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Naruto filler list: Get a better viewing experience by skipping these episodes of Naruto and its sequels

Don't neglect your backlog for longer than you need to.

Naruto in Sage Mode
Image credit: Pierrot

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Few shows suffer from excessive filler quite as much as Naruto. To avoid catching up to the manga without slowing down its weekly release schedule, the show had to essentially stop adapting the source material for long periods. The result is that dozens of episodes can be safely skipped. In fact, doing so can give you a much better viewing experience for Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and Boruto: Next Generations.

Which Naruto, Naruto: Shippuden, and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime episodes are filler and can be skipped?

What do we mean by filler episodes in Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations?

Naruto screenshot
Image credit: Pierrot

When discussing filler episodes in shows, we often mean episodes that don’t advance the plot, but in anime, the term has a more specific meaning. Filler episodes in Naruto are those that don’t adapt material found in the manga by Masashi Kishimoto. This is pretty common in anime, though Naruto and its sequel shows have a bit more filler than most shows because it nearly overtook the source material on several occasions.

Naruto anime filler list

Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi appear in poster promoting new episodes of the hit anime series being released to mark its 20th anniversary.
Image credit: Bandai Namco / Shueisha

Though filler episodes existed in Naruto from the very beginning in the form of flashbacks that slowed down the plot at points, it got really bad following the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. At this point, the anime was in danger of overtaking the manga, so Pierrot, the studio behind the anime, began airing episodes that weren’t based on the source material. This resulted in a staggering chunk of 76 episodes in the middle of the show that can safely be skipped just before the time skip that resulted in Naruto Shippuden.

The filler episodes in Naruto that you can safely skip are:

Naruto Shippuden filler list

Naruto Shippuden screenshot
Image credit: Pierrot

While there isn’t a huge chunk of filler episodes once the time skip happens and Naruto Shippuden begins, there are ultimately more filler episodes in the show. There are 500 episodes in Naruto Shippuden and around 41% of them are filler.

Here are the filler episodes in Naruto Shippuden that you can skip:

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations filler list

Boruto anime screenshot
Image credit: Pierrot

Compared to his father’s adventures, Boruto has relatively low amounts of filler. This is mainly because it went on a long hiatus rather than risk overtaking the sequel manga. Still, several episodes can be skipped while you are watching Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.

Here are the filler episodes in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations that you can skip:

Why is there so much filler in Naruto?

Serious Naruto
Image credit: Pierrot

Filler is fairly common in anime, especially in the 90s and 00s, when shows stuck to a year-round release schedule. However, without a large enough buffer in the manga, these shows often had to resort to writing their own material to keep from overtaking the source material. This, along with the strain it puts on animators, is a big reason why most shows have switched to a seasonal release schedule.

The largest chunk of filler comes after the Sasuke Retrieval Arc in Naruto, when the anime introduces 76 episodes of filler in one go to allow the manga to build up a sizeable buffer. Because the show was released every week, this means that there were nearly 18 months between manga canon episodes in Naruto.

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