Naruto fans are passionate about their favorite anime, gobbling up as much of the material from the popular format as they can get their hands on. If you’re new to the series, you may be wondering what the best way to consume the show is. The truth is that many may not realize that almost half of Naruto episodes are actually skippable.
What does this mean, and why can you skip them? Here’s a guide for new Naruto fans as to why some episodes can be skipped, what episodes those are, and more about the show’s popularity.
Why can you skip nearly half of all ‘Naruto’ episodes?
If you’re wondering why you can skip so many Naruto episodes, the answer lies with a common trope from anime adaptations: the idea of “filler” episodes.
Many animes are adaptations of comics, or as they’re called in Japan, manga. This manga will have central storylines that drive the plot. Think of it in terms of superhero comic books created in the United States. These characters often have storylines that feature a concrete beginning, middle, and conclusion.
When manga transitions to anime, the production schedule can cause the show to outpace the source material it is based on. When this happens, to not catch up with the source too quickly, the production teams will create filler episodes that stray from the original source. These are akin to side quests in video games.
These filler episodes often don’t impact the show’s main storyline or may feature the characters going off on a tangential adventure. They can be entertaining in their own right, but they often aren’t integral to the show’s main plot. They take place outside of the show’s canon.
The skippable episodes
According to Anime Filler List, Naruto was on the air from 2002 to 2007. It had 220 episodes, with 91 of those being classified by the site as filler. That’s a rather high ratio of filler to non-filler at 41%.
If you’d like to avoid the filler episodes, stay away from the following entries in the series: episodes 26, 97, 101 through 106, 136 through 140, 142 through 219.
Interestingly, after episode 141, titled Sakura’s Determination, the next 77 episodes are classified as filler, leading all the way up to the series finale. That’s quite a lot of content for fans to miss out on.
Of course, be forewarned: this advice is for manga fans who want to binge strictly on what’s depicted in the source material. For mega-Naruto fans, you may want to take in some of the filler episodes. It all depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for.
The enduring impact
The uninitiated may be asking: what exactly is Naruto about, and why should I watch it? For anime fans, it’s a must-see series. It tells the story of a ninja named Naruto Uzumaki. He has a mystical creature known as the Nine-Tailed beast sealed inside his body, and because of this, his village makes him an outcast. The boy trains hard and eventually becomes the leader of a village referred to as “the Hokage,” gaining the admiration of the villagers in the process.
It is a popular show among anime fans. My Anime List features a community of over 2.1 million anime fans online. That group has ranked it as their #8 anime of all time overall.
So if you enjoy the manga and want to see their story, check out the non-filler episodes only. If you want to expand your horizons and take in the entire show, which based on its ranking, would be worth it, watch the entire series, including filler.
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