Fullmetal Alchemist watch order

Credit: Bones

A watch order on the equivalent exchange of ideas…

… is perhaps a good info description given to someone who’s getting into the animated adaptions of Fullmetal Alchemist in this day and age. That’s right, much like other classic anime series watch orders with altered adaptations, an updated Fullmetal Alchemist watch order requires choosing a separate universe of your liking. And no, even if one isn’t exactly canon anymore, the enjoyment level is still pretty much the same, and the build-up to its spin-off is a nice final tribute before the birth of the more widely accepted “brotherhood”.

So, while it’s not as confusing as a Dangranronpa watch order, the numbers still aren’t as intimidating as a One Piece watch order, or as widely branched out as your typical Fate watch order. Everything… is under the will of nature’s providence.

Credit: Bones

Your primary method of watching Fullmetal alchemist will be divided on the opinion of accepting latter “canon” events only (manga lore-based), or treating the first series as a “prequel” spin-off. If it is the former, skipping the first series would be your priority. If it is the latter, then you can simply follow a release order format.

Chronological order

For this list, we will follow the original timeline of the source material, and will largely ignore any previous Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation prior to Brotherhood. Although, unlike an actual side-by-side manga watch order, a few post-Brotherhood movies here and there will be included.

WARNING: The specials require background knowledge of the characters involved for each episode. The original intention of these adaptations is to act as flashbacks and not as a (proper) prequel, so watch at your own risk.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Special: The Tale of Teacher
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Special: Yet Another Man’s Battlefield
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 2
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Special: The Blind Alchemist
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Special: Simple People
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 1
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 3-20
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 21-64 (END)

By release order

The previous anime adaptation is now largely considered as a spin-off due to its significant deviation from the source material later on. That being said, even if it is somewhat non-canon today, the first series was still a very enjoyable and critically acclaimed series regardless, even providing its own conclusion in the form of a climax/epilogue movie. We highly recommend watching it anyway, and for that a release order method would perhaps be most appropriate.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (the Movie): Conqueror of Shambala (2005)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Blind Alchemist (2009)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Simple People (2009)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Tale of Teacher (2010)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Yet Another Man’s Battlefield (2010)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Plot of Fullmetal Alchemist

Credit: Bones

Edward and Alphonse Elric are brothers living peacefully in Resembool with their mother Trisha, despite their father having left them many years ago. One day, their mother succumbs from illness, and the brothers desperately sought a way to bring her back. Upon learning about the possibility of using alchemy for such a purpose, they trained under the tutelage of a master. With apparently enough knowledge under their belt, they attempted the forbidden alchemy of human transmutation to claim Trisha back…

It backfired horribly, and immediately. Edward lost an entire arm and leg in the process. Alphonse lost his entire body, with his existence only sustained by a transmutation circle binding his soul within the cold shell of an empty suit of armor. And the result of the transmutation process? A mass of unspeakable abomination that they wish they never created in the first place.

After that incident, Edward vowed to undo his mistake, to find a safe way to reclaim what was taken away from them during that fateful day. Eventually, the State of Amestris recognized the potential and prowess of this budding, genius alchemist. He was eventually known… as the Midget Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fullmetal Alchemist: 51 Episodes, 1 Movie

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: 64 Episodes, 4 Specials (OVA), 1 Movie

The truth is beyond the gate, and beyond the seasons

Credit: Bones

A third possible alternative to watching Fullmetal Alchemist is to simply follow up on what the first series did different. However, we did not list this because the fundamental lore, basically the way alchemy works itself, is eventually shown to be completely different between the two different series. This fact alone drives the plot of the two different series, and so saving time by mixing and matching events and arcs (even for the purpose of solely enjoying the super-entertaining filler episodes) is usually not recommended.

Want a longer, more challenging shounen series to watch? We highly recommend perusing over our best shounen anime list for classic alternatives aired during more or less the same time period.