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 [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?

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CrystalBunny
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PostSubject: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 7:54 am

Think of it. 80% of the original anime is just filler episodes. But were they a bad thing? I my opinion no. The filler episodes (especially those from the beggining of the first season) helped on the character development and also brought to life some stories that without them wouldn't have existed. For example, Rei's crush on Mamoru (and their first date ^^), Naru and Nephrite's relantionship, Umino's crush on Usagi and so on. I'm excited to hear everyone else's opinion though Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 8:21 am

I enjoy the filler episodes from the 90s anime in general. I don't love all of them, but some were quite amusing and charming.
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 8:26 am

This is a question that pops up in the fandom soooo often. Lots of western fans complain about the filler but I'm in agreement with you, CB. No, they definitely weren't bad!  I believe when the anime was in development it was decided that the series would be like the super sentai shows from the get go, including formulaic episodes with a monster of the week deal. So I believe the anime was doing what it had always meant to do. Take the manga as a source and follow it roughly, while filling in with different episodes as the acts were being released on a monthly basis.

This gave us the absolutely wonderful character development that we got, like you said, extra stories and plots we would not have gotten other wise.

Also, this reminds me of this really great thread where an old member went through the episodes of the anime trying to decide if they were really filler or not: https://www.thegalaxycauldronforums.com/t4213-spoiler-is-the-anime-filler

It's a fun read, if you have the time!

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 8:45 am

Thanks for bringing it up Brit! Definetely will check it out!
Also my favorite filler episode has to be episode 15. You see Rei dating with Mamoru, Usagi stalking them while pretending to date Umino and Ami dealing with the loss of her favorite place all while resolving Nephrite's mess.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 8:57 am

A major difference between fillers in 90s anime and fillers in many other different anime (I haven't seen a lot but I'm basing on what I heard) is that 90s SM wasn't trying to go from page to screen and tried to do its own thing. There are other anime have tried to follow manga story line, but due to the manga being unfinished, they throw in fillers to buy time for the manga, which can ruin the pacing of the story-telling.

Now for Sailor Moon, fillers have been both good and bad, varying from different parts of the show. As it is said by others, fillers are a great way of character development for supporting characters and villains. Personally, I think the first season implemented the filler structure the best, with main story evenly distributed with fillers inbetween, though most other seasons were good at keeping balance as well. The only season that really had a major dis-balance was SuperS. Not so much the fillers themselves, but the fact that the majority of filler was clumped together and overall story development was few a far between before wrapped up near the end of the season.

So to sum up, fillers are definitely not bad, and are even enjoyable if they are mixed well with the season's story, which I feel was done well for most of the 90s series.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   3rd July 2018, 9:09 am

I'm in the camp of not liking a lot of the fillers but that's because they weren't consistent or some of the stories were reused before just with different names in the slots.  Then some just made me uncomfortable overall.  (ex: Usagi's Birthday episode is the Biggest No for me.)

I also felt that they didn't keep the character developments at all or some of the girls' interests from season to season.  Like it just feels more convenient if they didn't mention Rei's ability to make music/lyrics that could've helped Minako in her dreams to being a pop idol too. On more than one occasion, this could've been brought up (In SuperS and Stars). 

I get that the SuperS was more for Jupiter and Venus to bond better (honestly, they really actually don't have much one-on-one interaction as a whole, do they? I don't think Mako and Rei had a lot of one-on-one interaction either.  Think Mako had more going on with her and Haruka than her and Rei teaming up.), but it felt like a missed opportunity. 

I think one of my other minor complaints is that we just don't get to see anyone else have a birthday but Usagi.  Which, is kinda a bummer considering they had over 200 episodes and mostly filler to do this in. Or use some of that filler to expand on some of the other senshi's backgrounds.  (Like what about Rei's family? Why does she only live with her grandfather? Where are her parents?  We never see Minako's either and Ami's was only introduced in Season three. Like, two seasons and some change before we see Saeko.  I can't remember if Makoto ever mentioned why she was living alone either.)

Just.. a lot of missed opportunities, to me or time to flesh out some of the others.  Then by Stars, it feels like all the characters we -did- like in the previous season that were secondary just vanished.  

Was Kenji or Shingo ever seen again after Season four? I literally don't remember them in season five at all.  Naru getting replaced as a regular by Unazuki was a 'meh' thing for me. But it felt both natural and not because she was so close to Usagi and the hint that she knew Usagi was Sailor Moon was really strong and then to have her just be a one-hit-wonder in Super after being absent most if not all of the third season was kinda heartbreaking.   

Especially because of the Neprhite/Naru thing from season one and then Naru's road to getting over her grief and then her and Umino hooking up was done very well but we never see them again after season two (I think) and we only see Naru, alone, once more in SuperS.   

*coughs* But I also think a lot of people, especially now, do not have the patience to wade through 200 eps anymore overall.   I do think there's a balance between a lot of filler and no filler.   Like, have some or a little filler but keep to the main plot. Or have it relevant to the main plot in some way. 

Like I can't say all filler is bad (Because I absolutely adored the things that went on with Nephrite/Naru, Kunzite/Zoisite.  the Doom tree arc was nice to flesh out Mamoru-Usagi's relationship better. Also Fisheye's discovery and their own stuff in Dream was good too.).   But too much can be, too much and kinda unneeded especially if it's forgotten within the next episode.

/end of ramblings.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   4th July 2018, 12:55 am

It's a common debate amongst anime fans from all over. Most fans of modern anime don't like filler episodes because they tend to enjoy both the anime and the manga, they like anime that is faithful to the manga which is kinda weird for me personally. I personally love the filler episodes, I do find the them to be very creative and the use of them here for character development is very well made.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   4th July 2018, 7:40 am

I enjoyed most of the fillers except for in Super S. I felt like they just dragged and dragged.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   4th July 2018, 5:06 pm

Judging from what I am reading, I think I am probably falling into the same place as a lot of other people here: I like fillers that have a purpose (That actually feels weird to type).  But if the filler episode helps me to understand characters and/or relationships, or even if it is just a really good fun time, I like it fine.  (This all for me says that I really like the early filler episodes more than the later ones, since I like the humor better and there is a lot more character development - in part I understand because we are still meeting and learning about a lot of characters.)  I don't like fillers that feel like someone just said, "Oh, we need to make something for this week."  I feel like that is where I start getting annoyed with fillers - when I think that no one was really aiming for any kind of purpose.  Even if the purpose is just to have a lot of comedic relief, that is enough.  I just like for my episodes (including fillers) to have a reason for me to watch, and with a little luck, to even re-watch a few times.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   4th July 2018, 6:41 pm

I agree! One thing I will say is I feel like the 90s anime does a somewhat poor job at keeping their fillers in that "having a purpose" category, especially in the later seasons. Many of them don't really contribute to character development, or if they do it's in a superficial way, like Rei's apparent singing and songwriting ability which is never again brought up, or Mako's exceptional ice skating, or the fact that Ami almost went to Germany. That last one ESPECIALLY could have been developed into a multiple-episode filler plot that really examined Ami's priorities of her own personal dreams versus her duty as a senshi and how each of the girls respond to her decision. Like, that episode was good, actually did provide development, and people probably would qualify it as not filler since it contains Ami's power-up, but it still feels really... removable from the series. (this was probably not the best example as its from R which is probably the season with the least and best executed filler, but whatever.)

I think the perfect execution of filler in regards to Sailor Moon was in PGSM. Covering only the Dark Kingdom arc over 50 episodes means it had a lot of filler, but every bit of that goes towards developing the girls' personalities and pairing them up in different ways to really show how they're all friends, rather than by exhibiting particular skills or friends they have which may or may not ever show up again. By doing this, PGSM is able to tackle Ami's insecurities, Rei's family issues, Mako's struggle with duty vs personal life, and Minako's... everything. AND it keeps every episode, even plain old MOTD/filler episodes interesting and meaningful.

But I will say, this is a result of how they were intended to be watched. PGSM was written for people who knew the series and would watch it all the way through. The original anime was written so that most of the time, if you skipped a week, or watched it out of order, you'd still be good. Watching a random episode of SuperS is fun and a good time, but when you're binge watching the whole series... it gets older much faster. So from that standpoint, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but I do think it doesn't actually contribute as much to the character development as some people give it credit for. (though it does contribute some)

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   8th July 2018, 3:25 am

I am agree with you Cardea. There are interessant filler but never used after in the serie. Why ? all fans want to know more about Jupiter's ice skating or Ami, Rei,... I am angry when i watched the anime because of that. But if you miss one or two episode it's not a problem, and there was not internet so...

Fortunately there is PGSM for all of that...

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   19th July 2018, 3:12 pm

I agree with several of you all, that filler can be good if it is done well and with a purpose.  In fact, my favorite anime arc (Cardian) is often considered filler.  I suppose it is, because it ends at status quo; but the character development we see is wonderful, and the episodes are just fun!  

Now, the filler in SuperS got repetitive and boring for me.  But one of the things the first season did so well was that all of the filler epsiodes - well, most of them - had a tiny plot point or two sprinkled in, so the episode was not completely irrelevant to the plot.  sub judice at kinja.com notices that the moon princess was first described in an otherwise filler episode.

Anyway, I can't imagine watching the anime without the filler episodes.  Would the season one finale be so emotionally powerful if we never saw the girls' bonding and characteristics through so many episodes?

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   19th July 2018, 3:59 pm

So, back in the 90s, anime was a far different world, as I'm sure many of us have realized. Only recently have certian shows had episodes over 25. 
I believe, if I'm not mistaking in the 90s there was more or less a contractual amount of episodes needed in some cases. In the end though, corperate greed does play a big role, so it is up to the individual person wiether or not you see it as bad or not. As most filler is usually, like in Sailor Moon's case, Non original canon material. It serves a purpose, none the less. It keeps the fan hooked, hoping for the story line to progress, which in turn will help toy/merch sales by having the fan in the fan base longer. In Sailor Moon's case, each season could have been 13-25 episodes per season, but since it's Toei, that wasn't going to do. Just like DragonballZ, there was Money to be made. 

Fillers also can make the pacing of a series not seem super rushed, like in Crystal. So in my case, I see them as necessary, but as long as it is not overdone. We all complained about the pacing in crystal, well at least most of us. But what was it lacking - filler. It beefs up the content. After all, most of my most memorable Sailor Moon moments are from Filler, minus the Climax/Finales.


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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   20th July 2018, 11:40 pm

I agree with An Ordinary Girl,

I think the first and second season of the original anime did it right. A lot of the episodes usually focused on one of the characters, and you learned about each characters like and dislikes, and learn about their personality. Sadly, I started to feel actual fillers in season Super S, and especially in Stars.
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   26th July 2018, 9:21 pm

I think the anime wouldn't be what it was without filler. Filler let us spend time with the characters, see who they were, let plot developments breathe, see the personalities of the villains. The manga's pace is so breakneck, hardly anything has the opportunity to land.
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   16th August 2018, 7:29 pm

I don't think they should be count as the filler because the plot has been different than the manga.

The old anime added a lot of characterization to many characters, especially villains. In the manga they are just goons.
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   12th October 2018, 7:18 pm

I like both the anime story with its fillers, and the manga/crystal with no fillers, and almost separate them as different stories.

The classic anime was great, and the fillers added a lot of fun and interesting character development. However (not due to the fillers) the classic anime misses some key moments and parts from the manga that I love so much, and the manga feels more ‘adult’ as a story and I feel I can connect with it more now that I’m older. Where as the anime has a bit more childish parts, and brings back so much nostalgia, especially some scenes from filler episodes about Usagi and her friends antics.

I can’t help but to love both, though the story has a different feeling in each.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   12th October 2018, 8:05 pm

@Jess-chan wrote:
I enjoyed most of the fillers except for in Super S. I felt like they just dragged and dragged.

This. I'm of the camp that enjoys the fillers but even I think the number of filler in SuperS was pretty excessive. At least we get plenty of Amazon Trio antics out of it.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   13th October 2018, 2:08 am

I think the fillers in the anime really helped the development of the Senshi team, as the manga's original story didn't have as much regarding that element. I agree that some of the episodes seem really like one-off storylines, especially in SuperS, but they also have the Senshi spend more time together with each other than the manga, with its focus on storyline, has them do. The filler episodes in Sailor Stars was pretty well done in that regard, I think, because it kept the relationships but also didn't introduce too many elements that wouldn't show up again, like all those side characters that only seemed to show up for an episode's story, while maintaining some continuity in between them, like the episode series about Seiya and Usagi's relationship.
I understand Sailor Moon Crystal is supposed to be adapting the story from the manga, but having some episodes that really show the team's friendships would make the manga storyline much more enjoyable, even if it means padding with filler. The first anime had a pretty disjointed plot, so since Crystal has the completed manga to refer from it would still be different from the previous anime adaptation.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate]Were fillers a bad thing?   15th October 2018, 4:18 pm

Filler episodes and filler plots are good in moderation. Are they needed? Yes. Do they need to happen a lot? No. Spam them and you'll have the viewers getting bored of the shallow plots as they aren't going to have the quality of the main material.

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