Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood are equally impressive anime and deserve to be watched. 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 collide.
This article will contain spoilers if you are new to the fandom, so keep that in mind. And let’s see to what extent equal exchange works. I will refer to the 2003 version as FMA and the 2009 version as Brotherhood from now on.
Origin of the Homunculi in Fullmetal/Brotherhood
In Brotherhood, all Homunculi were created by Vader. He was himself created by an alchemist who used Hohenheim’s blood, creating the Homunculi clones of the Elric brothers and giving them an uncanny connection.
However, FMA blows this out of the water, as Homunculi is the byproduct of failed human transmutations. Five of Homunculi’s origins are revealed in the anime.
Weaknesses and How the Homunculi. to kill
Killing a Homunculious is hard no matter which version you’re in. But the standard method between versions is to exhaust their Philosopher Stone.
Or, to put it another way, kill them until they stop moving and kill them again until their bodies dissolve. Brotherhood has the Homunculi’s bodies turn to ashes when they die, while FMA has them dissolved in a pool of Red Stone liquid.
FMA has one more weakness, but not certain Homunculi. Because FMA has their Homunculi born from human transmutation if you bring some of the remains of the person you tried to resurrect to the Homunculus.
Then they are paralyzed and easier to control or contain. Finally, I’ll go into more detail for each Homunculus to make it easier.
Envy is my favorite, and FMA gives them a great backstory! Hohenheim had a lover before meeting his wife, Trisha Elric.
Dante and Hohenheim had lived several lives together and had a son who died of mercury poisoning when he was 18. Dante begged Hohenheim to bring him back to life, and Hohenheim tried.
But shortly after, he left Dante and Envy behind and would eventually meet Trisha Elric. FMA Envy is the oldest Homunculus and perhaps the strongest.
He is also the last Homunculus to die, but he managed to kill Hohenheim. Both versions of Envy can shape-shift, but FMA is not as heavy as Brotherhood and is more intelligent than the Brotherhood version.
I believe FMA Envy will beat Brotherhood because of his intelligence and anger. Both hate people and enjoy their pain.
But FMA Evny’s hatred of Hohenheim is his sole raison d’être, and when he meets Dad, that anger is all he needs to keep going.
Lust is one of the first Homunculi we meet in both series and acts as the leader/confidant for Gluttony and Envy. She was born to the lover of Scar’s older brother and 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 wants to be human and helps the Elrics from time to time.
Brotherhood Lust was more cold and happy to follow father’s orders. But unfortunately, their abilities are the same, which amounts to exhaustion and mind games.
Gluttony is an innocent child in a large body that will eat you. Both versions eat everything and always seem to be hungry.
Gluttony obeys Lust and is emotionally dependent on her, but he gets along well with the other Homunculi. I call this a draw because of their ultimate skills/final form.
Brotherhood’s Gluttony is a failed Gate of Truth experiment by Vader. He could fit FMA Gluttony in his portal, but if FMA Gluttony has his Oroboros tattoo removed and turns into a pure sin. A mindless creature that grows constantly in the Fullmetal Alchemist movie 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 involved. For example, FMA only has one greed while Brotherhood has two.
Their powers and personalities are almost identical, but their deaths are different. Greed wants status, wealth, sex and the finer things in life.
But he’s also the coolest of the Homunculi. He values his comrades while also calling them his possessions, and most of them hold him in high regard.
Greed wants to be immortal like Alphonse in both versions instead of 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 there.
Readers know that Edward escaped, but Greed interprets this as Ed died and starts to feel guilty for raising Ed. Greed tries to comfort Alphonse, much to the boy’s confusion.
In FMA, Greed learns that he will never be able to escape from Dante, and because he no longer wants to be captured or work for her. So Greed decides to go out like a boss and trick/train Edward to kill him and learn how to kill the Homunculi.
Brotherhood’s OG Greed is captured by Vader and the other Homunculi, but he refuses to serve Vader again. So Dad goes on to melt greed into gold, eventually drinking it down for the remaining Homunculi.
But not before Greed mocks them, despite being in pain to the very end and being true to himself. GreedLing, on the other hand, has a more impactful time in Brotherhood.
Whenever Dad creates a Homunculus, the memories of the previous version are erased. But GreedLing changes things when Greed kills his friend Bido and remembers his past.
Ling mocks Greed and says he’s not worthy of being Greed; they eventually learn to trust each other and play a pivotal role in the final battle against father. Greed claims he never lies, but he says one to Ling to save his life.
The OG Greed is my second favorite and 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 big muscular man in Brotherhood. Brotherhood’s Sloth is tasked with digging tunnels under the land to form a Transmutation Circle.
He loves to complain that everything is difficult, and he has no special skills. FMA Sloth, on the other hand, pretends to be King Bradly’s secretary, her body can turn into water, and she’s in charge of Wrath.
Hating the memories of her past life, she reveals to Edward that she saw him the night the brothers did the transmutation. This is a fact that disturbs Ed when he remembers looking at her face that night and being terrified of it.
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 whether Sloth enjoys playing the part of Wrath’s mother figure, but her last words to Ed are full of love: “Nice job, honey.”
One of the things both sloths have in common is that they need to be motivated before they can use their full power. Brotherhood Sloth dies the same way he lived: complaining.
Due to her resilient nature, FMA Sloth wins the encounter, assuming Brotherhood Sloth can make the effort to fight.
FMA Wrath is unique in that Edward’s arm and leg are fused to his body. He is also the transmuted form of the stillborn son of Izumi Curtis, and she is the teacher of Elric’s brother.
FMA Wrath can use alchemy and joins Sloth and calls 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 the win to Brotherhood because of Bradly’s extensive fighting skills and personality. But Wrath Bradly pales in comparison to FMA Pride.
FMA Pride is a brute and is one of the few Homunculi Dante made himself. Greed was created before Pride, and many fans believe she created Gluttony.
FMA Pride considers people foolish and does not trust them. Still, both he and Brotherhood Wrath say they chose their wives.
We’ll never find out how this was done, which is sad, but this proves that the Bradly’s have this woman they care about. And Selim exists in both versions, which gives Brotherhood an excellent chance of winning.
In both versions, Bradly’s skills are the same, but FMA Bradly killed Selim when the boy brought him the skull of his original remains. So weaken the Homunculus and allow Mustang to kill him, meaning Pride Selim can trade 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 the powers of the Homunculus. They can cut, shape-shift, 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 tackled relatively quickly. All you have to do is lock Selim in total darkness or expose him to bright light.
FMA Bradly can figure this out and make it work, but I think Selim will win because of his knowledge of Wrath Bradly. Selim is the only Homunculus to survive at the end of Brotherhood.
Brotherhood’s ultimate villain who became God for a few moments before being kicked in the ass by Edward and sealed behind the Gate of Truth by God/Truth. Vader’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 him a living Philosopher’s Stone.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long they stayed together, but Father holds Hohenheim with respect and instructs the Homunculi about Hohenheim’s existence.
Although the Homunculi are named after a sin/emotion, they are not limited to it. They have the same feeling as humans; they usually don’t want to admit it.
So there we have it. I hope you liked this and comment often. Which Homunculus is your favorite?
Do you prefer FMA or Brotherhood, or both?