Difference Wiki

Fullmetal Alchemist vs. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 17, 2024
Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime series that diverges from its manga source material, while Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a later anime adaptation that closely follows the original manga storyline.

Key Differences

Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA), the first anime adaptation, began before the manga's completion, leading to an original storyline diverging from the manga. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (FMAB), however, was created after the manga's completion, closely following its plot and themes.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, due to the divergence, several characters and plot elements are unique to the series, differing significantly from the manga. In contrast, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood introduces characters and plotlines that are in the manga but absent in the first adaptation.
The tone and pacing of Fullmetal Alchemist vary from the manga, with more emphasis on dark, philosophical themes. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood aligns more with the manga's balance of dark themes and lighter, comedic moments, reflecting the original tone intended by the manga author.
Fullmetal Alchemist concluded with a different ending and an original sequel film, "Conqueror of Shamballa," which wrapped up its unique storyline. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood concluded with an ending consistent with the manga, providing closure to the story as the author intended.
The animation style in Fullmetal Alchemist reflects the earlier period of its creation (2003-2004), with a distinct style for character designs and color palette. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, produced later (2009-2010), features more refined animation and updated character designs closer to the manga.

Comparison Chart

Adherence to Manga

Diverges from manga
Closely follows manga

Storyline & Characters

Unique plot and characters
Includes manga-specific characters

Tone & Pacing

Darker, philosophical
Balanced, true to manga's tone


Original ending and sequel film
Manga-consistent ending

Animation Style

Earlier animation style, distinct designs
Refined animation, closer to manga

Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Definitions

Fullmetal Alchemist

Unique ending and sequel.
Fullmetal Alchemist concludes with Conqueror of Shamballa.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Manga-consistent ending.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood ends as the manga does.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Early 2000s animation style.
Fullmetal Alchemist's animation reflects its early 2000s production.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Follows manga closely.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood stays true to the manga's story.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Original anime adaptation.
Fullmetal Alchemist introduces a unique storyline.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Refined animation style.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood features updated animation techniques.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Diverges from manga.
Fullmetal Alchemist deviates from the manga's plot halfway through.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Includes manga characters.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood introduces Ling Yao, a manga character.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Darker thematic elements.
Fullmetal Alchemist explores complex philosophical themes.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Balanced tone.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood mixes dark themes with humor.


What is Fullmetal Alchemist?

An anime that diverges from its manga source material.

Does Fullmetal Alchemist have an original ending?

Yes, it concludes differently from the manga.

What is unique about Fullmetal Alchemist's storyline?

It introduces original characters and plots.

Does Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood have the same ending as the manga?

Yes, it concludes as the manga does.

Does Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood include all manga characters?

Yes, it introduces all key manga characters.

How is the animation style in Fullmetal Alchemist?

It reflects the early 2000s animation techniques.

Why does Fullmetal Alchemist differ from the manga?

It began before the manga was completed.

Which series should I watch first?

It depends on personal preference; both are independent.

Are the main characters the same in both series?

Yes, the main characters are consistent in both.

Do both series start the same way?

Initially, yes, but they diverge significantly as they progress.

What is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood?

An anime closely following the manga's storyline.

How does Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood's tone compare to the manga?

It closely matches the manga's balanced tone.

How long is Fullmetal Alchemist?

It consists of 51 episodes.

Which series is more popular?

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is generally more popular due to its faithfulness to the manga.

What's the animation quality like in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood?

It features more refined and updated animation.

How many episodes are in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood?

It has 64 episodes.

Is the humor the same in both series?

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is closer to the manga's humor.

Do I need to read the manga to understand either series?

No, both series can be enjoyed independently.

Can I watch Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood without seeing Fullmetal Alchemist?

Yes, they are separate stories.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood a sequel?

No, it's a separate, faithful adaptation of the manga.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons