If you thought One Piece was long, you’ll be surprised at how many episodes there are in other series.
While watching a full episode in a single day can be fantastic, many Anime fans desire a series that they can sink their teeth into.
Long-running programs have the potential to link viewers with their characters in deeper ways than short shows, making every emotional moment much more powerful because some individuals may have spent their entire lives and childhood, growing up and aging along with these fictional characters and series.
Some shows have thousands of episodes and continue to air new ones to this day. Which Anime series has the most episodes in history? Let’s find out!
What is anime?
Anime is Japanese animation that can be either hand-drawn or computer-generated.
Outside of Japan and in English, anime specifically requires Japanese animation. Anime (a term derived from a contraction of the English word animation) directs to all animated works, regardless of style or origin, in Japan and in Japanese. Anime-influenced animation is animation constructed outside of Japan that has a similar style to Japanese animation.
The first commercial Japanese animations were developed in 1917. With the works of cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, a distinctive art style evolved in the 1960s and spread throughout the following decades, developing a big domestic audience. Anime is telecast through theaters, television broadcasts, direct-to-home media, and the Internet.
Anime is frequently an adaptation of Japanese comics (manga), light novels, or video games, in addition to original works. It is divided into several genres that target varied wide and particular audiences.
Characteristics of Anime
Anime is distinguished from other kinds of animation by its art styles, animation methods, production, and process. Visually, anime works display a vast range of art styles that vary according to creators, artists, and companies.
While no particular aesthetic style dominates anime, they do share several characteristics in terms of animation technique and character design.
The use of limited animation, flat expression, the suspension of time, its thematic range, the presence of historical figures, its complex narrative line, and, above all, a distinctive drawing style, with characters distinguished by large and oval eyes, very defined lines, bright colors, and limited movement of the lips, distinguish anime.
10) Hoka Hoka Kazoku (The Affectuous Family)
The Affectuous Family first aired 5-minute episodes in 1976, with new episodes airing on weekdays until the show was canceled in 1982.
This meant that it ran for a whole 6 years, and within those 6 years it somehow managed to amass 1428 episodes in total.
Additionally, this series was sponsored by the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations.
Despite its wholesome nature and popularity within Japanese households, this series has no relevance online or physically today.
9) Nippon Mukashi Banashi
Many films and television shows have been influenced by folk tales. A great example would be Nippon Mukashi Banashi, whose entire plot and episodes are oriented around visualizing Japanese folk tales and culture.
It aired for a whopping 18 years, from Jan 7, 1976, to Sep 3, 1994. During that period it accumulated 1471 episodes.
The renowned Japanese director, Gisaburo Sugii assisted in the series’ direction, choosing to change animators between episodes to keep the series appearing new.
Gisaburo Sugii’s presence alone led this series to survive and last far longer than most other Anime that attempted to depict folk tales similarly.
8) Soreike! Anpanman
We have all heard of and read, many superhero origin stories, whether it was because of injustice done to them or because of their sense of justice. However, no one would expect a superhero to be a delicious red-bean-filled bun.
Nonetheless, this Anime, based on Takashi Yanase’s long-running children’s novel series, is popular among Japanese viewers of all ages.
The show first aired in 1988 and has spawned numerous spinoffs, side plots, and movies. Besides those, it has an impressive 1491 episodes to its resume.
7) Kirin no Monoshiri Yakata
Here’s yet another family-oriented show on this list, whats with wholesome family shows being unreasonably long?
This children’s educational program featured Cathy, a cat that was attempting to get along with a mouse while teaching youngsters about history.
Wait, I swear I’ve seen a show like this before— oh right, Tom and Jerry. It initially aired from 1975 to 1984, accumulating 1565 episodes.
Unfortunately, Kirin no Monoshiri Yakata is now lost to time, with only two episodes available online. It’s disappointing that there’s so little available to see for a series with so much to offer.
The plot centers around Nobita and our favorite cat-robot from the future, Doraemon as he tries to guide his young ward to make better decisions so that his descendants will not live in poverty in the future.
Doraemon’s four-dimensional pocket creates a plethora of bizarre and endearing scenarios, as almost anything can emerge from it.
Doraemon’s original run lasted over twenty-five years, which is why it has an astounding 1787 episodes in its original run.
This is perhaps the most popular and influential show on this list. It’s even scheduled for a reboot with the same plot but better and more fluid animation.
5) Oyako Club
Here’s one of the more recent shows on this list, this show is Anime had been running for almost 20 years and published more than 1800 episodes.
Rompa and Lun, two aliens, join a family on Earth in this slice-of-life classic. This results in several amusing and uplifting encounters among the characters.
It has a classical sense of humor that’s light and entertaining, similar to The Affectuous Family each episode lasting only five minutes.
4) Ojarumaru (Prince Mackaroo)
Time travel is a popular show premise, especially in western media. However, this time, in a Japanese Anime, Prince Mackaroo makes better use of it.
Enma, The demon King uses a mythical rod that makes a young noble named Ojarumaru transport himself 1000 years into the future. Ojarumaru then befriends a young boy named Kazuma and eventually joins his family.
The stick he wields was originally taken by three demons, who continue to try to take it from him, resulting in numerous amusing shenanigans throughout the series. The show is still running, which is impressive since it has already amassed 1947+ episodes so watchers need not worry about this show ending any time soon.
3) Ninja Boy Rantaro (Nintama Rantaro)
Shinobis or Ninjas is a Japanese concept that has been made very popular in the western world, especially due to shows like Naruto. However, Ninja Boy Rantaro could be considered the real pioneer of this genre.
It initially debuted in 1993 and revolves around 3 Shinobis trainees as they endeavor to learn everything they can about being ninjas, resulting in very amusing adventures.
The show is significantly funny and aimed at children, with each episode lasting only 10 minutes. The show is still airing as of the present day and has accounted for over 2321 episodes, which will increase with every release.
2) 3000 Whys of Blue Cat
Blue Cat, is a Chinese educational television series that premiered in 1999 and is among the world’s longest-running children’s animated shows, with over 3000 episodes under its belt.
Although it’s Chinese, it’s still widely considered to be an Anime, which is why I’ve included it in this list.
The Beijing Sunshine Happy Culture franchise has produced approximately 400 publications, an amusement park, and even sega video games. All of this has boosted the popularity of Blue Cat.
It first aired in 1969 and has only had to show reruns twice during that time, It has a mind-breaking 2500 episodes. No other series or Anime comes close to such a number.
Sazae-san’s episodes are broken into separate standalone parts. It’s yet again a wholesome slice-of-life family-oriented TV show that follows Mrs. Sazae as she lives at home with her husband, children, and parents. Many long-term fans accredit it to nostalgic glimpses of Japanese family life, which is why it’s so popular with the older generation.
|Written by||Machiko Hasegawa|
|Published by||Asahi Shimbun|
|Original run||22nd April 1946 – 21th Feb 1974|
|Volumes||68 (6,477 comic strips)|
Asahi Shimbun, etc.
- The Affectuous Family first aired 5-minute episodes in 1976, with new episodes airing on weekdays until the show was canceled in 1982.
- Many films and television shows have been influenced by folk tales, A great example would be Nippon Mukashi Banashi, whose entire plot and episodes are oriented around visualizing Japanese Folktales and culture.
- Anpanman is a big inspiration for the popular Anime One-Punch Man, which many fans enjoy today.
- Doraemon’s original run lasted over twenty-five years, which is why it has an astounding 1787 episodes in its original run.
- Ninja Boy Rantaro is significantly funny and aimed at children, with each episode lasting only 10 minutes. The show is still airing as of the present day and has accounted for over 2321 episodes, which will increase with every release.
- Mrs. Sazae is the world’s longest-running animated television series — The Simpsons pale in comparison. It first aired in 1969 and has only had to show reruns twice during that time.
Click here to view the visual Story version of this article.