Anime series are enjoying worldwide attention, with the number of fans increasing by the day. Thanks to the fans, some anime have managed to run for a really long time. This Entertainism article speaks about the top longest-running anime series.
Did You Know?
As of today, Sazae-san is the longest-running anime and has won the Guinness World Record as the “Longest Running Anime TV Series” on September 5, 2013.
Anime has captivated audiences around the world. Owing to the wide popularity and a huge following, some anime television series have managed to have more than 1000 episodes.
This article speaks about the top longest-running anime, on the basis of the number of episodes. Not all of them are popular worldwide, and they’re not necessarily those typical magic and action-themed anime too. Let’s take a look at the top 10 longest-running anime of all time.
The Top 10
|Name of Television Series||Aired dates||Number of Episodes|
|Sazae-san||October 5, 1969 (Currently running)||More than 2250 episodes (each divided into 3 stories)|
|Oyako Club||October 03, 1994 to March 30, 2013||1818|
|Nintama Rantarō||April 10, 1993 (Currently Running)||1808|
|Doraemon (1979)||April 2, 1979 to March 18, 2005||1787|
|Kirin Monoshiri Yakata||January 1, 1975 to December 31st, 1979||1565|
|Ojarumaru / Prince Mackaroo||October 5th, 1998 (Currently running)||1478|
|Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi (1976)||January 7, 1976 to September 3, 1994||1471|
|Hoka Hoka Kazoku||April 2, 1979 to March 31, 1982||1428|
|Kirin Ashita no Calendar||January 1, 1980 to October 6, 1984||1306|
|Monoshiri Daigaku Ashita no Calendar||July 1, 1966 to August 2, 1970||1274|
Note: Some of the above-mentioned series are currently running. Therefore, the number of episodes will change over time.
Here are brief descriptions of some of the most popular and long-running anime series.
First Aired on – October 5, 1969
Number of episodes – More than 2250
Unlike the typical ones that have magic wands or robots fighting in spaceship wars, this series has a very simplistic outlook of everyday life that is described through the perspective of Sazae Fuguta, a housewife who juggles her domestic duties. The story has the backdrop of an urban Japanese city. Sazae’s family includes her husband, son, parents, and siblings. The story narrates her comic encounters with people in her life. It also portrays a feminist and radical thinking that makes her a strong character instead of a meek housewife. It is based on a comic strip by Machiko Sensei that featured in a newspaper in 1946.
Special Mention – It has won the Guinness World Record as the “Longest Running Anime TV Series” in September, 2013.
First Aired on – April 10, 1993 (Currently Running)
Number of episodes – 1808
This series focuses on three students who are ‘Nintama’ i.e., students who’re training to be Ninjas in an academy. Rantarou is a bespectacled boy with red hair, and his best friends are Shinbei and Kirimaru. As they begin their training, their troubles in learning and life start. The story also includes characters like Doi Hansuke, a teacher at their academy, and Yamada Denzou, who likes to disguise himself as a woman. This series has also been adapted into a movie.
Special Mention – The series has been adapted into a non-anime movie titled ‘Ninja Kids’. The three kids portraying the anime characters gained immense popularity.
First Aired on – April 2, 1979
Number of episodes – 1787
Nobita is a lazy boy who is good for nothing. Due to this, his future family ends up being poverty-stricken. As a solution, they send Doraemon, a blue-colored robot from the futuristic world which looks like a cat, to help Nobita change his lifestyle and attain a good social status. The series portrays the relationship between Doraemon and Nobita and how they end up making bizarre use of his gadgets. Nobita, with the help of Doraemon, tries to impress his childhood sweetheart Shizuka and ends up having many adventures in his hometown.
Special Mention – The robot ‘Doraemon’ was announced as Japan’s anime ambassador in March 2008 by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ojarumaru / Prince Mackaroo
Aired from – October 5, 1998 (still running)
Number of episodes – Over 1478
The protagonist ‘Ojarumaru’ is a Heian prince who time-travels to the present world and becomes friends with Kazuma and his family. Meanwhile, he also tries to combat demons from his era.
Special Mention – It won an Excellence Award at the Japan Arts Media Festival.
Detective Conan / Case Closed
Aired from – January 8, 1996 (still running)
Number of episodes – more than 762
An immensely popular show, this series revolves around Kudo Shinichi, a detective who was converted into a seven-year-old kid by some ruffians. He assumes a secret identity and continues with his detective work while in his attempt to track down the men who did this to him. This series has also been adapted into the Detective Conan Movie Series.
Special Mention – The original manga series and the movie adaptations won awards, and this television series has also enjoyed high viewer rankings.
Aired from – September 28, 1981 to December 25, 1987
Number of episodes – 694
The story portrays the ordinary life of Kenichi Mitsuba. It takes an interesting turn when a ninja named Hattori and his brother join Kenichi and help him through his problems.
Special Mention – Considering its popularity, a remake of the series was made in collaboration with an Indian company in 2013.
Aired from – October 20, 1999 (still running)
Number of episodes – more than 670
Monkey D. Luffy is an uncanny pirate, who is on the quest of finding the “One Piece”, a treasure known to be hidden by Pirate King Gold Roger. The series has been adapted into movie series, and there are mini-figures of One Piece characters and collectibles available in the market.
Special Mention – The movie won the Tokyo Anime Award of 2002 for the best music and as a notable entry.
Aired from – October 5, 2004 to March 27, 2012
Number of episodes – 366
Kurosaki Ichigo, the protagonist, has to assume the responsibility of a shinigami (God of Death), when the original shinigami Rukia protects him from a hollow and loses her powers.
Special Mention – The series has been nominated as a finalist for several awards such as best manga, best anime theme song, best actor and actress, etc., at the American Anime Awards for 2007. Considering the popularity, there are figures and collectibles of Bleach characters.
Aired from – October 3, 2002 to February 8, 2007
Number of episodes – 220
Naruto, is a ninja in Konohagakure, and much to his dismay, is dreaded and hated by the villagers, since the spirit of a fox-demon resides in him. However, he is on a journey to prove the villagers wrong and claim a normal life and the attention that he deserves.
Special mention – It has been nominated as a finalist for the best long series, best cast, etc., at the American Anime Awards for 2007.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are series such as Pokemon and Gundam series that are long-running and immensely popular.
The popularity of anime is growing, and there are many who pray that their favorite series should never end. If you have found your favorite series here, do let us know. And if you didn’t, do mention your choices in the comments section below.