Anime Filler: The Risks & Rewards of Sidetracking!

If you’re an anime fan, then you’re pretty much aware that just about all of the titles you’ve watched (or plan to watch) are based off its source material; the manga. When the anime adaptation of a manga has been created, it stays accurate to its source about anywhere between 60-80% of the time. Between the cost of animation (especially its budget) and the deadlines that most anime production companies have to meet, the accurate number could drop between 40-60%. This is where a little thing that we’ve experienced for decades called ‘Filler’ comes in. Filler is basically an episode or a handful of episodes (or even a whole new story arc) that takes a detour from the main story in order to make up for the lack of material…or something to that effect. To get an idea of what ‘Filler’ is, check out this Gintama clip. Afterwards we’ll break it all down!

Anime and Manga don’t run at the same speed. This is the case for about 95% of all the anime you watch, unless the title is original and not based off any source material of the same name. As mentioned above; when an anime title somehow catches up to a manga title that’s still running, it’s gotta take a detour before rejoining. There are some titles that are able to handle this process well; where the anime filler brings the same amount of excitement as the main story, or even becomes better than the main story. However there are only a select few titles that have managed to pull this off. There’s good and bad when it comes to filler, but it all depends on how its handled should one of the following risks happen:

The Source Material Gets Cancelled

There have been instances where this has happened. Since a lot of anime is based on its manga; the source material, should it get cancelled or go into a longer-than-usual-hiatus, the anime studio has to find a way to finish the anime without its source material. This means they have nothing else to rely on than ‘filler’, and if not handled properly, you’ll lose viewers.

The Source Material Ends Prematurely 

Sometimes the manga could end just as the anime is about to rejoin, and thus filler is introduced to keep the interest of the fans going. We can’t say how many titles and studios have suffered this, but sometimes great ideas can come out of a crisis.

The Source Material and its Adaption Intersect Too Early

If both the manga and the anime come together too soon, the anime has to diverge in order to give the manga more time. During this time however, another risk could happen. That risk being when the setting and characters of the anime and manga become so different from each other, they are unable to rejoin each other and end up going their separate ways. When this happens, they have no choice but to remake the anime again, and stay 100% true to the manga. We know a handful of titles that have done this, and we’re pretty sure you do too!

So there you have it, the risk and rewards anime studios take when they do and make filler episodes for anime titles. This post is not to say that having anime filler is bad, it all depends on what is being done and how its being handled. There are some titles out here where the filler arcs were better than the actual story. Just saiyan! XP

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

3 thoughts on “Anime Filler: The Risks & Rewards of Sidetracking!

  1. People probably wouldn’t mind filler half so much if there was always a lot of love and effort put into crafting it. However, a lot of filler just feels like a rehash of stuff we’ve seen before and in Bleach my issue with the filler was always that it didn’t matter because when we returned to the main story the characters couldn’t have grown or changed because of the filler because they had to be back at the same point where we left the main story. It never really made it easy to emotionally invest in the filler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. Filler can be 50/50 depending on what direction the creator (or director) whats to take while waiting for the rest of the source material. There are some filler that’s actually pretty good, but generic filler usually doesn’t involve any change in the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

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