Looking for the best long anime series to watch?
When someone hears the word anime the first few shows that come to their mind are Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, or probably Pokemon. The main reason is that these shows have been around for generations.
These shows keep coming up with fresh ideas and characters to keep them evergreen. However, not every anime meets the same fate. Some good anime do not even get more than one or two seasons.
It is always a source of disappointment when your favorite anime gets canceled after just one season. So, if you are looking for anime that have many seasons and an interesting storyline then don’t look further. We have compiled a list of the top 20 best long anime series to watch in 2021.
Long-running anime series have a lot of entertainment value. There are many long-running anime series, like the longest anime named Sazae-San. However, we are only going to focus on the ones that have a more serious narrative and can appeal to audiences of all ages.
So let’s begin our list.
20. Slam Dunk
Slam Dunk is a sports anime from the 90s and has more than 100 episodes. The story is about Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman at Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team because he has a crush on the team’s captain, Haruko.
The anime has a very youthful and hopeful feel to it. Slam Dunk is a rollercoaster of emotions where each character gets fleshed out properly. It is a fine blend of action, romance, drama, and comedy. Moreover, the anime’s story will keep you hooked from start to finish.
The best aspect of this show is definitely the character development of Sakuragi. The growth is subtle yet it doesn’t go unnoticed. If you are a fan of basketball then you should definitely check this anime out.
Reborn! (also known as Katekyo Hitman Reborn!) is an action-comedy anime that started airing in 2006 and ran for 4 years. It has over 200 episodes.
The story follows Tsunayoshi Sawada, a young kid who learns he is the true heir to the Vongola family, a strong Mafia organization. The Vongolas’ most formidable hitman, Reborn, a gun-toting baby, is dispatched to educate Tsuna on how to be a boss.
The anime may appear to be childish but it has a much serious undertone. The initial episodes can be quite slow, however, once the anime picks up its pace it never slows down. I can easily recommend this anime to any age group.
Food Wars is a comedy-drama anime that was first released in 2015 and is still ongoing. The story of this anime revolves around Soma Yukihira who enrolls at a prestigious culinary school in order to become a full-time chef and outperform his father’s culinary abilities.
The anime has over 80 episodes, spanning over 5 seasons. It is a very lighthearted and easy-to-watch anime. In addition to its sweet storytelling, the anime has amazing visuals that are sure to be a “treat” for your eyes.
Food Wars blends comedy and drama together perfectly. Even though the comedy may be crude at times, it will put a big smile on your face. In addition, the anime also has a beautiful soundtrack which enhances the overall experience.
Gintama is a sci-fi action anime series that consists of 200+ episodes. This long anime series has a lot to offer including great characters, good action sequences, and decent writing.
The anime is set in a time where aliens have invaded and conquered feudal Tokyo, and a jobless samurai named Gintoki alongside his gang is trying to make ends meet in any way he can.
Most anime lack an emotional connection within the characters, but Gintama does it very well. There’s also a good mix of humor and action, so you won’t be bored and feel monotonous while watching it. Also, this is possibly the highest-rated long anime series on this list.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (or simply Yu-Gi-Oh) is a very famous fantasy and action anime. I am sure many of us have either watched or at least heard of it. It aired in the early 2000s and teens and kids alike were crazy over it.
The story revolves around Yugi Moto who unlocks an Ancient Egyptian puzzle, releasing a dark and powerful alter ego. This alter-ego tends to help him and his allies whenever they feel threatened in Duel Monster Card Game.
This show does not do anything innovative or different. Some die-hard anime fans even consider it a disaster, however, it actually doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. The show is fun and entertaining. We get to see battles every episode which is enough to make our inner child happy.
Fairy Tail is another fantasy-action anime series on this list. It follows Natsu Dragneel, a member of the popular wizard guild called Fairy Tail. We follow his adventures as he seeks the dragon Igneel in the imaginary realm of Earth-land.
The show’s story sounds pretty basic but it actually spans over the length of more than 300 episodes. In addition to the episodes, there are some movies as well. It will surely keep you entertained for quite some time.
Fairy Tail’s biggest strength is its characters. The main cast includes Natsu, Ezra, Gray, Lucy, and Wendy. These characters are probably some of the most likable characters in anime.
Moreover, Fairy Tail manages to build momentum from season to season by utilizing the full potential of these characters.
Detective Conan is a very popular mystery anime. The story focuses on Conan Edogawa, a detective whose age was reversed and he is forever stuck inside a small kid’s body. We follow along his journey as he solves various crimes by using his intelligence and knowledge.
It is quite surprising that this anime started airing in the 90s and new episodes are still being produced. The show still manages to pull in a huge audience. It has entertained many generations.
The most remarkable element is that the creative team behind the show manages to craft new and interesting mysteries for our adorable Detective Conan. Among all the long-running anime on this list, Detective Conan is probably the most consistent one.
Black Clover is an action fantasy anime. Even though Black Clover was released in 2017, it already has more than a hundred episodes.
The show revolves around Asta and Yuno. They both were abandoned in childhood and had formed a strong bond. They have the same purpose in life; to become the next Wizard King of their country.
Black Clover’s story is genuinely good and fast-paced. It consists of loveable characters, an immersive world, and amazing action sequences. The series keeps getting better with each progressing episode. It is a must-watch if you love Shonen anime.
12. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is a sci-fi action anime. People have mixed feelings about this one but in reality, the anime is quite fun. In fact, when it comes to long anime series this one is probably the one that goes by the fastest.
SOA is set in the year 2022 when thousands of people are confined in a new virtual MMORPG, and Kirito, a lone wolf player, attempts to get out.
The show has more than 100 episodes. The highlight of the show is its fight sequences which are pretty well-done. The art style is quite beautiful as well. Overall, it is a good show and gets some unnecessary hate.
While we are on the topic of “zero to hero” storylines, we might as well discuss the ever-popular anime called My Hero Academia. It is a sci-fi action anime series
Its story focuses on a superhero-loving boy named Izuku Midoriya. He doesn’t have any powers but he is determined to enroll in a prestigious hero academy and learn what it really means to be a hero.
It currently has 88 episodes with more to come. My Hero Academia is a rollercoaster of emotions. It has well-written characters, thought-provoking storylines, and nail-biting action sequences.
Quality-wise, the show is amazing and is becoming increasingly popular with each season.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an action and comedy show. It is quite famous for its badass fight sequences. The story is divided among various arcs and spans over a few generations of the Joestar family. So it is quite a long anime show and will keep you hooked.
The anime follows the account of the Joestar family, who are born with unusual supernatural abilities, and the adventures that each member faces throughout their life. Every aspect of this show is enjoyable including the storyline, action, animation, and music.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s best aspect is the way it progresses its storyline. Every arc introduces a new protagonist that is much stronger than the prior one. It is a must-see for every anime fan.
Hunter x Hunter is an action-fantasy anime that revolves around Gon Freecss who strives to be a Hunter, a unique man worthy of greatness. His father left him when he was just an infant. He, alongside his friends, tries to find his father.
The overall look and feel of the show can appear to be quite childish at first, however as the story unfolds the whole anime takes quite a mature turn. All the fight scenes are quite intense and overwhelming.
It takes a realistic approach to the character development because as the anime progresses the characters tend to become more violent and over the edge. All in all, the show is great as it is not slow-paced, there´s more focus on the plot than fighting.
So Code Geass is probably the shortest anime on this list with just over 50 episodes. However, in addition to these 50 episodes, this anime series has a ton of spin-off shows and sequels. These shows make up a cinematic universe of their own and you will never be out of content.
Code Geass follows the exiled prince, Lelouch vi Britannia, who gets the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. He leads a revolt against the sovereignty of the Holy Britannian Empire, leading a series of mecha fights, using this supernatural power known as Geass.
These 50 episodes have some of the best storytelling. The show is a combination of sci-fi, action, and adventure. The visuals are beautiful alongside the loveable characters.
One Piece is part of the big three anime series. It follows the travels of Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew as they search for the largest treasure ever left by the famous pirate, Gol D Roger. The well-known mystery treasure is known as “One Piece”
The show is almost 22 years old. Its first episode aired in 1999 and many of us were probably toddlers at that time. Despite its age, the show has managed to keep its audience intact. The entire show is diverse and extremely entertaining.
One Piece is probably one of the most enjoyable long anime series with its unique characters and adventurous plotline.
Pokemon is probably the only franchise that has dominated every field of pop culture including TV, films, and video games. But its claim to fame was obviously the anime. It was probably a part of everyone’s childhood.
It follows Ash Ketchum, his yellow pet Pikachu, and his companions as they explore a world packed with strong pokémon.
The whole show is innocent and fun. People of all ages can come together and watch it. It also has a lot of nostalgic value. Everyone can just play any episode and enjoy it.
Bleach is also part of the “big three anime series”. It is a fantasy action series that has more than 300 episodes. It follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a ghost hunter who acquires soul reaper skills from Rukia Kuchiki and goes out to defend the world from the “Hollows”.
Bleach was every 90s teenager’s favorite show. It was edgy and had some of the most epic fight scenes. It holds a special place in the heart of many anime fans.
Even today, it is considered a classic. If you haven’t already seen it then you are missing out on a lot.
If you were to count all the episodes that Dragon Ball Z has in total you would at least require a whole day. Dragon Ball Z is another anime that has been around for generations. It keeps reinventing the stories and characters to keep up with the times.
The original Dragon Ball Z show has more than 200 episodes. The story revolves around Kakarot who is a super-Saiyan that was raised on Earth. He fights various threats to protect Earth.
Dragon Ball Z is full of eccentric characters and furthermore, it probably has the best fight scenes in any anime. By the looks of it, we can expect a few hundred more episodes of this epic show.
Attack On Titan is an action fantasy anime. It currently has 4 seasons with an upcoming final season. This anime series is a worldwide phenomenon.
Eren Jaeger, the protagonist of Attack On Titan, promises to rid the world of the huge humanoid Titans that have pushed mankind to the verge of extinction.
Like any other anime series, Attack On Titan is not perfect, however, it strives for greatness. Moreover, the writers aren’t afraid to take risks and they try to bring the full potential of the story. The show is shaping up to be a modern anime masterpiece.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is probably the shortest anime on this list with about 64 episodes. Plus, this adaptation should not be confused with the 2004 release. That was also a good adaptation but FMAB is considered superior.
The plot centers around two brothers who are on the lookout for a Philosopher’s Stone. However, an effort to resurrect their deceased mother goes astray, leaving them in physically damaged states.
This anime show is perfect for anyone new to the anime. It is so well-written and full of emotions. The pacing is incredible and the show will give you a burst of emotions. It is highly recommended.
You probably saw it coming. The most popular and fan-favorite anime in the big three. It is a must-see for every anime fan. Naruto is so popular that even if you haven’t watched the show itself you will still recognize the characters.
The show follows the life and struggle of Naruto Uzumaki as he tries to become the Hokage of his village. He is joined by various friends who also have the same purpose.
Naruto is the staple of the anime industry. It probably set the stage for many anime to come. It has two main series called Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden. When combined both of these shows will provide you with at least 700 episodes. So, you will never be out of content to watch.
Our Conclusion On Long Anime Series
To conclude, anime series are gradually becoming more and more popular. They have become a big part of the entertainment industry. We generally see a lot of their influence in western media as well.
With the decline of western animation, anime seems to be taking the lead. In addition, there is such a big catalog of anime available that there is something for everyone.
If you are thinking about starting your anime journey then you can hop on the bandwagon by watching any of these anime. They are readily available and easy to watch.
- Top 8 Good Live Action Anime Adaptations
- Our Top 19 Sad Anime Movies Of All Time
- Our Top 12 Best One Piece Arcs [Ranked]
- What Order To Watch Naruto