If you love Bleach anime series chances are you’ve probably watched a few filler episodes as well. We created an “Ultimate Guide to Watching Bleach with Filler Episodes” for you to reference.
Every anime fan knows that completely watching every media content related to a specific show can take hundreds and hundreds of hours. Not to mention, you will definitely spend time pondering about your favorite story arcs, characters, the overarching ideas in the series and many other aspects of the show.
This easily boosts your watch time to more than a thousand hours, especially if you are a dedicated fan. If you want to make sure that you spend your time wisely while enjoying the epic anime that is Bleach, then here’s what you need to know.
The Episodes are Classified into Five Categories
Before you go and dive into this show, you want to make sure that you know the size of the anime you are getting to. Overall, there are 366 episodes of Bleach. These episodes are classified into Manga Canon, Mixed Canon-Filler, Filler, Anime Canon, and Omake Episodes.
As you probably know, this show is based on the original manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Because the manga is the original material, fans consider content derived from the comic to be canon. These installments are also known to contribute to the overarching plot of the series. In the anime adaptation, there are 198 episodes categorized as Manga Canon.
Meanwhile, there are Mixed Canon-Filler Episodes. These are installments that have elements derived from the manga, combined with filler scenes or those that are not in the manga and are original to the anime. For some, filler content is also those that do not contribute nor advance the overarching plot.
The show has a significant number of fillers. Out of 366, it has 167 Filler Episodes.
You will also encounter Omake Episodes, which are standalone installments that were directly released to the public (without cinema or television releases). These are also called original video animations (OVA). Bleach’s OVAs were created for the Jump Festa Anime Tours in 2004 and 2005.
You Can Minimize Your Viewing Time
Fans who would gladly spend hundreds of hours watching Bleach but have limited time to do so can minimize their viewing time by a whole lot. You can do this by skipping all the fillers and watching only the canon episodes. Now to you know that Bleach has a high canon-to-filler ration, you know that you can easily cut your viewing time in half just by not watching the non-canonical and non-manga installments.
You are Likely to Skip Entire Seasons and Arcs
If you decide to skip fillers, you will be glad (or sad) to know that you will be skipping entire arcs as these are anime original installments. Those with the fear of missing out will likely see this as an unfavorable situation, especially as there is a whole lot of content you will miss. So, be prepared to miss out on a lot of scenes if you are considering skipping fillers.
Fillers are not Insignificant
While many people think that fillers do not contribute to the overall development of the show, some fans believe that these anime original scenes are important to the anime’s lore. Many fans think that these are insignificant because they were created to fill in the gaps until the manga containing the canon story are produces.
However, these scenes can serve as a way to establish the characters’ personalities. After all, these fictional individuals would not be working to fulfill a plot or a storyline for every moment of their lives. Avid fans can treat fillers as additional material to the development of the characters and the plot.
How to Watch Bleach Without Missing Important Plot Points
As you know now, almost half of the anime are fillers. If you want to watch Bleach without missing anything important, here are some things you should do.
Determine Your Route
Perhaps the most important thing you should decide is the route you want to take when watching these anime shows. Are you a voracious watcher who wants to consume all kinds of content related to the anime? Then the best way to go is to watch every episode without skipping anything, be it fillers or OVA installments.
However, if you have very limited time, opportunity and even internet data to watch each and every episode, then you might want to skip non-canonical and non-manga installments. Individuals who prioritize the contents of the comics over anime originals will also benefit from skipping fillers. This way, you can save your resources without compromising your watching experience.
Do Your Research
Whichever route you decide to follow, you need to make sure that you do your research accordingly. Those who decide to watch every single episode need minimal research as all they have to do is to, well, watch every single episode.
On the other hand, people who choose to skip fillers will need to have a handy guide that can easily refer to in order to know which episodes are fillers. Well, good news, because you can simply check out this guide:
Guide to Watching Bleach Filler Episodes
In the Agent of the Shinigami Arc (1 to 20) – There are no fillers in this season.
In the Soul Society: The Sneak Entry Arc (21 to 41) – Out of the episodes in this season, only episode 33 is a filler.
In the Soul Society: The Rescue Arc (42 to 63) – There is only one is a filler and that is episode 50.
The Bount Arc (64 to 91) – The entire season is anime-only, which means that many individuals consider this season as a filler.
Bount Assault on Soul Society Arc (92 to 109) – Just like the Bount Arc, this season is composed of anime-only installments.
Arrancar: The Arrival Arc (110 to 131) – Majority of the installments in this season is canon, but 4 are fillers (128 to 131).
Arrancar: The Huenco Mundo Sneak Entry Arc (132 to 151) – Nine episodes from this arc is considered fillers (132 to 137 and 147 to 149).
Arrancar: The Fierce Fight Arc (152 to 167) – No filler installments were included in this season.
The New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc (168 to 189) – The entire season is composed of non-canonical and non-manga installments.
Arrancar versus Shinigami Arc (190 to 205) – Only two episodes are non-canonical and non-manga (204 to 205).
The Past Arc (206 to 212) – The entire season is manga canon.
Arrancar: Decisive Battle of Karakura Arc (213 to 229) – Five are fillers (213 to 214 and 227 to 229).
Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc (230 to 265) – All episodes are fillers.
Arrancar: Downfall Arc (266 to 316) – Twelve are non-canonical and non-manga (287, 298 to 299, 303 to 305, 311 to 316). Episode 184 is considered anime canon by some.
Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc (317 to 342) – All episodes are fillers.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc (343 to 366) – Only one filler (Ep. 355).
Bleach Original Video Animation 1
Bleach Original Video Animation 2
Now that you know which episodes and arcs are non-canonical and non-manga, and what is considered canon by avid fans across the globe, you can now decide which way you want to go. Either way, you are sure to enjoy the adventures Bleach has to offer. Hope you enjoyed our guide to watching Bleach with filler episodes.