On one fateful night, Edward loses an arm and a leg, and Alphonse losing his entire body in an alchemy experiment gone awry. From this point, Edward's only concern is finding a way to return his brother to his body. He soon finds himself in the service of the government as a State Alchemist. It is here the amazing story of the youngest State Alchemist in history begins.
As children, brothers Ed and Al used the clandestine science of Alchemy to try the unthinkable— resurrect their dead mother. They failed, unleashing an alchemic reaction that ripped their bodies apart. Four years later, Ed and Al are combing the country for a rumored stone that could amplify their alchemy and bring their bodies back to normal.
What is the meaning of a miracle? Or compassion? Is it right to leave a girl and her village in blissful ignorance, or take away all their comforts for the sake of telling the “truth”? These are the questions Ed and Al must face, as they battle against the false prophet Cornello, who is using the science of alchemy and parading it as acts of God.
An old book takes Ed and Al down a painful spiral of memories. Childhood-- a time of war for their nation, when every week, news from the front lines could devastate the family next door. But Ed and Al had their mother, a pillar of strength who always made life okay. When she died, they would try anything to bring her back.
On their way to Central City, Ed and Al hear of a man named Majhal living nearby—an alchemist who not only knew their father, but wrote to him about creating human life. Ed wants to learn from him, but Majhal has other problems: Rumors of a young female ghost wandering the outskirts of his town, taking the souls of young girls.
Ed and Al are only one train ride away from reaching Central City and applying as State Alchemists. But onboard with them is General Haruko, a key figure in the nation’s turbulent politics. When gunmen hijack the rail, holding the General and all of the other passengers hostage, Ed and Al must use every skill they know to survive.
Finally arriving in Central, young Ed and Al begin their studies for the Alchemy Exam. Mustang arranges for them to stay at the lavish house of Shou Tucker, a State Alchemist who won fame and privilege for creating a Chimera that could speak the human language. Ed and Al must quickly learn all they can, as they face a test that only one in hundreds pass.
Shou Tucker is a troubled man. His wife is gone. His daughter needs love he rarely knows how to give. Ever since he stunned the military with his speaking Chimera, he’s set a bar he can’t surpass. Now his annual Assessment is coming, and if he doesn’t impress the state with his alchemy, he’ll lose all he has. What horrors will a desperate man commit? Can Ed and Al stop him before he caves?
A serial killer is on the loose in Central, butchering only women. The gruesome murders are an embarrassment to the military, sending the message that they can’t control their own backyard. As young Ed and Al learn about the powers of the Philosopher’s Stone, their childhood friend, Winry, arrives in Central, and may become the killer’s next victim.
Mustang gives Ed his first assignment as a certified State Alchemist: go to the Eastern town of Youswell and inspect its coalmines, a seemingly mindless task. Ed is furious—experiencing for the first time the tug of the military’s leash. Mustang has hidden motives, however, and there is much more going on in Youswell than it seems.
Tired of answering to Colonel Mustang and the state, Ed takes a detour in the tourist town of Aquroya, the City of Water. But Ed can’t shirk his responsibilities, as he finds himself in the middle of a hunt for a beautiful cat burglar who uses alchemy to commit her crimes. But is Psiren a self-serving criminal... or a vigilante trying to save her city?
Acting on Psiren’s tip, Ed and Al travel to Xenotime. Once a prosperous gold-mining settlement, Xenotime’s gold has been exhausted, and its economy is crumbling. Its only hope: two alchemists who are developing an artificial Philosopher’s Stone to rejuvenate the mines. But everyone says the names of these researchers are Edward and Alphonse Elric. Someone has stolen Ed and Al’s identities.
Ed and Al are entangled in Xenotime’s web of legacies, gold, and corruption.The imposter Elrics are creating artificial Stones by manipulating a substance called Red Water.But the liquid is toxic, and has been causing the town’s children to get sick and die. As the imposters try to repent, the true mastermind reveals a second phase to his plan that would make even the toughest of stomachs turn.
The Elrics return to Eastern Headquarters to report their progress—which, as Mustang points out, is none. Angry and needing to pass his annual Assessment, Ed challenges Mustang to a fight. If Ed wins, Mustang must tell the truth about the traveling doctor who saved children in Xenotime with a powerful form of alchemy. Who will win in this all-out battle?
Ed and Al leave for the countryside to search for Doctor Marcoh, a State Alchemist who deserted during the Eastern Rebellion and is now a fugitive of the state. Unbeknownst to the brothers, Marcoh possesses secrets that could prove invaluable-- if they can keep him alive. Scar, the serial killer who is hunting State Alchemists, is quickly drawing near.
On the run from both Scar and the military, Doctor Marcoh confesses to the Elrics the reason these tragedies are happening. A decade ago, State Alchemists were called into Ishbar to end a seven-year civil war. What followed was a wave of unspeakable atrocities that neither the Ishbalans, nor the State Alchemists who committed them, can forget.
With Ed and Al both gravely injured from their battle with Scar, they decide to return to their hometown of Risembool for repairs. But when the crippled Al is mistaken for cargo, and then vanishes from a remote train station, Ed is led on a detour that will make him question the one principle he believes in most.
The hobbled Elrics return to their childhood village for the first time in four years. As the Rockbells construct Ed’s new limbs, the boys sift through the ashes they left behind. While Al comes to the fearful realization that his memories are fading, Ed visits his mother’s grave, and both must redefine their view of family and home.
Back in Central, Ed and Al scour the library for the elusive records of Dr. Marcoh. But a freak accident…or was it…burned the library to the ground! With little hope discovering the secret behind the stone, Ed must think outside the box. Meanwhile, Scar battles it out with Lust and Gluttony!
For years, Ed and Al have devoted themselves to searching for the all-powerful Philosopher’s Stone. But they have just learned the Stone’s secret ingredient: human beings. How can they reconcile their strong desires to fix their own bodies with the knowledge of its gruesome costs? What could possibly justify the mass extermination of human life?
The two guardians of Lab 5 unleash a terrible assault on Ed and Al, but nothing is as terrifying as their true identities. In a startling exchange, Ed and No. 66 discuss what actually makes a human a human. With his very existence in doubt, Al thinks back to a question Ed was too afraid to ask.
While Al defends himself against the transmuted Barry the Chopper, Ed discovers more about the dark alchemic experiments deep within Lab Five. Scar, Lust, Gluttony, and the never-before-seen Greed are all fast approaching. But the biggest threat of all may be Ed’s own morality, as he’s tempted with the ultimate power he’s been seeking for years.
Hughes issues an order to allow Armstrong, Bloch, and Ross to investigate what’s going on inside the 5th laboratory. Now Ed sees that Tucker was hiding the fact that there were human prisoners involved in the making of the stone…and that Ed would have unknowingly killed them. But Lust has Al held hostage… forcing Ed to attempt the unthinkable.
After the explosive finale to Lab Five, Ed and Al wake up in the hospital, once again in pieces. Winry travels to Central to make repairs, and is enraged by the brothers’ refusal to tell her the truth about their lives. Meanwhile, Al’s recurring questions about his existence come to a boil. Was there ever an Alphonse Elric? Or are his memories and soul alchemically created lies?
As Al runs from Ed and Winry, desperate to know the truth about what he is, mercenaries swoop into the Ishbalan encampment where Scar is recovering and massacre helpless refugees—an attack the military may have condoned. In a chain of events, Al finds himself side by side with Scar, on a renegade mission against the state that Ed represents.
Ed and Al claim they’ve quit their search for the Philosopher’s Stone and board a train heading south. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes’ investigation of Lab Five leads him to a startling discovery of military corruption and conspiracy that could topple the entire national government-- and put Hughes in considerable danger.
Winry drags Ed and Al to the famous Rush Valley, the auto-mail capital of the world, where mechanical limbs are a shockingly common sight. Amidst workshops and street-smart swindlers, they encounter a tough girl named Paninya, who confronts Winry with an important question: Why is she helping Ed, if he doesn’t even care?
Ever since Ed and Al attempted human transmutation, they have desperately avoided one person: their childhood teacher, Izumi. Bearing dreadlocks, an iron will, and incredible alchemic skills, she is horrified that Ed and Al used her teachings to violate nature. Now she has caught them, and is shipping them back to her hometown for a frightening interrogation.
It was the only clue Izumi offered, as she dumped young Ed and Al on the island of Yock: “One is All, All is One.” It was perhaps the most ancient tenant of alchemy, but what did it mean? And how would it help these children survive in this savage place—with no food, no shelter, and a beast lurking in the woods? Years later, the lesson must be relearned.
As the Elric brothers are leaving Yock Island, a strange boy emerges from the foliage, with no memory of how he arrived. Inexplicably, he can perform alchemy without a transmutation circle. Even stranger, he can transmute his own body, merging with his surroundings! Izumi is compelled to take care of the child, but Ed has other plans.
The search for Scar gets a forward leap as a former military officer spots him in the southern slums. Elsewhere, the amoral Lt. Colonel Archer makes his move for the mysterious wild boy, who he believes is a homunculus conspirator. Infuriated by the arrest, Izumi leaps into action, single-handedly attacking the military with her staggering alchemic power.
In the chaos of the crumbling headquarters, Izumi successfully escapes with the boy. But it’s too late—Envy has revealed the truth to the homunculus child, and his personality is quickly changing. With Izumi’s secrets exposed as well, the Elric Brothers try to stop her heartbroken plan of atonement, converging on a cold stone altar on a lonely island.
After a dangerous battle with Wrath, Izumi has all she can take of Ed and Al’s reckless pursuit of their goal. She sends them to meet Dante, the alchemist who taught Izumi decades ago, and also knew their father. But there is little time for idle chat, as Envy, Sloth and Greed have all entered the vicinity
The boys are separated when kidnappers take Al to their hideout, leaving Ed frantic to find his brother. Izumi steps in to help her protégés as always, and finds they’ve learned something from life she could never have taught them alone… responsibility.
Major Armstrong battles Greed’s men in the sewers in an attempt to save Al, while up above, Ed escapes the military’s clutches for a showdown with Greed. As Lust suggests the battle is part of some larger plan, Greed morphs his body into an impervious shield, and swears Ed must kill him if he wants to see Al again. But is there another way?
With everyone reeling after the fight between Ed and Greed, Lust can’t shake two questions from her mind.Where did she come from?And where will she go when she is dead?As if to answer, she sees a familiar man in a crowd.Years ago, she helped him use alchemy to combat a strange plague that was turning villagers into stone.And his mere presence produces unexplainable memories of a former life.
Ed, Al, and Winry continue on their journey to Ishbal,uncovering more of the mystery as they travel along.But how much do Ed and Al really want to know?Are they ready to hear the truth?Lust and Gluttony meet Wrath for the first time and quickly set out on the Elric Brother’s trail.Will Ed and Al reach their destination before they’re overtaken?And if they do, are they ready for what they’ll find?
Someone high up the military ladder has ordered an investigation on Colonel Mustang. What follows is a one-of-a-kind look into the daily affairs of the Flame Alchemist and his loyal (and often ridiculous) staff. Is there a haunted warehouse in Central full of soldier-killing zombies? Is Havoc lonely? Does Major Armstrong have a sister?
Forced to go on foot after their vehicle explodes, Al questions Ed for the first time about the direction of their mission, prompting a heated brawl that sends the brothers stomping off in opposite directions. Back in Central, Scieszka and Winry follow the clues that Hughes left behind, and come face to face with the deadly, shape-shifting Sloth.
With the half-snake, half-woman Marta as their guide, Ed and Al arrive at the ruins of Ishbal. Their shock at the devastation is magnified as Marta divulges the real cause of the Ishbalan war, and the dark series of events that led to her transformation into a chimera. Once again, Ed and Al must question everything they believed.
Marta has found Kimbley, whose betrayal led to the death of her friends. Realizing revenge is pointless, Al tries to stop Marta, and jumps into the fight. In Liore, Ed goes head to head with Scar, and uncovers the full truth behind his past. Finally, in a heart-wrenching exchange, the identity of the Seventh Sin will be revealed, and a friend of the Elrics will die.
Massive bloodshed seems inevitable in the mounting stand-off between Scar and the military. As Ed tries to get the Liore people out of the city before the destructive alchemic reaction begins, he is confronted by Wrath and Sloth. And back in the heart of Liore, Scar, Kimbley and Al are enmeshed in a climactic battle that none of them may survive.
Scar emerges from the grisly battle, determined to create the Philosopher’s Stone using Archer’s soldiers as the final ingredients. Desperate to stop the massacre, Ed continues his underground fight in hopes of reaching the surface in time. And Lust follows Scar through Liore’s war-torn streets, seeking the final truths about Scar’s origin before he performs his ultimate transmutation.
In the aftermath of the Philosopher’s Stone creation, Ed and Al embark on a dangerous journey home. The Fuhrer declares the Elrics to be fugitives of the state, responsible for the deaths of nearly a thousand soldiers, and wants them captured-- dead or alive. Can Mustang’s troops intercept the boys before they fall into the wrong hands?
With the mastermind behind the seven sins organizing a plan to capture the boys as well, Ed and Al must convince Mustang’s faction that the Fuhrer is not what he seems. The strange reappearance of their father only complicates things further, as we learn he has his own score to settle… one that goes to root of this entire conspiracy.
The confrontation between Hohenheim and the leader of the Homonculi continues, and we finally discover the “truth behind truths.” As Al receives a mysterious phone call, Ed proves he will do whatever it takes to stop the Homunculi—even defile his mother’s grave. And back in Central, Colonel Mustang decides to challenge the entire military leadership on his own.
The brothers are separated, and both are in peril. Al meets with the increasingly deranged Tucker, while Ed returns to Dante’s mansion for any clue that could lead him to the Homunculi’s leader. Meanwhile, the Fuhrer sends Mustang and Armstrong to command his northern campaign. Will the boys have to fend for themselves in this increasingly dangerous struggle?
Tucker used Al’s power in a new attempt to resurrect his daughter, and the transmutation has disintegrated part of Al’s armor. Anxious to stop the Philosopher’s Stone from losing more potency, Sloth captures Al. But Ed arrives to stop her. With Sloth, Wrath, and Lust all on the scene—and all with different motives— it’s time for a homunculi showdown.
Al is in the hands of the homunculi, and Ed has precious little time to find him. Nearby, Mustang reveals his daring strategy, turning the Fuhrer’s attempt to silence him into a push for revolution. After a rapid chain of events, Ed and Mustang find themselves in a car together, giving the two stubborn alchemists a chance to close old wounds.
What is the real secret to alchemy? What fuels transmutations? Is Equivalent Exchange the defining principle of the world, or a fabrication that give false hope to the weak? All answers will be revealed, as the confrontation with the homunculi’s leader sends Ed to a place that could shatter his entire understanding of alchemy: the other side of the Gate.
Ed returns from beyond the Gate, leaping into a desperate battle with Envy to stop the mastermind and set Al free. But can Ed deal with Envy’s true form? In the Fuhrer’s mansion, it’s the Ultimate Eye against Flame: Mustang versus Pride. The future of the state is on the line, and an alchemist is going to die.
The Elric brothers have been on a long and difficult journey, seeking to regain what they’ve lost. Enemies have been toppled, friends have been buried, and the state has been remade. But it’s not over yet. In this climactic final chapter, Equivalent Exchange gains new meaning, as Ed and Al demonstrate how much they will sacrifice for each other.