While it can be amazing to watch an entire show in a single day, many anime fans want a series they can truly sink their teeth into. Long-running series have the potential to allow viewers to connect with the characters in deeper ways making every emotional moment hit harder than with other shows.
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With shows like One Piece and Naruto on the scene with hundreds of episodes, it can be a shock to fans to realizes these aren’t even remotely the longest-running series of all time. Some series have spanned across thousands of episodes and are still airing new ones to this day.
10 The Affectuous Family (Hoka Hoka Kazoku) – 1428 Episodes
The Affectuous Family began airing its 5-minute episodes back in 1976 with new episodes airing on weekdays until it ended in 1982. Sponsored by the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, the series never had an overarching plot. It instead focused on slice-of-life stories combined with educational content.
9 Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi – 1494 Episodes
Folk tales have inspired many movies and shows but none more than Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi. Legendary anime director Gisaburo Sugii helped lead the series, making the decision to switch between different animators between episodes to keep the series looking fresh. This helped it stand out and last far longer than many other anime that tried to take similar approaches in telling folk tales.
8 Soreike! Anpanman, Go! (Soreike! Anpanman) – 1525 Episodes
In terms of superhero origin stories, a sweet roll bean jam filling fighting crime isn’t something most viewers might expect. Still, this anime based on a long-running children’s novel series by Takashi Yanase is beloved amongst viewers spanning generations in Japan.
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The show originally began airing in 1988 and has inspired countless spinoffs, side stories, and movies. Anpanman is also a major inspiration to the highly acclaimed anime One Punch Man many fans enjoy today.
7 Kirin Monoshiri Yakata – 1565 Episodes
This children’s educational program featured a cat named Cathy and trying to get along with a mouse while teaching history to children. It aired originally from 1975 to 1984. Sadly, Kirin Monoshiri Yakata is currently considered lost media with only two episodes archived anywhere online. For a show with so much to offer, it’s sad to see so little available to watch.
6 Doraemon (1979) – 1787 Episodes
The original run of Doraemon ran for over twenty-five years which accounts for it having so many episodes. The story follows the adventures of Nobita and the titular robot Doraemon as he tries to guide his young ward to make better choices so his descendants in the future won’t live in poverty.
Doraemon’s four-dimensional pocket leads to many odd and endearing scenarios as just about anything can appear from it. The show was so popular it got a reboot of sorts, following the story of the original anime but with a new animation style and other changes.
5 Oyako Club – 1818 Episodes
This slice-of-life classic follows two aliens, Rompa and Lun, as they join a family on earth. This results in plenty of hilarious moments as well as some heartwarming interactions between the characters. It’s a classic fish out of water story that’s meant to be light and enjoyable with each episode only lasting a brief five minutes.
4 Prince Mackaroo (Ojarumaru) – 1857 Episodes
Time travel is a classic trope in shows, and Prince Mackaroo uses it well. A young noble named Ojarumaru manages to transport himself into the present era from over 1000 years in the past using a magical stick from the demon king Enma. He becomes friends with a young boy named Kazuma and joins his family in the future.
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The stick he uses was actually stolen by three demons who keep trying to steal it back from him, resulting in many fun antics throughout the series. The show is still ongoing meaning fans will get to see Ojarumaru’s adventures in the future for a while into the future.
3 Ninja Boy Rantaro (Nintama Rantarō) – 2245 Episodes
Long before the era of Naruto or Boruto, Ninja Boy Rantaro was the ninja series to catch on television screens. It began airing back in 1993 and follows three ninja apprentices — Rantarou, Shinbei, and Kirimaru — as they try to learn everything they need to know about how to be ninjas.
The show is far more comedic and aimed at kids, with each episode only lasting ten minutes apiece. The show is still airing to this day meaning the episode count is sure to continue rising with time.
2 3000 Whys Of Blue Cat (Lan Mao) – 3057 Episodes
Lan Mao, also known as Blue Cat, is Chinese educational series that first premiered back in 1999 and is among the longest-running children’s shows of all time. Produced by Beijing Sunchime Happy Culture Company, the series has inspired over 400 books, a theme park, and even video games designed by Sega.
The series has covered multiple seasons with themes from learning about dinosaurs to fire safety. An English version of the series was once in production but was eventually canceled due to lack of interest.
1 Mrs. Sazae (Sazae-San) – 7,332+ Episodes
Mrs. Sazae is the longest-running animated television series in the world — The Simpsons have nothing on this show. It began airing back in 1969 and has only ever had to show reruns twice during that tenure. The show is simple, following Mrs. Sazae as she lives in her home with her husband, kids, and parents. It is currently a more nostalgic look at Japanese family life that many fans still continue to enjoy.
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About The Author
(214 Articles Published)
Linnea Capps is an award-winning author and poet who has worked writing within the gaming industry for over ten years. They have worked for esports teams, hold speedrun world records, and now writes about their favorite games and anime for Game Rant.
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