Fullmetal Alchemist Anime Director Criticizes Live-Action Adaptation For Having An All-Japanese Cast

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By Bayani Miguel Acebedo | More Articles Star Wars nerd. Toy collector. Occasional Cosplayer.
September 19, 2017  01:01 PM

With “whitewashing” being such a hotly debated topic in Hollywood, Fullmetal Alchemist anime director Seiji Mizushima is firing shots at the live adaptation of the show for having a cast that is all Japanese.

Speaking at the Nikufes Festival (via Anime News Network), Mizushima comments:

“It was a bad idea to only use Japanese actors… If you asked me whether I think the cast could pull it off, I’d say that no, they can’t. It’s hard for actors to capture the look and feel of the original manga.”

Fans of the original anime will know that the show is heavily influenced by European culture, and even all the characters have Western names. With all the issues of Ghost in the Shell and Death Note getting whitewashed, you’d think that there would be a lot of outrage when a movie casts all Japanese actors to play characters who are European.

The same issue actually goes with the Attack on Titan live-action adaptation. The movie had an all-Japanese cast, despite most of the characters being Western. In the actual lore, the Asian race was close to getting extinct once the Titans took over—that’s why Mikasa is the only main character with a Japanese name.

With issues like this, I can imagine people getting angry even if they did cast people of the proper ethnicity. I’d be happy to see Hollywood adapt a live-action FMA with a Western cast, but I can also see another party which will be outraged that a character named Edward Elric is not being played by a Japanese actor.


The live-action Fullmetal Alchemist comes out Dec. 1.

See Also: Fullmetal Alchemist Live-Action Movie Poster Features The State Alchemists

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Bayani Miguel Acebedo is a pop-culture dork. When he's not scouring the internet for news on the latest movies and games, he's building Star Wars model kits and playing Overwatch. He's a huge Star Wars geek, and his favorite X-Wing pilot is Jek Porkins. He likes Kevin Smith and Jared Hess movies, and he also does cosplay. What a nerd.