A new website linked to Fullmetal Alchemist’s 20th Anniversary is counting down to the latest announcement. What’s known is that the project will prominently feature the Alchemist slayer Scar. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess what will arrive on March 2, 2022.
The site, along with a picture of a cloaked Scar, features the chilling words, “If there is a creator, there is also a destroyer.” Those familiar with the manga may have a clue as to what that may mean, but as of now, there has been no confirmation.
With an art exhibition, a new manga from Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa, and a mobile game all announced in celebration of the 20th Anniversary, there’s no doubt that something big is on the way. But whether it’s a live-action sequel to the 2017 Fullmetal Alchemist film, an original series, or something new entirely remains to be seen.
Running from March 12th, 2022 to June 26th, 2022 at Hirakata Park Event Hall in Osaka, Fullmetal Alchemist’s art exhibition gives fans a chance to see original pieces from mangaka Hiromu Arakawa up close and personal. Those able to travel to Osaka in Spring should get their tickets soon as the first two days are already sold out.
There’s also a Fullmetal Alchemist mobile game coming this Summer. The trailer shows CGI renditions of iconic scenes from the story but no gameplay footage so far. Screenshots hint at one-on-one battles possibly in the vein of My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero, but more information is still to come. The game will feature characters such as Edward and Al Elric, Major Armstrong, the Homunculus, and more!
At the end of last year on December 10, 2021, mangaka Hiromu Arakawa released her newest manga Tsugai of the Underworld. Serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan — the same magazine as Fullmetal Alchemist — the series only has three chapters so far in the monthly anthology, but it’s shaping up to be full of twists and turns. Currently, there’s no talk of a worldwide release, but as more monthly chapters are released, that may change.
To give a brief summary of Tsugai of the Underworld’s plot:
Local hunter Yuru and his sister Asa live together in a small isolated village. Yuru has never left his hometown, but that pales in comparison to Asa who has lived her life in a cell separate from the other villagers. While mysterious in itself, Yuru never questions the status quo — at least not until an attack on the village strips him of secure thoughts. Wielding weapons never before seen by Yuru and his friend, Danji, the enemies appear to be from another world. Will Yuru stop the threat and save his sister from a certain doom? Read Tsugai of the Underworld to find out.
Given the photorealistic visuals, some have speculated that the announcement will be a Fullmetal Alchemist live-action sequel to the 2017 film. Rumors of a sequel have been stirring on Twitter since Anime Expo 2017 where attendees claimed the crew already started production. No official confirmation was ever made, but the ominous new website further hints at the possibility.
While not a particularly high-rated film, director Fumihiko Sori’s Fullmetal Alchemist did leave its ending open for a sequel. And it’s worth noting that Scar was never featured. If a sequel were to be made, the Ishvalan Alchemist slayer would surely make for a compelling focal point. It’s even possible that the film could be a prequel, adapting the events of the Ishval War with Scar as the protagonist. Although, that is purely speculation.
As a spoiler to anyone not familiar with the Fullmetal Alchemist series, the “If there is a creator, there is also a destroyer” line most likely references Scar’s alchemical ability. While vehemently opposed to Alchemy — both due to the Ishval faith and because of the state alchemists who slaughtered his kin — Scar’s tattooed arm allows him to destroy anything he touches.
To recap, Scar’s brother practiced alchemy despite the taboo. And while their home was destroyed by State Alchemists, the elder brother saved his sibling’s life by transmuting the arm to Scar’s body. Woken up to find his homeland razed and his family gone, however, Scar vowed to rid the world of the Alchemists who took everything away from him.
Depending on whether the speculated film will follow the 2003 anime or the manga, Alkahestry — an alternative form of Alchemy focused on purification — may feature a prominent role. Previously left out of the first anime adaptation which saw an ending unique from the manga, Scar’s right arm was one part of an Alkahestry array: one for destruction and one for creation.
Seeing as the 2017 film only had a run time of 135 minutes, it may be too bold to assume further backstory about Alkahestry and the county Xing will be explained. But if rumors of a live-action film are true, fans can only hope that the movie will add more characters to the cast such as Ling Yao.
With a live countdown ticking down to March 2nd, now’s the perfect time to make predictions about what the announcement may be. A live-action film may be most likely, but given that the project is produced by Square Enix, it can’t be entirely ruled out that the big reveal could be an original animation or game featuring Scar. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but only time will tell.