NHK World TV, The International channel of the prestigious Japanese public broadcaster, has aired a segment about the highly acclaimed Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on their Pop culture show, imagine-nation, which was shown on Wednesday (Japan/Manila time).
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which has aired its final episode last sunday (July 04), is the first anime programme that became very popular both inside and outside Japan because of its concurrent broadcast on different parts of the world, including the Philippines (when it premiered in Japan on April 05, 2009).
NHK imagine-nation has talked to Masahiro Suzuki, editor of various anime magazines & an expert on Fullmetal Alchemist, and said that the reason why FMA: Brotherhood is very popular is because “… it has a superb storyline.” He also pointed out that, “Despite being complex, it is not difficult to understand if you have watched the episode in order.”
The story of Fullmetal Alchemist has started with brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, when they had commited the ultimate taboo in Alchemy, which is Human transmutation, because they we’re unable to bear the sadness of being alone as children after their mother has died and their father abandoned them. Unfortunately, the transmutation has backfired and in exchange for the “rebound” was Edward’s arm & leg, and Alphonse’s whole body.
Masahiro also said that the programme “… is a fantasy fiction, it was very realistic; especially the way that it has depict the character’s emotions, whether it would be anger, sadness or joy.” He also pointed out that “The Story isn’t simply focused on joy, but it also includes elements of pain as well.” The protagonists, according to Masahiro, “… are heroes, but certainly not the typical type. These heroes began their journey carrying the burden of their sins, looking for ways to make-up for it.”
NHK imagine-nation also talked to various people, and one person said that “An alchemy-themed anime was original. There was nothing like it in the past.”, and another said, “Being slightly political, it’s a manga that can be enjoyed by adult readers as well.”
Sei, their reporter, also talked to the Director of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Yasuhiro Irie, and talked about the difference with the Original Fullmetal Alchemist manga and this Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation. Yasuhiro said, “Manga is an active form of entertainment.” Because, according to him, it is composed of drawing and dialogue where readers have to turn the page to continue the story, and can even turn-back the pages if the reader wants to. But anime, on the other hand, “is a passive form of entertainment” said by the director, because audience can only watch what the story unfold on the TV screen.
“But despite the difference,” said by the director, “both anime and manga have become successful without weighing down each other.” and that he tries to be aware of the differences when producing the anime. To lessen the differences, the production staff must know the original manga storyline, and also had asked the original creator, Hiromu Arakawa, for the developments on on how will they work on the anime, and they also send particular scenarios of the story and she [Arakawa] will give feedbacks.
Yasushiro Irie has pointed out a paticular difference between the manga anime the anime version, which is a Chapter 53 of the manga and Episode 26 of the anime, particularly on Irie’s favourite, the part where Edward finds Alphonse’s body behind the Gate of Truth.
The reason for this particular scenario’s difference is because, “… this scene will leave a stronger impression.”
Masahiro Suzuki also points out that “The people working on Fullmetal Alchemist seems to know the story and characters inside out.” He also added, “Only someone who deeply understood the original manga could alter that scene, because it not only conveyed the original intentions of the author, it went one step further to emphasize the message and the feeling through animation.”
One more reason why Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood became very popular, not just within Japan but also many parts of the world, was because of the concurrent broadcast from different parts of the world.
ANIPLEX, Inc. Executive Vice President, Hideki Goto, explains that the concurrent telecast of the anime was not just a counter-piracy measure but also “…because overseas fans are also eager to watch Hagane no Rekinjutsushi on TV.”
Hideki also added, “They didn’t want to miss out on what the Japanese were getting.”
Though he had understood that numerous problems could arise in the post-recording process, and dialogue can be changed on the day of broadcast. Which meant that the staffs have would have to correct the dialogue, and pass it to the people who does the translation.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has been aired overseas, at the same period of time, through ANIMAX in East Asia and Indian sub-continent (Same Week telecast), Funimation On-demand in North America, Madman online streaming in Australia & New Zealand, Dybex online streaming in France, and TV5 here in the Philippines.
This is one big leap for Japanese Anime, and another way to promote the Japanese Culture.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood came to a close this week, and everybody is sure that maybe no other anime can reach what FA has done. We’ll remember the big accomplishment for Japan’s Anime and Culture. We’ll remember the joy, the pain, the laughter, the sorrow… the Brotherhood.
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