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Character Profile: Edward Elric

Fields
USA Info
Japanese Info
Image
Name
Edward Elric Edward Elric Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Alias
Ed Elric Ed Elric
· · ·
Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Alchemist
Race
Human(with prosthetic limbs) Human(with prosthetic limbs)
Gender
Male Male
Age
15-16 years old(through most of the series), 11 years old(towards the beginning of the series)(born 1899, see below) 15-16 years old(through most of the series), 11 years old(towards the beginning of the series)(born 1899, see below)
Hair
Blond Blond
Eyes
Gold Gold
Height
About 4'11"(source: height chart), 5'5"(including boots and hair)(source: manga) About 149 cm(source: height chart), 165 cm(including boots and hair)(source: manga)
· · ·
About 5'8"(by the end of the manga) About 173 cm(by the end of the manga)
· · ·
About 5'2"(on Earth, when 16), About 5'5"(on Earth, when 18) About 157 cm(on Earth, when 16), About 165 cm(on Earth, when 18)
Weight
   
Status
State Alchemist State Alchemist
Quote
"Don't say pipsqueak!"(play clip)  
Voice
Vic Mignogna Romi Paku
Debut
   
Anime
Fullmetal Alchemist Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi
· · ·
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala Gekijyouban Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Shanbara wo Yuku Mono

Last I checked, this character's cosplay outfit was available at Milanoo.

Character Description: Edward Elric

When Edward and his brother Alphonse were just boys, their mother succumbed to a sudden illness. Seeing no other alternative, the two of them attempted to revive their dead mother using what they knew: the science of alchemy. However, alchemy still obeys the principles of nature. The most basic principle of alchemy is that of Equivalent Exchange: for everything, there is a price. You cannot create something from nothing.

Edward and Alphonse knew of Equivalent Exchange and thought they had everything figured out. What they learned--disastrously--is that some things just can't be measured. Edward gave of his own body in the attempt, losing his left leg up to the thigh. His right arm was lost in a desperate move to prevent the soul of his brother (who lost his whole body in the attempt) from being lost forever.

After the incident, Edward was fitted with an automail arm and leg (automail is a special bio-mechanical prosthesis that can move at the wearer's will, enabling virtually full function). Recovering from his failure, Edward pushes forward with his pursuit of alchemy with a new goal: undoing the damage wrought upon himself and his brother. Just about a year after the accident, at the age of 12, Edward became the youngest certified State Alchemist in history. Though Edward is reluctant to join the State Alchemists (which is essentially part of the Army), he becomes one so he can research the Central archives for a possible solution: the Philosopher's Stone. The stone is the holy grail of alchemy. With it, it is said, one's power over alchemy rises to divine levels, allowing one to bypass the limitations of alchemy, including Equivalent Exchange. It's Edward's wish to find the stone and use it to restore his limbs and Alphonse's body.

Obviously, Edward is a top-notch alchemist now at the age of 15. Because he wears automail, he was given the title "Fullmetal Alchemist" by Fuhrer King Bradley when he became a State Alchemist (all State Alchemists are given such titles). Besides his incredible skill for his age and proficiency with weapons, Edward has one other secret that shows his genius. He is able to perform alchemy without the help of a Transmutation Circle or Array: normally a requirement (it was in fact that feat that made him worthy of the State Alchemists). As a result, he has amassed a reputation throughout the land, and this notoriety becomes a potential liability because people start gunning for him: not necessarily because of his identity but also because he's a State Alchemist (or "Military Dog" as some state-haters would call him). Edward answers to Lt. Col. Roy Mustang, and in exchange for answering to him and following his orders, he searches for the Philosopher's Stone in between his assignments and reports on his findings.

Because he's always in the company of his brother Alphonse (who is now just a suit of armor), people sometimes mistake Alphonse for the Fullmetal Alchemist. The problem is compounded by the fact that Edward is short for his age, so some people think he's younger than Alphonse (when he's actually a year older).

In addition to his alchemy skills, Edward can also kick serious butt. His tough automail arm and leg can deal some serious damage and can provide nice protection from physical attack. In addition, Edward can transmute his prosthetic arm into any of an assortment of weapons to suit the occasion.

If there's a weakness in Edward, it's in his naivety. Being so young, he still hasn't seen the depths of human depravity, and each new dive into the dark side of humanity frightens him. In time, he develops a sense of sarcasm to try to fight the fear.

Apparently, in Japan the term "Full Metal" means a very stubborn person... which describes Ed exactly!

Ed's Height

Ed's height is mentioned in the manga as being 165cm, but that's from the bottom of his boots to the tip of his spiky hair, so not his actual height. We estimate his height based on a height chart, however Ed does age and thus grow throughout the series. By the end of the manga he is drawn to be a full head taller than Winry, who is 163 cm, so his height at that time would likely be around 175cm. Also, it appears Alphonse's human height here is about an inch taller than Ed's.

Character Description: Edward Elric Birth Date

Before I get to the birth date, let me first cover Ed's age. In the beginning of the first episode, he is 11 years old. Then, later in the episode, we skip forward to when he is 15 years old. In episode 6, he has a birthday and turns from 11 year old Ed into 12 year old Ed. Then in episode 24, he has another birthday, turning from 15 year old Ed into 16 year old Ed.

Now, several sites (notashrimp.com and DRIFTER, for example) say that Ed's birth date is October 11, 1899 (and I'm also told this is from some book biography), and another (Official FMA Fan Site) states that his birthday is February 3, 1899. What we know for sure is that his birth date is sometime between October and February, because from February 1910 to October 3, 1910 he was still 11 years old. So we've narrowed it down to Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, or Feb.

In the episode "The Alchemy Exam", Edward, Alphonse, and Nina are seen playing outside in the snow (and is thus sometime during winter) when Maes Hughes then comes up wishing Edward a happy birthday (this was the same day Hughes's daughter, Elicia, was born, and occurred just before Ed went to take the exam, thus making him 12 at that time). So it seems like his birthday would be in a winter month... of course, this is an alternate diminsion, so who is to say which months are winter!

Thankfully, we get an even stronger clue in Episode 5, when Riza yells at Hughes that babies are not born after only 5 months (because Hughes is rambling on about the baby and preparing for its birth). This episode takes place on October 6th, and Riza's comment implies that the Elicia is expected in about 4 months, which would be February. We do find out later that Elicia is born pre-mature, but since she was healthy it couldn't have been all that early. So this gives us a better estimate of about January or February.

One dedicated fan actually attempted to calculate Ed's birthday, so I'll share that with you in a moment. Unfortunately, their English wasn't very good, so I tried to reconstruct the message as best I could. If you have any clarifications on it, please contact me. If you have any questions about it, I most likely won't be able to answer them because it's been too long since I've seen this and don't remember most of what they're talking about.

The day when Ed and Al set out after setting fire to their house is October 3rd (night time). The next episode starts at October 4th. They travel for 3 days and 2 nights, so Episode 5 is October 6th. Episode 6 is October 6th, then they eat dinner and head to bed, which becomes October 7th. After that, assuming each picture means 1 day, when we get to Edward reading in the library, it is October 11. Then we're at the scene outside with Ed and Nina playing in the snow.
Date Range Age 
Feb–Oct, 189900
Feb–Oct, 190001
Feb–Oct, 190102
. . . . . .
Feb–Oct, 190809
Feb–Oct, 190910
Feb–Oct, 191011
Feb–Oct, 191112
Feb–Oct, 191213
Feb–Oct, 191314
Feb–Oct, 191415
Feb–Oct, 191516
Feb–Oct, 191617

The big assumption made there is that each picture means one day, which may very well not be true at all. Alphonse even makes the statement "We spent the months before the exam". Following the timeline above, the time between when they leave home and his birthday would only be a month and a few days tops; he would have used the word 'weeks' for that time-frame, using 'months' suggests a considerable longer amount of time has passed. Thus it seems like Ed's birth date would be at least a month AFTER October 11th, if not more.

The first episode shows us that it is Continental year 1910, and that Ed is 11 years old, which would seem to indicate that he was born in the year 1899. However, logically Ed could have been born at any time in the final months of 1898 as well as the first months of 1899, based on the snowy backdrop to his 12th birthday (the Alchemy Exam), and still have been 11-years-old in October of 1910 (Mother). If he was indeed born in December, it would have been in 1898... if it fell slightly later in winter, such as January or February, it would have been 1899. Apparently the second manga Guidebook for Fullmetal Alchemist gives a timeline which specifies that both Edward and Winry are born in 1899. (Note: Once I get confirmation of this, we can narrow Ed's birthday to between Jan 1, 1899 and Feb 11, 1899).

Now, at the end of one episode (49, 50, or 51... I can't remember which exactly) when Alphonse is giving the information for the next episode, he says "In the year 1916, 16 demons covered the skies of London." At this time, Ed is 16 years old, which could fit since we only know that he would be 17 by February 1916, and thus he could be 16 before then.

Okay, now if all that wasn't confusing enough, there seems to be other information indicating that Ed was born in 1905. When Ed arrived in our world, it was 1921 AD and he was 16 years old (Ed has his 16th birthday in the hospital shortly after the Lab 5 incident on the day Winry arrives from Resembool, during the episode "Fullmetal Heart"), thus indicating that Ed would have been born in 1905. And then in one of the OVAs (entitled Children, I believe), it is stated that in our world, "Edward Elric will be 100 years old in 2005", which indicates a birth year of 1905. This is all easily explained, however. Our world and Ed's world are two different dimensions, and the years do not correlate between the two. In the movie, while Ed is in our 1923, when we visit Mustang at a snowy outpost, it says "Continental Calender Year 1917." That's 6 years behind our calender.

Note that in the movie, Ed is 16 years old when arrive on Earth, but he lives there for two years so he is 18 years old during 1923 when we come into the story.