When you look at Western adaptations of comic books into movies, you see how the source material can be changed. Radically so. Costumes are tweaked, origins are rewritten and storylines are used for fuel for a tale that usually ends with a massive wormhole in the sky opening up and threatening to suck an entire city into its cosmic anus.
And that’s fine! But when it comes to the Japanese and their live-action adaptations of their cult classic manga, the idea of altering the original material is blasphemous to say the least. Costumes are kept intact, storylines largely play out as you’d expect them to and you know just how it’ll all end. And I can respect that. Especially when it comes to Fullmetal Alchemist, one of the greatest manga stories ever written. Here’s the first trailer for it, which provides the briefest of glimpses at the Alric brothers:
Damn, that is one uncanny adaptation right there . If you never read the original manga or saw the anime (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood that is, not the other one that deviated wildly off the script), it’s still a fantastic series to jump into. It centers on two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric and their attempt to bring their mother back from the grave using the art of alchemy.
Things quickly go pear-shaped however, as Edward loses an arm in the process while his younger brother Alphonse loses his entire body. Sacrificing his leg, Edward binds the body of his brother into an ancient suit of armour and the two set off on a quest to restore their bodies. And save the day from a growing conspiracy while they’re at it that involves the mythical Philosopher’s Stone.
It’s brutal, tragic stuff mixed in with breathtaking action and the strength of brothers, and well worth a watch. You’ll have plenty of time to do so anyway, as the film will only be out in Japan next year anyway. And who knows how long it’ll take to arrive in the west afterwards. Damn equivalent exchange! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go put a wig on my dog and teach it to call me Edward.
Last Updated: November 16, 2016