Even Edward Elric, an alchemic genius and the youngest person ever to be named a State Alchemist, had to comply with the laws of Equivalent Exchange. When his mother died due to illness, Ed swore that he and his younger brother, Alphonse, would bring her back to life with Alchemy. Not realizing the immeasurable price of a human soul, when Ed and Al performed the forbidden human transmutation, it backfired, causing Ed to lose part of his left leg while Al lost his entire body. Desperate to get his brother back, Ed sacrificed his arm to retrieve Al’s soul and bind it to a suit of armor. Placing the failure and loss of the states of their bodies on his shoulders, Ed received surgery for automail limbs and vowed to restore their bodies to their original forms through the only alchemic legend known to man: the Philosopher’s Stone.
Character: Edward Elric
Series: “Fullmetal Alchemist” / 鋼の錬金術師 (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi)
Creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Version: Default Red Coat
Difficulty Level: 55%
Photographer: Lostdreamz, Zhanyi Jiang Photography
Completed: Summer 2012
Debut Date: July 28th, 2012
"Stand up and walk. Keep moving forward. You've got two good legs. So get up and use them."
With Ed, I was very determined to create an outfit that was constructed with a personally-crafted, detail-oriented, and focused aesthetic. As Ed was a very popular character at the time, I didn’t want him to be a ‘cookie cutter’ in appearance. So I started completely from scratch with Ed. I sewed his jacket, pants, shirt, and cloak based off of patterns that I found and modified. As I did so, I choose fabrics with a similar appearance to that of Ed’s in the manga and anime. Though because I was going to wear this in the summer, I choose slightly less insulating materials. I was really happy though because I was lucky enough to find materials that held similar weights and shines that were needed to pull off Ed’s attire’s appearance in the anime.
Next was Ed’s wig. Possibly the one time I ordered something off of Ebay for the first time and got lucky on my first go. (Please remember this was before the big retailers started coming out of the cracks). Recreating Ed’s braid was easy enough. After, I decided to go for a fluffy arrangement of Ed’s bangs along with one slightly out of place piece to mimic his signature front hair style.
Following up on the wig was the spear. After making Frau’s scythe, I had a lot more confidence going into Home Depot and finding supplies and materials that I wanted to use for the spear. Specifically, I stuck to wood, clay, and epoxy. After I glued, cut, and sanded everything, I added the finishing touches with paint and a few gems.
Last, but perhaps the most important element was Ed’s arm. I utilized some pattern pieces I found online to recreate and cut separate sections for each part of the limb and fingers out of a variety of different materials. Each was based on what I thought would work best for that area of the arm. Lots of hot glue, needles, hot glue, patience, hot glue, spray paint, and hot glue later, and the arm was done. Which was good because I needed new fingers after all of that hot glue! ^^;
Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of Ed’s outfit. It was definitely one of my best to date.
"A lesson without pain is meaningless. That's because no one can gain without sacrificing something. But by enduring that pain and overcoming it, you shall obtain a powerful, unmatched heart. A Fullmetal Heart."
Ed was a special costume for me. “Fullmetal Alchemist” itself was the first manga I ever read. I remember reading it on a car ride home from camp, which caused me to feel carsick. But I didn’t care. I was hooked. In fact, my first cosplay was Riza Hawkeye, also from the same series. While I always had the desire to “go back” to Fullmetal Alchemist, I didn’t have any desire to make a military uniform. Nor did I really have the confidence to pull off any other characters, particularly Ed. While I loved Ed, I also had a great respect for him. So I didn’t want to do him or the series a disrespect by making something subpar to his excellence.
That’s where Lostdreamz came into the picture and asked me to cosplay Ed.
With her encouragement, confidence, and request, I set out to take on the challenge. Not only did I end up making Ed’s clothes, but his spear and automail as well. The automail in particular was a good test of patience, but a rewarding one. After the process, I felt that I had learned not only skills. But I had also gained a greater amount of respect for the art and craft of cosplay. It really does hold true, everything comes with an equivalent exchange, and cosplay is no exception.