For many anime fans, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is considered one the greatest anime of all time. The show follows the manga faithfully, and maturely handles a number of themes including war, abandonment, and prejudice.
The show features a cast of unique characters that each come with their own backstories, motivations, and ideals. From ambitious social-climbers to nonconformist mavericks, there’s a character for every kind of fan to get behind and root for in this classic shonen anime.
10 Edward Elric
Edward Elric is the walking definition of a nonconformist, as are many of his most ardent fans. He is extremely self-confident and sociable, but also walks to the beat of his own drum and resents the oversight and authority of the State Alchemist leadership. Ed is comfortable with conflict and very sensitive to insults, specifically ones directed at his height. He is extremely loyal and is willing to break the rules in order to protect his family and friends. He hates being controlled and he sticks to his ideals–even in the face of resistance. Ed occasionally struggles with feelings of abandonment and hopelessness but is always able to right himself by focusing on his goal to restore his and his brother’s bodies.
9 Alphonse Elric
Fans of Alphonse Elric are likely to have a calming and optimistic attitude but may struggle with dissociation in times of stress. Al is thoughtful and compassionate–see: his eagerness to save every stray cat he encounters. Because he is separated from his body, Al often questions his sense of identity and at times has trouble asserting his individuality.
He’s selfless; even after learning the truth about the philosopher’s stone, the thought of using it on himself never crosses his mind. Despite his situation, accepting others as they come naturally to Al. He views life with some innocence, which allows him to find moments of serenity even when the future holds much uncertainty.
8 Roy Mustang
Viewers who are competitive are sure to see themselves in Roy Mustang. The un-elected king of cool, Roy is a typical high-achiever with aspirations of greatness, but there is more to Roy than meets the eye. He’s hard-working and a textbook example of a good soldier. Diplomatic and charming, Roy quickly climbs the ranks of the Amestrian military. On his quest for power, he tends to compartmentalize his feelings and often downplays his emotions.
7 Winry Rockbell
Winry’s fans are likely people who are full of enthusiasm for causes that champion and provide for others. Their downside is they can sometimes overlook their own needs. Winry’s big heart leads her to use her engineering talents in ways that help those in need.
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When in the zone, Winry is attentive to detail and quick to recognize areas that need improvement. With her dedication to work, she ends up sacrificing her own needs, like when she toils hours on ends to fix up Ed’s damaged arm or leg. Her sense of morality and love for others, while often anxiety-inducing, also help her to make difficult decisions.
Ling values optimism and never misses an exciting opportunity. Those who enjoy his character are likely enthusiastic and adventurous, even when they are struggling. However, because he seeks gratification and his main goal is to unify his country as king, Ling isn’t one to avoid manipulative tactics and he has few qualms about using the philosopher’s stone or later accepting Greed’s presence in order to achieve his objective. Despite putting himself in strenuous situations, Ling remains optimistic and quick-thinking, and his dedication to his country endears him to fans.
5 Riza Hawkeye
Viewers with a strong moral compass likely enjoy Riza Hawkeye, since she is ethical and driven by an innate sense of justice, at times even to her own detriment. Riza doesn’t look for any easy ways out, and instead of retiring after the war, she dedicates her life to protecting Roy because she believes in his vision. Her idealism attracts fans with a strong sense of purpose, but she is blind in her devotion. Riza is calculated and rational, which may be why she has trouble expressing her romantic feelings towards Roy. Still, Riza’s wisdom and inspiration to others shine through, especially when she lets down her guard and finds moments of vulnerability.
Any fan with a soft spot for Scar has an intense sense of right and wrong. Scar is a crusader who is motivated by his idealism and a desire to restore justice and balance to the world. He is initially motivated to seek revenge against the State Alchemists who slaughtered his people during the Ishvalan War of Extermination but over the course of the series he grows more thoughtful and measured.
Scar is fastidious and very determined, but his devotion to his cause leads him to be overly critical and a perfectionist. He struggles to justify his actions, and it’s only once he meets Ed and others like May Chang that Scar begins to let go of some of his hatred and adjust his ideals so he can accept the past and move on with his life.
3 Alex Louis Armstrong
Everyone who connects to the Strong Arm Alchemist is likely someone who makes an impression when they walk into a room. Alex is empathetic, sincere, and wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is self-sacrificing and consistently puts himself into harm’s way to protect his friends. Alex is unselfish, altruistic and unconditionally loves his family. While others occasionally try to take advantage of his giving and people-pleasing nature, Alex remains steadfast in his loyalty, and consistently reaffirms and supports the dreams of those around him.
2 Izumi Curtis
People that identify with Izumi Curtis probably enjoy peace and quiet, but if disturbed they do not hesitate to show off their personal strength. Izumi, who appears quite domestic, truly does love the simplicity of her life. To outsiders, she may seem stoic, even impassive, but she is also easily aggravated by others’ laziness. And, when her humble exterior fades she reveals the passionate force of her anger. Underneath her aggressiveness is a deep love for people, and especially for children, and her wisdom and leadership help guide the Elric brothers to become great alchemists and decent human beings.
1 Maes Hughes
Fans of Maes Hughes can always be counted on to come through in a pinch. As one of the most loved characters in the series, Maes is humble, unselfish, and caring. He is a dedicated family man who unabashedly dotes on his wife and daughter, but he also works incredibly hard to support his friends in the State military, especially Roy and the Elric brothers. Maes is motivated by his desire to be loved, and he expresses his feelings for others openly and honestly without fear or judgment. Maes is very service-oriented, always seeking to help those around him and society as a whole, and although his life is cut short, he still manages to leave a lasting impression on the people whose lives he touched.
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