NCM Fathom Anime Bento Festival shows Full Metal Alchemist

Full Metal Alchemist - Conqueror of Shamballa concludes the FMA series after two tv seasons

My friend Allyson Floyd emailed me about Full Metal Alchemist the Movie being shown in theaters again so I just had to go. I just couldn’t resist any opportunity to see anime on the big screen and be around the people who are in love the fandom. The Full Metal Alchemist - Conqueror of Shamballa was part of NCM Fathom's Anime Bento Festival. FMA Movie and three other anime movies were playing around the US for one night each in over 250 theaters. The voice actor of Roy Mustang, Travis Willingham, was also attending the Century City 15 Theater in Los Angeles so my friend Allyson, the biggest FMA fan ever, was like We HAVE to go there…

The movie started right at 7:30 without previews or commercials but with a few technical problems

I walk in 7:30 and it’s just small group of anime fans standing around taking pictures. I ask around if I missed anything and someone says “it’s just the music.” I look up and there’s no picture!

I attended NCM Fathom's FMA showing at the AMC Century City 15 in Los Angeles

So I walked up to talk some people. I ran into Jason Bell and asked him what brought him here tonight. “They are showing Full Metal Alchemist in theaters again for 1 night only, there’s a good 20 or 25 so people. I came with my club. I heard that Travis, the voice of Roy Mustang was going to be here so I knew I had to come and see him.” Then he points behind us and Travis, this super tall shadowy figure, is standing right behind me. Jason Bell had cosplayed as Roy Mustang from the Full Metal Alchemist series.

Friends from an anime club here to see the FMA movie

Travis said they better start it over so he run out and ask the theater to restart the movie. Of course they already knew about the problem and said they were fixing it. About 7:40ish and the picture came back on but we had already missed 10 minutes of it. After a while someone from the theater came in and said they restarting it for us soon. He told us the picture went out because they were having problems with downloading the movie off their server.

It seemed like everyone had FMA merchandise to sign

I walk around and talked to some of the fans. I spoke to John and Victoria Galietta. They told me their first anime was Dragon Ball Z. At that I knew these were true anime fans. “We are veterans,” said Victoria. Both of them had seen the movie and they owned all 3 version of it; the import, the special edition, and the regular DVD.  They also came out here to get Travis’s signature. So I asked them how they heard about it. Victoria heard about it from Mike McFarland (voice actor in Trinity Blood, Dragon Ball Z, Fruits Basket)  on his MySpace and John from the FUNimation emails. I asked them if they could see any one anime movie on theaters again what it would be. Victoria said, “Probably one of the Hayao Miyazaki movies again,” and he said “probably Princess Mononoke.”

Fangirls were shy for autographs at first

I spoke to Jeffrey Harris, a movie review from as well. “I got contact the publicist and got to do an interview for the Robotech and FMA movie. We are seeing anime in high definition on the big screen, like some movies that were barely in theaters are now on 200 screens across the country. This movie has already been released on theaters, already on DVD a year ago, and here it is on theaters playing on more screens then ever before.”

Jeffrey Harris got his Mushi-Shi DVDs signed by Travis, voice of lead character Ginko in Mushi-Shi

So it was 7:50 and we were staring at the Sanyo projector startup screen when suddenly the screen blacks out and the movie finally starts over with the crowd cheering. It was a nice comfortable home theater feeling with anime fans being comfortable chatting and joking around about the movie while it got started and throughout it. When the first scene of Roy Mustang, Travis’ Character, appeared there was a little celebration as well. His character appeared like a secret agent from underneath a pile. The movie played was English voiced Dubbed with all the music unchained from their original languages.

Hardcore fangirls

I spoke to Travis Willingham after the movie. I asked if he was an anime fan, he said “Oh yea, I got started on Dragon Ball Z. It was so long ago, I started out in college and I accidently flipped to it and I was like, what is this show… what is it all about.  Toonami… yea... I’d skip classes to make sure I caught it. It furthered it my mediocre performance in the education system.”

Travis Willingham voice of Roy Mustang in the American dub of FMA

I went on and asked how he felt being a part of the anime world and helping it grow. “Are you kidding me it’s like a little dream come true.  After I watched anime I was like… I wanted to do something like that. I wanted to do something that exciting that get people pumped up. Then this show came alone and I got Roy Mustang and, I couldn’t be any happier. I got a total badass character, I don’t care what else I do in life, I got the badass one.”

Roy Mustang from the FMA tv series

“You know, It’s one of those kind of things you take a silent pride in. Your like really proud of it but you don’t like to go around and talk about it. Some people know what you’re talking about and other people dont. But you know whats really gratifying? When people bring it up to you and are ‘have you heard about fma?’ Hahaha.

Travis signed everything fans could find

**warning tv spoiler ahead**
We started to talk about favorite characters and have a little fun. “My Favorite character was Hughes from the start. When he died I was pissed. I knew I was gonna audition for Roy Mustang but I couldn’t help but love hues. Then they killed him I didn’t know what to do.   He’s gonna be ok right… he’s gonna come back… nop.”

Travis Willingham, voice of Roy Mustang, and Jason Bell, cosplayer or Roy Mustang

Before the movie and afterwards Travis Willingham signed autographs and hung out with the crowd. He signed a girl’s hand, a Nintendo cap, a Full Metal Alchemist keychain, FMA Wallet, a girl’s hand painted FMA jeans, movie stubs, and more. He actually just lives not too far away so this was his normal theater. His current projects include Ergo Proxy as Iggy and lead character Ginko in Mushi-Shi. He has also done a screen appearance in an independent film The Anarchist Cookbook (2002).

I didn't notice Travis till I looked up

The audience wonderful, Travis was cool, the Century City 15 staff and manager were nice and helped me to into the movie even though he didn’t receive any notification about holding tickets for press.

Die hard fan who hunted down the signatures of Travis Willingham and Vic Mignogna for her pants

Tickets were $10 each and purchased at which hosts other movies for one night only which would normally never get a theater showing again. NCM Fathom has shown other anime movies such as Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow. Anime Bento showed with the following schedule:

    * “Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles” – Wednesday, Sept. 19th 2007
    * “Full Metal Alchemist – The Movie – Conqueror of Shamballa” – Thursday, Sept. 20th
    * “Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro” – Wednesday, Sept. 26th
    * “Karas – The Prophecy” – Thursday, Sept. 27th

Go Anime!


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