What is Fullmetal Alchemist?
Fullmetal Alchemist (abbreviated as FMA or FA) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa, and it was serialized in the magazine called “少年ガンガン(=Shonen Gangan)” from August 2001 to June 2010. The first anime series were broadcasted in Japan from 2003 to 2004, and the second series were from 2009 to 2010. Seven years have passed since the final episode ended, but it is still one of my favorite manga and anime.
Hiromu Arakawa and me…
I had believed the author was a man since “Hiromu” is a Japanese male name, and I was very surprised when I found that Hiromu Arakawa is actually a woman. I hadn’t known that female manga writers who can create interesting *少年マンガ(Shonen manga, which literally means manga for boys. They tend to focus on growing of protagonists through adventures, sports, etc.) except Rumiko Takahashi, the manga writer of Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2. It may sound sexist idea, but I had thought that male manga artists write shonen manga, and female manga artists write 少女マンガ(= Shojo manga literally means manga for girls. Most of shojo mangas are romances in daily lives). The truth that Hiromu Arakawa is a woman gave me a new idea that gender doesn’t matter for writing various types of manga, and I got to like Hiromu Arakawa more than before.
The limited exhibition of Fullmetal Alchemist at Tokyo Dome City
A live-action movie of Fullmetal Alchemist will be released on 1st December 2017 in Japan (personally, I don’t like the idea to make a live action movie of FMA since I love the original manga and the anime “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”), and the exhibition of FMA is held from 16th September to 29th October 2017 in Tokyo to commemorate the movie release. The ticket costs 1,500 yen for an adult and a college student, 1,200 yen for a junior or high school student, and JPY 1,000 yen for a child under eleven years old.
They have an audio-guide for the exhibition, but it is available only in Japanese since the voice actresses of Edward (朴璐美Romi Park) and Alphonse (釘宮理恵Rie Kugimiya) explain the displays with recalling some episodes in the audio-guide. It costs 600 yen for the rent of the tour audio-guide device.
At the entrance of the exhibition, there are notes with illustrations of FMA; “Don’t touch”, “Don’t eat”, “No photo”, “Photo OK” and “Keep out”.
I liked the Gluttony’s “Don’t eat” and “Keep out” with a mysterious boy in front of the portal of truth. Please note that you cannot drink either at the exhibition since Japanese note says 飲食禁止 which means “don’t eat or drink”. (Come to think of it, there’s no scene that Gluttony drank something in the manga or anime. Is that why they didn’t add “Don’t drink” in English note?) Basically, it is prohibited to take a picture of original paintings, and unfortunately there are not so many displays that you can take pictures of. If you have a chance to visit to Tokyo during the exhibition is held, please come to Tokyo Dome city and look at the original paintings by yourself.
Alphonse Elric. The armor is huger than I had expected and cool!
There are four costumes that Japanese actors and actresses used in the movie, and Edward’s artificial arm.
Signatures of Japanese actors and actresses.
The Illustration for rest rooms. The silhouettes of Winry and Pinako Rockbell are for ladies’ restroom and Alphonse and Edward are for men’s.
“Pride” in a shadow form reacts to your movements and it changes the shape of the form on the wall. (I think Pride is the scariest homunculus of the seven homunculi…)
What is this golden statue of cow?
If you have ever read the first volume of FMA’s manga, you notice what this cow is at once. This is the self-portrait of Hiromu Arakawa. Since she was born and raised on a dairy farm in Hokkaido (The northernmost prefecture in Japan), cows have been very familiar to her and that’s one of the reasons that she chose a cow character for her self-portrait.
You can buy FMA’s goods at a shop in the exhibition!
There’s a small shop that sells FMA’s goods near the exit. I bought a booklet of this exhibition and red hooded sweatshirt which looks like Edward’s red court. (The number one and seventeen in the following picture.)
The replicas of original painting with Hiromu Arakawa’s signature (the number three to six), T-shirts, mug cups, and pens were already sold out when I went there on 18th September. However, they still have some unique items such as Edward’s watch with the Amestrian president’s crest, Roy’s white globes, cookies that FMA’s illustrations were printed on, etc. If you are a big fan of FMA, it’s worth to visit!
Gallery AAMO at Tokyo Dome City Crystal Avenue
Time: 16th September to 29th October 2017
Business hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Address: 1-3-61, Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8575, Japan
The nearest station is JR Suidobashi station, and it takes about five minutes on foot.
The exhibition will be held in Osaka from 3rd to 30th November 2017. Even if you miss the chance in Tokyo, you have another chance in Osaka.
Osaka bay area ATC HALL
Address: 2-1-10, Nankou kita, Suminoe-ku,Osaka, 559-0034, Japan
The nearest station is Trade Center Mae station of Nanko port town line.