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Naruto - Watching Guide

This is a guide to watch Naruto series without boring fillers as often the bad comments I read about the series are really about the fillers, but if you just watch the canon episodes, then the series has a really fast pace and it goes down in about 415 episodes for both series, yes out of the 720 episodes about 305 are fillers. Some fillers are indeed worth watching, and I'm marking them here on this guide.
1 Naruto

Naruto

Why Watch Without Fillers?

  • Fillers create many inconsistencies with the main story.
  • Fillers plot are based on upcoming canon arcs, which causes you to see the low-quality content first and spoil the good, upcoming canon plot.
  • Fillers slow down the pacing of the story and this dilutes the message the main story is trying to convey.
  • They also have many elements you saw in previous arcs, making them boring for seeing them again and again.
  • Some filler characters are based on upcoming canon arcs, causing you to get the characters confused, as they look alike with different personalities.

Naruto Filler List

Source: http://www.animefillerlist.com/shows/naruto

  • Watch Episodes 1-25 - Prologue: Land of Waves Arc
  • Skip Episode 26
  • Watch 27-58 - Chūnin Exams Arc
    • Although Episodes 53 & 57 are marked as "mostly filler", they are important to the plot. You can skip the dumb parts as needed.
  • Episode 59 (Netflix S3-E7):
    • This episode is mostly filler & recap, although is marked as "mostly canon".
    • The important part is the conversation with Hinata. Watch between 6:00 and 13:50 minutes, you can skip the rest.
    • The beginning of the episode introduces the original Ino–Shika–Chō Formation, that is the parents of InoShikamaru & Chouji, but nothing important is shown.
  • Watch Episodes 60-96 - Konoha Crush Arc
  • Skip Episode 97 (Netflix S4-E17)
  • Watch Episode 98
  • Skip Episode 99 (Netflix S4-E19)
  • Watch Episode 100
  • Optional - Filler Episode 101 (Netflix S4-E21) - Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei's True Face!. This is a fun episode to watch
  • Skip Episodes 102-106 (Netflix S4 E22-E26) - Land of Tea Escort Mission Arc
  • Watch Episodes 107-135 (Netflix S5) - Recovery Mission Arc
  • Optional Filler Episodes 136 to 141 (Netflix S6: E1-E6) - Land of Rice Fields Investigation Mission Arc
    • Watching these filler episodes gives you a better continuation of the story.
    • Otherwise, if you want to skip them, all you need to know is Spoiler: that Sakura asks Tsunade to train her in Medical Ninjutsu.
  • Skip Episodes 142-219 (Netflix S6-E7 to S9-E7) and see my notes below.
  • Episode 220 (Netflix S9-E8), you should only watch from 12:15 to the end. Before that is just the ending of the filler arc.

Other Fillers worth watching:

  • The rest of the episodes on Naruto after 141 are missions he takes as a substitute team member with other teams and is mostly slice-of-life. I recommend skipping as they are ok at best. Even if you are really interested, it will be better to leave them to the end of the whole series (Including Shippuden) and come back to watch them, as the pace slows down a lot and has an episodic feel with a villain of the week. You won't miss anything important if you decide to skip them.
  • Filler Episodes 152-157 (Netflix S6: E17-E22) - The Kurosuki Family Removal Mission Arc, is not a bad arc, but not great either. It shows one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist.

Sub vs. Dub?

Subs are always best, the dubs censor some of the violence. Regarding the voice quality, the dubs are ok and convenient, as they let you focus on the action rather than subtitles.

Why watch Naruto?

Two people can look at the same thing and come up with completely different conclusions, so I'll just give you my part of the insights I have while watching this series.

The Setting:

  • Naruto lives in a world with 5 great countries, each of them with a ninja village that serves as a military power. These ninja villages sell their services for a fee, creating an economy of war, as a conflict is necessary to maintain their income. So countries are not really interested in stopping the fighting at all, barely minimize it so it does not get out of hand. (Sounds familiar? I'm sure any relation with reality is mere coincidence, right?). There are smaller countries too and other ninja villages that take part in the story that is also affected by this economy of war.
  • People born into these villages are trained as a ninja from an early age and when they graduate, around 13 years of age, they are sent on missions where they risk their lives and is kill or be killed. In the end, ninja keeps on fighting because they want to protect their friends or because they already lost them and want revenge. Although, some have other motives.
  • Ninjas are treated as a tool for war by proxy, meaning that people with money hire them to fight against their rivals and in this world is ok to send kids to fight. Adults ninjas see kids as easy prey and have no second thoughts on killing or torture them.
  • Naruto is an orphan ninja in training with absolutely no redeeming quality whatsoever, he is dumb and has no skills. Unknown to him, he has a spirit inside that is capable of a lot of power, but it's like an Atomic bomb that could explode any time, so he gets discriminated and rejected by adult villagers who know about this and kids that follow the lead of the adults, without really knowing about him.
  • This is an epic story that involves several generations and it's a masterpiece in the way it shows how events and everyone's lives and decisions are connected through time affecting the present.

The First Part: Naruto

  • This part deals with how Naruto gets discriminated against and rejected by everyone and his strive to be recognized and accepted. His training and first mission. it delves into how small things can produce a big change in a person's life.
  • It also sets the world he lives in and introduces all main characters and some antagonists.
  • Character development is great and I think this is where the story really shines.
  • The second series refers a lot to the events on this first part, so its a must watch.

The Second Part: Naruto Shippuden

  • Shippuden delves more into the problems that plague the world of ninjas.
  • You get to see the path different people have followed in order to reach their dreams:
    • There are people in this world that will do anything to reach their goals, even at the cost of their friends and families.
    • There is the man that thought who knew what was more important in a mission, just to be taught by his looser colleague what is really important.
    • There is a man that lost all his dreams at an early age and the path of corruption it took after that.
    • There is a man that lives in the shadows, orchestrates cruel acts, its hated by most but all he does if for the sake of defending his village.
    • There is a man that feels he barely accomplished anything important that he really wanted in his life, but never stops trying until his last breath.
    • The antagonists are great and very complex as their reasons to act as they do are well explained, forcing you to understand why they act as villains. Some of them have noble intentions, while they have chosen a dark path to achieve them.
    • You see many characters with similar lives and the different paths they take depending on their decisions, the focus of what they consider important in life and how far are willing to change in order to accomplish their dreams. You understand where they went wrong and when they went right.
    • At first glance, Naruto seems to be the one with more determination to do things to the point of being obtuse, but if you pay attention you'll see that the villains are also very determined in reaching their goals, with many years of preparation prior to implementing their plans.
    • Reaching world peace is a dream that many ninja shares and the story delves into the different paths they have taken to achieve this dream.
  • In a way, you could say that Naruto's story is trying to portray a path where you don't lose yourself while striving for your dreams. it shows what happens to people when they lose their dreams and how they continue to move forward for better or worst.
  • It tries to answer the question of how to stop hatred in a time of war, while the war itself is how they make their living and is all you know from infancy. What do you say to someone that loose everyone that was important to them? The author comes with surprisingly simple answers that are very fulfilling, in this sense I think is a masterpiece, although I know some people may disagree with that statement. I wonder if they saw the same thing? Or they just saw a typical shonen loudmouth ninja fight over and over? Never the less, this is not one of the most popular animes for nothing.
  • The story is not nearly as serious as I make it sound is full of comedy too and told in a way that all ages can understand.

Movies & OVAs:

I cannot really recommend watching the movies, specials, and OVAs as they aren't any good, but if you still want to watch them, then I recommend doing so after you finish the main story, so you don't interrupt the pacing, + some of them have spoilers if you watch them too early. The few exceptions are marked below. You should note also that the movies are not canon (with 2 exceptions marked below) and have many inconsistencies with the main story.

2 Naruto Special 2: Battle at Hidden Falls. I am the Hero!

Naruto Special 2: Battle at Hidden Falls. I am the Hero!

Extra mission between Naruto episodes 19 and 20, but it's better to watch at the end of the first series to not interrupt the pacing.

3 Naruto Movie 1: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Naruto Movie 1: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Extra mission with team 7, between episodes 101-106. This is a good movie with excellent animation for its time, but it's better to watch at the end of the first series to not interrupt the pacing.

4 Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden Filler List

Source: http://www.animefillerlist.com/shows/naruto-shippuden

  • Watch Episodes 1-56 - Kazekage Rescue & Long-Awaited Reunion Arcs
  • Skip Filler Episodes 57 to 71 - Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc.
    • Watch at a later time.
    • It's an extra mission that delves into Asuma's past.
    • These fillers create some inconsistencies with the main story.
  • Watch Episodes 72-89 - Immortal Devastators Arc
  • Watch Filler Episode 90 from 5:55 to 13:00 and from 18:20 to the end.
  • Skip Filler Episodes 91-111 - The Three-Tailed Demon Turtle Arc
    • Watch at a later time
    • This is not a bad arc and you get to see a tailed beast in the wild (The beginning is bad but it gets better). However, I still recommend you to skip and watch at a later time.
    • This arc starts on episode 90 and ends on 112
  • Watch Filler Episode 112 from 13:40 to 19:40
  • Watch Episodes 113-143 - Master's Prophecy & Vengeance Arc
  • Skip Filler Episodes 144 to 151 - The Six-Tailed Demon Slug Arc
    • Watch at a later time
    • It's an extra mission where you get to meet another Jinchuriki.
  • Watch Episodes 152-169 - Two Saviors Arc (Pain Arc)
  • Skip Filler Episodes 170 to 171
    • It's just comic relief
  • Watch Episodes 172-175
  • Skip Filler Episodes 176 to 177 - Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
    • These are a reprise of the time Iruka was teaching Naruto and how the village used to reject him, expanding more on that story.
  • Watch Filler Episode 178 from 18:10 to the end.
  • Watch Episode 179 only up to 4:40. This is short but an important part of the story.
    • The rest is a reprise of the time when Team 7 was formed.
  • Skip Filler Episodes 180 to 196
    • These fillers are mostly extra missions Naruto took when he was a child mixed with parts of the reconstruction of the Hidden Leaf Village.
    • Salvageable Fillers may be 182, 190 to 192
  • Watch Episodes 197-211 - The Gathering of the Five Kage Arc
  • Watch Filler Episode 212 up to 3:20 and from 14:35 to the end.
    • In between are just Sakura's memories from the time Sasuke was in team 7.
    • These memories will be repeated again in canon episodes where they make more sense, so there is no need to watch them twice.
  • Watch Filler Episode 213 up to 3:15 and then from 11:56 to the end.
    • In between are just Naruto's memories of Sasuke.
    • There are still some memories in the second part but they are related to how Naruto puts together his thoughts to come up with an answer.
  • Watch Episodes 214-222
  • Skip Filler Episodes 223 to 241 - Paradise on the Ship Arc
    • This is basically the beginning of what it will come to be known as the Infinite Filler Arc. It took Naruto 19 episodes to reach his destination (including 242) and that is what this filler batch is about. Quality drops a lot!
  • Watch Filler Episode 242
    • It delves into the hatred that exists between villages.
  • Watch Episodes 243-253 - Nine-Tailed Fox Taming & Karmic Encounters Arc
  • Watch Episode 254 from the beginning, but you can skip from 2:42 to 9:50 as the middle part is just nonsense comic relief.
  • Watch Episodes 255-256
  • Skip Filler Episodes 257 to 260
    • More memories of the 1st mission, Chunin exams, and Sasuke leaving the village.
  • Watch Episodes 261-270 
    • Due to the nature of the opponents in the war, there are lots of recaps within these episodes. Just skip as needed.
  • Skip Filler Episode 271
  • Watch Episodes 272-278
  • Skip Filler Episodes 279 to 281
    • They are part of the war but they don't advance the story, just let you see other battles. They are ok, not great.
  • Watch Episodes 282-283
  • Skip Filler Episodes 284 to 289 - The Seven Shinobi Swordsmen Arc
    • These episodes are ok, not great but they slow down the pacing. They show parts of the war with Kakashi's team against the 7 Swordsmen of the Mist and flashbacks of past battles.
  • Skip Filler Episodes 290 to 295 - Power Arc
    • Watch at a later time.
    • I think this arc is a good watch, but completely out of place at this point of the story, slowing down the pace. It's better enjoyed after watching the whole show, as a side story, hence my recommendation.
    • This is a mission with Team Yamato, including Sai.
    • There are also many inconsistencies to make it part of the main story or place it between episodes of the main timeline.
  • Watch Episodes 296-302 - The Fourth Great Ninja War - Assailants From Afar Arc
  • Skip Filler Episodes 303 to 320
    • These are more fights with other characters during the war and contain large amounts of flashbacks and extra missions when they were kids. Quality sinks to a new low, reaching negative numbers.
    • Filler Episodes 316 to 317 are the only ones may be salvageable of this batch, as they show what happened to Danzo's bodyguards.
  • Watch Episodes 321-326
  • Optional Episode 327 is a recap of Naruto's Life but from the perspective of the Nine-Tails.
  • Watch Episodes 328. The first 5 minutes are still part of the recap.
  • Watch Episodes 329-339 - The Fourth Great Ninja War - Sasuke & Itachi
  • Optional - Itachi's Story Filler Episodes 451 to 458
    • The story actually begins on Filler Episode 451 at 10:45. Make sure you jump to that point in order to avoid spoilers. Although it was released way later, this is the best point to watch this story and it won't spoil anything as you already know what happened at this point.
    • This is what Itachi show Sasuke. It is an original story that connects everything in Itachi's life that hasn't been shown before, including the Uchiha Clan Massacre and the beginnings of the Akatsuki.
    • Itachi plays a big role in the main story and so far, everything we know about him has been in bits and pieces from the eyes of other characters. First, we hear it from Sasuke in the bits and pieces he remembers. Then, we hear it from Tobi, who adds important facts, but at the same time, we cannot fully trust his version.
    • These episodes compile Itachi's story, from his own point of view and in chronological order, adding extra content to finally tell the full story.
    • The story ends at Episode 458 at 10:00. Don't watch after that to avoid major spoilers.
  • Optional. Naruto Shippuden: Sunny Side Battle! OVA
    • For a little bit of fun, you may want to watch this OVA between episodes 339 and 340. There is no accurate timing, due to plot inconsistencies, but it fits well in that spot.
  • Watch Episodes 340-346
  • Watch Filler Episodes 347 to 348
    • As this is the continuation of Obito's life and delves into Akatsuki's beginnings.
  • Skip Filler Episodes 349 to 361 - Kakashi: Shadow of the ANBU Black Ops Arc
    • Watch at a later time
    • They delve deeper into the life of Kakashi between the 3rd Ninja War and becoming the teacher of Team 7.
    • The problem is that they are filler quality and slow down the story considerably. In truth, the whole thing may have been done in half the time. Never the less, they help you understand events better.
    • Danzo plays a big role in these stories too.
    • it shows how Yamato & Kakashi get to know each other as ANBU
  • Watch Episodes 362-375 - The Fourth Great Ninja War - The Return of... (the title is a spoiler)
  • Skip Filler Episodes 376 to 377
    • Frankenstein/Mecha Parody
  • Watch Episodes 378-387 - The Fourth Great Ninja War - ...Against The Shinobi Forces
  • Watch Filler Episode 388 up to 5:20 the rest are flashbacks of Gaara's story.
  • Optional Episodes 389 to 390. Watch at a later time.
    • They are about Hinata's development from the perspective of her sister, it's a good story but out of place within the current plot, so it's better to watch at the end.
    • These episodes are more important if you plan to watch Boruto. Otherwise, they are just a side story.
  • Watch Episode 391 from 6:15 to the end, before that, is a reprise of the events.
  • Watch Episodes 392-393
  • Skip Filler Episodes 394 to 413 - Second Chunin Exams
    • These are the exams that were taking place while Naruto was training with Jiraiya, where the rest of Konoha 11 became Chunin.
    • A new tailed beast is introduced here.
    • They are fillers full of flashbacks and slow down the story considerably if you are curious I recommend watching at a later time.
  • Watch Episode 414 - Infinite Tsukuyomi: The Invocation Arc
  • Watch Episode 415 up to 13:10. The rest is Obito's flashbacks.
  • Skip Filler Episode 416 - More Obito's flashbacks.
  • Watch Filler Episode 417 from 16:52 to the end.
  • Watch Episode 418
  • Watch Filler Episode 419 about Guy's Dad, although nothing is missed from the story if you decide to skip, I think his backstory makes the main story more compelling.
  • Watch Episodes 420-421
  • Skip Filler Episodes 422 to 423
    • These are about the time when Naruto teach Konohamaru the Rasengan
  • Watch Episodes 424-426
  • Skip Filler Episodes 427 to 450
    • These are the dreams of the people trapped in the Infinite Tsukuyomi. They are kind of parallel worlds retelling Naruto's story.
  • Watch Episode 451 up to 10:45, after that it's the beginning of Itachi's Story.
  • Optional Filler Episodes 451 to 457 - Itachi's Story
    • Watch at a later time.
    • If you didn't watch this story before, between Episodes 339-340, then I rather recommend you skip it and watch at a later time, because at this point, it slows down the pacing of the final battle a lot.
    • The story actually begins on Filler Episode 451 at 10:45
    • This is what Itachi show Sasuke. It is an original story that connects everything in Itachi's life that hasn't been shown before, including the Uchiha Clan Tragedy and the beginnings of the Akatsuki.
    • Itachi plays a big role in the story and so far, everything we know about him has been in bits and pieces from the eyes of other characters. First, we hear it from Sasuke in the bits and pieces he remembers. Then, we hear it from Tobi, who adds important facts, but at the same time, we cannot fully trust his version.
    • These episodes compile Itachi's story, from his own point of view and in chronological order, adding extra content to finally tell the full story.
  • Watch Episode 458 from 10:00, before that is just the end of Itachi's Story.
  • Watch Episodes 459 to 468 - Kaguya Ōtsutsuki...
    • These episodes show Kaguya & The Sage of 6 Path's backstory and explain what's going on and how this whole mess began. They are a must! Even the ones marked as fillers 464-468 are good quality and necessary for continuity of the storyline.
    • Alternatively, If you watched them already and know the story and/or if you are only interested in the fight, then you can just watch Episodes 459 & 463, then jump to Episode 470
  • Optional Episode 469. Although I recommend skipping and watch at a later time to not interrupt the pacing.
    • If you Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei's True Face!
  • Watch Episode 470
    • You could start from 4:12 to skip the long recap and get back into the fight.
  • Watch Episode 471 but you can skip Obito's flashbacks from 3:22 to 13:30
  • Watch Episodes 472-479
  • Skip Filler Episodes 480 to 483. They are mostly filler recaps.
  • Congratulations, at this point you basically finish the series.
  • Optional: The Last Naruto Movie - Between Episodes 483 and 484
    • This movie is Canon, as the story is written by Masashi Kishimoto. However, it's not his best work at all. Therefore, I cannot really recommend to watch it, especially since it has many inconsistencies with the main story.
    • This movie takes place two years after the end of the Great Ninja War.
    • First 30 minutes are comic relief with flashbacks, there are even flashbacks of the movie, so watch at your own risk.
  • Optional. Sasuke's Story: Book of Sunrise - Episodes 484 to 488
    • It's ok, not great.
  • Optional. Shikamaru's Story: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness - Episodes 489 to 493.
    • It's ok, not great.
  • Skip Episodes 494 to 500 - Naruto: Konoha's Story - A Perfect Day For a Wedding
    • They are marked as Canon but they are not better than fillers. I cannot really recommend watching, at least for me, they are a waste of time.
  • Instead, I recommend you watch 'The Day Naruto Became Hokage', which provides a better ending for the whole series and ties up with Boruto sequel.

5 Naruto Shippuden Movie 1

Naruto Shippuden Movie 1

Optional

Between Episodes 53 & 54 may be the best time to fit the events of this movie. Sometime after Kakashi gets out of the hospital and before training begins.

6 The Last: Naruto the Movie

The Last: Naruto the Movie

Optional

  • After Episode 479 The Last is two years after the end of the Great Shinobi War. The best place may be Between Episodes 483 and 484
  • This movie is Canon, as the story is written by Masashi Kishimoto. However, it's not his best work at all. Therefore, I cannot really recommend to watch it, especially since it has many inconsistencies with the main story.
  • This movie takes place two years after the end of the Great Ninja War and the main focus is in Naruto's & Hinata's relationship, so it has a lot of Japanese style cliche romance.
  • The first 30 minutes are comic relief with flashbacks from the series, there are even flashbacks of the movie's original content, so watch at your own leisure.

7 Naruto Shippuden: Sunny Side Battle!

Naruto Shippuden: Sunny Side Battle!

Watch

There is no accurate timing, due to plot inconsistencies. But the best time is definitely between Shippuden episodes 339 and 340 or anytime at the end of the series. This is a good watch.

8 Boruto: Naruto the Movie - The Day Naruto Became Hokage

Boruto: Naruto the Movie - The Day Naruto Became Hokage

Watch

I recommend watching this special instead of Shippuden Episodes 494 to 500, as its the better ending.

9 Boruto: Naruto the Movie

Boruto: Naruto the Movie

Optional

This movie IS CANON! and you should watch before starting the Boruto Series. This movie turns out to be better than expected, although I wasn't expecting much based on the other movies.

Comments

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qtkeju Aug 29, 2021

Thank you!!

murtaza9761 Jun 18, 2021

In just10 episodes, I will basically finish the series! 

Barmanji Feb 8, 2021

i watched 200 episodes(of shippuden and completed naruto1st) in just 7 days just becoz of u :) thnx bud

daachisan Oct 22, 2020

Hello, i just want to thank you for taking your time to make this list ❤️, but i have a little problem that i dont quite understand at itachi's story (episodes 451 - 458) you wrote that we should watch ep. 451 up to 10:45 but at the explanation it says "Itachi's story begins at ep 451 at 10:45" what do you mean? Should i start watching at 10:45 til the end or should i start watching it from 00:00 to 10:45 please help me out thankyou