‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ Anime Director Slams Live-Action Movie’s All-Japanese Cast: ‘It Was A Bad Idea’

Fullmetal Alchemist anime director, Seiji Mizushima, has expressed his criticism of the live-action movie version of the series; especially the decision to enlist Japanese actors to portray non-Japanese characters.

During a roundtable discussion with anime producers Hiroshi Kanemaru and Tomoki Misawa, Mizushima was asked to share his thoughts on the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action adaptation. He criticized the film’s decision to only use Japanese actors, saying it was a bad idea. According to Anime News Network, Mizushima went on to say that he doesn’t think the cast would be able to pull it off as it is “hard for actors to capture the look and feel of the original manga.”

Mizushima, who directed the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series that first aired in 2003, had no involvement whatsoever in the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action adaptation.

Mizushima also drew attention to the Gintama live-action movie, commenting that the film “just looked stupid.”

Lead actor Ryosuke Yamada is also aware that his character, Edward Elric, is not Japanese. He said in the March issue of CUT(via Crunchyroll) that one of his biggest struggles while working on the film was interpreting the character without making it feel “out of place.” Yamada added that it’s a problem the other cast members struggled with as well. Fullmetal Alchemist also stars Tsubasa Honda and Dean Fujioka.

The criticism was not isolated on Fullmetal Alchemist and Gintama. Producers Kanemaru and Misawa both agreed that anime or 2D adaptations are freer compared to live action, and that it’s easier to express stories in 2D.

However, Mizushima didn’t rule out the possibility of a well-crafted Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie. He said that he’s interested to see how the film delivers Hiromu Arakawa’s story from the original manga, as well as the CGI effects.

Ultimately, Mizushima said that although they’d still prefer anime productions, they still approve of how live-action movies have expanded the appeal of anime and manga to mainstream viewers.

Meanwhile, the Fullmetal Alchemist movie will screen at the Tokyo International Film Festival, which will run from October 25 to November 3, Screen Daily reported. Other films that will open at the TIFF include Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel and Chen Kaige’s Legend of the Demon Cat.

[Featured Image by Viz Media]