naruto shippuden fillers

Why ‘Naruto Shippuden’ Fillers are NOT a Good Idea at This Point

‘Naruto’ and ‘Fillers’ are two words that have gone together since the anime started being broadcast back in 2002. Fillers are always a pain in the ass and sure, many animes have a big amount of them (Bleach, Detective Conan…) and, to a certain point, I could understand why. But, no matter how hard I try, I can no longer justify their presence in Naruto.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the anime.

To understand why, let’s take a look at the Naruto universe at the moment. With the manga having ended back in November, every single Naruto fan (except for the anime-only watchers) already knows the resolution of the current 4th Ninja War along with the full end of the story (deaths, pairings, endgames…). Next to that, we have Naruto: The Last, a canon movie that narrates the events before the last chapter of the manga and that has already been released in Japan. There’s also another movie and a manga coming out in the spring based in the events of the last chapter. Oh, and a musical. Basically, the only piece of media that is still talking about the Ninja War is the anime. So 2014!


As both a Naruto anime watcher and manga reader, after reading the ending of the manga, I couldn’t help but wish that they would just be done with everything that was happening in the anime and animate the last parts that I was interested in. After all, I wasn’t a big fan of how this arc was played out. But then again, I’m always super impatient to see my favourite parts animated. However, this is not a matter of the anime still being pretty far behind (you can’t blame an anime for that!). The problem comes when they actually place incredibly long flashbacks and fillers in the middle of it. Right now, it’s a filler on the Chunin Exams, an arc from the original Naruto series. 

And yes, you could be a die hard Naruto fan and enjoy even the fillers because hey, canon or not, it’s more material for gifs, vidding and basically enjoy watching. However, fillers also piss off a lot of people. Both anime-only watchers who just want to see how everything ends once and for all and manga readers who want to see the ending animated.

naruto shippuden - the daily fandom
Naruto and Sasuke’s death: the big cliffhanger. Now let’s go back to Chunin exams!

Naruto has not only always had a big amount of fillers, but also flashbacks. Hell, a few episodes back we got an entire episode dedicated to Gara’s full backstory, as if we didn’t know it already. Repeating events in flashbacks are almost always unnecessary and the longer they are, the more they piss off the audience for wasting the episode’s time. But if you really have to insert a flashback, it is always a bad decision to put it in the middle of a battle (let’s not even say in the middle of a war that’s supposed to be thrilling and exciting). This is something that other animes like One Piece have learnt to do.

But fillers are not only bad for the fans, but also for the anime itself. Even though it’s understandable that the anime wants to go on for as long as it can because Naruto always translates as “lots of money”, they’re also wasting an opportunity. While everybody is talking about the aftermath of the war and the things that could happen in a potential future, it feels like the anime is being left behind in a spiral of flashbacks, fillers, incredibly slow-paced telling of the events and, if that wasn’t enough, poor animation. You’d think that they’d want to join the ending party but, so far, it doesn’t seem like it.

  1. that’s right i am so excited for this madara thing and the action that has to come,but the filler pisses me off…damn :/

  2. I’ve gotten to the point where I just fast forward through flashbacks and don’t even bother watching filler episodes. Which is a shame because I really enjoy this anime and just want it to move forward.

  3. I read the manga all the way thru and was interested in reading that there may be some type of sequel, but havent seen anything as of yet. I quit watching the anime cus lately its retarded, the story has ended, finish the freaking anime. They are wasting an opportunity to make a sequel, with all these fillers and pissing off the shows fans. During the last arc I had lost interest but kept reading cus I wanted to know the end, but the ending was so worth it, it rejuvenated my interest and now wish there was more.

  4. Naruto has lost ratings due to these unwated flashback and fillers. I used to watch the shippuden every week without a doubt, now I’ve stoped watching it. Everybody stop watching the current shippuden ,it’s only way to get the message across to those Japanese dorks to quit messing around!

    1. agreed!! i religiously watched for years…finally get to the end of the story and they want to drag it out..ugh….i dont even watch anymore…i’m going to wait til its completely finished, and then slog through the episodes…I dont read the manga and its ugly and sad how behind the anime is. the show has gotten sooooooo boring…but after watching so much of it, i feel obligated to finish it, but i really don’t enjoy it like I used to.
      Fillers really killed this show for me. i used to embrace being a Narutard…not anymore.

      i was able to stomach the 150 episodes of filler from the first Naruto…Shippudden finally gave us older characters and more chance for action….but then they slow the show to a crawl and make it almost unwatchable…I saw a gamatatsu episode on Toonami recently and I was embarrassed for Naruto..just horrible.

      And these flashbacks and fake stories with the Tree or whatever…just shoot me! after 500 episodes i don’t wanna see some hypothetical dream crap! FINISH THE DAMN STORY !! WE”VE BEEN WAITING YEARS AND YOU GIVE US THIS !?!?!? WTF!?!

      i apologize for going off the rails, but i needed to rant about this . they killed one of my favorite shows and i’ve since moved on. I will watch the ending, but fillers have absolutely destroyed all of the suspense or anticipation I used to have at viewing a new ep

  5. I was getting really into the naruto, sasuke finaly getting bad ass moment and then the halutination fillers 🙁 there basically starting again just with a few tweeks lol

  6. You bring up brilliant points in relation to unnecessary filler episodes. I am one of those “anime-only” watchers that you discussed and I can say I’m thoroughly over the filler episodes. They are useless and a waste of time. To be honest, I watch the first 2 or 3 minutes (after the theme entrance) and if it looks like a filler I exit browser. Filler episodes for Naruto have become obsolete. They no longer have any place holder or value. Great read, I’m a first timer to your blog.

  7. Manga has ended in November 2014. In February 2016, Storm 4 (new gen naruto shippuden game) ended the storyline. And is not the first time that the animation in Naruto’s games (at least Storm franchise games) are far better than in the anime itself (Even though they could give it a rest to the censoring bs. Naruto and Sasuke had black arms in the game ending…).

    RIP Naruto Shippuden anime. The filler was just too strong and you couldn’t take it anymore.
    Pierrot is responsible your death. Trial awaits.

  8. I’ve given up watching the Eternal Tsukiyomi dream fillers. But just when I thought Team 7 was going to do something, nope! Now we get Sasuke reliving Itachi’s ENTIRE life story. Again. Uuuuuugghhhh…

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