The live-action adaptation of the manga-turned-anime Full Metal Alchemist has chosen to make their entire cast of lead characters Japanese.
During an interview with Natalie, Fumihiko Sori, the director for film discussed his reasoning.
“I want to depict something that follows the original work as much as possible,” Sori said. “The cast is entirely Japanese, but the setting is Europe. However, their race and nationality isn’t expressed in a specific form.”
Are Japanese doing the same thing Hollywood has been getting a lot of heat for the past few months? With films like Ghost in Shell and Marvel’s Doctor Strange, many celebrities are being cast in roles based on name recognition and not staying true to the original characters. They’re whitewashing characters because of name recognition.
Edward Elric is a blonde-haired character but he’s being played by Ryosuke Yamada a boy band member in Japan. A similar adaptation of the manga-turned-anime, Attack on Titan had very similar casting despite the characters looking very different than in the drawings. Another huge factor is not many European actors are willing to learn Japanese for a role.