Hiromu Arakawa (荒川 弘 Arakawa Hiromu, born May 8, 1973) is 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. Her given name is Hiromi (弘美), the first character being written identically to her male pen name, Hiromu.
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 andKinnikuman by Yudetamago as influences and is a fan of Mike Mignola's work.
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.
Arakawa moved to Tokyo in the summer of 1999, and started her career in the manga industry as an assistant to Hiroyuki Etō, author of Mahōjin Guru Guru. Her own career began with the publication of Stray Dog in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 1999. Stray Dog won the ninth 21st Century “Shōnen Gangan” Award. She published one chapter of Shanghai Yōmakikai in Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 2000. In July 2001, Arakawa published the first chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist in Monthly Shōnen Gangan. The series spanned 108 chapters, with the last one published in July 2010, and the series was collected in twenty-seven volumes. When the studio Bones adapted it into an anime series, Arakawa aided them in developing it. However, she later let them work alone in the making of the script so that both manga and anime would have different endings, and to develop the manga further. The series won the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2004. 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.
She is currently living in Tokyo and has published three more works, Raiden 18, Sōten no Kōmori, and Hero Tales. 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. She has also drawn the cover from the Japanese edition of the novel The Demon’s Lexicon authored by Sarah Rees Brennan.
In April 2011, Arakawa began a new series called Silver Spoon, serialized 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. It quickly rose among Shogakukan’s best-selling titles and an anime series by A-1 Pictures began airing in July 2013. She began writing a manga adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka's The Heroic Legend of Arslanseries of novels in July 2013, serialized in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.
One of my favorite comic creators. Also responsible for one of my all-time favorite animated TV series, FMA & FMA: Brotherhood! :-D