Thanks to fan reception pushing the industry to create shorter, more coherent stories, filler is mostly a thing in the past. But it wasn’t always that way, and there are some cases where the filler was actually good. We’ve put together a list of our favorites, and some of them might surprise you.
Naruto Shippuden – Kakashi’s Anbu Arc
A lot of people don’t like the filler in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, and it’s actually for a good reason. With Kakashi’s Anbu Arc, however, Pierrot actually managed to create something interesting. It might have only served to buy some time, but it actually provides an excellent backstory on Kakashi and his time in the Anbu Black Ops. That includes his meeting with Yamato, something that isn’t touched upon in the comics.
The difference between good filler and bad filler is telling a story that’s interesting and thematically fitting. With all of the backstory Kakashi was given in the second half of Naruto, a story like this just makes sense.
Dragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball GT is a hit or miss for a lot of people, but for me, I’ve always found it to be enjoyable. It might not be canon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. There are some recycled plot elements here and there, and Dr. Myuu is basically Gero in space, but it’s actually not bad for an original series.
I’ve been rewatching it in preparation for the upcoming Dragon Ball Super, and I find it to be just as good now as it was when I first saw it back in the 2000’s. The music is great, and it had the courage to try something different. It might not be as well-received as Dragon Ball Z, but I’d still recommend it to younger fans of the series. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it.
One Piece – G-8 Arc
If you don’t watch the filler in One Piece, you’re missing out. Unlike most series, the filler in One Piece is actually pretty good. Want to get a better understanding of the films? They have arcs for that, which is something that should be more common. They also do plenty of specials, and while some are more interesting than others, most are still worth watching.
G-8 is one of the best filler arcs, and it’s also the longest at 11 episodes. Surprisingly with how long One Piece is, there actually isn’t a lot of filler, and when there is — it’s pretty short. In G-8, the Straw Hat crew find themselves in hot water after accidentally landing in a marine base on the way down from Skypiea. Oops!
As you might imagine, things get pretty hectic, and it makes for a good watch. If you haven’t seen this arc, it definitely comes recommended for those that don’t mind filler.
Fullmetal Alchemist is an interesting case when it comes to filler. For a while the story is told exactly as it is in the manga, but as the anime caught up, things slowly diverged. What happens when you let a studio finish the story for you? Well as it turns out, it’s actually pretty different. Fullmetal Alchemist tells a different story from the manga, and that’s actually kind of cool.
Following the source material is great, but a little deviation every now and then is nice too. Just ask the people behind The Walking Dead, who are known for changing things up. If it’s done well, it can work. I still find myself going back to this series even after the release of the far superior Full Alchemist Brotherhood, and while that might be because of nostalgia — I still think it’s fun.
Bleach – Zanpakuto Rebellion Arc
If you’re a fan of Bleach, then you know there’s more to a Zanpakuto than meets the eye. They’re pretty much alive, and in this arc, they actually manifest themselves as physical beings and take back their independence.
It’s pretty scary, but it’s also pretty cool. You get some exposition on Zanpakuto, and there are some good fights, which makes it good for anyone interested in theoretical lore.
Well that’s it for this list. Do you have any filler arcs or episodes that you enjoy? Feel free to let us know in the comments.Tweet