Naruto Shippuden vs Bleach – Now i have been getting lot of emails regarding this question and people who know me in real are asking me the same question, i was not going to post anything on this topic since i think its highly controversial topic but anyways i decided to post my views or you could say this is my thinking on this particular topic.
Now it may or may not fulfill every aspect that an answer usually have but i think that my point of view may help you to understand things and may help you reach conclusion on “Why Naruto Shippuden survived despite having filler episodes? and Bleach on the other hand fell down?” So lets break down the question into parts and try to solve the mystery.
Naruto Shippuden vs Bleach – Filler episodes
First it all comes down to filler episodes, now lets compare the filler episodes of Bleach Anime and Naruto Shippuden Anime. Well i am not telling you to compare them one by one but i want you to take a brief overview.
The way the filler episodes were aired in Bleach
I started watching Bleach Anime and i didn’t read the Manga until the Anime ended so i will tell my view from the perspective of the person who only watches Anime. Filler episodes were there in the Anime right from the start however, I who only watched anime did not even recognized first that which episodes were filler and which episodes were canon.
Till then the Bleach Anime was completely fine and going on well, but when the Arrancar arc started i realized that some episodes in between have different story that starts right from the middle of a particular scene which was really annoying and after that the numbers increased and it happened on regular occasions. You don’t even need Manga for that to realize.
They abruptly started cutting off the episodes in between and filled them with fillers on top of that they use to tell us that the Main story of bleach anime will take for a while this same thing happened when ulquiorra vs ichigo was going on and they stopped the arc to show the filler episodes based on Zanpakuto arc. And they kept doing this till the end. What happened is people’s attention which was on the canon story was cut off and diverted to the filler story, It was like a completely different story in between the original story and that was real annoying.
Result – The Anime discs sales dropped and less and less people watched it and eventually they ended the Anime.
The way the filler episodes were aired in Naruto Shippuden
Naruto Shippuden was the similar case, and i also watched this series and did not read the Manga until the 4th great ninja war started. Again filler episodes were there in the Anime right from the start however, I who only watched anime did not even recognized first that which episodes were filler and which episodes were canon. And that continued till the end, even after i started reading Manga and i knew i was watching fillers in the episode but it didn’t felt like filler at all. Why? well that Answer is quite simple.
They used a certain trick to engage users and entertain them even with fillers. What they did is whenever the filler was going to start they made sure that filler is related to particular arc or character. So the people who only watch Anime does not feel like they are watching something different and the viewers were happy with it too. This is quite simple trick but it actually works and we have proof of that : You can read this article from Saiyanisland which says that – “Naruto Best-Selling Anime Franchise for TV Tokyo April 2015 to March 2016.”
Japanese television station, TV Tokyo, has announced their sales from April 2015 to March 2016 were 14,423,000,000 yen ($134,774,000), a 74.4% increase over the year prior. Gross profits were 4,889,000,000 yen ($45,684,800), a 102.0% increase.
This is, in-part, thanks to Naruto, which was their best-selling anime franchise! That’s correct, Naruto, which had only 8 canon episodes (and 40 filler episodes) between April 2015 to March 2016.
There were one or two filler sagas that were completely different from main story and did not have any relation to it. But that did not affect the series, they kept such fillers as minimum as possible while Bleach on the other hand did not utilized this strategy and kept bringing fillers episodes in between the main story that had completely different story.
(Source – Saiyanisland)
Result – Naruto Shippuden filler episodes were well timed and executed and people actually enjoyed it. As a result the sales increased and they decided to stretch out the Anime series. This might have also happened earlier that’s why the series survived with fillers for so long. But that’s not the only case here, lets talk about a Major support that helped series to reach the top of its popularity at the end.
Major support – Movie Adaptation and Games
Between April 2015 to March 2016 when the filler saga was going on we got two major movie release and they were “The Last – Naruto The Movie” and “Boruto : Naruto The Movie.” Which had a major effect on the Anime series and even the games that were launched during that time affected the viewers ratio of the Anime and eventually the series reached at the top most height of its popularity!
Final job – Making sponsors happy
Every Anime series has sponsors supporting them from behind and they are usually “Toy companies” or “Clothing companies,” or any other kind of company that makes anime accessories. These guys provides money for producing Anime and in return they make accessories on that Anime and if those accessories sells well in the market they will earn their income and that’s how the cycle works.
Many anime series were dropped of in the middle and never returned because they didn’t performed well and that is decided by the the selling rate of Manga and selling rate of the anime series. If either of those two went down then that anime is closed forever. Meaning sponsors won’t spend money on things which never perform good, and worse case scenario Manga is closed forever with Anime.
If Bleach Anime ended and Manga was still going on for long time that means the Anime didn’t do well and sponsors stopped paying. Whereas in case of Naruto shippuden it was quite opposite, since fillers were very well planned out and they timed it right the viewers ratio increased and the Movies and Games affected it even more. As a result sponsors loved it and Animators decided to stretch the series.
Even now the people are loving it and they are asking for more that’s why they announced that Naruto Shippuden is getting new anime this winter after the end of the original series. For them the Japanese audience holds more important if any manga or anime performs well their then the series will continue.
So this is my view or you could say a thorough analysis on “Why Naruto Shippuden survived despite having filler episodes? and Bleach on the other hand fell down?” Share your views on it.