What are the filler episodes in Naruto: Shippuden?

Naruto: Shippuden has just as many filler episodes as it does must-watch episodes out of the series total of 502 episodes.

Naruto: Shippuden is the sequel to the hit anime manga series, Naruto, that arguably launched the popularity of the genre universally. As a result of this, new fans of the genre got to learn some of the devices used in the genre like filler episodes.

As a result, fans of the anime manga series can sometimes skip a number of episodes, without losing important details regarding the main conflict of the storyline.

This is because the filler episodes are usually flashbacks that better contextualise the drama of the moment. With a total of 502 episodes, Naruto: Shippuden has almost half as many filler episodes as it does integral episodes, which are shared below.

The Masashi Kishimoto-inspired anime manga series, Naruto, is universally considered to be one of the most iconic anime manga series.

First premiering in 2002, Naruto ran for five years until the first instalment concluded in 2007, as the central characters entered their teenage years.

Following the conclusion of the first instalment of the series, Naruto returned in 2007 with the second instalment, titled Naruto: Shippuden.

This instalment comprised a total of 502 episodes spanning 10 years and was focused on the coming-of-age arcs of Naruto Uzumaki and the other central characters of the anime manga series.

What does the Shippuden in Naruto: Shippuden mean?

Naruto: Shippuden is a continuation of the first instalment of the Naruto series. The kanji Shippuden is understood to be a play on the main character’s surname, Naruto Uzumaki.

Shippuden, when the kanji is broken down, reads as shi(tsu)-pu(tsu)-den, meaning fast, wind, legend, and chronicles respectively.

Therefore, loosely translated, the term means hurricane chronicles or hurricane legends. Uzumaki means swirl and one of Naruto’s signature powers is the Rasengan, which is conjured through the use of wind.

As such, since this instalment of Naruto’s chronicles is his coming-of-age story, the term conveys how he came to be in control of his abilities.

What are the filler episodes in Naruto: Shippuden?

For those who wish to understand the structure of the Naruto: Shippuden episodes, below is a complete list of the must-watch episodes, and filler episodes that can be skipped, as they do not alter or advance the narrative.

Must-watch episodes

Filler episodes

Episode one – Episode 56 Episode 57 – Episode 70
Episode 70 (last minutes) Episode 71
Episode 72 – Episode 89 Episode 90 – Episode 111
Episode 112 (last 10 minutes) – Episode 143 Episode 144 – Episode 151
Episode 152 – Episode 169 Episode 170 – Episode 171
Episode 172 – Episode 175  Episode 176 – Episode 196
Episode 197 – Episode 222 Episode 223 – Episode 242
Episode 243 – Episode 256 Episode 257 (half filler and half manga)
Episode 258 – Episode 260
Episode 261 – Episode 278 Episode 279 – Episode 281
Episode 282 – Episode 283 Episode 284 – Episode 295
Episode 296 – Episode 302 Episode 303 – Episode 320
Episode 321 – Episode 346 Episode 347 – Episode 361
Episode 362 – Episode 375 Episode 376 – Episode 377
Episode 378 – Episode 388 Episode 389 – Episode 390
Episode 391 – Episode 393 Episode 394 – Episode 413
Episode 414 – Episode 415 Episode 416 – Episode 417
Episode 418 Episode 419
Episode 420 – Episode 421 Episode 422 – Episode 423
Episode 424 – Episode 426 Episode 427 – Episode 457
Episode 458 – Episode 459 Episode 460 – Episode 462
Episode 463 Episode 464 – Episode 468
Episode 469 – Episode 479 Episode 480 – Episode 483
Episode 484 – Episode 502

Why are filler episodes important?

As previously touched on briefly, one of the common tropes in anime manga series is the use of filler episodes. For those rewatching or binge-watching the series, these episodes can seem tedious as they do not advance the narrative.

However, for first-time viewers of the series, filler episodes are integral in humanising a cameo character or the main antagonist of the current story arc, as they provide the motivation for the decisions made by the character in the conflict they may be facing at the time. Hence, most filler episodes consist of flashbacks for context.

Why did Naruto: Shippuden end?

The biggest reason that Naruto: Shippuden came to an end after a 10-year run (between 2007 and 2017), is ultimately due to the fact that Naruto’s narrative as the protagonist ended.

Following the Fourth Great Ninja War, Naruto had come into his powers and his role as Hokage.

As such, the premise of the series and Naruto was fulfilled. While the end of Naruto: Shippuden meant the end of an era, it did not mean  that the Naruto universe would not be expanded.

What series are part of the Naruto universe?

Naruto’s franchise currently has a total of three separate series. The first series to premiere from the universe was Naruto, and the focus of the series was the adventures of Naruto and his friends before they reached adolescence. Naruto: Shippuden premiered shortly after, following Naruto and his friends as they came of age.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generation premiered in 2017 and, as the name suggests, it focuses on the second generation, the children, of the first generation of the universe. The protagonist of the series is Naruto’s son, Boruto.

Final thoughts

The Naruto universe is considered one of the most popular anime series, primarily because of how the series introduced a global market to the signature Japanese genre and art form.

The longest-running series from the franchise so far is Naruto: Shippuden, which ran between 2007 and 2017.

Naruto: Shippuden has a total of 502 episodes, and there are filler episodes that you can avoid watching and still understand the conflict of the story arc.

As such, we have tried to make it easier navigating filler episodes that viewers can skip, by sharing a detailed list above.