Hiromu Arakawa

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Hiromu Arakawa
Born (1973-05-08) May 8, 1973 (age 49)[1]
Makubetsu, Tokachi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan
Notable works

Hiromu Arakawa (荒川 弘, Arakawa Hiromu, born May 8, 1973)[1] is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known for the manga series Fullmetal Alchemist (2001–2010), which became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was adapted into two anime television series. She is also known for Silver Spoon (2011–2019) and the manga adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan novels.


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 ever "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] She began her career in the manga world as a Square Enix employee and 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] Fullmetal Alchemist has been adapted into two anime series by Bones. When they were creating the first, Arakawa assisted them in its early development.[11] However, she was not involved in the making of the script, so the anime has 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 the 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]

Arakawa is married with three children.[16] She gave birth to a daughter in 2007 and had her third child in January 2014.[17]

She is currently living in Tokyo and has published more works, including Raiden-18, Sōten no Kōmori (also known as Bat in Blue Sky), and Hero Tales.[3][18][19] 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.[20] She has also drawn the cover from the Japanese edition of the novel The Demon's Lexicon authored by Sarah Rees Brennan.[21]

In April 2011, Arakawa began a 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.[22] It quickly rose among Shogakukan's best-selling titles and an anime series by A-1 Pictures began airing in July 2013.[23] 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.[24]

Arakawa started the manga series Daemons of the Shadow Realm in Monthly Shōnen Gangan on December 10, 2021.[25]


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 assistant of Hiroyuki Etō [ja]. She also cites Rumiko Takahashi, Shigeru Mizuki, and Kinnikuman by Yudetamago as influences and is a fan of Mike Mignola's work.[3][5] Reviewers consider Fullmetal Alchemist to have 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 (2005–2021)[26]
  • 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)
  • Hyakushō Kizoku (百姓貴族, lit.. "The Peasant Noble") (2006–present)
  • Silver Spoon (銀の匙, Gin no Saji) (2011–2019)
  • The Heroic Legend of Arslan (アルスラーン戦記, Arusurān Senki, lit. "Arslan War Records") (2013–present)
  • Daemons of the Shadow Realm (黄泉のツガイ, Yomi no Tsugai, lit. "The Hinge of the Underworld") (2021–present)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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 (May 12, 2011). "(Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in shonen manga" (PDF). Cultural Geographies. 18 (4): 457–473. doi:10.1177/1474474010397639. ISSN 1474-4740. S2CID 191476902.
  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 August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  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 (May 12, 2011). "(Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in shonen manga" (PDF). Cultural Geographies. 18 (4): 457–473. doi:10.1177/1474474010397639. ISSN 1474-4740. S2CID 191476902.
  15. ^ a b c d e Sementelli, Arthur (November 14, 2016). "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. ^ "Webサンデー|まんが家Backstage".
  17. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist/Silver Spoon's Hiromu Arakawa Has Her 3rd Baby". Anime News Network. February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  18. ^ "Raiden 18" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  19. ^ "New Manga Magazine from Square-Enix". Comipress.com. September 29, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  20. ^ "Hero Tales Anime Staff, First Manga Compilation Announced". Anime News Network. June 22, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  21. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa Draws Cover for Irish Novelist". Anime News Network. April 28, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  22. ^ "Animeland" (in French) (189). Asuka Editions. January 2013. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2013. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ ""Fullmetal Alchemist" author's new series is called "Silver Spoon"". Tokyohive. March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  24. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa to Adapt Tanaka's Arslan Fantasy". Anime News Network. May 7, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Pineda, Rafael (November 11, 2021). "Fullmetal Alchemist's Hiromu Arakawa Launches Yomi no Tsugai Manga on December 10". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  26. ^ 荒川弘のアナーキーコメディ「RAIDEN-18」単行本化、カラーページや描き下ろし収録. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. June 9, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  27. ^ "News: 15th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced". Anime News Network. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon Wins 5th Manga Taisho Award". Anime News Network. March 23, 2012.
  30. ^ 第58回小学館漫画賞発表:小学館 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved March 10, 2013.

External links[edit]