Director Fumihiko Sori may have done the impossible—created a live action anime adaptation that isn’t horrible.
In December, the live action version of Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist anime series was released in Japan. In lieu of a theatrical release, the production company has allowed Netflix to premier the movie for fans in the states.
The final product has been met with mixed results, but fans are largely impressed with the attention to detail and amount of action crammed into the two hours and fourteen minutes of fast-paced storyline. The campy “anime appropriate” graphics don’t hurt either.
For those who aren’t familiar with this series, the movie may be a tad difficult to follow. The story begins with the Elric brothers as they attempt to use alchemy (think science meets magic) to bring back their deceased mother, with disastrous results.
Edward, the older of the two, sacrifices an arm and a leg in the effort. He almost loses his younger brother Alphonse (Al) to the law of equivalent exchange—but manages to attach Al’s soul to an ancient and menacing suit of armor at the last minute. Fortunately, Edward’s childhood friend Winry also happens to be a mechanical genius. She creates an arm and leg for him that rival the greatest of super heroes.
The brothers grow in their abilities and become state alchemists working to keep illegal activities in check throughout a steam-punk themed wonderland containing evil homunculi dedicated to opening an ancient and very evil door to the unknown.
They are forever searching for the mythical philosopher’s stone. A talisman said to be strong enough to bring back the dead, and to restore Al to his original body.
If you’re feeling awesomely overwhelmed, then you aren’t alone. Several parts of the original details were glossed over. But, Netflix‘s combination of accurate-down-to-the-hairstyle characters combined with the CGI make this a definite movie night masterpiece.
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