5 Best Anime TV Shows with 100 Episodes +
Number of Episodes: 800 +
Case Closed: Season 1
5) Detective Conan (Case Closed) (Police, Thriller, Comedy)
In an article honouring anime shows that never seem to end, it seems fitting to begin with the detective show that has hit the 800 episode mark: Detective Conan (Case Closed). Based on a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama, Detective Conan is published by TMS Entertainment and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.
Detective Conan is the 15th! longest running anime series of all time. 800 episodes and it does not even crack the top 10. Sazae-san with over 7000 episode is currently (and will always be) the longest running series and considering its been on the air for over 40 years, I doubt any anime will ever reach it.
Saying that, Detective Conan is a bit more ambitious than a comedy short series. There is an intricate plot that, still, somehow makes sense all these years later (the show just reached its 20 year landmark on the 8th of January). More importantly, the characters are interesting and hold a sense of mystery that most shows can not even begin to match.
Plot: Jimmy Kudo is a high school detective genius who occasionally helps the police solve a case or two. He is attacked by a mysterious organization during one case and forced to ingest a poison, which turns him into a kid instead of killing him. He builds a persona around the kid and tags along with a private investigator named Richard. Whenever Conan is about to solve a crime, he puts Richard to sleep and impersonates his voice to provide the required information.
Detective Conan is addictive. The whodunits are well thought out and they remain interesting throughout the shows run. It is also a series that is easy to just jump into. The overall plot is present but rarely the central focus of the show. It is more about these characters and the people they help.
Number of Episodes: 700 +
4) One Piece (Action, Comedy, Adventure)
Lets set a bit of context on why One Piece made the cut: Recently a make shift comic con was put together in Malta, the country I hail from. It mostly consisted of Western products with toys from franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and all the Marvel and DC stuff. Anime was not represented all that much, except for two series:
Dragon Ball and One Piece.
One Piece: Film Z (Arguably the strongest stand alone movie)
Dragon Ball is huge in Malta. The series was everywhere in the late 90s and early 2000s. If you were born in the 1990s in Malta, Goku is a name that would strike a chord.
At this comic con, One Piece stood toe to toe with the biggest anime franchise the world has ever seen. It has transcended the boundaries often associated with anime and firmly implemented itself in the pop cultural consciousness of the Western World.
Moving beyond the impact the series has had, One Piece has aired well over 700 episodes and is still going strong. No other series has a cast quite as diverse, interesting and well developed as One Piece. Based on the manga Eiichiro Oda, the story centres around one young pirate named Luffy as he sets on a quest to discover a lost pirate treasure that holds the key to being crowned king of the pirates. Along the way, he meets countless of highly talented individual that form part of his crew (Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Robin, Usopp, Brook, Chopper and Franky).
The basic plot might sound rather trivial, but One Piece becomes about a lot more than just some lost treasure. At its heart, it is a series about friendship and how far one is willing to go to protect those that he loves.
One Piece is a show close to my heart and I would recommend it easily for anybody looking for a fun action adventure anime. Saying that, the pacing can be off, at times, with arcs tending to drag in the middle portion (especially in the last 300 episodes). The quality of the writing is still strong, the characters always deliver and the fights are quite impressive: Just once in awhile they take a bit too long to get there.
Number of Episodes: 127
Hajime No Ippo: Rising
3) Hajime No Ippo (Sports, Boxing, Comedy)
Have you ever watched any good sports movie/series? Then you probably know if you have seen one then you have a good idea of what the others are going to be like.
Hajime No Ippo is no different: A passionate underdog that nobody believes in challenges the world, usually with a fight against the champion as the climax.
Fans of boxing SHOULD definitely watch Hajime No Ippo. It is the best series released (not just anime) on the subject (yes, even better than the Rocky franchise). Based on the manga by George Morikawa, there have been three seasons released of Hajime No Ippo: The original series (2000 - 2002), New Challenger (2009) and Rising (2013 - 2014). All three seasons have been produced by Madhouse, the kings of anime.
Ippo Makunouchi is an extremely shy high school student with no friends to speak of. He spends his free time helping his mother run the family fishing carter business (which results in Ippo always smelling like fish).
Due to his personality, Ippo started to be bullied by a group of three thugs. One day, as he was walking home, he runs into a professional boxer named Takamura who introduces Ippo to the world of boxing.
This strange encounter sends Ippo on a journey of self discovery and growth, one filled with intense boxing matches and a lot of hilarious moments with the other members of the Kamogawa Gym.
There are two reasons to watch this show: The brilliantly put together boxing matches and the hilarity that is the Takamura character. Hajime No Ippo features character development that is, honestly, second to none (the relationship between Ippo and his bullies is especially touching). Like most long running sport shows: There is a sense of predictability to most of the matches (especially when Ippo is involved), but it does not take away from the enjoyment of the series.
Number of Episodes: 148
Hunter x Hunter
2) Hunter x Hunter (Action, Thriller)
Hunter x Hunter is an anime that I can go on and on about. Despite lasting for 148 episodes (not mentioning the original 1999 series that ran for 62 episodes), there never is enough to watch of this fantastically written show. Yoshihiro Togashi is the mastermind behind the manga, but he does take his time to release a volume (only 32 have been published since 1998), so the anime has a tendency to stop and start.
In 2011, Madhouse brought Hunter x Hunter back and re-told the story from the beginning: It follows the adventures of Gon Freecs, a young boy who discovers that his father is a world-renowned hunter, a profession specializing in fantastical pursuits such as locating rare creatures or investigate hidden dungeons.
Gon decides to follow in his father's footsteps and takes the Hunter Exam, were he meets three interesting individuals with their own personal agendas: Killua (a member of an infamous family of assassins), Leorio (needs to money gained by having a Hunter's license to join medical school) and Kurapika (the last remaining member of his clan who seeks vengeance).
Hunter x Hunter is an easy recommendation for fans of the big three anime series: One Piece, Bleach and Naruto. It features powerful heroes taking on even stronger enemies with the sake of the world on the line. This is a formula that never fails: How can you not be invested when characters you love are putting their lives on the line for the sake of humanity in general?
Well, Hunter x Hunter has all that PLUS actual surprises. Gon rarely saves the day (because he is far from the strongest hunter around) and although the world is constantly on the line, saving it can require harsh sacrifices that are not fixed with a wish granted by a magical dragon. This is the grown up version of those series (not bashing them, clearly I am a fan of One Piece).
Number of Episodes: 300+
Gintama: The Movie
1) Gintama (Comedy, Action, Parody)
Any day were I get the opportunity to talk about Gintama is a good day in my book. Set in Edo (former name for Tokyo) which has been conquered by aliens named Amanto, the series follows the wacky adventures of the Odd Jobs crew: A freelance group that are willing to do anything, as long as they are paid.
Led by fallen samurai Gintoki Sakata, who he is joined by the female protagonist of the series Kagura, an alien who belongs to the strongest clan in the galaxy, and Shinpachi, a pair of glasses, they grudgingly help people while parodying every other anime that has ever seen the light of day.
Gintama can be hard to crack, at times. References fly at the viewer from every angle imaginable and the culture barrier can make it hard to follow. Saying that, Gintama is the best comedy show I have ever watched. Including classics like Seinfeld, Only Fools and Horses, Friends and Parks and Recreation.
There is no other show out there with a cast as extensive and impressive as Gintama: There over 40 recurring characters, who all have been given sufficient time, by this point, that they feel almost like close friends to the audience.
Although Gintama is primarily a comedy show, it does, occasionally, throw a few gut punches the viewers way. Whenever a serious arc commences (usually 3-7 episodes long), nothing is held back. The fights are bloody, the danger real and the consequences ever lasting. This is the only series I know that can be the best comedy and drama on TV within the span of a week.
If there is one down side to the show is the first 24 episodes. They are crucial to the enjoyment of the series, since they introduce the huge cast, but they do lack a bit of polish compared to the later stuff. Once episode 25 is reached, then Gintama goes from decent to gut wrenchingly good.