[[caption-width-right:200:Portrait of the artist as a young cow.]]

Hiromu Arakawa (荒川 弘 ''Arakawa Hiromu'', born May 8, 1973) is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō mainly known for ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Born and raised on a dairy farm, Arakawa spent several years helping out her family farm while taking painting lessons after graduating high school before moving to Tokyo to become a manga assistant. Before ''Fullmetal Alchemist'', she made the short series ''Manga/ShanghaiYoumaKikai'' and ''Manga/StrayDog'', and she currently works on ''Manga/SilverSpoon'', a SliceOfLife manga focused on agricultural school life.

!!Tropes applying to Arakawa or her works:

* ArtShift: She'll use ''any'' style to make a point... or a point-of-view scene make a statement. From Gag to stock-Shojo and/or Josei to realistic-Seinen to Sport to ''Bara-esque'' -- anything goes. In a normally very-much-a-Shonin style.
* AuthorAppeal: Now memetic. "[[HeroicBuild Men should be buff! Women should be vavoom!]]"
* AuthorAvatar: She usually appears as a bespectacled cow.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Souten no Koumori'' (a one-shot about a female {{Ninja}}) is just as tragic and bittersweet as ''Fullmetal Alchemist'' and ''Stray Dog,'' but has the least humor and slapstick of all of her works. Her rendition of ''Literature/TheHeroicLegendOfArslan'' is noticeably more intense than the original manga.
* GenreAdultery: Most of her works are action/fantasy with brutal fight scenes. ''Silver Spoon,'' however, is a Slice of Life, with animals dying instead of humans. Despite this, ''Silver Spoon'' is now her second most popular work.
* {{Gorn}}: It says a lot when ''Silver Spoon'', a SliceOfLife manga, depicts nauseatingly realistic gore.
* MistakenIdentity: If you do an image search for "Hiromu Arakawa", you will get a lot of pictures of Creator/RomiPark, the voice of Edward Elric in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. This is due to some past misidentification that the internet won't forget.
* MoodWhiplash: ''Nobody'' else does it quite like she does... You'll frequently find several swinging moods in the same ''scene'', let alone the same chapter, yet she makes it all work. She often includes the use of SuperDeformed or otherwise [[ArtShift Art Shifted]] caricatures for emphasis: it's a trademark. And, beware all ye the BishieSparkle and WingdingEyes: the uses are many and various... and, not all of them are uniquely humorous.
* MoustacheDePlume: Her real name is Hiromi, but she writes under the more androgynous version "Hiromu".
* ReclusiveArtist: To a degree; it is really hard to find her ''actual'' image, as opposed to her bespectacled cow form.
** She's an unusual example because while she's reclusive about her appearence she's quite willing to talk about herself. Heck, ''Noble Farmer'' is basically her autobiography!
* TheRemake: Made her own rendition of ''Literature/TheHeroicLegendOfArslan'' that has recently gotten an anime adaptation.
* {{Shonen}}: Most of her works are this, though they have more mature theme and are BloodierAndGorier than most.
* ShownTheirWork: ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' shows that she did a lot of research on both alchemy (famous alchemists, theoretical alchemic laws, uses for Philosopher's Stone) and chemistry (human composition, conservation of matter). Any breaks from them seem to be either RuleOfCool, RuleOfFunny, or the alchemists in question knowing what they're doing (more so than can be shown with just a few images and some relatively small speech bubbles).
** For the {{wuxia}}-inspired ''Manga/HeroTales'', Arakawa and her team traveled to where the series is set to see some Chinese architecture and way of living.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: ''Manga/SilverSpoon'' takes place in Hokkaido, and features the life and times of Agricultural high school students. Arakawa was herself born from a farming family and attended such a school. Naturally, the depiction of the life there is very accurate. ''Noble Farmer'' describes her life on her parents' farm; the protagonists of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' have their adventures all over the place, but they're ''from'' a small town in the country.