With many animated series, it might not be easy to let something go, especially if it’s one you love. Our friends overseas may think the same way as well, because of some anime never-ending. We don’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t end, we mean they don’t end. From anime you’ve likely never heard of to those that have done poorly in the US, we will look at a few. They may be a rehash of the same through each episode, or otherwise might change their formula. For some reason, these are still in production and going strong. So, there must be an audience for them. Let’s take a quick look at some long running anime still in production!
Let’s first look at their manga!
Sazae-San is a manga that had a publication of 45 volumes, yet they were all in book form as comic strips. Written and illustrated by Machiko Hasegawa, each volume focused around Sazae who broke free of her stereotypes. Instead of her doing all the work and the husband running the household, the opposite was true. It was a much simple time, so it often involved simple storytelling. The final volume even having referenced a line about simple things in life bringing happiness.
Rakudai Ninja Rantaro is another manga that grew into an anime adaptation, written and illustrated by Sobe Amako. Currently sitting at 63 volumes, all current and future manga is being published twice a year. It’s still being produced alongside the anime since the first illustration was made in 1986. The main character of the story, Rantaro, is wanting to train to become an elite ninja, so he goes to school. While it may sound dull and boring, it’s not. There are both accurate facts that play into everything, as well as some fun liberties taken. There are fourth wall jokes and modern-day tech showing up within the world, which is set at the end of the Muromachi Period (1573). It’s all done to great comedic effect.
Long Running Anime? They can be quite large in scale…
Currently the Guinness World Record holder for the longest running animated television series in the world stands with Sazae-San. With an impressive 7500+ episodes, there is no comparison. Each episode contains some animation of the comic strip. After 1991, the end credits had added a brief game of Janken (rock-paper-scissors) that Sazae plays with the viewers. It makes for a fun addition to each episode. There was also no merchandise or tapes made of the show, as per Hasegawa’s wishes that continue to be honored, even after her death. So, finding any traces of the anime prior to VCR is all but impossible, while even VCR-recorded copies are difficult to find.
While that may just be one in the series of long running anime, there are still many others still going strong. Another down the line being Nintama Rantaro, which is currently sitting at almost 2,100 and climbing. This is just the second-place holder to Sazae-San. That’s not even half the production of Sazae-San; however, it is still just as popular in Japan. Unlike Sazae-San, this long running anime has capitalized, producing films, video games, and plenty of merchandise. 25 series so far in the long running anime with no current endgame in sight. There’s no slowing down, but it does have plenty of other competitors around the corner. Speaking of which…
Which anime are also up there in scale?
Some long running anime still in production include Ojarumaru, Soreike! Anpanman, and my personal favorite, Detective Conan. Each one either being over or are close to reaching a thousand episodes. Even if the plot may remain similar or the same throughout, with the same running gags, they’re still very enjoyable to watch! They continue to pull in numbers, sell countless merchandise, and at least one has made turned into a tourist attraction.
When Gosho Aoyama had created the series Detective Conan (Case Closed in the west), there was no doubt it would be a hit. However, it was greater than expected. The manga series was published in 1994, while the anime was first broadcast in 1996. In order to throw out almost a thousand episodes in such a short time period to almost critical acclaim takes a lot of talent. Either that, or a very popular and yet very niche genre. While detective films and TV shows aren’t so niche as they have been popular, it’s easy to see why this show can strike a chord. Some criticize the series for using the same plot device, but it’s often a minor annoyance.
While Detective Conan is up there in sales, and certainly as a long running anime, One Piece is just as lucrative, if not more-so. One Piece manga sales are nearly $500 million currently, while Detective Conan is nearly half that. The opposite is true in film sales though, with Detective Conan producing 23 films to One Piece’s 13 so far. Personally, even though not historically correct, I would love to see a One Piece and Detective Conan crossover! That is, if it hasn’t happened already…
Check out my other article on Rare Anime DVDs!
Also, where I was given my facts!