(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

Adapting manga into anime can be very tricky. Once you catch up to the source material, there is no easy way to wait out for more of the story to be released without losing the audience or losing sight of the story. But in some rare cases, an anime adaptation can split off from its source material and tell a story that is so ambitious and different from the source that it can be seen as an original work, while challenging the notion that the book is always better. 

This, of course, refers to Fullmetal Alchemist, Studio BONES’ 2003 adaptation of the popular manga of the same name. The anime famously got the blessing from the original author to adapy the early chapters of the manga and split off into becoming a bold, ambitious, and largely original work aimed at general audiences rather than those with prior knowledge of the manga. 

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Netflix Will Add 30 New Anime Series in 2018

netflix anime

In a move that is sure to please Michael B. Jordan, Netflix is adding 30 new anime series and movies in 2018.

This significantly expands Netflix’s already impressive anime catalogue, which ranges from classics like Rurouni Kenshin and Fullmetal Alchemist, to daring originals like Devilman Crybaby and Castelvania, and quirky viral shows like Neo Yokio.

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fullmetal alchemist trailer

Anime adaptations haven’t gotten great press lately. As Hollywood mines the medium for gripping stories to bring to the big screen, the industry has inevitably gotten into hot water over casting. Specifically, whitewashing. Recent blockbusters like Death Note and Ghost in the Shell have faced outcry over taking the Japan-set stories of the original animes and transplanting them to America or a vaguely neo-Tokyo-inspired city.

So it should be a relief that a live-action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist, one of Japan’s most popular animes, has been cast entirely with Japanese actors, right? Not quite. The trailer for the film gives an excuse to talk about this weird case.

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