These days, anime is everywhere. Every streaming service has a large number of Japanese Cartoons and some (like Crunchyroll and Funimation) is entirely dedicated to this pop-culture phenomenon. If you’re new to anime fandom, you might notice something odd when binge-watching shows like Naruto or Bleach.
Often, the plot seems to revolve around an unrelated aspect. The story stopped moving and almost everyone lost the plot. It’s not your imagination, you just had your first meeting with an anime woman.
What is Anime Filler and why does it exist?
Fillers are a unique phenomenon as anime adaptations of manga can run out of material. Incidentally, “manga” is the name given to Japanese manga and graphic novels. Adapting popular manga into anime is a common practice.
With ongoing anime series, it can be the case that the show runs before the manga that provides the story for it. You think the logical solution would be to take a break and wait for the manga author to catch up. However, the practical solution they often choose is to write their own side story plot and continue to do more episodes.
It’s a spin-off: an unorthodox, plot-forward story that can’t have any effect on the official plot the manga author is working on while the spin-off plays.
Do all anime have fillers?
No, not all anime have fillers. First, it’s all not manga based. While manga titles are the primary source for the anime industry, they can also be original animations or novel adaptations. It can also be a “light” novel, which is another form of popular literature in Japan.
Then there are also anime adaptations of shorter manga ‘completed’ or those that have been on hiatus from publication, but ended in a complete round.
So the spin-off tends to go well with shounen (male) anime or other similar shows that run alongside the weekly manga series published in Weekly Shonen Jump and its competitors.
Should You Always Skip Injections?
If no one watched the spin-offs of popular shows, the animation studios wouldn’t create them. So it’s fair to question whether you should skip the filler. Otherwise, you won’t lose any plot in doing so. On the other hand, who can say that sub-episodes can be uninteresting and engaging in their own right?
It is true that the text made in the sub-volumes does not come from the original manga author. That means the quality and tone may differ from what made you like the show in the first place.
Sometimes, extra episodes aren’t pure anime episodes either. Some shows combine side content and main plot points into the same episodes. Finally, there are a number of anime that differ from their manga source material, so while those episodes aren’t by source, they’re not examples of a buffer but rather the standard for the anime version of the show.
Ultimately, omitting episodes from a show, filling it up or not, is a personal choice and will vary from show to show. None of that matter if you don’t know which episode it is!
How can you skip Filler cartoon episodes?
Fillers are a controversial issue in the world of anime shows. There are several websites dedicated to keeping track of which episodes are spin-off and which are official. Most of them will also tell you which episodes have a mix of additional and canon content or differ from the source material.
Also, supplement sites can only mark episodes as supplements in retrospect. So if you’re watching a show as it airs, you might not even realize you’re being caught in a filling arc. However, these sub-list sites are extremely useful if you want to effectively catch up on the show or don’t want to watch all 700 episodes of Naruto to get ready for the Boruto spin-off.
There are two great recommendations we can make when it comes to filler sites:
- List of cartoons Filler: This site is very comprehensive and easy to use.
- No Filler cartoon: A site with great style and good information about fillers for newbies.
These sites lay it all out for you! We recommend opening the relevant program on your tablet or smartphone as you work your way through the episodes. It certainly keeps the story quality and plot progression in its place.
If you want something a little more personal, there are often great additional guides on the anime community forums, which is also a good place to discuss that show with other fans.
Consider reading the source Manga
Just like Western book-to-film and TV adaptations, manga-to-anime adaptations don’t always stick to the original material exactly. If you really like a particular show, you can get more out of it by reading manga based on it. Additional details about the story, characters that may have been cut from the anime, and even story events that were never shown or unfolded otherwise may appear in the original material.
It used to be quite difficult to get manga and few episodes translated into English, but today, the same revolution that brought anime to streaming services has also brought manga close to you.
Example: Shonen Jump has digital apps offers you nearly all of their notable manga series for just $1.99 a month. You can also buy manga on Amazon’s Kindle service. If you’re an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you’ll also get access to multiple manga volumes and even some light novels. Although sneaky, Amazon Kindle Unlimited always seems to include only the first few episodes as part of the plan.
Tip: Many people may not know this, but if you’re a Crunchyroll Premium subscriber, you also get access to the manga library through comic app. Just install the app and log in with your account credentials.
Where to Watch Anime Online
Now you know how easy it is to avoid watching any anime extra episodes if you don’t want to. But do you know how to access all the shows you might want to watch?
Many people are discovering anime through mainstream streaming services like Netflix, but there’s more out there. Check out the 6 Best Places to Stream Anime for a more comprehensive list of places you can get your anime fix.
That’s not to say Netflix doesn’t do interesting things in the anime space. They’ve invested money in original anime shows, and we’ve highlighted notable titles in the 5 Best Netflix Original Anime you can stream right now.
What is your opinion about fillers in anime? Do you always skip it or do you think there are already arcs worth watching? Let us know in the comments and share if you have any filling site suggestions of your own.