Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, is the titular protagonist of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga.
After losing his right arm and left leg due to a failed Human Transmutation attempt, Ed became the youngest State Alchemist in history by achieving his certification at age twelve. Three years later, Ed has become fully engrossed in his search for the legendary Philosopher's Stone, an item with which he hopes to restore his younger brother Alphonse - whose whole body had been lost in the aftermath of the human transmutation.
In the AWA fics, Edward is a student at the AWA Academy and is a part of Class 1.
In the XP4 fics, Edward debuted in XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!.
Edward is small for his age, standing at only 149 cm (4'11") at the beginning of the series, despite his attempts to appear taller, (due to the notation that he cannot stand regular milk). He wears his golden-blond hair long - usually tied in a braid that hangs down to his shoulders, but sometimes forgoing the braid for a simpler ponytail. He parts his bangs in the middle so that they frame his face on either side as they fall and, in the center of the parting, he leaves a single strand of hair sticking up like an antenna. In Chapter 56, it is revealed that he does this intentionally, presumably to add to his height. Ed's eyes, too, are gold, signifying his Xerxesian ancestry.
Early on in the manga, Ed receives a thin, horizontal battle scar just above his right eye, which remains because his subsequent battles cause the sensitive skin to tear open repeatedly. As of Chapter 76, however, the scar appears to have healed over completely. As the series progresses, some of Edward's facial features (his nose and chin) begin to take on characteristics similar to his father's. At the end of the series, Edward is shown to have grown noticeably taller, being several inches taller than Winry and finally being at least equal in height to Alphonse.
As a result of his alchemical dismemberment, Edward was fitted with full steel automail prosthetics custom crafted by Winry and Pinako Rockbell. His left leg from just above the knee downward is automail and his automail right arm reaches all the way up to his shoulder; both are designed so that their outer shells resemble modernized plate mail.
In the manga and 2009 anime series, after Edward travels to the northern area, he is refitted with new, cold-climate type automail limbs. Designed to be rich in carbon to prevent frost damage and lighter to help Edward's movement, they are both significantly thinner than his previous models and even appear more lustrous, with a more prominent silver tint than the old steel versions. At the end of the series, Edward keeps his automail leg and the scars from the installation of his arm remain indefinitely on his right shoulder.
In Conqueror of Shamballa, Edward is fitted with a gas-powered automail arm by Hohenheim for use on Earth, where automail does not exist. It is coated with a thin, skin-colored film so as to blend in with the rest of his body, but when the gas motor is activated - allowing Ed greater power and motion with his arm - the heat from the exhaust melts the coating, revealing the mechanical plating underneath.
Ed wears as his trademark a bright red, long-sleeved, hooded cloak whose tail comes down to his upper calves. Emblazoned in black on the back is a Flamel, signifying his tutelage under the master alchemist Izumi Curtis. It is likely that Edward fashioned this cloak for himself, as he needs to repair it often and, in Chapter 85, transmuted one from scratch using a roll of red cloth. During the Elric Brothers' trip to the northern area, Ed's cloak was modified somewhat with a white fur trim around the hood to accommodate comfortable passage through cold conditions.
Though Ed's clothes vary over the course of the series, he seems particularly partial to black and will nearly always dress in black trousers and some sort of black shirt under his coat. In his usual outfit, Ed primarily wears a sleeveless black shirt with a black jacket that has silver/white lining along the edges. This is his main outfit, and over the course of the manga and 2003 anime the jacket undergoes multiple changes. This is seen at the beginning of the manga and 2003 anime where the jacket is longer and is tucked into his belt. However, when he first leaves Resembool, it hangs over his belt and has a zipper on top. The most common version portrays the jacket being connected at the top with a button, and falling slightly short of waist-length, making it possible to see his black shirt. He also wears a wide brown leather belt to which he keeps his silver State Alchemist pocket watch affixed. In the 2003 anime, this belt is instead changed to two thin belts worn parallel to each other.
As part of his attempts to seem taller, Edward is rarely seen without his elevator shoes - black leather boots with thick, red soles. Additionally, he frequently wears white gloves when in public to conceal the fact that his right arm is artificial.
It is likely that his general outfit is meant to convey a red, black, and white motif, as these three colors (as well as the gold color of his hair and eyes) are considered significant in traditional alchemy.
On the surface, Edward displays an immature sort of personality. He is decidedly stubborn and strong-willed, frequently letting his pettiness and vindictiveness get the better of him (it is this stubbornness that contributes to Führer Bradley's decision to codename him "Fullmetal," as "Hagane" (literally meaning "steel") is a term in Japanese that denotes someone of obstinate disposition.) and often has to be restrained or reprimanded by Al or whoever else is present. He is somewhat selfish and self-absorbed, generally acting more out of self-interest than any sort of philanthropy as well as taking several opportunities to stroke his own ego or flaunt the governmental power and monetary license of his military position. He is largely hostile towards figures of authority and feels little incentive to follow orders with which he disagrees, earning him the distinction of being a loose cannon of sorts.
Edward is also rather quick-tempered, resorting more often to steel-fisted violence than calm negotiation to settle disputes (even going so far as to suggest that refraining from hitting Paninya because of her gender is a sexist notion and, therefore, against his principles). He has a reputation for being foul-mouthed and is an incurably sarcastic cynic, only too happy to bluntly and harshly relieve others of their comfortable delusions regarding god, reality, or their own self-importance. Edward has also displayed a propensity towards impatience and an inability to sit still for long, which perhaps contributes to his love of travel.
However, for those few people who have made an impact on him, Ed shows his deeper nature to be one of marked selflessness, unflinching loyalty, and great compassion. As someone who has had to suffer greatly at such a young age, Edward cannot ignore the true suffering of others and becomes sympathetic upon sensing pain and resolve in people's hearts. Though his solemn advice to such people is often tempered with brusque criticism, it is only because he genuinely wishes to place them on the most direct path forward. As one who has to struggle with a maimed body, he urges those with healthy bodies to use their strong legs to move forward, and as one burdened by the mistakes of his past, he stresses the necessity of people taking responsibility for their own errs. Though he will intervene on behalf of the oppressed if he concludes that a situation has called for it, Ed tends to help only those with the will - but not the means - to help themselves, in which case his recklessness and disdain for authority often has him bending the rules to dole out a Robin Hood-esque justice in accordance with his strong belief in the concept of Equivalent Exchange, earning him notoriety and popularity as a "hero of the people."
A defining trait of Ed's shown throughout the series is his guilt complex; as far as he's concerned, his and his brother's current states are his fault, partially because it was his idea to transmute their mother in the first place and partially because Al lost his entire body as a result of the experiment, while Ed only lost an arm and a leg. He was even convinced that Al hated him for what happened to his body, and was scared to ask him about it for years. As a result of this trait, he starts off as highly standoffish, trying to accomplish everything on his own and not accepting help from anyone but Al, as well as being convinced that he can solve all of his problems through Alchemy. Overtime, however, he learns to depend more on his friends and share his burdens with others. But while he may work on his guilt, it never truly goes away, as even towards the end of the series, he's still beating himself up over Nina Tucker being turned into a Chimera, despite having saved countless other lives along the way.
Of course, the most noticeable of Edward's dispositional characteristics is his Napoleonic denial of his shortness. Even in moments of relative composure, any and all references to his stature cause him to violently lose control of his emotions and lash out both verbally and physically. One of the most common reason for these outbursts is if anything related to his size, since he has a complex about being shorter than average. Distinctive to these outbursts is Ed's tendency to take even the most casual mention of his height as a gross insult and interpret it exaggeratedly, mistaking words as simple as "small" for phrases as contrived as "so-tiny-that-he-need-not-fear-being-crushed-by-a-boot-because-he-fits-so-easily-between-the-grooves-of-the-sole" and the like. Those unfortunate to utter the word "small" in his presence are fated to suffer one of his vindictive tantrums unless he is in the wrong and needs to be put in his place such as when Izumi Curtis calls him a runt while scolding him and Al in the manga. He also accepts Nina referring to him as "Little big brother" in the 2003 Anime. This part of his personality is persumably no longer persent by the end of the series, given that he has grown to normal height by then.
Though Edward professes that he does not believe in gods, his spiritual sensibilities tend more toward the agnostic than the atheistic; in private, though he does not pray, he frequently acknowledges the existence of a God in his speech, whom he often blamed for difficulty of his life. Ed's aesthetic sensibilities are also quite twisted in that he is a great fan of gothic or macabre fixtures and will usually transmute decorations filled with monstrous or demonic imagery and unnecessarily gaudy details, much to the dismay of anyone who receives a gift or service from him. He has also made it known that his trademark red coat is part of this general lack of taste, as it is what he says is: "a badass color [that] gets the blood going."
Edward is a member of the Heroes Coalitions and is part of the Deadly Hearts. He also attends Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!
In Chapter 2, Edward alongside his team, the Deadly Hearts took on a group of Somalian Pirates in island somewhere in Sweet-Somalia. After defeating the pirates, the team were thanked by the island's residents when Major Richard Stronghold arrives and they told him that they'll be staying in the island for several more days.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries
In Chapter 6, Edward and Alphonse Elric are seen having an argument with Ryuuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuiin in front of a water dispenser in the corridors of the Training Facility.
In Chapter 10, Edward is present during the Unification Ceremony.
Despite Edward's small stature and young age, he is a remarkable combatant. Having apprenticed under Izumi Curtis, Ed was taught to condition his body through regular workouts and sparring as part of her philosophy, "to train the spirit, first train the body." As such, his slight frame belies a compactly muscular build that, in addition to his naturally high energy level and endurance, fuels his considerable strength and agility which allows him to throw people much bigger than he is. Due to Izumi's Spartan training, Edward has become a particularly competent hand-to-hand fighter, able to hold his own against armed opponents and even skilled martial arts practitioners. Besides that, his steel right arm and left leg augment his fighting strength by adding to his defensive and offensive capabilities as well as his speed - after he is refitted with a lighter, cold-climate automail in Chapter 70 of the manga.
As suggested by his unprecedented acceptance into the State Alchemist program at such a remarkably young age, Edward Elric is an alchemical prodigy of genius level intellect. From early childhood, he displayed proficiency for alchemy, acquiring self-taught alchemy skills and comprehension from the advanced literature in his father's abandoned study at an age that shocked even his mother. Having incorporated alchemy into his life during his developmental stages, Edward sees the world alchemically and is therefore able to solve complicated codes, puzzles and mysteries much more easily than normal. He has also shown himself to be exceptionally adept at chemistry and reasonably competent with biology; indeed even his preparations for the failed attempt to resurrect his mother were indicative of these. Edward's near-encyclopedic knowledge of alchemical theory is astounding and contributed to his incredible success with emergency Soul Binding experimentation. He shows an uncanny level of focus that allows him to effectively shut out everything from his surroundings and devote all of his considerable mental power to whatever problem demands his attention, especially in the case of books.
As a result of having passed through The Gate and witnessing the Truth, Edward became one of the few alchemists who do not require a drawn Transmutation Circle to perform alchemical transmutations. By merely touching his palms together, he creates an energy circulation with his arms and transmutes by using his own will as a substitute for the necessary runes. This remarkable talent makes his transmutations both instantaneous and incredibly versatile, allowing him to use alchemy to its fullest potential in direct combat. In the 2003 anime, Edward was initially unaware of his new talent and continued to draw transmutation circles when performing alchemy, but after he accidentally used this ability to heat water to comfort the pregnant Gracia Hughes, he ended up using it regularly.
With this quick style, Edward becomes a master of his surroundings and uses the substances therein to supplement his physical prowess in battle - creating giant earthen hands to lift objects, columns of stone to gain himself the higher ground and ogre-faced battering rams with which to strike opponents. Ed also specializes in transmuting weapons with which to do battle and often crafts menacing-looking swords and ostentatious lances when necessary, but his primary weapon is his automail right arm, whose forearm plating he transmutes into various blades.
Of course, the true genius of Edward Elric's combat alchemy lies in his aptitude for incorporating the alchemy styles of others into his own after merely having once seen them in action, which makes him very adaptable to various situations. So far, he has adapted Scar's use of the deconstruction stage of alchemy, Alex Louis Armstrong's gauntlets and stone spikes as well as Greed's carbon armor hardening into his combat repertoire.
- Edward is the first character from the Full Metal Alchemist to be introduced in the AWA fics.
- Edward's name means "rich guard", derived from the Old English elements ead "wealth, fortune" and weard "guard".
- As a State Alchemist, Edward Elric technically held the rank of "Major".
- Though Edward is ambidextrous in combat, he writes with his left hand, likely due to the fact that his right is artificial.
- Edward greatly dislikes milk, either for its taste, the fact that it is "an opaque, white liquid secreted by a cow" or both. He does, however, greatly enjoy stew and marvels that something comprised mainly of milk can taste so good. It is often joked about in both the manga and the anime the reason he is so short is because he refuses to drink milk.