Whether it's in the manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, or the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist (2017) fans can never get enough of Ed Elric, Al Elric, Winry Rockbell, or Roy Mustang. All four main characters are amazingly complex and endearing with all sorts of signature qualities, from Winry's headband to Roy's gloves to Ed's arm to Al's armored body, but what little details did loyal watchers miss on a first, second, or third viewing/reading?

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Maybe it's even something not shown in either of these three versions of the epic tale of two brothers and their melange of alchemically-talented friends. Time to uncover all of the mysteries!

10 Their Names

Edward is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning "guardian." This relates much to Ed's character as he is fiercely protective over his younger brother Al. Speaking of Alphonse, his name comes from German and it means "ready for a fight." And Al certainly always is! Even their last name has a special meaning as it comes from English with the meaning "the king." Al and Ed are certainly Kings of Alchemy!

Roy comes from the French "surname" meaning King as well. His last name also relates to the American fighter aircraft the P-51 Mustang. Winry's last name is a play on the Rockwell scale which is a measurement for the hardness of metals. Appropriate for a gearhead geek!

9 Their Birth Places

Winry was born in Remsembool. This rural village's name is very similar to the word "reassemble" which is what Winry often has to do for Ed whenever he visits with a broken automail arm or leg.

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Ed, Al, and Mustang hail from Amestris. This word is an Old Persian name meaning "strong woman" and Amestris was an actual queen from history. She was the wife of Xerxes I of Persia. Xerxes is the name of the ancient civilization preceding Amestris in Fullmetal Alchemist. Amestris had a checkered life which included getting violent revenge on someone's mother for adultery with her husband. Perhaps Arakawa took inspiration from her history for Fullmetal's Amestris's equally troubled history.

8 Transmutation Colors

Though in the 2003 anime alchemists create all different colors of lights when performing alchemy, the Elrics and Colonel Mustang keep consistent colors throughout every version and each has definitive hues for the different types of alchemy they perform.

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While Mustang's has the signature orange as is characteristic with fire transmutation, Ed and Al have blue transmutation or purple when they're attempting human transmutation. Blue is the most common color for transmutation as the brothers are able to use without sigils. This sure does add a cool effect when Mustang and Ed fight against each other!

7 Winry's Piercings

Winry's four piercings for each ear, consisting of two hoops and two studs, but has anyone thought of why she had these piercings? In the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA#1 "Simple People," Ed and Al purchase Winry two pairs of silver earrings as souvenirs since she just had her ears pierced.

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Ed is worried the jewelry is too plain, but Winry falls in love with them and even though she only has her left ear pierced, she gets more piercings just so she can wear the gifts that the brothers got her. If Winry couldn't be any more adorable!

6 Colonel Mustang's Gloves

Colonel Mustang's gloves are made out of ignition cloth also known as pyrotex and he has transmutation symbols embroidered on the backs of them. With a snap, he can use the oxygen in the air to create fire and deal serious damage on anyone who dares cross him. Though the transmutation circle is a fictional creation, the triangular symbols resemble the real alchemical symbol for "earth" and "air." Mustang also delegates his respective hands to different types of attacks, his right for explosive attacks and his left for precision attacks. This isn't surprising for a tactician like Mustang!

5 Clothing Color Changes

It's an easy thing to miss, but among the many differences between the 2003 and 2009 animes, Winry's and Al's clothes have inconsistent colors in the respective versions! In the 2003 anime, Al's breechcloth is light violet, while in 2009 it's white. Winry's scarf is red in the 2003 version and green in the 2009 version.

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No one else has their outfit colors changed. Perhaps the animators didn't think such small changes would make much of a difference? This is just one more instance of something the original Fullmetal Alchemist diverged from the manga.

4 Their Voice Actors

Vic Mignogna has voiced Ed Elric in every version of the character, even the English dub for the live-action remake! He had a brotherly relationship with Aaron Dismuke who played Alphonse in the 2003 anime but this young actor had to be replaced for Brotherhood what with his maturing voice. When asked which anime Mignogna preferred, he chose the original 2003 because he had such an amazing time acting with Dismuke. Roy Mustang's English voice actor Travis Willingham is actually married to Laura Bailey who voiced Lust, which is a bit ironic considering that Mustang kills Lust in Brotherhood.

3 Edward Is Ambidextrous

Edward has a lot of talents but one of his biggest is he can use both hands for transmutation. This is especially handy when he breaks his automail arm for the millionth time in combat among the many other advantages of being able to use either hand.

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He could have learned this talent because of his loss of a right arm or developed this when he was younger since he is exceptionally brilliant. Though he only uses his right hand for writing possibly because his left is metal. Metal must not be good for handling pens.

2 The Symbol On Ed's Cloak And Al's Arm

This special symbol on Al's left upper arm and Ed's red cloak is known as a "flamel" in the Fullmetal Alchemist world.  In the anime, it's used for "fixing of the volatile," but it resembles that of the Rod of Asclepius (the serpentine entwined staff of the great healer of Greek mythology), the Caduceus (the Roman herald and god of alchemy Mercury's wand) and the Nehushtan (a Hebrew symbol of the snake around Moses's staff from The Bible). Their alchemy teacher Izumi Curtis has this tattooed on her left breast. Fans have theorized the brothers took on the symbol in honor of their master.

1 The Mangaka's Favorites

Hiromu Arakawa is the creator of this series. She set out to be a manga artist or mangaka and vowed to not return home before she succeeded and with the Fullmetal Alchemist series selling over 64 million copies, succeeded she has. Though her given name is "Hiromi" she decided on writing under the masculine name of Hiromu so she wouldn't be offputting to the shonen readership. When interviewed by Newtype Magazine in 2006, she said that the Elrics, Riza Hawkeye, and Winry Rockbell were her favorites, even though it was hard for her to choose between her beloved characters. Any fan knows how difficult that decision is!

NEXT: Fullmetal Alchemist: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Edward

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