"Dying of the plague; By repeating our experiments, relentlessly, despite countless failures, we finally grasped it; The Philospher's Stone." Dante.
Dante is the hidden main villainess of the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime series. She is the true leader of the Homunculi, the stepmother of Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric, and the stepmother-in-law of Winry Rockbell, who plans to extend her life forever with Philosopher's Stones. She also plans to serve as humanity's protector like a god, by preventing selfish humans from being able to use the Philosopher's Stone for their own selfish actions, ignoring the fact that she is human herself and not truly immortal at all due to her rotting body as the result of transferring between people so many times.
She was voiced by Cindee Mayfield and Monical Rial while inhabiting Lyra's body.
400 years ago, Dante and her lover Hohenheim discovered immortality by creating the Philosopher's Stone. With it they switch bodies by having their souls transferred onto different bodies over and over again. Hohenheim and Dante had a child together, who later died due to Mercury poisoning. Later Hohenheim tries to revive their dead son only to create a Homunuclus. Sometime later, Hohenheim left Dante. Left to fend for herself, Dante will go to great lengths for survival and will stop at nothing to obtain the Philosopher's Stone in order to extend her fading life.
Dante is depicted as someone with a god-complex and is highly misanthropic, looking down on humanity and believing that they are unworthy of unlocking the secrets of alchemy and the Philosopher Stone. When told by Edward that she was human just like everyone else, she coldly states "Not Anymore".
She has a strong sense of self-preservation an wants the stone to sustain her life forever, believing that the souls from those who died was "worth it". She also states the hypocrisies of equivalent exchange, claiming that those who work harder than others, never gain anything out of it.
Despite her minion's loyalty (except Greed), she has no qualms on punishing them if they were to turn against her, as she opened the gate to tear Wrath's right arm and left leg apart, and ordered Lust's capture. Even the homunculus Envy himself (whom is based on her deceased son) wasn't exempt from this, as he took no action against her for Hohenheim's "death", knowing full well the power she held over him - she also showed no sadness or mention when he was lost to Alphonse's transmutation, showing that he was nothing more than a "pawn".
She is a highly deceptive and cunning individual, tricking her minion into believing that she can make them human, in reality she wants the stone herself in order to continue cheating death, and when confronted by Hohenheim, she used Sloth as a distraction (due to her resembling his late wife), and then used Rose's baby to open "The Gate" to banish him forever.
For all of her heinous misdeeds, she does show a slight positive side, regarding her relationship with Izumi Curtis and from her moments with Hohenheim.
Role in the story
For the following years whilst being a parasitic soul, Dante gathers and creates minions who are the Homunculi and tricked them into believing that once they obtain the Philosopher's Stone for her, she will turn them all human. She had her homunculi minions keep tabs on the Elric's throughout their journey. When meeting Hohenheim for the last time, he reveals the reason for their rotting bodies accelerating (each time they go into a new one, they leave a piece of their soul in the old one, causing the current body to rot even faster) before banishing him. After kidnapping Al, Dante later explains to Ed about her past history with Hohenheim and the son they conceived, before Envy kills him. Dante then destroys everything in Gluttony's mind except the will to eat, Al had used alchemy to destroy his jaw. As Dante escapes in an elevator, during her tirade over losing the Stone, Gluttony appears and chews through the elevator floor, attempting to attack her, Dante then tries to stop him from eating her. However the elevator comes crashing down with neither of them in it.
- Edward Elric (stepson)
- Alphonse Elric (stepson)
- Winry Rockbell (stepdaughter-in-law)
- Unnamed step-grandchildren
- Dante shares many similarities with her manga and 2009 anime counterpart, Father :
- Both, at one point, had close relationships with Hohenheim dating back several centuries.
- Both "shared" the secret of eternal life with Hohenheim by means of the Philosopher's Stone.
- Both planned to turn mass numbers of people into Stones in order to become "perfect" beings.
- Both Dante and Father have the most physical transformations through the course of their respective series (excluding Envy, of course), with each of them gaining a much younger body for themselves.
- Both Dante and Father are hypocritical in that they consider humans to be lower beings, yet their respective reliance on the Philosopher's Stone render them both dependent on the human race for survival, which labels them as nothing more than "parasites".
- Both Dante and Father are intensely connected with the Seven Deadly Sins, both in terms of their relationship with the Homunculi and in the content of their actions.
- An elderly woman almost identical to Dante (her elder form) makes a brief cameo in Episode 58 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
- It is likely that Dante's knowledge and skills in alchemy far surpassed those of anyone else in the series, with the possible exception of Hohenheim—and even then, the different directions their alchemy research took them did grant them an uneven equality (meaning that even though Hohenheim is more skilled than Dante, the fields of Alchemy she studied—Homunculi and the Gate—allowed her to get one up on him).
- Dante is one of the very few individuals to have an appendage inside Gluttony's mouth that comes back unharmed.
- It is implied that that her personal sin (Gluttony) is what caused her downfall, the reason why was because her insatiable desire for "The Stones" power. She had hastily stripped Gluttony's mindset (turning him into the monstrosity, that she becomes), which ultimately backfired when he eats her.