The symbolism of the death of homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist (Topic)

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The symbolism of the death of homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist


The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist are some of the most unusual enemies in the anime. At their core, they are test tube people, created by the Philosopher's Stone that feeds other people's sacrifices. In Fullmetal Alchemist, homunculi are the seven deadly sins that the main antagonist abandoned in order to become a perfect being. Homunculi are almost impossible to kill, as they will be resurrected by the number of victims inside their philosopher's stone. But the heroes still manage to defeat each of them. And if you look in detail, the death of all homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist is symbolic. Let's take a closer look at the death of homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist to find another depth in an already deep piece. We will consider the Brotherhood version since this concept makes sense only there.


This type of sinfulness personifies the desire to satisfy one's sexual needs. We cannot say for sure that the creator of the manga, Hiromu Arakawa, put this very characteristic into Last, but her design prompts us to this idea.

Portrayed as a beautiful woman with long, wavy black hair, an overly nude neckline, and a deep, seductive voice, she reflects sexuality. In mythology and religion, the sin of lust by its nature tempts and often forces people to submit to their desires, making them slaves to these very desires. At the same time, it is deceptive and can turn a person into an egoist.

Homunculus Last uses his lovable nature to win the heart of Havok, a lieutenant working under the command of Colonel Mustang. Thanks to this, she almost kills him. Their final battle takes place in the hall under the laboratory. The Fire Alchemist blows up Lust from time to time until the power of her stone runs out and eventually he manages to burn her.


There are two caveats here. Lust is used to bringing men to their knees with their looks and subduing them. In turn, Colonel Mustang is a bit of a womanizer. During the death scene of Lust, we see her kneeling in front of the Mustang, and to me, this is an obvious metaphor.


Gluttony is defined as an excessive addiction to food. The homunculus bearing the name of Glotani is quite consistent with its image. He is an obese, eternally hungry cannibal, inside of which there is a whole infinitely empty world. However, he does not die at the hands of heroes, he is killed by another homunculus - Pride. But the most important thing is how he kills it: by eating it.


Obviously, Arakawa thought it would be nice to add some irony to the story when the Power-hungry Pride ate Gluttony. It is both symbolic, ironic and comical.


Envy is characterized as anger at someone else's happiness because you don't have it. Envy can penetrate a person's life, and it is often a very deceiving sin. We may find that we wish others badly and feel justified in doing so without even realizing that envy is at the root of our feelings. Again, this is a very insidious, deceptive sin.

It makes sense that Arakawa portrays [Envy] Envy as a werewolf capable of looking whatever. Throughout the anime, this homunculus spies on others, collects information and manipulates people. In his final battle, he almost dies at the hands of Roy Mustang, despite the fact that he tries to take the form of people close to him.


Envy's death is probably the most symbolic, as he commits suicide after discovering that he was jealous of people. Throughout the series, Envy has always criticized people, looking down on them as "weaker" beings. And yet it is Edward Elric who points out to Envy after he was defeated by Mustang that all along the homunculus was truly jealous of people, their relationships and communication. He is jealous only because he wants to be like them.

And now, realizing this, Envy gave up. His whole personality has been turned inside out, and he hates himself for being jealous of people.


Laziness is usually interpreted as a desire to rest, but in fact the meaning is much deeper. If you look at laziness as a mortal sin, then it lies in the fact that people do not want to do what they should, avoiding it with all their might, since applying efforts on themselves is torture.

Therefore, it makes sense that the mangaka portrays Sloth as a dumb-headed giant who always hurts to do anything that requires effort. The character is also depicted with chains, which is a good representation of how laziness can make us slaves to our own depression.


This homunculus is defeated in battle by Olivia and Louis Armstrong. The symbolism in the death of this homunculus is that he himself refuses to fight, deciding that life is too difficult and not worth so much effort. In other words, Laziness dies because of its own laziness.

Here you can also see the metaphor that laziness makes us destroy ourselves. Another symbolism is that he is the fastest homunculus, but at the same time he does everything very slowly, as otherwise he will have to apply more effort.


Being angry and angry is useful. If anger were a useless feeling, evolutionarily speaking, we wouldn't have it. Here it is worth looking at the reason. There are good things to be angry about, such as injustice that a person is witnessing. And then there is selfish anger, which is impatient, anger that only exists for the pure satisfaction of being angry and taking it out on someone: this type of anger is not very good.

Russ's death, however, is as interesting and ironic as the death of Last.


In the anime, he is defeated by Scar, a serial killer whose thirst for revenge drove him to find and kill many government alchemists. The people of Scar were destroyed by the state alchemists, and so they were determined to rid the world of them. He also hates himself for using the alchemy of destruction to kill. However, according to the plot, he still changes and joins the heroes.

The battle takes place between a former serial killer who was driven by anger at the alchemists and the personification of anger itself. In the end, Scar wins, and most importantly, he uses alchemy [which he hated so much] to blow up the homunculus. Anger is killed by a serial killer who has overcome his own anger.


The defeat of Pride is rather metaphorical, since he does not die, but rather loses his essence. Pride is "excessive love for one's own perfection." The sin of pride forces us to look inward, focusing only on our own personal ego, and to look down on others.

In a sinister way, Pride is portrayed as an innocent little boy who at one moment behaves like a normal child, but the next moment has the voice of an evil spirit and the gaze of a possessed one. It all makes sense: pride, like the father of all sins, is easy to overlook, as is the evil behind the mask of an innocent boy.

During the battle, the homunculus's body crumbles and he wants to take the body of Edward. However, at the last moment, the soul of the alchemist Kimbley, absorbed by him, begins to speak inside the Pride, who accuses him of giving up his homunculus pride and trying to take away the worthless human body. At this point, Edward takes the initiative and delivers a counterpunch.


Pride leaned towards something lower than he really was and lost its edge in battle. Ed doesn't kill Pride, but rather turns him into an innocent little fruit. The next time we see him in the show's epilogue, it might seem like his pride has completely disappeared. It's also worth mentioning that at the start of the series, Ed always seemed like a proud little brat. And now, in the show's finale, his character has obviously become a little more humble ... and humility is the opposite of pride. Greed has died twice, but we'll look at his second death. Greed is "excessive love of wealth." In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Grid "wants everything out of life ... money, women, power and sex ..." He wants to be omnipotent. Grid's character with respect to the sin of greed is quite obvious, if not most obvious among other homunculi. He is the blatant embodiment of greed. Greed, for the most part, is actually on the good guys' side, as he shares a body with Ling Yao.


And the funny thing is that in the end Grid sacrifices himself, because he understands that his friends are all he ever needed to be satisfied. He doesn't need power or wealth. Grid is really not as greedy as it really is. To defeat greed, we do not need to look into the distance. To get rid of it, we need to look at what we have, be grateful.

The Topic of Article: The symbolism of the death of homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist.
Author: Jake Pinkman