“Naruto Shippuden” is a complex anime masterpiece where one dynamic story arc leads to another, coming together to create Naruto’s compelling hero’s journey. The series starts off with the criminal organization Akatsuki making big moves to take down the jinchuriki hosts of the legendary tailed beastscon. It winds through Naruto getting next-level powerful and joining his friends for the future of humanity in the Fourth Great Shinobi War. Still, any anime that makes it to 500 episodes is going to have some filler.
Filler is a necessary evil to keep your favorite anime on the air long enough to tell the full story from its source manga. Masashi Kishimoto, artist and creator of the “Naruto” manga, worked insane hours to churn out compelling comics regularly. Still, given the low cost and efficient process for making anime, at some point a given series will probably get ahead of its source material. This is why long-running shows like “Naruto” and “Naruto Shippuden” create episodes that aren’t canon and add little to nothing to the storyline.
“Naruto Shippuden” is full of filler. Some are actually fun bits of entertainment, detailing epic battles. Some have bits that tie into the plot or add extra background to the main story. And some … well, some you can just skip altogether, should you wish. Luckily, there are some geniuses on Reddit to help you decide.
Before we say anything else, the canon episodes of “Naruto Shippuden” are 1-27, 29-56, 72-90, 113-143, 152-169, 172-175, 197-222, 243-256, 261-270, 272-278, 282-283, 296-302, 321-346, 362-375, 378-388, 391-393, 414-415, 417-421, 424-426, 451-463, 469-479, and 484-500.
These episodes are taken directly from the manga, centered on Naruto’s progression toward achieving his destiny alongside his colleagues from Konoha and the other hidden villages, as well as his longstanding alliance with his original teammates Sakura and Sasuke. This is the bildungsroman of Naruto as completed in “Naruto Shippuden.” The original “Naruto” series began with him as a troublemaker and weak student shinobi. “Naruto Shippuden” ends with him as the most powerful shinobi on the planet, with various evolutionary forms he can turn on when the battle really heats up. At the beginning, Naruto is a hated troublemaker; by the end, he’s the world’s savior. If you want to watch the bare minimum of episodes, these are absolutely not to be missed.
These are the filler episodes you can skip without losing any of the storyline: 28, 170-171, 223-242, 257-260, 271, 279-281, 376-377, 416, 422-423, 427-450, and 480-483.
Many of these episodes are standalones or mini-arcs with no relevance to the storyline, some flashbacks to young Naruto and his friends going on some silly, pointless adventure. There’s a drawn-out arc of Naruto and Yamato being seasick (at some point, Naruto’s clones turn on him) as they head to Naruto’s training with Killer B. One, Episode 271, only exists as a sort of advertisement for “Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie,” and it should be added that none of the movies are canon, though they can be fun.
These filler episodes add nothing to the story and, in general, aren’t worth watching. In fact, as some of these drag, on you’ll often find yourself just wanting to jump forward to watching the canon episodes.
57-71: mostly filler, though you should watch
These “Naruto Shippuden” episodes have good stories and introduce some cool new abilities. We see a Land of Fire monastery full of formidable fighters, and any ninja story with legendary fighting monks is always awesome. (Just watch the old Shaw Brothers kung fu movies.) Several Akatsuki members show their power in wiping out some extremely powerful monks to collect bounties on them, including one monk with a jutsu, the Welcoming Approach: Thousand-Armed Murder, that looks like later jutsu involving manifesting powerful larger beings. (Hashirama’s Sage Art Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands specifically comes to mind.)
Plus, these episodes present the idea that a warrior can possess some tailed-beast chakra and still get the benefits. The fact that part of a tailed beast’s chakra can reside inside somebody and turn them into a partial jinchuriki, even giving that person a tailed-beast cloak, will come in to play later.
And again, fighting monks are always cool.
91-112: filler, but you could watch some
This is filler, a story about some leftovers from Orochimaru’s fallen empire, and you don’t have to watch it. Still, this could be worth watching, if only because it shows some amazing fighting and introduces cool new jutsu.
There are plenty of elements that play into the canon. One is the introduction of the fact that there are Orochimaru compounds full of powerful shinobi, all of whom possess unique and, in some cases, truly frightening jutsu. There’s a compelling story about how even an “evil” Orochimaru disciple can change for the love of another. We see the Three-Tails for a few episodes, more than any other time in the series. And we see the Four-Corner Sealing Barrier being used on a tailed beast, which will have a huge role towards the climax of the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
At the least, watch from Episode 100 to 112, though you might as well watch it all if you want to understand the whole arc.
144-151: filler you should watch
“Naruto Shippuden” Episodes 144 to 151 follow a filler arc with little to no impact on the main story, but of all the filler arcs, this is one of the most interesting. The main storyline is about a forbidden jutsu that can destroy whole villages. It is strangely reminiscent of an atomic bomb.
This forbidden jutsu is sealed within a girl, and there’s a shinobi tasked with keeping her safe — a shinobi who has a very unique bubble jutsu. In fact, the two develop a bit of a sensei/student relationship, something which Naruto takes very seriously. Plus, as time goes on, we discover something amazing about the shinobi.
This arc has atomic bomb metaphors, unique jutsu, and the Six-Tails jinchuriki. Therefore, it also eventually has the Akatsuki, and it hints at the fact that things are getting very bad for anybody opposing the Akatsuki’s drive to collect all the tailed beasts.
176-196: filler, but you could watch it all
This stretch of filler takes place after the great arc in which Pain destroys Konoha, only to find salvation at the hands of Toad Sage-mode Naruto. Konoha has literally been flattened, yet Pain brought its inhabitants back to life after his conversation with Naruto. And the boy who once was shunned and written off as a joker is a hero all in the village are proud of.
The beginning and end of most of these episodes show the villagers working together to rebuild the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Yet in between the open and close, we get mostly flashbacks. Many of these center on Naruto and how the individual shinobi rebuilding the village remembered the troublemaker years ago, and how proud they are of the shinobi he’s become. None of the episodes make any changes or have any real bearing on the story, though they are fun, and again, the beginning and end of each episode is part of the main story.
284-295: filler you can skip, except for a few
Episodes 284 to 295 are filler, full of more flashbacks and stories that have no bearing on moving the main story or explaining anything about to happen. Yet there are a few exceptions which you should watch due to the fact that they not only work into the Great Shinobi War but also have pretty epic battles.
Watch Episodes 284 and 285 since they have some battles in which reanimated elite shinobi fight members of the allied shinobi forces, including, in Episode 284, Sai and Kakashi fighting a member of the Legendary Swordsmen of the Mist.
Episodes 288 and 289 also connect to the story. Analogous to Episode 284, in 288, Kakashi and Might Guy have to fight and seal up other reanimated Legendary Swordsmen of the Mist. In Episode 289, they have to fight yet another reanimated Legendary Swordsman. These episodes are strong and fit into the current story so well that you might not even identify them as filler if you don’t know.
303-320: filler you can mostly skip
Again, here’s a run you can mostly skip, but there are a few episodes in this filler stretch you’d want to watch. Specifically, you should check out Episodes 303 through 305, 307, 308, and 317 before moving back into the canon episodes at 321.
For episodes 303 to 305, the Sound Village Four are reanimated for a rematch against the Hidden Leaf shinobi who had originally fought them in “Naruto.” Not only is this worth watching for the rematch, with the Leaf shinobi now considerably stronger, but it also it explores the idea of how friends can be sealed off from each other and fight their way back. Episodes 307 and 308 are about another reanimation with deep emotional ties to the person he’s fighting (a theme throughout this war being these painful reunions), as is Episode 317. Plus, both are centered on former Leaf Village Shinobi fighting current ones.
347-361: filler, but watch it
Technically, this run is filler, but it’s really good filler — as in you might not even notice it’s filler if you don’t know it’s not manga canon. Either way, you should watch these episodes.
Episodes 347 and 348 tell you more about the formation of the Akatsuki, specifically about the conditions that took the originally noble, peace-driven Akatsuki, led by Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan, and twisted it into the evil criminal Akatsuki we all know.
As for the rest, if you like Kakashi as much as everybody else, Episodes 349 to 361 are some amazing and fun installments about his Anbu years. This ties in young Yamato and young Itachi, and, of course, it’s full of amazing scenes centered on young Kakashi. Seeing these guys fighting together as young chunin is worth the price of admission.
So, yeah, just watch this whole run and cut episodes out somewhere else.
388-390: filler, but you should watch it
This is a short filler run of three pretty amusing episodes, so you might as well watch them. Episode 388 shows Gaara working with his former tailed beast, Shukaku, and rallying the other tailed beasts to join them in helping Naruto. Seeing a former jinchuriki pleading with his former tailed beast is extremely entertaining.
Episodes 389 and 390 are a flashback to Hinata’s childhood, when her younger sister was on track to supersede her as the Hyuga clan main family’s heiress, given Hinata’s weakness. The story moves forward, however, to find Hinata’s younger sister finally respecting her elder sibling again after Hinata challenges Pain. Isn’t family great?
Again, these episodes don’t necessarily add much to the canon story, though they are worth watching. And it’s just a short handful of episodes, anyway, so in this case, just let the “Naruto Shippuden” binge ride.
394-413: filler you can skip
This long run of filler doesn’t advance the plot or set up anything else. There’s no canon here at all, and you won’t lose anything if you skip it. It’s about a chunin exam that took place during the break between “Naruto” and “Naruto Shippuden.” On the other hand, it’s about a chunin exam that took place during the break, and, obviously, the original chunin exam arc was a cornerstone of the original “Naruto” series.
So if you kind of wish you’d seen the chunin redemption exams full of all the kids who’d failed the original “Naruto” chunin exam arc, here it is. There’s some back-and-forth between known and unknown shinobi, and you get to see some interesting alliances and new moves from these great young shinobi. Plus, it’s part of a plan to suck in the Akatsuki, giving it more impact and bringing more Akatsuki action into play.
So if you want to see the genin you loved from Naruto’s academy days and first chunin exams actually turning into chunin, or you’re just hungry for some old-fashioned Akatsuki action this late in the Fourth Great Shinobi War, give it a gander.
464-468: filler worth watching
Yes, these episodes aren’t from the manga, so they’re not canon. But they also give additional exposition about the Otsutsuki clan. Obviously, the introduction of these great otherworldly deific beings changed the direction of “Naruto Shippuden,” taking the deepest truths of the shinobi world to an absolutely unforeseen place. Without giving away too much about the Otsusuki clan, let’s suffice it to say that their story and its importance to the current “Shippuden” shinobi is similar to the creation stories in many of the great world religions.
Since we learn so much about the main characters of the series, from Naruto and Sasuke to even Hashirama and Madara, it’s a good thing to get as much Otsutsuki beta as possible, especially since they not only founded the shinobi world but, at this point, are threatening to destroy it. These five filler episodes are definitely worth watching.
469: Kakashi’s face is finally revealed!
Kakashi Hatake was first brought in during “Naruto” as the sensei for Team 7, shaping the young careers of Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. He wears the outfit most people associate with shinobi, most notably the facemask. Kakashi is one of the most powerful Leaf shinobi, eternally cool and unflappable and strong enough to handle nearly any other shinobi in the world. It’s a running theme that Kakashi has never shown his face, from his introduction at the very beginning of “Naruto” all the way through most of “Shippuden.”
Fans have requested it. In Episode 101 of the original “Naruto” series, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura have some goofy camaraderie for once. Even the ever-serious Sasuke is so intrigued by the idea of trying to get the great shinobi to take down his mask that he joins his teammates in hatching schemes to try to get beyond the veil. They finally get him to take it down to eat, only to have their view blocked, though the team at Ichiraku reacts to seeing Kakashi’s apparently handsome jaw. Finally, Kakashi takes down his mask — only to revel another mask beneath it.
Well here it is, finally, in Episode 469 of “Naruto Shippuden.” Yes, it’s filler. And yes, you absolutely have to watch it just to see the great copycat ninja’s face.
And no, we won’t reveal it here.
Disclaimer: This story is auto generated by a computer program has not been created or edited by Snoopitnow. Publishers: Looper.