Going into, and during the 2000s I was on something of an anime kick, eagerly anticipating the next episode I haven’t seen yet of an anime series or two on our local TV networks, and on occasion online. One of the anime that has gotten my attention and following during that time was the 2003 TV series “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi”, which has the official English title of “Fullmetal Alchemist”. Based on the original manga by Hiromu Arakawa, the anime’s surprisingly good blend of drama, slapstick comedy and exciting action scenes was a joy to behold.
While the 2003 anime only followed the source manga’s storyline partway before going onto an original arc and conclusion, a second series in 2009 entitled “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, finally managed to adapt the manga to its proper ending, while maintaining all the visual elements that made the first series so enjoyable. Several years have passed since I got to see anything new related to the finished story, but now from out of the blue came the most unbelievable news, akin to how I felt back in 2012 when another series I really liked, “Rurouni Kenshin”, returned to the mainstream spotlight in a wonderfully cinematic way.
In case you haven’t quite gotten it yet, “Fullmetal Alchemist” is getting a live-action movie. According to the Anime News Network, the Japanese-produced film is being distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures, just like the “Rurouni Kenshin” cinematic trilogy. The film’s official website first posted a countdown starting November 11; and upon time’s running out the site revealed its first teaser of the film, which will be filmed in both Japan and Italy (specifically the town of Volterra, fmed in “Twilight”). The casting of Japanese actors to portray characters with implied Caucasian features has raised a few eyebrows, though no more than the reported whitewashing from Hollywood’s own adaptation of the “Ghost in the Shell” anime starring Scarlett Johansson.
For those who need a refresher course, “Fullmetal Alchemist” is set in a parallel world where alchemy is a widely practiced science with varied applications but dire taboo dangers. Two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, try to use alchemy to revive their dead mother only to suffer extreme consequences. After being drafted into the military they begin their search for the relic Philosopher’s Stone that might enable them to restored their mangled bodies and atone for their mistakes. The movie is set to adapt the entire series storyline to feature-length, and have aged up the lead characters (Ryōsuke Yamada as Edward Elric, Tsubasa Honda as his childhood friend Winry Rockbell).
Directed by Fumihiko Sori, the live-action “Fullmetal Alchemist” movie is set to be realeased sometime in 2017. And I can hardly wait.
Photo Credit to Youtube.com