Sloth (Japanese:スロウス, Surōsu) was a Homunculus initially created by the series' protagonists Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric in an attempt to transmute their deceased mother Trisha Elric back to life at the beginning of the anime. She is a character exclusive to the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime series, a vastly different character from the original manga version of Sloth.
The organic mass that was formed from the failed debacle was fed Red Stones by Dante, thus giving Sloth the appearance of the late Trisha. Sloth's unique ability as a Homunculus is to alter her body into pure water, which she uses as a means of transportation, espionage, and also killing by drowning her victims. She is also seemingly able to convert her full-length purple dress into water, but no other clothing, as her secretary's uniform tears when she encounters the Elrics underground. Her Ouroboros tattoo is located above the area where her heart would be. She is named for the sin of sloth, and, though not lazy like her true manga/2009 series counterpart, she is emotionless and apathetic, another reading of the sin. However, since sloth may also indicate apathy, Sloth's name may have been given due to her seeming indifference to the lives of others, though is particular to her, because Sloth is noticeably the calmest Homunculus, or it could be due to the fact that water flows with the path of least resistance. Either way, she rarely displays any intense emotion, though she often adopts a snide and patronizing manner, such as when introduced to Greed.
Soon after her creation, Sloth took on a second alias "Juliet Douglas," and played the role of secretary to Führer King Bradley, who is, in reality, the Homunculus Pride. Although she is the youngest Homunculus, Sloth is also seemingly one of the highest-ranked and is shown giving orders to Envy. "Juliet Douglas" was allegedly the name of a soldier who sparked the war in Ishval by accidentally shooting an Ishvalan child. She was listed as being deceased, but her name still appears on the list of those in active duty of the military. This is noticed by Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes, who, hoping to uncover the Homunculi, asks Sloth, in her disguise, to get into contact with Dr. Tim Marcoh. Sloth later accompanies Hughes to a hotel, where she says Doctor Marcoh is waiting for him. Hughes begins to grill her, asking whether she really is Douglas or whether she just took her place. Sloth dismisses the accusations, but leads him to a room where she has arranged a rendezvous with Lust and Envy. After Lust is impaled in the forehead by a thrown knife, she and Sloth go after Hughes, but Envy, disguised as 2nd Lt. Maria Ross and then as Hughes' wife, has already killed him. Sloth later assisted Envy in recruiting Wrath to their side before Greed could and helps him escape pursuit from the Elric brothers by hiding Wrath in her watery body.
Later while investigating Hughes' murder, Sheska comes across the name "Juliet Douglas" many times, and reveals to the Elrics' friend Winry Rockbell a series of conflicting reports, including the fact that Douglas only looks about thirty years old, but should be in her fifties. The two young women break into the Central Military HQ telephone network hub, and connect to the Führer's office, hoping to listen in on Douglas' phone calls. They are in luck; Envy calls Sloth from an insecure line to complain that he is getting bored of waiting for the Elrics to make a move. Without giving too much away, Sloth reprimands him, but quickly ends the call, having heard the interference. She makes her way to Winry and Sheska, intending to kill them. Winry recognizes her as bearing the same appearance as the Elrics' mother Trisha, before being saved in the nick of time by Ross.
Sloth later reveals herself to the Elric brothers, who are horrified by her. Sloth takes full advantage
of her resemblance to their mother, frequently mocking them by acting like Trisha and using their hesitation as a chance to attack them. Although killing the Elrics is an objective of the Homunculi at this time, Sloth has her own personal reasons to kill them. She reveals later in the series that in fact, she had been suffering memories of Trisha and her life with her sons. Sloth does not wish to believe that she bears any relation to Trisha, and feels that, if she kills the Elrics, she can prove this to herself. She also remembers Hohenheim, whom she immobilizes with her liquid body, giving Dante the opportunity to banish Hohenheim to the other side of The Gate. Sloth's motivations also lie in the hope that her master, Dante, will eventually make her human. She tells Lust that this is the ultimate goal of every homunculus and to this end, she follows Dante without complaint. She has been shown not to be completely devoid of human feelings, and replaces Edward and Alphonse with Wrath, as her child, which is frowned upon by Dante. Unfortunately for Wrath, it appears that Sloth never actually truly cared for him, for her last words to him were calling him a fool. Though Wrath does not take notice to this, and begged for Dante to bring her back to life through Alphonse, who became a living Philosopher's Stone.
Sloth's final appearance in the anime is during a battle with the Elrics at an abandoned warehouse, after she, along with Lust and Wrath, is sent to capture them. Encountering Shou Tucker, Sloth coldly informs him that she no longer wishes to allow him to continue with his experiments, having witnessed the "useless chimera doll" that Tucker created. She almost succeeds in her task, having charmed Alphonse into taking her side. However, she is severely weakened by a bone of Trisha (the remains of the human on whom she is based) and is ultimately betrayed by Lust, who attacks her to prevent her from reforming her liquid body. Lust has already been through similar emotions to the ones that Sloth goes through, and recognizes that Sloth must die, as she stands in the way of the Elrics making her human. Sloth escapes Lust when Wrath shows up to attack the latter, and Sloth hides in Alphonse's armor and controls his movements, intending to return him to Dante. Edward confronts her, and she takes time to explain why she must kill both him and his brother before going on to inform him that she should hate him anyway forever for creating her. She admits that Lust was being truthful where her memories were concerned, and it is left ambiguous as to whether Sloth ever truly believed Dante's lies. In any case, at this point, she has the Elrics completely at her mercy, but unfortunately, Wrath, having killed Lust and absorbed Trisha's remains moments earlier, embraces Sloth and the remains cause her to become immobile. It is then that Sloth recognizes the moment of her defeat. Edward uses alchemy to transform her body into ethanol, and she slowly evaporates into the atmosphere. She had been lying about her feelings all along by saying motherly advice to her sons as she evaporated. She was the third Homunculus to die. Sloth later appears as a cameo in the penultimate episode of the series as another form Envy takes to torment Edward in battle.
- All of Sloth's "clothes" appear to be nothing more than an extent of her watery powers, as she is able to transform outfits along with her body at will.
- Though limited and not as prominent as Envy, Sloth has been shown to use her water composition to alter her appearance, such as hair color, eye color, and skin color.
- Given that Sloth's body seems to be completely made of water, she may have surpassed Greed in terms of resilience. This is shown in her final battle with the Elrics, where after having the red stones removed from her body, she was capable of recovering from an explosion by simply turning into liquid and reforming. Compare to Greed, who was killed by a stab wound while his Ultimate Shield was active.
- She is paired with Wrath and the two of them receive entirely opposite approaches from the alchemists who created them: Izumi ultimately embraces Wrath as the child she bore that died. However, Edward refuses to consider Sloth as his mother to the point of saying Homunculi don't have souls, even though Al does and Sloth, to her own hatred, does as well.
- Sloth's Ouroboros tattoo is located in the same spot as Izumi's flamel tattoo; above her left breast. This may symbolize how Sloth and Izumi are similar, both being Wrath's "mother".
- Sloth's resolve to kill the Elric Brothers might be viewed as a representation of her sin, as she sees killing the Elric Brothers as the easy way to deal with being tormented with Trisha Elric's memories; on a similar note, she uses her powers in a sluggish manner, often using one arm to battle while the rest of her stands in a distance.
- Although vastly different in origin and personality, both Sloths have many things in common: They are very powerful among the Homunculi (the 2003 version is the most resilient and the one with the highest body count, the Sloth in the manga is the strongest and fastest and required multiple persons to stop him); they serve similar roles, as assistants to their master; and both need to be motivated in order to use their powers to their true potential.
- This version of Sloth was one of the first Homunculi ever shown to not have black hair (Envy did have green hair in the 2003 series, but it was originally black in the manga); this was a result of her being based on Trisha, who had auburn colored hair. While Sloth's hair does become noticeably darker in her full Homunculus form than in her "Juliet Douglas" disguise, it still retains more of a brownish hue.
- Sloth's background as a human seems to be more expanded on than any other homunculus (because her human form was the mother of the series main protagonists.) Also, she is the only homunculus whose name was known in her life as a human, the other homunculi original names were never revealed.
|Lust | Gluttony | Greed | Sloth | Wrath | Envy | Pride|
|2003 Anime Exclusive|
|Wrath | Sloth | Pride|