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Oh Crap! It's Anime Filler! - - THE VICE PIT

Special guest Matt Murphy joins us once more for a lengthy, detailed and deeply-pondered discussion about filler episodes in anime. But maybe we should recap how we got here first...?

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    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow @cravesam

    sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
    Like most things, I think they suck when they suck and are ok when they are ok. Bleach is probably the best example of this. There are some filler arcs that are god awful and some that are better than anything ever in canon. The last filler arc actually made Bleach one of my favorite series in the year it aired.
    FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Oct. 8, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.

    A filler episode isn't as bad as filler arcs. They can go on for months with no sign as to when they'll end, they add nothing to the over all plot, and the characters that appear in these arcs will never influence anything. NARUTO has had a lot of silly filler arcs, such as the infamous two straight years of fillers. BLEACH probably has the worst record. They put entire filler arcs in the middle of canon arcs.

    ONE PIECE used to have extended filler arcs, but they haven't done them since the G-8 Arc. They have a couple episodes they add in canon arcs, but that's pretty much it. They moved to a format of one chapter equals one episode, but people complain that episodes seem to drag.

    That's the price you're going to have to pay.

    sora_thekey moderator on Oct. 8, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.

    LOL! 'Nuff said!

    sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.

    @FoxxFireArt: To be fair though, some of those canon arcs in Bleach are terrible and filler was the only thing stopping the anime from being really bad for like years on end. Basically everything from Ichigo entering Hueco Mundo to Ichigo leaving there was bad. That's like 100+ canon episodes and only like 5 of them go above being mediocre.

    samweller999 staff on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:02 a.m.

    @sickVisionz: I gotta chime in on that... while Bleach can suffer from the same type of filler that other shows can suffer from I believe that there is still a great deal of awesome reveals in the Hueco Mundo arc:

    When Captain Kurotsuchi defeats that one organ destroyer Espada to the development of Nel's character and the whole idea behind Aizen wanting to create his own twisted versions of a Gotei 13. I think it's all pretty classic, and re-establishes Orihime as a major player in the anime.

    Also, the designs are really cool for the bad guys. Their powers are so strange and awesome it was cool to see that happen, and having the Gotei 13 rescue our main protags shows a great deal of cooperation between them we hadn't really seen yet. Bleach is unique in that it has such a huge cast I think it justifies containing so many episodes.

    Well, sorry for the long post.

    sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:16 a.m.

    @samweller999: To each their own, but I don't like most of the characters in Bleach and a lot of those bad guys during that arc are lame and their battles are poorly animated. One baddie turns into a bird, another into an elephant, one is a pretty terrible flaming gay stereotype, another is a ballerina in a tutu made of eyeballs, one espada's power is that he turns people into Nenodroid dolls, then you have Nel, a magic drooling baby centaur. Add to that the "comedy" of Tite Kubo popping up with characters like the fat guy with the spiked ball, those two morons with Nel, and Nel herself and this arc was a total disaster for me.

    I mean, if you like it then you like it, but for me that arc was somewhere around 100 episodes of characters I didn't care about battling some some really stupid bad guys in some of the poorest animated battles to ever be in Bleach. The only thing that kept me going was 1) not knowing when the animation team would stop half-assing it (like the Hisagi vs Findor fight which was a random battle that I guess someone on staff was a real fan of wanted to make sure it didn't look terrible) 2) knowing that Hollow Ichigo was coming (one of the few characters I like in Bleach) and 3) knowing that Aizen/Gin/Tousen were coming (the other characters I like in Bleach).

    #1 never actually came around until Ichigo had left Hueco Mundo, #2 ended up being about 2 of the 5 good episodes in that 100 episode chunk and #3 took place really close to when Ichigo left Hueco Mundo and are like the other 3 good episodes during that massive chunk.

    I won't say that every Bleach filler arc is great, but some of the arcs were way better than anything Bleach had or would offer for a year and some of those one shots at least broke up the reign of terror that canon was putting me through. I'd much rather see stuff like this than ballerina Espada and Soi Fon's lame vice-captain fighting elephants:

    To be honest, nothing in that entire Hueco Mundo arc really matches up to this fight. Filler can suck but in Bleach I get the feeling that the animation studio actually hates the show and the more it went on the more they disliked it, which is why so much of the canon episodes are poorly put together but when you let them make up their own stories, they go all out to not make it look like crap. Plus they're a lot better at coming up with non-moronic character designs and powers than Tite Kubo is. Nothing in any filler, even ultra goofy filler, was as bad as stuff like the ballerina espada, flaming arrancar, elephant man, nenodroid baddie, etc.

    No_name_here staff is online on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5 p.m.

    @sickVisionz: @FoxxFireArt: @sora_thekey: @samweller999:

    Once again, we have a slickly put-together video, and all you guys want to comment on is the discussion topic, not how suave my Polo shirt is, nor how stylishly my hair has been combed up.

    sora_thekey moderator on Oct. 9, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.

    @No_name_here said:

    @sickVisionz: @FoxxFireArt: @sora_thekey: @samweller999:

    Once again, we have a slickly put-together video, and all you guys want to comment on is the discussion topic, not how suave my Polo shirt is, nor how stylishly my hair has been combed up.

    My comment was on the "slickly put-together" video... I LOLed at your suave Polo shir-- uh, ah-I mean the filler portion.

    JiCion Oct. 10, 2012 at 6 a.m.

    Recaps are a pain to sit through, even if they take like half of an episode, such as for an interrogation.

    Filler episodes can be annoying as Hell, because they often don't take it seriously. Filler arcs can be hit or miss, mostly a miss if they don't take themselves seriously. Fairy Tail is a good example, with the arc after after the timeskip before the Grand Magic Games.

    samweller999 staff on Oct. 10, 2012 at 4:37 p.m.

    @sora_thekey:

    There's nothing filler about Pinchuk's hair. I've sat next to him... it's all natural.

    sora_thekey moderator on Oct. 10, 2012 at 8:56 p.m.

    @samweller999: What about Sam's?? I've sat next to him but I haven't really paid attention :P

    takashichea moderator is online on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:50 a.m.

    @JiCi:

    I agree with Fairy Tail. That arc was pretty lengthy, but it was worth it because it needed to stall. The omakes that Fairy Tail does as fillers are entertaining. The ones are not omake based are not that great. It was Wendy's first big mission with Freed and the Daphne arc that was stale. For the omakes, it was Rainbow Sakura and the episode where Lucy thought Natsu was into her.

    It was quite nerve wracking when your favorite anime is catching up with the manga. You don't know what if the creator is just going to do fillers or end it on a different note. It happened to Blue Exorcist and Soul Eater.

    I'm fine with series taking a hiatus like Gintama and Sket Dance.

    Dig Deeper into Filler

    Something that isn't from the manga. Could be characters, episodes, and so forth.

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