A former serial killer, he became a human test subject in the military's alchemical experiments and, in lieu of execution, had his disembodied soul bound to a suit of armor, similarly to Alphonse Elric. As a result of the schism between the storylines of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the 2003 anime series, Barry the Chopper appears in both, but is a rather different character in each.
As a suit of armor, Barry stands out due to his hulking size and overall grim physical traits. His upper arms and legs are comprised out of several long, silver-colored iron plates, while his lower arms are made out of a pair of two plates tied together. His hands are a pair of iron gauntlets, each having a pair of four spikes instead of knuckles and fingers made of cloth. The middle, ring and little fingers are fused together, leaving his index and thumb separate. The feet are a pair of leather boots with iron guards. His chest is formed out of two large metal plates held together by an iron ring, in turn, held in place by five leather belts. Around his waist and left shoulder, Barry sports a brown tunic with fur trims, which is tied together by a black leather belt with two dangling rings of iron. The neck is an extension of the torso plates, in turn, covered by an iron guard formed from a single, long iron plate that forms a circle around his sides and the back of his head. The helmet is a composite of iron, facial bones and some kind of hair or fur. The nape and the scalp are two distinct metal plates, with a pair of small horns just above the eye sockets, the number "66" written on the left side, just above the cheekbone, and the white long hair protruding from the back. His face is formed out of white facial bones of some unknown humanoid animal, having large eye sockets, a large mandible with two spiky bone going downwards and eight distinct razor-sharp fangs, four on the upper jaw and another four for the lower jaw. As is the case with Alphonse Elric, Barry's eyes are two white lights and his transmutation circle is located inside his armor, written on the neck plate.
His human body prior to its soul being transmuted has never been clearly illustrated, with the manga and the 2009 anime merely presenting it through an abstract flashback, where Barry was shown wearing a standard white butcher's apron, a rather lean frame and a few strands of hair standing upright. The 2003 anime, however, showed Barry as being slim, with light blond hair kept short in the back and the sides, while his scalp hair was a bit longer. In the manga and the 2009 anime, Barry's human body, after having some dog's soul transmuted inside of it, was shown to be muscular, with sharp finger and toenails, wild, long, dark brown hair and wearing a white mask over the cheeks and forehead, apparently having been welded or screwed judging by the holes around it. In this form, Barry's body walked around barefoot, in raggedy clothes and was slowly decomposing.
On the surface, Barry comes off as an imposing and threatening individual, often introducing himself to potential victims in a histrionic fashion. During their first encounter, Barry jumped from the roof of Laboratory 5 directly above Alphonse Elric, ready to slash him with his cleaver. Having missed his target, Barry presented himself to the young alchemist, but omitted his true identity as he believed that if the alchemist knew who "Number 66" truly was, claiming that Alphonse would "wet himself with fear". Furthermore, Barry told Alphonse to scream while he was still alive, he then positioned his butcher knives in an "X" shape in front of his own face, a more sinister stance then when he was introducing himself. When they first met, Barry offered to escort Riza Hawkeye back to her house, telling her to be cautious for unruly and potentially dangerous people, only to remove his hood and jumped her, all the while shouting out his name. Unfortunately for the would-be-serial killer, both Alphonse and Hawkeye proved to be unimpressed with his boasts, Alphonse having never heard of Barry's murder sprees, and Hawkeye being a seasoned veteran automatically opened fire on him. At this point, Barry displays a far more unintentional humorous side to himself. Though he thinks his victims should be scared at the thought of him being a disembodied soul possessing a suit of armor, only to have Alphonse reveal himself to be in the same situation and Hawkeye having already been accustomed to Alphonse's state.
Despite this, Barry has been shown to be genuinely murderous, taking pleasure in chopping his victims into chunks and enjoying the sight of fresh blood, in one instance fondly remembering how the full moon's light glistened in a pool of blood. His mentality is further illustrated by the fact that Barry considered that the only proof he needed for his own existence was the act of killing itself, "I kill, therefore I am!" He did, however, display certain preferences when choosing his victims, opting for chop muscular men or curvaceous women, as shown when he told Number 48 to handle the diminutive Edward while Barry went after Alphonse for being large. When describing his homunculus handlers, Barry pointed out Lust's buxom figure which he would enjoy cutting, but found Envy far to skinny, something he did not find very appealing. Furthering his desire to kill is Barry's morbid intention of slaughtering his own flesh and blood body, especially after confronting it and pointing out that the body and soul are naturally attracted to one another.
Despite his psychosis, Barry has shown himself willing to help out others such as assisting in Roy Mustang's plan to break Maria Ross out of prison with Mustang giving the order to not kill. However, this was likely done out sheer boredom rather than any true sense of altruism. Barry has shown a liking and amicability towards the similar cavalier Jean Havoc.
Manga and 2009 Anime
In the original story, Barry started out as a simple butcher living and working in Central City until he grew bored with merely cutting the flesh of pigs and cows and began to hunt humans to satisfy his demented desires. The citizens of Central lived in terror for several years as the now infamous "Barry the Chopper" went on a serial murdering spree that ultimately claimed the lives of twenty-three people, starting with his wife. Finally, the serial killer was caught and the legend of the fiend lived on long after Barry's well-publicized execution by hanging. However, the execution was merely a front, as Barry was never actually sent to the gallows. Like many other death row inmates in Central's prison, Barry was spared from death for an arguably much crueler fate; a human test subject for the Amestrian military's alchemical labs. While still alive, his soul was forcibly ripped out from his body and alchemically bound to a suit of armor. He is given the code name "Number 66" and paired with another soul bound armor, Number 48, and ordered to guard Central Alchemical Laboratory #5 and the horrible secrets therein.
Barry is first introduced into the manga's story in Chapter 11 when he and Number 48 are alerted to two intruders entering Lab 5. Eager to have some fun after such a long time without any victims, Barry heads outside to hunt Alphonse Elric while leaving "the little one" to his partner. Barry enthusiastically attacks but soon becomes frustrated when met with Al's expert resistance and unexpected speed. When Alphonse knocks Barry's helmet off to discover that the suit of armor he's been fighting is empty, Barry sees an opportunity to scare his new prey and reveals his gruesome back story. However, he is disappointed again when Alphonse reveals that he hails from a rural town in the east, far beyond the reach of Central City's news and urban legends, leaving him unaware of the infamous serial killer. However, Barry, still undeterred, reveals his unnatural body in hopes of terrifying his adversary, but, again, Al counters by revealing that he, too, is a soul affixed to a suit of armor and cannot be shocked by such things. Barry then mistakes Alphonse for yet another death row inmate mutilated by the government, but an offended Al reveals that it was his brother who bound his soul to save his life. The fact instantly amuses Barry as he sees an opening for a little ploy to toy with the boy's mind. He implants the notion that without a body as proof, there is no way to know for sure if the boy named Alphonse Elric ever existed, or if the one calling himself Al's "brother" merely fabricated a soul out of falsified memories to keep his "armor doll" loyal. Alphonse is significantly shaken by these conjectures and responds by asking what proof Number 66 has of his own existence. After swiftly murdering a soldier who had come to investigate the noise caused by the two grappling, Barry counters by saying that his love of killing is all the proof he needs in order to know he exists. Alphonse becomes distracted regarding the uncertainty of his being, allowing Barry to gain the upper hand until 2nd Lt. Maria Ross and Sgt. Denny Brosh arrive to act as backup for the young Elric boy, firing one round each into Barry's right hand and forcing him to drop his meat cleaver. Just as the soldiers have Barry cornered, Lab 5 begins to collapse - triggered to explode by Lust and Envy; Barry sees his opportunity for freedom and flees the scene as the building crumbles to rubble. Rather than returning to the Homunculi merely to be disposed of like Number 48, Barry disappears into the night to once again wreak havoc on the streets of Central City.He reappears in Chapter 30, lurking on the street in search of a new victim, and comes across Lt. Riza Hawkeye. Once again, Barry is disappointed to come across a potential victim who does not fear him, as Hawkeye unhesitatingly opens fire when he makes clear his intentions to murder her. He is further shocked to find that she does not react when he removes his helmet, firing again and explaining that she knows someone with the same condition. Barry, impressed with Riza's strength and bravery, becomes instantly smitten with her, but when he mentions Alphonse's name, it is the Lieutenant's turn to take interest. She detains him and summons Colonel Mustang, informing him that the man before them is an empty suit of armor like Alphonse and claims to be a criminal who was executed years ago. Together with Warrant Officer Vato Falman, they take Barry to a warehouse in the military district for clandestine interrogation. Falman takes charge of verifying Barry's identity, cross-checking his encyclopedic knowledge of the Chopper murder cases against 66's own memory. When Barry accurately describes all his crimes and even passes Falman's trick question, they've no choice but to believe he is the real deal. Mustang begins to interrogate him about his body and Barry counters with questions of his own, wondering why they don't already know about his body, or Laboratory 5 when they're part of the military that experimented on him. When Mustang responds in the negative, Barry reveals that he met Al in Lab 5 and agrees to tell them everything he knows about both the lab and the Philosopher's Stone if Roy promises only one thing: not to report him to the higher-ups or the Homunculi. He then informs Roy of Lust and Envy, Lab 5's destruction, the process used by military researchers to create imperfect Philosopher's Stones, the circumstances of his Soul Binding, and the fact that all the scientists who had worked in Lab 5 were killed - used as ingredients for the Stones themselves - a few days before the facility was destroyed, eradicating all possible evidence. After asking whether Barry had anything to do with the death of Maes Hughes, Roy assigns Falman to keep an eye on the ex-murderer and Hawkeye - whose orders Barry seems willing to follow - tells him not to chop anyone else up. For some time afterward, Barry holes up in a safe house set up by Falman, spending his days playing chess with the Warrant Officer.
About ten days later, after the well-publicized arrest of Maria Ross as a suspect in the murder of Brigadier General Hughes, Barry recognizes her face on the front page of the newspaper and asks that Falman allow him to communicate with Mustang. Barry pretends to be one of Roy's girlfriends until the Colonel can get to a non-secure outside line and Barry proposes that he can get Ross out of jail. As part of his plan to lure out the masterminds behind Hughes' death and Lab 5, Mustang orders Barry to raid the east end lockup and escape with Maria so that they can get her out of the country to safety before her execution. Barry, knowing the back streets of Central, suggests an escape route and rendezvous point, during which Mustang suggests that they should have Falman act as the hostage of a serial killer during the incident. Of course, Barry, not caring to explain the situation to his roommate, opts to knock Vato out with a blow to the head instead. That night, Barry bursts crazily through the front gate of the jail, drawing the attention of all the Military Police in the facility as he searches for Ross. Though they open fire and even manage to damage his helmet with a shotgun, his rampage proceeds onwards, still using non-lethal force on his assailants, per Mustang and Hawkeye's orders. As he wanders toward Ross' cell, Barry is hailed by another prisoner in the lockup - Ling Yao, who had been jailed as an illegal alien. Ling asks Barry to free him, a request that the ex-murderer has little interest in, but when Ling mentions that he is from Xing, Barry changes his tune, realizing that the eastern nation would be a fine place to hide Maria. He breaks open the door of Ling's cell and the two head off to meet Lt. Ross. When Barry finally breaks into Ross' cell, he is glad to see someone shocked by his presence, and states that he remembers her as well - every time he notices the bullet holes in his right hand. Ross regains her strength after Barry mentions the rumors that she had killed Maes Hughes. He believes her vehement protests, saying that she hasn't the eyes of a murderer, but shows her the newspaper headline announcing her conviction and informs her that, since the trial has already been skipped, her execution will be immediate. Barry gives her a choice - either stay where she is and allow herself to face a firing squad for a crime she didn't commit, or escape with him on the spot. She chooses the latter and the three depart the jail, hurrying through back streets toward the rendezvous point in the warehouse district where Mustang is waiting. Unfortunately, they are met along the way by Edward and Alphonse Elric, who demand to know how Maria Ross is involved with Hughes' death. As they lack time to have such a discussion, Barry holds the Elric brothers off and tells Ross to head to the warehouse district ahead of him. Before the altercation between Barry and the Elrics escalates, however, both parties are distracted by Mustang's column of flame issuing nearby. As Ed rushes toward the explosion, Barry and Ling seize their chance to escape and head back to the safe house before the Military Police find them.Back at the hideout, Barry ignores Falman's protests and speaks with Ling - who followed him back to the safe house and summoned his two retainers back to his side with smoke signals - about the binding of his soul to the armor. Ling tried to persuade Barry to give him the specifics, reminding the ex-murderer that he both helped him break Ross out of prison and sent his bodyguard Fu to escort her out of the country, to Xing. Barry reiterates that he knows very little about the actual process and suggests that Ling go and speak to Alphonse. However, shortly after Ling leaves, ordering Lan Fan to stay behind at the safe house, there arises another problem as the second part of Roy's plan goes into effect. Though he cannot feel anything in his armor body, Barry feels a chill in his soul. Recognizing Number 66 from the reports of Maria Ross' breakout, the Homunculi have sent out Barry the Chopper's human body - animated by the insertion of a lab animal's soul - to locate him, as the body is inexorably drawn to its own soul and vice-versa. Barry and Falman are attacked by the human puppet and, recognizing that this is part of Roy's mission, attempts to keep Vato from killing it. But as the battle continues and moves outside, Number 66 comes to the realization that the attacker is, in fact, his human body. Overcome with his old psychopathic habits, Barry becomes compelled to kill his doppelganger, arguing that very few people ever get the opportunity to chop themselves up and that his body, so long separated from its true soul, has already begun rotting. Lt. Havoc, who has arrived as backup, refuses to allow Barry his whim, as they still have their own agenda.
The body flees the scene with Barry giving chase, leading the search party of Roy Mustang, Jean Havoc, Alphonse Elric and Riza Hawkeye to National Central Laboratory #3. Observing that the body has entered the building, they deduce that Lab 3 is the enemy base while Mustang opts to pull out and regroup for another day. Undeterred, Barry rushes in recklessly after his body, refusing to listen to such an order. As Mustang uses Barry's rampage as an excuse to enter Lab 3 with his crew, Barry chases his body down to the very threshold of the Homunculi's lair. He has already begun inflicting damage on his decrepit human form when Lt. Hawkeye and Alphonse arrive.Soon afterward, however, the three are additionally joined by Lust, who realizes that Mustang used 66 as bait to lure her out and is infuriated at having fallen for it. When she asks Barry why he helped Mustang, 66 replies that he never liked being cooped up in Lab 5 and that the only way he knew he could be free was if his captors were all dead. The most important, however, was that he always wanted to get his cleavers into Lust herself. Enraged when she further ignores him to speak to Al and Riza, Barry charges with intent to kill, but is swiftly cut to ribbons by Lust's bladed fingers. However, the Blood Rune on the armor body remains intact, so - while unable to move or communicate - Barry remains alive throughout Lust's battle with Hawkeye, Alphonse, and Colonel Mustang. But as Barry begins to wonder how to get himself out of his current predicament, his dying human body crawls over to him, drawn instinctively to the blood rune. Barry protests, but the body picks up the scrap of metal and, with tears of joy streaming down its face, scratches out the cursed mark keeping his soul in the mortal world. Barry's body and soul both die instantly. Whether Barry's body died because of its injuries or because its soul had left the world is not known for sure, but the Elrics' later discussions regarding how the body and soul are tied together, even when separated, suggest that the latter is most likely. That fact is slightly ironic; had Barry succeeded in killing his body (his most eager desire) he would have succeeded in just wiping out his entire being in the process.
Barry is indirectly referenced in Chapter 44. Although gone, the memory of Barry continued having an effect on Alphonse, who remembered him, along with Greed and his human chimeras, during his conversation with Edward regarding their resolve of not endangering others for the sake of retrieving their bodies. He pointed out that, despite not being human in a traditional sense, none of them had given up on life.
In the first anime series, much like Envy and Solf J. Kimblee, Barry is noticeably much more demented and depraved; he isn't nearly as humorous or benign as in the manga and the second anime series. He began his murdering spree after killing his own wife (which is also stated in the manga), donning a female wig to slaughter even more women in his meat truck. He continued gaining notoriety in Central until he happened to kidnap Winry Rockbell one fateful day while she happened to arrive in the city unannounced to pay the Elric brothers a surprise visit. Edward Elric fervently attempted to track her down, realizing that she was now in the hands of a murderer thanks to the clues left behind at the scene. After Ed has assumed that Barry was the one who had killed his young friend Nina Tucker, Barry captures Ed and binds him to a chair. Having heard of Ed's abilities, Barry disconnects his automail arm and begins a frightful explanation of how he gleefully loves to kill for little reason. Only after Ed is lucky enough to escape (still without an arm), his concentration is left split, traumatized over the situation as Barry ruthlessly continues hunting him down, gouging at him with his meat cleaver in a homicidal frenzy. Thanks to additional assistance from Alphonse, who stopped a frightened Ed from accidentally killing him, Barry was finally arrested without resisting and managing to harm anyone else. The arrest is considered Ed's first groundbreaking accomplishment and it gives him the fortitude to remain a State Alchemist on his quest for the Philosopher's Stone.
This isn't the end of Barry, however; just like the manga, he soon reappears at Laboratory 5 with his soul now affixed to a suit of armor, similar to Al's situation. While there, both armor-bound souls engage in battle with one another, during which Barry begins toying with Al's mind, implanting the notion that his entire personality and backstory could be a fabrication set up by his so-called 'loved ones'. Just as Al's concentration is nearly lost, Scar breaks into Lab 5 and transmutes Barry's arm clean off, thereby ending the fight. Barry, however, relies on one of Lab's 5 many hidden bombs and escapes into the night. He does return one final time, fully repaired, and begins to work with a mercenary group, slaughtering numerous Ishvalans under the guise of the State Military. There, he runs into Alphonse and Scar again, with Scar transmuting his armor body clean in half, damaging his blood seal in the process. As Barry lays screaming in agony and dying, he is inadvertently blown away by one of the mercenary's malfunctioning battle gear. His head was then smashed in by Scar's boot, killing him once and for all. He briefly appears in Episode 36 when Ed points out what he said three years ago about easily killing someone to Winry and Alphonse.
- Barry the Chopper might be a play on the famous serial killer Jack the Ripper. Additionally his story as a butcher turned to a mass murderer is similar of the story of the German butcher mass murderer Fritz Haarmann, know as the Vampire of Hanover, who claimed to mangle his victims into sausages. Seeing as though Barry targeted young women and dressed as one himself, he may also be a play on Buffalo Bill who kidnapped young women by luring them into his van and skinning them to make a woman suit for himself.
- Each anime design of Barry is just slightly off from the original manga's design. In the manga, Barry's head is much more flat and narrow, especially in his eyes and crown, while in each anime they give him an arched forehead and slightly wider eyes that make him look a bit more benign. The 2003 anime also gave Barry an entire set of razor sharp teeth, while in the manga and 2009 anime, he barely has eight "teeth".
- Barry's human body in the original manga, and the 2009 anime series, is vastly different from his 2003 anime counterpart. This is most likely due to the fact that Barry's body had not yet been formally introduced in the manga when his first 2003 anime episode aired, so they created an entirely unique design for him. Moreover, unlike the 2003 version, Barry doesn't dress up as a woman in the original story.
- Barry's fur tunic is nearly identical to the one worn by Hosei Meitoku, one of the main character's in Arakawa's other manga, Jushin Enbu (Hero Tales in English). The only differences are that Hosei's tunic bears a fur trim around his left sleeve, whereas Barry's is bare, and Barry wraps his tunic around his waist with a leather belt, while Hosei wears a sash.
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series, the Japanese seiyuu of Barry's human body is Kenji Hamada, who also plays Vato Falman, while the dub has Vic Mignogna (Edward Elric) providing the body's voice.
- Surprisingly, both the original Japanese and the English dub use an entirely different voice actor for Barry's body, rather than his armor's voice. Both replacements also voice other important characters in the series.
- He seems to harbor a crush on Riza Hawkeye, indicated by the hearts around him and his willingness to follow her orders.
- He also seems to have a thing for Lust when he says that he wants " to stick his cleaver in her" but it could be a joke. Arakawa has stated that Barry's deceased wife looked almost identical to Lust, which could also be the reason. This fact is never stated in the actual story though.
- In the original manga, Barry appears to have a photographic memory, able to remember with exact detail every person he ever killed on what date and under what circumstances, as shown from Vato Falman quizzing him on his identity.
- Although Barry doesn't make another appearance after the death of Lust, his body and armor fragments do, in the events of Chapter 90.
- Barry's carving knife remains intact after his initial battle with Al in the 2009 anime (where it is destroyed in both the manga and 2003 anime) and he also whips it out from time to time afterwards as well. In the battle against the Mannequin Army, after Barry has died, Darius finds and uses Barry's cleaver to protect himself from the Homunculi dolls.