This is the exact opposite of what this site is about. I’m compromising my moral principles and integrity today, judging 5 anime that are just too long for me to actually watch. Is it laziness? Am I intimidated? Do they just not sound appealing? Probably mostly laziness, but let’s discuss.
There are a number of reasons I would ignore an anime on this list, the largest of them being watching anime is a hobby (as is this site). I have a full time job and family responsibilities outside of this. Since time is precious, I have to be choosy with my entertainment. If you see something on the list below you think absolutely would be worth my time, let me know in the comments. But don’t get my hopes up for nothing!
One Piece (1999)
Let’s start with the super obvious one. How anyone could come in this late in the game and decide this is an anime they should start is beyond me. One Piece has been running since 1999 and is now over 1,000 regular episodes (not including any OVAs or movies). Series runtime is approximately 1,000,000 hours.
Now, I understand that you might feel slightly insulted that I won’t even consider trying this one, especially if you’re a long time fan. I get it. A lot of you probably grew up watching this one. But think about that. This show has literally been on the air for 20 years. I respect and admire both the author and the animators who have dedicated so much of their lives bringing the One Piece story to life. And while I reserve the right to change my mind, I don’t think I’ll ever be watching this one.
Fairy Tale (2009)
This one is actually a lot lighter in the episode count; there are only 175 of them. But when you compare that to the typical 11-13 episode length for an anime season, that number suddenly feels way bigger. And yes, I realize that it’s not like 175 episodes all aired in one anime season. But this show still released over the course of four years. And while four years is a lot shorter than most people realize, it feels like an eternity’s worth of episodes can be contained in there.
I’ll admit, this is the only show in the entire lineup I’ve actually tried recently (that’ll be important later). But the reason it’s on this list is because it just didn’t hold my interest even 10 episodes in, much less 175. It’s been a really long time since I last tried it, but from what I remember, it just didn’t stick with me. Granted, this was back when I very first started watching anime, so I’m sure my tastes have changed slightly, but one of those changes is being incredibly hesitant to start watching an anime with more than 24 episodes, much less 175.
Naruto/Naruto: Shippuden (2002)
I’m cheating again and combining two separate anime, but since they involve the same characters, I’m going to lump them. Is that actually fair or do they tell two different stories? I’m sure you can tell me which it is in the comments, but I’ll just let you know now that it doesn’t matter either way.
Combined, this beast of a series has 770 episodes (again, not counting anything beyond the main series episode count). That’s 264 hours better spent watching The Lord of the Rings Extended trilogy 23 times. (I kid, of course, but only slightly).
It doesn’t help Naruto’s cause that I’m just not a huge Shounen genre fan to begin with. It can be fun at times, and usually the combat choreography is great, but based on my experience, a Shounen with this many episodes is going to have more than a few “filler” episodes. If you enjoy it, more power to you, but I can’t make myself start it.
Coming in at 8 years and 366 episodes, we have Bleach. Supernatural ghost hunting does sound fun, I won’t deny that, but I’m not sure that’s a premise that can be sustained for 366 episodes. Based on user scores, I appear to be entirely wrong in that assumption.
Of course, I’m working off of pure plot synopsis here. Perhaps Bleach doesn’t actually remain a ghost hunting anime for the entire series. But I find it hard to commit to an anime as long as Bleach when all I have are hopes that I’m wrong.
Of all the shows on this list, Bleach is probably the one I could see myself trying someday. But as with all the long anime I consider, someday is just an ethereal idea that can only exist under perfect conditions of feeling boredom and adventurous. It’s like that “maybe” your parents give you when they know saying “no” will lead to an argument. Maybe when I retire?
Dragon Ball Z
I wouldn’t be a true 90’s kid if I didn’t have memories of an announcer saying “Next time on Dragon Ball Z!” And you know why? Because with Dragon Ball Z, it was always happening next time. This show was the king of “So much nothing happened,” especially if it involved a fight.
Honestly, it’s a good thing kids are so patient, because if I had to watch four or five episodes now to see the resolution of a single set of punches, I would just drop the anime. Or better yet, never start it to begin with, which is why it’s on this list.
Like Fairy Tale, I’ve actually seen this before, but it was as a child. Certainly, the flashy colors and fast paced action sequences appealed to me. I did everything I could to mimic the unbelievable power levels and grand scale fights with my action figures and Lego sets. But as I reflect now on how they got us to come back day after day by showing us 37 angles of every punch, kick and…power beam? (I have no idea what it’s called), I feel a little cheated. It’s like a show meant to milk advertising revenue out of children rather than actually tell them a story. And even without commercials as an adult, I’m just not interested in trying it again.
And there you have it. My list of “I’m never gonna have time to watch this” anime. What anime would you have included (or removed) from this list?