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For both the original Naruto series and Shippuuden, which episodes should I watch if I want to avoid the filler? I'm only interested in core plot and character developments.

To make this question a bit more concrete: Which episodes are directly based off the manga, and which were produced with unique content for only the anime? At what points did the anime "catch up" to the manga and require non-manga-related content to continue airing episodes while the manga produced new content?

  • I usually go to this site, but I am sure there are several others. I am not sure if this question should be allowed here or not... – JNat Dec 12 '12 at 14:33
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    I think it's a legitimate question, but I still vote for -1 because of no research effort. I bet I could find it online in a couple of minutes of searching. This is a private beta, but votes are still votes :) – Madara Uchiha Dec 12 '12 at 14:40
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    @MadaraUchiha Despite the "lack" of research effort, I still believe this is a valuable question for the site. I made a meta post explaining my thought process. In brief: Questions like this are likely to attract many new users, which is invaluable for the growth of the site. – StrixVaria Dec 12 '12 at 15:22
  • @StrixVaria: agreed. But should someone make a list of episodes to answer it? or show other sources for that info? – JNat Dec 12 '12 at 15:41
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The Naruto anime is broken up into two "Series". The first is Naruto, which covers events up until the 3 year time jump in the manga. The second is Naruto: Shippūden, which starts after that jump and continues onwards. Both series have a fair share of anime exclusive plots, so here's the breakdown of Anime exclusive plots:

Naruto

  • Ep 26: "Special Report: Live From the Forest of Death" - Summary Episode
  • Ep 102 - 106: "Land of Tea" Arc
  • Ep 136 - 219-ish (This is where they let the Manga truck along a lot)
    • Ep 136 - 141: "Land of Rice Fields" Arc
    • Ep 142 - 147: "Mizuki Strikes Back" Arc
    • Ep 148 - 151: "Search for the Bikōchū" Arc
    • Ep 152 - 157: "Curry of Life" Arc
    • Ep 158: "Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge"
    • Ep 159 & 160: "Bounty Hunter" Arc
    • Ep 161: "The Appearance of Strange Visitors"
    • Ep 162 - 167: "Land of Birds" Arc
    • Ep 168: "Remembrance: The Lost Page"
    • Ep 169 - 173: "Land of Sea" Arc
    • Ep 174: "Impossible! Celebrity Ninja Art: Money Style Jutsu!"
    • Ep 175 & 176: "Imposter" Arc
    • Ep 177: "Please, Mr. Postman!"
    • Ep 178 - 183: "Hoshigakure" Arc
    • Ep 184: "Kiba's Long Day"
    • Ep 185: "A Legend from the Hidden Leaf: The Onbaa!"
    • Ep 186: "Laughing Shino"
    • Ep 187 - 191: "Land of Vegetables" Arc
    • Ep 192: "Ino Screams! Chubby Paradise!"
    • Ep 193: "Viva Dojo Challenge! Youth is All About Passion!"
    • Ep 194: "The Mysterious Curse of the Haunted Castle"
    • Ep 195 & 196: "Third Giant Beast" Arc
    • Ep 197 - 201: "Trap Master" Arc
    • Ep 202: "The Top 5 Ninja Battles!" Recap Episode
    • Ep 203 - 207: "Kurama Clan" Arc
    • Ep 208: "The Supposed Sealed Ability"
    • Ep 209 - 212: "Shinobazu" Arc
    • Ep 213 - 215: "Menma" Arc
    • Ep 216 - 219/20: "Ultimate Weapon" Arc - Note that 220 is part of this arc, but also includes some canon when

Naruto and Jiraiya leave the village for training, and others begin training as well

Naruto: Shippūden

  • Ep 54 - 71: "Twelve Guardians Ninja" Arc
  • Ep 90 - 112: "Three Tails" Arc
  • Ep 144 - 151: "Tsuchigumo Kinjutsu" Arc
  • Ep 176 - 196: "Konoha History" Arc
  • Ep 222 - 242: "Adventures at Sea" Arc
  • Ep 290 - 295: "Chikara" Arc 500 Episodes (total) celebration
  • Ep 303 - 320: From the "Shinobi World War" Arc
  • Ep 327: "Nine-Tails"
  • Ep 347-361: "Shadow of the ANBU" arc
  • Ep 376 - 377: "Mecha Naruto" arc
  • Ep 386: "I'm Always Watching"
  • Ep 388: "My First Friend"
  • Ep 389-390: "Hanabi Flashback"
  • Ep 394-423: "Chunin Exam" arc
  • Ep 416: "The Formation of Team Minato"
  • Ep 417: "You’ll Be My Backup"
  • Ep 419: "Papa's Youth"
  • Ep 422-423: "Konohamaru's training" arc

Also of note is the Kakashi backstory "Kakashi Gaiden" is shown in the Shippūden (Ep 119 - 120), which is out of order as to how it appeared in the Manga (Chp 239 - 244). In the manga, it was between what became the first and second series (the time jump).

Additionally, none of the movies are based on Manga plots.

Source for most of this information was the Naruto Wiki. "Shadow of ANBU" info from Naruto HQ

4

Naruto Shippuden's story has progressed a lot since from the last answer. The current filler episodes are:

57-71, 90-112, 127-128, 144-151, 170-171, 176-196, 223-242, 257-260, 271, 279-281, 284-295, 303-320, 347-361, 376-377, 388-390, 394-413, 416-417, 419, 422-423, 427-442

Source: http://www.animesays.com/list/naruto-shippuden/

2

TL;DR there's no one filler list that 100% agrees with each other, viewer discretion is advised.


Combining known sites for their list of filler episodes:

  • Wikia: filler episodes with at least 2 continous episodes, categorized by arcs (Naruto, Naruto Shippuden)
  • Anime Filler List: includes "mostly canon" and "mostly filler" episodes (Naruto, Naruto Shippuden)
  • AnimeSays: includes "mostly canon" and "mostly filler" episodes (Naruto, Naruto Shippuden)
  • Naruto HQ: a simple list of filler episodes for both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden

here are the greediest/most filler episodes: ("plain" means "totally filler" | "italics" means "mostly filler", prioritized)

Naruto

  • Episode 26: Special Report: Live from the Forest of Death!
  • Episode 97: Kidnapped! Naruto's Hot Spring Adventure!
  • Episode 99: The Will of Fire Still Burns!
  • Episode 101: Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei's True Face!
  • Episode 102-106: "Land of Tea Escort Mission" arc
  • Episode 136-220
    • Episode 136-141: "Land of Rice Fields Investigation Mission" arc
    • Episode 142-147: "Mizuki Tracking Mission" arc
    • Episode 148-151: "Bikōchū Search Mission" arc
    • Episode 152-157: "Kurosuki Family Removal Mission" arc
    • Episode 158: Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge
    • Episode 159-160: "Gosunkugi Capture Mission" arc
    • Episode 161: The Appearance of Strange Visitors
    • Episode 162-167: "Cursed Warrior Extermination Mission" arc
    • Episode 168: Mix It, Stretch It, Boil It Up! Burn, Copper Pot, Burn!
    • Episode 169-173: "Kaima Capture Mission" arc
    • Episode 174: Impossible! Celebrity Ninja Art - Money Style Jutsu!
    • Episode 175-176: "Buried Gold Excavation Mission" arc
    • Episode 178-183: "Star Guard Mission" arc
    • Episode 184: Kiba's Long Day!
    • Episode 185: A Legend from the Hidden Leaf: The Onbaa!
    • Episode 186: Laughing Shino
    • Episode 187-191: "Peddlers Escort Mission" arc
    • Episode 192: Ino Screams! Chubby Paradise!
    • Episode 193: Viva Dojo Challenge! Youth Is All About Passion!
    • Episode 194: The Mysterious Curse of the Haunted Castle
    • Episode 195-196: "Third Great Beast Arc" arc
    • Episode 197-201: "Konoha Plans Recapture Mission" arc
    • Episode 202: The Top 5 Ninja Battles
    • Episode 203-207: "Yakumo Kurama Rescue Mission" arc
    • Episode 208: The Weight of the Prized Artifact!
    • Episode 209-212: "Gantetsu Escort Mission" arc
    • Episode 213-215: "Menma Memory Search Mission" arc
    • Episode 216-220: "Sunagakure Support Mission"

Naruto Shippuden

  • Episode 6: Mission Cleared
  • Episode 7: Run, Kankuro
  • Episode 54-71: "Twelve Guardian Ninja" arc
  • Episode 89-112: "Three-Tails' Appearance" arc
  • Episode 127-128: Tales of a Gutsy Ninja ~Jiraiya Ninja Scroll~
  • Episode 144-151: "Six-Tails Unleashed" arc
  • Episode 170-171: Big Adventure! The Quest for the Fourth Hokage's Legacy
  • Episode 176-196: "Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha" arc
  • Episode 223-242: "Paradise Life on a Boat" arc
  • Episode 257-260
    • Episode 257: Meeting
    • Episode 258: Rivals
    • Episode 259: Rift
    • Episode 260: Parting
  • Episode 271: Road to Sakura
  • Episode 279-281
    • Episode 279: White Zetsu's Trap
    • Episode 280: Aesthetics of an Artist
    • Episode 281: The Allied Mom Force!!
  • Episode 284-289
    • Episode 284: The Helmet Splitter: Jinin Akebino!
    • Episode 285: User of the Scorch Style: Pakura of the Sand!
    • Episode 286: Things You Can't Get Back
    • Episode 287: One Worth Betting On
    • Episode 288: Danger: Jinpachi and Kushimaru!
    • Episode 289: The Lightning Blade: Ameyuri Ringo!
  • Episode 290-295: "Power" arc
  • Episode 303-320
    • Episode 303: Ghosts from the Past
    • Episode 304: The Underworld Transfer Jutsu
    • Episode 305: The Vengeful
    • Episode 306: The Heart's Eye
    • Episode 307: Fade into the Moonlight
    • Episode 308: Night of the Crescent Moon
    • Episode 309: An A-Rank Mission: The Contest
    • Episode 310: The Fallen Castle
    • Episode 311: Prologue of Road to Ninja
    • Episode 312: The Old Master and the Dragon's Eye
    • Episode 313: Rain Followed by Snow, with Some Lightning
    • Episode 314: The Sad Sun Shower
    • Episode 315: Lingering Snow
    • Episode 316: The Reanimated Allied Forces
    • Episode 317: Shino vs. Torune!
    • Episode 318: A Hole in the Heart: The Other Jinchuriki
    • Episode 319: The Living Soul Inside the Puppet
    • Episode 320: Run, Omoi!
  • Episode 347: Creeping Shadow
  • Episode 348: The New Akatsuki
  • Episode 349-361: "Kakashi's Anbu Arc: The Shinobi That Lives in the Darkness" arc
  • Episode 376: The Directive to Take the Nine Tails
  • Episode 377: Naruto vs. Mecha Naruto
  • Episode 388-390
    • Episode 388: My First Friend
    • Episode 389: The Adored Elder Sister
    • Episode 390: Hanabi's Decision
  • Episode 394-413: "In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths" arc
  • Episode 416: The Formation of Team Minato
  • Episode 417: You'll Be My Backup
  • Episode 419: Papa's Youth
  • Episode 422: The Ones Who Will Inherit
  • Episode 423: Naruto's Rival
  • Episode 427-431
    • Episode 427: To the Dreamworld
    • Episode 428: Where Tenten Belongs
    • Episode 429-430: Killer Bee Rappuden
    • Episode 431: To See That Smile, Just One More Time
  • Episode 432-450: "Jiraiya Shinobi Handbook: The Tale of Naruto the Hero" arc
  • Episode 451-458: "Itachi Shinden Book: Light and Darkness" arc
    • Episode 451: Birth and Death
  • Episode 460-462
    • Episode 460: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki
    • Episode 461: Hagoromo and Hamura
    • Episode 462: A Fabricated Past
  • Episode 464-469
    • Episode 464: Ninshū: The Ninja Creed
    • Episode 465: Ashura and Indra
    • Episode 466: The Tumultuous Journey
    • Episode 467: Ashura's Decision
    • Episode 468: The Successor
    • Episode 469: A Special Mission
  • Episode 480-483: "Childhood" arc
  • Episode 484-488: "Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise" arc
  • Episode 489-493: "Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness" arc
  • Episode 494-500: "Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding" arc

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