Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa is one of the best pieces of fiction of all time. So good in fact, that it got two separate anime adaptations, multiple feature-length movies, and even a live-action version. Now obviously, the plot, world, and supernatural fantasy aspects of FMA are great. But, what really draws us in are the characters, they're all so amazingly well written.
The heartwarming brotherhood of the Elrics, the tragedy of Hughes, and even the overflowing bravado of Armstrong. Each and every character is so relatable and likable despite living in such a different reality. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the absolute best and worst relationships throughout all the iterations.
10 Best: Alex Armstrong X Sig Curtis
First and foremost, we have the two with a handshake that could smash reality, Alex Armstrong and Sig Curtis. These two towering figures could each fit as the reference image for the word "manly" in the dictionary. Sig is the quiet, imposing, yet incredibly sweet and doting husband of Izumi.
While Armstrong is the polite, extravagant, yet deeply sensitive Strong Arm Alchemist. The two only meet briefly in Brotherhood, but their double team takedown of Sloth and subsequent handshake is one of the best parts of the franchise as a whole.
9 Worst: Shou X Nina Tucker
Now to contrast the feel-good highlight of the franchise, it's time to cliff dive into the lowest of lows, the Tucker household. No matter which anime we're in, the result is always the same, Shou Tucker's obsession and ambition lead him down the darkest path. Shou, who was once a promising State Alchemist, is pressured in his research by the government, and his mind and child suffer.
Granted, Shou Tucker is a monster and unforgivable failure of a parent, and it's a real tragedy his angelic daughter wasn't born into a different family. Oh, don't forget about Alexander.
8 Best: Olivier Armstrong X Major Miles
Some may define a "good relationship" as one with constant ups and downs, but we feel that one built on an unbeatable foundation is just as admirable. Miles and Olivier Armstrong's connection is absolutely unshakeable. Miles is Olivier's second-in-command and seemingly the only person she fully trusts. In response, Miles listens to her every command without the slightest hint of disloyalty.
The two just make a great pair, whether as friends or something more, and their absolute trust in each other is a breath of fresh air in a series where backstabbing is second nature.
7 Worst: Martel X Alphonse Elric
Now, this isn't quite fair, because the friendship between Martel and Alphonse is both short and sweet. But, becoming friends in the first place is what leads to Martel's death and some heavy trauma for Alphonse.
Martel is the sole survivor from a Black Ops team working for the homunculi Greed and is also a snake-hybrid Chimera human. She's quirky and blunt and her personality absolutely compliments Alphonse's polite and serious side. Unfortunately, the Führer discovers her hiding inside Al's hollow body, and her blood spilling out of Alphonse is still one of the most horrifying images we've ever seen.
6 Best: Scar X Mei Chang
This might be one of the best examples of contrasting characters we've seen in fiction. Scar is a victim of the Ishvalan conflict between the Amestris Empire and the Ishvalan people. Sure, he's a murderer and a sociopath, but not pure evil and is horribly misunderstood.
Mei Chang, one of the princesses of the Xing, is the catalyst for showing us that. The two meet up a little less than halfway through Brotherhood and immediately bond. By the end of the series, they're almost like family and Mei is the bridge that finally connects Scar's plight to Alphonse Elric, her future husband.
5 Worst: Scar X His Brother
Speaking of Scar's familial relationships, his bond with his actual brother isn't quite as heartwarming, albeit just as complex. Scar's brother is the one who turned his arm into a weapon of pure destruction thanks to his obsession with alchemy.
In Brotherhood, Scar's brother is a bit less complicated. He simply gives Scar his arm in order to save his life. In the 2003 anime, Scar's brother attempted human transformation and created Lust. Sure he still sacrificed himself and his arm to save Scar, but his goals were much more sinister and he lost his mind.
4 Best: Greed X Ling Yao
Along the same lines as Scar and Mei Chang, the eventual friendship between Greed and Ling Yao is one of the most compelling things in Brotherhood. Greed is a homunculus; a murdering and inhuman monster. Meanwhile, Ling is the twelfth son in the line of Royalty in Xing and has come to Amestris in order to obtain the Philosophers stone and secure his throne.
Somewhere along the way, Greed "possesses" Yao and mostly takes over his body. Throughout the second half of Brotherhood, the two begin to learn more about each other and eventually end up friends at the end.
3 Worst: Maes Hughes X The Elric Brothers
Maes Hughes is an overbearing father, loving husband, and renowned humble bragger. One of the most loveable members of Roy Mustang's team, Hughes was a world-class investigator. But, thanks to Elric brothers, he's murdered quite early on in both adaptations.
Sure, the Elrics didn't directly cause his death, but by involving Hughes in their plot to learn about the Homunculi and Philosopher's Stone, they definitely played a part. Again, this wasn't a "bad" relationship per se, but rather it's one that would've been better for everyone involved if it had never existed. As soon as they met his daughter, they should've done more to burn all ties to the naive family man.
2 Best: Izumi Curtis X The Elric Brothers
Izumi Curtis, the absolute strongest alchemist in the entire FMA universe...when she's not coughing up blood. Izumi is a master-class Alchemist and has a wealth of wisdom. She's actually the one who taught alchemy to the Elric Brothers in the first place. Due to a failed Human Transmutation in her past, she's missing some internal organs.
This taboo bonds her with the Elric brothers, as both parties know the tragedy and sacrifice of Human Transmutation. Even more than that, Izumi, as well as Sig, are both surrogate parents to the brothers, and their interactions are by far the most heartwarming parts of the show.
1 Worst: Wrath Curtis X The Elric Brothers
Finally, we get to Wrath. Wrath is one of the seven deadly sins, but we're talking specifically about the 2003 anime's version. Due to changes in the storyline, Wrath is actually a completely separate character in Brotherhood. In any case, Wrath in the 2003 iteration is the Humonculi created when Izumi attempted to bring her unborn son back with Human Transformation.
Wrath also has Ed's original arm and leg that was sacrificed within the Door to Truth. Basically, Wrath is annoying. He's an awful character, and not at all likable, and his hatred/rivalry with Edward is one of the worst parts of the 2003 adaption. At least in our opinion.