The Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Movie Has An All Japanese Cast

The Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Movie Has An All Japanese Cast
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[Image via Pop Verse]

In Japan, popular manga and anime series Fullmetal Alchemist is getting a feature film. It’s slated for a summer 2017 release. The fictional setting was inspired by Europe, but the movie’s cast will be Japanese.

According to Natalie, the movie will be directed by Fumihiko Sori, who is best known for the 2002 film Ping Pong.

Boy band member Ryosuke Yamada stars as Edward Elric, while actress Tsubasa Honda is Winry Rockbell and actor Dean Fujioka is Roy Mustang. Here’s how the cast compares to the original characters:

(Image via My Game News Flash)

[Image via My Game News Flash]

Some of the actors resemble the characters better than others.

“I want to depict something that follows the original work as much as possible,” Sori said. “The cast is entirely Japanese, but the setting is Europe. However, their race and nationality isn’t expressed in a specific form.”

Well, other than them being entirely Japanese and speaking in Japanese, but there you go.

Considering how the country has seen a string of bad anime and manga live-action movie versions, the reaction online so far in Japan hasn’t been hopeful for this latest effort.


  • Gluttony’s bow tie is a bit much.

    I sure do hope people put some consideration into things like cultural differences, source material, representation of race, and autonomy before they barge in here complaining about “Why is it okay when other cultures do it?”. That would be nice.

  • Alright, people that usually gets outraged when Hollywood casts an anime character as a white person, assemble! Let us see how you are not a bunch of hypocrites by decrying this ethnic crime!

    • Well they didn’t say anything when Attack on Titan had its cast announced, so I expect the amount of noise we’ll hear from those individuals will be… silence.

      • I think the reason that people aren’t outraged by an all asian cast is because there are barely any western actors in Japan in comparison to japanese actors in America.

  • So should I take this as confirmation that Envy was supposed to be a guy then? I honestly thought Envy was a woman.

    • Androgynous. But I always thought Envy was more ‘male’.
      Subtitles I watched it with often used ‘he’ though, despite the gender neutral Japanese terms used.
      Envy also used more masculine speech, though that in itself doesn’t always denote a gender.
      Also the voice actor was the same as Detective Conan

    • I’m pretty sure Envy was a male in one series but female in the other. It’s hard to tell.

      In the 2003 series Envy was meant to be a representation of Hohenheim’s son who died, but the actual Envy creature was probably asexual.

  • I wonder how their going to handle the ishvalans and scar? Because that whole storyline is a metaphor for white colonisation and gynocide of indigenous people. Also how is the whole Xing storyline going to work?
    I’m honestly not confident in this movie at all. A property like like fullmetal alchemist would be perfect live action tv series. They’re going to have to nerf a lot of important character development and plot points.

  • Let me get this straight… So, when a character that is Japanese is played by a white actress, it’s wrong. BUT, when the characters are European, its totally OK to make them Japanese? Please, somebody explain this to me. I’m getting tired of this shit.

    • well.. considering it’s a japanese property, created by a japanese author, produced by a japanese company, with an originally japanese cast and spoken/written in japanese… i think i’ll stop there.

      • your argument doesn’t hold up against Marvel casting

        I mean Dr Strange is an American property, written by 2 American authors and produced / published by an American company. why the uproar?

        let’s face it, it’s the internet, we’ll cry over everything

      • That isn’t really an argument. I mean, if I create a black character from Africa, does that make that character a white Australian? Who made the character and where it was made do not automatically change a characters’ race.

        • considering australia/uk/america are all multicultural nations, you’d be hardpressed to find an excuse not to do so.

          japan, having its culture and population on the other hand..

          • Ok then. If I am Japanese and create a black character, does that mean he should be portrayed by a Japanese actor? I mean, he was made in Japan by a Japanese person, so he must actually be Japanese, right?

      • The characters are European or atleast the European equivalent in their world. They’re most definitely not Japanese.

    • Maybe they were Japanese named “Elric” with blonde hair and… maybe not.

      Sure it’s changing the characters but I’m honestly as upset about this as I am about Dragonball or Dr Strange, and that’s not at all.

      People need to learn to stop telling movie production companies how to make movies.

      • I’m not really upset about it. I probably won’t see the film and it will probably be pretty bad. I just don’t understand why it’s alright to criticize one film for it’s casting (Ghost in The Shell if nobody’s picked that up), while it’s totally fine for these other movies to cast Japanese people as whites.

        • It’s not alright really, people just get angry about their white privileged guilt so they project.

  • I’d say it’s par for the course. If Hollywood excludes outsider actors, it would be natural for other film groups to exclude in like fashion. If one group starts shaming Hollywood by employing outside actors, Hollywood may change its tune. Hollywood is “liberal” and “progressive”, after all.

  • I’m struggling to see how they could possibly do this the justice it deserves in a two hour movie.

    • Indeed, but i guess it depends on just how they pick and choose which content it used for the script. stuff like one off episodes won’t be used for example- which i happy to not being seeing and live action chimera’s warbling “Edddd-waaaard…” 8-/

  • The the armor and the automail needs to be spot on for the Eldrics, not some directors vision… the original artists vision counts. and if they get some of the original voice overs for special effect characters it would be awesome.

  • Roy is good, Gluttony is fine. Probably want to change the others or get a reeeeeal good makeup team.

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