1986 to 1989 was the finest era of anime for me as the series that was released during this time has left many fond memories. Yes, I am talking about the original Dragon Ball series, which continues to have a meteoric impact on the current anime scene.
Dragon Ball needs no introduction as this is the anime that shows Goku’s childhood. Goku is, no doubt, one of the most influential anime protagonists ever created. It focuses on his adventure of gathering the dragon balls that can grant any wish.
It is crazy how the anime has spawned many sequels and shows that are entirely different from the original work. Yet, like all other anime shows, this iconic phenomenon does not get away without the expected filler content.
The Dragon Ball anime has nine seasons and 24 filler episodes, including 21 fillers and three partial fillers, making up 16% of the total. Be it a classic or a new anime, shows that follow manga are fated to have fillers.
Let me guide you through the fillers with a quick list and let you decide if you want to watch it or skip it.
- Manga Canon Episodes: 1-28, 34-41, 43, 46-78, 84-126, 133-148
- Partial Filler Episodes: 29, 42, 44
- Filler Episodes: 30-33, 45, 79-83, 127-132, 149-153
- Partial Filler Episodes (Also known as Mixed Canon/Filler episode, these are fillers but also have some of their content taken from manga)
|Episode No.||Title||Saga/Arc||Airdate||Watch Links|
|29||The Roaming Lake||Red Ribbon Army Saga||1986-09-17||Funimation|
|42||The Secret of D.r Flappe||Red Ribbon Army Saga||1986-12-10||Funimation|
|44||Master Thief, Hasky||Red Ribbon Army Saga||1986-12-24||Funimation|
- Filler Episodes (These episodes are created to make time for the manga to release new chapters so that the anime does not run out of content)
|Episode No||Title||Saga/Arc||Airdate||Watch Link|
|30||Pilaf and the Mystery Force||Red Ribbon Saga||1986-09-17||Funimation|
|31||Wedding Plans?||Red Ribbon Saga||1986-09-24||Funimation|
|32||The Flying Fortress – Vanished!||Red Ribbon Saga||1986-10-01||Funimation|
|33||The Legend of a Dragon||Red Ribbon Saga||1986-10-08||Funimation|
|45||Danger in the Air||Red Ribbon Saga||1987-01-07||Funimation|
|79||Terror and Plague||Fortuneteller Baba Saga||1987-09-16||Funimation|
|80||Goku vs.Sky Dragon||Fortuneteller Baba Saga||1987-09-23||Funimation|
|81||Goku Goes to Demon Land||Fortuneteller Baba Saga||1987-09-30||Funimation|
|82||The Rampage of InoShikaCho||Fortuneteller Baba Saga||1987-10-07||Funimation|
|83||Which Way to Papaya Island?||Tien Shinhan Saga||1987-10-14||Funimation|
|127||Quicker than Lightning||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-09-21||Funimation|
|128||Secret of the Woods||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-09-28||Funimation|
|129||The Time Room||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-10-12||Funimation|
|130||Goku’s Doll||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-10-19||Funimation|
|131||Walking Their Own Ways||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-10-26||Funimation|
|132||Hotter than Lava||Piccolo Jr Saga||1988-12-02||Funimation|
|149||Dress in Flames||Piccolo Jr Saga||1989-03-15||Funimation|
|150||The Fire-Eater||Piccolo Jr Saga||1989-03-22||Funimation|
|151||Outrageous Octagon||Piccolo Jr Saga||1989-04-05||Funimation|
|152||Mystery of the Dark World||Piccolo Jr Saga||1989-04-12||Funimation|
|153||The End, The Beginning||Piccolo Jr Saga||1989-04-19||Funimation|
Can You Skip The Filler Episodes?
Filler episodes are mostly a kind of nuisance in anime that just don’t make sense. Nevertheless, fillers may reveal crucial plot points regarding the main storyline, and it is only later that we realize we made a mistake by not watching the episode.
Talking about Dragon Ball, this show has fewer fillers than many classic anime that are still airing. I highly recommend you to watch some of the filler episodes of this anime.
Let me give you a list of filler that you can neglect and move on to the next canon episode with no regrets at all.
- Pilaf and the Mystery Force (episode 30)
- Wedding Plans? (episode 31)
- The Flying Fortress – Vanished (episode 32)
- The Legend of a Dragon (episode 33)
- Danger in the Air (episode 45)
- Which Way to Papaya Island? (episode 79)
- Quicker than Lightning (episode 127)
- Secret of the Woods (episode 128)
- Goku’s Doll (episode 130)
- Hotter than Lava (episode 131)
- Dress in Flames (episode 132)
At best, the filler episodes are superfluous, but fans and viewers should think about the other aspects of releasing such fillers. These episodes are an inevitable part of watching an anime.
With only 24 total filler episodes, Dragon Ball completely adheres to the original work of Toriyama and has given us a franchise that this whole world is thankful for.
To watch filler is a personal preference, and it is entirely up to you whether you want to fully skip the episodes or simply sit back and enjoy the entire show.
About Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama’s brainchild, came into existence in 1984. It has spawned several manga, anime, films, and other media adaptations.
The initial series follows Son Goku and his adventures when he was a child. It is here that we are first introduced to Goku as he meets Bulma, Yamcha, and others.
He trains in martial arts and participates in the World Martial Arts Championship for the first time in this series.