Friday, February 19, 2016

Fullmetal Alchemist Myers-Briggs Personality Types


A few months ago I found this image on Pinterest categorizing all the different characters from the anime show Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood into their respective Myers-Briggs personality types. For the most part I liked the personality types they assigned to each of the characters, but I disagreed with them on a couple of the characters so I decided to make my own version of the Myers-Briggs personality types of Fullmetal Alchemist's characters. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, Fullmetal Alchemist is originally a Japanese graphic novel (manga) series by Hiromu Arakawa. There are two TV shows based off of this series, the latter and more accurate one being Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. There are also several movies based off of Arakawa’s manga. I am not a big fan of Japanese manga. In fact, I think Fullmetal Alchemist is the only manga series I have read from beginning to end and thoroughly enjoyed. Anyone who enjoys a well-told story with vivid endearing characters, intricate and continuous plots, and intriguing complex villains, will enjoy this series.

If you have yet to read or watch this series, I will warn you that there are some spoilers ahead! For the most part I tried to give you all a comprehensive summary of each character without giving away any essential elements of the story. If you are familiar with this series, I would love to hear your input on whether you think my Myers-Briggs personality type assessment is accurate or not. 

Edward Elric – The Dynamo (ESTP)

Personality Traits: Energetic, Dominant, Flexible, Demanding, Sociable, Playful

"There's no such thing as a painless lesson, they just don't exist. Sacrifices are necessary. You can't gain anything without losing something first. But if you can endure that pain and walk away from it, you will find that you now have a heart strong enough to overcome any obstacle...a heart made full-metal." -Edward Elric

"You'll have to decide for yourself. You have a strong pair of legs. You should get up and use them." -Edward Elric

"What do you mean 'lower myself'? That's the only thing I've ever been. Just a simple human that couldn't save a little girl, not even with alchemy." -Edward Elric

Edward Elric is the “Fullmetal Alchemist” (not to be confused with his younger brother, Alphonse, the giant suit of armor). In an alchemical experiment gone wrong, Ed and his brother, Al, commit the ultimate alchemy taboo and attempt to bring their mother back to life. In so doing Ed loses his left leg while Al almost loses his body. Al would have died had Ed not sacrificed his right arm to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor using alchemy. On a quest to retrieve their original bodies, Ed replaces his arm and leg with automail body parts and becomes a State Alchemist for the military of Amestris in order to gain access to research materials. Ed’s journey is fueled by his desire for redemption, to restore what he and his brother lost, and to pay for their crimes.

Ed can be impatient and forceful at times, relying on his natural abilities and skills instead of taking the time to dig to the heart of the problem and acquire all the information he needs before making a decision, but ultimately he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. Ed is an idealist and is uncompromising when it comes to following his conscience and personal values. Though he is not the best at expressing his emotions, he makes sure to take care of and protect the people he loves and let them know how much they mean to him. On a good day, he is pretty thoughtful and almost nice but he can typically be short-tempered (haha, get it? short-tempered?) A word of advice...never call him "short" or "tiny" and especially not "pipsqueak". 

Alphonse Elric – The Healer (INFP)

Personality Traits: Artistic, Reflective, Careless, Sensitive, Flexible, Appreciative

"This body comes with many inconveniences. But inconveniences don't make me miserable! There is no reason for you to pity me! My life was put back together with alchemy by my brother. If I deny myself, that would mean I'm denying my brother, along with alchemy. I believe in the potential that alchemy holds. I want to believe!" -Alphonse

"I won't leave you! I'm sick of watching people die! and I can't just sit back and take it anymore! I won't let anyone else get killed, not when I can protect them!" -Alphonse

When Ed and Al committed the ultimate alchemy taboo and attempted human transmutation to bring their mother back to life, Al lost his body and would have lost his life had Ed not sacrificed his arm to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor. Alphonse is the conscience of the dynamic duo that makes the Elric brothers. When Ed is inclined to take the straightforward, efficient route to achieving their goals, Al is the hand that stays him and reminds him of their moral priorities. When Ed inadvertently walks over peoples’ feelings, Al is the one apologizing profusely for his brother’s rudeness.

He is a sensitive soul, in tune with other peoples’ feelings. He has a soft spot for cats and any poor vagrants who have lost their way. Al can be somewhat gullible, naïve, and impractical at times. He spends a lot of time in thought and sometimes he can get too lost in his thoughts and caught up in his imagination. He can overthink things and misread peoples’ words and actions. Sometimes he needs the practical perspective of his older brother to draw him out and refocus. Even though he is sensitive and soft-spoken, Al is a pretty boss alchemist and can hold his own in a fight—Ed rarely beats him in a sparring match.


Winry Rockbell – The Provider (ESFJ)

Personality Traits: Loyal, Traditional, Sensitive, Responsible, Generous, Optimistic

"You two won't cry; someone should do it for you, don't you think?" -Winry

"Remember in Rush Valley, you delivered that baby. You saved two lives. And you gave me an arm and a leg to replace the one I lost. It's your hands. They weren't meant to kill, they're meant to give life." -Edward Elric

Winry grew up in Resembool with Ed and Al and is a childhood friend of the brothers. She is also Ed’s personal automail engineer. Like the Elric brothers, Winry is no stranger to loss. Her parents were both surgeons and died on the battlefront of the Ishvalan war when she was very young. Winry grew up with her grandmother, Pinako, who taught her the Rockbell trade of automail. Though she is a savvy engineer and a hopeless gear-head, Winry is ultimately people-oriented. She lives to serve and support the people she loves, her family, and her friends and is naturally sensitive to the feelings and needs of those around her. Even though Winry knows Ed and Al are involved in some heavily dangerous conspiracies, she does whatever she can to support and encourage them on their journey to restore their bodies and save their country, even if this means staying in Resembool and patiently waiting for them to come home.



Pinako Rockbell – The Craftsman (ISTP)

Personality Traits: Critical, Detached, Guarded, Independent, Resourceful, Observant

"This country's lousy...but I can't leave. I've got other people who need me here in case they want to come home." -Pinako

Pinako is Winry’s grandmother and guardian and is an old friend of the Elric family. She lives in Resembool where she runs a small automail business. When Trisha Elric dies, Pinako takes it upon herself to see to Ed and Al’s wellbeing. She is not an overly emotional or sensitive woman, but Pinako’s home is a place where the boys are always welcome. Pinako maintains the traditional Rockbell automail business and inspires and trains her granddaughter, Winry, to take up the family craft. She is one of the most skilled automail engineers and her skill is proven best in her granddaughter’s proficiency.

Van Hohenheim – The Architect (INTP)

Personality Traits: Candid, Ingenious, Complex, Independent, Rebellious, Philosophical, Detached

"Heroes always arrive late, you know." -Hohenheim

"You don't know how much you boys mean to me. I just want you to be happy. And I do bare some responsibility for this, this might not have happened if I'd just been there for you. I'm sorry, Ed. I've lived long enough. Just give me this chance, to act like a father for once in my life." -Hohenheim

Hohenheim is perhaps the most understated and misunderstood character in this series. His significance is not fully realized until the very end and this is due in large part to his personal humility and soft-spoken nature. Unfortunately, I cannot explain much about his character without giving a lot of the story away. Hohenheim is the father of Edward and Alphonse Elric. He left his wife and children for reasons unknown to his sons when they were both very young boys and he never returned, not even after his wife died of sickness and the boys were virtually left to fend for themselves. He has his reasons but he is not quick to explain himself or reveal very much of himself at all. 

For the most part, Hohenheim keeps to himself, conflicted and hounded by his past, but driven on by a desire to obtain a full understanding and knowledge of the world and remedy the sickness that lurks within Amestris. As absent as he is within his sons’ lives, Hohenheim has a great influence on Ed and Al and loves them both dearly. His sons inherited their father’s natural gift for alchemy and his books on alchemy are what inspire the boys to take up the craft in the first place. In the end their paths are more closely intertwined than they originally expected.

Roy Mustang – The Visionary (ENTP)

Personality Traits: Friendly, Resourceful, Headstrong, Self-Centered, Independent, Curious, Clever

"The power of one man doesn't amount to much. But, with whatever little strength I am capable of, I'll do everything humanly possible to protect the people I love, and in turn they'll protect the ones they love. It seems like the least we tiny humans can do for each other." -Mustang

"When I, who am called a 'weapon' or a 'monster,' fight a real monster, I can fully realize I'm just a human." -Mustang

"I didn't do this for politics! I couldn't forgive myself for being blind this long. This is the only way I could atone for the friends I couldn't save." -Mustang

Colonel Roy Mustang is a State Alchemist of the Amestris military known as the “Flame Alchemist”. If Mustang had a song it would be “You’re So Vain” (he probably thinks that song is about him). It’s no secret that Mustang’s flame alchemy is the most powerful alchemy in existence. It makes sense though since Mustang is the most ambitious character within this series (rivaled only perhaps by General Olivier Armstrong). He can be flippant, short-tempered and childish at times, but Mustang fully realizes the gravity and responsibility of the power he has been given and he fully intends to use it to reform his country, protect his people, and pay for the crimes he committed during the Ishvalan war. He surrounds himself with loyal supporters who share this vision and hold him accountable to his convictions. If Mustang has a weakness, it would be rainy days. A little water and this flame alchemist is out of business. 

Riza Hawkeye – The Confidant (INFJ)

Personality Traits: Sincere, Sympathetic, Unassuming, Nurturing, Reserved, Patient, Loyal

"If the ways of this world are based on equivalent exchange, as alchemy says, then in order to allow for a new generation to enjoy good fortune, then the price that we must pay is to carry the bodies of the dead across a river of blood." -Hawkeye

"I joined the military because there is someone I have to protect."
-Hawkeye
"Don't go where I can't follow!" -Hawkeye

Lieutenant Hawkeye is not the kind of woman you would expect to find on a battlefield and before her father died she probably never imagined she would ever fire a gun in order to kill someone. But there is someone she must protect. Hawkeye is Mustang’s most trusted comrade. He keeps her working closest to him, confides in her, trusts her and exhorts her to not hesitate shooting him in the back if he ever deviates from his original course. Riza does not say much and keeps to herself for the most part, but Hawkeye is perhaps the most perceptive and trustworthy character in this series and every now and then you get a glimpse of the powerful emotions and convictions she typically keeps underneath the surface. Mustang met Riza when studying flame alchemy under her father, the late Professor Hawkeye. Riza was entrusted with her father's research and consequently entrusted with Mustang. In spite of her calm and strong exterior, this woman bears the heaviest burdens of those she loves most. She is also pretty boss with a gun.  


Maes Hughes – The Mentor (ENFJ)

Personality Traits: Active, Pleasant, Sociable, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, Compromising

"When I get home I will swallow every horrible thing I have done here and I will smile when I'm with her." -Hughes

"I'll work under you...push you to the top!" -Hughes

Major Hughes is no doubt one of the most essential (and lovable!) characters in this series. He is the inspiration and the conscience behind Mustang’s vision. He is the man on the warfront in love with his girl back home, the man who won’t shut up about how wonderful his wife and kids are, the overprotective father chasing the bratty boys away from his two-year-old daughter, the one visiting the Elric brothers in the hospital and teasing Ed about his “girlfriend” Winry, always smiling and encouraging. He is one of the most lighthearted characters in this series, but his happiness is not out of ignorance of the dark enemies and evil that lurk within the heart of Amestris, rather it is because he sees clearly the corruption of the military and government institution and thus realizes the need for goodness, kindness, and truth.

Alex Louis Armstrong – The Champion (ENFP)

Personality Traits: Enthusiastic, Outgoing, Spontaneous, Changeable, Impulsive, Energetic, Understanding

"I've heard about you, Edward Elric! Your pure love that made you try to bring back your mother! And your mighty love that made you prepared to throw away your own life to transmute your little brother's soul! I AM MOVED!" -Major Armstrong

"You would have me run away from this? The mere thought of fleeing the battlefield...I swear on my life such a thing will never happen again!" -Major Armstrong
Major Alex Louis Armstrong is a State Alchemist with the title of “Strong Arm Alchemist”. Don’t be fooled by his size, strength, intimidating alchemical skills, and pink sparkles that have been “passed down through the Armstrong family for generations!” Major Armstrong is probably the most emotional, compassionate, and kind character in this entire series. Sometimes his emotions get the best of him (when he just has to take off his shirt and give you a hug) and he can often be perceived as weak and cowardly. Major Armstrong is governed by his conscience and there is nothing worse for him than violating his code of ethics. As a State Alchemist, Armstrong has witnessed the evil of the Amestris military firsthand. Nevertheless, his romantic idealist’s vision compels him to reform the institution from the inside, to redeem his past crimes, and follow the footsteps of Mustang and the rest of his men.

Olivier Mira Armstrong – The Commander (ENTJ)

Personality Traits: Ambitious, Forceful, Strategic, Optimistic, Egotistical, Adaptable, Energetic

"We [at Briggs] don't see any point in clinging to those who have died. We only know how to fight to keep more from dying." -General Armstrong

"Race, ethnicity, gender, class...any type of prejudice on the battlefield can only lead to weakness and an increase of casualties." -General Armstrong
  Otherwise known as “The Northern Wall of Briggs” General Olivier Armstrong is as intimidating, forceful, and commanding as any giant iron wall. But it’s a good thing that she is because she is in command of Fort Briggs and must see to the protection of the northern border of Amestris while under the constant threat of the Drachman nation to the north. Though General Armstrong wears the badge of the military, she maintains her own code of honor and morals and acts on her own conscience. She logically reasons her way through situations and acts in the most efficient and effective way possible. She quickly sees the flaws of any person, system, or institution and will not hesitate to offer her criticism and opinions when she believes there is a better, more efficient way. While Olivier’s exterior resembles a roaring vicious bear, she does exhibit compassion and loyalty especially to those under her command and her family members. More than anything, Olivier despises weakness and cowardice.

Izumi Curtis – The Supervisor (ESTJ)    
                  
Personality Traits: Contented, Energetic, Prejudiced, Self-Satisfied, Practical, Conventional

"When people ask me, I usually say I'm a housewife, but I'm feeling sassy today. I'M AN ALCHEMIST!" -Izumi

"You darling little idiots. I'ts okay...to cry." -Izumi

Izumi Curtis is the alchemy instructor of the Elric brothers and is in many ways the adopted mother of Ed and Al. While she is not as kind and gentle as Trisha Elric, Izumi willingly shares her wealth of knowledge and skills with Ed and Al as well as her love, affection, and support. She is a skilled alchemist who, instead of making the high pay salary of an official State Alchemist, prefers to maintain the humble lifestyle of a housewife with her husband, the butcher, Sig Curtis. She is somewhat prejudice against the military (i.e. her reaction when Ed informs her he is a State Alchemist, a "dog of the military") and has an exacting sense of right and wrong. However, Izumi knows she is not wholly innocent. She willingly admits to her past sins and keeps them before her as a humble reminder and warning for herself and those she instructs. While she prefers to keep to herself and her own life, Izumi never hesitates to intervene and offer help to her loved ones.

Scar – The Examiner (ISTJ)


Personality Traits: Cautious, Conventional, Responsible, Organized, Dutiful, Traditional

"Now tell me...for what purpose did you choose to slaughter all of my people? Depending on your answer, I'll send you to join God! No...you don't deserve to stand by God alongside my fallen brothers! Your only solace from my wrath shall be damnation!" -Scar

"I am the ooze born from the open gaping wound that was Ishval. I neither pray to God nor appeal to him. Ooze deserves no forgiveness. And I will burn until I'm left dead in a ditch like the scum that I am." -Scar

Though we never discover this man’s real name, his nickname is quite fitting given his past. Scar is an Ishvalan seeking revenge on the state alchemists who committed mass genocide against his people during the Ishvalan war. He is calculating and exacting in all of his decisions and actions, using his strict code of right and wrong and his overpowering sense of justice and vengeance to avenge his fallen brothers and sisters. However, Scar eventually realizes that his actions of violence and hatred will never stop the vicious cycle initiated by the Amestris military. His days of administering vengeance come to an end when Scar discovers he and the State Alchemists share a common enemy and the source of evil goes much deeper than the military of Amestris.

Ling Yao – The Performer (ESFP)

Personality Traits: Changeable, Charming, Spontaneous, Energetic, Forceful, Initiating, Resourceful

"A king exists for his people. Without subjects, rulers cannot exist." -Ling Yao

"Friends are connected by t heir souls. You can't just rinse something out that has been deeply instilled into your soul!" -Ling Yao

At first glance the twelfth Prince of Xing, Ling Yao, appears to be a childish, spoiled, irresponsible prince who needs to be babysat at all times by his two bodyguards, Lan Fan and Old Man Fu. It’s no lie that Ling prefers to keep things fun and lighthearted. But as impulsive and petty as Ling can seem at first, he is as driven and loyal as they come. He is determined to become king no matter the cost. The only thing Ling prioritizes above his own ambition is the safety and security of his people. Ling’s chief code is fidelity. He understands that, without his subjects, he would be nothing and that his first priority is the protection of his people. This sense of fidelity is ultimately what fuels his desire to obtain immortality, impress his emperor, and eventually become the emperor of Xing.

Lan Fan – The Protector (ISFJ)

Personality Traits: Conservative, Conventional, Guarded, Reserved, Industrious, Compassionate

"A king is no king without his people. But people without a king are lost as well." -Lan Fan

Where Prince Ling goes, Lan Fan goes. She is as loyal to her prince and master as much as he is faithful to his people. Unlike her master, Lan Fan is introverted and highly emotionally sensitive. The scene where Ling first meets the Elric brothers, Ed notices, “Every time I insult his precious prince, this guy loses it.” (He calls her a guy because he doesn’t know she’s a girl yet—she’s wearing a mask.) Lan Fan takes the honor and safety of her prince very personally, perhaps more personally than even he does. In many ways Ling looks up to Lan Fan and her readiness to sacrifice whatever she must in order to protect her prince.   

May Chang – The Artist (ISFP)

Personality Traits: Easygoing, Flexible, Spontaneous, Friendly, Quiet, Creative

"In Xing, we call an immortal a 'true person'. In our language, the word for 'true' can also mean 'perfect'. Likewise, gold is called the 'perfect metal.' And we have a saying, 'He who does not grow old, surely must be made of gold!'" 

In an attempt to rescue her rapidly dwindling and suffering clan, May leaves her home in Xing and sets out on a quest for immortality in order to gain the recognition and admiration of the emperor of Xing. She crosses the desert with her undersized panda, Shao Mai, to reach Amestris and find the famous “Fullmetal Alchemist”. However, her journey does not turn out as she anticipated (and the "Fullmetal Alchemist" is not who she expected him to be, that little rice-grain man!). There is a festering evil in Amestris and May must choose between helping rescue this nation or saving her family and clan. She is a sensitive soul and uses her specialized Xingese Alchestry chiefly for healing and remote alchemy.  

Tim Marcoh – The Strategist (INTJ)

Personality Traits: Discreet, Industrious, Logical, Deliberate, Self-Confident, Methodical

"This is the devil's research! If you chase the philosopher's stone, you will go through hell."

"Yes. I've sacrificed many peoples' lives to make philosopher's stones. I know better than anyone else in the country how to make philosopher's stones. And knowing how to make them...means I know how to destroy them as well!" 

Like many of those involved in the Ishvalan war, Dr. Marcoh has a past he is not proud of. Originally a state alchemist, Marcoh’s research specialized in creating philosopher's stones and he was eventually made a key instrument in the government of Amestris’ barbaric genocide of Ishvalans for the sake of human transmutation experiments. Marcoh’s research is testimony to his keen intellect and his insatiable thirst for knowledge (remember that episode when the Elric brothers spend weeks trying to decode his research notes?) 

On the outside Marcoh comes across as a stoic realist but on the inside he is a conflicted idealist with a burdened conscience. The ghosts of his past drive him to live a secluded, simple life for a time but eventually Marcoh determines to right his wrongs, stop the government he swore allegiance to for so long, and hopefully find redemption along the way. While he is not one of the main characters, I think Marcoh is a little underrated and deserves some more credit. If not for him and his research, the Elric brothers would have never discovered “the truth within the truth” concerning the Philosopher’s stone. Let's also not forget that in spite of his humble appearance and manner, Marcoh is a pretty boss alchemist! 

Which Fullmetal Alchemist character are you? Feel free to share and comment below!


                                                           

(Above) The opening song for season 4 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, song "Period" by Chemistry 

11 comments :

  1. I've never heard of this show but apparently I am Lan Fan! Fun idea Dani!

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    1. Japanese manga isn't for everyone but this series/show is one of the best-told stories, in my opinion! LanFan is one of the best! :)

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  2. I haven't watched Fullmetal Achemist, but it sounds fascinating! I got Lieutenant Hawkeye, which is actually quite accurate - nice job!

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    1. I think you would really enjoy it! I would recommend reading the original Japanese manga (translated into English, of course). It can be hard to get into at first, but it's such a good story! And the characters are the best. Hawkeye is one of my personal favorites. And that's so cool you're an INFJ! :D

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    1. Are you Winry? I can totally see that! :D

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  4. I LOVE FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST!!!! Though I'm actually not done watching it. For me, it depends on wether I'm introverted or extroverted. I'm not really sure which... but either Winry or Lan Fan. I wish I was Ed or Ling though. They're my favorites! So epic! ^-^

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    1. That's awesome! Are you watching the Brotherhood series? It's fantastic, isn't it?! There's this awesome website called 16personalities.com and you can take a spin-off version of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator test on that website. It's the closest to the real test that I know of and it's pretty fun to read up on your type once you get your results! :D

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  5. I'm watching the Brotherhood series, yeah! And yes!! It is GREAT!! It's probably one of my favorite anime' s!! It's very epic! It is kind of depressing but it's also funny at the same time. ^-^

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    1. That's awesome! My youngest brother recently finished reading the series. Isn't it the best? I does get kind of depressing, but I think that's what makes the funny and happy moments so special. :D

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  6. I totally agree more to your assessment of the Fullmetal Alchemist characters than what I had found online. Thanks for this!

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