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Island manga: an isolated town enclosed by huge, unscalable walls…

An image of the Island

The island is an isolated town enclosed by huge, unscalable walls, where the outside world is a mystery that no-one even has laid eyes on for 400 years. As its culture dies a slow death, the town’s people have forgotten how to read and write, but the children still dream of escaping, wondering what they might see on the other side, where something as vast -and as salty- as the sea seems impossible to imagine, because their town, their world, is so small, but while the children still run and laugh and dream, the adults are altogether more melancholy, long since resigned to living their lives within the shadows of the unscalable walls.

Island is a very short, one-shot manga that spans only 45 pages, yet it has a vivid and brilliant premise. The walls loom large over everything, an unrelenting reminder of what it means to live life within boundaries and without adventure, where it’s easy to slip into a routine, to work year after year at the same place, to sit in the same stupid chair every day, all without question or concern. It’s about having the courage to take that first step, not knowing what you might find on the other side, but going there anyway, because it’s fun and new and exciting.

So, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is bad because it isn’t a perfect adaptation of the manga?

Please don't hate me

I’m really enjoying Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I haven’t read the manga, but I loved the first anime, even when it diverged from the source material, so I’m not someone that demands an adaptation be a frame-for-frame duplicate, it just has to be good!

Anime is a totally different medium of entertainment to manga and as such, the dream of a ‘perfect adaptation’ is impossible to realise, because what works in a comic won’t always work for animation. The transition between the two effects everything, from the way the dialogue flows to the selection of a certain scene at the expense of another; an anime series will always have a limited number of episodes to fill and when the source material is particularly long-running, not every single panel can be included. This is a limitation of anime and one should approach an adaptation with that in mind.

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