People cannot gain anything without sacrificing something. We must present something of equal value to gain something. That is the principle of equivalent trade in alchemy. We believed that was the truth of the world when we were young, and maybe that is also the case with live-action adaptations of famous anime and manga too since there is, in fact, a Fullmetal Alchemist movie coming. And yes, this one actually features Japanese actors.
Indeed, while Hollywood has tipped the scales one way, as seen in the trailer for Ghost in the Shell, a movie set in futuristic Tokyo that strangely stars Scarlett Johansson as a character named Major Kusanagi, Fullmetal Alchemist is a production from filmmaker Fumihiko Sori. This in itself is a bit of an irony since Alchemist is set in a retro-futuristic version of early 20th century Europe… kind of (it’s complicated). Nevertheless, no one can blame Sori for offering this appropriate bit of shade to Hollywood when he previously said, “The cast is entirely composed of Japanese actors, but the cultural setting is that of Europe. However, the race and nationality of the characters aren’t specifically identified.”
The film itself will delve into the story of one of the few animes this writer ever personally got addicted to, which is namely the saga of the two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, alchemists who pay a heavy price for their practice. Also, the younger brother’s body is in a suit of armor (which I spent the first dozen or so episodes calling a robot). Again… it’s complicated. The resulting tragedy forces the brothers to cross a dangerous countryside in search for the Philosopher’s Stone, all the while war encroaches closer and closer.
The film pinpoints that origin when the two brothers attempt to revive their mother from the dead with terrifying consequences. The film is adapted from the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, which was written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa from 2001 to 2010. It also served as the inspiration for two anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.