Fu (フー) (also spelled Foo in the Viz Manga) was a supporting character of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. He was a retainer of the Xing Empire's Yao clan, a personal bodyguard of Prince Ling Yao and the grandfather of Ling's other bodyguard, Lan Fan. Particularly wise and exceptionally skilled, Fu serves as a valuable asset to Prince Ling by utilizing his advanced combat abilities, strategic and observational expertise, and fierce loyalty to the Yao in a great variety of situations.
Fu was an elderly man with heavy wrinkles, gray spiky hair and a bushy mustache, and of small stature. His attire was identical to Lan Fan's, consisting of a full black outfit with fingerless gloves, black boots, and armor around his torso, back of his hands, and top of his boots. He wore a white bandana wrapped around his forehead and his mask was similar to Lan Fan's, except his only covered to his nose and bore the Yang half of the Yin-Yang symbol.
Fu was a serious and stern man, valuing the life and safety of his prince over his own. He was highly devoted to Ling's dream, willing to lay down his life if it meant Ling could find a claim to the throne. His stern nature was also directed towards his granddaughter, such as slapping her for Ling's disappearance after becoming the host for Greed and failing to protect him; losing her arm in the process. However, Fu cares for her dearly, as shown by him shedding tears over the loss of Lan Fan's arm and becoming enraged at Bradley upon discovering he was the one who took her arm from her.
Fu is an incredibly skilled combatant, using Xingese martial arts and frequently using Xing-made explosives. He is also a master of kunai knives. Fu is skilled enough to hold his own against King Bradley, individually and fighting alongside the second Greed. Fu, like most Xingese warriors, has the ability to "sense" other people's chi. This gives him a massive edge over most opponents, being able to sense them before seeing them. He is a proficient acrobat, being able to easily sit on a speeding train carriage's roof and perform great feats of agility, despite his advanced age. Fu is also remarkably fast, shown when he was able to easily overwhelm Alphonse, and even King Bradley found Fu's speed impressive in spite of the latter's age.
Part in the Story
Arrival in Amestris
Fu is first introduced into the series alongside Ling in Rush Valley, appearing from the shadows to cordon Alphonse Elric at his prince's behest in order to learn more about the Philosopher's Stone. Mistaking Alphonse's clumsy attempt to detonate the situation as a resistant show of force, Fu engages the armored alchemist in combat. Fu maintains a distinct upper hand in terms of speed, knocking Al around with ease, but is unnerved by the younger Elric because he cannot sense normal human life energy from inside the armor. When Alphonse teams up with Paninya, however, the tables turn some. Not expecting an Amestrian civilian to have a firearm built into her prosthetic limb, Fu is caught off guard when Paninya ambushes him and the resulting confusion allows Al to capture the elderly warrior with the use of alchemy, which Fu misperceives as Alkahestry, while marveling at Al's ability to perform it without a Transmutation Circle. Al brings Fu to where Edward has defeated and captured Lan Fan, but both retainers are able to escape unnoticed while Ling creates a diversion. The three reconvene in the town to discuss their findings. Fu apologizes for his and Lan Fan's failure, but discusses with Ling that Alphonse's lack of human life energy, as well as his inability to tire out, may have something to do with the immortality that they seek. He scoffs at the idea of Ling bowing his head to ask help from a commoner like Edward, despite the fact that the young alchemist clearly knows something about the Philosopher's Stone.
Fu and Lan Fan tag along while Ling ventures to Central City with the Elric brothers and Winry, but are aghast when - upon arriving in the nation's capital - they realize that Ling has once again succumbed to his bothersome habit of wandering off and getting lost. They search frantically for their prince for a whole day without any luck, but are summoned to him by way of smoke signals the following morning outside the safe house of Barry the Chopper and Warrant Officer Vato Falman. There, Ling explains the circumstances of the wild adventure he'd had the previous night regarding his arrest as an illegal alien, prison break alongside Barry the Chopper and promise to help smuggle the wrongly convicted 2nd Lt. Maria Ross into Xing. Fu and Ling rendezvous with Maria Ross and 2nd Lt. Heymans Breda and Ling instructs Fu to enlist the help of Mr. Han - the Xingese traveler who had helped Ling and his retainers enter Amestris undetected - to help smuggle Ross out of the country. Fu and Han lead Ross to the Eastern Desert, where Fu watches over her as she hides in the ruins of Xerxes, waiting for further orders. Sometime later, Han returns to Fu and Maria's hiding spot among the ruins with 2nd Lt. Breda, Edward Elric and Major Alex Louis Armstrong in tow. Away from the eyes and influence of the enemy, the party synchronizes their collected data regarding the Philosopher's Stone, the Homunculi and the government's involvement with both, after which, Fu, Han, and Ross say their goodbyes and join a group of Xingese travelers also headed for the eastern empire. Maria asks Fu what kind of paradise Xing is and he assures her proudly that it is a friendly country rich in heritage and that she will be welcomed there. But noticing that she has begun to shed tears, he also warns that the trek across the desert will be severe and that she must preserve her precious fluids.
In Chapter 63, Fu returns to Amestris and waits for the Elrics in their hotel room, hoping to encounter them secretly. They take him to Doctor Knox's house, where Lan Fan is recuperating from serious injuries sustained in her grandfather's absence. There the whole story regarding Lan Fan's lost left arm and Prince Ling's abduction by the Homunculi and possession by the Homunculus Greed comes out. Fu at first appears furious, slapping Lan Fan and berating her severely for failing in her duties and wallowing in self-pity over her maiming. But before the Elrics and Dr. Knox - the surgeon who saved Lan Fan's life - can stop the old soldier from striking again, Fu breaks down in tears over his disfigured granddaughter. Edward informs Fu that he had promised to introduce Lan Fan to Pinako Rockbell, an automail engineer who could fit Lan Fan with a prosthetic arm, but since Wrath had seen Lan Fan, and is keeping the Elrics and their contacts under surveillance, Fu declines Ed's kind offer and says that such a meeting could jeopardize all their lives and missions. After accepting new clothes from Dr. Knox and thanking the good doctor for caring for his granddaughter, Fu departs for Xing with Lan Fan in tow. He tells her that the Emperor's health is continuing to deteriorate and that they've little time to spare in attaining their goal.
Return to the Battlefield
In Chapter 87, while Ed, Ling, Darius, and Heinkel are cornered outside the Kanama slums by the Homunculi Pride and Gluttony, Fu reappears with Lan Fan to back them up, revealing that they had managed to find Edward in the dark by following the unique presence given off by Gluttony and Greed. Even without enough light to see, Fu can sense the presence of Pride deeper in the forest and even of Van Hohenheim idling down in Kanama, though Edward assures him that his father is a non-issue in this battle. Realizing that the Xingese warriors use grenades in their combat, Edward asks Fu to lead him to where Heinkel and Pride are fighting and concocts a plan to cripple the shadowy Homunculus with some of the old man's flashbang grenades. While Pride redoubles his efforts to kill them, Fu takes care of the wounded Heinkel, leading him away from the fight and administering first aid with the help of the freshly arrived Van Hohenheim and the newly awakened Alphonse. Fu explains the situation to Van and Al, revealing that Pride had eaten Gluttony and gained new strength, started a fire in the forest that fuels his shadow powers and that their original flashbang strategy will no longer work since all the flashbang grenades have been used up. After Van traps Pride, Fu joins back up with Lan Fan and Ling, though he is incensed to find that it is Greed controlling the Prince's body now. However, Fu finds that Greed appears to have the same unfortunate habit as Ling, as he disappears the moment all eyes are no longer on him.
When the morning comes, Fu heads out into Central City alone to gather information on the goings-on in the city as well as try to pick up Greed's trail, as he is the only one among the group who can move around freely without being recognized by the enemy. He surveys the damage brought on by Colonel Mustang's coup attempt and remarks that the big plan is moving along much more quickly than expected. He overhears reports that there is a fight going on inside Central Command and wonders what Greed is up to in Prince Ling's body. Though Fu can usually track the Homunculi by their many-souled presence, he remarks that he cannot pinpoint Greed's location because it is being masked by a tremendous "Qi" coming from underground - the presence that belongs to none other than Father. Fu then wonders why this monstrous presence feels much larger than it did the day before.
In Chapter 98, while Greed and Wrath are fighting in front of the Central Command gate, Fu arrives on the scene, quickly dispatching a squad of Central troops with smoke grenades and his sword before rushing to the site of the Homunculi's battle. With his masterful acrobatics and quick swordplay, Fu manages to crack one of the army knives Bradley is using in place of his sword. He greets Greed sourly and comments that he was finally able to pin down the monster's foul Qi emanating from the prince's body, then inquires as to the identity of this strange man who remains alive despite Greed's best efforts. When Greed responds that the man before them is King Bradley, Fu is at first shocked and then visibly pleased that he finally has the chance to lay eyes on the "Bradley" everyone has been talking about. But his smirk changes quickly to a visage of righteous fury when he remarks that this is the man who severed his precious granddaughter's arm.
Greed and Fu attack Wrath simultaneously, but are held at bay by the Führer's twin daggers and superhuman close combat proficiency. While pinning Greed to the ground with one dagger, Wrath manages to skillfully disarm Fu with the other, knocking the old man's sword into the air, before hurling the army knife at Fu like a dart. Fu catches the dagger and Wrath catches the old man's sword. Having effectively switched weapons, the two continue their fight but Wrath - now armed with his favorite type of weapon - gains the upper hand, taking advantage of the crack that Fu had already put in the dagger to slice it in two, wounding Fu lightly in the forehead in the process. Fu quickly wipes the blood from his eyes, but finds that Wrath has closed the gap between them and is moving in for the kill. Bradley commends Fu for his exceptional combat skill despite his advanced age and strikes, slashing Fu across the body and sending him sprawling.
Fortunately, Ling retakes his body and intervenes before Wrath can strike a killing blow, moving the incapacitated Fu out of danger's reach. Fu demands that the prince leave him behind, but Ling refuses, saying that doing so would be the kind of thing King Bradley would do and that such actions are unworthy of the kind of leader he wants to be. Fu attempts to lecture the prince, but begins coughing up blood in the process, prompting Ling to order Fu to rest. Fu agrees to rest with a knowing smile on his face and strikes Ling in the back of the head, knocking him out momentarily, at which point Greed retakes the body. Fu orders Greed to harden his carbon armor to protect the prince and gets quickly to his feet as Bradley charges in. Fu tells the young prince to become a just king and states that he is going now to take his eternal rest. Fu tears open his shirt to reveal four grenades strapped to his stomach. He pulls the ignition pin on all four and leaps at Bradley, proclaiming that he and the Führer will be going to hell together.
Unfortunately, Wrath has other plans. He cuts off all four fuses with a single swing of Fu's sword, disabling all the grenades at once and, in the process, slicing the old man deep across the abdomen. Fu apologizes feebly to Prince Ling for his disgrace at not even being able to wound Bradley with a suicide attack. However, at that moment, Captain Buccaneer intervenes, pulling from his abdomen Wrath's trapped sword and rushing behind Fu, where the Führer's Ultimate Eye has a blind spot. Buccaneer thrusts the sword through Fu's limp body, managing to impale King Bradley through the stomach as he does. The Captain promises Fu that the two of them will walk Bradley down the path to hell together and Fu thanks him with his final breath.
At the end of the series, Ling and Lan Fan take Fu's body back to Xing, full of respect for his sacrifice.
- Fu's mask has the Yang half of the Yin-Yang symbol marked on the forehead. The Yin half is on Lan Fan's mask.
- Fu's final appearance (where Ling and Lan Fan both take him back to Xing) is cut from the 2009 anime. No reason is given as to why, but many speculate that Nana Mizuki was too busy to record any of Lan Fan's lines (hence she had no lines in the final episode) and it was Lan Fan who said: "Let's go home now, Grandfather." The anime does however, add a line by Ling who states they are heading home quickly so they could bury Fu.
- Fu is included putting his left hand in the group picture on the cover of Chapter 107.
- Fu bears a significant resemblance to Old Snake from the video game Metal Gear Solid 4. This is likely unintentional.