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Why Anime Fillers Are Less Common In The Modern Age Of Anime

What is an anime filer? It’s exactly as it sounds. Content that is “filed” or added to either:

  • Extend the anime.
  • Insert “what if” scenarios and side stories.
  • Or to give the animators and writers time before continuing the original story.

It can be thought of as a break after an intense season or arc that took a lot to create.

Anime like:

  • Dragon Ball Z.
  • Bleach.
  • One Piece.
  • Naruto,
  • Slayers (I’m sure.

And many Shonen of that kind, especially Naruto, are known for fillers which many complained about or outright avoided to get back to the original story…. Usually, if and when the fillers are bad and not worth the energy.

That’s no longer the case in 2022 and beyond anymore. Fillers are dead with the exception of long-running series from years and years ago.

Let’s get into the ins and outs of that.

 

Why Anime Fillers Dyed Out Overtime:

 

1. A new approach

YouTube video

Take a look at all the anime that aired in 2022, or at least the majority in general. you’ll notice one thing and one thing only: the lack of episodes.

A good example of this is the anime series Shadows House. It started during the pandemic as far as the first season, which only had 12 episodes. Season 2 in 2022 also has 12 episodes.

Rent A Girlfriend season 2 (just like season 1) only has 12 episodes.

This trend can be seen in other anime like:

  • Aharen Is Indecipherable.
  • When Will Ayumu Make His Move.
  • My Dress Up Darling.
  • Spy x Family.
  • Kaguya Sama S4.
  • Komi San S2.
  • The Rising Of The Shield Hero S2.
  • Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie.
  • Party People Koumei.
  • The Executioner And Her Way Of Life.
  • Akebi Chan.
  • Demon Slayer Season 2.
  • Uzaki Chan Wants To Hang Out S2 (upcoming).
  • Kantai Collection S2.
  • Skeleton Knight going out to the parallel universe.

And the impossibly long list of other anime I won’t mention for obvious reasons. This trend has been more common since maybe 2019 or 2017+ on some level. It could have been earlier in a sense.

The question is why? Why have anime fillers become less common?

The answer is a lot of things, actually.

 

2. Risk management

anime cash money yato | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-fillers-are-less-common/

With the internet exploding in the 2000s and it playing a massive role in anime’s progress, success, exposure, and even sales, the game has changed forever.

That’s not the only reason. It’s also a different game on a studio and production level. Many new studios have come about, and many studios can’t risk putting everything into a long series.

So they mitigate risk by crunching content down into 12 episodes WITHOUT filler. That’s a better risk if it fails compared to doing 100 episodes out the gate (with filler) and having the anime flop like a fish.

That’s also why many light novels in particular don’t get 2nd seasons after being adapted with a 12 episode run. It probably didn’t do well enough, but that’s justifiable financially.

This same approach is also why novels like Tensei Slime have gone o to do well because the 12 episode S1 killed it, opening the door for a 2nd season with the same count and so on.

 

3. Easier to swallow

ikumi mito eating food wars anime ecchi | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-fillers-are-less-common/

As an anime fan watching an anime series, it’s easier to watch an anime with 12 episodes than it is to watch something like 50-100, or 1000+ like One Piece. Filled with fillers to the brim.

Studios know this.

I can bet they saw this at some point when noticing habit changes because of the internet and streaming, and decided to chop down the list of episodes as a result.

It’s not just a smart business move, but it’s also smart because you give people what they want without overwhelming them with content. It’s also important for new fans since it’s more digestible.

On top of that, there’s the time aspect. Easier to manage your time, watch anime, and not have to overthink how you’ll spend that time if a series is just 4 hours long (12 episodes).

 

4. Refusing to play catch up

anime chasing meme ara ara | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-fillers-are-less-common/

One of the major problems of older anime series was the fact that ANIME could never keep up with the content from the manga/novel. That’s what gave birth to fillers.

If an anime adapted a manga for example but the chapters weren’t complete, then it’s not surprising to see why an anime would then be filled with content to prevent the series from stopping.

Better to throw in content than it is to stop a series that people love and lose momentum, right?

These days that’s no longer the case. Or at least nowhere near to the extent of it being annoying. Studios and what not are more patient with adapting content, at least enough so they don’t have to include fillers.

This is why series like Demon Slayer has no fillers or almost none despite it being Shonen which is known for the abuse of filler content. And people prefer it this way.

Filler or side content should be dedicated to another series altogether, similar to how Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family was created as a side project for the FATE franchise.

 

5. Meh

anime meh face konata | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-fillers-are-less-common/

Let’s be honest: few anime fans really give a shit about filler content. It’s true that some filler can be good and even worthwhile, but as a whole, it’s wasteful content.

This concept is different to genuine “side stories” that are made separately from the main series. That’s actually something people want in good enough quantities.

Filler content as it stands though? It’s meh. It’s undesirable. It interrupts the flow of the main story, especially when something important and major is going down. It’s a nuisance and can be confusing.

I’d suspect this was noticed by many anime creators, animators, studios, and so on. And they rightfully adapted and started to cut the fat over the years, making anime adaptations more pure and true.

Ignoring exceptions of course (The Promised Neverland).

In the end, anime fillers have dyed out and they’re less common for logical and sensible reasons. The industry has improved, gotten better, and made necessary changes.

Demon Slayer wouldn’t be the anime it is if it was filled with filler and 100s of episodes fresh out of the womb. And the same can be said for Jujutsu Kaisen among others.

It’s all for the best.

 

Recommended:

Why Anime Has 12+ Episodes Per Season (Compared To 10-20+ Years Ago)