The Benefits of Anime Filler: Why it’s Often Appreciated in Retrospect

Waiting for more canon material is exhausting. However, the filler can be revisited once a series has ended to appreciate the anime-only material.

Filler for anime is normally considered the bane of an anime fan’s existence. They are used to shorten a series’ run, but they don’t make the wait for more canon content any shorter. Many people want to see the story develop and eventually reach its natural conclusion.

But, filler episodes can be more appealing after an anime has reached its end. They offer more stories, with many of the fan favorites doing everything from fighting to driving cars to learning to fight each other. The filler episodes can be appreciated without the added weight of anticipation for the rest.

How can filler improve anime?

One reason is that filler allows for character interactions that may not be possible in the manga. Naruto was an example. Many filler episodes featured the eponymous main character on missions with the Konoha 12. Naruto, as a canon character, was often rushed from one major story arc to another with very little time for meaningful interaction with his friends. These episodes are usually too long due to how much filler Naruto has. But, now they can be appreciated as a way to strengthen the bonds between these people.

The anime-exclusive interactions can also refer to fights. The filler gives a glimpse of what it might look like for anyone who wants to see multiple characters fighting each other. Black CloverEpisode151, “The Maiden’s Challenge”, featured the Captain-level Magic Knights in a team fight similar to those from the Royal Knights Selection Exam. This episode was a notable filler for the intense fighting with impressive animation. Bleach also featured fights among major characters but by artificially created impostors. Although the fights are not always the best, it is still worth the effort.

Some Filler Arcs have engaging, independent plotlines that may even surpass the source material. A lot of anime-only One Piece fans were surprised to discover that the G-8 Arc, which is essentially filler, is canon. This is because the former arc was rich in characters and had a compelling story, while the latter seemed like a waste. Although Long Ring Long Land had many important things in place, G-8 felt it was closer to a story arc.

Is it possible for time-consuming fillers to be a good thing?

It’s not to say that it’s boring to see beloved characters do inconsequential tasks. This happens quite often in the Dragon Ball franchise. While it’s exciting to see Piccolo and Goku fight evil androids in battle, it can also be fun to watch them learn how to drive. It’s possible to enjoy watching them engage in mundane tasks if Super-powered warriors are also likable characters.

Although anime filler can be difficult to manage from week to week, it becomes much more manageable once everything is done. Once the filler is over, it becomes easier to reflect on it and appreciate all that it did for viewers. Although these stories are time-wasters when they air, the time is more valuable once it ends.

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