was Lan Fan and her bladed automail at that moment? She slices Father's arm off later on, once ordered to. To add to that, she probably doesn't have extensive knowledge on Homunculi or the likes; all she really cares about is protecting Ling. She should've moved to stop Father the second he began draining. I wonder if her acting earlier could have prevented Greed's death...?
    • Maybe she was far away and trying to get to him?
    • It couldn't have been that- earlier she attacked Father herself with Ed.
    • I don't think she COULD'VE cut off his arm at that point. She was only able to after Greed had carbonized Father's arm while leaving Ling's body.

    Automail movement 

  • What makes automail move? I can see it being controlled by the residual nerves and muscles left from the limb, but there isn't a power source. It doesn't seem to be alchemy(since mechanics aren't alchemists and they clearly aren't stone powered); and its also obvious that they don't have the technology for any type of battery power.
    • It could have something to do with the nerves in the body. The nervous system sends electrical impulses to the muscles in your body, sort of similar to the way a wall socket sends electricity through a lamp cord to a light bulb. All they would have to do is make wires in the automail that are replicas of the real nerves in a human arm and connect them to the real nerves and insulate them against the automail's outer shell as well as water. This is really improbable that this would ever work as a mishap could injure the automail recipient, but to be fair, the body does send electrical impulses to nerves in limbs even after they have been amputated, hence "ghost limbs" or people feeling pain in their missing legs. Hopefully, this makes sense to anyone who reads it.
    • It does make sense. It certainly explains why Ed has automail lodged in that part of his real right arm after he FINALLY gets it back.
  • One of the early episodes explained it somewhat, when Winry and Pinako are attatching the new leg and arm to Ed after Scar destroyed the first set. He complains that the worst part is when the nerves connect, which based on his reaction, hurts like hell.
    • The real problem is not how the automail receives the commands to move, but how it gets the energy to actually move the mechanical pieces. The nerve signals could be interpreted by some advanced electronics (which doesn't seem to exist in that world, but whatever), but the "muscles" would still need a more potent power source.

    Immortal emperor 

  • The whole "Xing characters come to Amestris to seek immortality for the current Emperor so they can become Emperor later" thing. If the current Emperor becomes immortal, what would he need heirs for?
    • The Xingese Emperor wants to become immortal. Nothing is said about him wanting to be Emperor forever.
    • Seems rather strange that they would think he would ever consider giving up his throne if he can't die. Of course it also seems rather strange that the main characters would allow a small girl to go home with a very dangerous homunculus when they know it was that sort of thing that was responsible for multiple murders.
    • There are plenty of cases of people who voluntarily give up their fame or political power and want to live the rest of their lives in relative solitude.
    • I believe Ling explained that he would simply bring the possibility of immortality to the Emperor and to get himself in his favor, then the Emperor would likely pass shortly thereafter while waiting for supposed further research into the matter. However just stating "I have an idea fur immortality" wouldn't be enough and he needed to have something like the Philosopher's stone which was a solid lead (or May taking back the remains of a homunculus). Alternatively, Ling returning as an immortal himself would also make him a fitting candidate for emperor.
      • Yeah, pretty much this. Ling needed to bring something back that would gain him some prestige, and he wanted to make himself immortal (explaining why he was so willing to fuse with Greed).
    • Also, I can't remember the exact moment, but I'm pretty sure that at one point Ling says that his goal isn't to become emperor, but to gain favor for his clan, and maybe become emperor. I could be wrong though.
      • He calls himself "future Emperor of Xing" plenty of times.
    • Exactly. What would be the point of being an heir to an immortal guy? They never go into detail so we're lead to assume they upfront mean to make him immortal but somehow also see themselves as becoming Emperor for doing so. Um, what...
    • Ling is #12 in line for the throne; if he had immortality, he could easily beat his brothers for the throne and could stage a coup to overthrow the current Emperor. Sorta similar for May Chang. Her clan serves under the Emperor, but if she had immortality or could give it to someone in her clan, they could unite to overthrow the current Emperor. I doubt either of them was ever going to give the current Emperor immortality in the first place.
    • I thought it was stated, at least in Brotherhood, that the Emperor of Xing was dying and they had already chosen a heir - presumably the eldest son, though given May's involvement possibly just the eldest child - but that whoever it was wasn't particularly well-liked. I think they believed that if they were to return with the secret of immortality then they'd curry favor with the rest of Xing and be elevated to heir. May or Ling, I can't remember which, does state later that the current Emperor of Xing wouldn't hesitate to use the Stone despite knowing what was in it, though, so maybe it's just discontinuity. Or maybe the whole of Xing is searching for it and they want to be the first or something. Or maybe if they got back before the death of the Emperor then perhaps they'd have had to give it to them but were searching for it for themselves.
      • Yeah, if I remember right, Ling also says in the manga that the Emperor is so sick that he doubts the stone would do much for him. I'm not sure if it was ever stated that the Emperor had already chosen an heir or not, but if so that would raise the same question you asked about why someone as far down the line as May (the 17th princess) would bother trying. That would lend a lot of support to the "everyone's racing to beat each other to it, and whoever does becomes heir" idea.
    • I've always assumed that the official mission was 'Find a source of immortality for the dying Emperor.' while the unofficial mission had 'that lasts just long enough to have you named heir.' tacked on the end. That's why Ling was still interested when Al told him about how his soul might leave the armor at any moment - if he could transfer the Emperor's soul into a suit of armor, it'd last long enough for Ling to become 'heir' and then wear out allowing him to inherit.
    • Being heir could also bring a lot of benefits all by itself. Sure, you'd never get to actually inherit anything, but you're still the second most important person around, instead of just one among many competing clansmen.

    Wrath regeneration 

  • Why is Wrath (manga and Brotherhood) unable to regenerate from wounds? Greedling can regenerate and was made the same way. Also, doesn't Wrath prove humans can't be immortal? He got old. Actually, how the heck is Wrath even a Homunculus? It just seems like the philosopher stone just gave him a messed up eye and a strong belief he's not human. I strongly believe if Wrath had all the benefits normal homunculi seem to get, he'd have destroyed anyone (except Father).
    • Greedling was created the same way as Wrath, but he submitted to his Stone, which seems to have made the integration go smoother. Greed was expecting a fight, remember? Wrath, on the other hand, mentions that the souls in his Stone burned themselves out until there was only one left, and he doesn't know if that is his original soul or a different one. Because he only has one soul, he only has one life. Only having one soul also seems to be the reason why his body ages, although it DOES still age slower than it should; note that while he looks to be in his 40's at most now, when he died, his body immediately aged substantially, to what a 60+ year old man should reasonably look like. This next part gets into fanwank territory, but it's likely that Father never gave him any more souls after he was made, the way he could for the other homonculi, because he needed him to continue to age rather than being eternally youthful like the other homonculi. If the Führer suddenly became immortal, people would be asking questions about that. Wrath has to be able to age and die.
    • "Greedling was created the same way as Wrath" That's a negative. Greed was created very early in the story, when Father had just got his new body and stripped himself of his sins. Wrath was created by modern alchemy with an ordinary Philosopher's Stone. I have a theory. When Greed first betrayed Father and were molten to death, Father drank what was left of his Philosopher's Stone. We can say he "recovered" his greed sin. Ling received Father's greed sin, therefore earning Greed's set of homunculi abilities.
    • Greedling and Wrath were both originally humans who had the Philosopher's Stone injected into them is all that the previous comment meant, I believe.
    • Greedling has Greed's powers because of his philosopher's stone. Wrath's philosopher's stone gives him his Ultimate Eye and nothing else because he's supposed to pass as a human that was elected as president, so him having regeneration powers wouldn't have worked with that.


  • I'm sorry for skipping the question queue, but people, the plural is homunculi. Homunculus is just the singular form.
    • The original writer probably had no idea. Still is strange when you run into fansubs that read "homunculus" for two or more of them.
    • It's confusing since the Japanese version just uses "homunculus" for both (Japanese has a complicated relationship with the concept of plural, most of the time it just completely drops it). Of course the English plural is homunculi because English has a weird thing with loan words, especially Latin ones. That's pretty confusing for non-native speakers.

    Ultimate Eye 

  • What exactly does manga Wrath's "Ultimate Eye" do? Read minds? See the future? How did the stunt they pulled in chapter 99 trick it?
    • I've always thought it works on a similar principle to the Sharingan from Naruto. It predicts Wrath's opponent's movements before they actually make them by observing what they're doing.
    • It's been implied that Wrath can dodge bullets because he can predict when they're coming with his Eye, even if he wasn't aware of the shooter before (kinda stretching it here. It was mentioned somewhere that the Führer had survived "hailstorm after hailstorm of bullets on the battlefield during his service" or something like that). Now, I don't know what a Sharingan does ether, but mostly I'm just wondering how dodging those bullets was so different from chapter 99's conclusion.
    • My theory is that it's simply a matter of him not knowing said conclusion was coming. He could dodge bullets if he knew people were shooting, he couldn't ever be beaten in a straight-up fight because he always sees the best move to make...but that trick completely and honestly caught him by surprise. He never saw it coming, figuratively or literally.
    • Ooooh. That actually kind of makes sense. His eye's predictive ability could very well be directly proportional to how likely he thinks a given event is.
    • Its also possible that the eye's prediction abilities are limited to what he can see, and that while it gives him 360 degree vision, it doesn't give him x-ray vision. Hence, shooting at him from behind doesn't work, but stabbing at him through a barrier, even when done directly in front of him, does.
    • I think it was explained somewhere that the Ultimate Eye takes in all possible information from his surroundings and plans out the optimal course of action. He can hear gunshots and has the reflexes to avoid them and it's sensitive enough to detect minute muscle movements that will telegraph an attack, but his Eye can't include information that Wrath hasn't detected.
    • By the time he hears the bullet he would have already been shot. Perhaps it's the change in air pressure? Regardless of how exactly he notices the bullet, this explanation would makes the most sense.

    Transmuting self 

  • Something that hit me earlier today is about the relative ability of alchemists to transmit their own or other people's bodies. I was thinking of Greed's ability to turn his body as hard as a diamond by manipulating the carbon in his body and wondered why a human alchemist couldn't do the same. Similarly, why couldn't you kill someone by touching them and messing with their elemental structure?
    • As to the alchemic killing process, what do you think Scar and Kimblee do? As to why most don't, you need the knowledge of the human body, and a transmutation circle appropriate for that transformation. As to why others don't do Greed's trick of hardening their skin. Because it would kill a normal human.
    • And Ed used Greed's trick with his own automail, eventually.
    • Also, I think you missed the part where Ed outright says that Homonculi are much, much more maliable than humans, what with the general lack of need for internal organs, etc.
    • This. I suppose that Ed could make his skin into diamond, but to do so he would have to pull that carbon away from, say, his bones and his organs and his brain and stuff. But then he would be dead. And if he was dead, it would be very useless to have made himself hard in the first place.
    • Scar kills people all the time via that method, so it's definitely possible, but remember that very few alchemists can transmute without creating a specialized transmutation circle. To kill people via alchemical destruction would require alchemists to work out an anti-human circle as well as necessitate them to close in to hand-to-hand distance to actually use said circle. It's easier for alchemists to just transmute cannons or projectiles instead. As for why alchemists don't alter their own elemental structure - it's risky, as if your calculations are incorrect you might end up exploding or creating blood clots, or turning your hand into a shattered mess; what with how complex the human body is, chemically speaking. It's different for Ed, since he knows how his metal arm works, and he's just extending the metal plating a bit. There's also the taboo of human transmutation to think of, especially considering that you'd need human test subjects to confirm theory empirically if you did't want to try it on yourself.
    • Technically, Scar is stopping at the deconstruction step of alchemy without actually reconstructing the elements into something else. For that it really doesn't matter if it's a watermelon or a human head. (Well, except for certain details that Scar actually has to think about, which is what makes his fights with Ed rather interesting. Fleshy blood sack or armful of metal?)
    • I figured that Greed has it easier than a human would when it comes to self transmutation. My take was that as human-like as the homunculi were, they were still not humans, and the rules about human transmutation didn't apply to them. I assumed that was also why Ed had no qualms about transmuting Sloth during his last fight with her.
    • You guys are overthinking this: The homunculi can't actually perform alchemy. Their powers are, for the most part, instinct. Logically speaking, if we had to think about breathing, or pumping blood, or cellular respiration, we'd probably die. But we don't, because they're subconscious processes.
    • The carbon required to create the diamond skin would have to come from somewhere a la the first rule of alchemy, most likely from the bodies proteins or cell membranes. For humans, this would be lethal, but as homunculus, they can only die after been exposed to their original body, don't think about it too hard, but they would survive.
    • Why would they use something so vital? Better idea: use your food reserves (fat and glycogen) as the source of carbon.
    • being exposed to their original body or parts of it was only in the first anime. In the manga and second anime they had a limited number of lives, and would die if they lost their last life. They could however refill the amount of lives they had left.
    • When you get down to it, the human body's just a mass of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and a bunch of other trace elements. Remember when Mustang transmutes the pork into the fake corpse? Alchemy with the body only is complicated, but manageable, especially when the experimentees are nigh-immortal and practically designed to do one specific type of body transmutation. Now, as for the soul...
    • Well for one thing normal alchemists are not "medical alchemists" like Dr Marcoh. They won't understand the complicated systems that make up the human body; it may be possible to transmute the body into something indestructible, but they may not know how to reverse the process properly...thus, this is too risky a procedure for combat. As for Greed, his being a homunculus may either make his structure simpler, or his status gave him a greater knowledge of "Truth".
    • Kimblee "The Crimson Alchemist" kills people by collecting the explosive and flamable elements in the human body (probly making nitro glycerin or combusting carbon with excessive amounts of oxygen) to turn a human into a (sort of) living bomb and then using said human bomb to blow up more people. He has a set of transmutation circles drawn onto his palms for just this purpose. Even if he screws it up and they don't explode, the process is ensures a painful death anyway. Also the so called "Iron Blood Alchemist" (forgot his name) is killed off before he gets to do anything but according to a flashback he can transmute the iron in his blood into actual metal guns and bullets. Why this doesn't cause him to suffocate I have no idea. Theoreticaly Mustang could use the transmutation circles on his gloves to dissociate water in the human body into hydrogen and oxygen, causing them to recombine and combust (just like he does with water vapor in the air to create his usual fireballs).
    • Generally he favors small physical modifications, like when he punched Ed in the episode where Shou Tucker messes up his kid. During the Ishbal Massacre when he shows off his pimp gun-making powers, he's using a Red Stone, an imperfect Philosopher's Stone. The Equivalent Exchange Rule couldn't be ignored, but it could be bent; he didn't have to give up as much iron in his blood as he generally would have. Alternatively, he eats an iron-heavy diet. Or just eats a lot of iron, just in case he had to do that kind of thing.
    • Those pretty much are his powers in the first anime. He modifies the gauntlet when he punches Ed, & in the Ishval Massacre, he just spreads the metal from the gauntlet around his body.
    • The human body has at most, five grams of iron in it, and only half of that is in the blood. Any more would be lethal to the person in question. Even with a red stone, the guy should at least have a bit of automail in order to turn himself into a walking gun platform.
    • Considering just how much stuff can be made with a single red stone, no necessarily.
    • Also, did you consider that he simply keeps a bunch of iron on him at all times? The codenames for the Alchemists aren't all literal—or even applicable to their combat skills (i.e. Silver Alchemist, who had nothing to DO with silver in his combat abilities).
    • While we're on the subject, Grand's powers in the manga make a bit more sense. He uses gauntlets with circles on them, like Armstrong does, and punches walls to create weapons from them. "Iron-Blooded" may be a reference to his character and temperament. Like how "Fullmetal" is as much a reference to Ed's stubbornness as it is to his metal limbs.
    • In the Ishbal flashbacks, he explains that "Iron" stands for the weapons he transmutes and "Blood" stands for himself, the human who wields them.
    • In the manga, he transmutes his weapons from solid objects in the environment rather than his own body. Alchemy in the manga tends to abuse laws of conservation of mass a hell of a lot less.
    • He could've extracted trace elements of metal from the ground beneath him seeing as how his cannon statue form is rooted to the ground. Ironblood doesn't have to be a literal interpretation of his powers, alchemists ARE sometimes named just out of coolness/appropriateness.
    • In the manga, there's a bit where Edward, drawing on his knowledge from the Gate & his experience using Greed's Philosopher's Stone managed to heal himself, reconstruct destroyed tissue and draw power from his own soul in the process.
    • it was a temporary procedure before he can get medical treatment. In fact he explained this specifically when a soldier asked him about this.
    • Yes, of course. After all, Edward isn't specialized in medical alchemy, so it's logical that he'd only make minor repairs. However, it does prove that human alchemists can mess with the human body and soul given the proper training.
    • Plus, it was an emergency.
    • I just saw the answers to my original question, but something else occurred to me. Obviously, there is very much a physical soul in this universe, but I remember how when Al and Ed tried resurrecting their mother, they seemed to be using merely compounds of the human body. Thus, I would still think that using corpses or if necessary (in the case of someone amoral like Tucker) a live human would be sufficient to restore Tucker's body or Ed's limbs.
    • Definitely possible, but very difficult because every little microscopic cell would have to be in the exact right place. Just the reversal of one molecule in a human's genetic sequence could create Nightmare Fuel mutants. If it's too hard for Tucker, than Ed and Al certainly couldn't have transmuted humans successfully considering that they weren't even teenagers when they tried to resurrect Trisha. Although I laugh at the anime concept that human transmutation is "impossible" because "it's unnatural and humans weren't meant to do it", I do like how both the anime and manga both treat it as a major challenge. It'd be hard to take FMA seriously if such a huge scientific discovery was made too easily.
    • I dunno - when Edward went through the portal of truth, he says that his theory of human transmutation wasn't wrong, it was just incomplete, and asks for 'just a little more' information. From the sound of this, it seems that even as a kid he was actually quite close. While he does later on learn more about human transmutation and that possibility of bringing back the dead (ie, it can't be done), it seems like he was very much on the right track.
    • Minor nitpick here, but I think you mean when Ed used Envy's stone, not Greed's, when they used the portal to escape Guttony's stomach.
    • And another thing, as I understand it, the trouble with human transmutation is that you end up with a creature with no soul. But as Al's soul was already there, why couldn't Ed make a better body for him? Or at least turn the armour into something a bit more... convenient.
    • The manga mentioned that the transmuted body was rejecting Al's soul because it wasn't really his body.
    • Besides that, there's the whole "human bodies are too complex to make from scratch" thing. In the manga, they just become a pile of organs that quickly dies.
    • Presumably he doesn't want to screw up and lose another arm.
    • You really don't want to see Ed's idea of cool
    • That reminds me of something else. Human transmutation and the bondage of souls to various objects both seem to be well known among more... Disreputable alchemists (although the, er, byproduct of human transmutation isn't,) so what would happen if you bound a soul to a homunculus (or, more horrifying yet, a human being?)
    • Not sure what would happen in the anime. In the manga, the soul would be repulsed by the existing soul, since it's not its original body.
    • That's actually a very good question. I'm guessing that the homunculus would become human, at least if the correct soul was used. As to everything else? I couldn't even give you a wild guess.
    • Greelin and Wrath anyone? Wasn't it explicitly stated that the soul would fight for dominance?
    • In the manga, Olivia is told the actual true reason for forbidding human transmutation is that it really is perfectly possible, and anyone who mastered it and had access to the required resources would be able to churn out their own army of artificial humans. Probably soul-less, but wholly functional. This revelation makes way more sense.
    • Well, as long as you do all the proper testing first. Otherwise they run around eating people.
    • Wasn't that what they were supposed to do?
    • Judging from the reactions of the people who designed them, no. Then again they probably wanted the cyclopic homunculi to eat people and remain loyal to their masters, not to eat everyone.
    • Actually they were quite loyal to their master, it just turned out to be Father only and not them.


  • And why does Al wear that silly apron?
    • There's probably an empty space in the armor there. Or maybe the artist can't draw a codpiece.
    • It makes him feel manly.
    • I always thought he felt naked without wearing something and that was the only thing that would fit...I'm probably wrong, however.
    • Because the apron was attached to the armour when Al was bound into it, so it probably contains a chunk of his soul.
    • That isn't really how it works. The soul can act through the armor (somehow) when it's attached, but when it's detached, the entire soul is still localized in that blood seal. Al never really modifies his armor, so that explains why he wears it. As to why it's there in the first place, that was probably just the style of the times. I mean, why did they have those big furry plumes on top of Roman soldiers' helmets?
    • The technical reason for it is because Al would look off without it. Look at this picture and try to imagine what he would look like without the loincloth. The wide upper body doesn't match the height of the legs. It'd look really weird without it.
    • It's presumably supposed to be a tabard. Why the tabard is underneath the breastplate is a whole 'nother matter.
    • He takes things out from under it sometimes, maybe it has pockets?
    • I assumed it was so he had something non-static in his design, at least in the anime. Otherwise the dramatic wind wouldn't have anything to blow around and he'd just look silly standing there all stationary. Completely static characters just aren't as fun.
    • In the original FMA series, there were shots of Al without his apron (I think they were in episode 17). The apron was already on the armor before Ed transmuted Al's soul in it so it is probably just part of the armor. Also, he would look really weird without the apron, so whoever designed the armor probably thought it would be better to add it.

    Pride as guardian 

  • The Big Bad's masterplan involves having a circle dug out around amestris. The sole entity guarding this is Pride, who also happens to be the only thing fast enough to guard an object that spread out. However, Pride is completely harmless in the dark. What stops the main characters from destroying the circle and calling it a day?
    • When people go to explore dark tunnels under the earth, they bring light, and before the most recent battle no one knew about Pride's capabilities. It was likely the best option to guard such a vast area
    • After all, see what happened to the first team we see go down there?
    • Also, Sloth is actually the fastest homonculus out there when he wills himself to move faster than a slug. So if he knew that people were in the tunnel and felt motivated enough, he could quickly get to them. But with Pride taking care of it, there is no reason for him to bother.
    • We actually get to something that DOES bother me: Manga Wrath and manga Pride. Okay, manga Pride KIND OF works, but manga Wrath is a COMPLETE asspull. The only time he's really foreshadowed is when he's shaking at Hughes's funeral, and even then, it doesn't feel right that he was "just angry." He rarely ever acts angry, and while he keeps bitching about his age, he pulls atheletic feats no other homunculus in the manga or anime have ever demonstrated. In short, the anime's take on the Führer just works better.
    • Wrath has been described as the most virtuous of the sins because it is a desire for justice carried beyond what is reasonable. In Wrath's case he's shown to desire a warped kind of "justice" for humanity and others that essentially rests on his perception of purity. Namely he's described the chimera as warped monstrosities despite their outwardly human appearance, he's hated noise at a funeral because it spoiled the solemn tone of the procession, and he's slaughtered an entire race for their racial impurity. Of course there were ulterior motives behind each of these acts, but these are the reasons he's personally expressed for so thoroughly enjoying the wholesale slaughter he's commanded.
    • Uh, it was kinda apparent by the fact that Bradley was the guy in charge of the Ishbal massacre that he wasn't a good person.
    • Are you serious? Manga Wrath is the coolest and more badass thing known to man. What if he doesn't act angry? I don't think "Wrath" is supposed to represent "angry" in an "I'm pissed off" way. He embodies a way deeper (and scarier) hatred and bloodlust, what with directing a genocide of massive proportions and being an unstoppable killing machine in close quarters combat. His Wrath is more of an embodiment of the merciless ire of war. And all this while looking a lot like a distant relative of Big Boss. It just doesn't get much better.
    • It was foreshadowed when they stated that the East Army committed genocide on the orders of King Bradley. Also for the plot to work King Bradley has to be evil, and working for them.
    • Also, his Backstory is much more compelling in the manga. When he told Roy about his shitty upbringing and the extremely depressing fact that he doesn't even know how much of his former human self, if any, survived his possession by Wrath, he came close to woobieness. Until logic kicked in about the whole genocidal war thing.
    • Like said above, wrath is not necessarily anger, but complete unchecked ruthlessness, and manga Wrath has demonstrated it in spades. He utterly slaughtered all the Chimeras in the club, said that Elisha was making a 'racket' at her father's own funeral, told Ling that he should throw away his wounded comrade without a thought, and he outright mocked the leader of Ishbal as he tried to exchange his life for his people before ordering them all killed. The manga has shown over and over again just how heartless and cruel Wrath is, to the point that various characters have commented on it. He's Wrath personified, no doubt about it.
    • Also Tranquil Fury says hi by the way
    • The word "Wrath" pretty much means "violent anger, indignation, fury, and/or rage". This just means that he doesn't have to be angry all the time. But, when he does get angry, someone's dying painfully (or, in the case of Ishbal, a whole lot of people are dying). He probably just learned to hide his wrath due to being in a high-ranking position in the government, where it's better to be loved than feared.
    • If anything, what doesn't work in the anime is him as Pride. The manga version of Pride fits the description much better; while King Bradley is simply a Führer that has more to do with hatred and cold heartedness, "Selim Bradley" is a very old entity that takes pride in his work and is very loyal to Father, looking down on practically everyone else except his creator and his adoptive mother on the grounds that they are inferior to him. You don't get so much "pride" from King Bradley.
    • Even ignoring his personality, Pride is a symbol of conceitedness by virtue of having Father's original form.
    • In the first anime the names of the homunculi are not inborn like in the manga, they are given by Dante. She had a lot of pride in her ability to create an aging homunculus, calling him her "greatest masterpiece." It seems he was named in regards to that fact.

    Coal to gold 

  • In chapter 3 (Sorry), how does Ed make waste from a coal mine into same amount of gold? I mean, equivalent exchange doesn't seem to be able to rearrange anything smaller than atoms.
    • Two possibilities; 1) It was carbon transmuted to look like gold, 2) Alchemists can do element-to-element transmutation assuming that the mass remains constant, and it will revert a short while later. (This fits quite well with what happened to the 'gold' later.) Anyway, alchemy should be capable of direct elemental transmutation, otherwise there'd be no point to the law that states that making gold is illegal. It might require specialized circles or a lot of time, however. Considering that all the combat alchemists we see are specialists (in say, fire, or iron) and carry around materials to use in combat, it's probably not too easy.
    • The gold didn't revert spontaneously. Ed changed it back himself. Al asks when Ed when he turned it back, and he says that he did it just before they left.
    • Except it is possible to perform elemental transmutations and they can be done fairly quickly (in the anime at least): In Ed's fight with Sloth, he converted his entire automail arm into sodium.
    • Just before he does this, Ed empties the bag of gold coins Yoki gave him onto his hand. This suggests to me that he actually only transmuted the mine tailings into bar shapes and then turned the coins into a covering, so all that he gave Yoki was gold-plated tailings.
      • Wasn't that just in the first anime though? I kept looking for coins in the manga, but I just can't see them. I suppose it is possible that Arakawa made a mistake (I'd generally say that the entire chapter reeks of Early-Installment Weirdness) and that she asked the team responsible for the anime to add the coins. But if that's not the case, then, as a poster above said, it's probably easy enough, which is why there's a rule against transmutation of gold. And presumably, the Silver Alchemist also manages to transmute materials that are similar enough to silver. It's probably just that in Amestris silver isn't regarded as valuable enough to make a law against it (but it's still special enough that Comanche got the title "Silver Alchemist" for being able to transmute it.)
    • Yeah, I got the idea that it was less "impossible" and more just "illegal," as a couple of above tropers mentioned. Ed even says "I'm going to do something a little illegal" or something like that in the manga, iirc. So it should definitely be possible, it's just a question of whether or not it requires a lot of studying chemical makeup or other specialized knowledge or what have you to make it easier.
    • It's outright said later in the manga/Brotherhood when Gardner is introducing General Armstrong to the homunculus-doll army that it's banned because mass producing an extremely valuable substance (gold) when the economy is probably on the standard of that substance (gold standard) is a fine way to both devalue it and obliterate the economy. So it's not that it's impossible and perhaps not even hard for a skilled alchemist, just illegal for the same reason printing/faking your own money is.

    Absorbing the country 

  • In the manga, why does Father waste his time trying to absorb Amestris? He clearly has a good thing going and could simply focus on accumulating more souls through the country's constant wars.
    • Its not about collecting souls, the plan is to form an alchemic circle and force open the gate.
    • Because he's in prison. He is imprisoned in a weak, pathetic mortal shell. No matter how many souls, he will ALWAYS be trapped in that shell. Unless, he gathers enough souls at one in a ritual, that allows him to become a god. Then he will be free of this gilded cage that is mortality!

    Fully armoring body 

  • In the Manga fight between Greed and Pride, why didn't Greed just fully armored his entire body? He can't win against Pride but he can at least act as a shield for the rest of the characters involved in the fight. His nickname is the "Ultimate Shield", after all.
    • I'm not sure sacrificing himself to save his possessions is Greed's modus operandi. He obviously cared about them, just not that much.
    • That, and I don't get the impression that his powers work really well as a shield anyway. I mean, he can make his body invulnerable, but can't turn himself wide enough to protect others. Also, given that he was already killed by the other homonculi, his goal at this point is to kill them, so sacrificing himself would be the last thing he wanted to do.
    • Ah, that's exactly what Bugs Me. Greed cut off his ties with Father and the others, which meant that his stone can't be renewed anymore. Why doesn't he just go full-armored the moment he encountered Pride, instead of just standing there, letting Pride getting free hits at the expense of his stone?
    • My impression is that it takes time for his shield to spread and Wrath was just way, way too fast for him.
    • Greed thinks this to himself, and states that it's too fast for him to even regenerate mid-battle. Then again, by the time Ling becomes the new Greed, he seems to get better at this, armoring a small part around his neck to stop a "fatal" blow.
    • Greed also underestimated Wrath because he thought he was a normal human.
    • It's a minor point but I think he also stated that he doesn't like the way he looked with his shield covering his head. He probably just put it off as much as possible, only using it when it was absolutely necessary.
      • Yeah, this. He says it to Ed, I believe, something like he "doesn't like using it because it covers [his] handsome face."

    Thou Shalt Not Kill 

  • In the manga and the new anime, Edward seems just as adamant against killing as his first-anime counterpart, but much less disturbed by death in general. It just seems kind of...inconsistent, characterization-wise. Why doesn't he even blink an eye when he sees frozen corpses, or when random soldiers are dying around him?
    • Because he's already seen far worse then what Isaac does?
    • So bloody corpses littered at his feet don't even deserve a passing glance because he's seen worse? I could understand that if he didn't give a shit in general, but it still seems really odd to me.
    • Well, this is how I see it: Just because Manga/second anime!Ed sometimes doesn't react as strongly to death as one might think he would doesn't mean he's unaffected by it. I think it's just that by now Ed has accepted that he can't afford to dwell on unchangeable things like death and instead does what he can to prevent more people from being killed. Like taking Isaac down instead of mourning the dead soldiers.
    • But taking Isaac down isn't mutually exclusive from showing even a hint of concern for dead people. In a visual medium where you're not privy to a character's thoughts, you can only gauge their feelings from subtle cues like a change in facial expression, or even just a flick of the eyes to said dead people and some kind of frown. But we get shown nothing of the sort, so it's much more logical to assume that he just doesn't care all that much if he isn't doing the killing himself.
    • I can see where you're coming from, but that doesn't really mean Ed didn't care. More likely, the writers just didn't consider the fact that running by a bunch of dead bodies without any kind of reaction was odd. Red Shirts are expendable and stopping the action to notice them would have been inconvenient. So, sloppy writing, sure, but I still don't think it's fair to say he doesn't care. Also, you say that in the manga Ed also seems less disturbed by death than you think he ought to be, but can you give an example? Because I can't remember anything to really indicate that (But my memories bad, so that doesn't mean much).
    • I'm sorry, but didn't Ed call Isaac out for it - right here - around 3:25 . Also; he goes completely ballistic against Shou Tucker
    • I think it's mostly bad writing. It's the only anime-only episode, and it's rather flawed because it tried to introduce so many characters and concepts. In all other episodes, Ed is much more disturbed by death. And to be fair, it's not as if someone dies all the time around Ed. In the first 20 episodes, there are Nina, Tucker, the Slicer brothers, Hughes, Greed's group, Maria Ross... and with the exception of maybe Tucker, all those deaths seemed to disturb him a lot. Special mention goes to the Slicer brothers, who many people probably wouldn't have considered human.
    • Also, there's technically a difference between seeing death and actually killing someone yourself. Ed may have seen a lot of people die, but he might still be reluctant to directly kill someone if he's got other options.

    Envy's manipulation 

  • Envy's seeming Joker Immunity. I was a bit bugged when he/she/it is able to trick May into taking him to be "healed" after he/she/it is destroyed to the point of being in the "evil fetus" looking true form. Roy does this again, and the presentation seems to be If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!, especially in having Scar talk about Roy's desire for revenge as consuming like his own. It just bugs me because there isn't any benefit for the heroes to keep Envy alive.
    • May did that mainly because Roy had unfinished business with Envy, and they needed a way to bring him back after Marcoh had finished HIS unfinished business with Envy.
    • May's case could be justified by the fact that she was already reluctant to leave the group, so she was willing to take any excuse to go back, and/or Envy just realized she'd be easy to talk into it.
    • Two choices 1) Ed or another character will destroy Envy OR b) They are going to use Envy to bring them to Father.
    • Remember way back when Ed and Envy escaped from Gluttony's stomach and Envy promised to tell Ed what their plan is? He probably kept Envy alive to get that information from him.
    • There wasn't much emphasis on the act of killing itself so much as acting with the motivation of revenge. "Kill him because he's dangerous, not because you hate him" or something like that. While you may disagree with the idea that revenge is inherently harmful to the person seeking revenge, it's a slightly different trope than If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!.
    • Hawkeye offers to finish Envy off herself, and notes that the problem is that Roy isn't doing it to save the country or a comrade, but sheerly for revenge.
    • Not to mention that Roy was nearly out of his mind at the time. It's not that he'll be just like Envy if he finishes it, it's that if he finishes it by himself, he might snap completely and not come back. It's not Envy they're trying to save, it's Roy.
    • The anime makes this more clear, with Roy repeatedly doing things like burning out Envy's eyes and then just watching him writhe in pain. It's made pretty clear that Roy is not trying to stop/kill Envy but to make him suffer.
    • I always assumed it was simply because Edward is against killing in general. He refused to kill Slicer brothers, Kimblee and even Pride, so why would he go against his principles and kill (or allow to kill) Envy?

    Envy and humans 

  • Speaking of Envy, in the next chapter Envy commits suicide because he admits to his envy of humans because they stick together and they don't give up. Except ... through the entire series Envy has had nothing but immense contempt of humans and he relishes how easily he can manipulate them. He thought posing himself as Hughes' wife so he'd freeze up was hilarious. So how can he turn around and say he always envied humans for the very feelings he enjoyed manipulating? Why would he envy that? Yeah, Envy is obviously the embodiment of envy, but why the hell does it manifest in THAT way when it goes against his entire view of humans thus far?
    • Think of it: when you envy someone and hang out with people who consider said someone as much as a bug, you are likely to be the one to show more hatred for them. If you see, none of the other Homunculi treat humans as badly as Envy did.
    • Envy is so eager to inflict loss on humans because he is envious of them having something to begin with, something which he does not. He destroys lives because he can't have one himself.
    • To borrow from Yoda, "envy leads to jealousy; jealousy leads to hatred; hatred leads to suffering." His hatred makes perfect sense, and his reaction to his ultimate shame makes sense, too. He did what he did in the end because it was his only way to inflict any more suffering on the being he hated/envied; plus, he was filled with complete despair in his predicament. Consider that the author is Buddhist - desire being the root of all suffering in that philosophy, and which ultimately leads to personal suffering. Frankly, Envy's circumstances make perfect sense when you consider this philosophy.
    • There's also the part in which he, after losing to Marcoh's group in Chapter 79, screams about his enemies looking down on him. Ed just happened to identify that weakness and take full advantage of it; the "friendship speech" part was somewhat incidental, as he happened to mention it as one of humanity's sources of support in addition to their personal resolve.
    • I thought Envy's namesake was kinda left-field at first too, but after considering what other people have said about the subject, I realize that his actions and mentality make perfect sense to the point I myself can relate to him. There's a girl who I refuse to acknowledge as a friend despite the fact that several of my friends get along fine with her. I hate her guts, attitude, fashion sense, the works, but I know deep down that I'm actually jealous of her for many of those same things. However, because I don't want to acknowledge that, I focus on and amplify all her bad traits (like her utter lack of common sense) to justify me not liking her. And you know what? There will be a day where an Ed will come along and point this out to me, and I won't be able to deny it. Ironic as this statement will be, I think Envy's reasons for his actions are very human and relatable.
    • I actually think Envy's loathing of humans is very fitting as well as his will to cause them pain and kill them. When you are envy of something you don't have and can't have, you want to destroy this thing so you won't feel like that anymore. After all, the first killing in the Bible was done out of Cain jealousy of his brother Abel.
    • Well, envy and jealousy is actually slightly different things. Jealousy is wanting to have something someone else has, envy is wanting that someone to not have what you don't have.
    • Going off the above two points, Envy's basically an Inferiority Superiority Complex taken to an extreme. Kinda like how Sloth is Brilliant, but Lazy and Wrath looks a lot like Tranquil Fury until you really examine him.

    Envy's true form 

  • What the heck is Envy anyway? Envy is the only homunculus other than Pride whose true form is not human and for Pride it's explained. Ling even asks for us that if the homunculi are human, how is Envy at all human? And why would Father give him that form?
    • Just a thought, but it might have something to do with Envy's shapeshifting abilities. Just like Gluttony was a failed attempt to make a portal of truth, and this had some effect on his physical form i.e., his Giant Eye of Doom, the fact that Envy's innate ability was to shapeshift might cause their natural form to take on that of what we see. Father may not have had full control of what any of the homunculi looked like, each physical form depends on the part of Father that they were created from, except Wrath and arguably the first Greed, though the Ultimate Shield be this. Lust takes the form of a conventionally attractive woman, Pride takes Father's original form, Gluttony takes the form of an incredibly obese person, Sloth takes the form of an incredibly muscular person who is incredibly lazy, it may be that Envy naturally took the form of a parasite, because in some way that's what envy is. Also, Ling was wrong about the homunculi being almost human. Just look at Father-the only reason Father takes Hohenheim's form is because Father already had that DNA and that form inside him. Otherwise, he'd just be a big ball of shadow.
      • It's completely possible that Greed's "true" form is the Ultimate Shield, since we see the Ultimate Shield face talking to Ling once Greedling happens, but that's a little fanwanky. Having another Homunculus who's non-human by "default" would make the whole thing with Envy make more sense, though. But I like the point about envy being a parasite, and you could make a similar comparison with Envy's other form in that being envious makes you monstrous.

    Missing organs 

  • Izumi is made of awesome, but the whole missing-organs thing Just Bugs Me. Why the hell does it give her an Incurable Cough of Death?
    • The blood isn't coming from her lungs, maybe from the place her stomach was. But it doesn't make it any less ridiculous how the rest of her organs "adapted" to make up for the missing ones that quickly.
    • I thought she just lost her Uterus and most of her Large Intestines, neither organ is critical for survival. For the latter, the Small Intestines actually can compensate to some extent. The Kidneys, Lungs, and Livers could all have taken considerable damage without killing her.
    • I would say that the Uterus was left intact - remember that Wrath's Shadow Archetype is her dead baby. My guess was that one of the Intestines, and portions of the Liver, Spleen, Pancreas, and (significantly) Lungs were missing.
    • No, it's perfectly possible and quite probable that her uterus was taken. She had a miscarriage or stillbirth (forget which) and then tried to resurrect the kid, making Wrath (in the anime). She had her uterus taken for seeing Truth, supported by her saying she could no longer have children. She probably also had some other organs mostly taken or mostly damaged, but if the liver, it's grown back by now, cuz livers do that.
    • It's also possible Truth made her still capable of living by adapting her body to be able to survive.
    • The Truth is all about dishing out fitting "punishment" for the "crimes" committed by each alchemist that tries human transmutation, so it would make a lot of sense that Izumi would lose her reproductive organs as her price.

    Tucker's experiments 

  • Why (in all the versions) did Shou Tucker experiment on his daughter: with his wife? You could say that he was desperate to obtain results like the Mad Scientist he is, but later he was a State Alchemist. He could certainly have pulled enough strings to have homeless people, prisoners, or Ishvalans as guinea pigs. That would not have made him a nicer character, but experimenting on his own daughter always seemed to be a very big Idiot Ball.
    • My impression is that in either version, he's not really that competent (compare the humanoid chimeras in the series with his efforts) nor that ambitious. The only reason he wants to be a State Alchemist is for the pay, so it's not like he really thinks ahead about future discovery.
    • It's also entirely possible that he didn't realize that he could use those people. He didn't seem particularly well connected enough in either version (at least pre-chimerification in the first anime) to realize what the Amestrian government was really like.
    • First anime!Al indicates at one point that Tucker knew that it wouldn't completely work, yet did it anyway, prompting him to suggest that he did it because he could. In the manga, Tucker suggests that he did it because working with humans was more effective than with animals.
    • In the manga and Brotherhood it is said the Tucker's research was far behind theirs, further evidenced by their perfected versions. Tucker probably was only a public "introduction" to chimera's being possible.
    • It's possible that he'd first used his wife, possibly accidentally and was surprised that the experiment worked. When he later used his daughter, he was at the end of the line and might not have had access to anyone else, plus he states that it was the age factor that he was testing, so maybe none of the possible candidates were young enough to meet his requirements.
    • Actually it makes perfect sense if you step back a bit. Chimerae aren't unknown to alchemists generally, as proved by Greed's Pals. But they all were humans that were "improved" by splicing them with some animals. Tucker was made famous for making an intelligent chimerae without using a human for it. Which he didn't. He had to drag Nina because he couldn't go to the higher ups and say "Hey, I want to make another non-human-based chimera. Also, can I take some war prisoners? No, these aren't related". Though now that I wrote that I have to say, using Nina for that was pretty stupid of him. He should've grabbed some homeless guy off the street or something.
    • He didn't because he isn't just stupid, but completely sociopathic. Tucker simply doesn't understand that people usually don't like it if other people are turned into semi-intelligent monstrosities. To him, Nina was experiment fodder, and nobody would care if she was gone.
    • Actually, the Nina thing makes perfect since when you realize this...isn't something that he planned out in advance. Or, for that matter, thought about. He just, well... Realized he was going to failed, turned around...and picked the two closest test subjects he could find.
    • I don't think Tucker is necessarily stupid or incompetent (this feel more like a meme carried out from the 2003 version, where it was indeed the case). Like someone said before, he is just sociopathic. So, now to my point, just like human transmutation, any type of alchemy that tampers with humans is deemed unethical and illegal. Thus human chimeras are possible, but not something alchemists will perform in the eyes of the public. So, why did the Nina (and wife) chimera looked so inferior to the human chimeras introduced later? Because, as someone said before, he needed people to think they weren't made from anything but animals. It comes across a little like Fridge Brilliance, but Tucker making talking chimeras with that form is a clever way to not rouse any suspicion. As to why he used his wife and daughter, chapter 0, released as promotion for the live-action movie, confirmed he failed the exam several times. After some "misinterpreted" encouraging words from his wife, he realized he could use them to make the chimeras talk. In other words, the guy already had quite a few screw loose.

    Tucker as a State Alchemist 

  • Tucker's status as the "Sewing-life Alchemist" makes less sense the more I think about it. It's stated he's the authority on Chimeras and that he was a state-alchemist for two years following his wife's "divorce". My question is,why? From what we see of his work, the guy is clearly incompetent. The military would probably want to know where he got his first chimera from, which would end his career before it even started. And even if Tucker's superiors are as thoroughly amoral enough to want more results, he'd still have to work for them for two years. Wouldn't it become painfully obvious that compared to the resident Mad Scientist they have doing Father's dirty work, Tucker just isn't very good? Seems like a huge waste of a license and resources on their part.
    • The fact that he was desperate enough to use Nina and Alexander in the first place kind of made it seem like he was really behind on stuff. It could be that his superiors were getting onto him and had started to realize that he wasn't as good as he said. It's a bit of a guess, but it's possible.
      • This is, in fact, explicit, I believe. They likely kept him on because he's impressive on PAPER...and then bureaucracy. For why they kept him on? It took them that two years to realize it WAS a waste!
    • Tucker remained a State Alchemist because he became a potential sacrfice when he first got his State license. Hell, he might have already open the gate as far as we know, and the price he paid for it ; his genius as an Alchemist.
      • Jokes at Tucker's incompetence aside, I believe this is the point: He is a potential sacrifice candidate (and well, technically, any state alchemist is labeled as one). The special chapter 0, released for the live-action movie premiere, confirmed Tucker has tried, and failed, the State Alchemist exam several times. Only the talking chimera secured him the title. It is possible the higher-ups and Homunculi saw the lines this guy was willing to cross, thus gave him the title so he could savor some glory, so later he would get more and more over the edge and eventually attempting a full human transmutation just to keep the title.
    • His immediate supervisors didn't realize what his original chimera had been made from despite how apparent it is to all of us so they were impressed by his display. Tucker being the consumate liar he was managed to smooth talk his way around the obvious questions probably with excuses about mixing primates with other species. Higher up the chain some of the leadership realied what had probably happened but kept quiet because while Tucker wasn't a great alchemist he might produce something of note again which they could use. After all he did successfully make a human-animal chimera and didn't die or end up with his organs removed in the process meaning he skirted close to the realm of god without getting burned in the process. Relatively speaking it was a miniscule investment for the military that had a chance, if not a great one, of leading to a much bigger pay off down the road and even if it didn't work out they'd have spent maybe enough to house two common soldiers for the same length of time. Small risk, big possible reward, low change of long term negative consequences.
      • Correction: As discussed elsewhere on this page, under "Human Transmutation definition", creating a chimera, and other Bio-alchemy, do not count as human transmutation, so there was never a risk of Tucker seeing Truth. I personally doubt the military, even the higher-ups (I doubt they barely even knew who Tucker was beyond "that chimera-alchemist"), knew about what Tucker did, but the possibility of some minor benefit from Tucker's work is quite likely the reason the military kept him on, alongside his "talking chimera breakthrough". Tucker basically conned his way into prestige by claiming to have done something that is technically possible (any living thing could potentially speak like a human if it had the necessary brain development and a mouth able to form the right sounds), but had never before/has not been done, but in reality, he did it by doing something so immoral and unexpected that nobody in the military at the level he interacted with suspected it (and honestly, who would want or be able to think that an apparent family man, like Tucker appeared to be, would just on the spot use his loving wife as experiment material? At least, without any direct reasons for suspicion like Edward had) and after that I'm guessing he made excuses on why he couldn't just keep doing it, so they let him keep tinkering with animals, giving them a demonstration of bio-alchemy in case anyone was interested in that field, and waiting on him to reproduce his "breakthrough". The rest we see for ourselves...

    Barry as guard 

  • Barry doesn't make any sense to me. OK, so they put his soul in a suit of armor and made him guard Lab 5. I get that, but then it later turns out that his body is still "alive", with the soul of a lab animal in it. So what did they need Barry for anyway? I thought he was supposed to be one of the prisoners sacrificed for Lab 5's Philosopher's Stones?
    • Most supposedly hanged prisoners were actually sacrificed for Philosopher's Stones, but some of them (the most badass famous serial killers, apparently) were used to guard the lab instead - and obviously they could not be used as guards if they were sacrificed for Stones, so they weren't. All the Animated Armors have their bodies alive somewhere and their souls are connected to their bodies, because otherwise they could not think or remember anything - they need a brain for that, even if it's not in the same place with their soul.
    • Wellll... that didn't really need a functioning brain for thinking feeling etc. Not every sentient in the series has one, the Father and Pride for example, are more squidgey masses than anything else and the souls in a philosophers stone or mannequin 'homunculi' demonstrate emotion and thought. Hoeheneims souls have clear personalities, thoughts, memories etc even when separated from his body, and logically their bodies would have long since of decayed. Soul's seem to be more than just life energy here.
    • What really doesn't make sense is, if the prisoner's body needed the soul of some animal put into it, then what happens to the now-soulless animal body? The story emphasizes that neither body nor soul can survive if the other ceases to exist, so wouldn't the animal need someone else's soul placed into it, and wouldn't that someone else need some other replacement soul still? Doesn't this whole concept imply an unending chain, a game of musical chairs where there are not enough souls to go around for all the soul containers?
    • Barry's body didn't need the animal soul in it to stay alive, that was just useful for getting it to run around and lure out Armour-Barry. Al's body is still alive at the Gate and doesn't have anyone else's soul in it.
    • And even if it did need the animal's soul to move around, and staying alive without a soul present is a function of the gate and Al's body's connection to Edward (like some sort of supernatural life support), the bodies could be left on IV support when they don't have a spare soul to put in them to enable movement (including the animal's body), and possibly but not necessarily assisted breathing and circulation.
    • They probably kept the animal in a cage and knocked a soul into it or made the animal itself into a chimera.

    Hawkeye's story of the massacre 

  • In the manga, during the part where Hawkeye is telling Ed about Ishbal, it's really unclear what she's telling Ed and what is just being presented to the audience. This is particularly noticeable, as the flashback includes things she couldn't possibly know about (like about Scar and his brother). Also, this is somewhat unrelated, but in that section, they mention that they'd asked Roy first and he'd refused to tell them anything. You'd think they'd ask Hawkeye or Hughes before asking Roy.
    • If I recall correctly, 3 pairs of characters were discussing the Ishbal war at the same time, Riza and Edward, Knox and Alphonse, Scar and Marcoh respectively.
    • They also wouldn't necessarily have gone to Hughes or Hawkeye before Mustang; the Elrics were close to Hughes and they liked him, but I don't think they had as much trust in him as in Roy. He was their friend, but they didn't actually interact with him all that much, and the enthusiasm seems to have been mostly on his part. And while Hawkeye is better at all the nurturing and pseudo-parenting stuff than Roy, he's their commanding officer and not her. It makes sense that if the boys wanted to learn more about a military conflict, they'd go to the most high-up official that they trust. It may just be that Roy and Ed's relationship is expounded on more than his with Riza's, but I always got the impression that if they needed information they'd go to Mustang for it.

    Regenerating clothes 

  • Why are some Homunculi able to regenerate their clothes? Lust regenerates an entire dress after being exploded multiple times, but I'm pretty sure she was wearing a different outfit when she was talking to Havoc as "Solaris," so I doubt it's a part of her body. (Unless she was just wearing her dress under that outfit, but that would be pretty impractical.) Also, Wrath doesn't seem to have any specific Homunculus outfit, considering we can see his collarbones in the most recent chapters (and his wife would have noticed), so... are the regeneratable outfits just for Father-created Homunculi only?
    • Lust was wearing a coat when she saw Havoc so the rest is probably her skin. I'm pretty sure that with the exceptions of Wrath, Pride and maybe Evny,it's either like this for the rest of the Homunculi or a personal fashion choice.
    • Actually it looks a bit more like some sort of kimono-esque dress, but the result is the same. It covers her homunculus skin-dress. You can actually tell it's still there by her hands- the dots on the backs of her hands and the lines connected to them are shown (not that Havoc would be able to recognize such a trait).
    • Could be for modesty reasons, but also considering that Lust's clothes could be also be regenerated by their innate Stones. Clothes should be no problem for them, but their bodies are another matter.

    Winry shooting 

  • Why was Winry not allowed to shoot the serial killing terrorist that not only murdered her parents but intends to kill her possible love interest, his brother and a large proportion of the people she cares about?
    • They needed him alive for their plans, since he's the only one of the anti-homunculus conspirators who can read his brother's research notes. Also, Major Miles probably wanted him to face military justice instead.
    • Not only that, but allowing Winry to shoot him would make her a murderer. Out of revenge, no less, which wouldn't make her any better than Scar. Ed stopped her before because he didn't want her to live with that sort of guilt, and Winry said later that she's glad he stopped him.
    • Ed also stressed to her that she was the daughter of doctors, and an automail mechanic herself. In his eyes, Winry was a healer and a creator; someone who fixed he and Al when they were injured and invented new things, not someone who took lives. Killing Scar would have been a perversion of what Winry stood for, at least for Ed, and arguably of her parents' legacy. In fact, when Winry encounters Scar later in the manga she forgives him exactly for that reason; because she knows it's what her parents would want her to do.
    • Ah, actually no. The whole point of the scene was that she didn't forgive him. She learned to live with it and that was why she helped him with his injuries. Like it was said earlier in the manga, it's a cycle of violence/vengeance that goes on and on until someone breaks it, and that's exactly what Winry did.
    • Erm, excuse me, but who said she had to hit her mark...? She is not Riza Hawkeye, people.
    • If she missed her mark, but still hit Scar, she's still causing bloodshed, which is in perfect agreement with the rest of the arguments, and even if she missed him, she could accidentally hit someone else, possibly still staining her hands with blood.
    • Also, given that she's used to manipulating small objects for her business of automain mechanic, the range she was at probably would not make much difference. She was pretty much point-blank.
    • Does anyone besides me get the impression that if Winry had fired at Scar, Scar would have just stood there because he thought she had a legitimate reason?
    • No, he told her that while she had the right to try to shoot him, if she did try it he would treat her as an enemy... which in Scar's case is the same as a death warrant.
    • But still, that would only be after that first shot.

    Breast expansion 

  • Okay, that's frankly stupid but.... am I wrong, or in the latest episode of Brotherhood Winry's breasts were larger than usual? She now look to have nearly a D
    • She's growing. It was rather more sudden in the manga where that didn't really happen until after the winter timeskip.
    • Hell, compare Bunny's chest in Brotherhood, and Winry's chest in the episodes where they talk to each other. Then look at that one closing credit animation where it shows Winry working in Garfiel's shop. Her breasts are now reaching beyond D cup.
  • What? There is no character called Bunny. This looks like one hell of a typo.

    Animated armor 

  • How does Alphonse do anything? For a series where equivalent exchange is emphasized over and over, they never explain what energy source allows Alphonse to move a bulky suit of armor without any bones and muscles, see without eyes, hear without ears and yet not smell, taste or touch. Ed is already paying the energy bills both for himself and his brother's body on the other side of the gate, it seems doubtful that he'd be able to afford the energy bills for the armor as well. If it ran of Alphonse's soul, he would've run out of soul a long time ago, given how fast characters can go through philosopher's stones. What gives?
    • For that matter, he's able to lose consciousness but not sleep? How is he able to lose consciousness, his soul is bound to the armor and he can't willingly send it to wherever to sleep so what happens when he's unconscious? In the latter instances (snowstorm, his soul being drawn to his body by Ed getting injured) his soul actually is elsewhere, but in the earlier ones (that snake lady getting stabbed inside of him) that doesn't seem to be the case...
    • Hmmm. The body is always alive in every case where souls were bound to armour, and in each case the body was attracted to the soul. Perhaps this tension provides the power source.
    • I don't remember in which series (First Anime, Manga, etc.) it was mentioned but apparently the blood seal affects Iron because of trace amounts of iron in the blood. Now, do note that whenever Al, Barry the Chopper, and Slicer Bro's lose limbs, they can't move those separated limbs. They have to be connected to the main armor where the blood seal is on for it to be moved by the bound soul.
    • He also goes "ow" etc. when Winry hits him with a wrench or Izumi throws him, even though he's unable to feel pain. Rule of Funny trumps logic in this case. But half the time in serious battle he blocks in needless ways, even against enemies who know he's empty.
    • Al's body is still alive and well, and there is a somewhat synchronized effect between the flesh-and-blood body that Truth is holding and the armor. Alphonse does feel pain because his real body experiences it whenever Al is getting pummeled. Unlike a JoJo stand, however, extreme damage doesn't harm the actual body. As for Al going out of his way to defend himself, just because he doesn't have to doesn't mean he likes the idea of being punched around.

    Hyperspace arsenal 

  • Where does Mei keep her apparently infinite amount of those little arrowhead knife things? She seems to have a constant supply even after she's been throwing them all over the place and doing long distance transmutations when she obviously doesn't have time to go and pick them all up afterwards...
    • She's an ALCHEMIST. She makes more out of available materials.
    • But she needs them to perform her transmutations.... I guess she just makes a whole bunch at once whenever she feels the need to.
    • Two theories. One - she only needs them for long distance transmutations, so she could just make more. Two - she has one set to make new ones and she makes sure she doesn't throw them away.
    • She's also a proto-ninja type. She wouldn't be a quasi-ninja without near-infinite kunai throwing knives, would she?
    • Hyperspace Arsenal

    Chapter 101 

  • Does anyone have the slightest clue what happened at the end of 101? We have Mustang and Scar in the transmutation circle, Gold-Teeth over it, and Pride around/forming it. The philosopher's stone is in the circle as well. Mustang's hands have been pinned to the ground either to hinder mobility or to make him forcibly touch the circle. WTF happened? Who/what is transmuting what/who with who/what? There are two alchemists, plus a homunculus who ate an alchemist earlier.
    • Pride gained the knowledge of how to do a human transmutation from Kimbley, so he was able to accurately make the circle, and killed Gold Toothy so he could be used as raw material. Wrath forced Mustang into the Circle and used his blood to activate it, effectively meaning that Mustang was forced to do human transmutation along with Pride.


  • How exactly can Pride attack with his shadow? I know, it's just fiction, but it breaks my Willing Suspension of Disbelief because shadows, by definition, have no physical presence. How can he touch, break and cut things with them? Is it some kind of energy that just superficially resembles a shadow? That would make more sense, in my opinion.
    • Perhaps he somehow physically transmutes matter into a dark mass from his shadow and somehow bends the light so that it doesn't affect the actual shadows.
    • This may also have something to do with whatever both he and Father are made of. According to the evidence built up so far, Father was made out of Hoheinheim's blood. By consequence, Pride was able to "possess" Alphonse's body via the blood seal, as they are techincally genetically related. I personally think that Pride's "shadows" are mostly a very thin organic matter layer that can concentrate to cut things, and that can absorb other living things, as Gluttony and Kimblee learned the hard way
    • I got the impression that it was less that he actually controlled the shadow (as that makes no sense at all) and more that he can only manifest his power where there's a shadow. Otherwise you'd expect "bigger" shadows to make him more powerful, which has all sorts of weird implications.
    • His shadows are actually reconditioned Vashta Narada.
    • Where do those eyes and mouths come from? Those aren't just an aesthetic feature; they fully functional organs that he can manifest from seemingly nothing. They also must be connected to his body somehow, since he can use them to eat people, like Gluttony and Kimblee. What happened to equivalent exchange?
      • This might be Wild Mass Guessing, but the way I assume that Pride's "shadows" work is that they genuinely are a non-physical substance that can still interact with the world. Or, to put it another way, Father, and Pride, are both made of a sort of substance that is from "beyond the Gate" and thus is not of the normal matter and energy, similar to souls. That doesn't stop it from working like regular matter or energy when it needs to, and Pride's form is tied, for one reason or another, to the concept of darkness and light, and thus Pride seems to be merging himself with any and all shadows he can connect to, and thus extend his form and expand his capabilities in the process. In a sense, Pride is living shadow that happens to inhabit a human-looking container, as does Father. Science, and Alchemy as well it seems, does not work based solely on definitions, only on discovery and explanation of reality. No law is absolute in and of itself, so there can be exceptions, hence why Philospher's Stones are considered "magical" in a sense (because they use souls for fuel, which follows and yet also flouts Equivalent Exchange, which is discussed in length throughout the Fridge page). Heck, Alphonse gives a whole speech about there always being more to learn, and that exceptions are possible, even for the laws of Alchemy.

    Clothing styles 

  • Why exactly do most major characters tend to wear 21st (or at least late 20th century) clothing? Their universe is apparently behind in terms of technology, but both at time and ahead when it comes to clothing.
    • Possibly as a stylistic choice, but do note that some uniforms really resemble 1914-WWI era garb. Considering how easy in the FMA-verse it is to make custom stuff, it's not a stretch to say that clothing and fashion is fairly more developed at that point than our world's counterpart at that time period.

    Roy's eyes 

  • What exactly is up with Roy's eyes as of chapter 102? It looks like he doesn't have pupils, but that's stupid because the pupil is simply an opening, not an actual organ. Speaking of that, assuming it isn't all a bluff, what part of his visual apparatus did he actually lose?
    • It's just a visual effect to indicate blindness.
    • The most likely scenario is that his retinas were removed, which would render him blind without having removing his eyeballs or causing visible optic swelling.
    • I suppose that the exact apparatus he lost was the optic nerves, which in theory would render him blind
    • I thought that if someone lost their optic nerves their eyeballs would bulge out? Or maybe my source was wrong.
    • There's a condition called cataracts that clouds up the cornea, make it white and impossible to see out of. I haven't gotten to that chapter yet, so I'm not entirely sure if my suggestion is plausible; but like the first person said it's a very common way to represent blindness, cataracts or not.
    • Also, (though this is just a WMG) perhaps all of the tissue and nerves within the eyes were removed and he couldn't actually feel that without the nerves.
    • Who's to say Truth can't remove "sight" as an abstract concept? Or "remove" the pupils (can't see without an opening to see out of)? He didn't actually remove the eyes because Roy didn't commit the taboo willingly and thus wasn't actually arrogant enough to "encroach on God's territory" or whatever.

    Father's soul 

  • Where did Father's soul come from? All the artificial sentients in the series have their souls accounted for—the "cyclops army" are inhabited by sacrificed humans, the shell created by Ed and Al was briefly inhabited by Al's soul, and the Homunculi are all fractions of Father's soul. But where did Father come from in the first place?
    • He's probably a piece of the shadow-things within the Gate, summoned by some ancient Xerxesian alchemy.
    • Given that as he is being dragged into the gate in Chapter 108, he screams "I don't want to go back", I'd say this is correct.
    • It is stated he was created from Hohenheim's blood, though it could very well had just been used to serve as an "exchange" for what would become Father.
    • It was almost definitely there from the successful creation of the distillation sphere homunculus. Whether the homunculus got a sort of makeshift soul from, say, a Truth being cut-and-pasted into it (sounds likely, if it didn't just get a solid view of The Truth when it was first made), or if it was an actual soul pulled from a dead person (the alchemist that made it? Considering Al has been confirmed to have been in Trisha-goldfish's body, and that it has firsthand knowledge of The Truth, this will be my personal belief until such time as it is Jossed, if ever) or somehow made the same way a human soul is (even if they are broken off of the mother's and probably father's soul[s], it could have been a piece taken from the alchemist's soul), it would have needed at least one to live, even without a physical body.

    The Blind Alchemist 

  • Not a big one, but in the OVA, the Blind Alchemist lost his eyes rather graphically (blood streaming out of them and a huge scar over them too). So how come when Roy loses his sight when forced to open the gate, he's just blind? Just loses his eyesight without all the blood and stuff?
    • It's Fridge Brilliance when you think about it. When Pride was going through how everyone's punishments fitted them personally, he mentioned that Roy had a 'grand vision' for his country. Thus, Truth didn't take his eyes - he took his vision. It's an almost sadistic kind of pun.
    • Or Truth was stacking the deck, and took most of that toll from Pride's stone to allow Ed to beat Pride, because Truth didn't want to die/be eaten and contained. Thus Ed needed to beat Father, which meant he had to survive against Pride which meant Pride had to be weakened. So since Pride had used his shadows for the circle when he forced Mustang to the gate, Truth could take the toll from him.
    • And adding to all of the above, I believe the intent behind the human transmutation is another factor. The Blind Alchemist was willingly using alchemy to try to bring someone back, while Roy was being forced to do it against his will. While the Truth still has to take something from Roy for doing such a transmutation, the fact that it wasn't willing meant the toll wasn't as high as if it was done willingly.

    Forcing someone to open the Gate 

  • Considering how it's established that you can force someone to open the gate, why didn't Father just get a bunch of loyal or submissive alchemists to do what he wants rather than basing his plan around people harder to keep in check and track? Father's lucky Hoho was hanging around in the neighborhood and fathered Ed.
    • The generals' conversation in ch. 52 indicates that a person has to have a certain level of 'nerve' to attempt to open the Gate in the first place, not to mention the level of alchemical knowledge and skill necessary to put together a theory of human transmutation and the strength of mind to not go crackers from what you see going through the Gate. Valor, resilience and academic rigour are probably not the easiest things to find among the kind of people who are shown to willingly go along with Father's plans.
    • Explained in chapters 102/103: While pride was able to force the gate open for Mustang, it apparently came at a great price: he seems to be slowly disintegrating. Ed even asks the question himself, and figures out pretty much instantly that it makes no sense. Mustang then suggests that it has a huge side-effect for the homunculi
    • The only reason they even resorted to forcing Mustang to opening the Gate the way they did is because they were running out of time. The Destined Day (the Solar Eclipse) was approaching, so it was basically now or never if Father was going to pull off his plan.

    Amestrian alchemy power 

  • OK, I just need a clarification on something. It's a pretty well-known fact by now that Amestrian alchemy is powered by soul-energy provided by Father. However, I'm a bit confused as to how exactly this works. Does Father have some sort of container full of souls somewhere in his little hideaway? Or does the energy come directly from the souls he took when he got his body on that day in Xerxes? More to the point, does the energy come directly from Father, using him as a Philosopher's Stone, or is there another mass of souls down there?
    • Amestrian alchemy is actually powered by the energy generated from plate tectonics.
    • This, pretty much. Father's network of Philosopher's Stones just lets him control and, if necessary, cut off the flow of energy to Amestris.
    • Father's throne has a bunch of cables and whatnot, and he's usually connected to it while not doing anything. I'd wager it's option A.
    • Amestrian alchemy is powered by geothermal energy and tectonic shifts and whatnot. But Father has those tubes hooked up to his throne so he can pump souls from his Philosopher's Stone into the ground beneath Amestris. That layer of souls then acts as a buffer that can weaken Amestrian alchemy or, if Father deems it necessary, cut it off from its energy source entirely.

    Same mistake 

  • Why is Homunculus AKA Father making the same error. I mean, the reason he nearly lost to Hoho was because half a milion of souls turned against him and threw him out of his body.... and now what did he do? He absorbed and even biger number of people and even a GOD... Doesn't he fear they may get pissed off for having their souls ripped out of their body?. Not to say that Bishie Father does not seem terrifying as it was his true form... I think he will undergo another One-Winged Angel.
    • Hoho was only able to do that little trick because he had spent 400 years individually separating each soul from the collective inside him. Without putting in the effort to separate them, there's no chance of that sort of thing happening; as evidenced by the fact that Father and the Homunculus have been fine for 400 years.

    Destroying stones with circles 

  • Quite a few chapters ago, the main characters found an alchemist's circle that would effectively destroy philosopher stones. Why oh why has nobody used it since that one battle with Envy?! They're going into a major battle against all the surviving homunculi, which are POWERED by philosopher's stones, and not ONE of them thought to whip it out?
    • It was only Tim Marcoh who could use it, and it was because he knew how to make a Philosopher (ie. he had made more than one), and he's never run into another homunculus (with Pride's exception, but I doubt he would have ever got to touch him) apart from Envy.
    • Actually Alphonse also considered trying to destroy Gluttony's stone once when he was attacked, but it's not completely clear whether he would have succeeded, had he had the chance to try that before blacking out at the most unfortunate imaginable moment. And he could have theoretically tried destroying Pride's stone when they were trapped inside that dome, but on the other hand, the alchemy reaction would have caused light, which would have kind of negated the whole idea of shutting Pride into complete darkness so that he couldn't use his shadow powers, so maybe Al didn't want to risk it.
    • Look closely at Marcoh's palm before he blows Envy apart. It's not the reversal circle found in Scar's brother's notes. It looks a lot like the normal Philosopher's Stone circle, actually. That doesn't answer your question about why nobody else has tried the method, but I felt it would do to mention the difference in the circles.

    Envy's souls 

  • Wait. If Hohenheim has half the souls from Xerxes, and Father has the other half, then who the heck is in Envy?
    • A part of Father's souls, obviously, since Envy is derived from his body

    Bradley and Ling 

  • When King Bradley became a Homonculus, the souls in the Philosopher's Stone went nuts until there was only one soul left, the one currently in him. However, when Ling became Greed, there's still a crapton of souls there. Why is that? Is it because Ling accepted Greed so quickly?
    • That is one possibility, other is that the Philosopher's Stone injected into Ling just had more souls in it in the first place, so they weren't all used up.
    • That's exactly it. Wrath/Bradley specifically explains it as the souls "fighting for dominance," and Greed seemed to be expecting a fight, too, for whatever that's worth. Ling was able to survive because he actively wanted Greed's stone and was a little more aware of what he was getting into.


  • It bugs me that so many people are saying that all those people died in chapter 104. Obviously they had their souls sucked out, but that's not the same thing as being dead, since their souls still exist. Bringing back the dead is impossible in this manga because the souls of the dead do not exist anymore, but joining together existing souls and bodies, which have been previously separated, should be possible.
    • Maybe it's different in the manga, but I watched both shows and one movie and I don't remember anything saying souls cease to exist in FMA, unless perhaps when they are used as energy they might get "used up" and cease to exist, but the shows never explicitly says that either as far as I remember, maybe I'm wrong.
    • I think they refer to this, in chapter 44: "Mom is 'dead'. — It's impossible to pull out something nonexistent from that gate..." (Translation borrowed from a scanlation because I don't own the books in English. In Japanese: "母さんは「死者」だ — 存在しない者をあの扉から引っぱり出すのは不可能だ") The quotation marks are confusing. Interpret that how you like, I suppose. My dictionary translates 死者 as "casualty" or "deceased".
    • I always felt the implication was that the proper 'afterlife' was on the other side of the Gate. The souls that are trapped in Philosopher's Stones are essentially in a sort of 'limbo' until their energy gets burned out on this side, before the soul is allowed to 'transmute' to the other side (which would still fall under equivalent exchange, but that's WMG). Still, considering the omake of Hohenheim's death, there is a strong implication that souls go SOMEWHERE after death, and being burned out and destroyed would violate the principals of equivalent exchange: the energy doesn't 'cease' so much as transition from one form into something else. I feel this is also aided by one of the souls Hohenheim used for his counter-circle announcing they would go on ahead.

    Photo of Ed 

  • How come the militaries looking for Ed after he is MIA and "wanted" due to his fight with Kimbley didn't have a photo of him (while Hugues has a private photograph of his family)? The only reason why the black dude doesn't recognize him is because Ed is accidentally Clark Kenting. It logically should have been a national register of the State Alchemists, with official photographs. Furthermore, why the only way for State Alchimists to prove their status is their silver watch? They're not nominative if I recall correctly. For a dictatorship, Amestris is kinda careless with identity proofs.
    • The watches do actually have the alchemist's name engraved on them. And while the military do have State Alchemists' photos on file, this isn't a digitised world so even if there are copies made it's probably only one or two for an area HQ or something. The soldiers dispatched in ch. 81 come very quickly after Darius makes the withdrawal from the bank, so were probably nearby and decided to go for 'written description and known associate' over rooting around through a filing cabinet after a doubtless out of date photograph. Plus there's no way of knowing if the soldier at the door would have recognised Ed after a moment or so or not, since Ed went Berserk Button on him right away.
    • Rule of Funny. If Ed's appearance was widely known, then you couldn't have the jokes where people think Al is the Fullmetal Alchemist, causing Ed to go berserk.
    • In-universe Reality Is Unrealistic? There's tons of sightings everywhere, and the legendary Fullmetal Alchemist is either a rather short Dude Looks Like a Lady (it's true, especially from behind...) or a giant suit of Animated Armor. Say you're entirely unfamiliar with the show. Just who looks more 'full metal'?
      • Combine this with the fact that a lot of people in-universe tend to assume that the "full metal alchemist" is Al at first, and it makes a lot of sense.
    • Also, the Clark Kenting is kinda justified in that they're specifically looking for a kid "with a red coat and braid," with no other description of Ed's actual features (you'd think the height and gold eyes would stand out more, for instance). It looks a bit silly to the audience, yeah, but it makes sense when you take that into account. (I think Ed even starts actively wearing a regular ponytail to take advantage of this for a little while.)

    Mei's age 

  • Just how old is Mei? This has been bugging me for a while. Is she older than she looks, or is really as young as she looks? I have yet to find a reliable source to tell me.
    • It seems she states she's 10 years old when she stays at Youswell with Envy's Sleep-Mode Size.
    • Looked into it, and eith and cease to exist, but the shows never explicitly says that either as far as I remember, maybe I'm wrong.
    • The subber/scanlator I consulted is different from yours or the line doesn't exist, because I checked both that particular Brotherhood episode and the manga chapter (as well as the one she's introduced) and didn't see any mention of how old she was.
    • I would guess she's around the same age as Ed/Al, it's just that she's a bigger (or smaller?) beansprout than Ed.
    • Yeah, I just assumed that she's older than she looks, and Mei was just drawn that way to look cuter.

    Plan falling apart 

  • Bothers me that everything is going to hell for Father right now. I mean, we all know he has to be defeated, but seems like his time as a god ended a bit too quickly. I mean, not even a full chapter passed since his plan worked.
    • Actually, he is still possessing God/Truth. It's not necessarily over yet.

    Armor walking around 

  • The one thing that bugs me the most about FMA is Al's armor. People are usually surprised to find out that there's no one in Al's suit of armor, but no one is surprised to see a suit or armor walking around among civilians. I mean; is it normal to wear armor outside of battle? And why would Hohenheim require a suit of armor? (We know it's his because he refers to it as his vintage armor). He was immortal post Xerxes' destruction and pre; he was a slave who was most likely not also a soldier. Rule of Funny? MST3K Mantra? Better explanation?
    • He probably got it when it was already vintage armor, the same reason he has a Pinochet statuette. Hohenheim having worn the armor into battle wouldn't be WMG-worthy if it was stated canon that the armor was used by him, rather than simply owned by him. However, it could have been the uniform of a battle he fought in, and he either didn't want to reveal his blatant immortality or simply didn't mind wearing the armor just to fit in/keep for later. As to the surprise at Al, some people are surprised to see someone walking around in a suit of armor, some people think he wears it all the time because he's the Full Metal Alchemist (rather than his looks-like-a-fourteen-year-old-at-the-oldest brother, the Fullmetal Alchemist), and some people it's just another impractical outfit worn as a mark of some status or another or because the person in the armor is Crazy-Prepared.
    • Or for tl;dr (brought down to conform to the chronological queue and not confuse anyone, with intro added): What kind of question is this? Hoenheim probably just kept some armour suits in his house for decorative reasons. He probably collected them for a hobby as well.
    • It's a bit more clear in the Japanese version of the manga, where he specifically says it's part of his armor collection. So yeah, it's a hobby.
    • Also, to address the whole "why isn't anyone surprised at Al supposedly 'wearing' armor all the time" point, it actually comes up when the brothers meet Maria and Denny. They awkwardly try to pass it off as "a hobby" of Al's, which Maria and Denny proceed to get confused over. It's a quick moment, but it does get some acknowledgement.

    Ouroboros brand on eye 

  • The origin of the ouroboros brand on manga!Wrath's eye has always bugged me. He was injected with philosopher's stone, struggled with the soulnado, and managed to survive with just one soul and enhanced abilities as a kickass non-regenerating homunculus-human hybrid. Gotcha. He then opens his eye and... reveals an ourobors tatoo. What, did it just... form out of the blue? With no direction? That seems pretty arbitrary as a natural consequence of absorbing a dosage of philosopher's stone. Since Father was apparently there during the experiments, wouldn't it have made more sense to examine #12, analyze the apparent consequent enhancement of his eye, and then brand him there and then with a single alchemical snap of the fingers?
    • Magic A Is Magic A for the design naturally forming, but my understanding is that that isn't his real eye. That fell out during the process. Instead, the eye with the tattoo is Wrath's Philosopher's Stone.
    • The eye didn't fall out; it MELTED. Other than that, yes. The new eye formed as one of the changes to his body when the Stone was accepted into it.
    • I took it as the stones father uses to create homunculi being special because they're imbued with part of his essence and that's what causes the appearance of the tattoo and their special ability. Removing a stone from a homunculus doesn't kill them, but rather makes them regrow out of the stone, after all, so they're definitely not just regular stones.

    Equivalant Exchange 

  • The law of equivalent exchange. How exactly do they define "equal value?" If it just means that everything has to obey the laws of conservation of mass and energy shouldn't their technology be vastly superior to where it is?
    • This one is tougher to answer do to the nature of of the law and alchemy. Alchemists must have just about enough material to transmute the object they want to create or modify. It's probably them making guess estimates at how much material elements they have to work with. Now, their technology is fairly consistent with early 1900's Earth, but their clothing, prosthetics, and anything else that I have missed may improve into full on robotics by the time they catch up to our present day Earth. WMG, of course.
    • I'd guess that it's probably case of raw mass plus whatever energy they need to pull from the movement of tectonic plates in order to move that mass around. We do see that creating a spear from dirt/stone flooring is possible but takes more material then the spear itself is made out of so presumably if you want something more complex like refined metals that are scarcer you need to use more mass to compensate for that. Ideally you use the exact materials you need like all the pieces of a radio or tool which you simply move into place with alchemy but lacking that a sufficient amount of mass can be used to compensate.

    True transmutation 

  • It's stated in both the anime and the manga/Brotherhood that alchemists can only reconstruct matter into things made up of the same elements. But it's also implied in both canons that gold can be transmuted from other elements. It seems like an inconsistency. So alchemy can change one element into another?
    • It's stated that the reconstructed matter has to be similar, not the same element. You can't change water into gold, for example, but apparently you can change coal scrap.
    • In this case the seeming inconsistency might be because of how, when talking about Alchemy, "Element" means more than one thing. The rule you may be thinking of here is something more specifically outlined by the manga, called "The Law of Natural Providence". It more or less means that while you can transmute one periodic element (Hydrogen, Helium, Carbon, Iron etc.) into another, you have to stay roughly within the boundaries of the classical element (Fire, Earth, Water and Air). Quoting Alphonse from Manga Chapter 1 when he tries to explain to Rose: "If something is made of mostly Water, you can only use it to make other things with the attributes of Water.", with Edward referring to working with the Four Elements immediately before Alphonse says this.

    Havoc and the stone 

  • When Marcoh offered Roy a Philosopher's Stone to heal his eyes, Roy's very first thought should have been to heal Havoc first. His entire characterization is about how he always puts his subordinates above himself - he was chasing after a stone to heal Havoc for a good chunk of the earlier issues! But now when he's offered one, he doesn't even think about Havoc, or his other subordinates that have been hurt in the fighting?
    • But we don't know that he did or didn't, because he doesn't think ANYTHING ( that we see ) about being offered the stone. He didn't necessarily accept the stone either, just agreed to change the rules on Ishval, and allow Marco to live there. It's entirely possible that he took the stone and went to Havoc, but was refused, since we see Havoc himself learning to walk again. And given Havoc's character, he probably would have / did refuse it because he would want to learn to walk again on his own. The fact is, because we see none of his thoughts in the time, we can't say he did or did not consider that first.
    • Well, that's true. But when he was told about Marcoh or when they captured Gluttony, Roy's immediate reaction was "OMG HAVOC!" And considering his reactions to Hughes's death, the loss of his subordinates, Riza being injured, he always reacts quite strongly and immediately. It just seemed out of character for him to not even mention/think it.
    • Havoc's spine was irreparably damaged by Lust, and it was repeatedly stated that he'd never walk again. In the epilogue... he's apparently learning to walk again, which implies that his spine was somehow fixed despite Amestris having pre-modern medicine, but he still needs to recover because he hadn't been able to walk for so long. The reason for Havoc's recovery isn't stated, but I think the reason is pretty obvious if you think about Roy's character. Besides, it's not unreasonable to assume that even a beat-up Philosopher's Stone could heal both someone's eyesight and someone's spine, and even if it isn't, we only see one of Roy's eyes in the epilogue so it's possible he only restored sight to one of his eyes because he wanted to use the rest to heal Havoc. We know Roy's subordinates are important to him, so it's possible Arakawa felt she didn't need to spell it out. Also Roy only got the stone at all if he offered to help Ishbal, and he needed his eyesight for that, so even if it was just one or the other...
      • Yeah, I also assumed that this scene meant that Roy let Havoc use it, too. Granted, you have to read into it a bit, but the implication is there.
    • The final episode of the Brotherhood anime averts this particular problem. Mustang says "someone else needs it more. I'll use it after him.", and the scene cuts to Havoc's shop... A Father to His Men to the end, Führer Mustang.
    • One must remember the reason Marcoh gave Roy the stone in the first place. Without his vision, Roy would be forced to retire and would not be able to become Führer. Marcoh decided to gave back his vision so he could have a guarantee the new leader would reform Ishbal. So, it would be pointless if the stone wore out before restoring Roy. Marcoh probably couldn't effort that risk and Roy did know that. I agree the manga failed to made explicit Roy would heal Havoc lather if he could, though.

    Recovering from malnutrition 

  • This might also just be me, but ... I know FMA really pushes what people can survive/deal with when it comes to physical injuries. But Alphonse walking and recovering so quickly after years of horrible malnutrition breaks my suspension of disbelief. Just do a bit of research of the lifelong problems caused by malnutrition and eating disorders and you'll see Alphonse should still be weak even two years later. And before anyone says it's a shounen manga, Arakawa has done a lot of research before about the human body (the transmutation, burning, etc), so I would've expected the same realism here.
    • There was no lack of exercise, you see the ability to stand earlier in the series. Presumably, Alphonse has exactly the same ability as his Truth.
    • True that he could stand, but walking home soon after the Promised Day? Travelling across a merciless desert two years later? Just minor research into the effects of malnutrition, plus the fact they have pre-modern medicine, makes me unable to swallow this.
    • Alphonse did have leg braces when he was walking to Winry's house. They were kind of hard to see, but they were there, and Ed gave the impression that Al was having trouble getting there even with the braces. As for two years later... well, we don't see how he copes with the travelling, other than that he presumably survives, but he's Alphonse motherfucking Elric. He can make it across the desert through the sheer force of his immense badassery.
    • It's not shown, but it wouldn't be too surprising if Xingese healing alchemy was used in this case and the Havoc one above. It's not too hard to imagine Mei doing this for Al or leaving notes behind so it can be done for Havoc.
    • Maybe he still is and it doesn't show. Remember, Alphonse is extraordinarily motivated, just like his brother. Recall the scene where it would take 3 years for Edward to adapt to his automail limbs and he said he'll take one year to recover and adapt? Same idea. Not to mention having trained under Izumi Curtis really does give him STRENGTH! So, yeah. Entirely possible that he's determined to experience the world that he would recover at an advanced pace.
    • There's also the possibility of other Stones out there, that could help with his recovery. Self-determination, plenty of training, motivation from his friends and family and a little achemical help, Al has them all and would probably be enough for a good portion of his ability to recover.
    • Remember how Hohenheim shakes Al's hand? And how Al describes it as not having felt anything in so long that its like a jolt of electricity running through him? Considering Mei had already hugged him with no such response and that Hohenheim died soon after despite still having a whole soul to fuel himself, smart money's on Hohenheim giving Al a jumpstart with his remaining energy, hanging onto just enough to reach Trisha's grave.
    • Alphonse was NOT malnourished. At some point Ed theorizes that Al's body somehow "crossed" with his when they attempted to bring back their mother. As a result, Ed is providing nourishment for both their bodies. This is presented as an explanation for why Ed eats and sleeps more than most people do. Assuming that it is in fact correct (and since it's never contradicted, we can assume that it is), it means that Al's weakened body was not the result of malnourishment, but pure atrophy.
    • Firstly, the series has never been all that realistic about physical injuries. People heal way too fast all the time and are able to keep fighting even with broken ribs etc. Secondly, we don't know how malnourished he was, exactly. Yes, he looks skeletal but that could be an artistic exaggeration.
    • I think we can overlook realism here. Realistically, if you didn't eat for all that time you wouldn't be malnourished, you'd be dead several times over.

    Scar's name 

  • Just what was Scar's name? Arakawa has said that she knows his name and promised us she'd tell. She promised!
    • Bob
    • Arakawa probably just said it to tease the fans. Or maybe she's planning a few side stories?
    • He doesn't have one. The Ishvalan man who became Scar had a name, but in becoming Scar, he forfeited his right to it. That's the whole point of it never being revealed; the man the name belonged to was the first victim of Scar. Now, there is nothing to reveal.
    • In an omake, it turns out that Bradley and Scar have the same name. And boy, it's a mouthful.
    • If the omakes are canon then that just arises even more questions

    Arm over automail 

  • So, wait...Ed has his arm back, but it looks like it was regenerated right over his automail port. How does that work? And even if the majority of the port got destroyed, he obviously has some remnants of his automail still in his body since you can see the scars and bolts in some panels. Do we assume that Ed gets surgery to remove these parts, or what?
    • Sure, why not? We can assume that the major flesh, bones, and muscles the transmutation gave back pushed the bigger pieces right out, while the smaller ones were left there until some reconstructive surgery removes the pieces.

    Creating a new body 

  • Okay, here's something that has bugged me since Chapter 1. Why the hell don't they just create a new body for Al? Ed has said that human bodies can be made easily. It's creating the soul that's the hard part, hence why homunculi are not human due to the fact that they lack souls. Okay then, I can buy that. But if that's the case, then why don't they just form a new body and bind Al's soul to it? It's outright stated that you can manipulate living tissue with alchemy, medical alchemy proves this. Even if they needed a blood seal, it would still be better than a suit of armor. Hell, why didn't Ed just use the incomplete homunculus they created as material? And even if they couldn't do it with Al, why don't Ed and Izumi use alchemy to regenerate their lost body parts?
    • They don't create a new body for Al because no one has the skill to pull it off. Recall that when they tried to resurrect their mother, the ... thing ... they ended up with barely resembled a human, and died moments later. What makes you think they would have fared any better trying to make a body for Al? There's a reason they were looking for a philosopher's stone you know, it's because they realized that they would never succeed at making Al a new body without one.
    • Oh, and there's also that small problem of human transmutation being illegal. Becoming skilled enough to make him a new body without a Philosopher's stone would have required years if not decades of illegal and expensive research. They probably decided that joining the military and using their vast new resources to find a Philosopher's Stone would help them achieve their goal far sooner than the alternative.
    • Also, creating a new body and binding Al's soul to it wouldn't work. Blood seals eventually wear off, only lasting a few years before the soul is rejected. Al likely would have died before they ever became skilled enough to create a new functional human body for him. Also, Ed would have to open the Gate of Truth and sacrifice another body part to transfer Al's soul over to his new body, something Al would never let him do again. In the end, their only real option was to find a philosopher's stone so they could use it to bypass all those pesky equivalent exchange issues.
    • Even if they did manage to create a new body and bind him to it, it would ultimately reject him because it's not his original container. It would die for the same reason his armor body would ultimately die: because bodies reject souls that aren't theirs. Barry explained this when he confronted his body. In fact the created body would probably die faster because it would rot like Barry's did, having the wrong soul in it, whereas his metal body can't rot and naturally wouldn't have a soul, so its rejection would be more of his actual body pulling him back than the metal body dispelling him, as was shown by Barry's actual body rotting even though it had been with the wrong soul for far less than either Barry or Al had been in the metal bodies. Actually though the whole "the armor is rejecting me" thing might just be speculation on Al's part, it seemed more like it was just his actual body pulling him that was the cause, and that if his actual body were to die then his soul would leave the armor to join it in death, regardless of any blood circles.

    Human transmutation 

  • Okay, so transmuting a human soul requires you to open the gate of truth and see enough of "truth" to gain the knowledge of circle-less alchemy, right? And having done that is the only requirement for becoming one of the human sacrifices that Father needs for his evil master plan, right? Wouldn't that mean that all the alchemists that bound the souls of prisoners (like Barry) to suits of armor in Lab 5 must have done that? So why where they all killed? You'd think that Father would want to keep them around for backup in case he ended up short a few human sacrifices.
    • It seems to be implied that ripping out a soul in itself doesn't require transmutation, nor does necessarily putting that soul in another body/an armor. Ed had to sacrifice a limb because Al's whole body had already been taken. So, the people who did this might not be as powerful as the potential sacrifices. Also, it's been shown many times that when given the choice between having extra sacrifices and killing humans, Father and the homunculi tend to go for the latter.
    • This, basically. To transmute, say, Barry the Chopper, they had all the components they needed right there. A soul in a body and a suit of armor to move it to. They just need to take the soul out and move it. Al, conversely, was taken wholesale into the Gateway. To get his soul, Ed had to pull it out of the Gate, and you don't do that without Truth taking his fee out of your hide (unless you have a Philosopher's Stone to pay with).
    • What I think people are forgetting here is that Al was a part of the human transmutation to bring back their mother. Plus the soul binding could just be considering attaching the "materials" of the transmutation to something else. If Hohenheim is somehow used as a counterexample, the reason he saw the gate was because he was altered in the process.
    • I think the requirement for being a sacrifice requires both that the person lose some body part to the Truth and have a certain level of power/talent. The homunculi were scraping together the sacrifices at the last minute because they couldn't just grab a shmuck from the streets and have him do a human transmutation that they had already set up. The gold toothed doctor likely had the skill, but probably objected to losing a hand or worse, which would be the same problem they ran into with most alchemists of sufficient skill.

    Al's suit of armor 

  • Why did Ed's family have a suit of armor lying around anyway?
    • Ed's 400 year old father had a suit of antique armor. People do collect random things — and Hohenheim might have actually used the thing in his past, it's big enough.
    • Actually actually, he had several armors. The scene of Trish's failed ressurrection shows at least 3 different ones, as far as I recall. Also, the part when they meet again in the manga has Hohhenheim saying something like "isn't that armor part of my collection?" I always assumed he had them for purely aesthetical reasons, though.

    Mannequin Melee 

  • Against the mannequins, Edward resorts to melee, despite the power of his combat alchemy. Mustang adheres to form, nuking the room. But when they advance to the Führer-candidates, it's melee time for both, with Mustang not flaming the candidates or the gold-toothed alchemist.
    • The area was smaller and the candidates were faster than the mannequins, who could barely stand up!
    • He'd just shown off being able to target eyeballs, though! And there's Ed, too, who's great at flexible combat alchemy. I also forgot to mention Al not using alchemy to help rescue the stuck car, despite being a clapping alchemist now and earth-moving being the standard maneuver...
    • Sure, he was able to target Envy's eyes, but there was still a lot of collateral damage from even that. It's not that Roy wouldn't be able to hit the former candidates, but in a room that small, doing so could easily take Riza, or Ed or any of the others with him. Ed's not using his alchemy may have had something to do with being under constant attack from multiple targets and just not considering it an option.
    • I believe that Roy specifically said that they were moving to fast for him to target effectively. Presumably, Ed didn't have time to perform his own set of alchemy either, during his fight with the brothers in lab 5 he was already moving too fast to have time to perform a complete alchemical reaction.
    • In the anime you see Roy make several attempts to back away and snap his fingers, but he can't drop his guard for long enough to manage it. On his final attempt, one of the candidates slices through his glove.

    Fifth Laboratory Melee 
  • Here's another one. When he breaks into the Fifth Laboratory and is ambushed by Slicer, Ed fights only with his tiny wrist dagger. Suffering from blood loss and with his automail acting up, he's still much faster than Slicer and really the only reason he's losing is that every time he goes in close, he gets hammered. So why even try? Why not step back (which he does, repeatedly) and use alchemy to trap him in rock? Hell, if that's unsporting or too difficult, he could at least throw him off balance. It's like he just forgot his most iconic skill.
    • It could be that Ed immediately jumped to the wrist dagger because the Slicers were using a sword, and if he thought about the rock shield/trap it wasn't until after he was too tired from the blood loss to do much.

    Switch to normal alchemy 

  • At the end of the manga/brotherhood anime, Father is outnumbered and getting desperate because he's burning up all his philosopher's stones defending himself with his fancy unbreakable alchemy shield. So why doesn't he even try using normal alchemy to defend himself? You know, the kind of alchemy that's (somehow) fueled by the movements of tectonic plates deep in the earth, and also the kind that he taught to everyone in the country because he can turn it off and on at will (until scar fixed that)? I mean, yeah, it wouldn't have been nearly as powerful as philosopher's stone powered alchemy and it would have required him to actually move around, but that would have been far preferable to running out of the souls he needed to contain Truth. Even if he got injured using the inferior form of alchemy and had to regenerate a few times, he would have been burning through souls slower than using that shield was.
    • Kinda hard to run around and use only the physical medium used in most normal alchemy to block attacks when you're being constantly bombarded by bullets, mortars, and RPG fire from the Briggs troopers.
    • My impression was that the tectonic plate stuff was BS, to cover up that Amestrian alchemy is powered by his circulating souls. As for the not moving bit, I'm not sure that burns souls. Hohenheim is solicitous of his souls, yet does lots of "no motion" alchemy, under Liore and when imprisoning Pride. Ok, under Liore he was walking or running away, but it's not the arm-circle of the clapping alchemists, and for Pride's dome he just stood there and made it happen. There's two axes, power or substance for exchange, and knowledge, and both Hohenheim and Father are maxed out in both axes. They've got lots of Philosopher's Stone, but they're also A Better Alchemist Than you. And I thought the motions were secondary to circles: ordinary alchemists and alkahestrists(?) have to use explicit circles they touch, clapping alchemists make a circle of their bodies and run stuff in their minds and direct energy that way (but still need circles for really complex stuff); H&F can do almost everything mentally (but still need circles for really big stuff); people with philosopher's stones can also skip lots of steps.
    • I agree on other points except for the tectonic plates being BS. I thought so for a while too but later it turned out that the tectonic plates thing works but Father created a buffer between that energy and Amestris out of the philosopher's stone. I'm still not entirely sure if the power for Amestrisian alchemy comes from the tectonic plates and Father can just use the stone to cut the alchemists off of their power source (which I think is more likely) or if the power does in fact come from the philosopher's stone itself (which I think makes no sense at all; why would Father waste the energy of the stone for something that would work without it).


  • Considering how often Roy has had his gloves destroyed, wouldn't it make more sense to make something like Basque Grand's gauntlets, engrave the symbol into those, and then cover them in the ignitable cloth? Alternatively, he could also just carry a few spare sets of gloves, or take Kimblee's path and tatoo the symbol into his hands, carrying a lighter or two to ignite the oxygen.
    • You realize how thick and heavy gauntlets actually are? There's no way you can snap gauntleted fingers fast enough for them to spark. The point on the spare gloves makes sense, though.
    • And on the point of tattoos, this is complete speculation but my guess is that he didn't want tattoos on his hands after he's already burned off Hawkeye's tattoo. It'd be kind of like a total betrayal of their trust, after knowing how and why Hawkeye got it.

    Hohenheim sacrifice 

  • Why is Hohenheim a sacrifice? We never actually know of him performing human transmutation. True, the real thing is having seen one's gate, but we don't know that he'd done that. Relatedly, it's kind of inverted: the five "sacrifices" aren't, they're more like catalysts, who enable the circle but aren't consumed by it. It's everyone * else* who's a human sacrifice.
    • Interesting point, I think it might be just a testament to Father's disdain for humans- the only ones he's even close to being interested in are the ones he calls sacrifices, but the "actual sacrifices" mean so little to him that they aren't even acknowledged. I'd guess Hohenheim was a sacrifice because in a sense, he was created with transmutation, and he's so powerful, so he provides a lot of energy.
    • In Hohenheim's backstory episode (Brotherhood) it was shown that he went through Truth during the immortality transmutation scene.

    Glowing hair 

  • Why are the Elric brothers hair glowing in Brotherhood? They look like regular blond in the manga and first anime but in Brotherhood they're..Bright.
    • Alchemic shampoo. Seriously, though, that's obvious. Different production and art team for Brotherhood than the first anime. And the relatively quick coloring jobs in manga, which are usually traditional rather than digital, will never look as bright and shiny as digitally colored and manipulated animation.
    • Their hair looks brighter because the lineart is also colored and not black like, say, in Winry's hair. And Hohenheim also has this, as does everyone else who's from Xerxes, so it's probably meant to be a shared feature among their people.
    • Exactly, it was meant to illustrate them as different by virtue of their Xerxesian blood than the purely Amestrian blonds we see elsewhere in the FMA world, like Winry, Riza, the Armstrongs, etc.

    Bringing Ed to the military 

  • Why did Envy bring precious human sacrifice Ed back to the military after the Fifth Laboratory incident? Why not just keep Ed, who had demonstrated circle-less alchemy when fighting the Armor Brothers, locked up until the eclipse? After all, Envy would outright incarcerate Marco later on, who was merely a candidate for sacrifice. Envy could have easily just ripped off all of Ed's limbs after he fainted and Father could have subsequently kept him sedated.
    • Marcoh wasn't JUST a candidate for sacrifice. He was a candidate for sacrifice who studied the Philosopher's Stone extensively. He had knowledge that was potentially dangerous and couldn't be allowed to go unchecked. As for why not lock up Ed...did Envy know Ed was a confirmed candidate yet? He demonstrated circle-less alchemy when fighting the Armor Brothers, but Envy wasn't present for most of that fight. I got the feeling Lust, Envy, and Gluttony had just arrived when Lust pierced Slicer's helmet; otherwise, they most certainly would have intervened to keep him from killing a sacrifice. In any case, even if they were aware, they don't need to lock him up. There's no reason for it. He doesn't know anything dangerous and he's already a State Alchemist. The quest for the Philosopher's Stone can hold his interest and he knows nothing about any of them. He is not, in any way, shape, or form, a threat to the plan at this point. Locking him up would create an enemy where one does not need to exist, not just in him, but also in his brother Al, and possibly in Mustang, who they were trying VERY HARD to avoid making an enemy of because, as one of the homonculi, I forget which, later notes...of all the alchemists in Amestris, they fear him the most. You can't just make people disappear without repercussions. And that's not even going into the fact that, as part of the military, they basically own him anyway.
    • TL;DR: The search for the Philosopher's Stone and the perks of a State Alchemist are a better cage than any they could build.
    • But there would be a reason to incur all the risks of disappearing Ed—to make assurance double sure. Remember, Kimbley nearly killed the poor kid, and Al's soul was a flight risk too. Besides, Father could easily crush Mustang under his heel. Hell, Bradley could. As for whether or not they knew he was prime sacrifice material:
      Envy: Edward Elric, isn't he that alchemist everyone's talking about? Youngest ever? Hero of the people?
      Lust: Let's look up his file. An amputee, huh? You remember he did have automail. And he seemed to use a circle-less deconstruction technique on Slicer. Mighty suspicious. Probably saw the gate. Let's look into that brother of his as well.
      Envy: Looks like it's Elric hunting time! (Mustang will be a problem though...)
    • Though I will grant that both Lust and Bradley didn't seem all that keen on the sacrifice thing. Lust tried to outright kill Alphonse later on, and Bradley was probably smart enough to put two and two together when Ed circle-lessly transmuted that spear right in front of him yet seemed to say nothing to Father about it. I guess neither was as beholden to Father as Pride was.
    • What gives you the idea that Wrath didn't tell Father? Lust obviously knew that Ed was a confirmed sacrifice. That's probably one of the main reasons why he became a state alchemist in the first place.
    • Doubt that since Lust seem just as loyal to Father as much as Pride was, its just she is a pretty much of a loose canon when she wants to kill, even ignoring not to kill a confirmed sacrifice and a candidate for it. Also both her and Wrath both tried to stop people from entering Father's lair, I think this proves they were pretty loyal to Father.
    • The homunculi seem more fond of taking hostages anyway. Incarceration is more of a last resort in case the situation becomes desperate or the sacrifices become too rebellious. In chapter 8, Marco probably avoided capture because he cooperated and told Lust where his research notes were hidden so she could destroy them, but when Envy pays a visit to him later on, he says they're "running out of playing pieces" and captures him. Similarly, after the Elrics' first meeting with Father, Bradley is content to let them go on their merry way as long as they don't do anything reckless (while, of course, using Winry as leverage). When word gets out that the Elrics have left for Briggs, Bradley decides to force them to comply, but they manage to have Winry escape safely back to Resembool and go into hiding (Ed with a doctor in Central to recover from his impalement and Al in Liore with his father). That's when the homunculi force their hand and try to capture them. In other words, threatening those close to them is more effective than any physical prison. That is, after all, one of the reasons they perceive humans to be weak.

    Envy's clothes 

  • When Envy transforms into a human, do his "clothes" actually turn into clothes, or is it merely an extension of his skin?
    • Envy only has "clothes" so far as he has "hair" or "eyes"; he's a shapeshifter. Everything he shifts is part of him; presumably subconsciously transmuted by his Philosopher's Stone.
    • Actually those clothes are part of the homunculi except Wrath, Pride, and the 2nd Greed(they have been shown in different outfits). When Lust and Sloth died their clothes disappeared with them and that means the clothes were a part of them. They wouldn't disappeared with them when they died if they didn't belong to them. But since they did and everything that belongs to the homunculus' body disappears when it is cut of from the body that means the clothes are part of his body. This true for Envy because when he loses to both Marcoh and Roy, his "cute form" and everything including his clothes disaggregate except his "fetus form". So the clothes are part of him.

    Complete arrays 

  • Having one incomplete circle on each palm enables Kimblee to simulate "hand-clapping" alchemy. But why doesn't he - or don't any of the alchemists for that matter - simply tattoo complete arrays on their hands? Instant alchemy, no clapping required. Yes, it would be limited to whichever circle you put there, but it would still be a whole lot more effective. Scar does it that way.
    • They do use complete arrays, for example Roy and Alex. I don't remember anyone, apart from Elrics and Izumi, who had to clap their hands, even Kimblee, because he used the Philosopher's Stone most of the time.
    • Kimblee simulates the clapping alchemy because that's his 'trigger'. Mustang has a full circle since his actual alchemy is manipulating the flammable gases in the air. He then needs a spark to have anything happen. Similarly with Armstrong he needs to punch the object he wants to transmute with his gauntlets. Kimblee has no such trigger. If he had the full circle tattooed on his hands then he would blow things up by just touching them.
    • Actually, if you look at his circles he has opposites on each hand. If he had the full array tattooed on a hand when he activated it it would cause his hand to explode. That's why his alchemy works the way it does, he's momentarily bringing opposites together to cause a reaction. It's like introducing matter to antimatter, do it once and there's an explosion, do it constantly and the universe explodes.

    State alchemist rank 

  • Why do state Alchemists enter the military with the rank of major? It seems like a pretty high rank for people who are valued for their personal abilities in combat and research rather than their leadership skills and experience.
    • It's made clear that the rank is more like a brevet rank, and that their orders to regular military personnel are more like suggestions. Of course, Alchemist who've been in the military for a long time or are veterans of combat would have their orders taken as actual military orders.
    • Don't forget, the entire State Alchemist program (at least in the mangahood canon) is just a ploy to find worthy candidates for the Sacrifice on the Promised Day. You certainly don't want potential subjects to be lowly ranked and risk them being accidentally shipped off to war by those who aren't in on the Evil conspiracy.
    • Mustang went through the military academy (it's where he met Huges). Presumably State Alchemists wishing to actively serve in the military have to go to school like everybody else.
    • There appears to be something of a division between the 'military' State Alchemists and the ones who run around semi-independently. On the one hand you have Roy Mustang working his way up through the ranks in the normal fashion (kinda) as well as Armstrong and Ironblood, and on the other hand you have Ed, Shou Tucker and (formerly) Marcho. The first group are actively involved in military activities day to day as their job, while the latter group conduct state research and can be called upon to fulfill state interests but generally are given a vast amount of independence. Probably the State Alchemist exist off to the side of the regular chain of command, they don't have to conform to the professional standards of the rank and file military, but equally they probably can't order around those lower without having a good enough reason to justify to their superiors. On top of all this is the nature of the Amestrian military which is full of people, such as Sheazcka or the police who are arguably in the military but aren't really soldiers.
    • Mentioned in volume 15: Roy and Hughes meet again after long time. When Hughes addresses him as "Major Mustang", Roy clarifies that he's technically still a Captain. Also, as for Roy specifically, it seems that he became a State Alchemist AFTER joining the military. He revealed to his master that he had joined, and he only learned about Flame Alchemy after his master had died. Since he's called the "Flame Alchemist", it appears that he did not become a State Alchemist before learning about Flame Alchemy.
    • The rank is most likely given simply to make it clear ordinary soldiers have no authority over them. Their position does not come with subordinates by default, so they couldn't normally order people around.
    • In the British Army at least, captain is the standard entry-level rank for people with professional qualifications, such as doctors. It might be that the State Alchemists originally were just captains before being bumped to the 'captain-and-a-half' implied by Roy's aforementioned statement - presumably so that a captain is more inclined to pay attention to the State Alchemist in such situations where one has been called in to assist the military, but a major doesn't have to worry about a State Alchemist giving orders that interfere with his plans.

    Human transmutation definition 

  • What exactly counts as "human transmutation"? The sole fact of transmuting human body isn't enough, because otherwise medical alchemy wouldn't exist. At one point Ed transmutes nothing, he only uses Envy's Philosopher's Stone to open the Gate. He still calls it human transmutation, though.
    Also, when Roy is forced through the Gate, he supposedly transmutes the gold-toothed doctor into a messy pile of flesh. But Shou Tucker didn't seem to have had any contact with the Gate when he merged his daugther with his dog. Somehow, that was not a human transmutation?
    • Just to clarify, Ed didn't transmute "nothing"; he transmuted his entire body into his entire body. The purpose is similar, nothing actually changed, but it was still sufficient enough to constitute human transmutation. As to why Tucker didn't open the Gate creating the Nina chimera, maybe he just had sufficient enough spare parts that it accepted them in exchange? After all, if the transmutation had been equivalent, there would have been big chunks of dog and little girl lying around everywhere, ESPECIALLY Nina; the rest of her body had to go somewhere.
    • Human transmutation seems to be the attempt to create/resurrect a soul and/or open the Gate. Messing around with human bodys is not human transmutation wether you're creating a chimera, fixing up a booboo and making heads blow up.
    • But didn't the Gold-Toothed Doctor say that Roy could perform human transmutation on Riza either before or after she died? (Okay, maybe he was just trying to provoke him into becoming a sacrifice already, but still...)
    • Actually, Roy didn't necessarily need to transmute Riza. If he transmuted someone before she died the Gold-toothed doctor would heal Riza.

    Why isn't everyone an alchemist? 

  • How come they use alchemy so rarely? They can make stuff quickly and at practically no cost. The only time this is used to anywhere near its potential is when Ed is trying to get Scar's attention. Why aren't all alchemists like that all the time? Also, how come so few people seem to go into alchemy?
    • Alchemy takes an incredible amount of studying and hard work. It's not something most people can just easily get into. It's the same reason most people in the real world don't pursue careers as physicists.

    More transmutation circles 

  • Why don't we see more alchemists carrying a transmutation circle to draw transmutation circles? It would be so versatile.
    • Hmm? Most alchemists we see aside from those who have seen the Gate carry their transmutation circle on their person at all times.
    • That's for their specific hat, though. Roy's gloves can only ignite fire, Mustang's gauntlets can only make boulder spears, Scar's tattoos can only unmake things, etc. What I think the above poster meant was, why don't they carry a circle that draws on the ground, so when they need to do something, they just trigger their circle, which brings another circle into existence, which carries the desired effect. It would be easier than pulling out chalk and drawing, no? As for why don't they do it, my guess is that it wouldn't work. A circle for drawing a circle would draw that specific circle, so you'd have to carry one circle for every circle you might ever want to draw. Though that does raise the question of why don't they carry a notebook with the most commonly used circles. Hmm.
    • Because pretty much every alchemist we see in this series is a combat alchemist. Sure the local alchemist who fixes appliances for a living probably has a book of circles to use, but trying to find the right one when you're being shot at is too dangerous a risk for people to bother with the increased versatility. Not to mention how our view of alchemists is pretty skewed. There are maybe hundreds of alchemists in Amestris but we only see around 15, and about a third of them can do circleless transmutation.

    Briggs hats 

  • How come nobody in Fort Briggs seems to wear a hood or hat? Wouldn't their ears freeze off?
    • They're too badass for that. In all seriousness though, if I remember right, several (not all of them though...?) of the soldiers wear those hats with flaps on them when they're out in the cold. And later, they've all secretly moved to Central where it's warmer so it's assumed they don't need to bundle up so much.

    Price of alchemy 

  • Is it just me, or is the lesson Truth is trying to teach by claiming that giving up your own gate is the right price to pay when performing human alchemy, is that the most appropriate answer to playing god and facing punishment is saying "I'm sorry God, I won't do it again!" Or is it implying instead that alchemy is a privilege of some sort and that when abused you'll get that privilege taken away forever.
    • Hard to say. It either meant that most Alchemists prized alchemy too much or that Ed made a good exchange by choosing to sacrifice his internal Gate instead of choosing to sacrifice a life like most of the others would.
    • It might have been more along the lines of "Alchemy can't do everything; just because you can transmute things doesn't make you superior to anyone else." Ed had always believed in the power of alchemy. Through most of the series he was looking for a way to restore Al's body through alchemy. He had to give up alchemy to show that he understood that it wasn't the solution: he had learned what was truly important in his life (his relationships), and that was what gave him strength. Another way to look at it is that Truth considers the act of attempting human transmutation to be arrogant in the extreme: to even think you have the power to (re)create life is tantamount to equating yourself with God. He had to humble himself to demonstrate he'd learned his lesson: give up the thing he was considered a genius for to demonstrate that he recognized, and accepted, himself as a simple human being.

    Riza's nickname 

  • How did they get "Riza" out of a nickname for "Elizabeth"? "Liza" seems like the name. Was it just "Blind Idiot" Translation that stuck, like how Winry was supposed to be "Wendy"?
    • ...Riza and Winry were never supposed to be short for or a variation of any names. They're exactly what they are. Elizabeth is only Hawkeye's codename when on a mission for Roy. "Liza" was most likely the result of the whole "r" and "l" similar sounds in Japanese and translators just picked one.
    • fun fact: Winry was supposed to be named Wendy, but there was a translations mistake somewhere down the line.
    • Is there a source for this? All the evidence I've ever seen never had the implication that "Winry" was supposed to be "Wendy".
    • Here: At the very bottom is the trivia section; it says so the first one.
    • Do you know what the word "posited" means? Also, a wiki with no source is no better than your word.
    • Her name in Winry and has always been Winry. That's how it's pronounced in Japanese, so the "translations mistake" story you heard is either a myth or was inverted.
    • Both "Winry" and "Pinako" are named after industrial companies, according to the linked post: Winly Tools based in Taiwan, and Pinaco Dry Cell & Storage Co based in Vietnam

    Chapters 83 and 84 

  • What were Ed and Al's groups doing during the time skip between chapters 83 and 84?
    • Mostly likely training and planning for the Promised Day.

    Ed and Al as kids 

  • Ed and Al living alone as little kids. Why are they allowed to stay in that house alone, especially when there was someone nearby (Pinako) who was perfectly willing to take care of them? Pinako's a tough old woman, she could've made them live with her!
    • I thought she did...?
    • It's pretty much implied she did care for them, but likely they wondered off to it from time to time before eventually going into secrecy when they started to prepare for their transmutation attempt.
    • I'd gotten the clear impression that their 'official' house was the Rockbells and they made trips out to their mother's old house during the day to study alchemy. Which makes the implication that they burned down their house so that they wouldn't have anywhere to turn back to even more of a headscratcher, since it was almost clearly stated that they saw the Rockbells' house as their second home even possibly when their mother was alive.
    • Probably they burnt it down because that was where their mother died and where they tried (and failed) to bring her back. It was symbolic with cutting their ties with the past and destroying their first home. Plus, you know, they couldn't exactly burn down the Rockbell's house.

    Pride and Gluttony 

  • The implications of Pride eating Gluttony have me curious. What are the limitations on the effects here? Did Pride get the pseudo-Gate out of that deal? What would happen if he ate one of the other Homunculi? What would transfer? Is this something exclusive to Pride or can the other Homunculi theoretically do it? Do these abilities transfer to the shadow or Selim Bradley's body? Could Envy's shapeshifting combine with Wrath's Ultimate Eye to overcome the limitation of having only one? The possibilities seem endless.
    • I like to think yes. Because it'd be awesome.
    • Suppose Pride "ate" all of the other six Homunculi. Would that produce a being with Father's original personality, since it would essentially be recombining all of Father's cast-off emotions?
    • Well Pride basically does the same thing by eating Gluttony that Envy does by eating the manikens or that Ling has done by absorbing Greed (and a buch of human souls). Rather than eating them as such it seems what they're doing is more adding their souls to their Philosopher's Stone and gaing access to their memories and powers that way (like when Father absorbs Greed).

    Left rib cage 

  • This doesn't really bug me, but . . . does Arakawa have a thing with being injured on the left rib cage? First Scar gets his ribs broken there by Gluttony, then Mustang gets stabbed there, then Kimblee and Ed get impaled there. And Scar's brother was bleeding from his left side before he died.
    • There are major organs on the right side of the body in the same position. So if you're an author wanting to inflict a painful but not necessarily fatal injury on a character, it almost certainly has to be on the left side.

    Ed's ponytail 

  • I'm bothered by Ed's ponytail. Sometimes he has it braided, but other times it's just a small tail of hair (like in the third Brotherhood opening). It takes more hair to have it the first way, so how is he able to adjust his hair length? Unless he transmutes some of his body hair into head hair to make a longer ponytail...
    • Ed's hair was supposed to grow throughout the series to show he was getting older. As for why it looks shorter sometimes, that might just be a mistake?
    • I agree that it would take a LOT more (thicker, not necessarily longer) hair to make the braid than what is shown in the ponytail. Artistic license.

    Swallowed by Gluttony 

  • When Ed & Envy are swallowed by Gluttony, Al's hand and Ling's upper half get sucked in as well. Ling's lower half then vanishes and re-appears inside Gluttony's stomach attached to the upper half. Why did this happen, when everything else (like Al's hand) stays split? If it's because Ling is a living person, then why did his clothes reform as well?
    • Are you sure he was the one that got halved? I thought it was Envy in disguise that got cut in half. And if so, then that could easily be explained by his regenerative powers.
    • It was definitely Envy; the lower half disintegrates after everyone gets sucked in, and Envy naturally just regenerated inside.
    • OP: Well, I feel derpy now.
    • It's actually an understandable mistake to make; he was transformed as Lan Fan at the time and was wearing her pants. It's a similar clothing style to Ling's.


  • I forget. How much time is supposed to have passed since the boys tried to resurrect their mother and the main events? I wanna say around ten years, but I don't recall. The reason I ask is because in episode 27 Pinnako looks very young while what? Ten years later? she's short and grey haired. Can people change that drastically in only ten years?
    • My impression/understanding is that the episode isn't meant to reflect actual chronology, since it's Hohenheim's dream. He probably met young Pinnako 50 years or so before the series starts and while he might have met Tricia as a child at some point, Pinnako was a lot older by then.
    • I'm pretty sure it's about four years from the resurrection attempt to the start of the manga. The resurrection attempt was in 1910, a year later Ed becomes a State Alchemist and the boys burn their house (the date on the watch: 3.OCT.11 = 1911), and the manga starts in 1914, presumably spring, and the plot takes place over a year, ending in the spring of 1915. Their mother died in 1904 so it's been ten years from that but it took the boys quite a while to learn enough to attempt the human transmutation. And yes, that episode was just a dream so it makes no sense. (Probably Hohenheim dreams of Pinako as a young woman because he first met her as such and hasn't quite updated his mental image of her.) It was definitely confusing, though, so I understand.
    • If we're talking about why she looks so young in Hohenheim's dream, well, that's just his dream, and it doesn't necessarily mean that Pinako actually looked like that until recently. I mean, Father also pops up at one point, and Pinako randomly turns into Hohenheim, so that was more just Hohenheim having a weird nightmare rather than him actually remembering anything. It was probably supposed to be a Mind Screw.

    Forced transmutation punishment 

  • How exactly was Mustang's blindness supposed to be considered a just punishment for human transmutation? He was literally forced to do it.
    • Truth doesn't care. No matter what justification someone has, they get punished.
    • I always saw it as more of an opportunity to grow, rather than a mere punishment. And, in fact, the pyschlogical definition of punishment, and, thus, the one that the Truth will more likely tend towards is "any aversive stimulus administered to an organism as part of training". Truth is a Trickster Mentor. He wants them to grow, but isn't going to be nice about it, and needs a strong enough reason for them not to go about willy-nilly and get themselves into that much trouble.
    • I saw it more as Mustang judging himself — the way Truth takes on the characteristics of the person being judged has always suggested some degree of self-judgement, and Mustang considers himself an unpunished war criminal ever since Ishval.
    • Personally, I saw it as being rather lenient considering what Truth did to Ed, Al and Izumi in the past. It may be possible that anyone who performs human transmutation, whether willingly or not, absolutely has to give something up as toll. Truth would have known that he hadn't performed human transmutation willingly, so instead of taking some limbs, internal organs or his whole body, all of which would have put him in immediate danger of dying, he blinded him instead, something he could eventually overcome and learn to live with.
    • I saw it as somewhat of an ironic punishment being that Mustang who has the vision of a peaceful Amestris won't be able to see what becomes of his nation. Similar to Izumi's loss of her organs because of her want of a child, Al who wanted to feel his mother's touch again having his body taken and Ed being shown without a doubt that you can't bring someone back from the dead and losing a leg to stand on.
    • Maybe his blindness wasn't his price for human transmutation, maybe it was just this price for opening the gate and seeing the Truth. Of all the people that open the gate he was the only one who's price wasn't life threatening, (Ed and Izumi could have easily bled to death and Al lost his entire body.)It's possible losing that part of their body was the price for seeing the Truth and the life-threatening parts were their price for human transmutation. Since Mustang didn't do it willingly his life was never in danger but he did still see the Truth, so something must be taken.
    • I don't think it's a punishment at all. Truth doesn't say "you've been naughty, I'm going to punish you now", it just takes something from its victims. It's not about punishing people for human transmutation, otherwise Hohenheim and the Dwarf in the Flask would surely have lost something, and Ed would have presumably been punished for gaming the system just to teleport out of Gluttony - it's about the toll necessary to go through the Gate. Either you lose something meaningful or you just burn a Philosopher's Stone, but there's no moral aspect to it at all.

    Giving up alchemy 

  • A major bug moment for me is constantly seeing people state that Ed gave up his being able to do alchemy period for Al's body at the end of Brotherhood. As far as I can remember, we don't see Ed performing standard alchemy at any time after he learns that he's able to do clap-alchemy, and the Truth seems to be connected to that, rather than the ability to do it period. Isn't it possible that he simply doesn't have the knowledge of what circle to use/doesn't want to take the time to research it rather than wait for his brother to simply clap alchemy (I think he's still implied to be able to use it) and perform the task he needed it for? There are a lot of alchemists who've never seen their door, but still practice alchemy and supposedly spend a lot of time researching the correct circles, so why does everyone assume that Edward hasn't been downgraded to one of those level alchemists, rather than jumping straight to the conclusion that he can't do alchemy period anymore?
    • There are several reasons. We don't see Ed use alchemy after he brings Al back. Ed's sacrificing his Gate rather than giving up knowledge of it. Ed states just before giving it up that this is "The Fullmetal Alchemist's final transmutation". But the biggest hint is probably the fact that Truth itself outright states "Once you lose your Gate of Truth, you won't be able to practice Alchemy ever again". It's pretty much Word of God from the closest thing the series has to a god.
    • My take on it was that, even if most alchemists never see their Gate, the fact that it's there is what allows them to activate alchemical transmutations. They're always connected to it, even though it would take human transmutation for them to ever go visit it. So when Ed gave up his Gate, thus sacrificing any connection to it, he lost the ability to transmute. He hasn't lost any of his knowledge about it, just the "spark" it takes to activate it.
    • Ed DOES use standard alchemy at least once after he becomes able to do clap-alchemy. He draws and activates a human transmutation circle in order to get out of Gluttony's false Gate of Truth.

    Amestris Parliament 

  • Why the hell did Father bother or allow Amestris to have a Parliament? Since there is one, even if it's hollow, as Riza mentions it. The track of events would be weird. Has Amestris always been a Republic? How could Father have ever been aware of this concept? And given his contempt of humanity, using monarchy or autocracy would have seem more accurate. Furthermore, why did he bother to conceal himself while he could have ruled as a living God (like a Goa'uld) and thus maybe achieving his goal faster? So the point is, why Amestris is a dictatorship to begin with?
    • He gave up Pride early on so he didn't feel any need to be praised and pretending to be a god would be counterproductive. It would make other nations aware of his existence and with Hohenheim helping them they would be able to interfere (since we do know Hohenheim taught them alchemy). In addition a system like that wouldn't be conducive to producing the intelligent alchemists Father needs to pull off his plan. I'm not sure what Amestris' history prior to Bradley was like, but given Father's easy association with the generals and the neatly aligned battles it seems evident that from a very early point Father was influencing events(but not ruling them directly). As for the parliament, maybe there was a point when Amestris was more democratic and Father started making major changes as his planned neared success. They don't seem to have installed a Wrath as ruler until perhaps sixty years and there don't seem to have been as many alchemists in the military until the fighting in Ishbal.

    Roy's eye color 

  • Does Roy have black eyes or blue eyes? Both anime and most official art have him with the former, though quite a few later manga artwork have him with the latter (like chapter 95 and 102). Is it symbolic? Also, is anyone else creeped out by Winry's eyes in the manga and Brotherhood?
    • Roy's eyes are black. I don't know why they switch to blue, but it might have to do with being able to portray a wider rang of emotions.
    • Roy's eyes are shown as VERY dark (as in midnight) blue in the "I love dogs!" segment in the 2003 anime series. I think this was to differentiate between the iris and the pupil in the extreme close-up. Just rewatched Brotherhood, and they're black throughout in that.
    • And speaking of eye color, just what color are Al's eyes, exactly? They appear to be gray in the 2003 series and some variant of Xerxian gold in Brotherhood.
    • I believe in the first anime they were dark brown but in the manga and second Anime they were a slightly darker gold then Ed's. Since the first anime didn't have anything to do with Xerxes there wasn't an actual plot reason for them both to have gold eyes, so his eye color is different.

    Envy's... envy 

  • Wait I'm confused about Envy. He's jealous of humans for their ability to move on from the past and work together. ... Wait, what? So homunculi can't do that for some reason? I mean, they all seem to work together pretty fine except for Greed going rogue. And they certainly managed to pull some fast ones on the good side even without Lust around, when Gluttony was being reborn, and when Envy was in a jar for a few months. How is he jealous of that facet of humanity again?
    • The Homunculi work together, sure, but I think that part of what Envy was really jealous of was the human ability to bond and form friendships, which I didn't really see much of among the homunculi. There wasn't exactly a lot of familial love going around with them.
      • Original poster here, and that still doesn't really jive with me. Gluttony and Lust seemed to have a friendship, and Wrath and Pride seem to have a good thing going as King and Selim, as Pride decided not to tell Father something Wrath said that could've been harmful to Father. Plus, though this might only be in Brotherhood, Envy got along fine with Lust and Gluttony during Envy's first appearance after posing as Cornello in episode five. If you ask me, he should be more jealous of his brethren.
    • That's whats so pathetic about Envy. Both the character and the emotion itself. He's so busy being jealous of the people who have what he wants, that he never realizes that he could probably get the same thing if he just made a little bit of effort.
    • We can also take a cue from Sloth, the fastest homunculous. Big guy was capable but his name and character keeps him from making it big. Same with Envy, he CAN make friends, but his character just keeps him from doing just that.
    • And he's also a complete psychopath. That probably hurts his ability to get friends.
    • Thinking about it, it's likely that Envy's jealous of humans because they can do all that stuff despite being weaker than Homunculi. Envy's mad because "inferior" beings can still help each other and keep moving on and such.

    Ishval spelling 

  • Is it 'Ishval' or 'Ishbal'? I've heard both around the same amount of times online.
    • In Japan, the sound made by the letter 'V' doesn't exist, but briefly shared the same character as 'B'. The two spellings are just a translation debate.
      • Well, you can clearly see the word "Ishval" on the maps, so this spelling must be correct.

    Two blood seals 

  • What, exactly, is the point of Number 48 from the fifth laboratory having two blood seals located four inches apart? Such a thing would only be useful against the exact attack Ed used. If he had lost his legs, or been hit by a vertical cut he'd be knocked out of the fight easily. And for that matter, is the soul bonded to his head fighting at all? Or does he just exist to trash-talk intruders while his brother kicks ass?
    • Well if you remember they were only there to kill intruders to protect the Lab. Most people aren't aware there are such oddities in the world. They go for a head blow stabs through the opening or attacks the head and the helmet flies off. When they don't fall over or you see a headless armor you're likely to stop for a second, and since the body and helmet are separated, then the helmet can talk while the armor attacks and kills the intruder. They did say it's been far too long since they had a good challenge, I would expect the reason for this is because that gambit probably always worked. Ed was the first one ever to come in with preexisting knowledge of soul-bound armors.

    Shocking discovery 

  • What was the significance in Brotherhood about the "shocking discovery" that Ed and Izumi didn't transmute the remains of his mother and her child, respectively? Who arranged that and why? And did it accomplish anything?
    • It demonstrated that their attempts to bring back their family could never have worked. Human transmutation on someone who dies is impossible, plain and simple. The reason Al could be brought back was because he didn't technically die, his body was alive and aging on the other side of the Gate. Nobody arranged it, that's just how it is, and it accomplished knowing why it's taboo: it is literally impossible to bring someone back from the dead with alchemy.
    • Plus it had been kinda been the question of did the transmutation fail because I did it wrong? Finding out it was impossible to bring back the dead gave them closure.
    • On top of that, the scene implies that Izumi and Ed had been feeling as though they made their respective family members suffer horrible death a second time. Now that they know they didn't actually transmute their family, it's a major relief.
      • Pretty much this. If I remember correctly, Izumi either directly expresses relief over this or says something that comes very close to it.

    Amestris shape 

    Height differences 

  • The height differences between Ed and Winry. We have the first anime where he's shorter then her by a long-shot, and if I recall in The Movie he's still shorter. In the manga they're essentially the same height for most of the story, and in Brotherhood Winry is a tad bit taller then Ed.. Why so many changes?
    • They grew.
    • Check Brotherhood and the manga again: The height difference isn't static and the growth is chronological. Ed starts out shorter and ends up taller. The story takes place over a year and they go from 15 to 16 which is a normal age for a boy to get a growth spurt (while a girl may already have reached her full height before that point since girls grow earlier). There's nothing weird about that other than that we're maybe too used to series that don't take these things into account.

    Cutting off Envy's arm 

  • In chapter 50 of the manga there was a fight scene where Ling cut off one of Envy's arms with a blade Envy transmuted from his own Philosopher's stone. If he was able to create something like that, and it actually worked, shouldn't he be able to copy Greed's and/or Lust's technique(s)?
    • Probably. That being said, any one of them could have trained and/or been trained to become a skilled warrior like Wrath yet they didn't. After all there's probably no one good enough to kill a near immortal right? If there's one thing that the first Greed's fight with Wrath clearly demonstrated, (as well as some other homunculus fights)it is that the homunculi aside from Wrath relied too strongly on their regeneration and supernatural powers to get almost anything done. Wrath who didn't have the ability to heal and only had a special eye which he couldn't reveal to just anyone needed that skill and physical prowass in order to survive and was trained after birth.

    Hughes and the conspiracy 

  • When Hughes figured out The Conspiracy, Lust and Envy are practically waiting to take him out. How did they know he figured it out so fast? He never told anyone, and he was only looking through the records for the one night.
    • It's possible that Wrath told them. He knew that Hughes knew something, considering Wrath is King Bradley.
    • That makes sense. And on second thought it would also make sense if Pride had been watching him.

    Jude as a sacrifice 

  • Why wasn't Jude from "The Blind Alchemist" chosen as a Human Sacrifice by the homunculi?
    • They probably didn't even know about him.

    Ultimate Shield vs Ultimate Spear 

  • So...if Greed has the Ultimate Shield (which cannot be penetrated) and Lust has the Ultimate Spear (which can penetrate anything), who would win if the two were to fight?
    • Depends on who can activate their abilities the quickest, probably. Greed's shield probably can withstand Lust's "spear", but since he can't heal and put his shield up at the same time, if Lust can stab him in fatal places quickly enough, she would probably win.
    • Against the original Greed, I would give Lust pretty good odds for a win. Her nails extend very fast when she's serious, and his shield takes time to spread.

    Perfecting human transmutation 

  • The two reasons human transmutation never works in the series are (1) The Truth doesn't let souls come back once they go to the other side of the Gate, and (2) biology is so complex that alchemists will just create a twisted, inhuman being that will die within seconds of coming to life. There's nothing they can do about the first problem, but for the second . . . how about if, instead of using raw ingredients like Ed and Al tried to do, you start with a fairly fresh human corpse? Then all you'd have to do is undo the wound that killed them, reverse the effects of decay, and set their organs/muscles/nerves in motion again; since medical alchemy exists, that should be possible. The Truth might not let the person's soul come back, but if their brain is undamaged, then all their thoughts, feelings, and memories should still be intact, which as far as ordinary human concerns go is as good as a soul.
    • Getting into a metaphysical discussion goes waaaaaay above my head. But as i understand it, the body and mind need the soul to function, and it's what allows the person to live in the first place. It's basically like a battery, it doesn't matter if all the individual parts still work, without the battery, it can't turn on.
    • This is demonstrated by what happened to all the people in Amestris when Father's plan came to fruition and all their souls were sucked out. They weren't dead, as evidenced by the fact that they were all still alive after Scar activated his brother's countermeasure. But without their souls, they were effectively catatonic.
      • Just a nitpick here: there were two countermeasures. Scar's brother's countermeasure got rid of Father's alchemy blocking. Hohenheim's countermeasure put everyone's souls back.

    Roy Ai 

  • Why is the Roy Mustang/Riza Hawkeye ship known as RoyAi? It gets confusing, because Ai isn't in either Hawkeye's first or last name. Although it sounds like the last syllable in Hawkeye, but that would be RoyEye. I think RoyHawk sounds really cool.
    • The word RoyAi comes from the Japanese characters of 'Roy' and 'Hawkeye' being combined, and the resulting sound is 'royai'. The correct spelling of this sound would normally be roiai, which is why occasionally you will see RoyAi refered to as RoiAi; however, most fans agree that RoyAi is a pun of Roy+Ai (the Japanese word for love).

    Blind Führer 

  • Exactly how does being blind stop you from being Führer? Is this some kind of obscure clause in the Amestris Constitution or something? You don't need to be able to see to be a ruler, its not exactly a front lines position.
    • Being Führer is not just about fighting. It's kind of important to see any paper work you have to do as Führer, you know, among other things.
    • There were a few blind kings (Jan of Bohemia for one) in Europe's history. Yes, not an elected/ascended post, but basically there wasn't anything concrete stopping Roy, he had more than enough respect among his men to keep him there if he wished. He probably just felt he couldn't lead as he should without his vision, and so turned it down, if reluctantly.
    • I always figured Mustang didn't get the Führer position because he wasn't high enough rank, not because he was blind. He is still a colonel while Grumman was a general.
    • He's also part of an army during a military dictatorship - not the best time or place to be disabled, and especially not when everyone and their mother is going to be clawing for the same position as you, and would probably quite happy to see you out of the way. He might be forced into an honourable discharge, or shuffled sideways along the hierarchy, but either way it'd be hard for him to get the support he'd need to rise to the top.

    Wrath and gods 

  • So Wrath didn't believe in the idea of gods. Okay. But wait, is he aware that Father's goal was to consume God? If so, was he thinking that Father was on a wild goose chase and didn't have the heart to tell him?
    • He was essentially raised specifically to follow Father's orders. Maybe he thought Father was being a delusional fool, but he wasn't willing to disobey Father. Hell, he probably wasn't even capable of disobeying Father.
    • Perhaps he just doesn't regard Truth as a god. Most of the other characters refer to Truth as 'the so called God' in the final episodes of the sub of Brotherhood and Ed who has actually spent more time with Truth than almost anyone else alive is still an agnostic.

    Stumps hurting in raining 

  • Why exactly do Ed's stumps hurt when it begins to rain in 'Father Before The Grave'? And why does that cause him to vomit?
    • People vomit from pain. Also, he's reliving some pretty traumatic stuff at the time, which could make anyone a bit sick.
    • Yeah, I always understood it as it being the psychological trauma that made him vomit. Not related to the aching injuries. It's clearer in the manga, I think. (And psychological trauma can indeed cause vomiting and other very dramatic physical reactions too.)
    • As for the hurting part, it's possible that it had to do with all the moisture in the air.
    • Barometric pressure. It's why a lot of old / injured bodies ache before and during rain.

    Olivier and Alex 

  • Olivier's treatment of Alex. Sure the majority of it the aloof big sister routine, but how is suffer a mental breakdown and PTSD considered running away from the battlefield, particularly when the majority of your collateral targets are women and children? Granted Alex considers it this way as well, but she seems to hold him in such contempt for it.
    • Olivier has extremely high standards of courage and duty. Alex fled from battle, that makes him contemptible. The circumstances don't matter to her. Also do note that she began treating him with more respect after he helped her fight Sloth: he refused to run away despite his terrible injuries, which showed her that he did indeed have the courage she thought he lacked.
    • It really bothered me too and was a major (pun not intended) reason why I couldn't really like her. All I can say is that she's definitely not nice. The way I see it, she probably just doesn't understand weakness, being so tough herself. She has a high standard for herself and she expects others to live up to it as well. There are a lot of people like that in real life too and they can sometimes make life really hard for more sensitive individuals. The problem is that people are very different and what comes easy for some can be impossibly hard for others. (Not to say she doesn't have a sensitive side. She does. It's just obviously not nearly as prominent as in her brother.)
    • Alternatively, she considers him a coward for fleeing from an atrocity rather than fighting against it - she's horrified by the military's plan so we know she has standards about who you're supposed to kill.
    • Exactly this. Olivier seems to be a person with a disdain for indecisiveness above all else. If Alex went through with the genocide, she would probably like him less, but respect him more.
    • Her part in Miles' backstory definitely indicates that she was very much against the Ishvalan genocide (hell, her refusing to send Miles back left him as the only person in the military with Ishvalan blood, while the others ended up in a philosopher's stone), so it's far more likely that her contempt stems from Alex being unable to fight against the military after he realised what they were doing was wrong, rather than him being unable to continue taking part in it.

    Izumi fixed 

  • Did Izumi get fixed in the end and can she have children now?
    • No, Hohenheim simply rearranged her innards to a more suitable position so that she won't be coughing up blood every ten minutes.

    Bringing back organs lost by the Gate 

  • When Hohenheim helps Izumi with Philosopher's Stone he states, that he can't bring back her organs taken by Truth, even with a power of Stone. Then why Marcoh can cure Mustang's blindness?
    • The manga makes it clear that Marcoh can't cure Mustang's blindness. What he did was give Mustang the Philosopher's Stone so that Mustang could get his sight back the same way Ed got Al back: give up his alchemy, using the Stone to pay the toll.
    • Wait if he's using the stone as a toll, why would he need to give up his alchemy?
    • My mistake: yes he wouldn't have to give up his alchemy, just trade the stone for his eyesight.
    • But Hohenheim IS a stone already so why couldn't he do it? Or is it that Izumi would have had to do it herself? Or is it that he didn't want to use his friends (the souls inside him) to fix something that was Izumi's own fault?
    • It might be that he didn't want to use resources he might end up needing later. It might be that he wanted to discourage Izumi from attempting and failing to get her organs back, having seen what happened to his sons - her pupils - after they misinterpreted '0% chance of success.' as 'No one's found the right way to do it yet.' rather than 'It's actually completely impossible.' Either way, the Curtises seem to have reached a point where regaining those organs would just be gravy on top of the life they already have, especially now that there's no problems with not having them.
    • Or Roy could restore his vision because it wasn't actually his choice to do human transmutation and the punishment were lighter that way. And Truth seemingly didn't actually take a physical body part from him, just his sight.

    Winry repair Ed's automail 

  • Why does Ed need Winry to repair his automail when it gets broken? Couldn't he just use alchemy to fix it himself?
    • Presumably because it's a complex piece of machinery, designed to simulate and interface with the human body. It's for the same reason he doesn't use medical alchemy: he simply doesn't know how to do so without screwing it up. Alchemy isn't magic, strictly speaking; you need to know how to reconstruct matter properly. Ed might be able to repair damaged or shattered components of his automail, but he doesn't know how to rebuild it.
    • So does that mean Al knows how to build a radio, since he repaired one using alchemy?
    • I always thought it was because Ed needs both hands to transmute. He can't just clap his hands but only use one.
    • That explanation doesn't really work, because Ed can still perform alchemy like any alchemist who hasn't seen the Truth. He'd just need to have a couple minutes to draw a circle. I always assumed that it was due to the reason given above. Although Al's trick with the radio doesn't really fit in with that. It was really early in the series; maybe Hiromu Arakawa hadn't really figured out the rules yet?
    • I think it's more likely that he just knew. He spends his nights reading books. At some point, he probably read about radios.
    • By that logic Ed would have had to have specialized knowledge of all that stuff he was fixing when he was being all 'friendly neighborhood alchemist' in order to attract Scar.
    • All the stuff he's shown to have fixed were things that were either fairly simple to repair and/or things that he and Al'd been fixing up around Resembool for years. He'd probably developed a fairly decent knowledge of that sort of thing.
    • The first step in performing Alchemy is analysis. Repairing anything that could reasonably be done with mend is pretty straight forward for alchemists as skilled as the Elrics.
    • I think it might have something to do with the fact that an alchemist still needs both hands to transmute (except for Mustang, obviously, but Ed doesn't know flame alchemy and most likely wouldn't want to). Or maybe alchemy isn't that advanced yet. If it was possible to repair automail with alchemy, mechanics would be entirely obsolete, and places like Rush Valley where automail is central to the economy wouldn't exist.
    • Alchemists don't need both hands to transmute unless they're doing clapping transmutation. As mentioned, there's Roy, but there's also Alex Armstrong and Basque Grand, who transmute by punching things, Giolio Comanche the Silver Alchemist who transmutes by touching things, Father and Hohenheim who can do no-motion transmutation, and Scar during his fight with Wrath, who transmutes by touching things. If his automail arm is broken, Ed can't do the clapping transmutation; but in theory, he may be able to repair his automail by drawing a circle like a normal alchemist, but a) he'd need to gather up all the pieces of the broken automail to put them back together, while Winry can just replace them, and b) automail is probably extremely complex, requiring specialist knowledge Ed just doesn't have. Remember Rush Valley, an entire town of automail engineers, where Winry (already trained in making automail) goes to learn even more? That doesn't sound like something general knowledge could handle.

    Lust's gloves 

  • How do Lust's gloves not rip? Even if they could somehow grow with her fingernails, she uses said fingernails to slash and impale people. How come her fingernails are sharp enough to puncture human flesh but not fabric? And of course, the gloves never get blood stained, but then, neither do Gluttony's clothes, or Scar's, for that matter. Do they all just have a really good dry-cleaner with a policy of not asking questions?
    • I think those black unitard things some of the homunculi wear are actually part of their bodies.
    • Yep. When Lust regenerates her attire comes back just as naturally as any part of her body.
    • Ditto for Greed. And possibly Envy.

    Pride at the end 

  • So, uh, what exactly was up with Pride in the final episode of Brotherhood (And presumably the manga as well, have yet to read that)? So, he got his memory wiped and is basically Selim now, okay. But is there any shred of Pride still left in him? Does he still his Healing Factor? If so, what is going to happen when one day he gets hurt and sees the wound suddenly regenerate? Can he still manipulate shadows?
    • The new Führer makes it pretty clear that the military's keeping a close eye on Selim just in case any Pride traits resurface, but at that point it seemed like he was a normal boy. My guess would be that he lost his Homunculus powers when Ed... did whatever it was that he did to Pride in their fight. It looked like he destroyed Pride's stone, so no Healing Factor, but I'll admit to being confused how Pride's still alive if his stone is gone.
    • His healing factor is almost certainly gone; it depends on having extra stored souls in the stone. Shadows is an open question, but he is presumably completely unaware it's even possible.
    • It's the exact same in the manga, and I always just took it as Pride is similar to Wrath now. Ed destroyed most of the stone, but I assume left one soul there, which would technically make him still a Homunculus, but for most intents and purposes more similar to a human. So no Healing Factor, and he's still Pride in a sense, but the memory wipe invalidates that for the most part.
    • Prides "Death" is shaky, but we can be definitely sure that he didn't destroy his stone, since that would fully kill him. We can safely assume that the stone was inside his core (The baby that regrew into Selim) and since the core itself was never damaged we can assume that they are still in his stone. So he likely still has his Healing Factor, but shadows are another question, becase we don't know what's the source of that. Ultmmately we don't know what Eduard did to him, that entire scene is really weird.

    Gold-toothed doctor and homunculi 

  • Just one big question. How the hell did the gold-toothed doctor side with the homunculi!? There's got to be some kind of explanation for that! Well, maybe not when it comes to Kimblee, but still.
    • Probably thinks criminal experimentation and general crimes against humanity in the service of the homunculus equivalent of the devil is all insignificant collateral For Science!
    • Also, they probably promised him immortality, the same as they did to get military command on board with the scheme.
    • I always got the vibe that he was just simply not human. Like either his humanity was taken away, or he was never human to begin with. Just look at his eyes, they don't look normal at all. Also It's really hard to tell what motivates him, as we only really see a limited range of emotion from him.

    Mass conversation 

  • I apologize for being horrifically nitpicky, but I have a question: Does Envy's mass-conservation go away when (s)he is in fetus form? May is able to easily pick up the jar with Fetus-Envy in it, but that goes against what was presented earlier. They may have addressed this somewhere, but it's been a long time since I read the manga and can't remember...
    • I kinda figured the fetus form was all that was left of Envy when everything else was burned away (or destroyed by other means as Marcoh did) meaning there wasn't any extra mass left.
    • The fetus form wasn't a transformation, it came out of Envy's usual body, which disintegrated as usual for homunculi deaths. So all that extra mass was in the body that disintegrated, and the fetus was light as a result.

    Kimblee's explosions 

  • Damn it, Kimbley, when are you going to start getting hurt by your own explosions? He takes absolutely no damage from making people blow up, even when they're in his bare hands as they go boom.
    • As seen in an Ishval flashback, when Kimblee was on that building about to nuke Scar and his family, Kimblee's explosion travelled down the building wall to where he wanted it to detonate. After the dust clears, Kimblee is still standing on the building.

    Explosions in small tunnels 

  • Forget Kimbley, how does Mustang manage to use his alchemy as much as his does in the small cramped tunnels especially when fighting envy? Wouldn't there be a vacuum from all the consumed oxygen from such explosions?
    • The rooms weren't airtight - consumed oxygen just gets replaced. If Roy had created enough explosions to consume all of the air in the area, he'd have bigger concerns on his hands (asphyxiation, for one) then not being able to create more fire.
    • Also, I'm pretty sure that you can't create a vacuum just by using up oxygen... though I guess OP just used the wrong word there. (What would be the right word anyway? Is there one?)
    • Probably "cavity" is the word you're looking for. Mustang's fire alchemy concentrates and burns up the oxygen which would make a cavity that quickly gets filled in/thinned out with the surrounding oxygen.

    Hohenheim at the activation of the circle 

  • When the Xerxes nationwide transmutation circle was about to activate, Father reveals to Hohenheim that the center of the circle is actually the exact spot they're standing in, and thus Father has betrayed the king. Since everybody not in the center will die, why didn't Hohenheim just say "Then go be over there." and throw Father's jar outside of the center?
    • He was probably too busy thinking "Oh f&%$ the world's ending"
    • It wasn't until realizing what Father had done that Hohenheim developed his hatred for him; up until that point, Father had been nothing but kind and generous to Hohenheim. The process being as fast as it was, and Hohenheim's shock at his lifelong friend and mentor's sudden betrayal of both him and his entire kingdom would have probably kept him from realizing what to do before it was too late.
    • What do you think he ponders himself, every night before he goes to sleep?

    Smaller dome 

  • When Al was trapped in a dome with Pride, why didn't he just encase Pride in a smaller dome and leave? Hell, he could have trapped him in a prison sized perfectly to hold him so he couldn't summon help or anything. Would have been BETTER for everyone.
    • Probably because he didn't realise that Pride WAS summoning help until it was too late. He didn't think it was necessary to secure him further.
    • Also important to note, the only reason Pride was powerless was because they were in total darkness. The sparks created when using alchemy aren't just a dramatic cue for the audience, they exist in the universe itself, like the residue marks of transmutation. What this means is that any attempt at using alchemy to trap Pride would result in a large flash of energy-giving Pride a light source, no matter how temporary, to cut Al and/or his attempted dome into pieces. Pride even makes a point of telling Al that the minute he tries to use his alchemy and escape, Pride will be ready to stop him.

    Mustang and water 

  • Why is Mustang useless when wet? His circles specifically turn water in the air into oxygen and hydrogen... so when he's wet, shouldn't he be able to just turn the water on his gloves into that to dry them off? Of course, doesn't explain why he doesn't just... carry a lighter, but ah well.
    • I think with his gloves it's like the difference between two pieces of paper. One very lightly sprinkled with water and the other soaking wet. One of them WILL NOT catch on fire. It's possible that he needs to be able to make the spark BEFORE he can change the composition of the air. Or that the spark is what causes it.
    • To be specific, his fire is useless in rain, not just when he's wet. Episode 19 of Brotherhood (and the original chapter of the manga) show why Lust getting Roy wet didn't keep him down.
    • The problem with turning the water on his gloves into oxygen and hydrogen is that now you have a lot of oxygen and hydrogen right at the ignition point, rather than spread out in a nice line between the point and the target. This would probably not bode well for Mustang's gloves, or indeed his hands.
    • Apart from the fact that his gloves getting wet would ruin the ignition, that also adds an extra step into his transmutations. Sure, he could do that, but it'd take longer. (Also, we do see him transmute water into gas during the fight with Lust, for whatever that's worth.)

    Alchemy mechanics 

  • How exactly does alchemy work? How do they get it to turn into one thing instead of another?
    • Alchemy in this series involves, in essence, breaking apart the molecular bonds and structures of whatever raw materials they have and then rearranging them into something else. An alchemist has to know the exact chemical makeup, including the arrangement of the molecules, of what they're transmuting, both the original makeup and the makeup of whatever they're turning it into. The extra energy necessary for this process is drawn from external sources (tectonic movement for Amestrians, leylines for Xingese). All of this is done in their minds, so you could make a case for alchemy being Psychic Powers.

    Roy and suffocation 

  • Considering his distaste for killing (that one Roaring Rampage of Revenge aside) and his crushing guilt over Ishbal, why doesn't Roy use his skills to suffocate his opponents instead of burning them? Not that suffocations's a completely easy death but it's a lot more humane than being barbecued. In one of the omake strips there's a joke about him changing the oxygen concentration in the air to make girls swoon so he can catch them, but why doesn't he ever actually do this in the main story? If he needed someone out of his way he could presumably just knock them out for a bit without having to start any fires.
    • ... knock them out? It's a war. The higher-ups probably didn't tolerate the idea of unnecessarily complex air alchemy from the Flame Alchemist just to spare the Ishvallans a few seconds of faint-headedness before some soldiers pump them full of bullets.
    • I'm not talking about Ishbal, I'm talking about the timeframe of the story, in light of his mental state AS A RESULT of what happened in Ishbal. It seems strange that he never uses this possible application of his abilities, and that it's never even referred to when there are many times it would come in useful. And it's no more 'unnecessarily complex' than his normal flame alchemy, he'd be doing exactly the same transmutation, just without the fire.
    • His alchemy works by concentrating oxygen (and presumably hydrogen, since a high concentration of oxygen by itself is not flammable) for a short amount of time, and then burning it with a spark from his glove. Keeping the air in a specific area in this unnatural composition would require the alchemy circle to be activated for a long time, as the air would naturally mix back into a regular atmospheric composition otherwise. We don't know if such a thing is possible, since all of the other alchemy effects are instantaneous.

    Havoc and automail 

  • Why doesn't Havoc get automail? Is it even mentioned or did I miss a bit?
    • Automail needs to be controlled by intact nerves. Havoc's spinal cord was destroyed, so the stumps of his legs wouldn't have said functional nerves. Theoretically, he could be fitted with automail, but the necessary surgery might be too invasive and risky to be worth the possibility of walking again.
      • It'd be kind of silly; as you mentioned, there's nothing actually wrong with his meat legs.
      • Yeah, it'd be one thing if he'd actually lost his legs; then maybe he would've thought about getting automail, or at least prosthetics in general. We do see him starting to walk again at the very end of the series, but that presumably would've taken months of therapy at best, which would also likely apply to getting any kind of prosthetic.
  • Replacing his legs would obviously be silly, but I think the point is that in this universe they have the technology to basically make artificial nerves or at least have metal objects respond to nerves, something impossible with our current medical science. It doesn't seem really all that beyond the capabilities of automail from him to have a short automail spinal column replacing the damaged part that could serve as a conduit between his brain and lower half of his body.

    Failed transmutation and hope 

  • I had some trouble understanding the scene in which Edward unearthed the remains of the creature he and Al transmuted. Okay, so upon learning that he didn't even make Trisha he concluded that resurrecting the dead really was impossible, but somehow this made the whole thing into a symbol of hope instead and renewed his faith that he could return Al to his proper body. Where did he get that conclusion from?
    • It wasn't really about hope as much as suddenly feeling less guilty. Ed, Al, and Izumi all thought that they had revived their loved ones only to kill them all over again. When they learn that no, they didn't force their loved ones to die horribly for a second time, it lifted a huge weight off of their shoulders. As for giving hope for restoring Al: Al is not dead. If he were dead, then Ed wouldn't have been able to bring his soul back from the brink. Since he was able to get Al's soul back, it means that he's still alive, and his body probably is too, which means that if they can just find it, they can take Al's soul out of the armor and put it back into hid body.

    Father's age 

  • How did Father get old in the 400 years since the fall of Xerxes? When he first created his body it was a duplicate of Hoenheim's so what happened in the interim period?
    • He probably just wanted to look wiser. Alternatively (veering into WMG territory) it was a result of ridding himself of his sins.

    New tattoo 

  • Why didn't Riza just get another tattoo to cover up her father's notes on her back instead of having Roy burn them off? That would probably be less painful and disfiguring.
    • Maybe she was worried about that tattoo artist remembering it. Or maybe her dad did something to it alchemicaly so it wouldn't be threatened by new ink. Or maybe it was out of some messed up desire to be punished for what she did in Isbal. Or it could be some other explanation. Take your pick.
    • It mostly seems to be due to her not wanting anyone else to see it. She chose to have Roy burn it off because she can trust him to 1) go through with burning her, and 2) not tell anyone else about it.

    Ed's growth and automail 

  • So Ed grows throughout the series, most noticeably when the time skip drops us off after Ed's travels with Greedling. The question I have is: what about his automail? He didn't have the opportunity to get it replaced, what with the lack of contact with Winry. Is it adjustable? Or was one of Ed's legs just longer for a while?
    • Considering how he uses his automail as material for transmutations, he probably has enough knowledge of how they work to make minor adjustments himself using alchemy, even if it's not as good as having Winry work on them.
    • Wasn't that why he went to Pinako?

    Pride and complete darkness 

  • Is Pride really unable to use his shadows when he's in complete darkness? He didn't seem to have any issues travelling as his shadow form in the darkness to reach Hohenheim or the Briggs soldiers to attack them.
    • In those cases, following the "trail of darkness" eventually leads him to a source of light. That's not possible when he is encased. As for using them for attacks, I think it doesn't work because they cannot take a form in complete darkness. It's not a shadow without a light source.
    • Pride is a demonstrative act, there's no worth showing off how great you are if no one can see what you are doing.

    Well-known alchemy 

  • Exactly how well-known is alchemy? It's apparently a really big part of the military but people in Leore and Resembool act like it's some sort of magical act.
    • Both of those cities are out in the sticks, while there are many alchemists in Central due to the military gathering them. Also, the former were in the middle of someone convincing them that a variation of alchemy is a divine power.
    • I think alchemists are as common as real life scientists. It is a science after all. It isn't hard to find a town out of major cities that don't have any scientists.

    Promised Day sacrifices 

  • In order for the Promised Day to go down as planned, all the alchemist sacrifices needed to be in the country itself. So all any of them would've had to do to put a halt to Father's plans was...leave. Pride even hangs a lampshade on it while he and Al are trapped in that dome together, saying that Father knows none of them will leave because of their ties to the people still in the country. But why did they stay even after knowing that? If the thing keeping them there were their loved ones, the final arc could've just as easily been a race against time to rescue the military's hostages and get out of the country — leaving the fighting to non-alchemists who couldn't be used as sacrifices. But this possibility isn't even discussed as an option, which is a pretty enormous tactical oversight from people who are supposed to be geniuses.
    • That's actually what Izumi is planning to do in Brotherhood, IIRC. She helps out in the fight, but says that once she's done with that, she's getting outside the borders (and just happened to leave it too late). Also, as seen with Winry's and Mustang's squad's situation earlier, Father's quite willing to take hostages to force compliance, and if the threat was "come back or we'll kill this pack of innocent strangers" rather than "your loved ones" they would still feel compelled by it. They also don't know whether or not Father could come up with a workaround for their absence.
    • Except that Father had made it abundantly clear that he was really reluctant to kill any of them, so why would they expect him to have a workaround? And the alchemists didn't need to be there to stop innocent people from dying: that could've been handled just as easily by the resistance. Honestly, it probably wouldn't have bothered me if the thought had crossed all but one of their minds. The reasons you brought up would've been adequate had they actually been addressed in canon, but...they weren't.
    • Several reasons spring to mind. First, they had no way of knowing the circle wouldn't activate without them present, killing everyone in the country but not funneling their souls into Father. Second, I don't believe the sacrifices know that there's exactly four of them and one plausible additional candidate, as opposed to, say, seven. Third, the citywide circle that transported them into Father's chamber caught them all off-guard, and they expected Al to be stuck in a dome of rock for the entire period anyhow. Lastly, leaving everything to the ordinary soldiers, Greed, and the non-sacrifice Alchemists wasn't going to work. Even without the Immortal Legion and Envy and Wrath showing back up, Sloth and Father were present. The potential sacrifices needed to be present to defeat Father, at a minimum. Simply keeping the circle from activating or activating the counter-circle wouldn't have been sufficient; Father could just wait for the next suitable eclipse in a thousand years or so.
    • Isn't it specifically mentioned that Father chose those specific sacrifices partly because they weren't the type of people who could bring themselves to leave when they could otherwise be helping? Or did I read that somewhere else?

    Hohenheim ages 

  • Does Hohenheim use up some of his Philosopher's Stone in order to stop aging?
    • It seems likely. Pretty much the same regenerative power the homunculi have, but hundreds of times greater in magnitude. Had he done nothing, he would have eventually died of old age, but how long that would take is a good question.
    • Approximately half a million (the number of souls his stone was made up from) life times, I'd assume.

    May and Ed 

  • Okay, this has always bugged me. Why is it when May Chang finds out Edward isn't exactly how she imagined him, she freaks out? Yelling out about how he "deceived" her and "took advantage" of her. He didn't do anything wrong. He just wasn't the man she wanted him to be. It kind of seems a little bratty to me.
    • She's just a kid (a young teenager at the oldest), and she's still very immature. So, the fact that it seems bratty is probably simply because it is.
    • Rule of Funny
    • Ed actually complains about this, if I remember right. Also, as the first reply said, I just took the whole thing as her being a silly little kid.

    Blood to food 

  • Lin and Edward complaining about being hungry in Gluttony's stomach and ending up eating a boot... when they're literally up to their knees in blood! Ed as an alchemist had every opportunity to cook it, and sure, blood based food might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has to be better than eating leather!
    • Actually, I think most people would prefer leather over blood — blood is a taboo food, so it probably didn’t even cross Ed or Ling’s mind to use all that blood as food over leather, which Ed already knew it was edible (plus, I’ve read somewhere that if well "cooked", leather has a taste somewhat close to that of pork rind, though I’m not sure about this).
    • Blood is a fairly typical foodstuff in many parts of the world, so much so that Wikipedia has an entire page about it. Blood sausages, blood soup, blood tofu... Now, perhaps it's taboo in Amestris, like it is in many other parts of the world. But IMO, it's more like... it's the blood in Gluttony's stomach. Even if you were okay with having a nice simmering pot of Szechuan blood tofu, would you eat it from Gluttony's stomach?

    Al losing consciousness 

  • Why is Al somehow able to lose consciousness, but not sleep? For that matter, how does he hear and see? Or move?
    • I had the urge to call Bellisario's Maxim on this, but then I remembered that I came to this page to ask how the hell he talks.
    • Al falls unconscious not because it's a body instinct or something like sleep, he's falling unconscious because his soul is literally being pulled back to the Gate of Truth. Technically his soul is falling unconscious. As to why he can talk, perhaps it has to do with the blood seal turning the suit into a semi living form?
    • My theory is: the blood seal allows Al's soul to control the armor by mimicking the natural connection between a soul and its original body. Clap Your Hands If You Believe is in effect here: since Al thinks he should be able to talk and see like a normal person, that's what happens. Souls are powerful stuff in the FMA universe.
    • Al's not losing consciousness. From his POV he's having a 'white-out' and from everyone else's he's collapsed and isn't responding. What's happened is his soul has moved back to his actual body which is sat facing away from the only piece of scenery in an otherwise completely blank landscape. At least, that's my theory from what I remember of the scenes where it happens.

    Containing the powers of a god 

  • So the idea behind the big, climactic battle is that the heroes win if Father runs out of MP. That's cool and all, but why would fighting Father and forcing him to use his god powers make his souls run out faster than they already were? I thought the souls were there to contain the powers of god, not fuel them. I thought the benefit of wielding those powers were that he was no longer bound by the rules of the universe nor by a need to exchange anything to do all that flashy stuff.
    • Funny thing about "containing the powers of god": that suggests that said god-power is trying to break free. The Truth isn't very happy about being swallowed up by some overly prideful power-hungry homunculus. Father needs those souls to keep Truth and its power under his control. He's constantly fighting it. With all of Amestris's souls transferred to him, he had more than enough souls to comfortably keep that up for a while, but when Hohenheim returned the country's souls, Father was left with less than half the souls of Xerxes... which, while considerable, is only a tiny fraction of what he had before, and while he could hold on for a little bit, it wouldn't be very long.
    • Furthermore, the "god" they're describing, Truth, is not omnipotent. Truth is more like a manifestation of the natural order of the universe. Absorbing Truth whole could be interpreted as absorbing all alchemical knowledge in the world. So while Father was able to do incredible things with alchemy that no one had ever seen before, he was still bound by the laws of the universe. He just knew how to use them to do things that were impossible by the current understanding of alchemy.
    • Neither of these answer my question though. Why does him using the powers of The Truth drain his philosopher's stone? That's the implication of the final battle. Hoenheim even says things like "Make him use his philosopher's stone!" The Truth doesn't even have it's own power source?
    • Well, no, the Truth doesn't have a power source. The Truth isn't a living entity... it's not even a physical entity. It's knowledge. When he absorbs the Truth, Father doesn't really become any more powerful, per se: he just learns how to use the power he already had more efficiently.
    • Initially after absorbing Truth and he produces a miniature sun, he appears to be using purely Truth's power because it lacks the red spark that is symbolic of philosopher stone alchemy. After Hohenheim releases the Amestrian souls, all of his moves, including his barrier, use red sparks, suggesting that beyond that point he lose his ability to harness Truth's powers and has to rely on his Philosopher's Stone again.

    Calculating the containment 

  • How did Father know he needed that many souls to contain GOD comfortably?
    • Well he came from beyond the gate, so it's possible he has an innate knowledge, just like how he had an innate knowledge of alchemy and taught Hohenheim and the King.

    Trapped in a stone 

  • Why does nobody seem to consider being trapped in a philosopher's stone a Fate Worse than Death? There's all this conflict about how using the stone uses up the souls that are inside it, which is apparently a Very Bad Thing. And maybe it is, but it's got to be a whole lot better than having your soul trapped in a stone for four hundred years.
    • Probably just the fact that they are using human souls as a power source is rather... squicky. Would you feel comfortable using the core essence of another person's being as fuel for whatever it is you're trying to do, even if you knew it was toward a good end? And that's assuming that the soul still exists in some form after it gets used. There's also the possibility that using up the soul like that leaves the person Deader than Dead.
    • IIRC, this exact logic is how Heinkel gets Al to use a Philospher's Stone. He points out that the people are already dead, so Al may as well use their souls for a worthy cause. It's just that, as you said, people's initial reaction is to get hung up on the horror of The Reveal, so it might not occur to them right away.

    Igniting bone marrow 

  • During Mustang's fight with Envy, Envy is hiding and Mustang says this: Come out now! Otherwise I'm going to ignite your bone marrow! First question: Can Mustang even do that? Or was he just bluffing? And even if he can, how did he plan on doing it of he couldn't see Envy?
    • I tried a google search on 'Is bone marrow flammable?' but it didn't turn up many relevant results. Even if bone marrow is flammable, though, that's not really relevant. Basically Roy's, just really pissed off and his emotional state is causing him to make claims that he knows he can't back up (you're right, he really can't do any of that if he can't see Envy, but he knows Envy's going to hear that and be terrified. Basically he's just trying to scare Envy even more, I think.)
    • Bone marrow, like most of human body, is composed mostly from oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen... Guess he could just break oxygen and hydrogen bonds [in correct proportions], leading to explosive decompression inside of his body. Then, micro-bubbles of flammable gaseous mix could be, maybe, ignited somehow.... and then Envy would literally be burned from inside. Rather impossible, fully impossible without vision. So, bluffing.

    Wrath's power 

  • How is the name of the Truth is Wrath so powerful ? I'm probably wrong but I always thought that the more souls your philosopher's stone's had, the more powerful you were. So how comes that Wrath, who only have one (his) soul left, pretty much curbstomp anybody he's against ?
    • Only having one soul means Wrath ages like a more-or-less normal human and has no Healing Factor. His badassery comes from his Ultimate Eye, which allows him to scan his surroundings and always make the best move in combat, and a lifetime of training. Keep in mind that FMA is a series rife with Charles Atlas Superpower.
    • You know those people who no-damage run video games? That's Wrath's ENTIRE LIFE. He always knows the way to no-damage run, but he just has to have his reflexes keep up.

    Walls out of ground 

  • So a big thing in the series is alchemists creating huge walls or fists or whatever out of the ground. My question is... where are they getting the materials from? Alchemy only allows you to rearrange what is already there, not make stuff out of nothing. Are they using rocks/metal from way beneath the Earth's surface?
    • They are pulling the material out of the ground beneath them. Presumably this creates an empty space somewhere below them, or at least lowers the density of the ground around them.
    • In a number of cases (the wall created to corner a crowd in Ishval, the fist Izumi summons to knock away Ed and Al) the formation looks as though it is emerging from a sudden ditch in the ground. Every time Ed summons his spear he usualyl created it by carving out a hole in the ground/wall

    Kimblee individuality 

  • How was Kimblee able to maintain his individuality among the torrent of souls when it was never mentioned before that this could be done? And don't use Ling as a counter-example because Ling was able to keep control because he accepted the stone causing both souls to take control of the body. The souls absorbed by Pride were used to give him energy or gain a new ability, they were energy and we were never shown that the people who were absorbed by Pride were able to keep their conscience.
    • Instead of Ling, I'll use Hohenheim, then. The thousands of souls in him all retained their individuality... at least, once he calmed them down (which took quite a while, it's suggested). The suggestion is that the souls inside a stone are in a kind of permanent Freak Out over what's been done to them, presumably out of sheer horror. And the fact that there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other souls screaming along with you does little to prevent further panic. Kimblee, though, he Loves the Sound of Screaming. On top of that, he knew what was happening to him when Pride absorbed him. Those two factors allowed him to remain calm despite his situation, and thus keep his mind intact.

    Mustang and Lust 

  • At the last part of Mustang's showdown with Lust, why didn't he blast Lust one last time when her spear stopped just short of his eye?
    • Rule of Cool? In all seriousness, however, he presumably didn't have the time. Don't forget that, for all the badass shit Mustang does, he's still human, and only has human reaction time.
    • (OP here) Rule of Cool was what I thought as well. It would be pretty boring if Mustang gets in one last blast and scatter her ashes in the wind before she can do her talking. Even accounting for reaction time, I would reckon that with the spear so close to him, Mustang might have opted for overkill.
    • Or he may have been physically unable to. He follows this up by keeling over sideways, which suggests he was already at the end of his rope when she finally disintegrated.

    Puppet army 

  • 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.

    Clothes and the Gate 

  • 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.
    • Al's clothes weren't part of the toll, so they were returned after he was shown the Truth.

    Right arm strength 

  • 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.
    • 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 betrayal 

  • 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.

    Automail socket 

  • 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.

    Lust and Father 

  • 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 Hohenheim...

    Al being an empty suit 

  • 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.

    Talking to Izumi about their bodies 

  • 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.
    • They were ashamed of having attempted human transmutation. They really didn't want to confront Izumi with that fact... especially as she's the one alchemist who would immediately realize what they had done when she saw Al's condition (and she does, she figures it out very quickly). Not only is human transmutation a taboo, one which every alchemist swears they will never attempt, but they're also reluctant to remind Izumi of her own transgressions.
    • Also, they didn't go to her on a whim, they were on their way to her when they stopped in Rush valley because Winry wanted to go there.
    • The timing is weird though, given how vocal she was with her distaste for Ed joining the military, that probably made it worse than it would have been before. But they're kids though so it makes sense that they'd put it off.
    • Because it took that three years for them to decide she PROBABLY won't kill them for doing what they did. I mean, she kills bears. Unarmed.

    Stabbing through hands 

  • 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.
    • Fridge Brilliance on that score: For his eyesight, he got his hands healed and the ability to conduct Alchemy without a circle. Not exactly an Equivalent Exchange, but it was conducted via Philosopher's Stone.
    • Nope, just checked that moment in manga. He was impaled with blades along the bones, thus real damage to hand is minimal, pretty painful, but one should have only moderate problem moving it with blade pulled out

    Envy absorbing people 

  • What is with Envy absorbing the philosopher stone zombies? Why does he seem unable to use that on humans? He could have easily consumed Ling, Marcoh and Hawkeye that way.
    • He wasn't in desperate need of souls then, and it's probably easier to consume the souls of the puppets instead of raw human souls.

    Resurrected 'Rosalie' 

  • Since we know that bringing back the dead is absolutely impossible, then what the hell is inhabiting the reanimated Rosalie Harbinger's body? Some other soul? Some Eldritch Abomination?
    • Just some random soul, apparently. Certainly not Rosalie's soul, anyway.

    Alphonse's mobility 
  • How exactly does Alphonse move so smoothly as he does? Unless I'm mistaken, one of the things that Al lost in the big bucket list of sacrifice was also the ability to feel. As a troper who knows someone who has neurotic damage to the legs, I can say that it becomes more difficult to walk and you become more prone to tripping over. Since Alphonse basically has no kind of nervous system when bound to the suit, one must think that it should be near impossible to walk around, run, and battle opponents on a daily basis without some difficulty. Although he may have just gotten used to it, but still.
    • Remember that Ed took a full year to adapt to his automail. Al brought him to the Rockbells to have it attached, likely by being very careful and watching his own movements. Al likely learned to move his armor body more easily while Ed was adapting to his automail.

     In Shou Tucker's defense 
  • I may be the only person to do this, but I do not think that Shou Tucker is really that bad. Yes, his experiments do break boundaries of common morals, but let's look at him from perspective of Utilitarianism. If he actually succeeded in his experiments, the following advances in biological alchemistry would lead to breakthrough in medicine, bionics and other fields of applied sciences, bringing loads of utility to humankind and creating much more happiness than suffering that his family and other research subjects underwent. So, from this point of view, Tucker is not necessarily good, but his purposes surely are.
    • From a Utilitarian point of view, Tucker's actions still don't come off as justifiable. He isn't doing anything new - the other chimeras we see in the show are far more advanced than the ones he makes. Look at the chimeras like Heinkel who can flip between two shapes, maintain their identity and cognition and use special abilities. Tucker's big breakthrough, the talking chimera, was based on a lie. In general, his work isn't bringing anything new to the table. Besides, it seems his motivation is based more on the desperate wish to keep his rank and money when he finds he is not talented enough to come up with something truly innovative. In short, Tucker isn't doing anything so innovative or potentially beneficial that can justify what he did from a purely Utilitarian standpoint.
      • Yes, there are more advanced human chimeras, but aren't they top secret project? In their cases, alchemists had much more resources, time and experience, while Tucker operated by himself and with limited resources. And also, these chimeras were designated from very begining to serve Father's plans, without any beneficial purposes, while mainstream researching of such topic could benefit humankind.
      • First, Tucker never told anyone he was making human chimeras. Ed worked it out on his own. Tucker lied and said he made a talking chimera (out of non-human animals), except it talked because it was made from a human. Second, the chimeras he made (both from his wife and from Nina) were in constant pain. The first one is reported as saying only "I want to die", then refusing to eat until it died; Nina-Alexander, meanwhile, seems only partly lucid. The other human chimeras are better, but so is the pure-animal chimera Father Cornello had, which acted like a guard animal (and was). So Tucker is also really bad at what he does. Third, if Tucker wanted to advance knowledge of biological alchemy use on humans, he could have said so and asked for volunteers, who would be given informed consent forms to sign, acknowledging that they understand the risks. Instead, he used his wife and his daughter. If this were his goal, he also wouldn't have lied about it. It's made fairly clear that Tucker's motivation was to keep his State Alchemist certification - and its never-stated-but-implied-to-be-large research grant. Remember that the certification was built on a lie to begin with. Tucker even admits to Ed that he ultimately did it because he could. Tucker's actions were monstrous, and so were his motives.
      • In short, yes. An attempt to describe him as Utilitarian requires mis-reading his ACTUAL purpose, for a false, stated purpose. He's sacrificing two lives, for one half life. Furthermore, he has had two years to come up with ANY useful research afterwards, and failed. Justifying him is, basically, like justifying Actual-Mengele.

     Why was Father a hypocrite? 
  • Specifically when Father absorbs Truth why did he maintain human form. Why didn't he fight as the giant he was when he was eating the moon or the form he had when he absorbed Hohenheim? I know that final form transformations in most media tend to be humanoid, but I find it odd that a being who openly hated humans would transform into a human when he/it got the power of "God."
    • It likely ties back into the theme that while Father seems to dislike humanity and wishes to "purify" himself, he still subconsiously wants to be human. He makes himself a container that looks human when he first got his hands on a Philosopher's Stone and despite it being destroyed, still defaulted to it when he absorbed Truth. His "children" are more than just emotions he tried to strip from himself, they are family too. Even in the Homunculi there's evidence to back this up, with Envy being envious of humans, Pride absolutely hating them and Greed trying to mask his want for friends with worldly possessions. Deep down Father is lonely and jealous of humanity and wanted what they had, but somewhere down the line he decided to purify himself of it all.

     Did Hohenheim not want a family before? 
  • So basically Hohenheim never wanted a family before Trisha? Like he never fell in love before her? I get that he was dealing with the spirits trapped within him but it's kind of arbitrary that he eventually finds someone, the timing doesn't really make sense, and it's clear that there was noting special about who he chose. If anything you would think he would grow more incapable of loving a family over time.
    • He'd most likely at least thought about it, but held back due to the whole not wanting to outlive his family deal. As to why he eventually changed his mind... maybe Hohenheim just got lonely over time? Or just decided that having a family would be worth it after all.

     Were the high ranking officers indoctrinated from birth? 
  • Father's plan took generations to occur. So is it possible that entire families carried out the duties necessary for Father's plan? Or were people hand picked throughout the ages. YMMV but this could turn some (not all) of the high ranking staff from being simply opportunistic, selfish bastards, into a bit more of sympathetic figures who through familial coddling and an innate fear of death, were subtly manipulated into becoming more evil than they otherwise would have.
    • Doubtful. Such positions usually do have some basis in family lines, but to actually reach those positions requires skill, not being "chosen" for them (Even if such skill is primarily political). If they were indoctrinated, it was more than likely once they became indoctrinated once they reached at minimum brigadier general or higher. That way they have the necessary clout to actually affect the plans already in motion.
    • Most likely it wasn't that they were indoctrinated into serving Father as much as it was that Father, through Wrath and his growing circle, facilitated the careers of military personnel who seemed like they could most easily be persuaded to serve them. A good example of this is how Raven and Wrath treat Olivier Armstrong when it seems that she might like to be part of the conspiracy.

     The surrounding countries during the Eclipse 
  • So a giant transmutation circle surrounding essentially an entire country lights up during the eclipse. Does no one see this? No soldiers on any of the 3 countries Amestris has strained relationships with notice their opponents collapsing and ceasing all movement/sound? Despite the very obvious roar and flash of light he creates during the anime, is Father in some sort of invisible spiritual world? I wouldn't think so, since the people being can clearly see the giant black hands rising out of the ground, but what was the reaction of the other countries?
    • Probably their reaction was "Let's stay the hell away from whatever's happening over there!"
    • Amestris is established as a warlike and alchemically advanced nation in the series, with several border conflicts raging while the main plot was happening. Anything weird happening probably makes the other nations fearful that Amestris just made a major advancement, and that they'd better watch their step. Alternatively, the border posts saw the Amestrian guards drop dead, then revive. Either way, no one is messing with Amestris for a long time.

     Why doesn't Al transumute himself to get his soul back? 
  • I assume this is most likely a misunderstanding of the scene but when in Gluttony's 'stomach', they escape by Ed Transumting himself to open the eye of truth that was present in Gluttony. After this, Ed tells Al that he saw his body, who said he couldn't leave without his own soul. So why doesn't Al transmute himself (so there is no perceived 'taking' by truth as it is only himself) and try and grab his body in the gate. Even if it doesn't work, it's worth a shot. It's that they don't even discuss it which bothers me.
    • That's easy, Ed used some of Envy's Philosopher's Stone to pay the toll to get back out. By the time Ed and Al discuss his time in The Gate, they no longer have access to any.

     Why not break the circle? 
  • In regards to the Nationwide Transmutation Circle why not break the circle, it's not a permanant solution but it would stop the transmutation right?
    • Pride has his shadows constantly patrolling the tunnel that makes up the circle. It took him only a few minutes to a few seconds to find people anytime someone intruded on it. And trying to fight Pride underground, where you'd need a light source to do anything, is basically suicide.

     How did Greed know about Envy? 
  • How did Greed know that Marcoh defeated Envy when he ran after Father and Sloth after Pride was trapped? He wasn't anywhere nearby nor did he have the time to ask anybody about it.
    • Maybe it happened off-screen between the Envy and Pride fights? There was some time between the two, if I remember correctly.

    Kimblee's chimeras 
  • Why did Zampano and Gerso feel they couldn't face their families again unless they became fully human? They can still take human forms, so why are they so ashamed of being chimeras?
    • Well... they still aren't completely "normal" humans. Most people would probably be shocked to see that their loved ones could suddenly turn into animals. It's also kind of unclear how common chimeras are. Combine all that with the fact that they just wanted to be fully human again so they could feel normal, and it's pretty reasonable that they wouldn't want to see their families yet.

    Was Wrath suicidal? 
  • Why is it that when Wrath goes to fight Scar, around episode 57 I think, that he does not use some of the Philospher's Stone the gold doctor was planning on using to possibly heal Riza? I mean, they certainly don't need all of it to push Mustang through the gate, as a homunculus wouldn't he be able to absorb some of those souls and heal? For that matter, why doesn't he ask for extra souls like a week before the Promised Day?
    • A likely explanation is given based on how Wrath's human host experienced having a Philosopher's Stone implanted into his body versus how Ling experienced having a Philosopher's Stone (Greed) implanted into his body. Ling was able to come to an understanding with Greed, a dominant personality who was also dominating all the other souls that made up his Stone. Wrath, on the other hand, is a single soul who managed to overcome and destroy every other soul in his host body after it received the Philosopher's Stone. That demonstrates something intrinsic about the nature of Wrath's soul - he is wrathful, and probably cannot abide having more than one soul contesting his authority. If he was to receive more souls, he'd probably instinctively destroy them. Also, having had neither regenerative abilities nor the ability to use alchemy, he'd probably lack the understanding of how to even control them the way Greed is able to in Ling's body.
    • It's also implied that he's become something of a Death Seeker seeking The Last Dance at this point, given that he ends up challenging the remaining heroes to a battle for no other reason than because he's there and so are they.
    • First off, I'm not sure if Wrath even could ask for more souls, given the nature of how he was made. Either it just wouldn't work, or he'd end up fighting the other souls like he did before. And secondly, since he can't heal himself, Wrath probably figured he wouldn't live much longer anyway. If it's not The Last Dance like the above troper guessed, then it's possibly some kind of Taking You with Me attempt.

    What is the value of a human soul? 
  • in the beginning of Fullmetal Alchemist, the narration poses the question about what the value of a human soul is, but the question is never answered throughout the show. yet we see very often that the Philosopher Stones can create things seemingly out of nothing, because they're made from human souls, so there's clearly a conversion value going on there. yet the series never answers how much gold, iron or dirt a single human soul converts to
    • I think the best place to look for the answer might be to Cornello's own use of a stone. Using what was probably a low quality stone fitted for his task he really wasn't able to create much out of thin air. A few firearms, his own body augmentations and a chimera along with whatever he used beforehand to get people to believe his connection with some divine entity. We can assume a good way to do this would have been to create the church itself out of thin air. Mass and volume is probably the only criteria for how much material you can create, composition being irrelevant. Tim Marcoh created quite a few stones while working at Laboratory 5, using death row prisoners and captured Ishvalans. We might be able to assume Amestris used the death penalty fairly leniently compared to what we might consider average. Even then, one prison can probably only produce maybe thirty or forty souls every year or so, and that might still be too many even if they were also taking prisoners who died "mysteriously" while imprisoned. Primarily using Ishvalans, Marcoh was able to create quite a few stones until he eventually ran away in disgust, even taking a few imperfect ones with him. So the "average" stone might contain maybe two or three dozen souls, this number simply being my assumption. If we assume they were even willing to give Cornello one of these, the conversion of a couple dozen souls to raw materials doesn't seem to be more than a couple buildings at most.
  • The answer is 'infinity'. That's the entire theme of the show. More clearly, the answer is 'the right to alchemy'. Using a Philosopher's stone is NOT the exchange there is inefficient. The alchemist is never getting the full value of one soul. Using Cornello is also a very bad idea, as he's clearly a TERRIBLE alchemist. But, it's a philsophical question, not a clear equation. Thinking of it thusly, is what lead to the problems in the series.

     Why not use Hohenheim to get Al's body? 
  • Hohenheim dies not that long after the fight with Father, and he almost definitely knew this was going to happen, so why couldn't Ed use him to transmute Al's body?. Ed obviously doesn't want anyone else to die on his watch, but since Hohenheim's death was certain and soon-to-come why didn't he even try to insist to be used in the transmuation? I mean, dying just slightly before he was meant to wouldn't have changed much, right?
    • Ed quite simply refuses to kill another human being under any circumstance. The fact that Hohenheim was going to die anyway is irrelevant: Ed will not kill.
    • Al told Ed in the series that he doesn't want anyone to be sacrificed for their sake, and Edward agrees with him. Nina's and Hughes deaths were already more than enough for them.

     Why the taboo? 
Father needs three critical things for his grand plan. A big ass circle, some bloody crests and five people who have met truth. One and two he accomplishes easily (the northern one seems really late into the 400 year plan but let's assume he can only go at the rate Sloth can dig the tunnel). But the so called sacrifices he's really lacking in. He doesn't even have the full five come the day he was preparing for for centuries! This is a massive glaring oversight in the scheme, he easily could have been thwarted if any of the sacrifices decided to get out of Dodge that week. This also becomes way more baffling when we consider that Father basically invented Alchemy and has been steering Amestris's development since the country's inception. It really makes one wonder, why the hell is human transmutation a taboo anyway? If I were father I'd be encouraging Alchemists to pursue human transmutation. Let them know about the whole sacrifice something and you can use Alchemy without a transmutation circle. I don't think it would result in less people than the grand total of three he managed to gather with his "Make it illegal and relie on some rebel souls to try their hand at it anyway." The closest explanation we get from that one army guy is that it's illegal purely to stop the creation of immortal armies, but that hardly seems like something father would be afraid of. Especially when it's shown how the military is entirely incapable of actually controlling the dolls they made. Hell even if warlords commanding immortal armies started popping up around the place chances are that would make the whole bloody crests thing far more easy to enact. At the very least he could have lifted the restrictions on human transmutation like a decade before the promised day to help get more sacrificial candidates. This is something you want to have excess of!
  • Father's Human Sacrifices are all talented alchemists and even the candidates were all exceptional in alchemy. It's likely that he needed exceptional alchemists for his plan to work. And it is also likely that he didn't come up with the rule, but that it was implented by the alchemists themselves. People usually do not survive human transmutations because of the cost they have to pay. The fact that Al even lives is pure luck and Izumi might probably be dead if she wasn't such a strong-willed person. Mustang losing his eyesight instead of a body part is also rather lucky for him; imagine he lost both of his hands instead. We can assume that previous attempts were so severe that the alchemists figured out that they shouldn't research it further because the price is too high and the results are fruitless.
  • Expanding on the above, not only does it bring severe costs to the alchemists, but it doesn't even work as intended (at least not for bringing people back to life). No wonder such a cost-heavy practice with such bad results would develop taboo status, no amount of government endorsement would be able to change that, so they just play along. And since they can, as shown with Roy, force an alchemist into seeing Truth against their will, they only really needed to keep a handful of strong alchemists around (which the state alchemist program is designed to do), they just luckied out in having four of them that had already experienced Truth on their own and happened to be around.
  • It doesn't even really matter that Human Transmutation is impossible. Simply seeing the gate and gaining circleless transmutation is something a lot of alchemists would give their right arm for (literally). And sacrificing a body part isn't even necessary if you can provide Truth a philosopher's stone. There's really no reason someone like the gold tooth alchemists who was fully on father's side didn't visit the gate, unless we're just to believe he was kind of shit at alchemy and had that advanced position in father's inner circle purely out of loyalty and not some degree of competency. That they can force it if need be is also a poor excuse as that comes at incredible cost to them. This is a massively critical step in father's plan that could have been twarted if Izumi had just tripped and died. And then he'd need to start all over again and find a new eclipse somewhere. If hed just announced five or ten years earlier that they are removing the restrictions on human transmutation for research purposes and he'd have a list of people signing up to be sacrifices, not just candidates.

    Why not make a parrot chimera? 
  • Did Shou Tucker never consider using a parrot to make a chimera capable of human speech? Parrots are capable of reproducing human language, and some of the more intelligent varieties (such as African Greys) can understand it to an extent. Obviouly, Tucker had some screws loose, but the thought still should have occured to him.
    • Presuming Tucker even knew of such parrots? Even if he had, how would he have gotten ahold of any to experiment with? We don't know what kind of Africa equivalent FMA has, but even if the continents were all exactly the same as ours, they would have to get them from the south, past Aerugo, which has been actively at war with Amestris for years. Humans are his best option for talking, let alone intelligent chimeras. (Chimeri?)