Which Series Should You Watch First, Fullmetal Alchemist or Brotherhood?

One of the most well-known shonen anime of the early 2000s was Fullmetal Alchemist, which many people considered to be the best example of steampunk animation. Due of its popularity, it was also able to capitalize on a current trend early on.

Several brands have recently received new anime adaptations that more faithfully translate their manga source material, starting with the remake of Fruits Basket. In the case of Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was the more faithful of the two anime series.

Many anime fans argue over which series to watch first and in what order since they view anime as a superior adaptation of the manga. Since they both have around the same runtime and have somewhat comparable plotlines, watching both of them could get boring.

The conclusion of the first Fullmetal Alchemist differed greatly from the manga

The first volume of Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist manga debuted in 2001, and the series didn’t end until almost ten years later, in 2010. Despite this, the first anime series debuted in 2003, which presented a small problem for the adaptation of the original content. The majority of anime, especially shonen, experience this issue where the anime production quickly catches up to the manga’s story.

Which Series Should You Watch First, Fullmetal Alchemist or Brotherhood?

The contentious use of filler episodes is the typical response to such a problem. With the intention of working on these anime-only episodes so that the manga author will produce additional material to adapt, these fill out the series with side storylines that aren’t based on anything in the manga.

Of course, a lot of this filler is of noticeably dubious quality and typically doesn’t advance the plot of the episodes much. Thankfully, Fullmetal Alchemist had another problem to deal with in addition to this one.

Arakawa participated in the creation of the anime, although she was also okay with anime studio Bones working independently and deviating from the anime as necessary. Given that the show only ran for 51 episodes in 2003 and 2004, this outcome became unavoidable.

The mangaka gave Bones instructions to divert the plot in order to create an exclusive ending since she didn’t want the anime and the ongoing manga to have the same conclusion (as doing so would make her dependent on the work of others). After that, the Fullmetal Alchemist manga would run for more than 5 years, which led to the urge to more faithfully adapt the complete source.

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How Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Differs from the Original

The second series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, was intended to more faithfully represent the source comics, whereas the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime strayed from the manga by its middle half. receiving 4 OVA specials and running for 64 episodes. Due to the fact that Brotherhood had more material to work with, it was a much superior adaptation of the original plot.

It makes for an entirely different series, and its final episode also aired at the same time as the publication of the manga’s final chapter.

For instance, whereas Brotherhood occasionally featured secondary characters and antagonists, the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime gave them greater attention when it served the story. In contrast, there are several characters from the manga that are completely absent from the first anime but return in the second.

Characters from the light novel spinoffs would occasionally appear in classic FMA episodes, further enhancing the plot and setting even its earlier episodes apart from the manga. Each anime would even treat certain themes, symbols, and morals in a distinct way. This is primarily seen in the first series’ melodramatic style, which occasionally wallows in the severity of reality.

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