Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an entertaining, but complicated shonen anime series with a lot of interesting characters. While you could say that the series is largely plot-driven, it’s the characters who really keep the story ticking like a well-designed state alchemist pocket watch.
Table of Contents
- Fullmetal Alchemist Main Character List
- Edward Elric
- Alphonse Elric
- Roy Mustang
- Winry Rockbell
- The Homunculi
- Side Characters in FMA
- Riza Hawkeye
- Alex Louis Armstrong
- Führer King Bradley
Main Characters in Fullmetal Alchemist
Edward is the elder of the two Elric brothers. When the brothers tried to use alchemy to bring their mother back from the dead, Ed lost an arm and a leg. To help the brothers find a Philosopher’s Stone, Ed joins the Amestris military as a state alchemist. As such, he earns the title Fullmetal Alchemist.
Generally speaking, Ed is pretty smart, if a bit egotistical. He’s a tough fighter, and motivated by his quest. Don’t call him short.
Al is Edward’s younger brother. His soul is bonded to an empty suit of armor as a result of the same disaster that cost Ed half his limbs. The brothers stick together as they search for the stone, fight the killer Scar, and battle various homunculi. Eventually they must stop “Father,” the creator of the homunculi.
Overall, Al is a sweet and nice guy, and more sensitive than his older brother. His unique status as a living suit of armor means that people often assume that he’s “Fullmetal.”
Colonel Roy Mustang, a.k.a. the Flame Alchemist, is Edward Elric’s superior officer. He gets the nickname from his trademark ability to create fire using alchemy.
At the beginning of the series, Mustang is largely responsible for Edward joining the military. Although Mustang is Edward’s commander, the two don’t always get along. Underneath this arrogant façade of antagonism, Mustang does care a lot about his team. His ultimate goal is to become the next Führer.
Winry is a childhood friend of the Elric brothers who made Ed’s automail arm and leg. She’s a great “gearhead” mechanic. She’s even skilled at surgery.
Since the beginning of the series, she’s often seen as a potential love interest for Ed, if only the two would figure it out. She’s a bit tsundere toward Ed.
The homunculi are artificial humanoids, created using alchemy. The main seven that we see in the series are named after the seven deadly sins — Lust, Gluttony, Envy, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, and Pride. These are the primary antagonists throughout the series.
We first meet the sexy assassin Lust, and her ravenous, childlike henchman Gluttony. Envy is a deadly shapeshifter. Greed went off on his own in search of immortality. Wrath and Pride are both huge spoilers for the series. And Sloth is just a big (and surprisingly fast when he wants to be) brute.
All of the homunculi were created by Father.
Scar is a vigilante terrorist and a survivor of the Ishval Civil War. He wants revenge against the state alchemists for their role in the Ishvalan genocide. As such, Scar serves as one of the early antagonists — although he can be arguably sympathetic, once you know his tragic background.
As time goes on, he eventually starts to come around. And by the end of the series, he helps in the fight against the homunculi and Father.
The mysterious person known as Father (or otosan) is the true villain of the series. He created the seven deadly homunculi. The series slowly reveals that he had been around for eight centuries, manipulating the nation and teaching it alchemy for his own purposes. His epic, monstrous grand plan is the driving force behind the whole story.
Side Characters in Fullmetal Alchemist
Hawkeye is Roy Mustang’s assistant and top lieutenant. She’s a sharpshooter and a sniper. Hawkeye is more cold and levelheaded than her leader. She’s also often the straight man among the soldiers in Mustang’s unit. She apparently doesn’t use alchemy.
Alex Louis Armstrong
Major Armstrong is a large, muscular and macho, yet quite compassionate state alchemist. Although he’s technically not part of Mustang’s team, he shows up a lot as a friend to the colonel. He’s also a friendly, sympathetic ally of the Elric brothers. As a comic relief large ham, he’s a fun character to watch.
Führer King Bradley
Führer is his title; King is his first name. At the beginning of the series, King Bradley is the dictator of the nation of Amestris, and leader of its military. He’s a tough fighter, but also seemingly quirky and weird. His true nature isn’t revealed until later.
Fullmetal Alchemist Synopsis
Hiromu Arakawa created the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. It lasted from 2001 to 2010. Her manga inspired two adaptations — Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004), and the more faithful version, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010). Although many of the same characters exist in both versions, this article deals primarily with Brotherhood. Most of Brotherhood’s 64 episodes are manga canon, with only one filler (episode 27).
The story begins with young alchemists Edward and Alphonse Elric. Their attempt to bring their mother back from the dead resulted in Ed losing an arm and a leg. Al’s soul became bonded to a suit of armor.
Encouraged by Roy Mustang, Ed becomes a state alchemist. The brothers are sent out on missions, which typically are related (either directly or indirectly) to their quest to return to normal. They quickly run across Scar, and learn about Ishval. A lot of the story features the aftermath of the war.
Eventually, the brothers must fight to stop Father’s plot, which goes right to the heart of alchemy.
Where to Watch Fullmetal Alchemist
We have a full article which explains where to watch Fullmetal Alchemist. But briefly, the five best are: