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Fullmetal Alchemist has some characters with character

Who are the players in this alchemical tale? (Well, it can't be "magical" since its not "magic.") MOST of these characters are the same in the manga as in the anime, but not all. *coughSlothWrathPridecough*
 
Spoilers present. If you don't want to know, don't read!
 
Order of ranks, from most senior to least: daitouryou, shoushou, junshou, taisa, chuusa, shousa, chuui, shoui, jun'i, souchou.

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Edward Elric: our lovable main character. Isn't that sourpuss adorable? Looking at all the official artwork, it seems like he really likes to show his teeth. He does have an evil mind to match his evil grins...
Anyway, Ed is a genius alchemist, able to transmute items without the help of an Array.
He became National Alchemist at the age of 12. The current scenes of the anime show him at 15. The series shows his background to the age of 6 years.
Ed is vertically challenged, gets called "chibi" a lot, and takes such great offense to being called "shorty," that he causes a lot of bodily harm.
He is known as the "Fullmetal Alchemist" because his entire right arm and his left leg below the knee are made of Automail.
 
He is also incredibly HOT!
 
Automail are metal prostheses that can be attached in place of body parts.

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Alphonse Elric: younger brother of Edward Elric, by one year, yet much, much taller. He can't help that since his soul was bound into a suit of armor.
Polite and gentle in nature, yet his looks usually cause others to assume he is a fierce person. People often mistake Al as being the famous Fullmetal Alchemist. He travels with his brother, regardless of where Ed's searches take them. They are the only family they have left to each other...
Al is also an expert in the use of alchemy, but he needs to use an Array to perform any transmutations, until he learns about the Truth.
 
Arrays are the circles that alchemists must draw in order to practice their craft.

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Winry Rockbell: a young girl about the same age, and from the same village as the two Elric brothers. She helped her grandmother attach Ed's Automail to his body when he was 11. She cares about Ed and Al deeply. Thier first use of alchemy was to make Winry a doll. She had been scared by what they did, not understanding the process. She is really, really into machinery, perhaps a little unhealthily so.

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Izumi Curtis: the fearsome alchemist who taught Ed and Al (read: kicks their asses on a regular basis in the name of "training") after their mother died. She is also able to perform incredible alchemy without an array, but not without cost to her health. She disapproves of Edward doing alchemy without an array.

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Roy Mustang: Colonel (taisa) and National Alchemist in the government's army, Roy is also known as the "Flame Alchemist." His alchemical expertise is fire. He was one of the most feared battle alchemists during the war. Roy is the one who "discovered" Ed, and has gained prestige for doing so. This may seem he is doing whatever he can in order to advance in rank, but the soldiers who follow him are very loyal, and claim there is more to him than that. He seems like a very slimy and manipulating character. Roy wants to become the head of the army, but what is his true reason? It can't just be to make all the women in the army wear mini-skirts.
 
A National Alchemist must pass a test, written and performance, in order to become certified by the government. They are given a device that looks like a pocketwatch, a symbol of their status.

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"Riza" Elizabeth Hawkeye: sharpshooter and right-hand-woman to Roy Mustang, Riza has a no-nonsense attitude which serves her well in the army. She's also got a soft spot for the Elrics. Awww. Her dog-training methods are questionable. Her rank is chuui, first lieutenant.
 
Tsk, some places on the manga site, they have her name as Lisa, some as Riza.

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Alex Louis Armstrong: big muscley guy, very shiny head. You can usually see sparkles around his chrome dome, and bare body when he's shirtless, which is as often as he can make it that way. Uses alchemy to beef up his punches/throw flying punches, etc. Armstrong is very sentimental, and values his family heritage. His rank is shousa, major.

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John Havok: he's known for his dead-pan delivery, has no aversion to eating dog meat, is single, and has a strong loyalty to Mustang.  He is overjoyed by the miniskirt plan. He is a heavy smoker. His rank is shoui, second lieutenant.

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Mars (Maes) Hughes: another army guy, in the Investigations division. His wife was pregnant, and delivers right in front of Edward, in the middle of a snowstorm. Hee hee. Hughes LOVES LOVES LOVES his wife, Gracia, and child, Elicia. And he just kicks ass. Little throwing knives are his weapon of choice. He's a friendly, easy-going guy, a total family-man. His rank is chuusa, lieutenant colonel.

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Vador Farman: a plain clothes agent who was supposed to be protecting General Hakuro on the train in episode 5. Made a big deal out of Ed being short. He kicks ass, no, wait, he got his ass kicked. But he still is a cool guy.
 
His rank is jun'i, warrant officer.

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Basque Gran: His rank is junshou, brigadier general. He is supposed to be one of the greatest combat fighters in the army. He is the one who took the alchemist Tucker under his wing, sealing off others's access to research on human alchemy. In the manga, he is mentioned, but never actually appears thus far, since he is dead in the present time... He has the ability to turn his body into weapons and firearms, though how this sticks to the principle of equivalent trade is beyond me.

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Hymans Breda: His rank is shoui, second lieutenant. Deathly afraid of dogs. Heh heh heh.

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Cain Fury: His rank is souchou, seargant major. Has a soft-spoken personality. The "techie" of the group.

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Frank Archer: assumes Hughes's post after his promotion. Very cool, calm and collected. Appears to be working very hard to eliminate the homunculous.

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Kimbley: also known as the Crimson Alchemist, he was formerly a part of the army's battle alchemist corps. He had a bit too much fun exterminating Ishvar lives during the war and was sent to prison. He escapes and joins forces with Greed. His speciality in alchemy is making things self-combust (blows stuff up by igniting the stuff's own reactive elements).

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King Bradley:  No, he's not really a king. That's just his name, although holds the highest rank in the army. A master of swords, when he goes into action, he carries with him 5 swords: one in his hand, and the other four carried behind him. Seemingly free-spirited, he can slaughter people with no hesitation.

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Lust: one of the seven deadly sins? Actually one of the homonculi, artificial humans, created by alchemy, but not truly human. A very sexy, manipulative lady with strange powers (her fingernails just shot out to great lengths to impale someone) and an unknown plan. She does have her eye on Edward... Lust looks like someone Scar knew in his youth, his brother's wife.

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Gluttony: another one of the seven deadly sins! He likes to eat...people! Metal! Anything! Ewww! He eats stuff by dissolving it with his super mouth juices. Just follows Lust without using logical thought.

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Envy: yet another one of the seven deadly sins following Lust's orders. He is able to transform his appearance and masquerade as other people. Envy has an intense hatred for the Elrics, especially for their father. He is older than Lust, Sloth and Wrath. Likes to be referred to as a "monster."

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Greed: yet another of the deadly sins, and is able to recover from any damage as the rest. He can give his skin a super-hardness that seems to resist everything. Claims to be able to use alchemy, unlike most of the other homonculi, who loathe him. Greed was held prisoner under an army lab for 130 years, trapped there by Envy.

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Sloth: 5th of the homonculi/sins to show up, and called the youngest at the time, she has a freaky power to turn herself into purple goo, and can do yucky things like suffocate people with it. She has power over water, being able to become one with it, thereby traveling within it at great speeds, as well as manipulating it to her will. Looks and sounds like Tricia Elric.

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Wrath: the newest of the homonculi to be born, and the final. Through Envy's manipulations, he has attained an incredible hatred for Edward, and humans in general. He is able to use alchemy, thanks to Edward's "donations." His alchemy use usually involves transforming parts of his own body into objects (clothing himself, merging with items, etc).

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Scar: An Ishvarian hated by Lust, Greed and Envy, he is also able to use alchemy without an Array. His left arm looks grafted on. He often looks at it and mumbles about why his brother did "this" to him. He believes his mission in life is to stop all wasteful and horrendous use of alchemy in the world, even if it means to destroy by killing. It's a mission from God!! Scar has a special grudge against National Alchemists, and has already killed a few, such as Gran.

A fansite spreading the love of Fullmetal Alchemist - Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
 
Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Arakawa Hiromu, Square-Enix, Sony, etc, etc, not me.