|“||You have no idea how good that felt! I ravaged their entire country with a single bullet! I mean talk about invigorating! Oh, and the best part? The officer I pretended to be, he was always a moderate who would always publicly oppose the military's occupation of Ishval. And listen to this! The poor bull couldn't come up with a plausible defense at the court-martial! You know, I don't think I'll ever get over with how easy to manipulate humans are!||”|
Envy (エンヴィー Enbī ) is the embodiment of some of Father's envy. Envy is genderless, and has the ability to shape-shift. This ability can be used to assume the form of any existing person (or original personas that Envy themselves creates). They can even modify their own voice to directly copy others.
Envy, who exists only to make humans suffer, bears more bitter resentment for humans than any other homunculus, and negatively treats with humans in the most personal and heartfelt manner. Their hatred for humans has an immense emotional and personal foundation greater than any of their siblings'. They are most comfortable in the form of an androgynous teenager (which they consider to be "beautiful" and "adorable"). Envy can easily be set off by insults due to their large and delicate ego, thus causing them to make mistakes.
Envy is one of the two Homunculi who possesses "true forms"—physical incarnations of their traits and personality that take shape when their Stones are almost completely depleted. The other homunculus with a true form is Pride.
Manga and 2009 animeEnvy usually appears as a pale-skinned androgynous youth with a lean, muscular build. Envy has long, wispy hair, violet eyes with slit-like pupils, and wears a black, form-fitting bodysuit and a matching headband with an alchemical, triangular symbol on it.
Although already formidable in their human form, Envy can assume a much larger, chimeric shape with a serpentine body, multiple pairs of legs, long human-like hair, a dog-like head and six pupils in its left eye. The most disturbing feature of Envy's unleashed form are the human faces and limbs protruding all over the body like drowning people momentarily attempting to surface before being pulled down by others. These are physical representations of the dozens of souls of Xerxians that Father absorbed and used to create the Philosopher's Stone that is Envy's core.
In their true form, after most of the stone that is their core is destroyed, Envy is a small, caterpillar-like serpent with multiple legs (which are directly underneath them like those of mammals and birds) and a jaw-less, sucker-like mouth resembling those of lampreys and parasitic flatworms. They are virtually helpless save for attaching to another living thing to take control, but once able to reach a Philosopher's Stone, Envy can regain their full ability.
This version of Envy appearance is mostly the same as his manga counterpart, except with a more slender and agile physique along with dark green hair (rather than black or wispy). His true form has shoulder-length blond hair and golden eyes, much like his father and half-brothers, as well as sharing the same skin complexion as them.
In his leviathan form, Envy's body is mostly green with a grayish-white under-belly along with dark-gray spots in between the two colors. Envy's eye color is still the same as his androgynous form, excluding the cat-slit pupils. He has two green fins behind his neck (one on each side), six thin gray wings (three on each side), and his tail resembles those found on a sea serpent.
Manga and 2009 anime
Envy is by far the cruelest Homunculus, joking around and delighting in human misery. Envy will kill without hesitation, usually playing on their target's emotions to have a psychological advantage, with no remorse for what they have done. They even take pride in the suffering they inflict, going so far as to boast about starting the Ishvalan War and ruining the reputations, lives, and souls of thousands with only a single, effortless move. Envy's only personal intention is to make humans fight each other and suffer.
Beneath this cruel and aggressive exterior, however, Envy is secretly jealous of humans' inner strength and the mutually beneficial friendships that they share, as most of Envy's kind show little real concern or emotional support for one another. This jealousy motivates Envy to hate and mistreat humans very personally; more personally, in fact, than any other homunculus.
Envy seems to resent being confronted about their inner envy. This eventually causes Envy to commit suicide. Notably, before this revelation, Envy disguised their inner motives so well that not even a slip of their true reasons occurred.
Despite their ruthless and sinister persona, Envy occasionally shows a more silly, rambunctious personality around their fellow homunculi, and even some humans. When referring to its human appearance as being "cute and youthful," Lust reminded them that they were, ironically, the most ruthless homunculus, a reply which mildly angered Envy. Another example was during Envy's second confrontation with Edward and Ling Yao, where Envy constantly asked Ed to stop trying to beat them up, but Ed was in a fit of rage after being called short and would not back down.
Perhaps, deep down, Envy is the saddest homunculus, having never known any true content or satisfaction.
This incarnation of Envy is depicted as being jealous of the fatherly love Edward and Alphonse received from Hohenheim. Although he hates both of the Elric brothers due to their relation to Hohenheim, his animosity is geared mostly towards Edward (often mocking the alchemist's size, usually by calling him "Pipsqueak").
Envy is cruel, aggressive, manipulative, and sadistic, and shows no remorse for his actions, from killing Hughes to mortally wounding Ed. He has also clashed occasionally with the other homunculi (particularly Greed). He is loyal towards Dante and acts as her high-ranking enforcer throughout the series, despite being aware of Dante's true intentions of keeping the stone for herself.
Envy has a singular desire to kill Hohenheim, due to the lack of acknowledgment of being his son and the abandonment he felt after his father saw him as an abomination. This resentment was so great to the point where he threw himself into The Gate to personally kill Hohenheim. In Conqueror of Shamballa, Envy still remains vengeful, with Dietlinde Eckhart stating that Hohenheim was the only means of keeping him under control; Envy finally achieves his vengeance after killing him, despite knowing that it would mean being transmuted.
Unlike most of the other homunculi, Envy has no desire for the Philosopher's Stone nor becoming human.
He is also more intelligent and deceitful than the manga version, and perhaps even the other Homunculi, as he manipulated Wrath into becoming obsessed with vengeance, so he could "run out and do what he is meant to do."
Powers and Abilities
Manga and 2009 anime
Envy has the ability to shape-shift into anything or anyone, whether it be real people, animals, or human aspects that they made up. They can transform into anything that doesn't exceed the size and weight of their true form, which, seeing how massively large it is, does not create much of an issue. This power comes in handy to go anywhere unnoticed or to travel fast, allowing Envy to shape-shift into an average citizen to blend into a crowd for stealth, or a fast-moving animal such as a horse or dog. Additionally, Envy can transform individual parts of their body, often using this ability in battle to transform their limbs into weapons.
Even in their preferred human form, Envy's appearance belies their actual weight, something Ling Yao realized as he fought them. Their true form's weight grants them enormous strength and durability. In spite of their immense weight, Envy is very fast in all forms they assume. It is also noted that even in their human form, they can make their arms extendable (to an unknown length, however), and apparently sharp (as proved by the injuries they inflicted upon Riza Hawkeye), tentacle-like appendages.
Under their monstrous form, Envy can use their strength to its maximum and becomes all the more dangerous, with them being easily able to crush rocks under their limbs or in their jaws. Envy is also able to manipulate the human remains that cover their body, make them appear and disappear, and elongate their tongue to use it like a harpoon or binding rope, a continuation of their transformation ability.
Under their true parasitic original form, Envy's only remaining ability is to take control of the body of a human or Homunculus host. The host then becomes an extension of Envy's parasitic body, being able to take control of additional host bodies, using the host's soul or Philosopher's Stone to resupply their strength. This ability is similar to Pride's ability to gain the traits of whomever he eats.
With the body of a Mannequin Soldier Envy initially only possessed the abilities of a Mannequin Soldier - along with the ability to absorb other Mannequin Soldiers. Upon absorbing enough of them Envy regained their former abilities, morphing their Mannequin Soldier body back to Envy's previous appearance.
This version of Envy is more skilled in combat, with his attacks ranging from simple punches and kicks to Capoeira-like techniques. Envy is also a gymnast and moves with superb finesse. In fact, he knocked down Pride and had to be distracted by Wrath for Edward to pin him down.
Very much like his manga counterpart, Envy can change his form to whomever he chooses and copy their voices as well. Envy takes advantage of this technique to catch his opponents off-guard, often by turning into someone the target cares about. He also has the typical homunculus strength, speed, and regeneration abilities.
As a dragon in Conqueror of Shamballa, Envy uses his large body and powerful jaws to fight (as seen in his fight with Edward Elric); he managed to fell one of the planes the Thule Society used to capture him. Because he came through The Gate, Envy was seen glowing with mysterious alchemic marks, which proved to be a key component in activating The Portal to Amestris.
In the manga and 2009 anime
Envy was the fourth Homunculus created by Father, used for the purpose of causing mass slaughter with their shape-shifting powers to induce distrust and bloodshed. One such event was in Ishval, posing as an Amestrian militant to kill an Ishvalan child in the open, causing a massive revolt that led to the Ishval Civil War while the soldier they impersonated was the fall man. Overall, Envy gloated about having enjoyed committing the deed with great zest. Envy was later sent to pose as Father Cornello to oversee the events of Reole after the false prophet was exposed by Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, and killed off by Lust.
Envy later meets with Fullmetal when they and Lust both enter the Fifth Laboratory and kill off the younger Slicer brother with his own katana for nearly jeopardizing their plans. Ending up making an enemy out of Edward, Envy takes advantage of the boy's automail arm malfunctioning to knock him out with a knee to the gut while telling him to feel lucky that they and Lust were not going serious on him. Envy later murders Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes when he stumbles in on the planned Day of Reckoning, assuming the form of his wife Gracia to kill him when his guard is down by her. When Greed is captured by King Bradley, which is the alias for the homunculus Wrath, Envy winds up in a "brotherly quarrel" with the rogue Homunculus that almost causes Envy to lose their cool before Father stops the argument.
After Lust's death by Colonel Roy Mustang, Envy takes over as the Homunculi representative and Dr. Tim Marcoh's jailer. Later, when Gluttony is captured, Envy attempts to retrieve the Homunculus, but ends up fighting Ling Yao before both they and Edward are sucked into Gluttony's subspace. There, once finding Ling and Edward, Envy states that there is no escape as they admit to the war they caused in Ishval, which provokes Edward to right hook the monster. However, seeing no more need to hold back, Envy assumes their unleashed state to kill the two humans.
During the fight, Envy takes advantage of their captive souls to mess with Edward's mind before knocking him out and swallowing him alive. However, seeing Envy's Philosopher's Stone at their core, Edward placates the monstrous Envy, allowing him to use their Philosopher's Stone to open Gluttony's fake Gate of Truth and pass through the true doors back to the real world. This drains many of the souls from Envy in the process, but it was evidently not enough to kill them. Though Envy promises to tell Edward what they know, they took back their words while restraining him and his younger brother Alphonse so Father could make Ling the new Greed. When Scar arrives with May Chang, Ed reveals Envy's role in the Ishvalan War to the scarred man, causing a ruckus that almost enables the Elric brothers to escape. Soon after, Envy takes the Elrics to Bradley so that they can be forced to keep their mouths shut regarding what they have learned.
Envy later releases Solf J. Kimblee from jail to have him work for the Homunculi in tracking down Scar to recapture Marcoh. While in Briggs, Envy is lured into a trap by Zampano pretending to sell out Marcoh. During the resulting fight, Envy enters their unleashed state in a fit of rage, grabbing Marcoh and revealing that his men were sacrificed to create the Philosopher's Stone they gave to Kimblee. This proves to be their undoing, as Marcoh succeeds in destroying most of the souls in Envy's Philosopher's Stone, reducing the Homunculus into a small, weakened version of their true form. After an unsuccessful attempt to hold Yoki hostage, Envy is placed in a jar and given to May to take back to Xing. However, Envy plays on May's guilt of leaving her new friends to fend for themselves in order to have her bring them back to Central to obtain a new Philosopher's Stone.
As the Day of Reckoning commences, Envy manages to take control of one of the activated Mannequin Soldiers attacking May, using it to assimilate the others nearby to regain their full form. From there, Envy chases down May before crashing through the entrance of the Third Laboratory. There, seeing former enemies working together, Envy reveals themselves as Hughes' murderer by transforming once again into Gracia when Mustang refused to believe that his friend's life was taken by a "moron." Unfortunately, due to the Mannequin Soldiers in Envy making them flammable and with Mustang now in a fiery rage, the Homunculus has to escape into the sewers. Finding Lt. Riza Hawkeye, Envy assumes Mustang's form and tries to kill her, but is quickly found out and shot repeatedly with her many weapons. Although Envy does manage to catch hold of her, Mustang arrives and continues the destruction of Envy's new body until they are reduced back to their parasitic form once again.
Envy is saved from execution by Mustang's hands through the combined intervention from Riza, Scar, and Edward in order to cease Mustang's quest for vengeance. After unsuccessfully trying to tempt the group into fighting each other with every horrible thing they have done to the other, Envy is mortified by how former enemies can put aside their hatred and work together. At that moment, Edward reveals to Envy that the homunculus is, in fact. jealous of human friendships and their ability to support each other. Realizing this truth, and feeling utterly disgraced by it and the fact that Edward sympathized with them, a tearful Envy pulls out their Philosopher's Stone and crushes it. As their decaying body begins to disintegrate, Envy laments not seeing where this ceasefire among former enemies would lead while they whisper, "Goodbye, Edward Elric," with tears in their eyes. Envy is the third Homunculus to die permanently (though by their own hand) in the manga and the 2009 anime.
In the 2003 anime
In the first anime, Homunculi are based on failed Human Transmutations intended to bring the dead back. Because of this, Envy, being based on Hohenheim's dead son, is male rather than being a genderless entity. Whether Envy is male or genderless in their typical Homunculus form is unknown.
Out of all the Homunculi, Envy serves as the primary antagonist of the group. He is first seen at the end of episode 2 of the 2003 series, where he starts to impersonate the tarnished Father Cornello. He is not seen in his preferred form until the beginning of episode 14, and he does not reveal his original form until episode 50. As the oldest Homunculus, he claimed that he had forgotten what he originally looked like. However, it was actually a lie stemming from his hatred towards his father, Hohenheim, resulting in him transforming to look nothing like his original form. This was because Hohenheim was the one who created him as an attempt to bring back his first son (who died of mercury poisoning around the age of eighteen) and abandoned him. Envy hated all humans and followed Dante mostly for the opportunity of killing as many people as he could. This is what drove him in all that he did; unlike the other Homunculi, he did not care about the Philosopher's Stone, nor about becoming human. His most prominent murder was that of Maes Hughes. After his cover was blown while impersonating Second Lieutenant Ross, Envy transformed into Hughes' wife, Gracia, and used his hesitation to fatally shoot him. He also served as a key in imprisoning Greed, with whom he had a long-standing grudge against, within the Fifth Laboratory. It is also notable that Envy had no love for his Homunculi brethren and mainly antagonized his first "brother," Greed. Also, he quickly turned upon Gluttony, Wrath, and even the higher ranked Pride. The only person that posed the possibility of a relationship with him was Dante herself. He was usually her enforcer and often carried out her whims more directly than most of his comrades. He was also apparently more comfortable in her presence than the rest of the Homunculi. However, he also lashed out at Dante with particular intensity when she impeded his ambitions of death and revenge. Well aware of the power that Dante held over him, Envy was at once the most uncontrollable yet most reliable member of her legion.
Envy's original human form is revealed in the penultimate episode of the 2003 series. He was created three hundred and eighty years ago by Hohenheim in an attempt to resurrect the son he and Dante conceived, who died from mercury poisoning when he was 18 years old. Envy held a great hatred towards him for never being acknowledged as his son and for abandoning him and Dante. As a result, he also hated his younger "half-brothers," Edward and Alphonse, as they obtained the fatherly love that he himself never received. When learning from Dante that Hohenheim was gone, Envy snapped at being denied his wish to kill him. Dante, however, remarked that the Elric brothers are still alive and now have the Philosopher's Stone, as a consolation prize to curb his anger. The fact that they possessed the Stone and would regain everything they lost made him more jealous of them and more intent on making them suffer as he had. However, Edward managed to see through his disguises and tricks, until the Homunculus revealed his true form (an imitation of Hohenheim's deceased son with Dante) and his connection to Hohenheim. That stunt was all it took for him to successfully kill Edward, as the distraction gave him enough time to pierce him through the heart. He is then transported to The Gate by Alphonse, meeting up with Edward again. Upon learning that Hohenheim was still alive on the other side of The Gate, Envy was able to successfully open and make his way through the doors. Once inside The Gate, The Gate Children attacked him, but he fought them off by transforming into Edward. Just before reaching his father, he changed once again into his original human form, likely to get The Gate Children to take him to Hohenheim faster. By the time he made his way through to the other side, Envy took to a serpentine dragon form.
Conqueror of Shamballa
During the two year gap between the end of the anime and Conqueror of Shamballa, Envy was captured by the Thule Society sometime after arriving to Earth to find Hohenheim. With Envy in his massive serpent form, the Society intended to use him as a literal Ouroboros to open a physical Gate and transfer their soldiers to "Shamballa" on the other side.
Around the time of Conqueror of Shamballa, Envy had escaped and took shelter in an abandoned castle, only to cross paths with Edward once again. In their ensuing fight, Envy was attacked on all sides by the Thule Society, who recaptured him and managed to get a small regiment of soldiers to the other side for a short time. During this time, Hohenheim was imprisoned and offered Envy as a sacrifice in order to keep the "Great Serpent" calm as they formulated their plans. In the end, it was Hohenheim who sacrificed his own life, using Envy as his means and enabling Ed to return to his own world in a final act of redemption for his sins. Thus, Envy finally realized his sole desire to kill his father, ultimately at the cost of his own life. He was the seventh and final Homunculus to die in the series.
- How Envy changes forms is slightly different in the two anime versions. In the 2003 anime, Envy takes a new form by having a line of light go over their body at a rather quick pace. However, in the 2009 anime, the color of the morphing process is red, discharges some electricity, and is slower, looking very similar to a transmutation (red sparks are common for transmutations with the Philosopher's Stone).
- Despite having the same powers and preferred appearance, Envy's fighting styles and the reason for their invidiousness are extremely different between the 2003 anime and its manga counterpart. However, both share the same sadism and hatred toward humanity.
- In the English Dub, Envy initially had a low and calm voice. During the last few episodes of the 2003 series, it changes to the louder and snarky tone that is used in the 2009 series.
- Envy's power to shape-shift, as well as having no constant gender, is very similar to the physical traits of Loki, the evil Norse god of trickery (which is sometimes referred to as a demi- or anti-god), who can change his shape to anything, including women. Envy's instigation methods are similar to the actions of Eris, the Greek goddess of discord and chaos, who took delight in causing mortals to fight among themselves and eventually brought about the Trojan War.
- Envy's hairstyle mimics the leaves of a mandrake, a plant with human-like roots associated with magic. In Chapter XVI of Eliphas Levi's findings, the Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, alchemists were said to attempt the creation of Homunculi using mandrakes.
- Envy's true, monstrous form is loosely similar to the somewhat iconic Devilman antagonist Jinmen, another reptilian manga and anime villain. Jinmen was a demon turtle that grew the still-living faces of those he had eaten, with all of them appearing on his back shell, as manifestations of their own grudge against Jinmen for eating them and leaving them to scream in agony, much to his pleasure. In a failed plan to defeat the eponymous Devilman, Jinmen used one of Devilman's friends, a young child named Sachiko, as a distraction, not unlike how Envy distracted Edward with the Xerxian bodies.
- Also of note, in the sequel series, Devilman Lady, it is revealed that after being mortally injured Jinmen would revert back to his true form, that of a normal sized fresh-water turtle. While in this form he could take possession of any life form that touches him, and by assimilating more bodies Jinmen would eventually reform to gargantuan size.
- In both continuities, the homunculus Envy dies in the form of a green non-human creature:
- Manga and 2009 anime - Envy dies (via suicide) as a miniature reptile-like creature after Edward had noticed their overall insecurity.
- 2003 anime - Envy dies in the form of a large draconic serpent after being transmuted alongside Hohenheim to activate a permanent portal.
- Envy is an incredibly popular character, coming higher on the fan poll than any other homunculus, making them the most popular.
- Envy was the only Homunculus to commit suicide.
- Discounting Pride (who can grow larger than Envy, but whose size is too dependent on light), Envy is the largest Homunculus, with their true form being about the size of a building.
- During their final fight with Roy Mustang, Envy's eyes are repeatedly boiled away by Roy's flames. This bears some similarity to the second terrace of Dante Alighieri "Purgatorio," in which the envious are cleansed by having their eyelids sewn shut.
- In many scenes during the second anime, Envy's hair has a greenish tint to it, albeit much darker. This is most likely referencing the first anime, where Envy's hair is green instead of black like in the manga. It, and the green skin color of their monstrous form could also be a subtle nod to the phrase "green with envy."
- Both the Japanese and English (2009 anime) voice actors for Envy voice a character in Claymore called Ilena ("Irene" in English).
- Envy seems to share a close bond with Lust, as she is one of the few Homunculi they regularly converse with in a friendly manner. After Lust is killed by Colonel Mustang, Envy protests Wrath's decision to let Mustang and his subordinates live, saying that they killed her and made fools out of them (suggesting that they are genuinely upset by Lust's death).
- Although they seemed to bicker, Envy and Greed shared two preferences: both of them would rather avoid fighting if possible and both enjoyed their respective human form's good looks.
- Envy's closeness to Lust and similarities to Greed make sense, as the concepts of envy and lust are similar sins, and envy goes hand-in-hand with greed.
- In Envy's playable appearance in Monster Strike, they are categorized as Male.
- Envy is said to be the first Homunculus ever created, making him the oldest in that continuity. Furthermore, Envy's true form somewhat resembles Father's third, "perfect" form—resembling young Hohenheim, whom he was born of.
- It is interesting to note that both Envy and Maes Hughes have a green tint to their hair, since Envy murdered Hughes in both series.
- It is a mystery as to why Envy's true form looks anything like Hohenheim, as Hohenheim is in the body of a different man to whom Envy would bear no resemblance. However, it may be possible Hohenheim chose a body that bore a heavy resemblance to his original one. Another explanation may be that wary and regretful of his actions, he recreated his original body through alchemy, which explains the resemblance and how Dante was able to recognize him.
- Hohenheim and Dante's son (the person Envy was supposed to recreate) died of mercury poisoning at the age of 18, possibly giving a nod to the fact that mercury was once believed to be the elixir of life, and one of the key ingredients for immortality. This could imply that he, Dante and/or Hohenheim, might have been experimenting with the substance in order to attain eternal life without using up the Stone's power.
- In the movie Conqueror of Shamballa, Envy is permanently stuck in his dragon form, unable to use his shape-shifting powers due to the lack of alchemy in that world.
- He can still speak as a dragon, but is unable to move his mouth in the form of a human tongue.
- Envy has the distinction of being the first Homunculus born and the last to die.
- In the description of the 31st episode on Netflix, Envy is mistakenly referred to as female.
- Envy, along with Pride/King Bradley, are arguably the most ruthless of the Homunculi, due to their blatant disregard for humans and their lack of empathy for even their own brethren. They also prove to be worse than their manga/Brotherhood counterparts.
|Lust | Gluttony | Greed | Sloth | Wrath | Envy | Pride|
|2003 Anime Exclusive|
|Wrath | Sloth | Pride|