There are an endless amount of anime to explore, and the medium continues to prove itself as one of the most exciting and free mediums of entertainment. One of the major reasons that anime experiences evergreen success is that it’s not a type of animation that can easily be defined and that there are so many eclectic genres.
Anime series come in infinite shapes and sizes, but a considerable hurdle that some audiences struggle to clear is that some of the best series have hundreds, if not thousands, of episodes. It can be satisfying to have so much content and character development to experience, but there is also no lack of anime that become needlessly daunting through their inflated episode counts.
10 Naruto: Shippuden Muddles Its Message With An Extended Middle Chapter
The ongoing Naruto saga has become an evergreen shonen staple and the titular hero is one of anime’s most recognizable characters. Naruto‘s legacy has endured for decades, so it should come as no surprise that Naruto’s courageous quests have accrued a staggering episode total.
Naruto: Shippuden, which chronicles Naruto’s more adult endeavors, has 500 episodes. This number is even higher when the 220 episodes of the preceding Naruto narrative are taken into consideration. Even the Shippuden sequel series, Boruto, has more than 200 episodes and continues to add bloat to the franchise.
9 Bleach’s Many Episodes Steer The Engrossing Saga Off Course
Tite Kubo’s Bleach held the prestigious title of one of Shonen Jump’s “Big Three” of the early 2000s. Unfortunately, meandering filler episodes pushed the anime increasingly further away from its manga’s roots and led to an inflated episode total and a premature cancellation.
Ichigo Kurosaki has all the makings of a classic shonen protagonist and the journey that he experiences as he refines his powers and exorcises evils is consistently inspirational. Bleach is still thrilling when it’s distilled down to its highlights and character accomplishments, but at 366 episodes, it’s not efficient with its time and becomes a serious chore to watch.
8 Fairy Tail Takes Too Long To Push Its Fantasy Tropes To New Places
Fairy Tail chronicles the epic fantasy adventures of Natsu and the rest of the Fairy Tail Guild. Over time, Fairy Tail has matured into one of the more satisfying action-fantasy shonen blends. Fairy Tail spends a believable amount of time on the growing maturity of its hero, Natsu, which is too laborious of a process for some audiences to bear.
A lot of people don’t reach Fairy Tail‘s end because Natsu is too abrasive at the start. There are more than 300 episodes of Fairy Tail, but with a sequel series on the way, it means that this hefty total becomes part of a greater whole instead of the full story.
7 Dragon Ball Z Is The Franchise’s Apex Of Filler & Padded Battles
Collectively, there are close to 650 episodes between the various Dragon Ball series. Dragon Ball Z is the most popular installment of the franchise and it’s also the longest at nearly 300 episodes. The series is loaded with extraneous filler that can test the audience’s patience and stretch out battles beyond all recognition.
Dragon Ball Z is nostalgic comfort food that’s still worth the watch. However, the fact that Dragon Ball Z Kai can eliminate more than 100 episodes from the original series without consequence is proof of Dragon Ball Z‘s padded narrative.
6 Ninja Hattori-Kun Is Almost 700 Episodes Of Ninja Nonsense
Ninja Hattori-kun is a playful blend of slice-of-life silliness and shonen martial arts that was a staple through the 1980s. With close to 700 episodes, it’s not easy to finish all of Ninja Hattori-kun (although the ten-minute length of episodes certainly helps).
The anime keeps things rather loose and most episodes find comedic conflict in the gregarious ninja, Hattori, who buddies up with Kenichi Sanyo and attempts to experience everyday life. Ninja Hattori-kun skews towards younger audiences and is easy to watch, but it could definitely be more concise.
5 Pokémon Continues To Repeat The Hits For More Than 1000 Episodes
The totemic Pokémon has its roots in the video game industry, but it’s made just as big of a mark as an anime that’s been running for more than 35 years. Pokémon‘s anime continues to shift and evolve in order to feature the video games’ latest changes, but the various anime all tell the continued saga of Ash and his Pikachu as they slowly become Pokémon Masters.
There are well over 1000 episodes of Pokémon and nearly two-dozen feature films on top of that. The serialized tournament battles are compelling, but Pokémon is largely episodic and hundreds of its installments could be lost without consequence.
4 Detective Conan Should Consider Retirement After More Than 1000 Cases
Detective Conan, otherwise known as Case Closed, has been a steady mysterious-action staple since the 1990s and there are currently more than 1000 episodes, as well as a number of movies, spin-offs, and crossover projects. The inventive detective series has a surprisingly high level of quality for a show that’s been around for so long.
It’s also rare that the cases in Detective Conan feel compromised or that they’re just going through the motions. That being said, the lack of a grander story arc holds back Detective Conan and the largely inconsequential nature of many of Shinichi’s missions makes the high number of episodes feel bloated.
3 Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Stretches Out Its Story & Sets A Lazy Precedent
Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of Pokémon‘s many monster battle contemporaries. There are still various Yu-Gi-Oh! anime being made, but it’s curious how the franchise’s greatest impact remains as a trading card game. The original Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series has over 200 episodes, which isn’t terrible, but it’s more intimidating when combined with the 180 episodes of the popular Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
While GX feels like it doesn’t waste its time, Duel Monsters is a slower process before it finds its footing. Yu-Gi-Oh! is at its best when it enters its final arc, but it also feels like it could be reached in a fraction of the time.
2 Doraemon’s Surreal Silliness Can’t Stop Itself From Continuing
The lovable robotic feline Doraemon is an inescapable anime figure who’s kept children entertained for more than 25 years. More than 1700 episodes of Doraemon were produced, but the character remains relevant even now with steady feature films.
Doraemon doesn’t get too lost in a cumbersome story and instead just has fun with how its displaced cat robot from the future uses a myriad of odd technology to get out of harm’s way. Denying Doraemon‘s lovable energy is difficult, but it’s still easy to get worn out by the number of episodes. Pacing is key for Doraemon, or the anime’s repetitive nature becomes more apparent.
1 More Than 1000 One Piece Logs Turn This Pirate Quest Into A Hunt For Precious Free Time
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is one of this generation’s greatest anime accomplishments. The series has accumulated more than 1000 episodes with still no end in sight. The hurdles that One Piece faces are endemic to any long-running shonen series that needs to concurrently adapt an ongoing manga. One Piece is heavy in filler as a result, but it does a commendable job in this department.
Most One Piece fans also agree that the series’ strongest episodes are in its second half. At the same time, there’s still no getting around the daunting episode total and there are plenty of “cheat lists” on how to efficiently navigate through the anime’s essential episodes.
NEXT: 10 Comedy Anime That Only Get Good After A Few Episodes