Anime, a word derived from the English word “animation,” is a form of Japanese media that has been around since the early 1900s. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, gaining a massive following across the globe.
Anime is known for its unique storytelling, vivid animation, and powerful characters. While most anime series have a limited number of episodes, some series have continued for years, accumulating hundreds of episodes.
These long-running anime series have become a staple in the anime community, offering fans a chance to dive deep into the worlds and characters they love. So, let’s explore the 18 longest anime series ever made and see what makes them so special.
The 18 Longest Anime Series Ever Made
1. Gundam (1026+ Eps)
Gundam, also known as Mobile Suit Gundam, is a science fiction anime and manga franchise created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise. The series revolves around the conflict between Earth and its colonies in space, and the battles fought by giant robots called mobile suits.
Gundam has been running since 1979 and has spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, making it one of the longest-running anime series of all time. You can stream it on Crunchyroll
2. One Piece (1060+ Eps)
One Piece is a popular adventure anime and manga series created by Eiichiro Oda. The series follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate with the ability to stretch his body like rubber, as he searches for the ultimate treasure known as One Piece.
One Piece has been running since 1999 and has over 900 episodes to date, making it one of the longest and most beloved anime series of all time. The series is still going on but the author recently informed the media that it will be coming to an end soon
Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed, is a mystery anime and manga series created by Gosho Aoyama. The series follows the adventures of high school detective Shinichi Kudo, who is transformed into a child after being poisoned.
He then uses his detective skills to solve cases while posing as a child. Detective Conan has been running since 1996 and has over 1000 episodes, making it one of the longest-running anime series you could ever watch and it is still airing every Saturday on NTV. You could equally stream the series on Freevee
4. Ninja Boy Rantaro (Nintama Rantaro – 2345+ Eps)
Ninja Boy Rantaro, also known as Rakudai Ninja Rantaro, is a comedy anime and manga series created by Sobei Amako.
The series follows the adventures of a young ninja named Rantaro and his friends as they attend ninja school and learn the ways of the ninja. Ninja Boy Rantaro has been running since 1993 and has over 2,000 episodes.
5. Doraemon (1780+ Eps)
Doraemon is a popular anime and manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio. The series follows the adventures of a robotic cat named Doraemon who travels back in time to help a young boy named Nobita Nobi.
Doraemon has been running since 1979 and has over 1700 episodes, making it one of the longest anime series of all time.
6. Sazae-san (7910+ Eps)
The Simpsons cannot compare to Mrs. Sazae, which has been on television for longer than any other animated program in history. It first started showing in 1969, and in all that time, reruns have only ever had to be shown twice. Similar to Doraemon, Mrs. Sazae’s episodes are broken up into various solo sections, each of which has three storylines.
The show follows Mrs. Sazae as she lives in her house with her husband, children, and parents in a straightforward manner.
Many of the viewers still find it to be a nostalgic look at Japanese family life. Sazae-san has been running since 1969 and has over 7000 episodes, making it the longest-running anime series of all time.
7. Crayon Shin-chan (1220+ Eps)
Crayon Shin-chan is a comedy anime and manga series created by Yoshito Usui. Shin is one of the more recognizable characters in anime. He is a cheeky young boy with an odd manner of speaking.
Due to the series’ success, numerous spin-offs, movies, and video games have been produced. Crayon Shin-chan has been running since 1992 and has over 1000 episodes, making it one of the longest-running anime series of all time.
8. Chibi Maruko-chan (1350+ Eps)
Chibi Maruko-chan is a family comedy anime and manga series created by Momoko Sakura. It has been running since 1990 and has over 1000 episodes, making it one of the longest-running anime series of all time.
The show follows Momoko Sakura, a cheeky young girl, on her daily exploits. Momoko frequently finds herself in sticky situations and occasionally involves her friends as well. Momoko’s exploits have served as the basis for various movies, the most recent of which was out in 2015.
9. Sorieke! Anpanman (1570+ Eps)
Sorieke! The children’s superhero Anpanman, who has a bean-shaped head, faces evil, including the malicious germ Baikinman, in the story Anpanman. Anpanman has emerged as one of the most known original characters from Japanese pop culture thanks to the series, which has become a mainstay of Japanese society.
The popularity of the main character in Japanese popular culture has allowed Sorieke! Anpanman to have a successful run on television. The series started airing in 1988 and is still going strong today, having produced more than 1,500 episodes over more than three decades. You can stream it on Tubi
10. Pokémon (1240+ Eps)
New seasons of the anime will continue to be released as long as Pokémon video games are produced. With the aim of becoming a Pokémon Master, the young Trainer Ash Ketchum and his sidekick Pikachu go across region after region, collecting new Pokémon, gaining new friends, and triumphing in fight after battle.
Pikachu is a beloved character in many nations, and the show is still a hit with viewers of all ages. Even if the stakes aren’t exactly high, the show is cheerful, upbeat, and a lot of fun, which will have viewers coming back for more. You can stream the series on Prime Video
11. The Instructive Trip Around The World (Sekai Monoshiri Ryoko 1000+ Eps)
Sekai Monoshiri Ryok, which aired from 1971 to 1974, appears to have been forgotten over time as there is hardly any information available online.
The program, which was ostensibly an educational series, may still be somewhat popular in Japan, but it never made it to Western culture or the internet.
Even if they were just 5 minutes long, it’s still amazing that Sekai Monoshiri Ryok created more than a thousand episodes in a little more than three years. Still, that’s a commendable longest anime series accomplishment.
Many people outside of Japan have probably never heard of this series. Tomorrow’s Calendar was a documentary that taught viewers about various historical events, according to Monoshiri University.
On Mainichi Broadcast Systems, it ran for five minutes, Monday through Saturday, from 1966 to 1970. The Kirin Brewing Company sponsored the show, and Kirin commercials frequently accompanied the episodes.
Although the program may have been lost to time, it is nonetheless noteworthy for being one of the longest anime series ever made.
13. The Affectuous Family (Hoka Hoka Kazoku – 1420+ Eps)
The 5-minute episodes of The Affectuous Family first aired in 1976, and until the show’s cancellation in 1982, new episodes were broadcast every weekday.
The series, which was funded by the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, never had a main storyline. Instead, it emphasized slice-of-life tales with educational material.
14. Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi (1470+ Eps)
Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi is among the many films and television programs that have been influenced by folktales. The series was overseen by legendary animation director Gisaburo Sugii, who decided to change the animators for each episode to keep things appearing new.
This made it stand out and endure much longer than the majority of previous anime that attempted to use comparable techniques when retelling folk tales.
15. Kirin Monoshiri Yakata (1560+ Eps)
A cat named Cathy attempted to get along with a mouse while teaching kids about history in this children’s educational program. It was initially shown from 1975 to 1984.
Sadly, just two episodes of Kirin Monoshiri Yakata are now available online and are therefore deemed lost media. It’s disappointing to see so little content available to watch for a show with so much to offer.
16. Oyako Club (1810+ Eps)
The two aliens Rompa and Lun are followed as they settle with a family in this timeless slice-of-life. As a result, the interactions between the characters produce a lot of amusing and endearing moments.
With each episode lasting just five minutes, it’s a straightforward and entertaining fish-out-of-water tale.
17. Prince Mackaroo (Ojarumaru 1945+ Eps)
The usage of time travel is a well-known show cliche, and Prince Mackaroo does it effectively. Ojarumaru, a young noble, uses a magical stick that belonged to the demon king Enma to travel from more than a thousand years ago into the present. In the future, he joins the family of a young kid named Kazuma whom he befriends.
Three demons actually stole the stick he uses, and they constantly attempt to grab it back from him, leading to numerous entertaining shenanigans throughout the series.
18. 3000 Whys Of Blue Cat (Lan Mao – 3,000+ Eps)
Image source: AnimeNewsNetwork
The Chinese educational television program Lan Mao is one of the longest anime series, popularly known as Blue Cat, and has been on the air since 1999 and is one of the most enduring children’s programs ever. The series, created by Beijing Sunchime Happy Culture Company, served as the basis for more than 400 novels, a theme park, and even some Sega video games.
The show has had several seasons, covering topics including learning about dinosaurs and fire safety. The series formerly had an English version in development, but it was ultimately shelved owing to a lack of demand.
Comparison of these Longest Anime Series
While all of the anime series on this list have accumulated a massive number of episodes, there are some significant differences between them.
For example, some series like Gundam and Detective Conan have been around for decades and have had multiple sequels and spin-offs, while others like Sazae-san and Chibi Maruko-chan have been running for years with no significant changes to the formula.
While others which were once some of the longest-running anime series of all time, have since ended or been surpassed by newer series.
Tips for a Successful Anime Marathon
Watching a long anime series can be a daunting task, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips for a successful anime marathon:
Pace Yourself: Don’t try to binge-watch an entire series in one sitting. Take breaks and give yourself time to process what you’ve watched.
Take Notes: Keeping track of characters, plot points, and important moments can help you stay engaged and remember key details.
Find a Companion: Watching anime with a friend or loved one can make the experience more enjoyable and give you someone to discuss the series with.
Get Comfortable: Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit, snacks, and drinks on hand, and anything else you need to make your viewing experience enjoyable.
Anime has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment, offering fans a unique and immersive storytelling experience. While most anime series have a limited number of episodes, some series have continued for years, accumulating hundreds or even thousands of episodes.
The 18 longest anime series on this list have become a staple in the anime community, offering fans a chance to dive deep into the worlds and characters they love. Whether you’re a seasoned otaku or just starting out on your anime journey, these series are sure to captivate and entertain you for hours on end. So, grab your popcorn, get comfortable, and get ready for the ultimate anime marathon experience.