Fullmetal Alchemist Arcs Explained
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood doesn’t have any defined arcs. But I tried to divide the episodes into sections that fit similar to an arc structure.
1. Forbidden Alchemy Arc
Episodes: 1 to 12
Edward and Alphonse Elric as a child tried to revive their dead mother using the forbidden Human Transmutation alchemy. They failed at the expense of Ed losing an arm and a leg while Alphonse lost his entire body.
Later as a State Alchemist, both of them go on a journey to get Alphonse’s body back.
In this arc, they meet Father Cornello who is gaining the devotion of the townspeople as he uses transmutations using a fake Philosopher stone. Then they meet Sho Tucker who used Alchemy to merge his daughter and his dog into a Chimera.
Scar is introduced who has a hand that is inscribed with strange Alchemy patterns.
2. Lurking Homunulis Arc
Episodes: 13 to 20
Greed, one of the Homunculus is introduced and he is the only one who doesn’t follow Father. Also, Fuhrer Bradley is revealed to be Wrath and he kills several Chimera. Roy Mustang manages to kill Lust by incinerating her till her Philosopher’s stone is depleted.
Hohenheim reveals that the brothers didn’t bring their dead mother when they did Human transmutation but something else.
3. Fathers arc
Episodes: 21 to 30
This arc greatly explores both Father and Hohenheim. Edward, Al, and Ling meet Father and they get defeated easily as Father is able to nullify their Alchemy. Scar and May too arrive there but could use their Alchemy.
Mustang men are also reallocated to various places by Bradley. Bradley also threatens Edward not to quit with Winry’s life at stake. We also get a bit of history of what happened during the Ishvalan war.
4. Briggs Arc
Episodes: 31 to 43
Edward and Alphonse go to Briggs, a northern fortress led by the Ice Queen, Olivier Bradley. A homunculus called Sloth is digging a hole underground; only Edward knows it is a homunculus. Olivier and her crew freeze it and threw it out in the cold and explore the tunnel which leads to a terrifying revelation of Father’s plan.
General Raven visits Olivier and asks her to put Sloth back into the tunnel but Olivier kills him instead. Then Olivier goes to the central and meets Bradley and requests him to put her in place of Raven.
5. Uprisal Arc
Episodes: 44 to 53
This segment involves the plan by Mustang and his allies to overthrow the power in the central. By that plan, the train that Bradley traveled gets destroyed in the middle of a bridge thus seemingly killing him. Al, Ed, and Greed fight Pride, and Ed gets trapped with Pride in sealed sand encase made by Hohenheim.
Olivier and Mustang’s crew join the battle, seemingly feeling like they have the upper hand. Mustang also encounters Envy who killed Hughes.
6. Promised Day Arc
Episodes: 54 to 65
Envy is nearly killed by Mustang but she kills herself later. Olivier, Alex, Izumi, and Sig manage to defeat Sloth. Buccaneer, Greed, and Fu greatly damage Bradley and Scar defeats Bradley finally.
Mustang is forced to be part of a human transmutation and loses his eye. He along with Hohenheim, Ed, Al, and Izumi form the five required human sacrifices that once opened the Gate of Truth.
Ishvalans are preparing the counter Alkakestry circle and Hohenheim too had a plan of his own but Father manages to open the Eye of God and gains the power of ‘God’. But Edward defeats him and also manages to recover Alphonse’s body by sacrificing his ability to do Alchemy.