COMPLETE Fullmetal Alchemist Watch Order (Easy To Follow Guide)

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reigned at the top of different anime ranking sites for over a decade, and is still at No.1 on MyAnimeList. And, there are reasons why Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood stands out in the crowd of thousands of new anime with each passing season. However, if you are new to the universe of anime, watching Fullmetal Alchemist might be confusing, as you do not know where to start and which adaptation to watch.

Do you start with the 2003 or 2009 adaptation?

So, to give you a clear perspective about the anime, I have created this Fullmetal Alchemist Watch Order, which is easy to follow. For anyone who wants a short and quick answer to their questions, here it is.

If you prefer anime-original episodes which do not follow the source material (manga) and have an anime-original ending, you should watch Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). To conclude, watch the sequel movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005). And if you prefer to watch the anime version that faithfully follows the source material (manga), you should watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009).

If you are still not sure about which one to watch,  keep reading. As I will be answering each one of your questions and try to clear any doubt in your mind regarding the watch order of Fullmetal Alchemist. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into the Complete Fullmetal Alchemist Watch Order Guide.

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Table of Content

Quick Watch Order

 

1. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)

Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)

Release Date: October 2003

Episodes: 51

Type: TV

Duration Per Episode: 24 minutes

 

 Plot

To bring their mother back from the dead, Edward Elric along with his younger brother, Alphonse Elric perform human transmutation. An act that is forbidden in alchemy. Just after performing human transmutation, both of them realize the reason behind it being forbidden after Edward loses his two limbs and Alphonse loses his life. However, to save his brother, Edward uses his maestro in alchemy to attach his brother’s soul to a suit of armor.

Years later, Edward becomes the Fullmetal alchemist and along with his brother, they begin their journey to get their hands on the mysterious Philosopher’s Stone. The stone is said to negate the fundamental law of alchemy: an alchemist must give up on something of equal value to gain something in exchange.

With hopes to find the whereabouts of the Philosopher’s Stone to get their bodies back to normal, Edward and Alphonse Elric soon find themselves in a maze of atrocity.

 

2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Reflections (2005)

Release Date: March 2005

Episodes: 1

Type: Special

Duration Per Episode: 55 minutes

 

 Plot

An hour-long special episode that focuses on each character reflecting on their journey. It’s a summary of the whole series of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). Thus, the name, Fullmetal Alchemist: Reflection. 

 

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)

Fullmetal Alchemist The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)

Release Date: July 2005

Episodes: 1

Type: Movie

Duration Per Episode: 1 hour 45 minutes

 

 Plot

After sacrificing his soul and body to bring back his younger brother Alphonse, Edward finds himself in Munich, Germany. A land, completely foreign to him. On top of that, it is the time of crisis after the conclusion of World War I.

However, he finds some faces that resembled people he knew before getting displaced. While trying to adjust to life in a foreign land where the citizens are humiliated and are in unrest, Edward keeps on searching for a way to escape. 

On the other hand, Alphonse isn’t leaving any stone unturned to reunite with his elder brother. He keeps on researching behind Edward’s disappearance and is going through each page of alchemy to fulfill his goal of reuniting.

 

4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium Collection (2005)

Fullmetal Alchemist Premium Collection (2005)

Release Date: March 2006

Episodes: 3

Type: OVA

Duration Per Episode: 7 minutes

 

 Plot

Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium Collection includes three different mini-episodes which are full of entertainment and are heartwarming to watch.

  • An episode where Edward, Alphonse, Mustang, and other state members are fighting against the Homunculi, which takes place in Amestris of an alternate reality.
  • A skit episode showing all the characters of Fullmetal Alchemist, including the bad guys, having an After Party on the success of the movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa.
  • An episode featuring the present-day Edward Elric along with his grandkids.

 

5. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

Release Date: April 2009

Episodes: 64

Type: TV

Duration Per Episode: 24 minutes

 

 Plot

The Law of Equivalent Exchange is deeply rooted in the world of Alchemy. But desperate brothers, Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric perform human transmutation to bring their deceased mother back to life, not knowing the consequences of performing the forbidden act.

Soon they pay the price when Edward loses his left leg and Alphonse loses his body. Trying to save the soul from wandering around, Edward sacrifices his right arm to attach Alphone’s soul to a huge armor.

After paying a hefty price, Edward obtains artificial limbs known as “automail” made out of metal. Following which he becomes the famous alchemist known as the Fullmetal Alchemist. With the wish to get their bodies back to normal, Edward and Alphonse Elric come to know about the Philosopher’s Stone, the stone that defies the Law of Equivalent Exchange. 

With their goal in sight, Edward and Alphonse Elric set out to find the Philosopher’s Stone with the help of allies like Colonel Mustang and Lieutenant Hawkeye. But soon gets trapped into a conspiracy that is trying to engulf the whole country in flames.

 

6. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials (2009)

Release Date: August 2009

Episodes: 4

Type: Special

Duration Per Episode: 15 minutes

 

 Plot

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials contains 4 special episodes that dive deep into the universe of Fullmetal Alchemist, revealing secrets and facts that were yet to be revealed.

  • The first special episode tells the story of a blind alchemist who dared to defy the Law of Equivalent Exchange and succeeded in doing so. The alchemist named Jude serves the Humbergang family. However, Edward and Alphonse Elric soon learn the reality isn’t what meets the eye.
  • The second special episode tells the story about simple decisions made by Winry and Lieutenant Hawkeye. It tells the story behind Winry’s newfound love for earrings and why she pierced her ears along with the story behind Lieutenant Hawkeye’s decision to keep long hair.
  • The third episode is about 18 years-old Izumi Curtis. Wanting to become an apprentice of the famous alchemist Silver Steiner, she travels to meet him and is given the task of survival at the deadly Briggs Mountain. Following which the episode also shows the first-ever meeting of Izumi and Sig and how they fell for each other at the first sight.
  • The fourth episode is about a young Mustang and Hughes encounter at the military boot camp, where both of them befriended an Ishvalan recruit, Heathcliffe Arbor. The episode takes an unexpected turn when Mustang finds himself in a dilemma during the Ishvalan war.

 

7. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: 4-Koma Theater (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: 4-Koma Theater consists of 16 special short episodes from the DVDs and BDs. These are a compilation of parodies from the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s existing scenes from the anime series.

Release Date: August 2009

Episodes: 16

Type: Special

Duration Per Episode: 2 minutes

 

 Plot

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: 4-Koma Theater consists of 16 special short episodes from the DVDs and BDs. These are a compilation of parodies from the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s existing scenes from the anime series.

 

8. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos Specials (2011)

Release Date: June 2011

Episodes: 4

Type: ONA

Duration Per Episode: 4 minutes

 

 Plot

To commemorate the release of the movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, Edward Elric, and Alphonse Elric were interviewed by the Pia Eiga Seikatsu website.

Other characters from the anime also had special appearances in the interview. This ONA includes special appearances from Mustang, Winry, and Hawkeye, where Mustang is teaching them about Creta and Milos as a professor.

 

9. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Release Date: July 2011

Episodes: 1

Type: Movie

Duration Per Episode: 4 minutes

 

 Plot

Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse find themselves in the slummy valley of Milos while chasing a runaway alchemist with mysterious powers. There they learn about how Creta has driven the inhabitants of the land away and claimed the land for themselves.

However, the inhabitants of Milos are in no mood to stay silent and are rebelling against Creta with the help of Julia Crichton, a young alchemist trying to regain the peace of the holy land. Alphonse soon befriends Julia and comes across the fact that they are seeking the Philosopher’s Stone for help.

Though Edward and Alphonse aren’t willing to help, after knowing Creta’s intentions, they had no choice but to meddle in the battle between Milos and Creta.

 

Release Date Watch Order:

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Reflections (2005)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium Collection (2005)
  5.  Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials (2009)
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: 4-Koma Theater (2009)
  8. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos Specials (2011)
  9. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)
  10.  
  11. Do you love to watch every piece of content of an anime, regardless of its relevance to the storyline? If yes, then the Fullmetal Alchemist Release Date Watch Order is for you.

 

Recommended Watch Order:

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005) (conclusion to the 51-episode FMA 2003 series)
  3.  Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials (2009)
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011) (side story)

 

If you want to watch the content only relevant to the storyline, you can follow this recommended order. While FMA (2003) is followed by a sequel movie to conclude its story, FMAB (2009) is a standalone series with a proper ending.

Watching the FMAB Specials(2009) will give you an insight into a few characters and unknown incidents of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood universe. And if you want to watch more of FMAB’s content, you can watch the movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011). Though it’s a side story, you can give it a shot.

And you can skip the OVA, ONA, and other specials, as they are completely irrelevant to the storyline. 

 

Q/A

1. Is Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood the same?

This is a question that confuses a lot of beginners. Both, Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) are two different adaptations of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, written by Hiromu Arakawa. Neither of them is a sequel to the other. 

While FMA follows the manga mostly at the beginning, it sways away to anime original episodes towards the end followed by an anime original ending with the FMA: The Conqueror of Shamballa movie. The main reason being the anime catching up to the manga while it was still publishing.

On the other hand, FMAB faithfully follows the events of the manga throughout the whole 64 episodes run, with an ending as in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga.

2. Can you watch FMAB right after watching FMA?

It doesn’t matter if you watch FMA before FMAB or vice-versa. Because,both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood have distinct storylines with different endings. FMA has an anime original ending while FMAB has an ending similar to the manga.

So, watching both of them will give you a diverse experience with nearly the same cast of characters. At the end of the day, it’s your personal preference.

 

Conclusion

fma

With that, I present you the complete watch order guide to watch Fullmetal Alchemist.

Coming back to the question of whether you should watch FMA or FMAB, I would say, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) is a MUST-WATCH, while Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) is optional. There’s a reason why FMAB is still at the top of the summit.

Do you agree with me? If you don’t, why do you think so? Did you watch both of them? If you have, which one do you recommend?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. And if you don’t want to answer the questions, comment either FMA or FMAB to show love for your favorite adaptation.

 

 

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