The first New York City Anime Convention will be hosting a premiere screening of the live action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. The film will close out the convention with an afternoon showing on November 19th, having opened in Tokyo on October 25th.
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most popular Japanese series of all time… In theory, a movie like this should have capitalized on that. So far, the reviews for the live action rendition have not been the greatest (and expectations were already pretty low). The choice to include an all Asian cast when the original characters were all European raised eyebrows, despite its clear attempt to minimize controversy so clearly showcased during the release of the latest Ghost in the Shell film.
According to some reviewers, it’s difficult to jump into the film because it expects the audience to already be familiar with the Fullmetal Alchemist world and its characters. Frankly, it’d be damn near impossible to summarize a massive manga series like this into one film; many of the beloved characters from the source material are basically forced into cameo roles.
If you’re a fan of the anime or the manga, this is probably still worth seeing. Despite its low budget, the film has been praised for the look of Al and the effects of the magical alchemy brought onto the screen. They’ve said that its conclusion leaves things open for a sequel, but that remains a mystery for now.
If you’re in New York or Japan, it looks like you’ll get a chance to see for yourself very soon.
The NYC Anime convention will be hosting other events as well; like a Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt music concert led by composer Naruyoshi Kikucjion and an Anisong World Matsuri’s Anime Diva Night Concert on November 17th. The live action Fullmetal Alchemist screening is held on November 19th.