Six of the most controversial time skips in anime history ranked

Time jumps can be either a good thing for a franchise, or the final nail in a series coffin; here are our six most controversial time skips in anime history.

The Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime finally concluded its first part with the premiere of episode 293 ‘Farewell’ last week.

The part one finale ended with yet another teaser of the infamous time skip, which has yet to be seen in either the original manga or anime adaptation – leading to some major debate online between fans.

However, this is not the first time that a time skip has caused debate in the anime community – out of these six time skips, which do you think is the most controversial from anime history?

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

The Boruto: Naruto Next Generations time skip is rather unique in that the skip hasn’t even happened yet; teased in the series opening episode and then in the Part One finale last week.

Neither the anime nor the ongoing manga have revealed exactly what happens with the time skip; the only thing we do know is that Kawaki and Boruto end up battling in a ruined Konoha village after around three to four years.

The good news is that the time skip may be the key factor in Boruto’s resurgence, with both the anime and manga seeing notable dips in interest over the past couple of years. The current estimation is that we will finally see more of the time skip by the Summer of 2023 in the manga, which continues to release new chapters every month.  

One Piece

The One Piece time skip was a major controversy at the time, occurring in episode 517 of the anime adaptation and chapter 598 of the original manga series.

This time skip saw the Straw Hats go their separate ways for two long years (in-situ), with many of the characters taking the time away for training so that they could become stronger warriors and members of the crew.

Whilst there was some serious debate online surrounding the time skip at the time, the majority of One Piece fans now view the time skip as one of the best decisions that Eiichiro Oda made regarding character progression.

Not only did it give the world and its character to redevelop after the previous story arc, but it also provided ample opportunity for new backstories and powers to be introduced seamlessly.

Assassination Classroom

This time skip was less of a major controversy during the anime broadcast because it occurred near the end of the series, showing viewers where the Class 3E members were seven years later.

This time skip was shown in chapter 179 of the original manga and episode 47 of the anime adaptation – the final episode from season 2.

Despite some minor rumblings online, the vast majority of Assassination Classroom community acknowledged how the time skip worked well due to the fact that each character would then reflect on their journey – giving viewers a different perspective on each of their development; essentially a welcomed epilogue.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan season 3 episode 22, the 59th episode of the series overall, ended with Eren pointing across the ocean and wondering whether if they killed all of their enemies; would they then be free?

However, when season 4 made its global premiere in December 2020, it opened with a young Falco fighting as a child soldier against the Mid-East Allied Forces – with Eren and co nowhere to be found.

Whilst this one-year time skip was never truly subject to much debate online, it did benefit from introducing a whole new set of characters, i.e., it showcased that the world outside Paradis is (was) constantly evolving, no matter whether we saw it on screen or not.

Thankfully, Falco and the other new characters became integral to the story, and so their introduction post-time skip was ultimately the right call as the fourth season felt like more of its own saga.

Fairy Tail

Arguably one of the, if not the, most controversial time skip in anime history occurred after the conclusion of the Wham Arc in the Fairy Tail anime adaptation; however, this was also one of the more unique time skips we have seen.

In episode 124, all of the main and supporting cast (barring a few minor characters) are forced into a magical Fairy Sphere in order to save their island from a devastating attack. Unfortunately, this put all those characters inside the sphere into a type of ‘stasis’ for seven long years.

Whilst some fans argued that the time skip was completely unnecessary since none of the major characters progressed during this time, it did allow the wider world to develop around them – a key part of the anime, post-time skip.

Death Note

Now we come to the infamous Death Note time skip, which is still subject to intense debate today depending on which anime fan you ask.

The story of Death Note was the story of Light and L; however, when the eventual time skip took viewers five years into the future to introduce two new main characters, it’s safe to say that fans were disappointed at best.

At worst, avid Death Note fans will claim that the time skip completely ruined the possibility of having a more impactful and definitive conclusion. Whatever your opinion, the time skip certainly had a negative impact on the series’ legacy and culminated with many simply acknowledging that we never got an ending that the anime rightly deserved.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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