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Fullmetal Alchemist: How and where to watch (and stream) this hit anime

Transmute your brain with this Fullmetal Alchemist watch guide

Cropped art for Fullmetal Alchemist
Image credit: Adult Swim

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Based on the 2001 manga series by Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime franchise that began in 2003. It tells the story of the Eldric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, as they journey in a 20th-century steampunk world to search for the philosopher's stone to restore their bodies after failing to bring their mother back to life.

As a franchise, the series is known for its themes of family, war, discrimination, and political greed. It is also known for its iconic anime theme songs and complex female characters. If any of this makes you want to transmute your brain for some epic adventures, then check out the release and chronological watch order.

How To Watch Fullmetal Alchemist In release order

Promotional image for Fullmetal Alchemist
Image credit: Adult Swim

For the most part, watching Full Metal Alchemist in release order is simple enough. It all depends on whether you prefer to watch the animated or live-action counterparts and if you prefer a straightforward manga-to-anime adaptation. It is important to note that the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime is a loose adaptation of the manga, while the 2009 anime remake Brotherhood adheres to follows the manga entirely.

Anime Release Order:

Live Action Film Release Order:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Revenge of Scar (2019)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation (2022)

Here is a bit about each series and film:

Full Metal Alchemist (2003)

After adapting the first seven volumes of the manga, the story deviates when a secondary character is killed off by one of the antagonists. This series then focuses on the Eldric Brother's attempts to thwart Dante, the main antagonist of this series.

Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)

As a direct sequel to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series, it follows alchemist Edward Elric as he attempts to return to his homeworld after living in a parallel world for two years. This causes him to attract the attention of the Thule society, who seek to enter Edward's homeworld to obtain weapons to help them in World War II.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009)

This anime series adapts the entire Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, which follows the Elric brother's journey to find the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies. Along the way, they uncover a deep government conspiracy that hides the true nature of the Philosopher's Stone.

Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Set during the events of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, this film tells the story of the Elric Brothers encounter with the escaped convict Melvin Voyager and Table City. The latter was once known as the Hill of Milos, which tries to be reclaimed by various forces using a sacred star. Despite being set during Brotherhood, this movie tells an original story not depicted in the manga.

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

The first of the three live-action movies adapts the first four volumes of the manga series. After becoming State Alchemists, Edward and Alphonse Eldric confront cultist Father Cornelio about the Philosopher's Stone. Although the stone turns out to be fake, the Eldric brothers discover that bio-alchemist Shou Tucker has a new lead in the form of Dr. Tim Maroch. From there, a chain of events unfold that eventually reveal the shocking truth about the Philosopher's Stone.

Fullmetal Alchemist The Revenge of Scar (2022)

The sequel to the first live action film features the Eldric brothers confronting Scar, a mysterious figure confronting state alchemist for their sins against God. At the same time, the dark beings known as the Homunculi make their next move.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation (2023)

The final film in the live action film series finds the Elric brothers literally in the belly of a beast- the Homunculi Gluttony. While they attempt to escape, the other State Alchemists attempt to thwart the ultimate plan of the Homunculi to bring about armageddon to the world.

Promotional image for Fullmetal Alchemist
Image credit: Netflix

How To Watch Full Metal Alchemist In Chronological Order

When it comes to the chronological watch order, it is pretty much the same as the release order. Although there are episodes and scenes in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that take place in the past, this doesn't affect the watch order.

Anime Release Order:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003:)
  • Episode 1- Those Who Challenge The Sun Flashback Scene
  • Episode 1- Those Who Challenge The Sun
  • Episode 2- Body of The Sanctioned
  • Episode 3- Mother Flashback Scene
  • Episode 3- Mother
  • Episode 4- A Forger's Love
  • Episode 5- The Man With The Mechanical Arm
  • Episode 6- The Alchemy Exam
  • Episode 7-Night of The Chimera's Cry
  • Episode 8- The Philosopher's Stone
  • Episode 9- Be Thou For The People
  • Episode 10- The Phantom Thief
  • Episode 11- The Other Brothers' Elric Part 1
  • Episode 12- The Other Brothers' Elric Part 2
  • Episode 13- Fullmetal VS Flame
  • Episode 14- Destruction's Right Hand
  • Episode 15- The Ishbal Massacre Flashback
  • Episode 15- The Ishbal Massacre
  • Episode 16- That Which Is Lost
  • Episode 17- House of The Waiting Family Flashback
  • Episode 17- House of The Waiting Family
  • Episode 18- Marcoh's Note
  • Episode 19- The Truth Behind The Truths
  • Episode 20- Soul of The Guardian
  • Episode 21- The Red Glow
  • Episode 22- Created Human
  • Episode 23- Fullmetal Heart
  • Episode 24- Bonding Memories
  • Episode 25- Words of Farewell
  • Episode 26- Her Reason
  • Episode 27- Teacher
  • Episode 28- All Is One, One Is All Flashback Scene
  • Episode 28- All Is One, One Is All
  • Episode 29- The Untainted Child
  • Episode 30- Assault on South Headquarters
  • Episode 31- Sin Flashback Scenes
  • Episode 31- Sin
  • Episode 32- Dante of The Deep Forest
  • Episode 33- Al, Captured
  • Episode 34- Theory of Avarice
  • Episode 35- Reunion of The Fallen Flashback Scene
  • Episode 35- Reunion of The Fallen
  • Episode 36- The Sinner Within
  • Episode 37- The Flame Alchemist, The Bachelor Lieutenant & The Mystery of Warehouse 13
  • Episode 38- With The River's Flow
  • Episode 39- Secret of Ishbal
  • Episode 40- The Scar Flashback Scene
  • Episode 40- The Scar
  • Episode 41- Holy Mother
  • Episode 42- His Name Is Unknown
  • Episode 43- The Stray Dog
  • Episode 44- Hohenheim of Light
  • Episode 45- A Rotted Heart Flashback Scene
  • Episode 45- A Rotted Heart
  • Episode 46- Human Transmutation
  • Episode 47-Sealing The Homunculus
  • Episode 48- Goodbye
  • Episode 49- The Other Side of The Gate
  • Episode 50- Death
  • Episode 51- Laws and Promises Flashback Scene
  • Episode 51- Laws and Promises
  • Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009)
  • Episode 1-Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Episode 2- The First Day flashback scene
  • Episode 3- City of Heresy
  • Episode 4-An Alchemist's Anguish
  • Episode 5- Rain of Sorrows Flashback Scene
  • Episode 5- Rain of Sorrows
  • Episode 6- Road of Hope
  • Episode 7- Hidden Truths
  • Episode 8-The Fifth Laboratory
  • Episode 9- Created Feelings flashback scene
  • Episode 9- Created Feelings
  • Episode 10- Separate Destinations
  • Episode 11-Miracle at Rush Valley
  • Episode 12- One Is All, All Is One flashback scene
  • Episode 12- One Is All, All Is One
  • Episode 13- Beasts of Dublith
  • Episode 14- Those Who Lurk Underground flashback scene
  • Episode 14- Those Who Lurk Underground
  • Episode 15-Envoy From The East
  • Episode 16-Footsteps of a Comrade In Arms
  • Episode 17- Cold Flame
  • Episode 18- The Arrogant Palm of A Small Human Flashback scene
  • Episode 18- The Arrogant Palm of A Small Human
  • Episode 19- Death of The Undying
  • Episode 20- Father Before The Grave flashback scene
  • Episode 20- Father Before The Grave
  • Episode 21- Advance of The Fool
  • Episode 22- Backs In The Distance flashback scene
  • Episode 22- Backs In The Distance
  • Episode 23- Girl On The Battlefield
  • Episode 24- Inside The Belly
  • Episode 25-Doorway of Darkness
  • Episode 26- Reunion
  • Episode 27- Interlude Party flashback scenes
  • Episode 27- Interlude Party
  • Episode 28- Father
  • Episode 29- Struggle of The Fool
  • Episode 30- The Ishvalan War of Extermination flashback scene
  • Episode 30- The Ishvalan War of Extermination
  • Episode 31- The 520 Cens Promise
  • Episode 32- The Fuhrer's Son
  • Episode 33- The Northern Wall of Briggs
  • Episode 34- Ice Queen
  • Episode 35- The Shape of This Country
  • Episode 36- Family Portrait flashback scene
  • Episode 36- Family Portrait
  • Episode 37- The First Homunculus
  • Episode 38- Conflict at Baschool
  • Episode 39- Daydream
  • Episode 40- Homunculus (The Dwarf in the Flask)
  • Episode 41- The Abyss
  • Episode 42- Signs of A Counteroffensive
  • Episode 43- Bite of The Ant
  • Episode 44- Revving At Full Throttle flashback scene
  • Episode 44- Revving At Full Throttle flashback
  • Episode 45- The Promise Day
  • Episode 46- Looming Shadows
  • Episode 47- Emissary of Darkness
  • Episode 48- The Oath In The Tunnel
  • Episode 49- Filial Affection
  • Episode 50- Upheaval In Central
  • Episode 51- The Immortal Legion
  • Episode 52- Combined Strength
  • Episode 53- Flame of Vengeance
  • Episode 54- Beyond The Inferno flashback scene
  • Episode 54- Beyond The Inferno
  • Episode 55- The Adults Way of Life
  • Episode 56-The Return of The Fuhrer flashback
  • Episode 56- The Return of The Fuhrer
  • Episode 57- Eternal Leave
  • Episode 58- Sacrifices
  • Episode 59- Lost Light
  • Episode 60-Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth
  • Episode 61- He Who Would Swallow God
  • Episode 62- A Fierce Counterattack
  • Episode 63- The Other Side of The Gateway
  • Episode 64-Journey's End
  • Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011)

Live Action Film Release Order:

Promotional image for Fullmetal Alchemist
Image credit: Netflix
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Revenge of Scar (2019)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation (2022)

Do I need to read the Fullmetal Alchemist manga before watching the anime or live action ailms?

Even though all the anime adaptations and the live-action films are inspired by the manga series, you do not need prior knowledge to watch any of it. This is especially true if you watch Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood since it is a direct manga-to-anime adaptation.

Do I Need to watch all of the adaptations of Fullmetal Alchemist?

One big question you may have is whether you should watch the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime or watch 2009's Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Although Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is widely considered the best of the two anime adaptations, you don't necessarily have to watch this version. Just because an anime series doesn't directly adapt a manga series, doesn't mean that it isn't necessarily good. Whatever you decide, know that both series tell two different stories, and watching both isn't necessary.

As for the anime movies, it depends on which anime series you started with. Conquerors of Shamballa is a direct sequel to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime, while The Sacred Star of Milos takes place during the 2009 anime Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. While The Sacred Star of Milos is more of a side story, the Conquerors of Shamballa wraps up loose ends. Conquerors of Shamballa is a must-watch if you enjoyed the 2003 anime, but The Sacred

Star of Milos isn't.

On the other hand, live-action movies only adapt specific chapters of the manga. The first film, Fullmetal Alchemist, covers the first four chapters of the manga. Its sequel, Fullmetal Alchemist: Revenge of Scar loosely adapts the Scar-related chapters of the manga. Finally, the third film Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation loosely adapts the manga's final arc. If you want a full story, solely watching live-action movies might not be the best.

Where can I watch the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and live action films?

This is where things get a little tricky. When it comes to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime, it is currently only available to watch with a subscription to the anime streaming service Funimation. On the other hand, the 2009 anime Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is available on Netflix, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Funimation. You can also buy physical versions of the series anywhere DVDs are sold.

Furthermore, the anime movies aren't widely available to stream either. Conquerors of Shamballa is only available to stream on Crunchyroll, while The Sacred Star of Milos is only available via the Apple Store or Vudu. Of course, both are also available to buy as DVDs. Finally, all three live-action films are available to stream on Netflix.

Can I skip Fullmetal Alchemist and watch Brotherhood first?

If you want to watch Brotherhood first and skip Fullmetal Alchemist, then that's fine. Brotherhood is the easiest series to find and watch, whether online or physically. You won't miss out on anything vital in terms of plot if you just watch Brotherhood since it is a straightforward adaptation of the manga.

What is difference between Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood?

Fullmetal Alchemist follows the manga somewhat, but the plot diverges greatly from it due to the manga not being complete at the time. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood adapts the entire manga series from beginning to end.

Should I watch Fullmetal Alchemist vs Brotherhood?

Since both Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood tell two different stories, it is up to you which series you decide to watch. If you aren't a stickler for manga-to-anime adaptations, you can just watch Fullmetal Alchemist.


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Fullmetal Alchemist

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About the Author
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Latonya Pennington

Contributing writer

Latonya Pennington is a freelance pop culture contributor at Reed Pop. In addition to writing about anime and manga, they have also written about video games, American comics, and young adult fiction. Their writing can also be found at Fandom Games, Into More, Gayming Magazine, and Comics XF among others. When they aren't writing for work, they can be found streaming shows, playing video games, reading novels, or doing creative writing.

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