, commonly nicknamed as Ed
is a fictional character
in the Fullmetal Alchemist anime
series created by Hiromu Arakawa
. Edward is the series' titular character. The story chronicles the journey made by Edward and his younger brother, Alphonse
, to find the mythical Philosopher's Stone after they are left as orphans.
Numerous publications for manga, anime and related media have written on the subject Edward's character. IGN praised Edward to be the balance between the typical clever kid and the stubborn kid persona. His comedic moments have been celebrated by Anime News Network as the best moments in the series. Both of his voice actors, Romi Paku and Vic Mignogna have been praised for their acting as Edward Elric and have won several awards for it. Numerous pieces of merchandise have been released bearing Edward's likeness, including keychains and action figures.
Edward Elric is the youngest State Alchemist to be selected by the State Military of the country, having achieved the rank of Major at age twelve. His father's disappearance when Edward was young, the death of his mother, and a failed transmutation play a key role in his story. Edward's motivation stems from a love for his brother Alphonse Elric
, for whom he is desperately seeking a way to restore to a human form after their alchemy accident. Due to this, he is also generally perceived to be very independent; he feels that he's the only one who can solve a problem. Often, he feels a heavy guilt that the problem is his fault to begin with, and thus his responsibility to solve. This gives him a selfless inclination.
His automail limbs are made by his childhood friend Winry Rockbell. Edward often fights by transmuting the forearm of his automail into a blade. Winry is always kept busy with them, as Edward regularly breaks them during fights. She is constantly looking for new ways to improve them, whether it is an attempt at extending their lifespan or simply lightening the weight. In both the anime and manga, Winry is an extremely important person to Edward. In the anime series, no romantic feelings are ever explicitly stated, but in the manga, Winry is in love with him. Edward has also exhibited similar feelings, but constantly denies them.
Edward is extremely short for his age and is very sensitive about his height, and tends to humorously overreact to any comment about it. He makes a habit of breaking out into rants and frenzied outbursts. Despite all of the obstacles that Edward tackles in the story, he still displays a childish personality when it comes to things he despises, such as needles and milk. He is extremely idealistic and strongly believes in Equivalent Exchange, using it as his personal philosophy. Despite his occasional bouts of immaturity, he is a selfless, strong, independent young adult that gains a reputation as a "hero of the people". A running gag in the manga is that Edward has very poor taste in art. Whenever he transmutes an item, he tends to make it over-the-top, including spikes, skulls, or other demon-like touches. Many characters become angered when he fixes their broken items to suit his own odd taste.
Ed has the special ability to create alchemical currents in his body simply by connecting his hands unlike regular alchemists that normally use transmutation circles. This is a direct result of seeing the Gate of Truth, the source of all alchemic knowledge, while attempting to resurrect his mother. He is adept at changing substances from one thing to another quickly, such as changing water into ethanol, and can transmute the elements of an enemy's body to injure them in battle. In the manga, this knowledge is great enough to save his own life, as he heals a would-be fatal wound.
Even without alchemical ability, Edward is a formidable fighter as result of his training with Izumi Curtis, who extensively trained both brothers in the martial arts.
Edward is born in a small town named Resembool, where he lives with his younger brother, Alphonse
, and both of his parents, Trisha Elric
, until Hohenheim embarks on a journey and several years after, Trisha falls ill and dies, leaving the two young boys as orphans. Their neighbor, Pinako Rockbell, then begins looking after them. During that time, the brothers concentrate in studying alchemy in hopes of bringing their mother back to life and are able to train with a skilled alchemist named Izumi Curtis
. When they return home from their training, they proceed to try the taboo art of Human transmutation but fail costing Edward his left leg and costs Alphonse his entire body. Edward then performs a second transmutation, sacrificing his own right arm to bind Alphonse's soul to a nearby suit of armor. Edward becomes a State Alchemist in order to find a way to recover their bodies through use of the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Winry Rockbell, his childhood friend, also outfits him with prosthetic automail limbs to replace those that he lost. It is because of these metal parts, Edward is given the title "Fullmetal Alchemist".
Although Edward has the same background and characteristics in the manga and the anime, Edward meets different people and fight against different enemies. During their search they become the target of an Ishvalan nicknamed Scar and of the Homunculi. Since traveling to Rush Valley, the manga and the anime go through different plots:
When Edward and Alphonse discover that the homunculi and the Philosopher's Stone are related, they work together along Lin Yao
and Roy Mustang
in order to find them. However, after the Elric brothers meet the first homuculus "Father
", they are forced to keep working with the military by secretly using their friends from Resembool as hostages. Being unable to protect them, the Ed and Al go to the north of the country to request to the guardian Olivier Mira Armstrong. Although that, the State Alchemist Zolf J. Kimblee,
takes Winry Rockbell
to the north along him to keep forcing him to work. As they ordered to capture the Ishvalan Scar, they decide to ask him to help them to move Winry to a safe place. Edward is fatally wounded by Kimblee when he discovers his plan, but he is able to escape with the help from his soldiers. Once he recovers, Ed starts working with the rebelled homunculus Greed, who is in the body of Lin Yao, and finds out that "Father" plans to make a human transmutation in all the country. After discovering that, Edward goes to the Central City to defeat the homunculi.
After finding his master, Edward fights against the homunculus Greed
, who kidnapped Alphonse, and kills him. By doing so, Ed was taught the secret in destroying homonculi. Having heard of Scar's creation of the Philosopher's Stone, Edward saves the people from the Lior city from being sacrificed due to the creation of the stone. During his fight against the Homunculus, Edward is killed by Envy
and Alphonse uses the power of the Philosopher's Stone to heal Edward's body and to reattach his soul. After being revived, Edward risks his own life to bring back his brother in exchange. As a result, Edward ends up on the other side of the gate, while Alphonse recovers his original body. Determined to return with Alphonse, Edward becomes involved in rocketry research in the country of Transylvania, with the intention to use that technology to try and get back to his home world.
Appearances in other media
In the featured film of the series, Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
, set two years after the end of the anime, Edward has been living in Germany and looks for a way to return to his world. At the film's end, he decides to stay in our world along with Alphonse so that they may try to protect both worlds. Edward also appears in almost all the Fullmetal Alchemist OVAs
. In the first one as a super deformed
version of himself at the movie's wrap-up party, in the second, he appears shortly as an old man living in modern-day Tokyo, and in the third OVA, he plays a part in the battle against the anime's Homunculi
. As the series' titular character, Edward is playable in all Fullmetal Alchemist video games
on all platforms. He is also featured in several of the Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game
, who does the voice acting
for Edward in the English dub
was the winner in American Anime Awards
in the category "Best Actor" for voicing Edward. He has stated that performing Edward may be his biggest voice acting achievement since fans do not compare him with Romi Paku
, the seiyū
for the character. Due to his popularity, Edward won the Twenty-sixth Annual Animage
Readers' Poll in the "Favorite Male Character" category as well as his seiyū
, Romi Paku, in the "Favorite Seiyu" category for her acting as Edward. Several pieces of merchandise have been released in Edward's likeness, including plush toys, action figures, and key-chains.
Several publications for manga, anime, and other pop culture media have provided both praise and criticism on Edward's character. IGN praises Edward as the perfect balance between the typical clever kid and the stubborn kid persona, explaining that this allows the character to float between comical moments and underlying drama without seeming false, something they comment that most manga fail to do. Anime News Network praises Edward's facial expressions to as one of the most humorous highlights of the series, including also the moments in which he reacts quite violently to comments about his small stature. They also praise him for not being a stereotypical shōnen character as it is noted that he has very real skills, relationships, and personality. T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews comments that the interaction between the Elric brothers as they travel is interesting, since humor is quite frequent rather than the constant grimness of many series.