How to Watch ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ in Order

Jessica Williams | Last Updated:

For those who are just starting with one of the most beloved anime franchises of all time, Fullmetal Alchemist, there is a lot to take in and choices to make.

Fullmetal Alchemist was the original title of the 2003 film adaptation of the manga series. Since the manga was still serialised then, the anime was free to come up with its conclusion. Years later, they translated the series to anime again, although this time, it was a faithful retelling of Hiromu Arakawa’s original plot. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was the title of the anime series.

There are two series, and it sometimes needs to be clarified which one comes first and whether or not you should watch them both. If you want to watch Fullmetal Alchemist in its proper order, you may find that information here.

Fullmetal Alchemist Watch Order

Since Brotherhood’s plot diverges significantly from the original anime series, various ways exist to enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist. For instance, if you want an accurate adaptation of the manga’s story, you need only watch episodes from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood onward.

To get the most out of the Fullmetal Alchemist canon, I recommend watching the following series in this order:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
  • Conqueror of Shamballa (2003)
  • Brotherhood (2009)
  • (Brotherhood Special)
  • The Blind Alchemist (2009)
  • Simple People (2009)
  • The Tale of Teacher (2010)
  • Yet Another Man’s Battlefield (2010)
  • The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Following this sequence will provide the most satisfying viewing and clarify questions about appreciating the hit series.

As previously said, Fullmetal Alchemist differs vastly from Brotherhood, and Brotherhood is generally considered the superior series. Entering the universe of this classic anime is a joy no matter what you decide to do.

Order of Fullmetal Alchemist Episodes by Their Air Date

The best thing about Fullmetal Alchemist is that you can see it in chronological or release date order; both are correct. As a result, there is no way to ruin the experience of watching the series in its proper order.

Here’s a viewing schedule that considers each series’ premiere date.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist

The story of Fullmetal Alchemist follows Edward Elric as he searches for a method to reclaim his physical form. The premise is that Fullmetal Alchemist is an established series destined for greatness.

The novel centres on alchemy, which sums up taking one form of matter and changing it into another. Edward and his brother Alphonse used this method to bring back their dead mother.

However, according to the Alchemical Law of Equivalence, the alchemist must give up more excellent value to achieve any desired result. And soon enough, our lads will know the worth of a human being’s spirit.

2. Conqueror Of Shamballa

Edward begins Conqueror of Shamballa stranded in Germany. This film also serves as the series finale for Fullmetal Alchemist. Alphonse promises to look everywhere for his sibling.

On the other hand, Edward will devise his means of evasion. But the odd thing about this is that it’s just in the anime episode. That’s why you can’t afford to miss it if you’re a die-hard fan of Fullmetal Alchemist.

We can expect much more from this film, including a satisfying resolution that will leave us wanting more.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The events of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood follow the same pattern as those of the original series. The Elric brothers try to employ alchemy to bring their mother back to life, but instead, they lose their bodies in the process. Now they’re out to find the Philosopher’s Stone and use it to reclaim their bodies.

However, this gem is more complex than it first appears. Due to its faithful adaptation of the manga’s plot and characters—including its satisfying conclusion—this entry is widely regarded as the series’ best overall edition.

Therefore, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood has earned the undying devotion of its devoted followers. 

4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials

There are a ton of brand-new episodes to enjoy in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials. This batch of episodes aims to delve deeply into new aspects of the plot, such as the relationship between Mustang and Hughes, Izumi Curtfundamental way of life, the real nature of alchemy, and so on.

Everything in this collection was carefully curated to provide full context for the show’s narrative. As you progress through the series, you’ll see how much more intriguing Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’s universe is.

5. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star Of Milos

The fight between the militaries of Milos and Creta is what kicks off Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. Creta appears to have annexed territory from Milos. They were successful because of their use of alchemy.

Creta, on the other hand, appears to be seeking total control. Put it this way: you’ll get much more out of this conversation than you bargained for. Alphonse and Edward play an important role here.

These people will handle things as they see fit. But it could be difficult for them because they don’t know either country’s motives. It sounds much more exciting.

Description of Events in Fullmetal Alchemist

The plot follows Alphonse and Edward Elric, two brothers who run a business empire in the fictional country of Amestris. The two children have been through some of the worst things that can happen to a child, including the death of their mother from an epidemic.

Edward and Alphonse, both talented alchemists, aim to bring back their mother from the grave despite the social taboo against doing so. As punishment for their use of human transmutation, the Elric brothers—specifically Edward—lose an arm and a leg. However, Edward’s mastery of alchemy allows him to permanently link his sibling’s spirit to his physical form.

After several years, the Elric brothers are officially recognised as the state’s alchemists. Roy Mustang, their boss, is a brilliant alchemist in his own right. To get the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, which significantly enhances the talents of alchemists, the brothers decide to become state alchemists. It has unfathomable power because it permits an alchemist to circumvent the law of equal exchange, the first and foremost rule of alchemy.

The Elric brothers can regain control of their bodies and limbs if they find the Philosopher’s Stone. The results of their inquiry into the stone’s origins startle them. As a result of their investigation, they become involved in a war that could change the very future of humanity.

Difference Between Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist

A Focus on Character

The producers of the original anime had to make do with a small cast, so they put greater emphasis on supporting characters like Rose, Shou Tucker, and Barry the Chopper.

In Brotherhood, they only appear once the plot requires their presence. The manga only includes some of the stories or characters that ended up in the anime.


The 2009 edition differs greatly from the original series because it focuses more on the manga’s events.

The Homunculi are a prime example; some of the individuals’ appearances and histories are very different from one another.


The finale of the original FMA anime was controversial since many viewers wanted more. However, Brotherhood provides a satisfying conclusion that perfectly fits the characters and plots.

The progression is natural and unforced, creating a sense of closure that many original viewers did not experience.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood similar?

No. Despite having the same name and having similar stories and characters in the first few episodes, the anime’s tale diverges sometime in the middle.

After Maes Hughes dies in episode 12, the plot deviates from Brotherhood.

In 2003, an anime series based on Fullmetal Alchemist debuted. Although the manga was ongoing at its initial release, the adaptation strayed much from the source.

As a result, the anime studios improvised their conclusion, highlighted a few new characters, and put their spin on the story. 

After the manga series ended in 2008, Fullmetal Alchemist:

The following year, Brotherhood hit shelves. Since then, numerous sequels and films have been based on the franchise.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood follows the manga’s original storyline and cannot be a sequel.

Since it only altered a little from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaption, Fullmetal Alchemist: You can enjoy Brotherhood without seeing the original.

Popular Fullmetal Alchemist Episodes

There is a large number of excellent episodes for Fullmetal Alchemist. In particular, there are a ton of fantastic episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that viewers shouldn’t miss. To that end, I provide the five Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood episodes you should watch first.

1. Tobira No Mukougawa

In this episode, the series protagonists’ fates are finally settled. In the show, Father and Ed face off for the first time, and Ed does his best to stop his terrifying Father.

But you can bet that this won’t be a breeze.

2. Seizetsunaru Hangeki

The Father faces an all-out assault from Edward, Mustang, Hawkeye, Greed, Izumi, and Armstrong. But they can’t take a deep breath in the face of this man’s superhuman might. The longer we keep fighting, the more impossible it seems to win.

3. Death Of The Undying

This is easily among the best episodes of the whole show. In this episode, we see a side of Roy Mustang we’ve never seen before. His opponent will be Lust. And that woman suffers alone as her abuser reduces her to ashes time and time again.

4. Ten No Hitomi, Shi No Tobira

With this episode, we knew what this show was really about. If the action in an anime is grounded in realism, the world and everything in it will shatter.

The viewers are in for a surprise show this week.

5. Rekka No Saki Ni

Roy Mustang’s unbelievable violence and prowess were fully displayed in yet another episode. The villain of this piece is Envy. While it’s understandable why he’s so angry, Hawkeye will do everything she can to prevent him from doing something crazy.


Should I Read the Manga Before Watching Fullmetal Alchemist?

In the main, that is correct. Remember that most episodes only appear in the manga and have a different finish. You could always watch the original series and read the manga, which is also short at only 108 chapters because the story structure and aspects will be the same (alchemy, significant characters, adversaries, etc.).

Can I Skip Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Still Enjoy the Anime?

Fullmetal Alchemist stands on its own and does not require viewing of Brotherhood. Fullmetal Alchemist deviates significantly from the manga’s plot in favour of an original scenario created for the anime. Because of this, there is less overlapping, and the individual series can now function as independent entities.

How many episodes does Fullmetal Alchemist have altogether?

Fullmetal Alchemist runs for 51 episodes in all. Twenty are official manga chapters, twenty-eight are official anime episodes, and three are filler.

Which Should I See First: Fullmetal Alchemist or Brotherhood?

You may have a good time with either of them. However, you should see Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood first if you want to enjoy the Fullmetal Alchemist that everyone loves on the internet. If you enjoy it, the first Fullmetal Alchemist is available.

Can I watch Brotherhood before Fullmetal Alchemist?

Yes. Both shows have a similar notion, which will be thoroughly explored in the show’s script, so switching between them should be fine. However, anyone will do the trick if you’re looking for a way to get your fill of the Fullmetal Alchemist series.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Good For Starters?

Absolutely. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is often regarded as the pinnacle of animation since it successfully combines all the elements contributing to a satisfying viewing experience. This show has a lot of new viewers since it has a compelling plot with many exciting events.

Why FMA Is The Best Anime Ever?

Yes, if you believe MyAnimeList. This anime has been rated best on MyAnimeList for a long time. And the show is set up so that it’s impossible to pick out any major flaw, making it flawless in the opinion of many anime watchers.

Can You Watch FMAB Without Watching FMA?

Many viewers, especially those who are not familiar with anime, find themselves pondering this subject. The answer is yes; you can watch FMAB independently of FMA. Since the two storylines are independent and have different conclusions, watching one will not reveal anything about what happens in the other.

Should the 2009 Remake Be Your First Stop or the 2003 Original?

I made this simple Fullmetal Alchemist Watch Order to help you get the most out of the anime. If you’re looking for a concise explanation, you’ve found it.

Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) is a good choice if you want anime with a unique ending that deviates from the manga source material. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005) is the film’s highly recommended sequel. And if you’d rather watch an adaptation that stays true to the manga, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) is your best bet.


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