More than a decade since their introduction, the 7 Homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are still among the most popular anime villains of all time. Intriguing, frightening, and smartly written, all seven exemplify what it takes to be a memorable antagonist.
With their horrifying abilities, striking character designs, and consistent personalities that embody the sin they are named after, these artificially-created humans are just too interesting to miss! They are atrocious, vile, and calculating. Yet, they are also simple, pitiful, and naive. Viewers condemn them, fear them, but also sympathize with them.
Get to know each of the iconic 7 homunculi by going through our list below.
What are Homunculi?
Named after the seven deadly sins, the seven homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood refer to artificially-created humans made using the Philosopher’s Stone. Their origins trace back to the original Homunculus, a mysterious being created hundreds of years ago. The anime and manga did not specifically narrate how the original Homunculus came to be. But it was hinted that he was created by an unknown scientist using the blood of Van Hohenheim, a slave living in that era.
The original homunculus was featured to have a dark, gaseous appearance with one eye and a large mouth. All his life, the homunculus was kept in a flask. Desperate to attain his freedom and become a normal human, the original Homunculus tricked the King of the region where Hohenheim lives to create a human transmutation. The transmutation method granted the Homunculus an immortal body in exchange for all the lives of the people living in their region.
Years later, the Homunculus decided to become more than just a ‘human,’ setting his eye on becoming a ‘god’ instead. To attain this, he purged himself of all his human vices by taking out each sin from his body, turning them into a separate being using the Philosopher’s Stone. In turn, he created the 7 homunculi named after the seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, and Pride. All 7 call the original Homunculus their “Father.”
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Who are the 7 Homunculi in FMAB?
Lust was among the first homunculi to be introduced in the FMAB series, and perhaps the most intimidating among them all. She is portrayed to be a beautiful woman with curvy black hair and sharp eyes.
True to her name, Lust is gifted with features that make her an ideal object of desire among men, and she uses these features to her advantage (as can be seen by what she did to Jean Havoc!). Everything about her is just seductive – from her face, body, to even her voice. But while the vice she embodies often relates to something sexual, Lust wasn’t particularly portrayed to have an intense sexual appetite in the series. She is, however, shown to be quite a sadist, thereby personifying man’s bloodlust.
Gluttony is another homunculus earlier introduced in the series. Embodying the vice of excessive consumption, Gluttony is portrayed to have an insatiable appetite, always hungry and on the lookout for food. His first appearance was a boom to many viewers, as he was portrayed eating the body of the fraud priest in the town of Reole.
As to his personality, Gluttony is generally docile, even innocent. Like a baby among all the siblings, he always asks permission from other homunculi if he could eat anyone they come across. He is often seen together with Lust, who seems to spoil him like a little kid. Their close relationship could signify how their vices are tightly intertwined, as man’s tendency to overconsume is often fueled by his lust for things.
Consistent with his child-like innocence, gluttony also seems to be the most affectionate among all the homunculi. Like a baby brother, he always follows what is instructed to him. He also cried when Lust died, even going on a rampage when he finally encountered her killer, Roy Mustang.
Envy is perhaps among the most hated homunculi at the start of the series, especially since he was the one who killed Maes Hughes. He is portrayed as a teenage boy with long, spiky, black hair. His power allows him to shape-shift, copying anyone that he wants to imitate.
What sets Envy apart from his other siblings is his intense hatred toward humans. He is shown to be extremely cruel and loves seeing people suffer. He is also awfully arrogant, always looking down on humans and emphasizing how insignificant they are compared to a homunculus like him.
In the later part of the series, however, viewers were able to understand Envy’s personality better and how his character embodies the vice he is named after. After his fight with Roy Mustang, Edward was able to talk sense into Envy and made him realize that his hatred towards humans was actually rooted in his jealousy towards them – from their capacity to love, become compassionate, and stand up again and again even when beaten down. Personifying the original homunculus’ feelings of jealousy towards the people whom he hates yet aspires to become, Envy manifests these feelings and coats them with his superficial superiority complex. In the end, the realization shocked Envy so much that he decided to take his own life by pulling out the philosopher’s stone from his chest.
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If there’s a homunculus that’s just impossible to hate, that would be Greed. Cool, charismatic, and independent, Greed was a rebel amongst the homunculi. True to his name, Greed wants everything the world has to offer: money, power, women, and glory. Ironically, his greed for everything made him a good leader, as he treats his men as his own, fighting anyone who dares hurt or kill them.
When Greed was reborn, he took in the body of Ling Yao. Although the two had conflicts about who should take control of the body, Greed and his host, Ling, eventually shared a deep bond. This signaled Greed’s switch from being part of the villain clique to becoming one of the protagonist’s team. Although initially known to be selfish, Greed was able to show a wide leap in his character at the end of the series by sacrificing himself in order to aid the Elric brothers in subduing Father. Before he disappeared, he was able to tell Ling that he was his true friend.
Sloth’s introduction came in later in the story, and he also had less screen time compared to other homunculi. Still, he was able to personify the vice he was named after. Portrayed to be a huge, muscular being, Sloth appears more like a slave, being tasked to do jobs he doesn’t want to do. He is often portrayed complaining about whatever he is doing. Consistent with his name, Sloth moves and speaks rather slowly. He is also simple-minded and hates exerting effort in anything, even when thinking. Because of this, he simply relies on physical strength when fighting. This makes him vulnerable to well-planned attacks from enemies.
The revelation of Wrath’s identity came in as a surprise to many, especially since no one expected it to be none other than King Bradley. Amongst all the homunculi, only Wrath was originally a human. This means he was also the only one among all the seven who has only one soul instead of many.
Wrath was originally a young boy, trained in a special facility by the government designed to create the next Führer that will rule their country. Among all the candidates in the said program, it was only him who survived after being injected with the Philosopher’s Stone. Eventually, he was chosen as the ideal Führer and was given the name “King Bradley.”
Normally, Wrath was always portrayed to be composed and reserved like an ideal country leader, but when he gets agitated, he instantly becomes a killing machine. His special ability is the Ultimate Eye, which allows him to attack with striking precision and predict the next move of his opponent.
While Wrath’s identity came in as a surprise, Pride’s revelation rocked the whole FMAB fanbase. Selim Bradley, the son of King Bradley, was the last homunculus to be introduced. Although the youngest in terms of appearance, Pride was actually the firstborn homunculus and is thereby the oldest brother among them all.
He was the most scheming and devilish among all seven. His power makes him even more frightening, as he can cast shadows and manipulate them freely. Carrying the pride of a firstborn, Pride was shown to be quite arrogant and commanding. He is the one who often gives instructions to all the other homunculi and comes up with plans to accomplish their Father’s desires.
Similar to his other siblings, Pride also had complexities within him. Specifically, he was shown to have grown affection for his adoptive mother, the wife of King Bradley. He also admitted enjoying having to act like a boy in a regular family together with King Bradley, as his father, and his wife, as his mother. In the end, when Edward Elric was finally able to defeat Pride, he called to his adoptive mom like a young boy calling for his mother for help. It was later revealed that all he ever wanted was to be born and experience being a child in a normal family.
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