As far as iconic anime series go, Naruto is right up there with the best of them. The series is packed with action, intrigue and mountains of suspense. The other mountain it is filled with is filler episodes.
What sets Naruto apart from other anime series though, is that the filler episodes are worth watching. Not all of them are equally great, so here is a list of some that diehard fans recommend.
Naruto and Sasuke kiss… again
Naruto and filler episodes go together like hand and glove, but when there are little gems strewn across the series like Naruto and Sasuke’s kiss, it becomes worth it. During the episode, Naruto and Sasuke go on a mission to rescue Sakura from the bandits, but their heads get stuck together and the inevitable happens… again.
These two frenemies know how to keep the audience entertained. The episode is filled with funny moments and their fight against the bandits is also quite entertaining. When one considers that the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden filler percentage is 41%, there was bound to be a couple that stood out and this episode was deserving of a mention.
Naruto gets a mech makeover
When Naruto is mentioned, the last thing that comes to mind is machines or mech warriors, except when you’ve seen the Mecha-Naruto two-part filler episode. Orochimaru is at it again and is on a mission to steal the chakra of Nine-Tails.
When he created Mecha-Naruto, not even he could have foreseen the hilarity that was to ensure. At first, it seems as though the Mecha-Naruto is a formidable foe. He hilariously wreaks havoc during the two episodes, only to be blown up trying to protect Naruto in the end.
Shino is a stoic character per excellence. You hardly ever see any emotion stem from his face, except for when he was forced with the help of a little poison. Naruto and Shino set off on another mission together where they have to stand on for a man to ensure that he does not laugh during a funeral.
The mission itself had absurdity written all over it. If the man laughed during the funeral, he would lose his inheritance. His greedy sister had other plans and planned to poison her brother and force him to laugh.
True to Naruto’s ironic comedy, Shino received the poison and could not contain his laughter. Seeing him in stitches is worth every second of the episode.
Uncovering Kakashi’s face
Kakashi is a mystery. He has many secrets, but what he looks like is probably the secret that not only the characters want to uncover, but any Naruto fan as well. In this filler, Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke are on a mission to uncover the truth.
Their curiosity is so deep-rooted that even Sasuke agrees to one of Naruto’s plans and what ensues is a slew of foiled attempts and a laugh a minute. To add a bit of extra punch to the episode, three dim-witted ninjas try and get revenge on Kakashi, but the result is inevitable.
We meet Kakashi for the first time in episode three and immediately get the sense that there is much to the character that is unknown. His hidden face only adds to his intrigue. His time with the Anbu Black Ops remained a mystery until much later in the series.
During this particular backflash arc, we learn more about his time with Anbu and his role in the Nine-tailed Fox’s attack, Orochimaru’s defection and the Uchiha slaughter. All Kakashi’s filler episodes are loaded and do well in building back the story.