He (Japanese: アルフォンス・エルリック, Hepburn: Arufonsu Erurikku) is a fictional character and one of the protagonists in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa. Alphonse is a child who lost his body during an alchemical experiment to bring his deceased mother back to life and had his soul attached to a suit of armor by his older brother Edward. As a result, Alphonse is almost invulnerable as long as the armor’s seal is not erased, but is unable to feel anything. To recover their bodies, the Elrics travel around their country Amestris to obtain the Philosopher’s Stone—an alchemical object that could restore them. In the animated adaptations of Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse is voiced by Rie Kugimiya in Japanese. In the English adaptations, he is voiced by Aaron Dismuke in the first series and by Maxey Whitehead in the second.
As a result of appearing in the series mostly in his armor, Arakawa has been focused on searching ways to make it appear as Alphonse is expressing emotions despite not having a body. Alphonse has also appeared in materials related to the manga, including video games and light novels that follow his journey. His character has been well received by readers of the series; he has consistently appeared in the top ten series’ popularity polls. The character has received positive remarks from critics, with some commending his design and his relationship with Edward.
In many ways, Alphonse’s calm, serene and passive disposition exists as a foil to his older brother’s more abrasive personality. Al is kindhearted, notably compassionate and patient almost to a fault, acting often out of protective selflessness for his loved ones, new friends and sometimes toward even his enemies (Scar is a particular example). Having had his psychological growth stunted at the age of ten due to loss of his physical body, Alphonse retains a childlike purity in the face of all his encountered horrors; however, despite his age, he has always displayed a significantly higher level of maturity than Edward. Though Al is as passionate as his brother, he has remarked that his anger takes longer to spark and jokes that he is always beaten to the punch by Edward’s outbursts.
On the other hand, Al’s heart does contain some darkness born from the tragedies of his life. Plagued with insecurities about his own uncertain existence inside a suit of armor, Al craves the human warmth of his former life in desperate silence, fears that he will never again know closeness, and is sometimes overwhelmed by the suspicion that he himself is not human. It is also revealed that Alphonse carries the added burden of blaming himself for the failure of his mother’s resurrection and the subsequent loss of Possibly as part of his desire for warmth and love, Alphonse displays a great affection for small cats and has developed a bad habit of picking up stray kittens that he finds over the course of his travels, hiding them inside his armoru cavity from his disapproving brother.
Finding a girlfriend
On a more subtle level, Alphonse appears to have a great fondness for women as well. Particularly sensitive himself, Alphonse has a gift for complimentary and inspirational speech that surpasses even that of his brother’s. While this does not negate the effect his armor body has on ordinary girls, it does allow him to leave an impression on the few women with whom he regularly associates such as May Chang, Riza Hawkeye, Lan Fan, and Sheska. When his skills are necessary, Alphonse is often paired up with female comrades in situations where Edward is not present. In many of the Fullmetal Alchemist omake, Arakawa makes Al’s primary motivation finding a girlfriend.
Aside from the warmth of physical contact, what Alphonse misses most about having a human body seems to be delicious food. He keeps a journal of all the various foods he will eat upon returning to his body in order to keep his spirits up (a practice encouraged by Edward) and has stated that his fondest wish is to have some of Winry’s apple pie.
Alphonse’s Age in Fullmetal Alchemist
Despite being a male-dominated demographic, one of the most popular shōnen series is actually written by a woman.
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa is about two brothers—Edward and Alphonse Elric—and their search for the philosopher’s stone. When they were younger, Edward and Alphonse performed Human Transmutation, which is forbidden in the practice of alchemy. Their attempt failed, causing Edward to lose an arm and a leg while Alphonse loses his whole body.
Both brothers are remarkable alchemists in their own right. Alphonse is the younger brother. During their failed Human Transmutation, Edward binds Alphonse’s soul to a large suit of armor to save him from disappearing completely.
Due to this, Alphonse cannot eat or sleep. He often craves the feeling of being human again. He even keeps a list of food that he’ll eat when he turns back to normal, especially excited to eat their childhood friend Winry’s apple pie.
Considering Alphonse’s physical appearance in comparison to his brother, he’s often mistaken as the Fullmetal Alchemist. But how old is Alphonse in the series?
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Alphonse is only a year younger than his brother. Edward and Alphonse were around 11 and 10 respectively when they performed the Human Transmutation. A while after this happened, Lieutenant Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, came to the brothers’ hometown of Resembool in search of potential candidates for the Amestrian State Military’s State Alchemist program.
He convinces Edward to join the program to have a better lead in finding the philosopher’s stone, which will also be for the sake of Alphonse.
How old were Ed and Al when they performed the human transmutation?
Brotherhood more or less follows the manga. I don’t remember if we get a montage of events in the brothers’ childhoods with their ages (a quick search through volume 6 doesn’t give me anything), but we do see Mustang arrive at Resembool presumably shortly after their human transmutation attempt, so we can get some information from there.
So Edward is at most 11, and Alphonse 10, when human transmutation is attempted. This matches up more or less with the ages I remember possibly having seen from 2003 and Brotherhood. (Keep in mind that some chronology – such as the death of Winry’s parents – might have occurred at a different point in the manga continuity compared to that of 2003, and that there is the additional half year before Ed takes the State Alchemist exams.)
A child trapped in a menacing metal body at the age of 10, Al is polite to a fault. He is often the voice of reason when Ed get’s carried away. A brilliant alchemist in his own right, Al wants nothing more than to restore his brother’s limbs. He longs to feel human again.
He is the younger brother of Edward Elric. Al, like his brother, showed a prominent gift in Alchemy. When their mother died, the brothers tried to bring her back to Life using Alchemy. In a freak accident during the transformation Alphonse lost his body. Edward bonded Al’s soul to an Iron suit. Because of this, Al’s body is the iron suit. Al follows Edward around to look for a way to reverse what happen to Ed and Al.
Losing your physical body would make anyone lose hope. Despite it all, however, Al retains his kindness and purity, so much that we forget he is a soul-bonded suit of armor. Who knew that a grotesque suit of armor could be so cute and loveable. Although his naivete occasionally gets the brothers in trouble, his strength is his ability to see the good in others. Despite this, Al is often times the voice of reason and keeps his brother in check.
In the movie, Al is 13 years old. This is because in Episode 51, Al got his body back. He was back in the body of a normal 10 year old boy. He lost all of his memory, and asked Izumi (his teacher) to train him again like she use to. In the movie, 3 years passed, thus making him 13 years old. In his human body, Al has brown eyes and brown/blonde hair. He keeps his hair in a very long pony tail.
His Italian Inspiration
He , as viewers will soon see, is a human soul bound to a hulking suit of armor. More than a few characters (including villains) are shocked to find out that no one is inside. But this story has been told before.
It’s likely that author Hiromu Arakawa drew inspiration from Italo Calvino’s story The Nonexistent Knight, in which a knight is just an empty suit of armor who goes around enforcing the chivalric code. Fortunately, he’s a nice guy, and not a monster.
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