How to Watch Fullmetal Alchemist in Order: The Definitive Guide

Here's you definitive guide to watching the first of two series for Full Metal Alchemist.


Fullmetal Alchemist originally began its manga run in 2001, introducing the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric to the world. The manga only lasted 101 chapters, though it left an endearing mark with fans. The manga then birthed not one, but two separate anime series. The first, which this article covers, was only 51 episodes and about halfway through the series, deviates from the manga storyline as the mangaka Hiromu Arakawa requested an original ending for the anime. Because of the short length of the series, there are no seasons.

Below, you will find the definitive guide to watching Fullmetal Alchemist. The order includes two movies – though they’re not necessarily canon – and original video animations (OVAs). Both movies that will be listed were released after the completion of the anime series, as were the OVAs. This is a divergence from most series that intersperse both movies and OVAs during the actual run of the anime.


These watch lists include every episode, manga canon, anime canon, and filler episodes. For reference, the series deviates from the manga from episodes 29 through 51 with one filler episode. These final episodes are all anime canon only.

How to watch Fullmetal Alchemist in order

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 1-51)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist (Movie: “Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shambala”)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist (OVA 1: “Chibi Party”)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist (OVA 2: “Kids”)
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist (OVA 3: “Live Action”)
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist (OVA 4: “Alchemist vs. Homunculi”)
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist (OVA 5: “Reflections”)
  8. Fullmetal Alchemist (Live action: “Fullmetal Alchemist”)

Again, both “Conqueror of Shambala” and the five OVAs were released after the end of the original anime series. The live action “Fullmetal Alchemist” movie was released in 2017 to mixed reviews and follows the story through the first four volumes of the manga (through chapter 16).

How to watch Fullmetal Alchemist in order (without fillers)

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 1-3)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 5-9)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 11-36)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 38-51)

Of the 51 episodes in this initial FMA series, there are 20 manga canon episodes and 28 anime canon episodes. Below will be only manga canon episodes.

Fullmetal Alchemist manga canon episodes list

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 1-3)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 6-7)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 9)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 13-15)
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 17-20)
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 23-28)
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 34)

These episodes will adhere strictest to the manga. However, because of Arakawa’s request to have an original ending, the manga canon episodes end after the death of one of the Homunculi, but before the final battles with the Homunculi.


Fullmetal Alchemist anime canon episodes list

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 5)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 8)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 11-12)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 16)
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 21-22)
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 29-33)
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 35-36)
  8. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episodes 38-51)

These episodes have no connection to the manga. Interestingly, the original FMA is also unusual in that there are no mixed canon episodes.

Fullmetal Alchemist filler episodes list

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 4)
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 10)
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist (Episode 37)

There are only three filler episodes. For comparison, the original Dragon Ball had 21 fillers out of 153 episodes; Dragon Ball Z had 39 fillers out of 291 episodes; Naruto had a whopping 90 filler episodes out of 220 episodes (41 percent!); Naruto Shippuden had numerically more with 200 filler episodes out of 500 (40 percent!); and Bleach had 163 fillers out of 366 episodes (45 percent). Only about six percent of FMA is filler, and these three episodes are skippable, just like all filler episodes.

Can I watch Fullmetal Alchemist without reading the manga?

For the most part, yes. However, just remember that most of the episodes are specific to the manga with an original ending not found in the manga. The overall structure and elements of the story will be the same – alchemy, main characters, enemies, etc. – so you could always watch the original series and read the manga, which is also short at only 108 chapters.


Can I watch Fullmetal Alchemist without watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood?

Yes, you can watch Fullmetal Alchemist without watching Brotherhood. Fullmetal Alchemist is mostly an original story strictly made for the anime whereas Brotherhood strictly adheres to the manga story. With those factors, there is littler overlap and each series can stand on its own.

How many total episodes are there of Fullmetal Alchemist?

There are 51 total episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist. Of these 51, 20 are manga canon, 28 are anime canon, and three are filler episodes.

Now you have the definitive guide to watching the original Fullmetal Alchemist series. Relive the original anime story of the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric, and his little brother, Alphonse!


Bruce L

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