On May 20, 2022, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Vengeance of Scar will release in Japan, and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation will follow on June 24, 2022. The first live-action Fullmetal film came out in 2017 and can be watched on Netflix.
I’m impressed that we’re getting the final installments of the trilogy in the same year, but I’m also nervous about them. I understand that adaptations will have differences due to various outside circumstances.
But I have yet to find a live-action adaptation that I like. I don’t hate the trailers for the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist movies, though.
In case you’re new to the FMA fandom, welcome. The plot between the animes, manga, and films is fun and gives us a mix of fundamental world topics with a short and angry protag.
But there are critical differences between Fullmetal Alchemist, which came out in 2003, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, in 2009. The live-action films follow Brotherhood, which in turn, follows the manga.
What can we expect from the newest take on Fullmetal Alchemist?
I love both of the animes, and I’ve read most of the manga. The story involves Edward Elric and his younger brother, Alphonse Elric, attempting to return their bodies to normal after they tried to use alchemy to bring their mother back to life.
FMA only followed the manga for the first four volumes because the manga was still ongoing, and Studio Bones wasn’t pressured to stick to the manga. But that is one of FMA’s strengths and gives fans a what-if taste of certain scenes, characters, and arcs.
Such as how Edward met Scar for the first time. Scar is an anti-hero and has gotten the better of the military and the Homunculi.
In FMA, Edward temporarily resigned from the military and didn’t have his official watch. This wound up saving his life, as Scar’s introductory mission is to kill all of the State Alchemists.
In the manga and Brotherhood, Edward is terrified of Scar, and Scar takes advantage of this to destroy Ed’s automail arm and leg and partially destroyed Alphonse’s armor-body. This scene is only one of many that have fans arguing over it.
FMA is an excellent anime and well worth watching, but certain characters don’t exist/have different personalities/origins, and the final villain is different! I’ve only encountered one other series with two anime adaptations, and both are amazing!
If you enjoy gory vampire anime, you should check out Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate. Hellsing Ultimate is the one that follows the manga and is the newest version.
Which Fullmetal is the best?
Fans will argue about this forever, and I’m not going to add fuel to that fire. So instead, I want to give you some advice.
Brotherhood is getting a live-action adaptation due to it following the manga. So, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, and both of the animes were done by Studio Bones.
Each anime’s first episode is different, and Brotherhood gives us a hint that all is not well. The fact that they did this is both a nod to those of us who watch FMA and a welcome to new fans.
My love for FMA is why I watched Brotherhood and read the manga. And I’ll watch both of them side by side at any time.
Both of the animes have their own movies that beautifully expand the lore, and I can’t recommend them enough! However, if you want to understand the live-action movies, then Brotherhood or the manga is for you.
The only thing that I don’t recommend is watching one version halfway and switching to the other. FMA’s slight differences in the beginning, pay off in the final episodes for a dramatic effect.
An effect that you won’t get and be confused by in Brotherhood. I refuse to spoil the endings for you, but if you love Envy, you’re going to want to check it out.