A Book Report by: Randy Rivera
Author Information: Hiromu Arakawa
Hiromu Arakawa is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. She is best known for the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, which became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was later adapted into two anime television series.
Alphonse Elric: Alphonse Elric is the deuteragonist of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. The younger brother of Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, Al is also a victim of the failed Human Transmutationexperiment in which Ed lost his right arm and left leg. Having had his entire physical being taken away from him in the aftermath of the tragedy, Alphonse exists solely as a soulalchemically bound to a large suit of steel armor. Now, Al travels with his brother in search of a legendary Philosopher's Stone, an item with the power to restore their bodies to normal.
Homunculus refers to the mythological concept of an artificially created human, presumably brought into existence by certain means of alchemy. Though a common concept, well known and understood by alchemists in Amestris, the idea of homunculus is regarded as no more than a farce or faraway fantasy as no individual or group of alchemists has come anywhere close to successfully creating such a being in officially recorded history. Even so, alchemists have been forbidden by the Amestrian government to attempt or research the transmutation of humans and State Alchemists have such a restriction as part of their creed.
However, off the official record, not only one, but several of these creatures have been created in arcane, sinister secrecy. In the most relevant sense of the word, "Homunculus" refers to the eight individuals who make up the primary antagonistic force of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. These created humans, named for the seven deadly sins (Pride, Lust, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony and Wrath), along with their Father, are beings with incredible longevity, astonishing regenerative properties and a host of varied superhuman abilities. The Homunculi created by Father (with the sole exception of Pride) usually carry the mark of the Ouroboros upon their bodies and are identified as such by said mark. Other common things that they share are a very dark hair color, and the same eye color, which is shown to be lavender in the 2003 series and mauve in the 2009 series.