Along with the Kakugane, it was one of the only pursuits of alchemy that ever succeded, a byproduct of research on artificial life. They are bio-alchemical creatures which sustain themselves almost exclusively by devouring human beings.
Homunculi are intelligent, similar to humans but are cannibalistic in nature and usually driven by their hunger. They gain sustanance by devouring human beings alive. This cannibalism is not a neccesary for them to function as they can obtain energy from normal human food. The desire to eat humans comes from the Homunculus's own attachments to humanity. A Homunculi that has no desire for humanity such as Papillon does not feel any cannibal urges, and has ceased feeding on humans since he killed his family, the last connection to his humanity.
Some Homunculi band together and form organizations, these organizations are normally led by their own creators who are often Homunculi themselves such as Papillon's group and the L.X.E. These organizations are sometimes allied with Familiars, humans who join the Homunculi or people who have been abducted by them. Familiars almost always the lowest ranked members, but are often used to protect the identities of the Homunculi, and function as undercover agents. The Homunculi will sometimes reward a Familiar's success by transforming them into a Humanoid Homunculi, however most of the time they will transform them into Animal/plant types or simply eat them if they have outlived their usefulness. A large army of Homunculi fought against the Alchemist Army over a hundred years ago, but were defeated. The Homunculi were even once used by the Alchemist Army in their campaign to destroy Victor Powered when he became fused with the Black Kakugane.
Core Embryo FormEdit
The original form of all Homunculi is that of a small core embryo created using cells from another life form and developing them through a series of complex alchemical processes. The embryo must stay in a special alchemic fluid, kept at a constant temperature in an incubator while it develops, which can take weeks. Once the embryo is fully developed, it must be introduced to a human body and be allowed to burrow into the brain. Even if introduced to the body far from the brain, it will spread toward the brain gradually (as shown with Tokiko, whose embryo took a week to enter her brain). Once the embryo enters the brain, it begins to take over, morphing the host's body into a homunculus form. An embryo is tiny, generally only three centimeters across and looking something like an armored monkey. They generally look the same no matter what cells are put into them.
Animal/Plant-type Homunculi are the most common type of Homunculi made from the base cells of animals and plants which are then used to make the embryo which takes over a hosts brain, effectively killing the original human. They usually take the form of a large bio-mechanical variation of whatever animal or plant they were originally made from. Parts of the original human host are seen on the creature such as the original head inside the Homunculus' mouth or the upper body appearing on the chest. The human head always has the Homunculus mark on the forehead which is their weak point. They can transform between their original human form and bio-mechanical versions of the original animal, fighting instinctively with whatever weapons the form possesses but cannot wield a Buso Renkin.
- Revised Humanoid Homunculi: Dr. Butterfly created an army of specifically designed homunculi, which are an amalgamation of animals and plants created to form a humanoid shape. As they were created to combat Alchemist Warriors, they are generally good fighters but possess little intelligence and follow Butterfly's orders. A unique trait of these homunculi is that they can merge into a single, giant homunculus by feeding on each other.
Humanoid Homunculi (人間型ホムンクルス Ningengata Homunkurusu) are made from the cells of the same human who becomes the host, thus leaving the human's mind intact through the transformation. Most of the time the resulting homunculus looks identical to the original human but there are variations such as Moonface who has yellow skin and crescent-shaped head. Tai and Shi also have more monstrous but still human forms. They all have the homunculus emblem mark on their chest. They gain incredible strength, stamina, and agility, along with a near-invincible homunculus body. They also have different methods of devouring humans such as when Papillon sucked them up using portal like holes on his hands and Jinnai who rips his cheeks and reveals lizard like jaws. In addition, because the human instinct is still intact, they are able to wield Kakugane as Buso Renkin, which is said to be their true power.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Immortality: A Homunculus' body never ages and as such can live forever, Dr. Butterfly and Moonface for example have lived over a hundred years. They are immune to all diseases as well, with the exception of incomplete Homunculi, in that case the disease will also become immortal, inflicting the Homunculus with symptoms forever without death. However they can still be killed.
Regeneration: A Homunculus' body is infused with alchemic energy and as such will regenerate instantly any damage it sustains from any type of mundane weaponry. However damage from other Homunculi or a Buso Renkin regenerate at a much slower pace.
Enhanced Durability: A Homunculus' body is almost invincible to all types of mundane weaponry. However they are generally vulnerable against Buso Renkin. An emblem mark acts as it's shield, a small mark on the Homunculus's body resembling two overlapping teardrop shapes. On animal-type Homunculi, the emblem mark is generally located on the forehead, while humanoid Homunculi have it on their chest.
Transformation: Animal/plant type Homunculi can freely transform between their true forms and the form of its human host. A Homunculus can even be modified so that they can partially transform possessing both human and Homunculus features.
Bestial Features: Animal/plant type Homunculi possess enhanced abilities that mimic the original animal or plant they were based on such as claws, fangs and even projectiles. Even Humanoid Homunculi can possess somewhat monstrous features such as Jinnai's lizard like jaws he reveals when he eats humans.
Enhanced Strength: All Homunculi have more physical strength than humans, such as the case with Animal/plant types which often take the form of an enhanced version of an already strong animal. Various Humanoid types have been shown to be able to fight on equal footing against Alchemist Warriors with their bare hands.
Enhanced Speed & Reflexes: Many Homunculi possess a great deal of speed and agility depending on the species they were made from. Humanoid Homunculi are often especially quick as they are often known as super humans.
Organic Ingestion: One way or another, all Homunculi are capable of devouring humans. Animal/plant types will generally eat them normally using their mouths. Some Humanoid Homunculi do the same but making their mouths larger, however as Papillon on the other hand was shown literally sucking up people through his hands like a vacuum, leaving behind any clothes.
- Mita (King Cobra)
- Saruwatari (Gorilla)
- Saruwatari's Gang (Ape/Monkey)
- Washio (Hawk)
- Kawazui (Surinam Toad)
- Hanabusa (Rose)
- Papillon (Humanoid)
- Dr. Butterfly (Humanoid)
- Moonface (Humanoid)
- Kinjo (Humanoid)
- Jinnai (Humanoid)
- Tai (Humanoid)
- Shi (Humanoid)
- Unnamed Homunculus (Humanoid)
- Revised Humanoid Homunculi (Animal/Plant amalgamation)
- Unnamed Reptile Homunculus
- Unnamed Feline Homunculus
- Victoria Powered (Humanoid)
- Victor Powered (Humanoid)
- Nishiyama (Unknown Animal/Plant type)
- Minotaur Homunculus