If you thought the most recent teaser for the live-action “Fullmetal Alchemist,” which takes viewers back to the Elric brothers’ failed attempt to resurrect their mother, packed some emotional punch, you may want to brace yourself: Warner Bros. Japan has now released a version with English subtitles.
Now those who aren’t fluent in Japanese can absorb the full impact, with lines like, “Don’t you want to see Mom again?” It also delivers a concise premise for the film, based on Hiromu Arakawa’s beloved action-fantasy manga: “Forbidden alchemy changed the lives of the brothers forever … To bring back all that was lost, the brothers’ journey begins.”
Set in an Edwardian-style world where alchemy is a science, and State Alchemists work for the government, “Fullmetal Alchemist” centers on brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who as children turn to the forbidden human transmutation to try to resurrect their death mother. That effort goes horribly wrong, destroying Alphonse’s body and severely injuring Edward, who then sacrifices his arm to rescue his brother’s soul and bind it to a suit of armor. Becoming State Alchemists, the brothers set off in search of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies.
Serialized in Japan from 2001 to 2010 and collected in 27 volumes, “Fullmetal Alchemist” has sold 65 million copies worldwide. The manga has inspired two anime adaptations, 2003’s “Fullmetal Alchemist” and 2009’s more faithful “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” video games, light novels and a pair of animated features.
Starring Ryosuke Yamada as Edward Elric, Tsubasa Honda as Winry Rockbell and Dean Fujioka as Roy Mustang, “Fullmetal Alchemist” opens in December in Japan.