Review: The Complete Art of Fullmetal Alchemist


Includes Illustrations & Artwork From 2001 through 2017

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of regarded as the best anime of all time according to MyAnimeList, with an average score of 9.24, scored by 847,835 users as of this post. And honestly, it’s well deserved. Not only did Bones did a fantastic job with the animation (for the most part), but it was well adapted as well. It undoubtedly can be considered a masterpiece.

I’m usually a fan of artbooks, especially video game artbooks, because it contains all of the aesthetic process of the game, including concept arts, environments, and character artworks, in different outfits of how they came to be in their final design. While particularly, I never owned an anime artbook, I was interested in getting this one.   

The Complete Art of Fullmetal Alchemist
Published by: Viz Media 
Illustrations by: Hiromu Arakawa
Release Date: November 13, 2018
MSRP: $34.99 

Published by Viz Media—who is known for publishing many manga as well as anime, I trusted that this was going to be a good product. While particularly I never owned an artbook made by Viz Media, but usually from Udon Entertainment, but I was more than willing to give it a chance due to their good record in their products. The artbook rocks a nice and solid hardcover, like their Fullmetal Edition releases. The page paper material is well made as well as it doesn’t wrinkle or bent too easily. Additionally, the artbook is set to read right to left, which I thought was a nice touch. 

As you open the book, you’re introduced to the FMA timeline, ranging from 2001 to 2010, with many different quotes attached to it. As you proceed, you will find the very first covers of the FMA graphic novels, as well as the G-Collection comic poster. Aside from each artwork’s title, I wish there was some commentary in the white spaces near artwork to give more information about the artistic direction. However, it’s not detrimental.

The artbook is divided by year, with 2011 containing a colored cover illustration of the first chapters of the manga as well as early covers of Shonen Gangan (the series’ manga imprint) of that time. As you go through the later years, you will see the chapter covers for chapters released during that time. However, what I found really cool was that the artbook only contained manga covers but had other illustrations, such as covers for their drama CD, pre-order artwork for the PS2 game Fullmetal Alchemist 3: Kami o Tsugu Shōjo as well as the artwork used for the announcement of the Wii-exclusive game Fullmetal Alchemist: Prince of the Dawn. Too bad a lot of the game never released outside of Japan. 

The end section of the artbook had character artworks used as the frontispiece for the Fullmetal Edition releases, though they don’t entirely look the same comparing them to the ones I have. Lastly, you see Hiromu Arakawa answering how he was able to create such compelling character designs explaining the process and the tools that she used. 

I really love The Complete Art of Fullmetal Alchemist artbook as it covers the entire cover-art history and other artwork and illustrations of the franchise. It felt like going through memory lane of the series. The artbook is sturdy and looks great aesthetically. If you’re a big fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, then do yourself a big favor and add this to your collection. 

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The Complete Art of Fullmetal Alchemist reviewed by Christian Chiok



A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide


Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures



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