Well...I have the first artbook in english (and I love it!!). I also have some time over the I should use to answer mails from friends I have neglected, yey! But let's do this instead!
I'm sorry for all typos, I am a messy typer. Page 94-95 Arakawa's Afterword
(the pages above from AA battery, for those who can't read the tiny letters!)
"Some Touching Last Words (same as the kanji)
-I'm just a manga artist, so it's really embarrassing for me to put out an art book. But I guess I should accept it as the natural course of events. Hello, this is Arakawa. My feelings about this book are that if I'm going to be embarrassed anyway, why not let people go behind the scenes and see some things that they wouldn't usually be able to see? It may be hard to bear at some points, but please think of it as the crust at the very edge of a loaf of bread and enjoy it in that way because even the crust has its own taste and can be enjoyed. I know I
like it. (The crust, I mean.) It's all been arranged chronologically so I can really see my own development as an artist. It's like a scientific study charting the growth of some rare animal. Waagggh...but I'm still really embarrassed.
-It's been two and a half years since I've begun this series. When I see it all lined up like this it makes me think to myself, "Arakawa, you've really drawn a lot of stuff." That's how I feel. Before I became a manga artist, I used to consider myself lucky if I completed one oil painting a year, so the speed at which I'm working now is nothing less than a miracle.
-Another thing that I noticed was "Boy, the main character sure takes off his clothes a lot." Of course, if I want to draw his auto-mail, then I have to make him take off his clothes. But maybe he strips more often than Major Armstrong? Is Edward a stripper? No, guys always walk around their room wearing only their underwear. My dad will even go outside to the cow shed in the middle of winter after taking a bath. (I don't think I can ever win against a guy like that) Huh? Are we still talking about underwear? I like talking about underwear. Eh? Is this all there is to the climax of this ground-breaking, historical illustration book? Am I done? No need to check with the editorial department? Seriously?"
Pweh. Around the middle my keyboard stopped working and I had to hammer the keys to get any letters. ¨Then mvedce 9 well iit's broken again. write more laterEDIT next day:
Phew! My keybaord just needed to charge!
I forgot; it was signed: "Hiromu Arakawa January 2004"
OK, the little kanji-notes by the characters (from left to right):
Riza: "Touching"? (referring to the title)
Winry: "She wanted to include only the girls in this spread but there aren't enough female characters in this manga..."
Roze's box: "Church of Leto Cakes"@CutEowyn:
You're welcome, glad I could help!