Story 1 – Introduction
Edward Elric Story
We first meet Edward Elric in the very first pages of Fullmetal Alchemist slouching beside his huge striking armored younger brother, Alphonse. Edward was introduced as the Fullmetal Alchemist, the youngest and gifted state alchemist. Unfortunately, most of the characters would recognized Alphonse as the Fullmetal Alchemist because Alphonse is huge and practically in a full suit of armor. Anyone who would see them together at first would think that Alphonse is the Fullmetal Alchemist because one.) He’s all metal two.) He’s huge and seems strong and experience in battle, and three.) Edward looks like his tiny errand boy. Most of the time, Alphonse would point out that Edward is his older brother and is the Fullmetal Alchemist. But then they would tell Alphonse that Edward is “small and just a kid” and then Edward would fume out of anger. This is mostly the skit you will find whenever Edward introduces himself which I find adorable in most cases.
In Lior, the town that Edward and Alphonse visited in the first chapter of the story, both brothers are introduced to be alchemist looking for the legendary Philosopher’s stone. They found it from Cornello, a priest leading the town or rather scheming the town by using the stone while performing alchemy and stating that his powers were miracles given by the god Leto. In their attempt to take the Philosopher’s stone from Cornello, both brothers engaged into a battle with a huge chimera. Edward’s automail arm and leg were shown and also Alphonse’ hollow body.
You can tell that in the first chapters or episodes of the series, Edward tends to rip of his jacket and shirt to show off his automail arm. His code name “Fullmetal Alchemist” would also follow up right after Edward ripped his jacket and shirt. It’s a way to get the audience’s attention on how he got it or what he can do with it. It also shows that Edward is strong because ripping his inner black leather jacket is tough. Edward also tends to transmute his automail arm into different kinds of weapon. Whenever he transforms his automail arm into a huge knife his shirt and jacket will be ripped off. But don’t worry. Edward is his own designer and tailor. He can manage to transmute his clothes from a plain cloths in no time.
As for the Philosopher’s stone which Cornello has. It turned out to be a fake and Edward with Alphonse went ahead on their journey. But of course, Edward beat the crap out of Cornello and was able to indirectly tell the townspeople what Cornello has been doing/scheming. The first few chapters technically summarized what Fullmetal Alchemist is all about. Alchemy, family, science, and determination in pursuing your goal.
At first, you might say that Edward doesn’t have the characteristics of a kind, caring, compassionate hero. But in their travel to Youswell coal mines, Edward’s kind personality was shown indirectly with his rebellious and mischievousness. When they arrived the owner of an inn told them that the pay is very expensive and mocked them that they couldn’t afford it. Edward told Alphonse that they should transmute gold which was suppose to be a joke. The owner’s kid overheard them and learned that they were Alchemist. They were welcomed at first but got kicked out when the townspeople learned that Edward was a State Alchemist. The townspeople hates the military because Lt. Yoki who supervises the town is corrupting them. Fortunately, Alphonse wasn’t kicked out because he wasn’t a state alchemist. Alphonse was able to talk to the townspeople and learned about what Yoki has been doing to them.
The coal miners cannot afford to pay his taxes which includes a huge amount of interests. When Lt. Yoki came to the inn, he saw Edward and befriended him because Edward works directly to the Fuhrer and higher military ranked people. Yoki gave Edward some bribes to tell good words about Yoki so he can move up his rank. Edward found out that Yoki burned an inn from the town later that night. Right after, Edward performed a scheme to freed the townspeople from Yoki’s corruption. Edward transmuted coal into gold and gave it to Yoki as a payment for the deed of Youswell. Yoki agreed and wrote on the deed that he gave it to Edward for free because Edward turned coal into gold which is a taboo in alchemy. When Edward was able to give the townspeople the deed with a meal and a stay in their inn in exchange, Yoki came and told Edward that the gold bars turned back into coal.
Oh Lieutenant.. I‘ll make sure to tell the higher ups about your corruption and incompetence too..
– Edward Elric, Chapter 3
The fact that Edward saved the town – even though he wasn’t planning to get involved at first – was a sign that Edward is naturally kind. Similarly to Alphonse (his younger brother) who is very compassionate and has a huge heart, Edward shows his kindness in an indirect way.