If you’re a fan of anime, then you’re more than likely familiar with the major titles that have been produced throughout history. You may even go so far as to claim your mastery of anime and insist that you’ve seen every worthwhile show. You could be a true anime lover and know not just the popular titles that have been released, but also recognize the long-runners as well. If you’re looking for proof of your expertise, then this is the article for you! Here’s a look at some of the longest anime series in history.
1. Hokuto no Ken
The classic tale of Kenshiro and his many struggles throughout post-apocalyptic Earth has had a long journey with over 100 different episodes on numerous networks. It first began its run on Fuji TV on October 11 , 1984 until March 5 , 1987 , spanning 60 episodes. Later on September 16 , 2002 to February 15 , 2003 it continued on TV Tokyo with another 42 more episodes. Although there were three different releases of Hokuto no Ken , each one had a span of roughly the same number of episodes.
2. Dragon Ball Z
To this day, Dragon Ball Z is still one of the most popular anime series to ever be released. Dragon Ball Z: Revival of “F” is a fan-favorite continuation of the series that takes place immediately after Goku and friends defend Earth from otherworldly threats. The long-running show began its start on Fuji TV on April 26 , 1989 until January 31 , 1996 , spanning 291 episodes over the course of nine years! The sequel series, Dragon Ball GT spanned 64 episodes starting on February 7 , 1996 until November 19 , 1997 . Both shows were incredibly successful (DBZ was even screened in U.S. theatres) and created two more movies that continued where each show left off.
Running an impressive 96 episodes, Saz-San is one of Japan ‘s longest running children’s anime series. Based off of the manga by Ikki Kajiwara , each episode features a new short story involving heroic action. The show was originally aired on TV Tokyo from April 7 , 1980 until March 30 , 1984 . Many young viewers enjoy rewatching Saz-San and it is still frequently shown in Japan after all these years.
4. Naruto Shippuden
Naruto Shippuden is the continuation of the famous original series, Naruto . The first episode premiered on February 15 , 2007 and as of March 29 , 2016 there have been a total of 500 episodes. This makes it one of Japan’s longest running anime that is still currently airing. There are many other episodes in production at this time that will continue to expand the adventure.
5. One Piece
Another popular anime show based off a manga by Eiichiro Oda , One Piece is set in a world where pirates rule the seas. The show focuses around Luffy and his friends as they search for treasure and take part in epic battles against other pirates trying to steal their gold. It was originally aired on Fuji TV on October 20 , 1999 until August 5 , 2003 with only 61 episodes. However, the show was so popular that it later started airing on Yomiuri TV where it continues to this day. Since 2004, One Piece has been running with an impressive total of 710 episodes as of March 2015.
6. Detective Conan
Detective Conan is based off of the manga by Gosho Aoyama and features Shinichi Kudo who got shrunken into a seven-year old child after he drank an experimental medicine to prevent an undercover organization from hurting his friends. Although the first episode premiered in 1996 , the show only had 23 episodes over one year. As time went on, more episodes were created and Detective Conan currently has a total of 828 episodes as of March 2015 . There are even more in production at this time that will continue to expand the original story.
Asari-chan is an anime series about a cute and popular water sprite named Asari. She comes from another world and befriends a child named Mihoshi who lives on Earth. The first episode premiered on April 17 , 1991 and had only 26 episodes over the course of two years before it ended. However, almost two decades later in January 2014 , Asari-chan began airing again with three separate seasons for a total of 31 episodes so far! It is considered one Japan’s longest running anime that is still within living memory.
Beyblade was originally released by Takara Tomy in 1999 and has seen many different incarnations since then, making it one of Japan’s longest running anime series. It features young boys who battle with spinning tops that are used to compete in regional tournaments. The original series had 64 episodes that aired on TV Tokyo from January 11 , 2001 until December 23 , 2001 . Many sequels followed, including the most recent Gekitou! Saikyou Blade that began airing on April 6 , 2016 and is still ongoing as of this writing. Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters: Dinosaur Great Battle! Farewell Our Eternal Friends also falls under the Beyblade universe and includes special appearances by characters from the original series.
9. Dokonjou Gaeru
Although it’s come close to surpassing One Piece ‘s total episode count, there are currently only 857 episodes of Dokonjou Gaeru (a.k.a., Thum-Bo ). The story follows two poor brothers named Ken and Ryu who go to school hungry every day and must find ways to get ahead in life. It was created by Tetsuya Chiba and began airing on Fuji TV on April 11 , 1972 . Even after all these years, it is still one of Japan’s longest running anime shows ever! Several movie versions have also been released; however, they follow a slightly different story than the TV episodes.
10. Crayon Shin-chan
Based on a manga drawn by Yoshito Usui, Crayon Shin-chan is about a five-year-old boy and his daily life with his parents and baby sister Himawari in their family home in Kasukabe. Shin-chan is often seen getting into trouble and pulling pranks, but there are times when he does kind things for others too. The anime series was created by several animation studios, including Studio Comet, Dynamic Planning, Eiken , Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment, Toho, Sunrise, Yomiko Advertising, and VAP. It first premiered on TV Tokyo on February 13, 1992, where it still runs today with a total of 893 episodes and counting.
You may learn more about these and other long-running anime shows by visiting us at DNBE Gallery. Thank you for your time, and please feel free to leave any comments or queries below! I hope this post was useful.