The immediate benefit of a long running anime is that you’d always have something to watch. You grow with characters throughout your own lifetime, and their story becomes apart of yours.
Even though I said a lot of bad things throughout the month about Naruto, I love that show because it’s been apart of my life since middle school. I’m in college now and Naruto is still going strong. Fairy Tail is also a shinning example of a show that has lasted through multiple stories and a wide range of characters. Long shows have the ability to flesh out multiple characters whenever they please, because there is no need to rush anything.
The reason why Netero vs Meruem in the Hunter X Hunter series was so good, is because of the time dedicated outside of the fight. The build-up and the character development, culminated in one of the best fights of the series. It’s more about the journey rather than the immediate moment.
Long running shows aren’t without their downfalls though.
Hunter X Hunter, my favorite long running show, is on hiatus right now. I have no idea when it’ll come back, if ever. That’s the fault within long shows. The longer it goes, the bigger the chances get of something going wrong. You’ve put 100 hours of your life into a show, and then it gets cancelled and you never get an ending. That’s just a depressing thought honestly.
Another problem a show can run into is if they (Naruto) gets a bit ridiculous with filler episodes. Episodes with no meaning HAVE NO MEANING. They are just there to pad the story, and they lessen the overall quality of the show. Imagine recommending a show to someone who typically doesn’t watch anime. You chose to recommend Naruto, but tell them to skip 20 episodes because they’re terrible or have no meaning. It kinda sucks recommending 80% of a show, don’t you agree?
You can’t just watch 100 episodes of Bleach like I did. If you do, you’ll be stuck in the ether because you’ve watched so much, but you’re not even close to getting the full story. On on hand, you still have 200 episodes to sink your teeth in, but on the other hand, you still have to watch 200 episodes to get the damn story. It’s very time-consuming, and you’ve already invested so much time into it so it becomes I decision of time rather than quality. Of course if you really love the show you’ll continue watching it, but if your kind of lukewarm on a show, as I am with Bleach, you’ll probably fail to continue.
Same rule applies to One Piece. A show I’m terrified to start because that’s not ending anytime soon, and I’m already 600 episodes behind.
Fairy Tail, Hunter X Hunter and Naruto are my three favorite super long anime shows. Whether you binge watch them in a full week or grow with them over time, these long running shows walk a journey that can’t be matched by shorter shows.