Nina Tucker was the young daughter of Shou Tucker, the "Sewing-Life Alchemist". She is 4 years old in the 2003 Anime and 5 in the Manga and 2009 Anime.
Nina tended to refer to both Edward and Alphonse as "Big Brother" in the Manga and 2009 Anime. In the 2003 Anime, Nina referred to Alphonse as "Big-big brother" and Edward as "Little-big brother" which Ed notably did not get annoyed at, making her one of very few characters to call him "little" without making him mad.
Nina was generally a seemingly happy, playful and excitable little girl and was usually seen playing with or embracing her large pet dog, Alexander. She also loved her father very much and never stopped believing in him although this faith of hers and her bond with Alexander would indirectly lead to their demise.
Her Role in the Story
Young Nina first appears in Chapter 5, when Edward and Alphonse Elric arrive at her father's estate in East City in order to study bio-alchemy with the help of his specialized notes and resources. However, the lonely little girl quickly forms a rapport with the Elric brothers, convincing them to spend a great deal of their time each day playing with Nina and her lovable dog, Alexander. This immediately attracts Alphonse's attention but Ed gets annoyed at Al for getting distracted. The three kids (and canine) grow very close over the few days of their acquaintance after Nina confides in the boys that her loneliness is largely due to the fact that her mother had left her father two years ago, just before Shou Tucker received his State Alchemist certification, after which point his increasing immersion into his research greatly limited the amount of time he was able to spend with his young daughter. The Elrics immediately understand how Nina feels as they remember their own father paying little attention to them and declare their intention to play with Nina and Alexander and the three kids and dog spend most of the rest of the day playing together.
Unfortunately, what the little girl did not understand was that her mom had not abandoned her family as Shou had claimed, but rather had become an unwilling human test subject in the secretly deranged State Alchemist's chimerical experiments and died. As Shou's yearly assessment approaches and his license comes into jeopardy, Nina attempts to console her depressed father, but her reassurances merely inspire the man to begin his depraved practice once again. While the Elrics are away, Shou transmutes Nina and Alexander into a Human Chimera using the same method with which he transmuted his wife. As he attempts to pass Nina off as his second speech-capable chimera, however, Edward realizes the horror of what the Sewing-Life Alchemist has done when Nina speaks innocently to him from inside her new monstrous form. But while Edward loses his temper and begins to thrash Tucker, Nina intervenes sadly, understanding the situation just enough to plead piteously for her father's life. Incapable of reversing the transmutation and not knowing what else to do, Ed and Al apologize to Nina and leave, but report Shou's actions to Colonel Mustang at Eastern HQ.
The Tucker House is labeled a crime scene as Shou and Nina are held under house arrest in anticipation of Sewing-Life's incarceration and court-martial, but before his transport to Central City arrives, the Tuckers are visited by the State Alchemist-killer Scar, who assassinates Shou. Nina starts to mourn for her father in spite of what he has done to her just before Scar delivers a mercy-killing to her, having realized that her future in this form can only be one of torment and suffering. Using his Destruction Alchemy, Scar breaks down the chimera's insides, instantly ending her life before praying for her soul as he flees the scene.
Initially unaware of Nina's fate, Ed sees his late mother turn into the result of his and Al's ill-fated attempt to resurrect her and Nina and Alexander turn into a chimera in a nightmare, although the manga only features the nightmare involving his mother. The Elrics find out from Hawkeye that Nina's father would have faced decommission and court-martial for what he did to her but both have been murdered and Mustang, Maes Hughes and Armstrong are investigating the scene. The Elrics remain heavily conflicted over their inability to rescue Nina. Edward is depressed and humbled by the fact that even with all his power, saving such a sweet little girl was beyond him. While the Elrics are lamenting their failures to save their mother and Nina, Scar attacks them and they later find out that he murdered Nina and her father.
While the Elrics are investigating Tim Marcoh's research, Maes Hughes tells them the case of Nina and her father is still open only to apologize and drop the subject as it annoys Ed.
Ed continues to have further nightmares involving Nina as well as becoming emotionally compromised when reminded of her. In his final encounter with the Truth, Ed references her when the Truth asks if he's willing to become a normal human to which Ed replies that he already is a normal human, one who couldn't save one little girl. At the end of the series, Alphonse cites Nina as a constant point of motivation for his brother and himself on their path to discover new ways in which alchemy can be used to help people rather than harm them.
In the Anime, Nina first appears in the teaser trailer at the end of Episode 3 and in the following episode, her story is expanded to the extent of a scene depicting her with Alexander, her father, and the Elrics conversing indoors as night falls. Overhearing the Elrics and her father discussing his upcoming assessment, Nina promises her father she and Alexander will make sure he doesn't lose his Licence but this only inspires Tucker to transmute her and Alexander under the false pretense of promising to play with them.
In Episode 13, Alphonse remembers Nina's chimera form while in the captivity of Greed and his Human Chimeras.
In Episode 19, Alphonse uses his memories of Nina, Maes and Martel as his inspiration to defend Hawkeye from Lust and in the following episode, Ed is haunted by the memory of seeing Nina as a chimera with her father taunting him.
In Episode 22 and the following episode, the Elrics confront Scar for the lives he's taken including those of Nina and her father and prepare to finish him off to avenge her until they are intercepted by May Chang.
In Episode 26, one of the souls bulging from within Envy asks Ed 'Wanna play?', reminding him of Nina after her transmutation.
In Episode 51, one of the immortal soldiers utters "big brother" in the voice of the chimera.
In Episode 54, Envy reminds Ed of Nina's fate while confronted by Ed, Scar, Mustang, and Hawkeye.
Nina Tucker was a very cute young girl with blue eyes and long brown hair pulled back into braids which hang past her waist.
In the 2003 Anime, Nina usually wore a pink collared long-sleeved Polo shirt under a blue dress with bright yellow/gold buttons AND some clogs for shoes. She also wore a purple winter coat which had a pink collar, cuffs and hem and a white scarf underneath and briefly wore a tiara that Ed fashioned for her using his own alchemically-created flowers.
In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009 anime series), Nina can be seen wearing at least two outfits which were inspired by the manga. Her dress is a very pale shade of green with silver buttons and a pink short sleeved shirt underneath. Her shoes and socks of choice remain the same though the color is a bit different.
She also sports a red shirt with an extended flap at the back of the collar and a black line of decoration and sky-blue shorts. As such an attire is commonly associated with traditional Japanese schoolwear, one can assume she is old enough to attend school in the Manga/2009 Anime, contrary to the 2003 Anime where she appears to stay at home with her father.
Nina's eyes are also a bit deeper of a blue in Brotherhood and her hair is a darker shade of brown than in the 2003 Anime.
As a Chimera
After being alchemically fused with the family dog, Alexander, by her father, Shou Tucker, Nina inhabits the body of a dog-like beast. This creature has a brown mane the same color as Nina's original hair. This chimera has the ability to speak, as did the chimera Tucker created from his wife.
From what is known, most likely Alexander was a breed of dog known as a Great Pyrenees. After the Chimera is fused Alexander loses his white fluffy appearance for a peach skinned hybrid creature with a carpet of hair growing out of its back. It is also noted that Nina seems to be a bit unsure of her memories and her own fate after the transfusion.
Revived Nina's Appearance (2003 Anime Only)
As a clone, Nina is seen naked with her long hair being the only thing to cover her doll-like form. The first half of the body experiment, we see her body covered in hair which very much resembled how the chimera was draped in it. We also see, when Ed first discovers Tucker's work, a series of glass tanks containing the original chimera's body and then a Nina covered in brown fur. Her eyes appear to be empty and she also looks a bit older (4 years later so she'd be 8). Her hair is also very long at this point. We also see a tank full of Nina bodies, forming animal sacrifices, according to her perturbed father.
- Dana Claire Simpson (who is best known as the creator of the syndicated comic Phoebe and Her Unicorn, as well as the long-running web comic Ozy and Millie) wrote a song called "Still Nina", released in May 18, 2005 as a tribute to the character as part of her album Shiver.