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Do we underappreciate filler too much?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by matt0044, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    I mean, I get the impatience for something bigger to go down but it can also feel like we never stop to smell the roses too often and ignore how the Pokemon Anime's been structured on the whole. It's something that is often a source of discontent with other fandoms of other TV shows like Steven Universe or Tangled.

    Sure, we get captivated by the wider Myth Arc and how, as Kronk would put it, it's all coming together yet it tends to be "filler." That one-off character initially seems disposable before later episodes prove us wrong but in the moment, how can we know? Yet it's these little moments that make the big moments, well, big and while it might not feel worth the time, that's just a leap of faith we all gotta take.

    If not, then it should still be a good self-contained story nonetheless.
    Leonhart likes this.
  2. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    It tended to be under-appreciated because for the longest time, the filler tended to be the padding of the series, run completely on a repetitive formula.

    Exceptions like a lot of the early OS and SM filler show the concept isn't a bad thing at all if effort is put into it. Creative or more character driven filler can still have entertaining stories, hell some of them can be MORE memorable than the main arcs. If anything it works to have moments the ongoing story and development halts so we can stop and see more of the cast as is and maybe see new sides to them we usually don't in the standard premise. Building core characterisations and dynamics can be as vital a building block as developing story arcs.

    This is probably why most of the fillers that have Team Rocket as the protagonists tend to be well received, because the writers often know how to make their characters hold a story together and make them three dimensional. It wavers whether they can give the hero cast star appeal or they need outside forces like COTD and baddies which don't really flesh them out and get kind of old after a while.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  3. If the fillers are like Kanto fillers or SM fillers then yes, if they're the standard formulaic cotd/potd/Team Rocket fillers that have plagued the anime since Johto then no, they deserve the criticism.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  4. Tsukuyomi56

    Tsukuyomi56 Gesshin Powered

    The more notable filler episodes are ones with memorable characters (e.g: Duplica from the OS series), touch upon activities which makes the Pokémon world more alive and expand on characters’ personalities (SM were good doing this with the Team Rocket Trio). Sadly filler episodes tend to run on a generic CoTD/PoTD format mostly to showcase new Pokémon.
    Ignition, Shadao, matt0044 and 3 others like this.
  5. pancakemonster

    pancakemonster Please bring them back

    First of all, that was a pretty good video, I agree with the majority of the points made in it.

    Second, simply put, yes I think fillers are underappreciated. Especially in Sun and Moon, I thought the fillers were consistently the best part of the show, because it freed the episodes up to just be about whatever goofy concept they could come up with, which lent itself well to the expressive characters and art style.

    The problem isn't so much "filler" as it is repetitious plots that simply aren't very interesting, and it's usually the less plot-heavy episodes that display this problem the most. Most people won't care if, say, a gym episode is generic, because there's only so many a series and they're inherently something people care about. But if you're doing a COTD plot, there's so many of those that it can get stale quickly. On the inverse, those can be the most fun episodes if we're seeing actually fun characters and good utilization of the Pokemon surrounding them.

    PM2019 looks like it'll be mostly "filler" in it's approach at this point, and while I still think it needs a tad bit more basic groundwork laid before I'll be completely satisfied with it goofing off, I think it can still be a great show if they can come up with enough unique scenarios for the episodes. The best part of the show so far really is just getting fun Pokemon adventures every week, and I think a lot of people (myself included) will find the show a lot more enjoyable if we can let go of the feeling that there HAS to be constant plot progress.
    matt0044 likes this.
  6. SerGoldenhandtheJust

    SerGoldenhandtheJust Well-Known Member

    Fillers can be underappreciated. Fillers like in OS, SM and BW are good and deserve to be appreciated as they were atleast original
    Fillers like in Johto, AG, DP, XY deserve their criticism as most of them are bland, unoriginal and uncreative with non interesting characters. Especially in Johto the amount of them was disgusting.
    PM 2019 so far seems to have great potential for fillers like OS SM BW, but if it has no overarching plot or character goal oriented arcs, then it has no point.
    matt0044 likes this.
  7. AznKei

    AznKei Badass girls saving their boyfriends. XD

    As I don't expect any deeper character developments from the show, I only care about entertainment and some filler episodes from the show did a good job to entertain me, like XY episode with TRio disguised as the XY cast and the baseball SM episode.
    matt0044, Ubermuk and SerenaRulez like this.
  8. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I have at least three favorite filler episodes from each saga of the anime, but for the most part filler episodes aren't always worth the 20 minute run-time. Personally speaking, I judge fillers based on re-watch value: if a filler episode is enjoyable enough to be watched more than once, then I consider it to be a good filler episode.
  9. BabaVanga

    BabaVanga Well-Known Member

    I only consider a filler bad if it's reusing the old plot (and even then it can be entertaining) or if nothing really happens throughout the episode.

    I don't think there ever been more than 5 filler episodes from each series that I didn't enjoy.
    matt0044 likes this.
  10. game3524

    game3524 Well-Known Member

    Pretty much this. Filler in Kanto were pretty good for the most part. For example, Beach Blank-Out Blastoise is pure filler, but it was a fun episode for the sheer fact it centered around Ash's Squirtle, who up till then didn't get as much attention as Bulbasaur and Charmander. The length of Kanto also really helped since they didn't have to pad the series with crap to fill up 3-4 years, which is a problem every series from Johto-XY has had.
    matt0044 and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  11. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    To me, filler has one purpose: to entertain me in one way or another without having plot relevant stuff in it. If the episode fails to do that to me, then it's a bad filler.
  12. Bortgreen

    Bortgreen UP NEXT: Let's GO home!

    Imo the only bad fillers are the more generic ones, like
    On the road to town X Ash and his companions meet Y with pokémon Z with some problem, and then TR randomly tries to kidnap it and thanks to DEM the pokémon Z(or some evolution or new move) saves the day and the episode ends in sunset As the Journey Continues TM

    This formula plagues even glorified series like DP and XY, and this is why I liked SM fillers more.
    matt0044, Ubermuk and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  13. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    OS [Kanto and the Orange Archipelago] had the best fillers from my viewpoint. In fact, I think I preferred the fillers in the OS saga more than I liked the plot-heavy episodes. That's just how good many of the fillers were back then.
    PorcelainVulpix and matt0044 like this.
  14. Ubermuk

    Ubermuk Sticky & Sweet

    Alot of us get impatient waiting for big stuff to happen so I think that many of us just ignore fillers and look forward to episodes that have a lot of plot details. It sucks how some fillers get overlooked though...
    matt0044 likes this.
  15. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    In some cases it depends on how the series prioritises filler vs arc episodes. Kanto was infamous for its laughable gym quest with the more episodic plots being more surreal and fun. XY and DP meanwhile were more arc focused, meaning most of the fillers tended to get increasingly generic as they went on. Series like BW and SM were completely unpredictable in both regards.

    Johto was the starting point of them wanting to make the arcs the meat of the show (though it was worse back then because the companion arcs were practically non-existant and the gym arc had to be spread much further apart). Even then though the first half I remember not being TOO bad, especially since they still had loads of Team Rocket centred fillers back then like the Blissey and Flaming Moltres episodes. It only got pretty automated and bland around the end of the OS.
    PorcelainVulpix, Ubermuk and Leonhart like this.
  16. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    Early Jouto had a number of great fillers I'll admit, it's just that for me personally things started going downhill around the time that Satoshi won his fourth Gym badge. That's around the time that I noticed a sharp decline in filler episode quality.
    Ubermuk likes this.
  17. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    I'd argue that they tried to mix it up in Master Quest when they had the Whirl Cup and the Lugia story arc. There was also Larvitar that made for a decent enough mystery. Sadly, I'd say it was a tad late by then for Johto.
    PorcelainVulpix and Ubermuk like this.
  18. game3524

    game3524 Well-Known Member

    I think some of that had to do with them dropping the GS ball storyline. I don't have any evidence to back it up, but it feels like filler hell started around that time period and I wonder if that was when the GS plot line was suppose to take place.
  19. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I do think that by that point in Jouto it was far too late to completely redeem the saga, although at least the writers tried to make less fillers by then. One of the best late-Jouto fillers was the Battle Park episode, so I give them kudos for that one.
    matt0044 likes this.
  20. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    That's the thing though, they were arcs. I think by that point they had submitted to focusing primarily on main arcs with the filler being the padding.

    The second season of Johto suffered from not having much of either, likely because they hadn't figured out how to keep the series ongoing yet by then, but it still had the odd good episodic plot to hold it up (especially with Wobbuffet introduced then).

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