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Transmutation circle

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Transmutation circles are a fictional element of the manga and anime series Fullmetal Alchemist. They are used for alchemy, and in most cases, are required in order to perform a transmutation. The character Wikipedia:Roy Mustang utilises gloves made of a fictional material called ignition cloth (some people like to compare it and refer it to another fictional cloth called pyrodex cloth) to create a spark when he snaps his fingers; by having a circle drawn on the glove he is able to use alchemy to increase the oxygen concentration in the air and create flames, or even an explosion. In many cases, transmutation circles that are on gloves, or tattooed on hands, require the alchemist to do something in order to initiate the reaction, while people with alchemically-adorned bracelets, pendants, or gauntlets may perform any of a number of different movements, depending on the article itself and the alchemy circle placed on the article. However Edward Elric, the main character, has the ability to do alchemy without any transmutation circles. He simply has to clap his hands to initiate the effect. There are other people who can do alchemy the same way. Each of them has seen "The Gate" which is said to hold all the truths of the universe and alchemy alike.

Typically, in accordance with equivalent exchange, the alchemist puts the matter which he wants to transmute in front of, or inside the circle, or simply draws the circle where the transmutation is to take place.

Energy for transmutations Edit

In the anime series only, a plot point is made of the source for the energy for alchemic transmutations. Although a transmutation circle acts as a catalyst, it is not a source of energy, so the energy required to perform the transmutation must come from elsewhere. Although some of the energy used to start the alchemical reaction is produced by the alchemist himself, it is revealed later in the anime series that the alchemist and the transmutation circle alone cannot account for all of the energy used during a transmutation, and that the energy must come from elsewhere. On the other side of "The Gate" there lies a parallel universe, which is devoid of alchemy, and which represents our own world during World War I during the series. But during the movie it takes place just before World War II during the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 and the economic collapse after WWI (one character mentions how Germany's Deutsche Mark isn't worth anything). When people die in this parallel world, their souls travel through The Gate and supply the energy used in alchemy to deconstruct and rebuild matter in Edward Elric's world. The vast number of people dying during the war provided an abundance of energy for Alchemy. An argument people may have, however, is that if there is a lack of deaths on the other side of the gate, and the alchemic energy source is depleted, what happens to the alchemy, etc. In the original manga, on the other hand, Renkinjutsu and Rentanjutsu (separate forms of alchemy) each have their own sources of energy related to the vast number of human souls underneath the earth that Father seemingly is responsible for. The "parallel universe" of the anime does not exist in any form in the original manga. Edward Elric is able to perform a transmutation without drawing a transmutation circle. Instead, he makes a complete "circle" when he claps his hands together. He is able to do this because, in his attempts to resurrect his mother, he saw the inside of "The Gate," which contains knowledge of everything, including the greatest secrets of alchemy. Other characters who have seen The Gate possess the ability to use alchemy without a transmutation circle, include Izumi Curtis, Scar's Brother, Dante, Roy Mustang (although he was forced by Pride), and Hohenheim. Also in the manga, Alphonse saw the Gate but lost his memories of it for a while; only when he remembered the experience did he gain this ability. In the manga, Father can use alchemy without any movement at all, and Hohenheim can also perform alchemy without a circle, albeit for a much different reason than in the anime.

Inscriptions Edit

Some transmutation circles seen in the series have not only lines and alchemical symbols, but text written on them, as well. For example, the complex human transmutation array that is pictured, and displayed on all of Funimation's series DVDs, bears the English inscription:

The peacock's feathers in bright colors, the rainbow in the sky above,
The spotted panther, the green lion, the crow and beak, blue as lead,
These shall appear before you in perfect white,
Pale white and black with false citrine, imperfect white and red,
After the perfect white follows the grey,
And after these shall appear the substance

The excerpt is taken from 15th century alchemist George Ripley's The Compound of Alchymy (also known as the Twelve Gates).[1]

Something similar can also be found written on the parchment on which Edward was given his "Fullmetal" title. It is possible that this inscription is included in all such documents. It reads as follows...

Pale white and black with false citrine, imperfect white and red,
The peacock's feathers in bright colours, the rainbow in the sky above,
The spotted panther, the green lion, the crows beak blue as lead,
These shall appear before you in perfect white, after the perfect white follows the grey,
And after these shall appear the substance.

Fragments of this repeat over and over as you go along the circle.

This can be translated into an alchemical procedure indicating different reactions occurring before the final transmutation is completed.

It is interesting to note that in the movie Conqueror of Shamballa, in the scene where Eckhart places her hand on Serpent-Envy, she recites the first three lines of the second verse in German.

In the manga, Riza Hawkeye has a tattoo of a transmutation circle with the inscription "Libera Me, Domine", possibly from a Latin requiem of the same name. The entire requiem can be taken as foreshadowing to the climax of the series, as it contains references to God, fire (Roy), judgement, and Wrath. The full explanation can be read in her main article.

Transmutation circles in popular culture Edit

See also Edit

Wikipedia:Template:Fullmetal Alchemist

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. Ripley's Recapituation of the Twelve Gates, retrieved February 21, 2007.

pt:Círculo de Transmutação

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