|“||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'. 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.
AppearanceEnvy 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.
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 callous, ruthless, and sinister persona, Envy occasionally shows a more silly, rambunctious, and even comical 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.
Powers and Abilities
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. They seem to only be able activate this ability by biting their victim while in their weakened form. However, Envy has noted they cannot control someone by biting into their automail, as seen when they fail to possess Edward. 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.
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.
- 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.
- More on fighting styles, in the manga and in Brotherhood, Envy is portrayed as not being a particularly skillful combatant and relies on shape-shifting to catch opponents off-guard. In the 2003 anime, Envy is a far more competent fighter with a distinct style, frequently employing flips and cartwheels and prioritizing kicks. However, in both versions they appear to be good at dodging.
- 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 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.
- In Brotherhood there is an instance of Envy breaking the fourth wall. After finishing a call with Zampano, the camera zooms in on Envy's face while they stare directly at the viewer, telling them 'things are getting interesting'.
- Envy frequently uses their shape-shifting during fights to throw off their enemies. However, while often initially successful, Envy tends to overuse this strategy which results in their opponents expecting it.
- The most successful usage of this tactic was against Maes Hughes after transforming into their wife, Gracia which gave Envy the opportunity to shoot him. Later, they turn in Lan Fan to prevent Ling from attacking. During their fight against Mustang, this proves horribly ineffective as it only enrages the colonel further. In the 2003 anime, Envy uses a variety of forms against Edward including Dr. Marcoh, Hughes, Mustang and Trisha. The only form, oddly enough, to really shake Ed is Envy's true form, due to his resemblance to Hohenheim.
- 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.
|Lust | Gluttony | Greed | Sloth | Wrath | Envy | Pride|
|2003 Anime Exclusive|
|Wrath | Sloth | Pride|