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Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was firstly published in Shonen anthology magazine from 2001 to 2010. In addition, it has two anime adaptations with two subsequent movies.
The first anime, Fullmetal Alchemist, aired in 2003, while another remake titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in 2009. The manga and the animes were received well from the audiences, with a vast and loyal fan following to date.
Fullmetal Alchemist is about the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, and their path to redemption with the science of Alchemy lying at its core. It is set in the 20th-century industrial/post-WWII era and depicts the war, its effects, and chaos.
It’s a dark tragedy with aspects like brotherhood, friendship, love, revenge, political greed, sacrifice, power, abuses, conflict, wreckage, justice, etc. It has outstanding historical and political references. The incredible and proportional mix of action, tragedy, drama, and comedy makes it stand out among the rest.
It has everything for everyone, whether it’s enthralling action sequences, great attention to detail, realistic character portrayal and character development, unpredictable plot twist, or excellent comedic timing.
One of the most appealing things about this series is how the characters are developed and how every character serves a purpose, be it a hero or a villain. The series is not only about the winning, the winners, and the loved ones; it’s about those too who lose, fail, and are despised.
One such character is Shou Tucker, a Sewing-Life Alchemist, a single father, and the most hated man in the world of manga. Before we explore this despicable character of Shou Tucker, let us recall what happened in the series to refresh your memory.
Introduction of Shou Tucker in the Fullmetal Alchemist Series
The character of Shou Tucker was introduced at almost the start of the series. His appearance was first noted in Chapter 5, Volume # 1 of the manga and Episode 4 of the Anime serialization. After Ed became a State Alchemist, both the brothers set out to look for a mythical Philosopher Stone. It was believed that The Philosopher Stone had immense power to attain anything of desire.
Colonel Roy Mustang referred Shou Tucker, a bio-alchemist, to Edward, as he believed he might have a clue about the way to get their bodies back. Tucker was a State Alchemist who had gained notoriety for transmuting a Chimera to understand human language. Ed and Alphonse were devastated after learning what he did to his wife and daughter (transmuting them into chimeras).
Shou Tucker was a devil disguised as a man. He was once a famed Alchemist but turned into a psychopath due to his obsession with experimentation and fame. His act led Ed and Alphonse to question the use of Alchemy, the destruction it could cause, and how helpless they were.
Characters That Were Closely Related To Shou Tucker
Sometimes, to understand a character, one needs to look at his relationship with others and how they impacted him and his acts. To understand Shou’s evilness, let’s take a look at the characters who encountered him and faced his diabolicalness.
Nina Tucker was Shou Tucker’s 5-year-old daughter. She was a lovely young girl with deep blue eyes and long brown hair tied in two pigtail braids, who lived with her father and her pet dog, Alexander. Her father had told her that her mother left them because he was poor. Although she missed her, she loved her father enough to never complain about it.
Nina was a seemingly cheerful, lively, and excitable girl who loved playing with Alexander. She adored her father and was always seen cheering him up, motivating him, and supporting him. Nina was the one who never stopped believing in him and had put great faith in him.
She even told Shou that she and Alexander would beat up the people of high-ranks if they failed him in the State Alchemist assessment. Who would have thought that her faith in him would lead him to do such a disastrous act?
Nina shared a beautiful bond with Ed and Alphonse. She called Al “Big-big brother” and Ed as “Little-big brother, surprisingly not making Ed angry for being called little. Nina always welcomed them with happy faces, and they were her playmates.
Ed and Alphonse were the ones with whom she shared that she often felt lonely as her father was always busy at work. They understood what Nina felt like as their father never paid any attention to them. So they bonded over this loneliness and grew closer.
Nina’s death was the most heart-wrenching scene in the history of manga. It shattered Ed and Alphonse to the core, and they were haunted by her nightmares. They realized how helpless and puny humans they were, incapable of saving a little girl.
Edward And Alphonse
Edward and Alphonse were the two young Alchemist brothers. They were after the Philosopher stone to restore their bodies to normal. After their failed endeavor in the town of Reole, they had returned to the Central.
They discussed with Roy the incident of Cornello using a fake Philosopher stone to manipulate his people and how even the faux stone had as much power as to create a Chimera. Upon realizing their interest in Biological Alchemy, Roy referred them to a specialist in the field, Shou Tucker.
Shou welcomed them into his house and allowed them to use his laboratory and research work for the sake of their research. However, in exchange for telling him the reason for their interest in the transmutation of living organisms. Upon knowing Ed and Alphonse’s failed attempt to bring their mother back, he sympathized with them. Shou displayed great interest in Ed’s alchemy capabilities and even called him a genius.
Initially, Ed and Alphonse’s relationship with Shou was based on mutual respect and admiration. They were fascinated by his work of creating a Chimera that could understand human language.
However, when Ed realized what he did to Nina and Alexander, he was stunned and disgusted. He screamed with sorrow and anger and threw several punches at him with his automail arm, nearly killing him.
Mrs. Tucker was the wife of Shou Tucker. She did not appear in the manga. However, Shou referred to an estranged wife who had left her husband because of poverty. Shou told Ed and Alphonse that they used to argue frequently and that she abandoned him and his daughter for the sake of comfort and freedom.
But the reality was far from it. As the story progressed, Ed learned that his wife left them the same year when he became a State Alchemist. He later realized that he had used his wife as an unwilling human sacrifice and turned her into a Chimera. However, for this clandestine discovery, he was promoted to State Alchemist.
Mortified by her husband’s actions and constantly fraught with the physical distress of having been mutated by alchemy, the Chimera kept on saying, “I want to die.” Finally, it refused food, thus dying of its own accord shortly afterward.
Shou Tucker, The Abhorred Sewing-Life Alchemist
Shou is a middle-aged, paled-skinned man with dark ocean blue eyes. He has average height and lean physique, lacking muscular strength. He is seen wearing round silver-lined spectacles. He has a receding hairline, leaving him with a few brown/orange-tinted hairs over his head and slight stubble.
He wears a light green button-down and open-collared shirt, a black T-shirt underneath, grey jeans, and black shoes. Shou maintains a mildly content and bland expression around other people. However, in private, he is often more downcast and anxious.
Shou Tucker was a Sewing-Life Alchemist specializing in the field of Bio-Alchemy. He was notorious for creating Chimeras that could understand and speak human language. His successful disguised experimentation had led him to earn the title of the State Alchemist.
A Heartless Slayer
The State Alchemists had to pass a yearly assessment to keep their title, in which they showed their advancement in research. Shou failed to pass last year, so he was working hard to do it or would have to lose his title.
He became so obsessed with retaining his title and privileges that he used his 5-year-old daughter Nina and a family dog, Alexander, as a sacrifice to create the Chimera. He fused their bodies, resulting in a beast-like creature that had the qualities of both human and a dog. It had brown hair like Nina’s and peach-colored skin and could speak.
An Emotionless Aficionado
Shou initially appeared to be a soft-spoken, polite introvert who did not like talking much and was not used to visitors. However, he welcomed the Elric brothers, and he was even willing to allow the Elric brothers to study his research.
Shou seemed humble and down-to-earth and believed that his work was insufficient and needed improvement. He did not boast about people calling him the “authority” on Chimeras.
So-called Doting Father
Shou appeared to be a doting and caring father who was protective of his daughter. He told Ed that he was a single parent whose wife had left him two years ago due to his financial conditions. He could not afford to lose the title as he wanted to provide a good life for his daughter.
Ed was impressed by his calm persona, hospitality, dedication, and humbleness. However, this would be far from reality as the story progressed. His apparent humble and quiet personality had underlying creepiness, and he always talked in inquisitive tones. His facial expressions seemed plain at one glance, but they were not that simple. It appeared as if something suspicious, almost sinister, was going on in the back of his mind.
A Delusional Egomaniac
Shou was a desperate and delusional person. His mind had blurred the difference between right and wrong. He believed that whatever he was doing was for scientific advancement, and he was ready to go to any lengths for it.
Shou’s obsession with being a State Alchemist and fame had led him to insanity. He was devoid of any conscience. He was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to achieve his aim. He became so engrossed in his work that he thought that what he was doing was for the best and only way forward. He sacrificed the most beautiful thing he had, his daughter. His display of love and affection for his daughter was a hoax. He was a cunning man who had no sense of compassion or remorse.
A Man Of Misery
Shou came from poverty. He became insecure and was desperate to have a financially stable and luxurious life. He did not want to go back to what he was, and his desperation led him to cross the lines of morality. Shou was a selfish man who lacked any kind of attachment with his daughter or his wife or any human relationship.
A Manipulative Menace
He was manipulative as he made his wife and daughter believe that he loved them and cared for them. Nina used to worry about his father being so busy and tense due to his work. And he always replied that he was doing it for her. Shou even manipulated Nina into believing that her mother had left her due to poverty. He was so evil that he created a sense of hatred in the heart of a 5-year-old child for her mother.
A Devil Disguised As A Man
He lacked empathy and regard for human life. Nevertheless, he did not think using human life as an experiment was wrong and inhumane. On the contrary, he believed that every scientist in his position of financial restraint would have done the same.
What made him a devil was that he could not differentiate between his daughter and random strangers. For him, sacrificing his wife and daughter did not make a difference as long as his experiment was successful. Not that using strangers as a sacrifice made anyone more humane, but using one’s daughter showed the levels of insanity he could cross. He even said that animal experimentation yields limited results, so humans’ use is justifiable.
A Desperate Sociopath
Shou depicted what the want for glory could make a man do. He was the worst of the humans. Unlike Edward and everyone else who had learned from their mistake and regretted some specific actions they took, Shou had no remorse for his actions.
He believed that human nature was selfish, and he embraced it with his power. He thought that his selfishness could help others as a result, as humans could not develop without the sacrifices of the chosen few. Therefore, those who had the power should have the right to use(exploit) it to help themselves and create progress.
Shou’s Confrontation With Edward
When Ed realized that the Chimera standing right before him was created using Nina and Alexander, he was stunned. He could not believe it and could not comprehend that a man could go to such extremes just to achieve his aim. The pure agony and shock in his eyes were beyond description.
He confronted Shou, to which he replied that Ed must understand that advances in history were the products of experiments on humans, as he was a scientist himself. Ed screamed at him that toying with life could never be forgiven.
Shou reminded him that he had done this too by performing the human transmutation and that Ed was just like him, and he did it just because he could. Sudden anguish and horror appeared in Ed’s eyes as he yelled that they were not similar. Ed started beating him madly, nearly killing him but was stopped by Alphonse.
Roy told Ed that there was not much difference between where they (the State Alchemists) stood and what Tucker did. They both take lives, just for different reasons, which did not make any of it justifiable. But there would be times when he had to soil his hands as he chose this path for himself.
The loss of a beautiful and adorable child, Nina, had taken Ed and Alphonse aback. They realized how puny and powerless humans they were and that their alchemy abilities were of no use as they could not even save a little girl.
Ed was haunted by nightmares involving Nina and became emotionally compromised whenever reminded of her. In the end, Alphonse even cited Nina as a constant point of motivation for him and his brother. According to him, she made him realize on their journey to discover new ways to help people by using Alchemy rather than harming them.
Death Of Shou Tucker
On the killing spree of State Alchemists, Scar, a vigilante, defied the security at Shou’s house. He was put under house arrest and would have been subjected to Court Martial later for his actions. Scar did not flinch and killed him using destructive alchemy.
While killing him, Scar said that the Alchemists who go against God’s path shall perish. After that, he went to the poor mutated Nina, sympathizing that she could never be brought back to life. So, he killed her, believing it to be an act of mercy.
Why I Hate Shou Tucker!
An Immoral Fanatic
On the surface level, Shou Tucker was a detestable character for his horrible actions, and people despised him. But I also hated him for what he embodied. Shou gave the impression of a struggling Alchemist but a doting father and kind father.
Initially, he was someone who could be trusted, someone whom I could feel empathy for, whom I wanted to succeed. But when I saw what could allow him to grow, I hated him for it, as it violated all the moral principles. He was different. He believed that he had the right to do anything to create progress and was authorized to do things for the country’s sake. His sense of entitlement and lack of conscience was abhorring.
An Inhumane Narcissist
He believed that he was one of the pioneers who could develop humanity, making him entitled to cross any boundary. He thought he was the chosen one gifted with alchemy and superior powers. He had superiority as well as a savior complex.
What others would think of as a cruel act, he viewed it as necessary for helping humanity. But more importantly, for helping him and allowing himself in masking his selfishness. I hated his guts and his ability to trick people into believing in his goodness, and that’s what made him the perfect villain.
A Veiled Maniac
Many people thought that he had gone mad, that he was a psychopath who was not aware of the consequences his experiment would bring. But I believe it was the opposite of that. He knew it was wrong, he knew people would hate him for it, yet he did it.
He challenged and mocked the conscience of people (State Alchemists) who also killed humans but believed it to be correct and in the name of the greater good. He was a slap on the face of people who thought that Alchemy was all gold and roses, and it would not bring its curses with it. He was the curse that Alchemy holds. He was dangerously intelligent and did not let morality stand in his way of glory.
Shou was made to be hated, not just for what he did to Nina and his wife, but for what he represented. He was loathed as he also represented the people and the part of mankind that he served as a physical manifestation of. He was a pure embodiment of a devil, a Satan himself.
Trivia And Fun Facts!
Did you notice that Shou Tucker was the only character shown going to Hell?
Well, it might surprise you, but anytime a character died in Fullmetal Alchemist, Hiromu Arakawa would draw a picture of them ascending to heaven as angels. Except for Sho tucker, the only one that went straight to Hell (as shown in the “In Memoriam” omake). Even the disrelished villains like Envy, Solf J. Kimblee, and Barry the Chopper made it to heaven, but Shou did not. It showed how widely-hated character he was, even by the writer herself.
Do you know Shou’s character was the only one that got killed in the manga but kept alive in the 2003 anime?
Several other characters who survived in the manga storyline were killed off in the 2003 anime. Shou Tucker was an exception to that. He got killed in the manga, but in 2003 anime, he was kept alive and sent to Laboratory no. 5 as a researcher and test subject. He worked non-stop to try and bring Nina back in Chimera form, failing every time.
Do you know a song exists as a tribute to Nina Tucker’s character?
Dana Claire Simpson is best known for the syndicated comic Pheobe and Her Unicorn. Alongside these, she has the long-running webcomic Ozy and Millie as well. She wrote a song, “Still Nina,” to pay tribute to Nina’s character, and it was released on May 18, 2005, as part of her album Shiver.
Do you know that Shou Tucker tried to revive Nina back to life in the 2003 anime version?
Tucker made several attempts to revive Nina by using her remains to clone her body and filter out Alexander’s DNA contamination.
But he could not call back Nina’s soul or even create a new soul for her. He could only make a lifeless Nina doll, even after using the Philosopher’s Stone contained within Alphonse’s armor. Nonetheless. Tucker continued to find a way of reviving Nina. Her lifeless doll form was last seen in his arms while making sketchy blueprints on a wall.
Do you know Ed almost resigned from his position as State Alchemist after Nina’s death?
Ed, devastated upon knowing Nina’s fate, asked Colonel Roy Mustang to let him pursue the serial killer. He believed the serial killer had killed Nina the night she was transmuted instead of overseeing Shou Tucker’s work. Mustang refused, and Ed claimed to find the killer without permission. Of course, he had to resign as a State Alchemist, and he did so by leaving the watch with Mustang.
Question: Who killed Shou Tucker?
Answer: Scar, a vigilante, on a killing spree of State Alchemists to avenge the deaths of Ishvalan people, killed Shou and Nina’s Chimera. After discovering his monstrous act, he killed Shou in his house, confined and under house arrest.
Question: Who sponsored/commanded Shou Tucker?
Answer: Tucker was under the command of Brigadier General Basque Grand in Central. He continually pressured his work and asked him to perform viz-a-viz high standards set by his first Chimera. He was the one who warned him that his State Alchemist certification would be taken away if he did not pass the yearly assessment.
Question: What creature did Nina turn into?
Answer: Using Alchemy, Nina was fused with the family dog, Alexander, by her father, Shou Tucker. She inhabited the body of a dog-like beast. This creature had a brown mane the same color as Nina’s original hair, and it could speak. Alexander was a breed of dog known as the Great Pyrenees. After the Chimera was fused, Alexander lost his fluffy white appearance for a peach-skinned hybrid creature with a lot of hair growing out of its back.
Question: What were the words that Nina’s Chimera used to murmur?
Answer: When Shou showed his final product, i.e., a Chimera that could speak human language, to Ed and Alphonse, the first word it said was “Edward” and “Big Brother.” Ed suddenly remembered how these were the exact words Nina used to say all the time. This realization led him to the catastrophic truth of Nina’s fate.
Question: What was the fate of Shou’s first Chimera?
Answer: It was revealed later that Shou used his wife as a sacrifice to create a Chimera that could understand human language. This experiment led him to the status of State Alchemist. But unfortunately, the Chimera that he created kept saying, “I want to die,” refusing to eat any food, thus dying shortly after its creation.
Shou Tucker Character Guide: Final Thoughts
Shou Tucker, a desperate and selfish State Alchemist, was undoubtedly among the most hated men in the world of manga. He was someone who displayed the darker aspects and curses of Alchemy and how it had made many good men lose their path.
Shou was someone who could not differentiate between right and wrong, who could not understand the importance human relationship holds. He believed that scientific experimentation and morality were not to be mixed, and everything was allowed in the name of scientific advancement. He went to the extent of using his daughter and wife as sacrifices to retain his title of State Alchemist.
Suppose a villain is hated by everyone and incites anger among the readers. In that case, he served his purpose and was written to perfection. Shou’s character perfectly fits in this definition. He was an evil that people could not forget and forgive, and his popularity was proof of that.
The underlined creepiness in his dialogues, his suspicious appearance, and his disturbingly calm personality were what made him stand out. He was not a regular enemy in the series as he did not hold any superpowers. He was an ordinary person who had lost his way and conscience to Alchemy.
He was an absolute genius character. It was terrific how Arakawa wrote such a well-written and profound antagonist who would have a powerful and lasting effect on the series’ themes. Shou will always be remembered as one of the worst fathers and ironically one of the best villains in the world of manga.