The 7 Worst Filler Arcs in Anime

Generally the most hated thing in anime, filler isn’t always bad – but often it is! It okay to like filler since it is there to entertain typically while the source material sprints forward. However, some arcs are just god-awful wastes of your time. Let’s discuss.




Endless Eight – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

This filler arc effectively killed the series. It is eight episodes of the same events. The first and last episodes differ slightly and each episode is newly animated and voice acted, but it is still the same thing. Imagine what that did to people watching it while currently airing? Eight weeks of…The same thing. The reception was so negative that even though the following movie did well, there is no season three incoming.

Noah’s Arc / Virtual World Arc in Yugioh

The thing about Yugioh is that many of the filler arcs could have worked, but it had the world’s worst timing for them. Such is the case for Noah’s Arc. Essentially, it literally veered them off course from the Battle City finals and forced them to fight stupid battles against the Big 5 in a virtual world. This could have been a fun romp…after the tournament.

Ocean’s Dream Arc in One Piece

Luckily One Piece with its abundance of source material is surprisingly short of filler given how many episodes its has. Furthermore, some of its filler arcs are really quite amazing or even integrated into the canon later. However, there is a lot of stuff that wastes your time. Once such instance is the Ocean’s Dream arc which was essentially a flashback arc with really bad amnesia antics thrown in. It explores the past of many of the Straw Hats, and yet nothing new is learned and no fun is had.

Mizuki Strikes Back in Naruto

Poor original Naruto series. It caught up to the manga and had seasons upon seasons that were more filler than canon. It meandered on like that until it was originally rebranded as Shippuuden. Unfortunately, most filler arcs in Naruto were pretty bad. One of the worst, though? Mizuki Strikes Back. You know who no one cared to see again? The villain from the very first episode that tried to steal that scroll from the village. One or two episodes about his return – sure, why not? However, this arc got like five episodes, and they were some of the laziest in terms of animation, too.

Rurouni Kenshin Season Three After Shishio

There is no one bad filler arc in Rurouni Kenshin. In fact, the first two seasons were rather focused. Unfortunately, you note a distinct shift in the third season. As the manga was still running and the studio was motivated by success and greed, they kept the anime running. They did so in a very poor series of one-off fillers as well. They just kept going until ratings were bad enough that it got canceled. You would then have to visit the Samurai X OVAs for an actual ending.

Inuyasha

Like Rurouni Kenshi there is no singular bad filler arc in Inuyasha because not even the fillers got arcs. The first few seasons of Inuyasha were super focused because the manga was far ahead. Then they caught up. You will note that season four was mostly filler and it becomes spotty after that. Unfortunately, most of the filler episodes are single villains or problems that get resolved blandly at the end of each episode.


Bount or Captain Amagai Arc in Bleach

This one is a toss up. As the Bleach anime frequently caught up to the source material, Bleach has a lot of filler to it. Some of the later filler was actually pretty interesting or at least entertaining like the time you watched all those shinigami side shenanigans. However, the Bount Arc was the first bit of filler. It came after the pretty interesting Soul Society arc that typically made people Bleach fans. Some of the Bounts were interesting, but overall the arc was pretty lackluster.

Alternatively, the Captain Amagai arc is the worst kind of filler – the kind inserted in the middle of another arc. The Arrancar arc was interrupted by a plot following the new Third Division commander and some noble family intrigue. It was poorly timed in the story and not particularly interesting.

The Second Half of Both A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Scientific Railgun S

It is generally agreed that A Certain Scientific Railgun is the more interesting of A Certain Series, but it has its issues.  Both the first season and second season effectively end around episode 16. You’ll know because the filler episodes inexplicably follow minor characters and have very little action. Why it needs to be there? Fuck if I know.

What filler arc is your least favorite? Let people know what they should be avoiding in the comments section below.

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