Netflix’s ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ Is Missing Some Key Anime Characters

Adapting series into new mediums is never easy, and anime is no exception. Over the years, plenty of live-action films have tried to bring anime titles to life, but few have come close to succeeding. Fullmetal Alchemist learned about that struggle firsthand last year when its live-action film debuted, and fans abroad are now getting to see it for themselves.

Netflix recently posted Warner Bros. Japan’s adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist for fans to watch. The film, which stands at two-hours, adapts the series from its start and follows the Elric Brothers as they search for the powerful Philosopher’s Stone. However, fans agree there is something missing from the movie.

Well, a few things really. The live-action adaptation excised a few key anime characters, and fans say their absences are hitting them hard.

Fullmetal Alchemist adapts the manga's first major storyline and adds in a few plot bonuses. The live-action movie follows on the Elrics as they leave the city of Liore, meet Shou Tucker, and learn about Laboratory 5. So, fans would expect King Bradley to appear in the anime, but nope - the Führer is no where to be seen.

Not only does the state military keep its leader in the shadow, but a fan-favorite Major gets shafted as well. Don’t expect Alex Louis Armstrong to flex his muscles in this live-action adaptation because his rippling pecs are nowhere to be found.

Fullmetal Alchemist also left out Scar, a survivor of the Ishbalan War. The conflict is mentioned in passing by State Alchemists during the film, but Scar doesn’t come around and begin exacting revenge on the military for its heinous crimes.

Fans were quick to note the lack of Pinako Rockbell and Izumi from the film. While Winry was introduced, the absence of Pinako stripped the Elrics’ of their grandmother-figure and made their orphan history even more tragic. Izumi could have eased the angst as the woman did teach the brothers about the science of alchemy, but the film didn’t have time to bring her up either.

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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.

What did you think of this live-action adaptation? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!