Some anime programs don’t have any filler episodes and focus solely on the main plot.
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It is one of the most dreaded features of anime, and filler is no exception. These episodes are separate from the rest of the series in that they don’t advance the plot or develop the characters, and the events of the episode are inconsequential to the broader tale. They are. When a decent show is ruined by pointless padding, it’s a real bummer.
Filler can be a problem in some anime series, but it’s not the only one. These shows are renowned for not letting the primary narrative stall in any episode, even if only for a split second. Even if only a few episodes are needed, some shows are able to cover a large amount of ground across several seasons with little to no lag time.
1. The Elric Brothers Search For Answers (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
With less filler and a more faithful adaptation of the manga series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood tells a timeless tale. This means that Brotherhood doesn’t provide the Elric brothers much wiggle room for side tasks, and they must instead focus on their end aim.
In comparison to the first Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation, this anime is considerably more fast-paced and intense, and it doesn’t waste any time in terms of plot.
2. Hiro & Zero Two Fight For Their Future (Darling In The FranXX)
Teenagers in Darling in the FranXX are tasked with defending the shattered ruins of human society against the hordes of Klaxosaurs, a new kind of monster. Both men and women are required to pilot mechs in order to accomplish this. However, it is immediately apparent that the youngsters and the audience have been misled from the start.
It is true that the series loses focus midway through, but it manages to get back on track and bring the plot to a satisfying conclusion. In order to safeguard their future, Hiro and Zero Two must work together in each episode to uncover hidden agendas and forces at work.
3. Tanjiro Must Free His Sister (Demon Slayer)
There is a chance that Demon Slayer, because it is currently airing, will include filler episodes in the future, but as of this list’s creation, the series has only advanced the plot with each significant story arc. Finally, Tanjiro wants to find a way of making Nezuko human again.
While this isn’t the primary goal of every story arc, Tanjiro and his companions do grow as characters and learn more about demons as a result of the narrative. Tanjiro’s journey toward victory gains momentum with each new episode.
4. Koichi Searches For A Way To Break A Curse (Another)
Other students and teachers alike disregard new middle school student Koichi Sakakibara’s friend Mei Misaki, who has just transferred to his new school. Her existence is completely ignored by everyone around her. His class is cursed every year, with students and their families dying in horrific ways. Koichi soon discovers that this is the result of the curse.
As Koichi and Mei look for answers and try to stop more fatalities, this one-season anime follows their journey. Every episode moves the story along as the protagonists get closer to unraveling the mystery.
5. Kosei Confronts His Childhood Trauma (Your Lie In April)
Your Lie in April stands apart from the rest of the films on this list because it presents itself as a simple slice-of-life story about a musician who rediscovers his love of music. While this is an important part of the story, the show quickly reveals that Kaori is more complex than she initially appears to be.
Kosei, the protagonist, relives the trauma he suffered as a youngster and learns to overcome it in the course of the series. He is now adamant that history will not repeat itself.
6. Terrorists On A Quest For Revenge (Terror In Resonance)
Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichiro Watanabe is behind Terror in Resonance, an action-packed thriller that follows two adolescent guys who carry out terrorist actions in Tokyo to expose an organization that has harmed them. The show’s protagonists are terrorists, but the audience is able to root for them despite this fact.
There aren’t many opportunities for side tales in Terror in Resonance because of the show’s limited episode count.
7. Eren Strives To Wipe Out Titans (Attack On Titan)
To put it simply, Attack on Titan is one of the most popular anime series of all time, and it doesn’t waste any time. Every episode serves a purpose in furthering the growth of the major characters and the overall plot. From the very beginning, the show teases huge plot twists and turns while also revealing new details about the universe it is set in.
Even though there are only a few episodes remaining in the series, Attack on Titan manages to keep the story moving forward without taking any interruptions.
8. Satoru Must Solve A Mystery (Erased)
The murder mystery in Erased is like no other. With Satoru Fujinuma’s special ability to travel back in time just before a life-threatening event occurs, time travel has never been easier. This opportunity to unravel the mystery across time arises, however, when Satoru discovers his mother’s dead body and is sent back 18 years in time.
This brief, one-season anime follows Satoru as he seeks to investigate his mother’s murder and how it relates to an unresolved case from his childhood that has haunted him ever since.
9. High Schoolers Work Together To Survive In Space (Astra: Lost In Space)
When it comes to Astra: Lost in Space, viewers are treated to a mystery that’s both entertaining and enlightening. A tiny group of high school students is followed as they fly through space to an off-world camp. It all goes downhill from there as they find themselves in a bizarre orb of light and hundreds of light-years away.
With few resources, these adolescents have to find a way home, while also investigating the mystery of the light and why it has taken them so far away.
10. An Ordinary Person Gets Wrapped Up In A Criminal Underworld (Akudama Drive)
Fast-paced action in a cyberpunk future is the focus of Akudama Drive. “Akudama” is a group of notorious outlaws known for their highly specialized abilities, and the show doesn’t waste any time getting right into the action. Swindler, a completely normal woman, takes on the identity of a thief in order to stay alive.
An entire story can be told in one season of Akudama Drive thanks to its condensed episode runtime and rapid-fire pace. In order to keep the story flowing, each episode has a distinct role to play.