Hiromu Arakawa’s motion fantasy sequence Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is brimming with vital symbology and real-life references to faith, mythology, alchemy, and extra, and all this analysis has definitely paid off. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a story of journey, the follies of mankind, ambition, conspiracy, and the innate goodness of humanity.

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Along the way in which, the principle characters study every kind of classes about themselves and one another, and the world of Amestris is richly fleshed out throughout the Elric brother’s journey. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a deal with for anybody who enjoys this stuff, and there is a lot to study, together with the secrets and techniques of this present’s arcane symbols and logos.

Updated by Lauren Turner on August 20, 2022: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a mega-popular franchise that will probably be related for years to return. New followers and longtime followers alike will wish to know in regards to the secrets and techniques behind the symbols and logos featured within the sequence, so we have revamped this checklist with much more info.

10 The Amestris State Flag

First seems throughout the opening sequence in Episode 1, “Fullmetal Alchemist”

Not quite a bit is defined in regards to the nationwide flag of Amestris, however some educated guesses might be made. It depicts a dragon on a inexperienced discipline, and almost definitely, the dragon represents the aggressive methods of this nation. Amestris is a navy autocratic state, the place the military and large authorities are intertwined.

Often, white is a coloration representing purity, however it could actually additionally symbolize loss of life, corresponding to human bones. The “death” Horseman of the Apocalypse rides on a white horse, in spite of everything. This dragon’s tail varieties a loop, probably alluding to how vital transmutation circles are in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

9 The Ouroboros

First seems throughout the opening sequence in Episode 1, “Fullmetal Alchemist”

Only the homunculi bear the Ouroboros image, and it offers away their homunculus standing. Greed’s, as pictured, is on the again of his left hand, Gluttony has one on his tongue, and Wrath’s image is on his left eye.

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The Ouroborus, in accordance with real-life symbology, represents immortality and eternity, since it’s consuming its personal tail and thus creating an infinite loop. The homunculi aren’t actually immortal, however they’ll outlive people, and they’re instruments of Father’s ambition to change into an immortal god.

8 The Flamel

First seems throughout the opening sequence in Episode 1, “Fullmetal Alchemist”

The Flamel is the image that seems on the again of Edward Elric’s distinctive crimson coat. This cross has a snake draped on it, together with indifferent wings and a crown, and it represents the real-life Nicholas Flamel’s relationship to alchemy.

The Flamel image additionally has a superficial resemblance to the Greek Rod of Asclepius, related to medication in historical Greece. It’s additionally considerably just like the Greek Caduceus, the image of the Greek god Hermes (who controls alchemy). Izumi Curtis, the Elric brothers’ trainer, has this image tattooed on her breast.

7 Roy Mustang’s Transmutation Circle

First seems throughout the opening sequence in Episode 1, “Fullmetal Alchemist”

Colonel Roy Mustang is a rare alchemist, with the ability to snap his fingers to generate warmth and flames in any form or sample. To do that, Roy has a singular transmutation circle on his glove that reveals a triangle, a stylized flame, and a salamander.

In medieval Europe, salamanders have been related to fireplace, and this motif seems typically in fiction each outdated and new. Pokémon’s Charmander, for instance, is a fireplace lizard. The phrases “charred” and “salamander” are mixed collectively to create the identify “Charmander.”

6 Kimblee’s Transmutaton Circle

First seems throughout a dialog between Kimblee and a jail guard in Episode 8, “The Fifth Laboratory”

Solf J. Kimblee has to clap his palms to make use of alchemy, and his circle is cut up in half on every palm. The solar image on his proper hand represents gold, and the moon image on his left hand stands for silver.

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The triangles in Kimblee’s transmutation circles are vital, too: the upward triangle is symbolic of fireside, and the downward-facing triangle represents water. When the symbols on every hand are put collectively, they kind a hexagram. This motion implies that Kimblee’s explosive alchemy is able to implode.

5 Blood Seal

First seems throughout a flashback in Episode 2, “The First Day”

Alphonse Elric could be very cautious to guard this transmutation circle. In a second of desperation after committing alchemy’s final taboo — human transmutation — a younger Edward used his personal blood to write down it, and this sure Al’s soul to armor with superior alchemy.

This blood seal might symbolize the real-life philosophy {that a} human life has two distinct components: the physique and the thoughts, or the soul. Some might argue that killing the physique doesn’t kill the thoughts, and to make sure, Alphonse is a positive metaphor for that.

4 The Gate Of Truth

First seems throughout a flashback in Episode 2, “The First Day”

Edward comes head to head with Truth at any time when he performs human alchemy: as soon as as a baby, and as soon as to flee Gluttony’s abdomen realm. Each time, he finds himself in a white void that options this door, which is oozing with symbolic which means. In explicit, it refers back to the mystical department of Judaism often called the Kabbalah.

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The Gate of Truth is predicated on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, and in Ed’s case, the tree has a crown or a “keter.” This tree’s roots symbolize probably the most mundane and earthly side of attempting to succeed in godhood, and the highest represents the divine. The circles additionally describe features of Ed’s being and God, in Hebrew and in Latin, corresponding to Filius (“son”) and El Pater (“God”).

3 Alkahestry & Alchemy

The idea of alkahestry is first launched in Episode 2, “The First Day”

Shown is an experimental mixture of alchemy and alkahestry, from the notes of Scar’s deceased brother. Alkahestry, which originates from Xing, is predicated on pentagrams moderately than hexagrams, and a star is commonly symbolic of the human physique in actual life — for instance, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

Scar’s brother realized that neither alchemy nor alkahestry represented the sum of the world’s energy, and tried to reconcile them. Scar’s arm tattoos, which allow alchemy, even have alkahestry symbology in them.

2 The Sun & Moon

First seems within the ruins of Xerxes in Episode 18, “The Arrogant Palm Of A Small Human”

The historical Xerxes individuals of the nice desert had some symbology to supply, too. Ed finds these ruins each in Xerxes itself and inside Gluttony’s abdomen, and he quickly divines their which means. According to him, the solar represents the human soul, whereas the moon stands for the thoughts.

The stone itself, in the meantime, is the human physique. All of those sides add as much as a human transmutation circle, and Ed is just not glad to see that. Ed additionally notes that the lion is consuming the solar, representing the attainment of the Philosopher’s Stone and thus immortality.

1 Alex Armstrong’s Transmutation Circle

First seems throughout the opening sequence in Episode 1, “Fullmetal Alchemist”

Major Alex Armstrong has two copies of his transmutation circle, one on every armored gauntlet, and he strikes the gauntlets collectively to activate his personal model of alchemy. Inside a triangle is the phrase for “God,” as seen on the Xerxes human transmutation circle.

There seems to be German textual content circling the symbols, which is simpler to see within the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. The textual content modifications in some unspecified time in the future, but it surely’s not clear if that is from an inventive oversight or if Armstrong actually did change the writing.

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