There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your favorite show, only to find out the episode you just finished was a pointless “filler episode.” These so-called fillers are usually cheap and uninspired stories that offer no new insight into the characters or their world. Instead, they exist to extend the length of the series artificially. In almost every anime we watch, filler episodes tend to be pretty evident from the get-go. They tend to be shorter than regular episodes, have a minor focus on secondary characters, and often have ridiculous premises that make little sense compared to the rest of the show. Filler is also easy to spot because it will never contain any storyline progression. So if you ever catch yourself watching an episode that doesn’t seem connected to another episode you recently watched, you might want to check if it’s a filler.
How To Watch One Piece Without Filler: An Overview
- If you want to watch One Piece, you should start immediately. Unless you can get your hands on the first 490-episode set of the series, start from the beginning. If you absolutely must skip through filler episodes to get to what you want to see, you need to know that there are plenty of gaps between each movie release. You will have to watch each one in its entirety for this method of skipping filler episodes to work (even though it makes no sense), but if you are patient enough and willing to sit through a bit of stupid stuff, it is possible.
- If all else fails, there are always DVD-only releases. However, these aren’t particularly well-watched due to the fact they contain most likely more filler than any other releases. That said, if one is lucky enough to enjoy Japanese stores with a good amount of stock, most people tend not to buy DVDs from here. You’re best off trying your luck online if none of the above works for you (or if it does and still doesn’t work).
- 4Prepare for disappointment: There is no way around it when it comes down to skipping filler episodes without going out and collecting every single disc on this planet before watching every single episode. With so many different formats and missing scenes, fillers can be prevalent among various release discs. Like most things in anime, many people don’t care about watching filler. It’s not that they are all terrible episodes – some can be pretty good in their own right – but the vast majority of fans have no interest and, therefore, no need to watch filler. This is where the typically smaller focus on secondary characters and ridiculous premises come into place: as filler tends to have little to nothing that connects with any other episode and gives no progression; if you want to enjoy One Piece and you do not care about filler episodes you are going to have to work harder than many of your fellow anime fans.
- You very well might be a masochist: Perhaps when it comes down to it, you might actually like some of the fillers. Like any anime series or movie, many things are left out (or cut short) from many series. Whether it’s unending arcs being shortened or scenes from one episode that gets repeated in others, sometimes a piece of a show is better for being shorter rather than longer. If this sounds appealing to you, then perhaps watching One Piece without filler is not as impossible as some people make it. At least you won’t have watched every single disc out there in order (unless special edition sets come up), which could save time in the long run if nothing else.
The Best Way To Watch One Piece Without Filler
If you’ve read through the above and still want to watch One Piece, here’s how. This is not the only way to do it (as we will later talk about), but it’s the most effective method given the scope of this article.
1 . Gain an understanding of Japanese culture: It’s hard to enjoy anime without knowing about Japanese culture. The more information you know about this area, the easier it will be for you to appreciate what you see on screen. If nothing else, if someday you do decide to try watching One Piece without filler, having an understanding of Japanese culture will take out much of the guesswork involved. Previously quick and easy-to-learn words like “Kusama” and “Arigatou” can now be used as conversation starters regarding various aspects of popular culture in Japan, like football or memes.
2 . Be willing to follow a few “rules”: There are a few things that many fans do when watching One Piece. These might include: Kicking up dust from real-life locations/locales shown in various episodes; Splitting your attention between a newspaper/handbook and TV screen; Being aware of which episodes feature filler or why certain scenes are cut short; or other such things for those who care that much. These are simple things that can be done with little effort; however, doing them does not guarantee success at watching every episode without any filler whatsoever. That all depends on how far dedicated they want to go.
3 . Be prepared to keep a list and use it: This is optional and most recommended. If there are specific episodes that you must see for whatever reason (like the two-part finale), then have a list ready and updated with them. Determine how often you will watch and when (for example, every Sunday at 6 pm) as this will make things easier on yourself, like knowing if you can skip an episode or not without it affecting the rest of the series later on.
4 . Have some time to spare: Remember that One Piece is around 4 volumes long across several different sets (hence why it’s so hard to get through all of it within one go, otherwise known as marathoning). The more episodes you want to catch up on from the beginning, the more time you will need. This means that unless you’re watching them back-to-back without skipping anything, there is a decent possibility of missing something essential each time.
5: Follow these simple steps: Comments are sometimes seemingly random but can be insightful. You’ve probably already read/watched at least one review or comment about One Piece, perhaps even from this article or another site like MAL, where I could gather so much information for myself for free; thanks, everyone! Watching these five points in order should take no more than 30 minutes per episode shown on average. Some people might find this an annoying prospect, but I find little enjoyment to be gained from watching a series without this initial process. So, don’t get upset or angry about the amount of preparation you must put in for things before you start watching something like One Piece.
One Piece is an incredibly long and complex show, even when you remove the fillers. Therefore, it can be hard to jump into the series if you’ve never seen it before. To avoid wasting your time with unnecessary episodes, it’s best to follow a few simple steps. First, ensure you’re watching the “Unaltered” version of the show. Next, make sure you’re watching the “Uncut” version of the show. With these two things in mind, you’re ready to start watching One Piece without the fillers.
Q: Should I watch the Unaltered or Uncut version of One Piece?
A: Going by the current status of One Piece, the “Unaltered” version is preferred. However, it’s not recommended, as one of Funimation’s license agreements with Toei is to air content precisely as it was initially released. Funimation will refuse to release content without the fillers if one of their partners asks for this. If you know you won’t end up enjoying some episodes that are unaltered or uncut in any way, then please stay away from illegal streaming sites.
Q: Should I keep track of the fillers?
A: No. It’s impossible to keep track of all the filler episodes because hundreds of them exist. Just watch the main story and skip every other episode. As long as you’re following these simple steps, you should be fine.
Q: Should I try watching One Piece English Dub or Japanese Audio?
A: It’s not recommended to watch the English dub of One Piece, but if you do decide to do this, it’s recommended that you only watch the Naruto-centric episodes. The fillers tend to be much worse in the English dub, and the filler episodes are a lot less attractive.