Lin Yao - Creation and Conception

Creation and Conception

The author Hiromu Arakawa integrated several social problems into the story after talking to people who had suffered and lived through them, such as refugees, war veterans and former yakuza, or simply by watching news concerning those issues. Several plot elements expand on these themes, such as Pinako Rockbell caring for the Elric brothers after the death of their mother, and the brothers helping people all over the country to gain an understanding of the meaning of family. Many characters of the series differ from the manga to the first anime, the homunculi being the most notable, which was because Arakawa wanted the first anime to have a different ending from the manga's, to avoid repeating the same events in both series.

Arakawa said that she became attracted by the idea of using alchemy in the manga after reading about the philosopher's stone. She liked it so much that she started reading books of alchemy, which she found very complicated because some books contradicted others. Director from the first anime series, Seiji Mizushima, mentions that he has a definite aversion to the kind of character growth. He explains that while characters can evolve during the story, they also devolve with for example Edward, as Mizushima comments he has a continuous struggle overarching inner struggle to determinate how to grow up. To symbolize the intangibles in the story, the first anime staff use physical phenomena, such as making their body rot.

In the making of the characters' designs, Arakawa has commented that the manga authors Suihō Tagawa and Hiroyuki Eto are her main inspirations, and she also mentions her artwork is a mix of both of them. When drawing the series characters, Alex Louis Armstrong and the little animals are the easiest for her to draw. Due to the fact she likes dogs, Arakawa added several of them in the story. She also adds various muscles to most of the characters fearing that otherwise they may look much too thin to the point they could look unhealthy. Despite being requested several times by fans to show the characters' birthdates, Arakawa has claimed that she never thought of them.

In the two animated adaptations of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, the characters have been voiced by famous voice actors such as Romi Park and Rie Kugimiya who portray Edward and Alphonse, respectively, in Japanese. In the second adaptation most of the voice actors were replaced with the exception of a few, which includes Park and Kugimiya that reprised their roles. On the other hand, most of the English voice actors of the first anime reprised their roles for Brotherhood with the exception of a few such as Aaron Dismuke (Alphonse) and Dameon Clarke (Scar) who are replaced by Maxey Whitehead and J. Michael Tatum, respectively.

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