'Fullmetal Alchemist' Anime Director Slams Its Live-Action Film

The long awaited live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie is just over two months away from debuting in Japan and while fans are getting excited, the anime's director had some harsh critiques of the upcoming film.

At a stage show at Nifukes Tokyo 2017 this past weekend Seiji Mizushima participated in a roundtable discussion with anime producers Hiroshi Kamenaru (Popin Q) and Tomoki Misawa (Urawa no Usagi-chan) and Anime News Network reports that when it came to questions about the Fullmetal Alchemist film, Mizushima was critical of the casting.

"It was a bad idea to only use Japanese actors," Mizushima said.

Mizushima also didn't think that the cast could even pull off making the film fit with the original manga.

"If you asked me whether I think the cast could pull it off, I'd say that no, they can't," he said. "It's hard for actors to capture the look and feel of the original manga."

If you are not familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist, then you have still have time to watch the anime before its live-action film arrives.

The series follows brothers Edward and Alphonse after their mother tragically passes. The duo attempts to use alchemy to resurrect her, but the attempt takes Edward’s arm and leg -- and it takes Alphonse’s entire body. Determined to get their bodies restored, they try to become State Alchemists so they can find the location of a powerful item known as the Philosopher’s Stone. Their journey ultimately leads them into a seedy world of government corruption and mass genocide.

It's worth noting that Mizushima was the director of the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation that ran from 2003 to 2004 which, at the request of the manga's creator Hiromu Arakawa, featured an original ending. A second, more canon compliant anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, was broadcast in 2009.

However, Mizushima's criticism may have more to do with live-action film adaptations in general. Mizushima had harsh words, especially for Gintama.

"Gintama just looked stupid," Mizushima said.

Harsh words aside, Mizushima wasn't completely negative about the Fullmetal Alchemist film, however. He told the audience that while he does have his criticisms about adaptations in general, he was looking forward to seeing how the 3DCG in the trailer looks in the actual film and at how the film takes on Arakawa's original manga. And while Mizushima agreed with a general consensus to stick with anime productions, he was glad to see live-action adaptations increasing the mainstream appeal of both anime and manga and hoped that the film does well.

"I'm rooting for it," he said.

Fullmetal Alchemist will debut in Japan on December 1st. Original manga creator, Hiromu Arakawa, is creating a 'special-edition comic' that those who attend theatrical screenings in Japan will receive.

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