Exhibit marks 20th anniversary of ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’

HIRAKATA, Osaka Prefecture – A special event is being held here at the Hirakata Park Event Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of Hiromu Arakawa’s “Fullmetal Alchemist” manga series.

“Fullmetal Alchemist Exhibition: Returns!” brings together over 300 illustrations and other elements, including those newly drawn by the author, to chronicle the key events of the story.

The exhibition lasts until June 26.

Rough sketches and drafts of “Fullmetal Alchemist” are presented on the site. ((c) Hiromu Arakawa/Square Enix)

The dark fantasy revolves around two brothers who have embarked on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone to restore one’s lost limbs and the other’s entire body after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy.

Originally serialized in Square Enix Co.’s nine-year monthly comic anthology Shonen Gangan from 2001, the title has sold over 80 million copies worldwide.

The exhibition initially ran from 2017 to 2019. Officials said 145 items were added or replaced for the latest event.

The venue is divided into six main areas, with handwritten manuscripts and original color illustrations to showcase highlights and memorable scenes from the story.

Each work is accompanied by a commentary by Arakawa to explain the situation in which it found itself at the time and the composition of the design.

“I was emotionally involved,” the author says in reference to one illustration, while commenting on another, “I guess I was able to show how each of them thinks.”

Handwritten manuscripts and original color drawings are displayed in a corner of the room. ((c) Hiromu Arakawa/Square Enix)

Also featured on the site are toy guns, communication devices and other items collected by Arakawa as reference materials, illustrations provided for fan books and other publications, artwork for adaptations of television series and props used in live-action feature film adaptations.

Admission is 2,000 yen ($16.30) for adults and students. Reservations for assigned times are required.

Visit the official website at (https://www.mbs.jp/hagarenten/).

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