Are Anime Canon Episodes Important?

As fans of anime, we often find ourselves engrossed in the captivating worlds and narratives presented by our favorite series. One aspect that contributes to this immersion is the concept of anime canon episodes. But what exactly is anime canon, and why does it matter? In this article, we will explore the importance of anime canon episodes and their impact on the overall storytelling experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Anime canon episodes are significant in providing a cohesive and engaging storytelling experience.
  • Canon anime series hold great importance for viewers in terms of narrative and character development.
  • Non-canon anime episodes exist but differ in terms of their role within a series.

Understanding Anime Canon

Before we dive into the importance of canon episodes, let us first understand what anime canon is and how it affects a series.

What is Anime Canon?

Anime canon, simply put, refers to the episodes that are considered part of the original storyline created by the anime’s creators. These episodes are essential to the progression of the plot, character development, and overall continuity of the series.

Canon episodes are typically based on manga, light novels, or other source material that the anime adaptations are drawn from. These episodes are considered the ‘true’ story of the anime, and fans who follow the series closely often prioritize watching canon episodes over non-canon ones.

The Meaning of Anime Canon

In the context of anime, canon means that the episode or story arc is considered an official and integral part of the series. These episodes are not filler, nor are they created solely for entertainment purposes.

Canon episodes are produced with the intention of advancing the story, providing crucial character development, and giving viewers a deeper insight into the anime’s universe. Many anime fans believe that canon episodes are what make an anime’s story truly memorable and worth watching.

Filler Episodes and Their Relationship to Canon Episodes

Filler episodes are non-canon episodes that are created to give the animators and writers time to catch up with the source material or to provide light-hearted entertainment for fans. These episodes often introduce new characters, create new story arcs, or explore side stories that are not essential to the main plot.

While filler episodes can be entertaining, they are often not as memorable or impactful as canon episodes. They do not contribute to the overall narrative of the anime and can sometimes feel out of place. Fans who wish to experience the full story of an anime often skip over filler episodes and focus solely on the canon episodes.

Now that we have established what anime canon is, let’s explore why these episodes are so important to anime fans in the next section.

The Importance of Anime Canon

As we have discussed, anime canon episodes are an essential part of the storytelling process in anime. They provide the backbone of the plot, character development, and overall narrative, which is why they are so critical to the genre and its dedicated fans.

One of the primary reasons why anime canon episodes are so crucial is that they establish the rules of the story’s world and lay the foundation for the plot to follow. By sticking to the source material and the canon content, writers can ensure that any twists and turns in the story make sense, and the audience can follow along without confusion.

Another significant impact of anime canon episodes is that they allow for more in-depth exploration of characters and their backstories. By tying these moments into the canon, writers can create a more meaningful impact on characters, making them more relatable to the audience and adding depth to the story’s overall emotional resonance.

Furthermore, anime canon episodes often serve as a benchmark for the quality of the series as a whole. If the canon episodes are well-written and well-executed, it can indicate that the non-canon episodes will also be of high quality, making the entire series a more enjoyable experience for the viewer.

Overall, anime canon episodes are essential to the genre’s success and serve to create a well-rounded and thought-provoking series. Without them, the story risks becoming convoluted and difficult to follow, and the characters’ development may lack the depth and resonance fans have come to expect from the genre.

Canon Anime Series

There are many popular anime series that are considered canon, meaning their storylines and characters are recognized as part of the official canon continuity. These anime series often have a significant impact on the overall fandom, and fans eagerly await new canon episodes with each new season. Below are a few examples of canon anime series:

  • Naruto: This beloved series follows a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki as he navigates the challenges of becoming the strongest ninja in his village. It comprises over 700 episodes and many movies, all of which are considered canon.
  • Attack on Titan: Set in a dystopian world where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to man-eating giants, this series has garnered a massive following for its intense action and gripping story. All episodes and movies are considered canon.
  • One Piece: This long-running series follows a group of pirates on their quest to find the legendary One Piece treasure. With over 1,000 episodes and counting, One Piece is a staple of the anime canon.

These are just a few examples of the many anime series that are considered canon. Whether it’s a classic like Sailor Moon or a newer series like My Hero Academia, the impact of these shows on the genre cannot be overstated.

Non-Canon Anime

While canon anime episodes are considered to be an integral part of the overall narrative of a series, non-canon episodes also have their place within the genre. These episodes are typically standalone stories that do not directly impact the plot or character development, and often diverge from the original source material.

Role of Non-Canon Anime

The purpose of non-canon episodes can vary, from providing comedic relief to exploring alternate scenarios that may not have been possible within the constraints of the original storyline. These episodes can also serve as a way to introduce new characters or showcase the talents of the animation team by creating unique and visually stunning episodes.

Canon vs Non-Canon Anime

The main difference between canon and non-canon episodes lies in their relevance to the overarching story. Canon episodes are essential in understanding the plot and character development, while non-canon episodes are more for entertainment purposes and do not contribute to the progression of the story.

  • Canon Episode Example: In the anime series “Naruto,” the episode where Naruto first learns the Rasengan jutsu from Jiraiya is considered canon, as it directly impacts his abilities and character development.
  • Non-Canon Episode Example: In the same series, the episode where Naruto and his fellow ninja go on a mission to protect a rare beetle is considered non-canon, as it does not advance the main plot or character arcs.

Overall, while non-canon episodes may not hold as much importance as their canon counterparts, they can still provide an enjoyable and entertaining viewing experience.


In conclusion, it is evident that anime canon episodes play a vital role in the development of a series. They provide the audience with a sense of continuity and coherence, allowing them to become more invested in the storyline and characters. As we have discussed in this article, anime Canon is defined as the essential storyline or events that are recognized as the official and authentic events of a series.

Canon episodes, in contrast to non-canon, are considered necessary for the story’s progression and character development. In our discussion, we highlighted how anime canon episodes contribute to the overall narrative and character growth.

Additionally, we provided examples of popular anime series that are considered canon, giving readers a better understanding of the variety within this category. We also explored the concept of non-canon anime episodes and discussed their role within a series.

The Importance of Anime Canon Episodes

It is essential to note that anime canon episodes affect the way fans perceive a particular series. The significance of anime canon episodes extends beyond mere entertainment as they contribute to the universality of anime.

As we have learned from our discussion, non-canon episodes can be considered a distraction and even confusing for viewers. However, canon episodes provide a consistent storyline and avoid contradictions and inconsistencies in the plot.

In conclusion, we can say that anime Canon episodes are critical to the cohesion and integrity of a series. They provide the audience with a deeper sense of attachment to the characters and plotline, making it an integral part of one’s anime viewing experience.

Larthian & Syanka

Afar Anime is a co-managed site operated by a husband and wife anime-loving team. Since an early age, they have both shared a love for all things anime. Some of their favorite titles include Naruto, Sailor Moon, and Hunter X Hunter. Post are published weekly and old articles are updated accordingly. If you are interested in collaborations, feel free to reach out at

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