31 votes
Accepted

What is this huge symbol on the door in the Truth realm and in the Neon Genesis Evangelion opening?

It's a slightly modified version of the Sephirothic Tree of Life as defined by Robert Fludd, who was a physician with interests in Kabbalah and other religious mysticisms. The globes (called ...
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31 votes
Accepted

Why aren't characters' names in Fullmetal Alchemist Japanese?

The main setting of FMA is in Amestris, which is a pastiche of various European countries, in particular, England. (See the answers to this question for more details.) We can readily see that English ...
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  • 14.4k
22 votes
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If Van Hohenheim is a living Philosopher's Stone, what does that make Edward and Alphonse?

There are a few different things to address here. First off, Edward and Alphonse are fully human. This is actually addressed when Alphonse first finds out about his dad's origins. Essentially, he ...
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  • 29.2k
19 votes

Who is the man in the suit in the Fullmetal Alchemist series?

After searching everywhere for the day looking this up before someone else finds the answer, he appears to be Mobuta Mobuo. He is actually a background character that was actually placed in their as a ...
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19 votes
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Why didn't Edward Elric get his leg back?

This is probably difference in translation. In the manga it is made pretty clear. The entire conversation is about Al only. Look at the following transmutations and the sacrifices. Ed sacrificed his ...
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  • 9,238
18 votes
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What does the symbol on Edward's coat mean?

It's called the Flamel (yes, named after Nicolas Flamel, purported to be an alchemist who sought the Philosopher's Stone). It is most noticeably similar to the symbol of Hermes, a god of alchemy, and ...
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  • 29.2k
18 votes
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When Edward and Alphonse try to transmute their mother, how come they didn't gain anything?

Unmarked spoilers for both Brotherhood and the 2003 series follow. You're missing a key bit of information: they did gain something for their loss[1], just as Izumi did. The boys gained the ...
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  • 29.2k
18 votes
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Why didn't Edward affix his mother's soul to the suit of armor?

Edward couldn't affix his mother's soul, because she was already long dead. It isn't made so obvious, but actually a few years pass between the mother's death, and then the boys training with Izumi, ...
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  • 2,561
16 votes
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How did Edward manage to defeat Father?

I'm going to answer based on the manga, because I still have not seen the Brotherhood anime. I think this is just fine, as it seems that the anime streamlined the ending a bit. This is going to be ...
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  • 1,540
16 votes

What is this huge symbol on the door in the Truth realm and in the Neon Genesis Evangelion opening?

The FmA Wikia seems to indicate that the picture is Tree of Life (also known as World Tree or Tree of Emanations or Arber Sephiroteca), as described by a 17th century English Paracelsian physician ...
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  • 1,540
15 votes

Are the events in Ishbal based on or inspired by the Holocaust?

Hiromu Arakawa, the mangaka, states that she was not influenced greatly by any specific country, but rather a collection of European countries during the Industrial Revolution, as stated in the ...
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  • 29.2k
15 votes
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Why was Mustang's vision restored, when Izumi Curtis didn't get her organs back?

Let's take a look at the events at the end of FMA - I'm using the manga. Hohenheim offers to use himself to get Alphonse back, out of paternal duty. Ed refuses because what happened to him and ...
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  • 14.4k
15 votes
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How/when did Van Hohenheim change his name?

I do not know if this was covered in Brotherhood, but in the manga the name Van Hohenheim was given to slave 23 by This happened in episode 40, or chapter 74 in the manga. Fun fact, Hohenheim was ...
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  • 1,540
15 votes
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What is the correct watching order of Fullmetal Alchemist?

The two continuities As you may know, there are essentially two versions of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime - the 2003 version, called simply "Fullmetal Alchemist", and the 2009 version, ...
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15 votes
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What does the "503 day" refer to?

503 day is supposed to be the 3rd of May (5/03), which is the Edward x Winry day, or Edwin day in short. There are two reasons for this coming into existence. First, there's a jeans brand called ...
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  • 1,958
14 votes
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Why can't Roy Mustang bring his eyes back using his gate?

I'm not completely sure if my answer is any good, but I feel like it was worth putting this out. We do indeed see that being blind would have prevented Roy from staying in the military (according to ...
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  • 14.4k
14 votes
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Why did the Elric brothers burn down their house?

They set fire to their house in chapter 24 of the manga: As you can see, after they set fire to their house Ed says, "There is no turning back." This is also stated in episode 11 of Brotherhood, ...
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  • 8,499
14 votes
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Why can't Edward get back his power to do alchemy?

Edward's actions when he recovers Alphonse indicate that he probably would not want to get his alchemy back, much less do so by using a philosopher's stone. Ling offers Edward a philosopher's stone ...
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  • 14.4k
13 votes
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What is the color of the State alchemist pocket watch?

The correct color of the watch is silver. A popular fan scanlation of the manga (volume 1, chapter 3, page 19) incorrectly states that the pocket watch is gold in color. Third panel down on the left:...
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  • 29.2k
13 votes

Why is human transmutation illegal or that matter have alchemy laws?

@Madara basically hit the nail on the head here, but I thought I'd elaborate a bit. Unmarked spoilers follow. Father wants people making philosopher's stones for his goals. He has his end goal of ...
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  • 29.2k
13 votes

If you had two automail arms, could you still use alchemy?

Yes, they could... sort of. As Scar mentions in episode 5, the only requirement is for the person to produce a circle. Izumi states that this is what lets the transmutation energy flow (or "power&...
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  • 29.2k
12 votes

What's the difference between the FMA and FMA Brotherhood series?

There are quite a few differences, actually. The "original", or the "first one" is an entirely different storyline from the manga. The manga was the original thing, so most people hate the first FMA ...
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12 votes
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How is King Bradley's sword so sharp?

They're so sharp because he takes care of them. The true power behind his swords are his swordsmanship, superhuman strength and incredible speed. Everything King Bradley uses to fight with is really ...
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  • 308
12 votes
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How was The Dwarf in the Flask created?

The backstory of van Hohenheim and Father is discussed in chapter 74 and 75. All we see is this: The Dwarf in the Flask talks to slave no. 23, whom he names. Van Hohenheim is taught to read and write,...
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  • 14.4k
12 votes
Accepted

In FMA: Brotherhood, why do Father's sacrifices remain alive after the sacrifice?

Short answer: There is no canonical reason for this. Long answer: In English, a sacrifice is defined as: an animal, person, or object offered in an act of slaughtering to God or to a divine or ...
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  • 29.2k
12 votes
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Are the Elric brothers half-homunculus?

Note that Brotherhood and the 2003 series are separate continuities that often differ in their treatment of any plot points and characters that they have in common. Hohenheim is affected by this issue:...
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  • 14.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Which characters are featured in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood eyecatches?

I will refer to the first eyecatch of each episode by the number of that episode suffixed by the letter a, and to the second by appending the suffix b. I have considered the names displayed along the ...
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  • 17.7k
11 votes

How old were Ed and Al when they performed the human transmutation?

Brotherhood more or less follows the manga. I don't remember if we get a montage of events in the brothers' childhoods with their ages (a quick search through volume 6 doesn't give me anything), but ...
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  • 14.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Who exactly is Selim Bradley?

Potential spoilers for the manga and Brotherhood continuities. I'm being conservative with spoiler markdown, since I can't tell how much you've watched. We first get a crucial bit of information ...
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  • 14.4k
11 votes
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Did Trisha Elric know about Hohenheim's condition?

Trisha certainly knew. In the beginning few minutes of episode 36 "Family Portrait", Hohenheim is speaking with Trisha. He calls himself a monster, reminisces about all the things he has seen, how ...
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