If you were to ask most anime fans what their least favorite aspects of anime, they would probably say one of three things: fan service, filler, and fandoms. The last one will be talked about in it’s own article, because it’s a vast topic to discuss, but we’re here this week to talk about what the most toxic thing to the anime community is, fan service or filler. Now, as a pretense, this is all my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. My opinion most likely differs from your’s, so you don’t have to take everything I say as fact. And actually, you could voice your opinion in the comments below, because I do read them and usually respond.
Let’s start off with a definition of what fan service and filler is. Fan service is material intentionally added to anime to please their audience, thus servicing them. It usually comes in the form of ecchi situations, such as a beach or hotspring episode or a particularly suggestive scene. Filler is the addition of non-canonical scenes in anime, which wasn’t in the original source material. Examples of this would be the two years of fillers after Naruto and Sasuke’s fight in the original Naruto, and the Bount arc in Bleach. It is essentially useless fluff to the main story.
Fan service is really bad because of how it treats the audience.
It makes us otakus seem like depraved sexual deviants, especially in the areas of yaoi and every shonen anime ever made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain my way out of situations when my mother showed up right when fan service happens…let’s just say awkward is an understatement. Fan service just further paints a bad picture of us, in a world where we’re all looked down on anyway as simple geeks. Now, in their eyes, we’re geeks and perverts.
This wouldn’t be bad, if fan service really didn’t ruin the anime they were in. I’ve seen countless promising anime tarnished by the black spots of audience pandering, such examples being Sword Art Online, Highschool of the Dead (would have been a great horror zombie survival show), and Agame Ga Kill. I feel like these anime would have been much better if we didn’t have suggestions of tentacle rape or the balancing of an AK-47 on someone’s chest. As far as Agame Ga Kill went…yeah, that was already soulless to begin with. They try to increase the interest of testosterone-fueled fan boys, but it makes the anime seem immature and childish.
Like a ten year old who figured out how to turn 8008 into the word ‘boob’ on a calculator. (Don’t lie, every boy has done that sometime in class to pass the time.)
Filler is probably one of the most annoying things known to any anime fan, ever. Not saying it’s necessarily worse than fan service, as that’s more offensive and annoying at the same time, but filler is more rage inducing.
There was no worse feeling than having a battle in the middle of Bleach stop, only to be replaced by an entire arc that never even existed in the source material. Having original content in an anime adaptation isn’t bad, because it’s an adaptation, but half of it is done so lazily. When was the last time anyone said that their favorite part of Naruto was the part with Sora? Or that the Bount arc of Bleach was the best written storyline? I never have.
Most of the time, it happens because the anime catches up with the manga, as is the case with a lot of the shonen series. Instead of ending a season, as anime like Attack on Titan were smart to do, they decide to cut off their running content and start their own. As if we didn’t notice the difference.
The worst part? If the filler arcs were to affect the main story drastically, the people who enjoyed the source material would get furious that the anime deviated for the original story. How am I supposed to be invested in an arc if it technically never happened? And there’s never any suspense if the main character fights a powerful enemy, because if a character were to die in a filler, the amount of hate that people would feel towards your anime would be unparalleled.
For my personal opinion, fillers are worse than fan service.
Don’t get me wrong, fan service can be horrible, but it’s easy to overlook as it usually lasts a few scenes and at most an entire episode. However, with fillers, it’s blatantly in your face the entire time. It can take up 13 to 25 episodes, which is absolutely absurd! And half of us wonder why these Shonen Jump series are hundreds of episodes long!
To me, filler represents some corporate greed. Think about why they didn’t just end on a season finale when they ran out of source material. Because their anime is making a lot of money! And you won’t make as much money if you don’t have any episodes, right? I applaud series like Attack on Titan, that stopped to let the manga catch up with it, as opposed to making fillers about Connie’s or Sasha’s back story.
And if you wanna think about it this way, fillers can house fan service, too. Now that’s a horrifying thought, isn’t it?
That’s it for now. If you want to tell me what you think is worse in the anime community, filler or fan service, leave your comment down below. And if you liked what you read, consider leaving a “like” so I know. Until next time, this has been the Anime Analyst. Zachary, out.
Header image: “Kill la Kill” from Studio Trigger
Image 1: “Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club” from Kyoto Animation
Image 2: “Bleach” from Studio Pierrot
Image 3: “Naruto” from Studio Pierrot
Neither Zaktaku or UnimeTV owns the screenshots used in this article. Please don’t sue us…especially Zaktaku.