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PostSubject: Fillers   Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:23 pm

Fillers. Pretty much every magical girl series has them -- they're a given in any series that ran longer than 26 episodes. Most people despise them, and they're a large part of the reason why some people (including myself) prefer manga. Though (especially since the release of Sailor Moon Crystal), I have seen people defending filler episodes, saying that they provide integral moments of character interaction and development that we wouldn't get otherwise.

So, my question to you guys is, what is the best filler you've ever seen? On the other hand...what was the worst?

For me, the best filler, hands down, would be episode 42 of the first season of Sailor Moon: "Sailor Venus' Past: Minako's Tragic Love". To be honest, I'm not even sure if this episode even qualifies as a filler, since it's so important to Minako's character, but since it was cut from the original DiC dub, most people do consider this one to be such. As the title of the episode implies, we learn a lot about Minako's past as Sailor V, something that the original anime didn't touch upon too much, probably because the Codename: Sailor V manga wasn't finished running yet.

As for worst... Well, two particular episodes from Wedding Peach come to mind. Episode 21, "Resound, Piano, to the Starry Sky" had a plot that was so stupid, I honestly couldn't believe what I was watching. And then, of course, there was the infamous episode 7, "Take Care Against Eating Too Much", which was not only stupid, but also offensive. Of course, it being from 90's Japan, I can't get too mad at it, but I'm not going to lie and say that, as an overweight person, I wasn't just a little uncomfortable watching it, haha.

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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:30 pm

It's weird to think that shows not based on a manga can have fillers, but they do. The plots of shows like Ojamajo Doremi and Precure reoccur a handful of times throughout the 50+ episode seasons. The rest is usually character/victim/monster of the week filler.

Heartcatch was the worst at it because of how repetitive it gets. You can pretty much isolate who's going to be the victim within the first two minutes of the episode. Sometimes Tsubomi and Erika have only a few minutes of screen-time, fight aside.

Then it goes into the same thing.
-Villain sees victim with problem. Sees heart flower wilting.
-Turns victim into monster.
-Cures fight for a bit and then the monster stops to cry about the victim's problem.
-Villain: Hahaha that's a stupid problem!
-Blossom: It's not stupid! And here's a meaningful speech about it followed by my catch phrase about a bag of tolerance.
-Marine: Here's my ocean-based version of Blossom's catch phrase!
-Finishing move and the villain is like "I'll let you go for now!" and teleports away.
-Victim seems to immediately get over their problem, or rather the resolution comes to them.

On the one hand I can appreciate them taking the time to develop these side characters, but when your plot requires a good quarter of it to be dedicated to a monster of the week battle, it doesn't give much time to do that, flesh out the actual main characters and have them interact.

That's why I think Ojamajo Doremi does a much better job with the "helping people out with their problems" type of thing. There's plenty of time for us to see the main characters interact with the victims, try to help them out and either succeed or let the characters sort out their own issues. In Heartcatch the protagonists sometimes don't even know the victim has a problem.

Shugo Chara is the only manga-based one that's immediately coming to mind and I don't really even know what was filler and what wasn't. There were a couple of clip-show episodes, so that's obvious. All I can recall is there were a lot of episodes where they didn't even fight an X-Character, instead they had to chase down and purify (or destroy, bad Rima) an X-Egg, which is much less interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:53 pm

It's repetition like that that makes it difficult for me to watch really long anime. Mad I have a short attention span, so I get bored pretty quickly watching the same thing over and over. Kind of makes you wonder why I even like this genre, haha!

The thing I don't like about the monster of the week formula is that, so often, it just feels unnecessary. The writers will sometimes jump through hoops to keep the formula going, even whenever it doesn't make sense.

Like, for instance, episode 10 of Mermaid Melody, "Images of the Past". In this episode, Rina is scouted by a modeling agent to be part of a fashion show. During the later half of the episode, when they're at the fashion show, one of the villains show up absolutely out of NOWHERE, declares that a fashion show is exactly the type of place that the mermaid princesses would be, and starts attacking. Never mind the fact that the villain was entirely correct, how on Earth did she even come to that conclusion? It felt contrived, and it felt like the writers just needed some kind of cheap conflict so the episode wouldn't have been a total waste.

It would just be nice if the writers of these shows could be a little more creative. I would love to see some more interesting episodes that don't resort to the same tired formula, over and over and over.
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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:12 am

some filler episodes can be boring, predictable and utterly fake. some have meaning, character development and are  quite entertaining.
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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Cardcaptor Sakura has the best filler. Majority of the cards in the anime don't appear in the manga. However they made each capture unique so you're not watching the same fights over and over. Even cardless episodes aren't boring. CCS is driven with character development. Even the manga puts the cards aside to focus on the characters.

Personally I like filler in magical girl series because it makes things seem more realistic. Like Sailor Moon for example. It took eight episodes for Sailor Mercury to arrive. That's realistic because it would take awhile to find your teammates. Yes they ended up going to same school, but they live in a big city. Plus it gave time for Usagi to grow on her own. 

Tokyo Mew Mew also benefited from filler as well. The manga mainly focused on the leader, Ichigo. The other mews felt more like secondary characters than main characters. The anime took the time to give each girl their own time to shine. Hence why I prefer the anime over the manga. However there are some stupid filler in Tokyo Mew Mew. Like the Aoyama look alike episode.

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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:01 pm

I've never really been bothered by filler episodes. A one-off here or there mostly goes unnoticed. Filler arcs however are a different kettle of fish. The Hell Tree arc managed to be very innocuous in this regard; keeping up the artwork, writing at a high level, etc. This is most certainly not the case with titles such as Bleach and Rurouni Kenshin, which had filler arcs contributing to their cancellations.

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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:44 pm

I definitely agree about filler arcs... When I watched Sailor Moon R, I absolutely hated the Ail and An episodes. I know the story of why that arc is in there, but I found those characters to be so freaking annoying. Mad

Filler arcs aren't always bad though. The first arc of Sailor Stars is pretty good, since it introduces a lot of the plot points from the manga and was a nice conclusion for the SuperS season, but I do feel that this arc was kind of an exception to the rule.
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PostSubject: Re: Fillers   Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:03 pm

I have a love-hate thing with filler. On the one hand, you have the actual good fillers that do a really good job of both lengthening the series and developing the characters, and then you have the REALLY dumb stuff.
My favorite filler arc has to be the rainbow crystal arc from Sailor Moon classic. It was a differnet approach to the climax of the series. I also liked the whole underlying love arc between Nephrite and Naru in SM Classic.
My least favorite filler episode(s) are all those weird episodes in the first arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena that focused on Nanami. Personally I hate her and have some very strong words about her, but I will not say them. That's probably part of the reason I've stopped watching Utena for now. That and I didn't have enough time to watch it.
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