Friday, May 29, 2009

Transmutation Circles

Transmutation Circle

From Full Metal Alchemist

Transmutation circle on Roy Mustang's gloves
Simple Transmutation circle
A Human Transmutation circle

Transmutation circles are the basis of all alchemy, the circle works by providing a medium with which the alchemist can circulate energy between the alchemical source and their body, this allows for alchemy. In the Anime the source for alchemy is the movement of souls through the gate. In the manga amestrian alchemy is thought to originate from the earths natural tectonics but may in fact be the homunculus known as "Father". In the Eastern country of Ling the alchemy source is the flow of life. Alchemists who have seen the gate and know the truth can use alchemy without a circle by using their body to create one (examples include Edward Elric clapping his hands and wrath in the anime using his right arm and left leg. The ancient civilization of Xerxes was destroyed when a giant transmutation circle was used to transmute the souls of its slaughtered inhabitants into the Philosopher's Stone. Recent events in the manga may mean Amestris is destined to share the same fate.

Transmutation circles can be personalized for different purposes or for easier transmutation. An example of this is the transmutation circle on Roy Mustang's glove which allows him greater control over fire but limits him to using fire. Another example is the 'Crimson alchemist' Kimbley whose hands are tattooed with circle specifically designed for transmuting material into

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