Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a great anime series. But it can be tricky figuring out where to watch it.

Fortunately, you can legally view the 2009-2010 series online on several streaming services. You can even watch it for free in some places.

If you’re nostalgic for the original 2003 version, you’ll have a harder time finding it. But it can be done, with the help of a VPN.

About Fullmetal Alchemist

Hiromu Arakawa created the original Fullmetal Alchemist manga. The plot follows the adventures of Edward and Alphonse Elric.

As children, the two attempted to use alchemy to bring back their mother. But meddling in forbidden techniques had dire consequences. Al’s soul was bonded to a suit of armor, while Ed lost an arm and a leg. Their only hope to return to normal is to find a Philosopher’s Stone.

The manga inspired two separate anime series — Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004) was good, but it deviated considerably from the story. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was a more faithful adaptation.

5 Places to Watch Fullmetal Alchemist

1. Crunchyroll

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Crunchyroll (beta version)

California-based Crunchyroll specializes in streaming and distributing licensed anime from a large number of corporate partners. Founded in 2006, it was acquired by Sony’s Funimation in 2021.

Crunchyroll has a huge library of current and classic anime series. Many shows are available in both dubbed and subtitled versions. Some are also available in Spanish, German, Russian, etc. Not all shows are available in all regions, but the service itself is theoretically global. (If you are having trouble accessing Crunchyroll, check out this article.)

Crunchyroll has Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009); and the 2005 anime movie Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa. Shamballa is a sequel to the 2003 series, which Crunchyroll doesn’t have.

Pros:

  • Available in global markets and languages
  • Gigantic anime and manga library
  • Relatively cheap, with a free streaming option
  • New shows are simulcast (one hour after Japan broadcast)

Cons:

  • You may encounter geo-locking in some regions

 Price:

  • A free account with ads, no simulcast (the ads can be disabled with an ad blocker)
  • “Fan” level with no ads, and new episodes one hour after Japan broadcast: $7.99/ month
  • “Mega Fan” allows four devices, first access to events: $9.99/ month
  • “Ultimate Fan” subscription includes offline viewing, swag bag, merch discounts, etc.: $14.99/ month

Language options: Japanese with English, Latin American Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese subtitles; or English dubbed.

How to Access Crunchyroll from Anywhere in the World via VPN

Crunchyroll doesn’t work in some countries. In Japan, for example, you can download the app, but it won’t have any anime titles on it unless you use a VPN.

This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.

  1. Purchase (or start a free trial of) a VPN. NordVPN works for this purpose
  2. In the settings, choose United States as your location
  3. Fire up the VPN and wait
  4. Once you’re connected, navigate to Crunchyroll (browser or app)
  5. Search “Fullmetal Alchemist” in the Crunchyroll search bar and you should see Fullmetal Alchemist pop up

2. Funimation

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Funimation

Since 1994, Funimation has distributed and dubbed many popular anime shows, including Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Cowboy Bebop, and Fruits Basket. It is currently owned by Sony.

Although Crunchyroll and Funimation are under the same corporate umbrella, there are still differences between the two. There are anime shows on Funimation that you won’t find on Crunchyroll (the entire .hack franchise, for instance). And Crunchyroll Originals (such as So I’m A Spider, So What?) aren’t on Funimation. That may change if the companies start sharing resources.

Pros:

  • Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for free, without even logging in
  • You can remove ads with an ad blocker
  • You can get an ad-free free-trial subscription
  • A large anime library

Cons:

  • The video player is a bit clunky compared to Crunchyroll
  • You can only stream in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Not all shows are available for free

 Price:

  • Some shows are available for free without a subscription
  • Free subscription with ads
  • Premium subscription. Ad-free simulcasts – $5.99/ month
  • Premium Plus. Offline viewing, members-only events – $7.99/ month
  • Premium Plus Ultra. All of the above plus an annual gift – $99.99/ year

Language options: Japanese with English, Latin American Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese subtitles; English dubbed

3. Hulu

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Hulu

Hulu is a streaming service owned by Disney and Comcast/ NBCUniversal. Its anime library isn’t huge, but it’s pretty good.  The catalog doesn’t seem to have any exclusive Hulu-only anime.

Hulu is only available in the United States. Hulu Japan was sold to Nippon TV in 2014. It now operates independently from Hulu.

U.S. Hulu has Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but not the 2003 series.  Subbed and dubbed English and Japanese episodes are listed separately.

Incidentally, Hulu Japan has the 2003 series, but it’s only in Japanese. Even with a VPN, you’ll need to either have a Hulu Japan account, or sign up for a two-week free trial. Signing up requires a Japanese credit card, or PayPal.

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap, with a free-trial version available
  • A lot of bundled package deals for extra services (see below for details)

Cons:

  • U.S. only, although a VPN might help
  • Videos contain ads, and detect ad blockers

 Price:

  • With ads, first month free, then $6.99/ month
  • No ads: $12.99/ month
  • Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ bundle: $13.99/ month
  • Bundle, no ads: $19.99/ month
  • Bundle and Live TV: $69.99/ month
  • Hulu Live TV bundle, no ads: $75.99/ month

Language options: English dubbed, or Japanese with English subtitles

4. HBO Max

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on HBO Max

HBO Max is a streaming service owned by WarnerMedia (which is owned by AT&T). Because it’s related to cable channel HBO, some people may be able to get it through their cable company.

Although HBO Max’s partnership with Crunchyroll ended in 2022, you can still find Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on the service. HBO Max is available in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and parts of Europe.

Pros:

  • Available in select countries outside the United States
  • Included in some cable television packages

Cons:

  • Small anime library
  • No refunds if you cancel
  • Limited language options

 Price:

  • With ads, $9.99/ month or $99.99/ year
  • Ad-free, $14.99/ month or $149.99/ year

Language options: English dubbed, Japanese with English subtitles

5. Netflix

Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix France-English

In January 2022, international streaming giant Netflix removed both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood from most regions.

You can still find Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix, but you will probably have to use a VPN. Unfortunately, Netflix clearly hates VPNs.

If you’re in the U.S. and search for Fullmetal Alchemist, you’ll find Netflix’s live-action movie from 2017.

Netflix Fr-En (Netflix France in English) has the original Fullmetal Alchemist from 2003. But while the webpage is in English, the show itself isn’t. The French Elric brothers can speak Japanese, Japanese with French subtitles, or dubbed French. Merde!

Netflix Jp-En (Japan in English) has Fulmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in Japanese with Japanese subtitles.

Pros:

  • Has the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series
  • Large library of both anime and non-anime content
  • Available internationally

Cons:

  • Geo-locking
  • Tries to block VPNs
  • Limited language options

 Price:

  • Basic, 480p video quality: $9.99/ month
  • Standard, 1080p: $15.49/ month
  • Premium, 4K+HDR: $19.99/ month

Language options: In France, French dubbed or Japanese with French subtitles. In Japan, Japanese with Japanese subtitles.

How to Watch Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix from Anywhere in the World via VPN

This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.

  1. Purchase (or start a free trial of) a VPN. NordVPN works for this purpose
  2. In the settings, choose France or Japan as your location
  3. Fire up the VPN and wait
  4. Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (browser or app)
  5. Search “Fullmetal Alchemist” in the Netflix search bar and you should see Fullmetal Alchemist pop up

Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again. Changing web browsers might also help.

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