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post Sep 22 2020, 02:23 PM
Post #1

Moving Target

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I'm watching the last few episodes of Bubblegum Crisis 2040. The story is certainly better than the first 2 iterations (although maybe the second had the best characterization?), but it drags a bit.

The meandering story and getting to know the characters at the beginning is good. The real villain showing their face halfway through is probably good (it explains what has been going on), but it also means there are a lot of episodes left involving watching the end play out. A false defeat of the enemy 23 episodes in was also a good point. One episode dedicated to wrapping up character development and getting to the end is fine (Light my Fire), especially with the setback that means *something* happened in the episode that was solved with brilliant thinking. I think the actual ending just lacks the manic energy that the lead-up had. Maybe it's me taking too long between episodes, and maybe it's the camp scenes so close to the space hook scene.

Thoughts, or other series that hit the mark or didn't? Games that do the same?
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post Sep 22 2020, 04:06 PM
Post #2

Running Target

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I find this is true for a lot of anime, especially the sci-fi stuff. There is a lot of, not necessarily filler, but certainly stuff that, had it been made in North America, would have been left out. Maybe that stems from different expectations from the audience though it could as easily come from a need to make 23 episodes but only really having material for 18 (or whatever).
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post Sep 23 2020, 04:04 AM
Post #3

Neophyte Runner

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I feel that, in some anime, having an episode or half of one of background filler is sometimes expected to try and explain a particular character's actions & motivations in the middle of the series when the main story hasn't had the time to do this. Maybe it is cultural, but at times I feel it's a waste most of the time.

Other filler, like in exceptionally long series like Bleach & One Piece, stems from the aforementioned lack of material when it's highly probable that the series is being made at the same time as the manga version, which can quickly outpace the manga and the creators don't want to pause for a season break (like in Rising Of The Shield Hero) for reasons.
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post Sep 28 2020, 10:44 PM
Post #4

Shooting Target

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As the name implies, the purpose of a filler is to fill a slot, whether it is the weekly magazine release of the 26 or 40 episodes a year of an anime.

The usual reason for filler in manga is that the writer has trouble finding ideas to advance the main story or is working too slowly. In anime, it is usually that the original manga has too little material to fill an entire season, or that anime is catching up on the manga faster than the latter is written (which, as said above, can result in entire season and new intrigue introduced as filler).

However, people also use the word when the main plot of an original story is not fully filling a 13, 22 or 26-episodes season. But in theory, just not-having-important-things-happening does not make an episode a filler.

In an original story, a good writer can make a filler pass totally unoticed, using it to develop characters or the settings. Obviously, the audience is going to notice when a filler is added to an adaptation, or if the filler is credited to a different writer.

In role-playing game, I guess adventures inserted into published campaigns could be considered as filler, by considering the game is an adaptation of the published product. I did play Dawn of the Artifacts with four additional adventures, one after each of the episode, which had the players relive events in 1480, 1099, 1944 CE and 3114 BCE related to each of the artifacts with premade characters, though the intent wasn't to fill slot, but to give the players a few extra information about what was going on (several were new to Shadowrun, to the 3114 BC episode brought the big reveal about previous era of magic and Atlantis/Thera).

In a fully original campaign, I guess a group with a very regular schedule could end up playing games that qualify as fillers - I did that several times as a gamemaster, playing mini-adventure I created on the fly when two or more players were absent.

I'll came back later with some thought on acts on how I use them in campaigns.

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