A live-action adaptation of the popular manga-turned-anime by Hiromu Arakawa, has been released and is available on Netflix to watch! Fans of the anime and manga can see how the characters and the world of Fullmetal Alchemist are brought to life through a live-action movie. Keep reading below for a more in-depth review of the film.
Warning: review contains spoilers for the film.
Before we get into the good parts of the movie, let’s get the not-so-good parts out of the way. If you have been a long-time fan of the series, please keep in mind that not every detail of the manga or anime will be able to fit into a 2 hour and 15-minute movie. There will be details that will be missing or glossed over.
One of the biggest downfalls of the movie would have to be the removal of important key-villain characters and other key characters that shape Edward and Alphonse’s personalities and their characters. While the main characters Edward and Alphonse Elric, Winry, Maes Hughes and Colonel Roy Mustang are present, there was just something that felt off about not having a few more key characters like Scar, Alex Armstrong or even the Elric’s alchemy teacher, Izumi Curtis.
Another downfall was the sequencing of events that have occurred throughout the movie. There were certain conflicts (such as the Philosopher’s Stone-embedded zombie soldiers) that are introduced much later down in the plot that have appeared in the live-action film. While the animation and CGI effects were done fantastically, it felt out of place to have this major conflict added within the story and would have loved to see this in the sequel (which the film has hinted that the story is to be continued through a cutscene at the end of the credits).
While those are a couple of particular downfalls of the film from the film, some of the great parts of the movie are the superb acting of Ryosuke Yamada who portrays Edward Elric, the great animation of alchemy, and even bringing Alphonse Elric’s armored body to life. If you have watched the anime, you are used to seeing a glow and hearing a ringing tone of noise when alchemy is being performed, the film adaptation has their own take on how alchemy would be done in a more realistic setting, taking in the energy that is around them to form certain structures and pieces.
The Fullmetal Alchemist live-action has its ups and downs and it boils down to the viewer’s opinion. It is recommended that viewers keep an open mind that this particular live action will not follow the events of the anime/manga in the correct sequence. The special effects/CGI and the superb acting are what saves the movie and it comes down to how this sequel (if a sequel follows through) will do the rest of the series justice. There is hope that there will be the inclusion of the other main characters into the series and see how certain plots and details will be brought to life and done in the live-action.
All in all, this live-action take on Fullmetal Alchemist falls just short of expectations despite its intensity and captivating special effects. Perhaps the sequel will provide a much more engaging plot and one closer to the original storyline from the manga and anime.