Anime has been with us for a long time. It would be over a century old if the Japanese-produced animated film found is any indication. The earliest Japanese animation, Katsudō Shashin, came out between 1907 and 1911 and was discovered in 2005. It is the story of a who in a sailor's outfit and runs only for three seconds. The boy writes, removes his hat, and waves.
By the 1970s, classics like Astro Boy and Lupin III came out. It was also around this period when Hayao Miyazaki found his claim to fame. Perhaps it would be logical to think that the anime series from this period have all finished airing, right?
Hold your horses!
While some anime series ended too soon, some of the anime series that we still enjoy now dates back to even before the time of Miyazaki. Here's a quick look at 10 of the longest-running anime series still ongoing or are in production until now.
Sazae-san (longest-running anime)
Aired: October 5, 1969
Sazae-san holds the Guinness World Records for the longest-running animated TV series. This longest-running anime tells of the title character Sazae who takes pride in rejecting gender roles and would rather be with her horse than play dress up. Despite this, the series is mostly focused on the family dynamic and the lighthearted, everyday things they encounter.
While this animated series' is temporarily halted due to the coronavirus, it still tops our list since there's no indication that it will entirely cease production.
Aired: April 10, 1993
Nintama Rantarō's English title is Ninjaboy Rantaro. The story is about Rantaro, who goes to a ninja school, except he's easily distracted and usually only plays around with his friends.
Aired: October 5, 1998
Ojarumaru is about a 5-year-old prince named, you guessed it, Ojarumaru. He manages to travel forward in time from the Heian Period, around 794-1185, using a scepter he stole. He meets and befriends Kazuma Tamura, whose family takes him in and helps him acclimate to "modern" society.
Aired: October 3, 1988
Soreike! Anpanman or just Anpanman is about a superhero with anpan for his head. Yeah, it's downright wacky.
Aired: January 8, 1995
This one is a slice-of-life anime about the everyday antics of 9-year-old Maruko with her family.
Aired: April 15, 2005
The 2005 Doraemon is a reboot of the original from 1979. This anime series is about a robot who comes to the present to steer Nobita to the right path.
Aired: April 13, 1992
Shin-chan is a boy living with his eccentric parents and primadonna younger sister. This series is also the epitome of crude comedy with Shin-chan's inappropriate behavior and colorful language.
Aired: January 8, 1996
Shinichi Kudou is drugged and turned into a child after inadvertently witnessing illegal activity. He renames himself Conan Edogawa and starts solving private Detective Mouri's cases behind the scenes.
Aired: October 20, 1999
Luffy is a young pirate. He dreams of following his idol's footsteps to find the most coveted of treasures-One Piece.
Aired: March 29, 2010
This series follows a friendlier version of the kappa from Japanese folklore, Hanakappa, who has a flower on his head.