If you haven’t gotten the chance to watch Fullmetal Alchemist’s live-action debut, this weekend is the perfect time for a binge. Netflix put the film on its site after Warner Bros. Japan released it in early December. The feature has received mixed reviews so far, but most fans have agreed on one thing.
When it comes to Alphonse Elric, there is little to no room for complaints.
Not only does Fullmetal Alchemist get the character right in personality, but it nails how Alphonse looks. The character isn’t as easy to bring to life as Edward or any other alchemist out there; Alphonse may be a boy, but his soul is sealed within a giant suit of armor. And while it is easy to animate such a body, live-action has a harder time with the translation.
Still, Fullmetal Alchemist nails it depiction of the younger Elric brother. Many fans took to social media to praise the character, and it took time for some to figure out that Alphonse was made entirely from CGI. According to previous reports, the movie created the figure out of CGI after actor Atomu Mizuishi used motion capture to film on-set as Alphonse. The star played the younger brother opposite of Ryosuke Yamada (Edward Elric), and the film’s director Fumihiko Sori praised the duo’s close chemistry.
While motion-capture and CGI effects are commonplace in Hollywood, Japanese films use such tech sparingly. Fans were worried Fullmetal Alchemist would not be able to seamlessly create Alphonse with CGI as such, but the visual effects team brought on by Warner Bros. Japan did a solid job. However, their job was limited; Fans have noticed Alphonse is explained out of several key scenes which the manga includes him in. Fullmetal Alchemist did curtail Alphonse’s on-screen moments because of the time it took to animate him. So, here’s to hoping its sequel can find a way to fit the boy into more scenes.
How did you like the movie's take on Alphonse? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!