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 Post subject: Naruto Filler
PostPosted: 090424 10:33 
Legendary Overfiend
Legendary Overfiend
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Location: Terminal Dogma
Spoiler guide: The following post contains spoilers for the Shippuuden anime series, up to the Sanbi Capture Arc (including major spoilers for the Hidan/Kakuzu Arc). Rest assured, there are no manga spoilers beyond where the story in Shippuuden currently is at the time of writing (i.e., the middle of the Sanbi Capture Arc), except for the ultimate conclusion of the Sanbi's capture. I put that information in spoiler tags, just in case, but it's not a big deal (because you already know how the arc's gonna end, right?).

Since I've been reading the manga, I'm finally in the position to comment on the filler and how it relates to the manga story. In regards to Shippuuden, it is my conclusion that, as I suspected, the anime filler isn't quite so bad as the manga readers would have us believe. Granted, twenty episode filler arcs are significant when you're getting only one episode each week, but the filler isn't anywhere near on the level of the first series (the last 85 episodes of which were a complete block of filler) - to put things in context.

About the first 54 episodes of Shippuuden are on track (following the "Puppet Master" and Sasuke Reunion Arcs), at which point, the series disembarks on an approximately 20 episode filler arc (the "Sora Arc"). Though I thought Sora was pretty stupid, and the pseudo-Jinchuuriki aspect was a letdown, one thing I liked about the arc was that it gives Asuma's past, with the 12 Guardsmen (or whatever they were called), a little more detail, while giving Chiriku (the monk) some more air time. Which lends even more weight when they both subsequently get killed.

And speaking of which, after the Sora Arc concludes, the story jumps right back, around episode 71/72, into the main plot, with the first appearance of Hidan and Kakuzu. From here until about episode 89, the story is on track, with one minor exception. In the manga, the Sanbi is taken by Deidara and Tobi (with very little resistance or fanfare) around the same time as Hidan and Kakuzu take the Nibi. Thus, in the following battle, when Hidan and Kakuzu retreat after mortally wounding Asuma, it's to seal both the Sanbi and the Nibi in the manga, instead of just the Nibi, as in the anime.

So what the anime did was take the short Sanbi capture, and expand it into a whole arc, involving Konoha as well as Orochimaru's forces, in addition to the Akatsuki team we all know is gonna end up with the Bijuu when all is said and done. There's been about 15 episodes of the "expanded" Sanbi Capture Arc so far, and unless the battle gets really drawn out, I'd be willing to believe it may wrap up within the next five episodes or so. From there, we'll have to wait and see how things go.

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