In the show, whenever an alchemist commits the taboo, they only lose one part of their body. Izumi lost organs, Ed lost his leg, and Mustang lost his eyesight. But, when Alphonse tried to transmute the soul he lost his entire body. Even though the equivalent exchange was justified for the other alchemists, I can't help but feel like Al's was not equivalent.

Can someone explain to me why he lost his whole body rather than just one part?

  • Maybe it's because the boys tried to use their blood as a material component and since it wasn't enough it took all of Al's body?
    – Cyberson
    Oct 29, 2016 at 19:02
  • The author wanted him to be an artifitial body (armour).
    – Sanji
    Oct 29, 2016 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


Alphonse was shown more of the truth than Edward, however he forgot it at the beginning of Brotherhood. Only towards the end did he remember. Thus, seeing more of it warrants a greater toll.

Also, the truth takes from you that which is most ironic (which is why it is such a cruel thing); for example, Mustang had his sight taken as he had his 'sights' set on being Fuhrer. Alphonse had his entire body taken as he wanted to feel his Mother's hugs and warmth. Having his body taken means that can't happen anymore.

  • Deleted my earlier comment about not having seen a remark about Alphonse having seen more of the truth; apparently it probably comes up in a conversation between Ed and Izumi. I'd still note that the beginning of the manga/FMA:B is set a few years after the human transmutation attempt (which is shown as a flashback). It's possibly more accurate then to say that Alphonse forgot about the truth around the same time as the human transmutation attempt.
    – Maroon
    Oct 30, 2016 at 5:12
  • Good note about "irony". Another proof - Izumi wanted to resurrect her child, and has lost her internal organs, thus she became unable to give birth to another child.
    – lentinant
    Oct 31, 2016 at 11:25
  • Yes, but if Alphonse lost his entire body he should have learnt more of the knowledge from beyond the gate. It is still not clear what the buys learnt by going beyond the gate.
    – quantum231
    Aug 26, 2017 at 13:30

In the original, (or maybe it was Brotherhood, I'm not sure) Alphonse said that he was the one looking at Edward through his "mother's" body. So in the original or was because the body took Alphonse's soul for the body instead of theirs mother's. His blood was then disposed of, but the body they made for their mother rejected Alphonse's soul, leaving him with no body. In Brotherhood and the manga, I think it's just because Alphonse's was shown more of the truth.

  • Please include relevant sources/references.
    – W. Are
    Dec 7, 2019 at 5:26

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