Anime, Archive, Daily Rant

ARCHIVE Day 88: Filler

Original Release: June 3rd, 2018

For those who watched all of Naruto and saw that image above… I’m sorry for the PTSD.

For those who read my review on the last episode of Persona 5: The Animation, I complained about how a filler episode was the best episode of the show thus far. But that brings out a question: what’s so wrong with filler?

Everything, but we’ll get to that.

Newer fans of anime probably don’t know much about filler thanks to the new age of streaming. Sites like Crunchyroll, Netflix and even Amazon Prime have made viewing anime an incredibly different experience. And because the way we watch it has been changed, the way we view it has changed as well.

Nowadays, the most successful shows are made seasonal instead of constantly running. Shows like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Food Wars, Haikyu and Noragami (just to name a few) have thrived with the new seasonal style. Since every episode isn’t under a strict and constant schedule, each episode has room for incredible animation, improved pacing, and more accurate adaptations then was possible in the olden days.

But back in the day, televised anime had one major problem: filler. These range from scenes to episodes to entire fucking seasons of anime-original content. They have no effect on the plot, the world or the characters. There are only two reasons they exist: to give the manga time to get ahead and to make that sweet money.

For example, the last eighty or so episodes of the original Naruto series were filler to give the manga room to get well ahead of them. Then a good seventy percent of Shippuden was just filler, with the occasional sprinkle of plot.

This was especially infuriating because the manga ended about a year before the anime.

If you have never had to experience filler you couldn’t skip, then I’m so fucking jealous of you. But I remember. And I will never forget.

Mainly because it’s still here.

Shows like Boruto, Black Clover, Pokemon and One Piece are littered with filler. These range from pointless episodes to painfully slower episodes than the manga (cough cough Black Clover). And, as we’ve seen, Persona 5 The Animation is no exception.

Except the Persona 5 filler is just the side quest stuff from the game, and frankly it’s been better than the actual plot.

Still, it’s clear that filler in anime is slowly dying. Boruto, One Piece and Black Clover are far less successful than they would’ve been ten years ago, and shows like My Hero Academia that lack this filler are at the top of the charts. I’m sure eventually we won’t have to deal with it at all.

Maybe then we’ll get a remastered Naruto that doesn’t completely waste my fucking time with large amounts of bullshit. Yes, I’m still salty about that.

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