Both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood are equally impressive anime and deserve to be seen. But one of their main differences is the homunculi.
Since most of their abilities are the same, I’ll focus on their origins, strengths and weaknesses, and who I think would win if these two universes ever collided.
This article will contain spoilers if you’re new to the fandom, so keep that in mind. And let’s see how far equal exchange works. I will henceforth refer to the 2003 version as FMA and the 2009 version as Brotherhood.
Origins of homunculi in Fullmetal/Brotherhood
In Brotherhood, all homunculi were created by father. He himself was created by an alchemist from Hohenheim’s blood, creating the Elric brothers’ homunculi clones and giving them a spooky bond.
However, the FMA blows this out of the water as homunculi are the by-product of failed human transmutations. Five of Homunculi’s origins are revealed in the anime.
Weaknesses and how to kill the homunculi
It’s difficult to kill a homunculious no matter what version you’re in. But the standard method between versions is to exhaust their Philosopher’s Stone.
Or, to put it another way, kill them until they stop moving and kill them again until their bodies disintegrate. Brotherhood turns the homunculi’s bodies to ash when they die, while FMA causes them to dissolve into a puddle of Red Stone liquid.
FMA has another weakness, but it doesn’t apply to certain homunculi. Since the FMA gave birth to their homunculi from human transmutation, bring some of the remains of the person you were trying to revive near the homunculus.
Then they are paralyzed and easier to kill or tame. Finally, I will go into more detail for each homunculus to make things easier.
Envy is my favorite and FMA gives them a great backstory! Hohenheim had a lover before he met his wife, Trisha Elric.
Dante and Hohenheim lived together for several lifetimes and had a son who died of mercury poisoning at the age of 18. Dante asked Hohenheim to bring him back to life, and Hohenheim tried.
But he left Dante and Envy soon after and would eventually meet Trisha Elric. FMA Envy is the oldest homunculus and arguably the strongest.
He is also the last homunculus to die, but managed to kill Hohenheim. Both versions of Envy can change, but FMA is not as difficult as Brotherhood and more intelligent than the Brotherhood version.
I believe FMA Envy will win against Brotherhood due to his intelligence and anger. Both hate people and enjoy their pain.
But FMA Evny’s hatred of Hohenheim is his only reason for being, and when he meets father, that anger will be all he needs to move on.
Lust is one of the first homunculi we meet in both series, and acts as the leader/familiar to Gluttony and Envy. Born to Scar’s older brother’s mistress, she played a more prominent role in FMA.
I believe Brotherhood Lust will win this one because FMA Lust was emotionally unstable at the end of FMA. She wishes to be human and helps the Elrics from time to time.
Brotherhood Lust was colder and more willing to obey Father’s orders. But unfortunately, their abilities are the same, which amounts to attrition and mind games.
Gluttony is an innocent child in a big body that will eat you. Both versions will eat anything and always seem to be hungry.
Gluttony obeys Lust and is emotionally dependent on her, but he gets along with the other homunculi. I’m calling this a tie due to her ultimate abilities/final form.
Brotherhood’s Gluttony is a failed gate of truth experiment by father. He could incorporate FMA Gluttony into his portal, but if FMA Gluttony removes his Oroboros tattoo and turns it into pure sin. A mindless being that grows steadily in the Fullmetal Alchemist film Conqueror of Shamballa and will eat everyone, including its most likely creator, Dante.
From here it gets complicated due to the different versions and characters. For example, FMA only has one Greed while Brotherhood has two.
Their powers and personalities are virtually identical, but their deaths are different. Greed wants status, wealth, sex and the finer things in life.
But he is also the coolest of the homunculi. He values his comrades, but also considers them his possessions, and most of them hold him in high esteem.
Greed wants to be immortal like Alphonse in both versions instead of like a homunculus. But the manga gives us the best interpretation of these events.
When the Chimeras capture Alphonse and Greed reveals his plans to him, Alphonse says that Edward was the one who turned him into his armor and that he is no longer here.
Readers know that Edward escaped, but Greed interprets this as Ed’s death and continues to feel guilty for raising Ed. Greed tries to comfort Alphonse, much to the boy’s confusion.
In FMA, Greed learns that he can never escape Dante and since he doesn’t want to be captured or work for her again. So Greed decides to go out like a boss and get Edward to kill him and learn how to kill the homunculi.
The Brotherhood’s OG Greed is captured by Father and the other homunculi, but he refuses to serve Father again. So Father melts greed into gold and finally drinks it in front of the remaining homunculi.
But not before Greed taunts her, despite being in pain and staying true to himself to the end. GreedLing, on the other hand, has a more impactful time in Brotherhood.
Whenever father makes a homunculus, the previous version’s memories are erased. But GreedLing changes things when Greed kills his friend Bido and remembers his past.
Ling mocks Greed, saying he is not worthy of being Greed; They eventually learn to trust each other and play a crucial role in the final battle against Father. Greed claims he never lies, but he tells Ling one to save his life.
The OG Greed is my second favorite and the GreedLing is my third. I bet the Greeds would fight at first but eventually decide to mess with others instead.
Sloth is Trisha Elric in FMA and a tall muscular man in Brotherhood. The Brotherhood sloth is tasked with digging tunnels under the land to form a transmutation circle.
He loves to complain that everything is a pain and he has no special skills. FMA Sloth, on the other hand, poses as King Bradly’s secretary, her body can transform into water and she is in charge of Wrath.
She hates the memories of her past life and reveals to Edward that she saw him the night the brothers performed the transmutation. This is a fact that troubles Ed as he recalls looking into her face and dreading it that night.
She has multiple chances to kill the Elric brothers, but she also messes with their heads. The final battle between this family and Wrath is a haunting one.
It’s not clear if Sloth enjoys playing the role of Wrath’s mother character, but her last words to Ed are full of love: “Well done darling.”
One of the things that both sloths have in common is their need to be motivated before using their full potential. Brotherhood Sloth dies the way he lived: complain.
Due to her resilience, FMA Sloth wins the encounter, assuming Brotherhood Sloth can bother fighting.
FMA Wrath is unique in having fused Edward’s arm and leg into his body. He is also the transformed form of Izumi Curti’s stillborn son, and she is the Elric brother’s teacher.
FMA Wrath can use alchemy and will cling to Sloth and call her mama. Brotherhood Wrath is King Bradly who is also unique in that he is the only human-based homunculus and can age.
I give Brotherhood the win based on Bradly’s overall fighting skills and personality. But Wrath Bradly pales in comparison to FMA Pride.
FMA Pride is a brute and one of the few homunculi created by Dante himself. Greed was created before Pride and many fans believe she made Gluttony.
FMA Pride sees people as stupid and doesn’t trust them. Yet both he and Brotherhood Wrath make it a point to say they chose their wife.
We never learn how it was done, which is sad, but it proves that the Bradlys have that woman they care about. And Selim exists in both versions, giving Brotherhood an excellent shot at winning.
Bradly’s abilities are the same in both versions, but FMA Bradly killed Selim when the boy brought him the skull from his original remains. This weakens the homunculus and allows Mustang to kill him, meaning Pride Selim could swap places with his human counterpart or attempt a sneak attack with his shadows.
Brotherhood Pride is the first Homunculus father created, and his shadows are similar to all Homunculi powers. They can cut, change shape, be used for long-distance communication, he can see through them, eat anything, and the shadows are very resilient.
But because they are shadows, they can be dealt with relatively quickly. All one has to do is catch Selim in complete darkness or expose him to bright light.
FMA Bradly can figure this out and make it work, but I believe Selim will win based on his knowledge of Wrath Bradly. Selim is the only homunculus to survive the end of the Brotherhood.
The ultimate villain of the Brotherhood who became God for a few moments before getting his ass kicked by Edward and sealed by God/Truth behind the Gate of Truth. Father’s relationship with Hohenheim and the homunculi is complex and simple.
Father wanted freedom, family and the right to choose. He named Hohenheim and made it a living philosopher’s stone.
Unfortunately we don’t know how long they stayed together, but father holds Hohenheim with respect and teaches the homunculi about Hohenheim’s existence.
Although the homunculi are named after a sin/emotion, they are not limited to that. They have the same feeling as humans; they just don’t want to admit it most of the time.
So there we have it. I hope you enjoyed it and comment often. Which homunculus is your favorite?
Do you prefer FMA or Brotherhood or both?