Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Isnin, Mac 30, 2009

#360. Brotherhood renewed

[Edward (front) and Alphonse Elric return in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. – © Hiromu Arakawa/FA Projects, MBS-photo]

A new version of Fullmetal Alchemist will return to the small screen – five years after the blockbuster anime ended its run in Japan.EDWARD and Alphonse Elric, the heroes of Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA), will soon be back on television in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMAB). While Internet-savvy anime fans have known this piece of good news for months, Malaysian fans will be thrilled to know that they will be able to catch FMAB when it premieres on Animax on April 11, only six days after it is shown in Japan – a huge bonus to viewers outside the country!

First, a little background.
Fullmetal Alchemist, penned by Hiromu Arakawa, debuted in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan in 2001. The tale of a talented boy alchemist who sought a way to restore his body and that of his brother’s became so popular that it spawned novels, action figures, drama CDs, soundtracks, and video games.But the most beloved adaptation would be the 51-episode anime by the Japanese studio Bones, which aired in Japan for a year from October 2003. Thanks to Arakawa’s powerful storytelling, and Bones’ solid animation and direction, FMA became a hit not only in Japan but worldwide.

In 2005, fans were treated to a movie sequel, Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie:Conqueror of Shamballa, which ended the movie on a pleasing note. But many fans wished that the story could have continued somehow.So when news of a second FMA animated series leaked out online in July last year, fans were delirious with anticipation. Would it be a continuation of where the movie left off?

Bones, however, wasn’t as delighted.

According to Anime News Network, a document from the animation company was leaked online listing FMA director Yasuhiro Irie as the “Iron/Fullmetal 2 director”. While forums and blogs went wild with speculation, Bones executives tried to rein in the hysteria.In an interview with Anime News Network last July, Bones president Masahiko Minami said the company had not decided on making an FMA sequel.

But in December, an FMAB teaser trailer was shown after a Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (second season) episode in Japan. The anime’s existence was further confirmed by a wraparound jacket on Vol.20 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, released last August in Japan.

Although the Internet leak may have ruined Bones’ surprise somewhat, excitement is still high. Which is why OtakuZone grilled the people at Animax and Bones for more information about FMAB. Sadly, no matter how hard we pleaded, Bones was tight-lipped about the plot details, although an Animax spokesperson confirmed what we and many fans have suspected: FMAB’s plot will be based on Arakawa’s manga. (The first FMA anime veered off the manga halfway.)

Romi Paku and Rie Kugimiya will reprise their roles as Edward and Alphonse, though some of FMA’s original seiyuu have been replaced. Roy Mustang, for one, will now be voiced by Shinichiro Miki (Asato Tsuzuki, Descendants of Darkness).

Meanwhile, we managed to secure a brief Q&A with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood producer Ryo Oyama through Animax Asia. Here’s a glimpse of the upcoming incarnation of the cult favourite.

What triggered the creation of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ?

The biggest motivation to do this TV series is of course the support of FMA fans. It is this great support from not only the Japanese, but also from fans all over the world that led to the production of a new series.

What can you tell us about FMAB’s plot?

Because I hope viewers will enjoy watching the series, I don’t want to reveal too many details here. But it is a story that I think is going to be enjoyable for not only the devoted fans of FMA, but also for viewers who have not watched the first series.

Is production going smoothly?

High-quality image production of FMAB is currently in progress under the supervision of director Yasuhiro Irie. In fact, episode one of the series has just been completed. It is filled with many big-scale action scenes, so please look out for them.

How do you personally feel about producing an anime with such a loyal and international fan base, and which has had such success?

I am really feeling the thrill that you can only feel with animation. I can fully experience the power of FMAB having the ability to easily overcome geographical, racial and language barriers. For example, I see FMA fans gathering at events and cosplaying their favourite characters while enjoying the show. Be it in America, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore, we are able to see such occurrences internationally. This is truly a wonderful experience.

How have fans reacted to the announcement of FMAB? How did it make you feel?

The previous FMA series finished airing in Japan in October 2004, and the movie was released in July 2005. It has been four years since then, but because we have received tremendous and unwavering support from fans, I am starting to feel again the power that FMA possesses.

Can we expect another Fullmetal Alchemist series or movie in the future?

While the FMA staff have the intention to do so, I believe that with the fans’ support, it can work out. If there is great support from all over the world, I want to give an answer to this support. But for now, I am putting all my concentration on FMAB that is due to start in April.

‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’ premieres on Animax (Astro Channel 715) on Saturday, April 11, at 12.30am (English subtitles, Japanese audio). Animax will also be broadcasting ‘Tears to Tiara’ simultaneously with Japan on Monday, April 6, at 12.35am.

Source : The Star

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