Fullmetal Alchemist (2017 Live-Action)


Director: Fumihiko Sori

Writers: Hiromu Arakawa

Run time: 2h 15min

Genre: Action

Personal History

I recently, in this year, finished watching the anime Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood with my husband Derrick. He has watched a whole lot more anime than I ever have in my life so far. I had heard it was a good anime but never watched it until Derrick prompted me to do so. I enjoyed it very much. It is a well-made anime with strong characters and a riveting plot (Especially that last season!). So, when Derrick asked me if I would review the live-action adaptation of FMA Brotherhood I felt honored.

Derrick is of the opinion and often says “Do not make a live-action anime adaptation.”  I am not sure I feel as strongly about the issue as he does. But I have not watched as much anime as him. Though I would say I am of the mindset that the book is always better…i.e. Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings etc.


I personally enjoyed the anime of FMA Brotherhood more than the movie. Mostly because you are given more time with the characters and the plot. There are only so much the writers can fit into a two-hour movie opposed to a five seasons series. There were a few plot differences from the anime. Nothing too major yet but if there is a sequel I will be interested to see how they choose to continue the plot.

The CGI was good. I saw some complaints on Twitter about the quality of the effects. But considering alchemy doesn’t exist I thought it looked realistic. Though seriously, I think it is amazing what all the people behind the scenes do to make a production succeed. There are some dedicated individuals who are willing to spend hours sitting at computers editing clip after clip to bring a movie like FMA Brotherhood to life.

The most obvious way a movie comes to life is through the acting. My favorite was the portrayal of Maes Hughes. The actor certainly captured the essence of the character. I also liked the child actor for Edward Elric. He did not have much screen time, but I thought he did well for his age. Finally, I enjoyed the character Lust more so in the movie than the anime. Maybe it is because I can see more range of human expression on a real live face versus an animated rendition of a human face.

A few issues I had with the movie: I wish they could have shown more facets to Col. Mustang, I still wish Hughes could have a better ending (stupid plot be cursed!), I wish the actors cast for Edward and Winry were younger, and I think they could have at least mentioned the other Homunculi. Otherwise, I thought the movie was pretty good.


So, after watching the FMA Brotherhood live-action movie have I changed my mind and agree with Derrick that there shouldn’t be any live action adaptations of anime? I am somewhere in the middle. A common problem in the movie industry is when movies are being made more for profit and less for the creative aspect of moviemaking. I think that is why some adaptations are not as good as others. A movie executive thought this is a way to make money, while others that are better and more successful tend to have the original creator involved and/or people who are passionate about the project.