Hiromu Arakawa

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Hiromu Arakawa
BornHiromi Arakawa
(1973-05-08) May 8, 1973 (age 46)
Makubetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
Notable works
Fullmetal Alchemist
Silver Spoon
Hero Tales
The Heroic Legend of Arslan

Hiromu Arakawa (荒川 弘, Arakawa Hiromu) is the male pen name of Hiromi Arakawa (荒川 弘美, Arakawa Hiromi, born May 8, 1973),[1] a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. She is best known for the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, which became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was later adapted into two anime television series. She often portrays herself as a bespectacled cow.[citation needed]


Born on May 8, 1973, in Tokachi, Hokkaidō, Japan, Arakawa was born and raised on a dairy farm with three elder sisters and a younger brother. Arakawa thought about being a manga artist "since [she] was little" and during her school years, she would often draw on textbooks. After graduating high school, she took oil painting classes once a month for seven years while working on her family's farm. During this time, she also created dōjinshi manga with her friends and drew yonkoma for a magazine.[2][3]

Arakawa moved to Tokyo in the summer of 1999,[4] and started her career in the manga industry as an assistant to Hiroyuki Etō, author of Mahōjin Guru Guru.[5] Her own career began with the publication of Stray Dog in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 1999.[3] Stray Dog won the ninth 21st Century "Shōnen Gangan" Award.[2] She published one chapter of Shanghai Yōmakikai in Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 2000.[6]

In July 2001, Arakawa published the first chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist in Monthly Shōnen Gangan.[7] The series spanned 108 chapters, with the last one published in July 2010, and the series was collected in twenty-seven volumes.[8][9] Some reviewers say that the combination of Arakawa's art style and the writing in Fullmetal Alchemist contribute to its dark thematic elements.[10]When the studio Bones adapted it into an anime series, Arakawa assisted them in its early development.[11] However, she was not involved in the making of the script, so the anime had a different ending from the manga, which she developed further.[3] The series won the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2004.[12] When the second anime adaptation was reaching its ending, Arakawa showed director Yasuhiro Irie her plans for the manga's ending, making both end in near dates.[13] Most reviewers distinguish between the manga and anime, which they attribute to differences in style and subject matter.[14][15] One review explains that the manga is more "emotional," whereas anime is more whimsical.[15] Arakawa's simple, dark style and plot choices contrast with the anime's "cartoony," colorful rendering.[10][15] Reviews in general tend to ascribe the anime to children and the manga to teens and adults.[10][15]

She gave birth to a son in 2007 but did not take a maternity leave. In a February 12, 2014, interview, Arakawa mentioned that her third child had been born a few days earlier. Other than this she has chosen to keep her personal life private.

She is currently living in Tokyo and has published three more works, Raiden 18, Sōten no Kōmori (also known as Bat in Blue Sky), and Hero Tales.[3][16][17] Arakawa has collaborated with the creation of Hero Tales with Studio Flag under the name of Huang Jin Zhou. In the anime adaptation of the series, Arakawa was responsible for the character designs.[18] She has also drawn the cover from the Japanese edition of the novel The Demon's Lexicon authored by Sarah Rees Brennan.[19]

In April 2011, Arakawa began a new series called Silver Spoon in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday. Rather than writing another fantasy series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa wanted to challenge herself by trying a more realistic story with Silver Spoon.[20] It quickly rose among Shogakukan's best-selling titles and an anime series by A-1 Pictures began airing in July 2013.[21] Also in July 2013 she began her manga adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka's The Heroic Legend of Arslan series of novels in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.[22]


Arakawa states that Suihō Tagawa, the author of Norakuro, is the "root of [her] style as an artist". She also learned composition and drawing during her time as Hiroyuki Etō's assistant. She also cites Rumiko Takahashi, Shigeru Mizuki, and Kinnikuman by Yudetamago as influences and is a fan of Mike Mignola's work.[3][5] Fullmetal Alchemist has steampunk influences.[15]


  • Stray Dog (1999)
  • Shanghai Yōmakikai (上海妖魔鬼怪, lit. "Ghost Demons of Shanghai") (2000)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, lit. "Alchemist of Steel") (2001–2010)
  • Raiden 18 (2005)
  • Sōten no Kōmori (蒼天の蝙蝠, lit. "A Bat In Blue Sky") (2006)
  • Hero Tales (獣神演武, Jūshin Enbu) (2006–2010)[23]
  • Noble Farmer (百姓貴族, Hyakushō Kizoku) (2006–)
  • Silver Spoon (銀の匙, Gin no Saji) (2011–)
  • The Heroic Legend of Arslan (アルスラーン戦記, Arusurān Senki) (2013–)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "荒川弘 - コミックナタリー". Natalie (in Japanese). Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c インタビュー - 荒川弘 (in Japanese). Yahoo.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wong, Amos (January 2006). "Equivalent Exchange". Newtype USA. A.D. Vision. 5 (1). ISSN 1541-4817.[page needed]
  4. ^ Hyakushou Kizoku (2008)
  5. ^ a b Arakawa, Hiromu (June 2006). Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles. Viz Media. pp. 100–105. ISBN 978-1-4215-0768-2.
  6. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (March 2000). "Shanghai Yōmakikai". Monthly Shōnen Gangan (in Japanese). Square Enix.
  7. ^ "Hiromu Arakawa". Viz Media. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  8. ^ "FMA: B Ends July 4; Sengoku Basara 2 Starts July 11". Anime News Network. June 8, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  9. ^ 鋼の錬金術師 27巻 (in Japanese). ASIN 4757530544.
  10. ^ a b c Gallacher, Lesley-Anne (2011-05-12). "(Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in shonen manga". Cultural Geographies. 18 (4): 457–473. doi:10.1177/1474474010397639. ISSN 1474-4740.
  11. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). 鋼の錬金術師 パーフェクトガイドブック 2. Square Enix. pp. 168–172. ISBN 978-4-7575-1426-3.
  12. ^ a b 小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  13. ^ "News FMA: B Ends July 4; Sengoku Basara 2 Starts July 11". Anime News Network. June 8, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  14. ^ Gallacher, Lesley-Anne (2011-05-12). "(Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in shonen manga". Cultural Geographies. 18 (4): 457–473. doi:10.1177/1474474010397639. ISSN 1474-4740.
  15. ^ a b c d e Sementelli, Arthur (2016-11-14). "Applying Existential Philosophy and Popular Culture Images to Ethics: The Case for Fullmetal Alchemist". Public Voices. 14 (1): 28. doi:10.22140/pv.42. ISSN 1072-5660.
  16. ^ "Raiden 18" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  17. ^ "New Manga Magazine from Square-Enix". Comipress.com. September 29, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  18. ^ "Hero Tales Anime Staff, First Manga Compilation Announced". Anime News Network. June 22, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  19. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa Draws Cover for Irish Novelist". Anime News Network. April 28, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  20. ^ "Animeland" (in French) (189). Asuka Editions. January 2013.
  21. ^ ""Fullmetal Alchemist" author's new series is called "Silver Spoon"". Tokyohive. March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  22. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa to Adapt Tanaka's Arslan Fantasy". Anime News Network. May 7, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Jushin Enbu". Newtype USA 6 (12) 11. December 2007. ISSN 1541-4817.
  24. ^ "News: 15th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced". Anime News Network. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  25. ^ "日本SFファングループ連合会議: 星雲賞リスト" (in Japanese). Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  26. ^ "Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon Wins 5th Manga Taisho Award". Anime News Network. March 23, 2012.
  27. ^ 第58回小学館漫画賞発表:小学館 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2013-03-10.

External links[edit]