Adapting anime series into live-action films hasn't always gone over well. If you look at Dragonball Evolution, you can see how badly a studio can fail at understanding such a franchise, so fans were understandably scared when Fullmetal Alchemist announced its live-action future. Thankfully, the flick was received pretty well for the most part in Japan. And, in a couple of weeks, Netflix will be bringing the film to U.S. fans.
Earlier today, Netflix put up its list of incoming titles for February 2018. It was there the company confirmed Fullmetal Alchemist will be joining its service as a Netflix Original title. Fans will be able to binge the movie starting on February 19.
This is not the first time Fullmetal Alchemist will screen in the U.S. Last year, Anime NYC hosted the film’s stateside premiere in November shortly after it screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival. So far, there have been zero plans to screen the movie in U.S. theaters for a limited run.
For those unfamiliar with Fullmetal Alchemist, the series was first created by Hiromu Arakawa. The story follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who learn alchemy in order to bring back their deceased mother. After a terrible miscalculation, however, the two brothers pay a terrible price with Alphonse even losing his body and linking his soul to a suit of armor. As the two boys search for an alchemy that will restore their bodies to their original forms, they join the military and deal with a whole host of new political, ethical, and moral issues.
The series ran in Square Enix's Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine from August 2001 to June 2010. It was collected into 27 volumes, and was localized for an English language release by Viz Media. It has sold 67 million copies worldwide, and was later adapted into two anime series from studio Bones. Bones' first attempt in 2003 successfully ran for 51 episodes, but was marred by fans for its pacing issues and deviations from the original source. Bones produced a more faithful adaptation in 2009 with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and most fans assumed the live-action film would parallel this series since it was pretty much beat for beat with the original source.
Will you be watching Fullmetal Alchemist when it hits Netflix? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!