Alphonse Elric

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Character
Name: Alphonse Elric
Occupation:
Relationships: Edward Elric (brother), Trisha Elric (mother), Van Hohenheim (father)
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Other:
Digital art of Al, Ed, and the blood seal binding Al to the armor
Art of Alphonse and Edward by bipirate, 2018
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Alphonse Elric (often known by the nickname "Al") is the deuteragonist of the manga and anime series Fullmetal Alchemist.

Canon

Al and his older brother Ed grow up prodigy alchemists in the rural town of Resembool. Their mother Trisha dies when they are very young, and they throw themselves into learning everything they can about alchemy to find a way to bring her back. Their attempt at human transmutation fails, costing Ed his arm and leg and Al his whole body. Ed saves Al's life by binding his soul to a suit of armor, and the brothers set off on a quest to find a way to restore their bodies.

2003 Anime

Their pursuit of the philosophers stone leads to a final confrontation with Dante, in which Al sacrifices himself and the philosophers stone to resurrect Ed. Ed then rescues Al, at the cost of their years of adventures, leaving Al returned to the state he was when they first attempted human transmutation and Ed stranded on the other side of the gate in post-WWI Europe. In Amestris, Al vows to find his brother in a parallel to the brothers' original quest for the philosophers stone.

In the sequel movie, Conqueror of Shamballa, Al has followed in his brother's footsteps, becoming a state alchemist and wearing a hairstyle and red coat very similar to Ed's in the show. The brothers are reunited when the Nazis attempt a cross-dimensional invasion of Amestris. Defeating the Nazis and sealing the gate leaves the brothers on the "real world" side, and they set out journeying Europe together.

Brotherhood and Manga

Their pursuit of the philosophers stone leads the brothers to uncover the homunculi's consipracy and join the coalition fighting Dwarf in the Flask (aka "Father"). They manage to recover Ed's arm and Al's body during the final defeat of Father on hte Promised Day. Afterwards, they return to Resembool to recover, and the epilogue shows the brothers splitting up to travel the world and seek out further knowledge of alchemy.

Live Action

Fandom

Tropes

  • The Nice One: In all versions of the story, Al seems amiable and less antagonistic than his brother, especially on first meeting people. The Elrics often use there dynamic as a good-cop-bad-cop routine to get their way (how much this is intentional is open to intepretation by fans), with Al providing a more reasonable seeming alternative to Ed's insults and demands. The extent to which Al is "nicer" differs between canons, with fans noting that Al comes across as most accommodating, almost diffident in the old anime but nearly as snarky as his brother in the manga:
Al in fma 03: my big brother is one of the smartest alchemists ever, although he can be a bit reckless at times

Al in brotherhood: I love my brother but he’s an idiot 70% of the time

Al in the manga: this short asshole is so stupid and honestly if it weren’t for me he would be dead by now
eeejays, 2018 [1]
  • Cat lover: Al's fondness for cats is a recurring joke in manga omakes, and in the anime adaptions there is at least one joke about how Al keeps picking up stray cats that Ed won't let him keep. The fandom enthusiastically adopted and explores this headcanon, with much fanart depicting Al with cats. Post-canon fanworks often show him adopting one or more cats.
  • Xing: based on his interest in alkhestry and close relationship with Mei in the Brotherhood and manga canon, a common headcanon is that Alphonse travels to Xing after the events of the series. Fanworks will often depict him studying Xingese, learning Alkhestry, or serving in a diplomatic capacity as a representative of Amestris.
  • Stew boy/Fuck Yeah! -- an outtake of the Brotherhood dub, has Al's VA exclaiming "fuck yeah!" in a scene where Winry tells the brothers they're having stew for dinner.[2] This omake scene caught on in the fandom, leading to a lot of jokes about Al's love of stew (to the point of using profanity, when typically he is a lot less likely to swear than his brother)[3]
    • Apple Pie: a more serious but related canon character beat is that while in the armor Al has no sense of smell or taste, and one of the things he expresses looking forward to when he gets his body back is getting to try Winry's apple pie that she learned to make from Gracia.

Shipping

  • AlMei -- Alphonse x Mei Chang -- teased in (Brotherhood and Manga) canon, probably the most popular ship for Al in the fandom.
  • Elricest -- Alphonse x Edward. Gen works depicting their sibling relationship are much more common.
  • AlWin -- Alphonse x Winry Rockbell. More commonly depicted as a gen relationship.
  • AlWrath -- Alphonse x Wrath (2003). Often depicted as a gen relationship.
  • Alphonse x Fletcher Tringham

Example Fanworks

Fanart

Manga and Brotherhood specific art

2003 Anime and CoS Specific Fanart

Fanfic

Meta

Resources

References

  1. ^ "Tumblr post by eeejays". Archived from the original on 2022-09-24.
  2. ^ "FUCK YEAH STEW". Youtube. 2013. Archived from the original on 2020-11-03.
  3. ^ Alphonse Elric moodboard, Archived version by roxys, hey!!!! i forgot! grandma wanted me to tell you she’s making stew tonight!!!!!, Archived version, and by thedeadlygrips, this is TOTALLY worth ruining the page, Archived version by nero-for-iphone-5 -- meme posts from Tumblr playing on the Stew joke.