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, weaknesses, and who I think would win if these two universes ever clashed.
This article will contain spoilers if you’re new to the fandom, so keep that in mind. And let’s see how far equivalent exchange works. I’ll be referring to the 2003 version as FMA and the 2009 version as Brotherhood from now on.
Origins of the Homunculi in Fullmetal/Brotherhood
In Brotherhood, all of the Homunculi were created by Father. He was himself created by an alchemist using Hohenheim’s blood, thus making the Homunculi clones of the Elric brothers and giving them a creepy connection.
However, FMA blows this out of the water as Homunculi are the by-product of failed human transmutations. Five of Homunculi’s origins are revealed in the anime.
Weaknesses and how to kill the Homunculi
Killing a Homunculious is difficult regardless of 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 ash when they die, while FMA has them dissolve into a puddle of Red Stone liquid.
FMA has another weakness, but it doesn’t apply to certain Homunculi. Since FMA has their Homunculi born from human transmutation if you bring some of the remains of the person you were trying to resurrect near the Homunculus.
Then they’ll be paralyzed and easier to dispatch or restrain. Finally, I’ll go into more detail for each Homunculus to make things easier.
Envy is my favorite, and FMA gives them a great backstory! Hohenheim had a lover before he met his wife, Trisha Elric.
Dante and Hohenheim had lived together for several lifetimes and had a son who died due to mercury poisoning when he was 18. Dante begged Hohenheim to bring him back to life, and Hohenheim tried.
But he left Dante and Envy behind soon afterward and would eventually meet Trisha Elric. FMA Envy is the oldest Homunculus and arguably the strongest one.
He’s also the last Homunculus to die, but he succeeded in killing Hohenheim. Both versions of Envy can shapeshift, but FMA isn’t as heavy as Brotherhood and is more intelligent than the Brotherhood version.
I believe that FMA Envy will win against Brotherhood due to his intelligence and rage. Both of them hate humans and derive pleasure from their pain.
But FMA Evny’s hatred for Hohenheim is his sole reason for being, and if he meets Father, that rage will be all he needs to keep going.
Lust is one of the first Homunculi we meet in both series and acts as a leader/confidant to Gluttony and Envy. She was born from Scar’s older brother’s lover and played a more prominent role in FMA.
I believe Brotherhood Lust will win this one because FMA Lust was emotionally unstable during 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 obey Father’s orders. But unfortunately, their abilities are the same, which comes down to attrition and mind games.
Gluttony is an innocent child in a large body that will eat you. Both versions will eat anything and always seem to be hungry.
Gluttony obeys Lust and is emotionally dependent on her, but he gets along with the other Homunculi. I’m calling this a draw due to their ultimate abilities/final form.
Brotherhood’s Gluttony is a failed Gate of Truth experiment by Father. He could fit FMA Gluttony into his portal, but if FMA Gluttony has his Oroboros tattoo removed and turned into a pure sin. A mindless being that constantly grows in the Fullmetal Alchemist movie Conqueror of Shamballa and will eat anyone, including his most likely creator, Dante.
Things get complicated from here due to the different versions and characters involved. For example, FMA only has one Greed, while Brotherhood has two.
Their powers and personalities are virtually identical, but their deaths are different. Greed wants status, wealth, sex, and the finer things in life.
But he’s also the most chill of the Homunculi. He values his comrades while also referring to them as 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 transmuted him into his armor, and he’s not here anymore.
Readers know that Edward got away, but Greed interprets this as Ed died and proceeds to feel guilty for bringing Ed up. Greed attempts to console Alphonse, much to the boy’s confusion.
In FMA, Greed learns that he’ll never be able to escape from Dante, and since he doesn’t want to be captured or work for her again. 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 gets captured by Father and the other Homunculi, but he refuses to serve Father again. So father proceeds to melt Greed down into gold and eventually drinks him in front of the remaining Homunculi.
But not before Greed mocks them despite being in pain and true to himself until the end. GreedLing, on the other hand, has a more impactful time in Brotherhood.
Whenever Father makes a Homunculus, the previous version’s memories are wiped. But GreedLing changes things when Greed kills his friend Bido and remembers his past.
Ling mocks Greed and says he isn’t 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 large muscular man in Brotherhood. Brotherhood’s Sloth is tasked with digging tunnels underneath the country to form a Transmutation Circle.
He loves to complain about everything being a pain, and he doesn’t have any special abilities. FMA Sloth, on the other hand, poses as King Bradly’s secretary, her body can turn into water, and she’s in charge of Wrath.
She hates the memories of her past life and reveals to Edward that she saw him the night the brothers did the transmutation. This is a fact that disturbs Ed as 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 plus Wrath is a haunting one.
It’s not clear if Sloth enjoys playing the role of Wrath’s mother figure, but her final words to Ed are full of love, “Nicely done, Sweetheart.”
One of the things both Sloths have in common is their need to be motivated before using 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 be bothered to fight.
FMA Wrath is unique due to him having Edward’s arm and leg fused to his body. He’s also the transmuted form of Izumi Curtis’s stillborn son, and she’s the Elric brother’s teacher.
FMA Wrath can use alchemy and latches onto Sloth and calls her mommy. Brotherhood Wrath is King Bradly, who is also unique as he’s the only human-based Homunculus and can age.
I’m giving the win to Brotherhood due to Bradly’s extensive fighting abilities and personality. But Wrath Bradly pales in comparison to FMA Pride.
FMA Pride is a brute and is one of the few Homunculi that Dante created herself. Greed was created before Pride, and many fans believe she made Gluttony.
FMA Pride sees humans as foolish and doesn’t trust them. Yet, both he and Brotherhood Wrath make a point of saying they chose their wife.
We never learn how this was done, which is sad, but this proves that the Bradly’s have this woman they care for. And Selim exists in both versions, which gives Brotherhood an excellent chance to win.
In both versions, Bradly’s abilities are the same, but FMA Bradly killed Selim when the boy brought him the skull from his original remains. Thus weakening the Homunculus and allowing Mustang to kill him, which means Pride Selim could trade places with his human counterpart or attempt a sneak attack with his shadows.
Brotherhood Pride is the first Homunculus Father made, and his shadows are similar to all of the Homuculi’s powers. They can cut, shapeshift, be used for communication over large distances, he can see through them, eat anything, and the shadows are very resilient.
But because they’re shadows, they can be dealt with relatively quickly. All one needs to do is trap Selim in total darkness or expose him to bright light.
FMA Bradly can figure this out and make it work, but I feel Selim will win due to his knowledge of Wrath Bradly. Selim is the only Homunculus to survive at the end of Brotherhood.
The ultimate baddie of Brotherhood who became God for a few moments before getting his butt kicked by Edward and being sealed behind the Gate of Truth by God/Truth. Father’s relationship with Hohenheim and the Homunculi is complex and simple.
Father desired freedom, family, and the right to choose. He named Hohenheim and made him into a living Philosopher Stone.
Sadly, we don’t know how long they stayed together, but Father holds Hohenheim with respect and instructs the Homunculi about Hohenheim’s existence.
Despite the Homunculi being named after a sin/emotion, they’re not restricted to it. They have the same feeling humans do; they just don’t want to admit it most of the time.
So, there we have it. I hope you enjoyed this and comment often. Which Homunculus is your favorite?
Do you prefer FMA or Brotherhood, or both?