Back in 2003, an anime was made of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. Because the story was still ongoing, and Arakawa didn’t want to give away any of her story, this anime took a turn at about episode 29 into a completely different direction. There’s nothing wrong with the remaining 20 episodes of the anime, but it doesn’t follow the manga. With the publication of the 20th volume of FMA, Arakawa announced another anime series, this one reported to follow the story of the manga more closely. Also called Fullmetal Alchemist, this anime is available in the US from Funimation, who is streaming it subtitled on their site. But how close is this new series to the manga? I’ve read most of the manga and have been following this new anime to see how well it stays on track, and I have to say, I’m impressed so far.
Erin F. of the PopCultureShock website has some great coverage of the Industry talks that went on during the New York Anime Festival. At the panel called “Marketing to the Otaku Generation”, it seems quite apparent that the people making the decisions about what to license and how to do it is completely out of touch with their audience. Particularily Funimation and 4Kids though the second is a foregone conclusion. 4Kids is just in it for the money. Mr. Kahn made that very clear from his comments. If a property doesn’t instantly make them lots of money, then it’s obviously a failure to them. And because the Japanese won’t automatically bend to their will and do what they want, then “there’s a real systemic problem in Japan”. Uh, Mr. Kahn? Ever hear the saying about beating a dead horse? Everyone needs to move on. That’s not a problem, it’s nature. Maybe you should try it.
Read Erin’s coverage here, which also includes a link to the unedited audio recording she did of the panel. I found this really insightful and interesting. This is a must read if you’ve ever wondered what’s wrong with the companies that license and release anime.