"Hohenheim of Light" redirects here. For the episode, see Episode 44: Hohenheim of Light (2003 series).

Gallery & Trivia

Fullmetal Alchemist (2009 anime)

Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 anime)


  • Paracelsus

    A portrait of Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim.

    The character of Hohenheim is seemingly inspired by Phillip von Hohenheim, a Renaissance Swiss alchemist and early scientist who later adopted the name Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim and the sobriquet Paracelsus. Paracelsus credited himself with creating a Homunculus out of various human bodily fluids. This is further proven by the fact that the original Homunculus was going to give him the same name as mentioned, but, being in that time an illiterate slave, Hohenheim thought it was too long and was shortened to just Van Hohenheim.
    • The Alchemical word, Alkahest, is the name of a hypothetical universal solvent that can dissolve any substance, including gold, and it was much sought after by alchemists for its medicinal uses. It is also believed that this name was invented by Paracelsus when travelled from China to Constantinople. This yet another relation between the two, since Hohenheim went to Xing after Xerxes and taught the people of Xing "Alkahestry", which is used primarily for medicinal purposes, then it can be seen that there is a huge link between Paracelsus and Alkahest and Hohenheim and Alkahestry. This link was probably what prompted Hohenheim's history in Xing, and the name of Xingese Alchemy and its uses.

Manga and 2009 Anime

  • In the anime-exclusive recap episode Episode 27: Interlude Party (2009 series), it is implied that Hohenheim knew Trisha since she was a child: a young girl asks Hohenheim to dance with her, and is quite disappointed by his refusal.
  • Hohenheim's 2009 English voice actor also voiced Haushofer from the movie Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa.
  • It's said that Hohenheim has come to an understanding with every single one of the souls that comprise his Philosopher's Stone, and that they willingly cooperate with him to make Father atone for his actions. However, before this is known, Hohenheim is seen using all kinds of (stone-powered) alchemy that is unrelated to bringing down Father, such as rearranging Izumi Curtis' ravaged insides. It is unknown if Hohenheim has burned off any of the souls by doing this kind of alchemy, or perhaps he only uses bits and pieces of each soul, so as not to use a full one. It is also possible that such alchemy did not require his Stone but relied instead on his vast alchemic knowledge and the "chi" of the Earth (Alkahestry's power source) This may hold true even in Izumi's case, as he was simply rearranging her insides, not creating anything new.
  • Due to his ability to communicate with the souls of his stone, his alchemy is much more powerful than an individual simply utilizing the energy of a stone. This is evidently due to the souls of his stone actively aiding him in his endeavours. It also allows for his stone to essentially use itself, as can be seen when the souls of the stone independently activated the nationwide transmutation circle created by the umbra.
  • Hohenheim is both the person Father cared for and hated the most, and very likely the only human he felt anything about.
  • Just as Ed is offended at being called short, Hohenheim, back when he was the same age, seemed to get almost as upset when called stupid.
  • Van came in 15th in the latest popularity poll.
  • Viz's English translation of the manga switches back and forth between the correct "Van" and the incorrect "Von" when transliterating Hohenheim's first name, likely due to the discrepancy in pronunciation of the letter "a" between English and Japanese.
  • Hohenheim's attitude towards his son, Edward, during "Father Before the Grave" is very different between the manga and the 2009 anime. In the manga, his approach was calm, mournful over Trisha's death, and also slightly humorous (mistaking Edward's title to be the smallest state alchemist rather than the youngest). On the other hand, in the 2009 anime, he acts almost completely callous, with all hint of his emotions toward his family masked until later.
  • It seems strange that Van Hohenheim wears glasses in the manga and 2009 anime, since he did not need them in Xerxes and his vision would not change as time passed. It is possible that he did need them in his youth but the people of Xerxes did not have the technology to make them.
    • It could also be that his eye sight has deteriorated over time, and, instead of using up some of the souls of Xerxes to fix the problem (which may have been a waste of life in his view and hardly a reason to use a soul for), he opted for glasses.
  • When the original Homunculus asked Van's name, the young man answered Slave 23. Curiously, the 23rd element from the periodic table is VANadium.
  • In the English dub of the 2009 anime series, young Van is played by Aaron Dismuke, who had voiced Alphonse in the English dub of the 2003 anime series.

2003 Anime

  • Technically, in the 2003 anime, Edward and Alphonse are not actually biologically related to Hohenheim at all, but rather to the person from whom Hohenheim stole his current body. This raises questions about how his son Envy's true form (who is roughly four centuries old) bears any kind of resemblance to the Elric family at all.
    • It should be noted, however, that his original body was a perfect resemblance to the one he died in. This is seen on how Dante was able to recognize him from sight, despite having changed bodies. There are currently three theories:
      1. It may be possible he recreated an exact copy of his body with alchemy because he could no longer stand taking bodies. This explains why Dante recognizes him as well as why the Elric brothers resemble Envy.
      2. Another solution could be that his current body bore a heavy resemblance to his original by coincidence. Given the circumstances regarding his unique appearance, i.e. the golden eyes and hair, this is highly unlikely. However, he may have chosen that particular body due to its likeness to his original form, particularly the hair and eye color.
      3. Another is that Dante's recognizing him is that she had seen him in this body before. The fact that she knew the Elrics were his sons and had been spying on him in Resembool supports this. He was also rumored by Nash Tringham to have worked a stint in the 5th Laboratory, which was a tool under Dante's control, though this still lacks any reason why it seemed so similar to his original body or why Envy looked like the Elric brothers.

Comparisons and Contrasts Between the 2003 Anime and 2009 Anime/Manga

  • It's interesting to note several similarities and dissimilarities between Van Hohenheim and Hohenheim of Light.
    • While both Hohenheims left their sons to keep them from learning about their bodies, Van Hohenheim left because was scared to see that he was the only one from his family prevented of getting older and find a way to become mortal, pursuing his mission to stop the Homunculus. In other hand, Hohenheim of Light left because his body was slowly rotting to death all around him.
    • Whereas Van Hohenheim dedicated himself to atone for a crime he did not commit, Hohenheim of Light is never seen to be atoning for crimes he did commit, instead deciding to allow himself to decay without causing more harm.
    • Van Hohenheim had made clear for Trisha he would come back once he had dealt with the Homunculus and ceased to be immortal. On the other hand, Hohenheim of Light's motivation for returning to Resembool at all is unclear, as he had evidentally found no way to halt, or even slow his own body's decay.

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