Animé Tattoos: Fullmetal Alchemist
You've all gotten a dose of some animé goodness in a previous post. Anyone who's loved animé knows that there will never be enough animé.
What do we have here? It's only Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師), one of the finest animé series from the year 2k. Like most animé, Fullmetal Alchemist started out as a manga, written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It has a manga series, two animé series and two movies under its belt. And as I've said, us Fullmetal Alchemist fans are still thirsty for more.
So, what makes this particular animé so special? Well, I can't guarantee just about anyone will like it but most animé fans regard the series as one of the finest in the recent years. It's not quite as phenomenal as Naruto have been but it follows the lead. Basically, it's a story set in a world where alchemy which surpasses science is possible. The main characters are two brothers whose lives were ruined by alchemy, and are both fighting the world back with alchemy also. I don't want to say too much or there shall be spoilers.
What we really have here though are the fans who got themselves sucked into the journey of Edward and Alphonse Elric and so decided to make it permanent with ink. The show also happens to have a lot of tattoo appearance throughout the series, which played a big part with fans getting inked themselves.
Recent from Tattoo Ideas
It's one of the most recognizable symbols in the series because it's on the back of the trademark coat worn by the main protagonist, Edward and it also appears on the left shoulder of Edward's automail. Although the symbol most likely identifies with the symbol used by the medieval French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel, and the symbol of Hermes, god of alchemy, there are still a few other symbols people regard it with.
Awesome idea to incorporate a mandala into it.
Another popular symbol from the show is the Ouroboros. All throughout the show, symbolisms and religious references where everywhere. And this particular symbol is used in the series to be identified with the Homonculi, who embodies the seven deadly sins. To clear things up, the Homonculi were the some of the show's antagonists.
The series aside, the Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a dragon devouring its own tail. It represents the cycle of life and death, while the hexagon may represent alchemy and human creation.
Here it is, with a tribal-like touch to the original design.
This is the Transmutation Circle the Elric brothers designed for human transmutation. Transmutation Circles play a big part in Fullmetal Alchemist. The Transmutation Circle is a fundamental part of alchemy, merely understanding how the sequence of alchemy goes and all that isn't enough to perform transmutation.
You don't need much to create a Transmutation Circle, it may be drawn with ink, blood, paint, etcetera or even tattooed onto the skin itself. Roy Mustang and Kimblee had theirs tattooed on their hands. I can't explain how cool these are supposed to be, you'll just have to watch the series.
Scar is probably one of the most tattooed characters in the show. One of the most interesting and underrated, as well. He has this interesting back story; in the 2009 series, he lost his right arm from the war. To keep him alive, his brother gave up his own arm and used alchemy to replace Scar's lost one with his own, in exchange for his life.
The tattoo on Scar's arm is a Transmutation Array, which is similar to the Transmutation Circle but is utilized in a different way. I'm not going to elaborate much on this but basically, the Transmutation Array does not depend on the circle itself, unlike the Transmutation Circle, because it's composed of other runes used to augment its power and plainly do awesome sh-t.
The most recognizable Soulbinding symbol in the series is Alphonse Elric's, yes, the one in the empty suit of armour. Soulbinding is a manipulation of a human soul by transferring it to an inanimate object through human transmutation. It's really something terrible when you think about it; you can't die, you can't eat, you can't feel anything. It really is a terrible fate.
Fans have not only grown attached to the elements in the story but to the characters themselves, as well. Told you, Fullmetal Alchemist isn't just your regular shounen.
It's General Armstrong! He's the big bodybuilder teddybear
This eye represents the eye/surveillance of 'Father', the main baddie of the show.
This is freaking gorgeous.
It takes a really dedicated fan to give himself his own automail just like the one Edward has.
Those pocket watches are the same ones given to State Alchemists like Edward Elric and Colonel Roy Mustang sort of like a badge police officers and detectives have.
One of the most notable tattooed characters in Fullmetal Alchemist is Riza Hawkeye, Colonel Mustang's subordinate. According to the FMA wiki,
"Riza's father had his research notes tattooed onto his daughter's back; this is another facet of her close relationship with Roy Mustang, who is the only person she has ever permitted to view the notes. It is unclear whether the tattooing was done against her will or with her consent."
A fan even had a subdermal implant of the Flamel cross!
Geek talk over, as I compel you to get sucked into the world of fictional alchemy.