It may be because I'm Jewish (yes, Madara is Jewish), but I couldn't help but noticing the similarities between Fullmetal Alchemist to the German Nazi regime.

  • German names (Edward, Alphonse, Olivier, Bradley)
  • A Fuhrer
  • "Dogs of the Army"
  • Very militarized
  • Blond hair and blue eyes
  • Extermination (Ishvals)
  • War on multiple fronts
  • Human experimentation
  • An obsession with the occult among high ranking officials

Is it just me? Or is there a connection? Is there some written reference to that? Has the mangaka said anything about it?

  • 11
    Have you watched the movie Conqueror of Shamballa? In that movie there are very direct associations with Nazis, in particular with the Thule-Gesellschaft.
    – chirale
    Dec 15, 2012 at 18:18
  • 2
    @chirale: I'm asking about the show as a whole. Does the show contain or is based of Nazi themes, and if so, are there references for it Dec 15, 2012 at 18:32
  • 8
    All the names you listed are NOT german names... just sayin.
    – user1547
    Mar 8, 2013 at 14:30
  • 6
    @MadaraUchiha The names are English. They have a German variant (Eduard, Alfons, Oliver (There's nothing for Bradley)), but except Alphonse, they are derived from other languages (Edward is English, Oliver is French).
    – looper
    May 21, 2013 at 6:14
  • 4
    You forgot human experimentation and an obsession with the occult amoung high ranking officials.
    – kaine
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:28

6 Answers 6


The FMA Wiki states that:

When creating the fictional world of Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa was inspired after reading about Europe during the Industrial Revolution period; she was amazed by how different the people from different countries were, in terms of their culture, architecture and clothes. She was especially interested in England during this period and "added to it her own original flavor to turn it into a fantasy world".

"Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa" — the movie that follows the first anime series — is set in 1923 Germany, and depicts the beginning of the Nazi Party within German politics, being only an extremist group at that point.

Other than that, I know of no such inspirations. But it may well be that Arakawa has said something more concrete about that.


People on the internet have noticed the same thing you have, and have come to the same conclusion.

But beyond that, there's little to go on (at least for the manga):

Manga/2009 anime

JNat's answer says Amestris was inspired by England, pointing to the FMA wiki.

There's a more nuanced explanation on another page of the wiki:

Arakawa has stated she didn't use any specific countries or cultures to create Amestris, but rather a combination of several European countries from several different periods between the 17th and 19th centuries and, more specifically, the changes that occurred in the Western Europe during the Industrial Revolution (with a greater inspiration in England). According to her, however, there's no implied relation or comparison to any specific country, time, or government.

Do note that the wiki cites no source for either of these quotes from Arakawa (this one and the one cited by JNat).

2003 anime

In this continuity, the Elrics' world is an alternate history of our own world (Christianity is mentioned as a dead religion), so regions of our world correspond with regions of theirs -- and here, Amestris is the parallel-world counterpart of Germany. We know this because

in Conqueror of Shamballa, we see that the parallel-world counterparts of several characters (Edward, Alphonse, King Bradley, Lust, Scar, Hughes and his wife) are residents of Germany.

Extra Note

While Amestris is roughly the correct shape to be the Weimar Republic, the rest of the continent is out of shape. Drachma, which seems to be basically Russia, is along the wrong part of the border with Amestris to be Russia. Also, there is no massive desert east of Germany. Additionally, Xing, the country past the desert, has the culture of feudal Japan but is closer to the size of China. So no, the geography (at least politically) doesn't match up. Furthermore, Conqueror of Shamballa isn't cannon to the manga, and it's the manga that counts when it comes to what is or is not part of the universe.


There is a lot of Dutch in there as well though, this makes the "based on different cultures" more plausible than the "it's Nazi Germany".

Edward (or Ed), Roy and Alphonse are typical dutch names.

  • Riza is equivalent to Lisa, a Dutch name

  • Breda is a Dutch city

  • Maes is the medieval Dutch spelling of "Maas" a dutch river witch was a common name at the time.

  • Winry is equivalent to Wendy, a Dutch name

Van Hohenheim is a mix of Dutch and German. 'Van' means 'of' or 'of the' (depending on the context) with 'von' being its German counterpart, and Hohenheim translates to high-house.

  • 3
    The usual explanation I've heard is that Riza is based off of a Hungarian name (that's a dimunitive of Theresa), and that Van Hohenheim is based off of some mediaeval alchemist. For what it counts, Arakawa stated somewhere that for minor characters, she used a dictionary of European names, but this indeed points more to "based on different European cultures" than "Nazi Germany".
    – Maroon
    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:41
  • "Von Hohenheim" (correct spelling) is actually the name of a real-life 15th/16th century Swiss alchemist, Paracelsus, aka Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim.
    – Allison C
    Mar 5, 2020 at 16:03

The governmental organization, architecture, and names suggest the setting is German-esque. Likewise, the culture, architecture, minarets and desert suggest that the Ishvalans are an Arab-esque influence.

  • 2
    Can you elaborate on why you think that they are similar?
    – nhahtdh
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:53

Yes, it is Germany, "fuhrer" is German... Look at the military trench coats, building styles, names and even loosely geographical location. Look up Hitler's religious view and his theory of the "perfect human".

Xing is China and not Japan... Almost everything Japanese comes from China (even sushi). References here are that the emperor of Xing is looking for an elixir for immortality, so did the real emperor of China, and China also believed in alchemy (Yin Yang, Taoism, etc.). The emperor of China ingested mercury (for those interested in world history) and died.

Ishval are the Arabs. Alchemy was part of Islam too... People in the desert... And there were wars between Europe and the Arab world.

There are many other references.... Notice that many stories are based on real life historical events, places and religion. Nothing is truly original, although very entertaining nonetheless.

  • 4
    "Ishbal are the Arabs" - this isn't necessarily true. If I remember correctly, Arakawa interviewed war veterans and former yakuza, and also was inspired by the treatment of the Ainu and burakumin. If anything, it seems more reasonable to associate Ishbal with victims of Japanese imperialism, and there doesn't seem to be any specific "real world" counterpart to Ishbal.
    – Maroon
    Jul 22, 2014 at 6:50
  • 4
    As for the names - if anything they seem to be random European names (e.g. Arakawa talked somewhere about using a dictionary of European names for minor characters) or English ones (e.g. giving characters surnames linked to military aircraft). While the Germany association seems reasonable for the 2003 anime, it seems you're not talking about that (given the inclusion of Xing).
    – Maroon
    Jul 22, 2014 at 6:52
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    You are just listing references without explaining much or nothing at all. The first sentence almost reads like usage of gratuitous German is proof for something. Why couldn't it be based on fascist Italy if one replaces "Fuehrer" with "Duce"? "Almost everything Japanese comes from China" could be better phrased without a passive-aggressive ring and disdain. Also using ellipsis is a bad habit, may lead to misinterpretations of your answer and can often be replaced with more appropriate punctuation.
    – LiveWireBT
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:49
  • The full info could be found through wikipedia or by going to school, it is impossible to post history long stories in a single post, i state keywords and im off like fairydust. Like i mentioned, those who are interested in history, they have enough information to look it up fully. If fuhrer would have been replaced by duce, it would have been a different story, but it isnt, fuhrer is from the german language. Id want to give you credit for trying but there are almost no similarities to Italy...(ellipsis) at all. Jul 22, 2014 at 16:43

The ishvalans are gypsies.. Obviously.. If FMA is connected to nazi Germany and you knew anything about the extermination of people in nazi germany. It was estimated that 750,000-1,000,000 Romanis(gypsies) were killed during the war. At the start of nazi Germany they were stripped of citizenship and slaughtered.. I mean hell.. They even look like gypsies.. Also if we recall, Ed and Alphonse ran into a few at the little carnival.. Dunno where the hell that guy got the Arab idea from..

  • 2
    "Also if we recall, Ed and Alphonse ran into a few at the little carnival" that is in the Movie Conqueror of Shamballa which that scene is set in our world before the rise of Nazi Germany (as indicated later in how Hitler was arrested during the march). also it should be noted that the movie is not canon since it extends the original 2003 series which deviates from the canon
    – Memor-X
    Nov 11, 2014 at 21:44

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