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15 March 2006 @ 10:37 am
Timeline of Full Metal Alchemist  
Ok, so I was researching the timeline for an FMA fic I'm planning to write, and my findings were so interesting that I posted them in the FMA Fan Club at Janime. One of my fellow Janimites (Diebound Valkyria) mentioned that it might be useful if posted here, so without further ado, I present to you a timeline of Full Metal Alchemist.

(Obviously, this is based on the anime/movie...)

FMA World Dates
1901-1908 - War in Ishbal
1907 - Death of the Rockbells - Ed 8, Al 7
1909 - Death of Trisha Elric - Ed 10, Al 9
1910 Feb - Failed Transmutation of Trisha Elric - Ed 11, Al 10
1910 Oct 10 - Burning of the Elric house - Ed 11. Al 10
1911 - National Alchemist Exam - Ed 12, Al 11
1914 - First visit to Lior - Ed 15, Al 14
1915 - Battle with Dante - Ed 16, Al 15 (10)
1917 - Movie

Real World Dates
2 Sept 1916 - Brittain Bombs Shipyard
8 Nov 1923 - Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch (Movie)

All my research has led me to conclude that the two worlds are not chronologically synchronized.

February 1910 is when the boys failed to transmute their mother, and they burned their house in October of that same year. In both instances they were 11 and 10, respectively, so i think it's safe to assume that their birthdays are either really late in the year or really early, which is supported by the fact that Ed celebrated his 12th birthday in the middle of a snowstorm. 1910 is the only actual date (from the Alchemy world) that we get, but if we extrapolate their birth years, Ed was born in 1899 and Al in 1900 (or late 1898 and 1899, but for the purposes of extrapolation, it is better to assume a birthday in the early part of the year. It makes for nice, round calculations) and after that it's easy to calculate the years of events for which only an age is given.

When we next see them, on their way to Lior, it is stated that they are 15 and 14, making the year approximately 1914. He only has 1 birthday between that point and the end of the series, which we know to be his 16th because Elysia turns 4 that same day. (Strangely enough, Al's birthday is never celebrated.)

If Ed is 16, then the series must have ended in 1915, or late 1914, not 1916 (as the Air Raid date would have you believe).

Also, the movie takes place in 1923, from the non-alchemy world's POV. At the beginning of the movie, the date is shown as 1923 and "November 8" was mentioned as the date when the gate was opened. (November 8, 1923 was the actual date of Hitler's "Beer Hall Putsch" depicted in the movie.) Ed says that he's been there for 2 years (which would make him about 18), meaning his second trip through the gate, 2 episodes after the one that transported him to September 2 1916, put him in the year 1921.

In the alchemy world, the date is listed as 1917 for the movie, but Al's age is listed as 13. (If you remember, he reverted to his 10 year-old body at the end of the series...) Keep in mind that all we know about his birthday is that it is betweeen October and February, so if we assume a late-year birthday for Al, we can place the movie between his birthday and New Year's Day. This would also go along with the statement in the movie that 3 years have passed in the alchemy world (Early 1915-Late 1917 is approx. 3 years).

The only flub in this timeline is when they say that Al lost 4 years of his memory. If he can't remember anything from the time he lost his body to the time he got it back, that's a period of 5 years (Feb 1910 to approx. the same time 1915).

All this is my own original research, so I would appreciate if you don't post this anywhere else without my permission.

Phila-Del-Phia! (from the Greek for "Brotherly Love"... Those who know me know that's how I always sign off.)

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
hi.einain__conspicuous on March 15th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
*scratches head*

Okay, thanks for clearing that up, I was kind of confused about the dates in the movie since I haven't finished the series yet ^^;;

BONES should release a timeline or something just like Arakawa did for the manga to unconfuse those other confused minds out there ^^;;

Thank you for posting this. ♥

Bluetard: Blueshichahn on March 15th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
From what I remember, at the end, they simply say something like Al "looked like he was 10 again," or something to that effect, meaning it's just an estimation. He was actually 11, but generally when making a comment like that, you wouldn't be able to tell exactly what his age was.

As far as the timelines not agreeing, I always attributed that to the fact that the Gate probably isn't very accurate in sending people from place to place when it comes to time, because a thing that old likely wouldn't have the same perception of time that us humans do.

Also, you might want to cut the whole thing for spoilers, not just the discussion. The fact that you have mentionings of Germany and Britain in the timeline is enough to count as a spoiler, I would think.
Marikaitou_marina on March 15th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Actually, could you please cut the dates for spoilers? Not everyone knows when the movie takes place yet ^.~
lazerwulf on March 15th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Sure, no prob.
Mari: Our Sun - chiba_yuriko DO NOT TAKEkaitou_marina on March 15th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
腹蛇: [alucard] Well let's think about that...youkofujima on March 15th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
There is a general timeline in the official manga fanbook as well as the official anime guidebook (storyside), in case you would like some sources to match it up with.
Mari: Worlds Apart - safire_graficskaitou_marina on March 15th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
And actually, there's no need to extrapolate Ed and Al's birthyears. There's already an official timeline for the series that lists 1899 and 1900 as their birthyears, in addition to Hughes and Roy's birthyears (which are both 1885, for reference). Also, it lists the beginning of the war in Ishvar as 1900, not 1901.

Al is 11 in the last episode. The official art lists him as such. They said they found him in his 10-year-old form, but some time has passed between when his body was brought back and when the episode ends with him leaving to train with Izumi. Two years have passed in the alchemy world, not three.

The last episode specifically says that Ed landed in 1921, as well. In fact, the episode is titled "Munich, 1921."

It's been remarked before that the Gate has no sense of time. That would be why they aren't "synched" in the series.

When they say "four years," they specifically mean that he doesn't have the memories of the time that he and Ed travelled together. Naturally he's missing five years total, but it is the four years that counted as the work that went into bringing him back as he is now. They're talking about the work, not the actual time.
eurogabbyeurogabby on March 16th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
(Note: I am Gabrielle's sister. I have just stolen her account for the time being... >:D )

Of course, the manga time sequence is totally different from either of these. Quite frankly, we never figure out if the date Ed burns down his house is October 3rd 1911, 2011, 3011, 7811... you just never know. All it says is "year eleven". Thus, even trying to correlate the manga with the anime and/or movie timelines is totally impossible.
Mari: Not God Drunk! - kebiconskaitou_marina on March 16th, 2006 10:20 am (UTC)
I'm confused, are you replying to me or the original poster? O.o
Blinkyblnl2k2 on March 16th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
dude, you so ROCK. i was just getting ready to post asking if anyone could help me clear up the dates!! i needed them for reference for a doujin im making. thanks so much!!!! =D you made it so i didnt have to think too hard! thanks!
Kyra: [Non-fandom] Make teareikah on March 19th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Britain, not Brittain...

*says the long-suffering Briton, wut*
the yarn alchemist: B't X [Shireishou]shediao on March 19th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for this!
Zranazrana on March 19th, 2006 08:01 am (UTC)
it's 3 Oct 10 as in the 3rd day of October in 1910. Not "October 10th"


I have raw japanese Timelines scanned from the FMA Complete Guide: Story Side book.