Home>Arts & Entertainment>Netflix’s “Fullmetal Alchemist” Breaks the Adaptation Curse

(image credit: Netflix)

Arts & Entertainment

Netflix’s “Fullmetal Alchemist” Breaks the Adaptation Curse

Written by:

Films like “Dragon Ball Z,” “The Last Airbender” and “Death Note” work as the perfect examples of why live action adaptations are generally a bad idea. However, Netflix has been giving adaptations a chance by letting Japan take over the business.

Different from previous anime adaptations, “Fullmetal Alchemist” (FMA) was originally produced in Japan by Warner Bros Studios in collaboration with Oxybot and Square Enix Company. The film first premiered in 2017 in Japan and was made available to all Netflix users on February 19th, 2018.

The “Fullmetal Alchemist” adaptation tells the story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who learn alchemy in order to bring their deceased mother back to life. However, with the number one rule of alchemy being “equivalent exchange,” the two brothers pay a painful price when Alphonse loses his body.

Edward, who loses his arm and leg after linking his brother’s soul into a suit of armor, embarks on a journey with him to find the Philosopher’s Stone, the only artifact capable of restoring their bodies. The film adapts the beloved shōnen manga and anime series by Hiromu Arakawa in a way that is almost as good as the original series. However, it ends up creating a wave of mixed reviews.

“Fullmetal Alchemist” is well known for being a series full of fantastic creatures, unnatural manipulation of objects and alchemy, which cause the film to overflow with high quality CGI. Not only does the film do a great job with Roy Mustang and his ignition cloth cloves or with Lust’s ability to transform her nails into claws, the film does an excellent job with Alphonse Elric’s looks.

“Fullmetal Alchemist” shows that an adaptation can be done well when the right team produces it. The film has an all Japanese cast and is written entirely in Japanese. Though, there’s an almost unavoidable feeling that something is missing or wrong. With the lack of jokes about Edward’s size and goofy moments between him and Mustang which made the original series stand out from others, the film becomes a boring adaptation.

Although the idea of an adaptation might not sound good at first, “Fullmetal Alchemist” is seriously worth watching.

Samantha Aguilar Hernandez
Sam is communication major with minors in digital media / video production and marketing. She enjoys watching animated shows and writing about them for the Arts and Entertainment section of The Penmen Press. When she is not working on a new review, Sam can be found in the RadioSNHU booth conducting the first show in Spanish.