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10 Longest Running Anime Series Ever – Anime With The Most Episodes

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Sazae-san – 2,640+ episodes

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Sazae-san. Image credits.

Sazae-san is the longest-running animated TV show ever and has the most episodes (over 2,640 episodes). It started airing on October 5th, 1969 and has only shown reruns twice.

Like Doraemon, Mrs. Sazae’s episodes are divided into parts, each with three stories. Sazae-san revolves around the everyday life of Sazae Fuguta, a Japanese housewife, and her family, highlighting the essence of traditional values. The show evokes a sense of nostalgia, transporting viewers to a bygone era of simplicity and tranquility in Japan.

  • Started Airing: October 5, 1969
  • Finished broadcasting: Currently in production
  • Total No. of Episodes: 2,640+
  • Genre: Slice of Life
  • Publisher: Asahi Shimbun

While some sources say there are over 7,700 episodes, Sazae San achieved the 2,200th broadcast (episode) in 2013, and following the publisher’s production schedule, producing 7,700 episodes is impossible in the given time frame.

Nintama Rantarō – 2,320+ episodes

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Nintama Rantarou. Image credits.

Nintama Rantarou’s story takes place in the Sengoku Period and follows Rantarou, Kirimaru, and Shinbei, three young students at Ninjutsu Academy. They dream of becoming ninjas and attending a school where they learn various skills.

The students are known as “Nintamas,” a term combining ninja and tama (egg). Unfortunately, they often struggle and fail their classes. The academy has strict teachers like Doi-sensei and Yamada-sensei, and there are mischievous girls in the Kunoichi class, pirates, and many other interesting characters.

The show is hilarious and made for kids. Each episode is only ten minutes long. The show is still being shown on TV, so they keep making more episodes. In April 2023, Ninja Boy Rantaro will start its 31st season, and it doesn’t seem like they will stop making new episodes anytime soon.

  • Started Airing: April 10, 1993
  • Finished broadcasting: Currently in production
  • Total No. of Episodes: 2,320+
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Studio: Ajia-do Animation Works

Ojarumaru – 1,940+ episodes

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Ojarumaru. Image credits.

A long time ago, in a place called Heian-cho’s Yosei-kai, there was a fairy named Ojarumaru Sakanoue. One day, he found a special item called Enma-daio’s shaku. He ran away from someone called Enma-daio and fell into a hole called Tsuki no Ana, which took him to a new place called Gekko-cho.

Ojarumaru liked Gekko-cho and decided to live with a kid named Kazuma. The Kooni Trio came to retrieve the shaku, and the town’s eccentric people also got involved, causing lively and enjoyable adventures.

The series started airing on NHK E-Tele in October 1998. It is the second longest-running anime on NHK, with only Nintama Rantaro being longer. Overall, it is currently the third longest-running anime series.

  • Started Airing: October 5, 1998
  • Finished broadcasting: Currently in production
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,940+
  • Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, and Slice of life
  • Studio: Gallop

Oyako Club – 1,818 episodes

Oyako Club, which means “Parent and Child Club,” is a popular family sitcom that was shown on TV in Japan from 1994 to 2013. It ran for almost 20 years without a break, making it one of the longest-running anime shows ever.

  • Started Airing: October 3, 1994
  • Finished broadcasting: March 30, 2013
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,818
  • Genre: Comedy and Slice of life
  • Studio: Eiken

Doraemon – 1,787+ episodes

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Doraemon. Image credits.

Many people in the West may not be familiar with most of the anime on this list. However, Doraemon is probably the most well-known show among them. It even had a video game released in 2022.

The Doraemon anime has been airing for a long time. Its longest run started in 1979 and ended in 2005, with 1787 episodes.

The story Is about a lazy fourth grader named Nobita Nobi and his adventures with a robot cat called Doraemon. Doraemon is a blue robot that comes from the future to help Nobita. His mission is to prevent Nobita from making mistakes that could result in a bad future.

  • Started Airing: April 2, 1979
  • Finished broadcasting: March 18, 2005
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,787
  • Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, and Slice of life
  • Studio: Shin-Ei Animation and Asatsu-DK

Soreike! Anpanman – 1,570+ episodes

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Soreike! Anpanman. Image credits.

Sore Ike! Anpanman is an anime series that started on October 3, 1988 and is still running today. It has more than 1,500 episodes, each lasting 24 minutes.

The show is loved by children and is famous for its comedy. The main character is Anpanman, a superhero with a head shaped like a bread called anpan, which has red bean paste inside. Anpanman goes on adventures and fights against his main enemy. In Japan, the show has become incredibly popular, leading to a lot of merchandise like toys, clothes, and snacks.

Anpanman has even influenced other anime series like One-Punch Man and was mentioned in a song by the K-pop group BTS called “Anpanman.”

  • Started Airing: October 3, 1988
  • Finished broadcasting: Currently in production
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,570+
  • Genre: Comedy and Super-hero
  • Publisher: Froebel-kan

Kirin no Monoshiri Yakata – 1,565 episodes

Kirin no Monoshiri Yakata, also known as “The Giraffe’s Knowledge Mansion.” This anime is based on a Japanese children’s book of the same name and was produced by Nippon Animation. The show follows a giraffe who lives in a mansion filled with knowledge and is always eager to learn new things.

The show’s educational and informative nature makes it a popular choice for young children in Japan. It is also notable for its use of stop-motion animation, which is a technique that involves manipulating physical objects to create the illusion of movement.

The show was aired on MBS TV and TBS TV from January 1975 to December 31, 1979. The show had a remarkable run with a total of 1,560 episodes till now.

  • Started Airing: January 1, 1975
  • Finished broadcasting: December 31, 1979
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,565
  • Genre: Educational and Comedy
  • Studio: Nippon Animation

Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi – 1,494 episodes

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Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi. Image credits.

Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi, also known as “Japanese Folklore Tales,” stands as one of Japan’s enduring anime series, boasting remarkable longevity. With each episode, viewers are treated to a distinct Japanese folk tale, offering a diverse array of narratives.

It consists of 1,494 episodes. Each episode lasts for 25 minutes. The show originally aired in Japan from January 7, 1976, to September 3, 1994, making it one of the country’s longest-running anime series.

  • Started Airing: January 7, 1975
  • Finished broadcasting: January 2, 1995
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,494
  • Genre: Adventure, fantasy, drama, romance, thriller, biopic
  • Studio: Dax International with Madhouse

Hoka Hoka Kazoku – 1,428 episodes

“Hoka Hoka Kazoku” is a delightful anime that portrays the everyday experiences of a contemporary Japanese family. Rather than adhering to a rigid storyline, this series focuses on providing educational insights within the slice-of-life genre. Through its engaging episodes, viewers gain a deeper understanding of various aspects of Japanese culture and daily life.

It was shown on Fuji TV Network in Japan from October 1, 1976, to March 31, 1982. The series had a total of 1,428 episodes, and each episode was only five minutes long.

  • Started Airing: October 1, 1976
  • Finished broadcasting: March 31, 1982
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,428
  • Genre: Educational, Slice of life
  • Studio: Eiken

Chibi Maruko-chan – 1,330+ episodes

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Chibi Maruko-chan. Image credits.

Chibi Maruko-chan, which is also called “Little Maruko-chan” in English, is one of the anime shows that have been on the air for a really long time. In fact, it’s the tenth longest-running anime series. It originated from a shoujo manga series that shares the same title. Shoujo manga refers to Japanese comics primarily aimed at teenage girls.

Following the typical conventions of shoujo manga, the series revolves around the adventures of a mischievous young girl as she navigates her everyday life in suburban Japan. The show has been on the air for 27 years and has aired over 1,300 episodes so far.

  • Started Airing: January 8, 1995
  • Finished broadcasting: Currently in production
  • Total No. of Episodes: 1,330+
  • Genre: Slice of life
  • Publisher: Shueisha

Feature image credits.

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Okuha

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I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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