Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was my introduction to anime and it remains one of my favorite TV series. This story, along with the previous series Fullmetal Alchemist (which has a different ending than either the manga or Brotherhood), is set in the steampunk-fantasy world of Amestris. Here, alchemy is a widely-practiced science and the most talented alchemists are recruited by the military. The story follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who committed the greatest alchemical taboo and paid a high price. They’re on a mission to get their original bodies back, and along the way they discover a secret that will determine the fate of the world.
Disclaimer: These typings are based on my 10+ years’ experience studying Myers-Briggs® Personality Types, but they’re not fool-proof. Fictional personality typing always involves guesswork and is open to interpretation, and what I offer here aren’t the only ways that people have typed these characters.
Table of contents
- Edward Elric – ENTP
- Alphonse Elric – INFP
- Winry Rockbell – ISTP
- Roy Mustang – ENTJ
- Riza Hawkeye – ISFJ
- Maes Hughes – ENFJ
- Alex Louis Armstrong – ESFJ
- Olivier Armstrong – ESTJ
- Izumi Curtis – ESTJ
- Van Hohenheim – INFJ
- Scar – ISTJ
- Ling Yao – ESTP
- Mei Chang – ENFP
- A Note on the Homunculus
- What Are Your Thoughts?
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Edward Elric – ENTP
“A lesson without pain is meaningless. That’s because no one can gain without sacrificing something. But by enduring that pain and overcoming it, he shall obtain a powerful, unmatched heart… A Fullmetal Heart.” –Edward Elric
Like so many real-life ENTPs, The Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric is intelligent, perceptive, and hates following other people’s rules. Rules are made to be broken, or at least tested to their limits. His Extroverted Intuition helps him think outside the box and motivates him to explore the limits of his world. Couple that with co-pilot Introverted Thinking, which makes decisions based on a highly personal definition of what makes sense, and you have the sort of kid who can figure out alchemy’s greatest secrets or take-down an empire.
Alphonse Elric – INFP
“This body comes with many inconveniences. But inconveniences don’t make me miserable! There is no reason for you to pity me! My life was put back together with alchemy by my brother. If I deny myself, that would mean I’m denying my brother, along with alchemy. I believe in the potential that alchemy holds. I want to believe in it!” –Alphonse Elric
Alphonse Elric is a sensitive, sweet young man with great strength of character who also has a strong bond with the people he cares about. As an INFP who leads with Introverted Feeling, Al prioritizes inner harmony and makes decisions based on what feels right to him. This often puts him in the position of a savior, protector, and conscience for those around him. He hides stray cats and injured people in his armor, has heart-to-heart talks with even the most conflicted and dangerous people, and keep his brother Ed on the straight and narrow.
Winry Rockbell – ISTP
“If you think I’m a gear-head, that’s fine, but you had better get used to it! Because as long as you’re wearing my automail, you’re stuck with this gear-head whether you like it or not!” –Winry Rockbell
One of the nicknames given to ISTPs is “The Mechanic,” and that’s exactly what Winry is. I like that she shows not every ISTP (even in fiction) fits the action-hero mold. The unique strengths of this personality type lend themselves to all sorts of a careers, interests, skills, and hobbies. She is more comfortable expressing her emotions than your stereotypical ISTP (which is why she’s often typed as an FJ), but she processes those emotions logically. She’s driven by a desire to make sense of things and understand how they work, whether that’s people or automail parts.
Roy Mustang – ENTJ
“The power of one man doesn’t amount to much. But, with whatever little strength I’m capable of… I’ll do everything humanly possible to protect the people I love, and in turn they’ll protect the ones they love. It seems like the least we tiny humans can do for each other.” –Roy Mustang
The strong, decisive presence and keen intellect of ENTJs earns them nicknames like “Strategist” or “Fieldmarshal.” The Flame Alchemist Roy Mustang fits that mold perfectly. Like other Intuitive types, he keeps the big picture in mind and works toward an ideal future goal, but he grounds that vision with a strong Extroverted Thinking side that helps him find logical, effective solutions to problems. He’s also a charming, charismatic man when he wants to be, and he inspires great loyalty in the people following him.
Riza Hawkeye – ISFJ
“I will follow you into hell if you ask me to.” –Riza Hawkeye
Riza never wanted to be a soldier, but since she is one and she’s a talented sharpshooter, she’s devoted herself to using those skills to help and protect others. She’s intensely loyal and people-focused in all her decision making, a trait common to FJ types. Like many other ISFJs, Riza prefers working in the background playing a supporting role where she can make a significant, positive difference. Riza cares deeply about what’s right, protects the people she loves, and works to create a world where generations after her can live safety.
Maes Hughes – ENFJ
“I will do anything it takes to be the man she loves. I will survive this war. And when I return home, I will swallow every horrible thing I’ve done here, and I will smile when I’m with her. I swear on my life.” –Maes Hughes
Relentlessly optimistic and absolutely devoted to his family, Maes Hughes’s smiles and generosity make him beloved by everyone around him even when they may grumble about his cheerfulness. That external cheer is just one aspect of his personality, though. He’s also an accomplished officer, a loyal friend and mentor, and he’s so good at putting patterns together that he figures out what’s going on with the homunculus before either Mustang or Ed.
Alex Louis Armstrong – ESFJ
“What unyielding love to try and bring your mother back to life! What a tremendous sacrifice to give up your arm in order to transmute your brothers disembodied soul! What determination to burn down your own house to make sure there was no retreat!” –Alex Louis Armstrong
The tall, physically intimidating Strong Arm Alchemist is one of the most effusively emotional characters in the series, yet he’s also surprisingly down-to-earth and practical. Proud of his family heritage and devoted to what’s best for the people around him, Alex Louis Armstrong is deeply moved by tragic stories and highly motivated to fight for people who need protection. He’s so helpful, in fact, that his compassion and generosity can become overwhelming for the people around him.
Olivier Armstrong – ESTJ
“Race, ethnicity, gender, class… any type of prejudice on the battlefield can only lead to weakness and an increase in casualties.” – Olivier Armstrong
Major General Olivier Armstrong is an extremely talented leader who commands absolute loyalty from her troops. She’s scrupulously honest and doesn’t expect anything less of herself than she demands from others. Like so many real-life ESTJs, Olivier is self-confident, aggressive, and doesn’t let other people, circumstances, or even herself stand in the way of what she wants to accomplish. She lives in a world of concrete facts and is devoted to an efficient, rigid moral code.
Izumi Curtis – ESTJ
“Believe in yourselves and choose life over death. Otherwise, you’ve led a shameful existence.” –Izumi Curtis
Izumi Curtis is a skilled, hard-working woman with the strength of character and take-charge personality needed to tough-love the Elric brothers into becoming some of the most skilled fighters and alchemists in the world. Fiercely proud of her identity as a housewife (a traditional role of the sort often valued by SJ types), Izumi has also honed her ESTJ talents for creating logical plans and putting her ideas into action quickly and efficiently. She’s a strong, stable influence in the lives of all around her and never fails to come through when she’s needed even when it’s dangerous for her.
Van Hohenheim – INFJ
“I thought living forever was nothing but exhausting. But since I met you and our sons, for the first time I felt glad to be alive. It was a full life.” –Van Hohenheim
Van Hohenheim’s kindness, curiosity, and charm are hallmarks of his character. He’s also generally misunderstood, unable to explain his reasons for abandoning the family he dearly loved. Like many other INFJs, Hohenheim initially assumes the best of others and is shocked then the Dwarf in the Flask betrays him. Learning from that mistake doesn’t harden his heart, though, and he remains an empathic person capable of communicating with the individual souls that unwillingly make up his philosopher’s stone.
Scar – ISTJ
“I am the ooze born from the gaping wound that was Ishval. I neither pray to God nor appeal to him. Ooze deserves no forgiveness. And I will burn until I’m left dead in a ditch like the scum that I am.” –Scar
ISTJs are often duty-fulfillers, and we see a healthy version of this in Scar during flashbacks where he’s committed to his family and to Ishvalan morality. We also see a darker version of duty-fulfilling as an angry, hate-filled Scar carries out the vengeance he believes he’s been entrusted with using the destructive transmutation tattoos on his arm. Though it seems his primary commitment is to vengeance, he also shows a protective side in his interactions with Mei Chang and reveals that he still holds a respect for his people, listening to their advice and accepting their correction even when he does not agree with them.
Ling Yao – ESTP
“A king exists for his people, without subjects rulers cannot exist.”—Ling Yao
Ling Yao is a fascinating blend of live-in-the-moment, take-what-I-can-get hedonist and intensely responsible prince-who-would-be-king. The flippant and funny personality that Ling presents to most of the world conceals a shrewd, clever man. He’s determined to earn his country’s throne, and that determination is fueled by a desire to serve his people. This complex personality fits well with the ESTP type’s action-oriented Extroverted Sensing supported by clever, logical Introverted Thinking and people-oriented tertiary Extroverted Feeling.
Mei Chang – ENFP
“This place… it’s strange…I could feel there was something wrong with this country since I got here. But this place… It’s the source of it… Can you feel those things…? Crawling beneath us?” –Mei Chang
Sweet, strong, intuitive, and highly imaginative Mei Chang is a motivated young woman who doesn’t seem afraid of anything, especially not sharing her feelings and convictions. She’ll fly into a rage at anyone who slights someone she’d like to protect, or fling herself into the arms of a man she imagines is in love with her. Like other ENFPs, she’s adventurous and stays true to herself, though she is willing to reevaluate her convictions in light of new information and feedback from others as she tries to work out what’s the right thing to do.
A Note on the Homunculus
There are far too many Fullmetal Alchemist characters to type them all, but I tried to fit all the major characters on this list. I was torn on whether or not to include the homunculus. I finally opted not to type them because they’re created to represent only one aspect of a complete human personality. While we could argue they become characters in their own right (particularly in the case of Greed and Wrath), typing them would have to rely too heavily on stereotypes of the 16 personalities’ worst qualities.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What did you think of this article? Did I leave out any of your favorite characters, or do you have a different typing to suggest? Let us know!
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About the Author:
Marissa Baker is the author of The INFJ Handbook (available in the Amazon Kindle Store). You can find her online at LikeAnAnchor.com where she blogs about personal growth and development from a Christian perspective.