Fullmetal Alchemist features a range of killer characters, symbols, mythology, and magic elements that make badass tattoo applications.
The Japanese manga series Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is two of the most popular fantasy titles to connect across the Pacific. This connection extends to an amazing array of tattoo designs and ideas.
For the uninitiated, the Fullmetal Alchemist story follows Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers with the supernatural ability to transform matter, known as alchemy. After losing their mother to illness – and almost obliterating themselves in the attempt to save her – Edward loses his left leg and right arm, and Alphonse’s entire body is destroyed.
Alphonse binds himself to a massive alchemical suit of armor, while Edward gets almost magic prosthetics. Together they move through the world seeking to find the Philosopher’s Stone and heal themselves while fighting some memorable bad guys and meeting other mystical alchemists along the way.
Read on for the top 60+ best Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoos to help you plan for your next tattoo:
Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoo Ideas & Designs
Here are some Fullmetal Alchemist tattoo ideas and designs that you’re sure to fall in love with just like you did with the series:
1. Anime Style Color
Source: @oculovisitantgallerytattoo via Instagram
These color anime tattoos opt for brighter, less finely detailed depictions. There is much less nuanced, as the colors work together to form shadows and create variety within each design. I like how much of the more detailed parts of these tattoos lie in the complementary images or within framing shapes to work in opposition.
Alphonse is such a unique character, there’s no wonder he’s a favorite character drawn across a range of tattoo styles. However, Eric looks like a character straight out of anime tattoo central casting, also providing a good opportunity to ink into cool color designs.
2. Al and the Blood Seal
Source: @tattooist_yaza via Instagram
This colorful anime tattoo of Al and the Blood Seal on the upper leg looks incredible.
3. Black and Gray Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoos
Source: @nana_arthz via Instagram
This black and gray tattoo depicting characters, scenes, and ideas from Fullmetal Alchemist apply just about every technical application to bring them to life. Whether it’s putting grayscale detail into Alphonse’s suit of armor, fuzzy scudding shadow amidst the sharp lines of Eric’s prosthetic arm, or much thicker black ink, these Anime style tattoos work beautifully.
4. Philosopher’s Stone
Source: @marc_toon via Instagram
This tattoo depicts brotherhood in its truest form. Both brothers are set out to search for the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies to their original look. This watercolor-type tattoo looks exceptional on the thigh.
5. Blood Rune and Ouroboros Tattoos
Source: @parabellum.tattoo via Instagram
A Blood Rune is a sacred symbol used to bind someone’s soul to an inanimate metal object, such as Alphonse. The iron in the blood will interact with the metal it is on, causing the object and the blood rune to form a symbiosis.
According to the Full Metal Alchemist wiki: “The Ouroboros is a mystical symbol representing a dragon devouring its own tail, representing the eternal cycle of life and death or wholeness and infinity… Encircled within is a hexagram, which is a symbol often associated with alchemy as well as a human creation. One could perceive the Ouroboros as a sort of basis for the Transmutation Circle used in the series.”
While these symbols are too heavy for a casual observer, it’s easy to see why these symbols make popular, visually arresting tattoos.
6. Edward’s Gunmetal Line Work
Source: @ink.ray via Instagram
The fine line work showing Edwards’s gunmetal right arm is nothing short of perfection. The artist has done a splendid job on the forearm of the client.
7. Flamel Symbol
Source: @madeink via Instagram
The Flamel sacred symbol that Edward wears on his coat and Alphonse has on his shoulder came from their teacher Izumi Curtis. The serpent’s cross is an old alchemical symbol that represents the removal of a volatile or poisonous element.
8. Grey and Black Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoo
Source: @ink.ray via Instagram
This is an incredibly detailed grey and black tattoo on the forearm. The focal point is Al’s heavy armor.
9. Linework Tattoo Design Art
Source: @s_crepe via Instagram
Some of these linework tattoos have been deployed more differently than the usual, heavier use of a black outline. They go for a skinny, spare type of almost freehand linework that looks more like they’ve been etched with a ballpoint pen or biro, and I’m sure a few will have color or shade added to fill them out and finish them off.
Other more traditional linework tattoos show off sharply etched ink devoted to the transmutation circle, which is the magic circle needed to be able to use alchemy successfully. The clarity of these sharp lines looks excellent when delivered with such precise lines.
The one that most draws the is the red and black, thicker, more saturated black lined trash polka style piece. The brothers and Flamel symbol in flat black against the red blood runes and accompanying abstract patterns make an exceptionally fitting concept for a trash polka design.
10. Human Transmutation Circle
This is the perfect location to ink a human transmutation circle logo. The artist has done a flawless job maintaining the measurements, angles, and overall symmetry of the design.
11. Full Metal Alchemist Manga Page Tattoos
Source: @ink.ray via Instagram
These manga page-style tattoos do an excellent job working in traditional applications. They’re crisp images, shaped like the popular books every Japanese kid rides the train with. I like how these tattoos show flashbacks to the Elric brothers with their mother, or the ones that show other characters in situations that could have come straight from the page.
The use of different panels to juxtapose detailed shading in black and gray, against other sheets purely etched with linework makes interesting contrasts in design for tattoo art enthusiasts to fawn over.
12. FMA fans Tattoo
Source: @walex_tt via Instagram
FMA fans looking for a smaller depiction of Al would love to have this compact tattoo inked on their forearm.
13. Roy Mustang Tattoo Design Art
Source: @alexelbarty via Instagram
Colonel Roy Mustang is Eric’s superior, and at first, glance seems like an arrogant fool of a person. Mustang, however, is a brilliant commander, spymaster, and useful in a fight. Rarely out of uniform, Mustang has a flame scar on the back of his left hand he earned one episode in a fight with the homunculus (artificial human) Lust. There are eight homunculi who serve as the bad guys: Father, Envy, Lust, Greed, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth, and Pride.
These portrait-style anime pieces show off Mustang in uniform, ready to throw down some alchemy, and are bolstered by sharp use of the blue uniform color and shaping devices such as the diamond shape, or crackling energy.
14. Blood Seal and Brotherhood Tattoo
Source: @ink.andrew via Instagram
This Blood Seal and brotherhood tattoo is perfectly juxtapositioned to suit the forearm of the man. I like the contrasting colors and the real blood effect.
15. Scar’s Tattoos
Source: @ink_lab_tattoo_siemreap via Instagram
Okay, so Scar’s a vigilante serial killer looking to take out State Alchemists because they just about destroyed his people. And he has a massive X-shaped scar on his forehead. His tattoos are a kind of alchemy array, and he uses them as his weapon of choice. Awesome! There’s a reason he makes any favorite character list.
Replicating his tattoos – heavy black ink and almost tribal design within their alchemy – is a good way of paying tribute to the show but doing so in a niche fashion as a nod and a wink to other serious fans.
16. Dwarf in the Flask
Source: @otaku.tattooz via Instagram
This tattoo show’s the Dwarf in the Flask and pretty boy Roy Mustang perfectly tattooed on the leg.
17. The Elric Brothers – Eric and Alphonse
Source: @pez.tatuajes via Instagram
Alphonse and Eric make killer tattoo designs for the same reason they make great protagonists in the manga. They’re talented and charismatic but flawed individuals, who just happen to be badass alchemists. Oh yeah, and Alphonse looks like a cross between a medieval knight, the Tin Man, and a cyborg from the future.
These examples run the gamut from traditional anime-style tattoos to more subtle and subdued black and gray, finely detailed pieces.
18. Anime Manga
Source: @noatattoo via Instagram
Anime Manga art has a special appeal. This black and grey shaded tattoo of Edward’s automail hand looks great on the arm.
19. The Truth Tattoos
Source: @artana.draw via Instagram
Truth oversees the performance of alchemy, ensuring that the laws and rules are followed in the process. Truth is the universe’s supreme being and is sometimes referred to as the Universe or World itself.
The Truth is a brilliant symbolic choice for full metal alchemist tattoos, as he offers the ability to work amazing color, blackness, or even the planets around the central negative space image. The last, abstract representation of the Truth is an amazing piece of body art.
20. Al in Shining Armor Tattoo
Source: @aokunaru via Instagram
The amazing linework and fine shading left me spellbound. This is a must-have tattoo of Al in shining armor.
21. Weird and Innovative Ink Tattoo
Source: @noatattoo via Instagram
Being such a fully loaded dose of crazy, the world of the Fullmetal alchemist gives individuals the chance to apply all different sorts of ink ideas corresponding to characters and situations throughout the manga. They create different variations, such as black and grayscale, or almost neo-traditional work featuring thick black outline and vibrant color.
My favorite of these is the simplest: scratched in black ink referencing the date the brothers set their home ablaze and vowed never to come back
22. Dwarf in the Flask Tattoo
Source: @ink.ray via Instagram
This is a pretty tattoo of the ‘Dwarf in the Flask.’ The symbol represents a vast amount of knowledge and standard alchemy skills.
23. Dead Serious Brothers Tattoo
If you’re in for a realistic Fullmetal tattoo, none other beats this choice. The brothers look dead serious in their mission, and the human transmutation circle is well placed at the bottom of this sleeve piece.
24. Super Unique FMA Tattoo
Source: @vicky_blackbunny via Instagram
Looking for a cool tattoo idea for your calf region? This FMA tattoo is super unique.
25. Grey Dotting Dwarf in the Flask
Source: @watsonsith via Instagram
How about the Dwarf in the Flask in grey dotting and shading work this time? Awesomely done by the tattooist!
26. Baby Edward and Al Tattoo
Source:@stabbyroseink via Instagram
Here we’ve got each brother depicted on either leg. This is a fantastic tattoo idea. The baby Edward and Al look adorable.
27. Blood Rune a.k.a Blood Seal Tattoo
Source: @elenaxsakura via Instagram
The Blood Rune (a.k.a Blood Seal) symbol is unconventionally done in finer lines here. It looks great as the original, real blood look is simultaneously maintained by the artist.
28. Mystical flower with the Blood Seal Tattoo
Source: @tartine_ttt via Instagram
The image of a mystical flower with the Blood Seal symbol gives this tattoo a distinguished look.
29. Truth Tattoo Design
Source: @remytatuajes via Instagram
‘Truth’ is articulated perfectly over the ankle. The dotting work is remarkable in this black tattoo having a blank internal figure design.
30. Fullmetal Alchemist 3D Tattoo
Source: @dijahtattoos via Instagram
Yellow-haired Edward peeks out of the gate. This 3D tattoo looks out of this world.
31. Alchemist Alphonse Tattoo
Source: @jotapemendezttt via Instagram
Alchemist Alphonse with the cats and a panda. Isn’t that super cute?
32. Ouroboros logo Tattoo
Source: @elenaxsakura via Instagram
How about this Ouroboros logo for the thigh? I feel it’s a wise choice for FMA fans. The red logo is visually arresting and incredibly symbolic. Read the symbolism section at the end of this article to learn more about the Ouroboros.
33. Baby Alphonse with Cats Tattoo
Source: @sebrinapham via Instagram
The cutest version of baby Alphonse with cats. This tattoo looks great on a woman’s upper arm.
34. Black Flamel Logo Tattoo
Source: @lishytattoo via Instagram
This version of the Flamel logo is all black. It looks sharp and vivid on the forearm. The primary meaning of the symbol is being free of volatile and poisonous elements.
35. Edward Tattoo
Source: @isnardbarbosa via Instagram
The artist has played with the colors well here. This is one of the few tattoos that ensures the elder brother Edward’s petite size is evident through the tattoo.
36. Brothers Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoo
This is a typical Fullmetal Alchemist tattoo showing the brothers. What sets it apart, however, is the subdued nature of the colors. It won’t hit you in the eye, it’ll always look natural on the skin.
37. Romantic Al Tattoo
Source: @yesitattoos via Instagram
I love the dark-world look of this darkish tattoo. The chrysanthemums almost make Al look romantic here.
38. Black and White Anime Tattoo
If you’re into the black and white anime look, look no further. This tattoo is the perfect pick for your calf.
39. Roy Mustang’s Flame Tattoo
Source: @tattoo_lusaiyajin via Instagram
This simple yet remarkable tattoo shows Roy Mustang’s Flame transmutation circle as the focal point.
40. Edwards Gate of Truth Tattoo
Source: @peko.tattooer via Instagram
The forearm is inked with a design of Edwards Gate of Truth. The design is a representation of Edwards being and God.
41. Lovely Baby Alphonse Tattoo
Source: @raquelquirosart via Instagram
Baby Alphonse on both forearms? Why not! It’s a super cute idea, especially with the kittens smiling away like that.
42. Flamel Detached Wings Tattoo
Source: @wesleyink via Instagram
This version of the Flamel logo has the detached wings way above the top. It stands out perfectly if you want your tattoo to be apparent from far.
43. Alphonse Tattoo
Source: @art4soulink via Instagram
I love this tattoo for its simplicity. Alphonse is depicted as if he’s glaring right into the onlooker. I love the shiny armor that’ll make your tattoo always look fresh.
44. Roy Tattoo
Source: fermatattoo via Instagram
There’s a dose of abstractness in this visual. It shows pretty boy Roy in action.
Fullmetal Alchemist Symbolism
Truth is the anti-villain in the series, or the closest idea to the concept of ‘God.’ Truth, thus, ensures the performance of alchemy is in line with all the rules and laws governing the process. As the supreme most universal being, Truth is also referred to as the ‘World’, or the ‘Universe.’ So, what makes Truth an excellent tattoo choice among all the symbolic Fullmetal Alchemist designs? The answer lies in the overall simplicity of the blackness around the central blank space image. It’s an abstract image of Truth that makes for an incredible tattoo idea.
Blood Rune (or Blood Seal)
The Flamel symbol represents the relationship of the real-life French scribe ‘Nicholas Flamel’ to alchemy. This symbol also has a resemblance to the Staff of Aesculapius (a serpent-entwined rod) in Greek mythology. In the Fullmetal Alchemist, the Flamel symbol is visible on the backside of Edward Elric’s classic red coat and on Alphonse’s shoulder. It is also tattooed on Izumi Curtis’ left breast (Elric brothers’ teacher) in the series. The brothers having the Flamel symbol on them is suggestive of their tutelage under Izumi Curtis.
In the series, the symbol has a snake draped on the cross, detached wings, and a crown. It makes for a splendid tattoo as this old alchemical symbol represents being free of volatile and poisonous elements.
Edwards Gate Of Truth
Human Transmutation Circle
Roy Mustang’s Flame Transmutation Circle
Those were some of the most remarkable Fullmetal Alchemist tattoos selected after extensive deliberation. All of them are super cool, trendy, and admirable. When choosing an FMA tattoo, you have a variety of choices to select from. These include black and grey, colored, anime, and even realistic tattoos inspired by the franchise. In my picks, I’ve loved the compositions, effort, detail, and perfection by the artists. When going for one of these tattoos, it helps if the artist has the best machines and experience to grant you a safe tattoo experience.