Live Action 'Fullmetal Alchemist' Teaser Debuts CGI Demons

"I promise I'll get our bodies back."

Hiromu Arakawa’s beloved manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, will be released as a live action film next winter in Japan. On Tuesday, the first teaser trailer for the film was published online. Although the trailer is short, the clips reveal some transmutation circles, Edward performing alchemy (which requires no transmutation circles for reasons that you will have to read the manga or watch the anime to find out), and a glimpse at what Alphonse Elric will look like. Fullmetal Alchemist is regarded as one of the best manga ever written, so director Fumihiko Sori will have a lot of high expectations to meet. From what we’ve seen so far, it doesn’t seem as if the film will meet fan expectations.

Director Fumihiko Sori revealed in May that “the story will be told in one complete film,” which alarmed fans, who followed the manga precisely because it incorporated a vast number of themes and details.

It seems highly unlikely that it will only be one film because the character list does not even reveal some of the story’s most important villains, Father and Fuhrer King Bradley. The character list so far only has three homunculi: Lust, Envy, and Gluttony, in addition to alchemist Shou Tucker and Father Cornello. All of these characters are shown more towards the beginning of the manga. Father Cornello is only a minor villain in comparison to Father, aka the homunculi in a flask. If Father is not a part of this film, then it is more likely that this will only be the first film in a series despite the director stating that this will be a complete film.

Fumihiko Sori also said that he will be using a lot of CGI and the teaser reveals that he was not lying. He told Oricon that he “wants to create a wonderful film that will use techniques that will challenge Hollywood.” He also went on to state that he will use CGI in places that the audience cannot see and also a type of CGI that is more blatant. However, using CGI for some of the best scenes from the anime may come out choppy because they are very large and extravagant. As shown in the trailer, Alphonse Elric, the iron clad member of the Elric brothers, will be completely CGI. It has not been revealed who will be voicing Alphonse, but those who have watched the show know that although being a complete body of armor, his voice is very childlike and soft. It will be interesting to see how that contrast is played out in a live action movie.

Sori also said that he will be following the manga very closely, which means that might be following the FMA: Brotherhood storyline more than the original FMA, which is good because that storyline is the better of the two anime. But, with all of the CGI and shortened storyline, it is hard to believe that the film will actually live up to expectations. The story is too rich and deep to be glanced over. The saddest part is that the story actually takes place in Europe with European characters so the film would have transferred easily to American and European audiences. However, we have seen how Hollywood could ruin anime. Here’s hoping that the same does not happen to FMA.

Watch the full trailer below:

Fullmetal Alchemist will hit Japanese theaters in 2017.

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