Fullmetal Alchemist is a dark fantasy, steampunk Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. From July 2001 to June 2019 the manga was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan Anthology magazine and later collected into twenty-seven tankobon volumes. Fullmetal Alchemist has had two TV anime series adaptations and two animated films by Bones, plus light novel adaptations. Viz Media has published the manga’s English versions in North America. Since 2014 Yen Press has the rights for the manga’s digital volume releases.
In 2017 a Japanese sci-fi fantasy live-action film based on the series and directed by Fumihiko Sori was released. The film covered the first four volumes of the original manga’s storyline. On December 1, 2017 the film was released in Japan and is currently available for streaming on Netflix in America. Misia sings the film’s theme song titled Kimi no Soba ni Iru yo.
In July 2017 Fumiko Sori and Yamada announced that a sequel was in development. Fans were pleased to discover in early March that they wouldn’t just be getting one film but two! The first is titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Final Chapter – The Avenger Scar and the second is titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Final Chapter – The Last Transmuatation. On June 2, 2022 a trailer for the 2nd movie was released.
The story of Fullmetal Alchemist revolves around two brothers – Edward and Alphonse Eric and their attempt to bring their dead mother back to life by using alchemy. Unfortunately, their attempt fails and Edward ends up losing an arm and leg in the process. His brother Al loses his entire body but Edward is able to attach Al’s soul to a suit of armor in order to save him.
Their only hope is to use the power of the Philsopher’s Stone to restore their bodies to their original state, hence why the brothers start out on a journey to find the stone forthwith. On their quest they make friends and enemies alike, chief among the latter are a group of seven homunculi – humanoids created through alchemy by people who tried and failed to bring their loved ones back to life. Each of the homunculi is named after the Seven Deadly Sins and their personality reflects this.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Avenger Scar brings the titular villain turned anti-hero to life on the big screen for the first time ever. Scar is a very complex character with a rich backstory. Scar seeks vengeance upon the Amestrian government for their attempt at genocide in his homeland of Ishval. Scar’s family were killed in an explosion caused by the Crimson Alchemist Solf Kimblee. During the explosion Scar lost his right arm and was left with an X-shaped scar across his forehead.
Scar’s older brother, who happened to be a student of alchemy (and a heretic by Ishvalan standards) decided to sacrifice his right arm that was covered with tattooed alchemic symbols and transmute it onto Scar. It is interesting to note the similarity of Scar’s brother sacrificing his right arm to save his younger brother Scar to Ed doing the same for Al. Edward and Scar both have right arms that aren’t theirs. After Scar learned how to control his new alchemical powers he set about assassinating State Alchemists one by one.
Normally, alchemy requires three steps. One, analyzing a material’s composition. Two, breaking down the material. Three, reforming the material into something new. Ishvalans are against the recreation part because they feel that reshaping the world perverts God’s will. Scar’s preferred method of killing people is grabbing his victim’s head and imploding their brain. In this manner, Scar stops at the second step of destruction but he still sees himself as heretical and decided to abandon his God-given name. The fact that Edward is a State Alchemist puts him in Scar’s crosshairs, even if Ed was just a kid during the Ishval War.
On May 20, 2022 The Avenger Scar premiered and earned 96,503,050 yen (approximately 754,800 USD) and ranked 9 during its opening weekend in Japan. The Avenger Scar’s story revolves around Edward’s conflict with Scar. The Last Transmutation opens on June 24, 2022 in Japan and depicts the story’s final battle.
The Avenger Scar and The Last Transmutation both feature a returning cast from the first live-action movie adaptation, as well as new cast members: