Ranking The Top 10 Longest Arcs In Anime Of All Time

Story arcs in anime help build the world and the characters within the series. But that doesn’t mean they’re always short and sweet.

Some of the best stories are told in long, long arcs. From the build-up to Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece’s Wano arc to Gon’s transformation in Hunter X Hunter’s Chimera Ant arc, these arcs have defined shonen’s quality benchmark and even anime in general. So it’s important to know these long-running arcs that have stood the test of time!

However, we’re not including arcs from Detective Conan and Pokémon because each of their arcs is so long that they themselves will fill up almost the entire list LOL.

Additionally, this list does not include filler arcs that come in between the canon ones.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 10 longest arcs in anime of all time, ranked!

10) Fairy Tail’s Grand Magic Games arc & One Piece’s Fishman Island arc

SeriesFairy TailOne Piece
Total No. of Episodes5353
Episode Range151-203523-574
Arc Length (Hrs)21 hrs & 12 minutes20 hrs & 48 mins
Series MAL Rating7.658.72


Starting off the list are arcs hailing from Fairy Tail and One Piece. Both of them share the same episode count so I just thought to club both of them in one entry.It’s not really surprising for shonen arcs to dominate this list because most Slice of Life or Romcom anime arcs are quite small (and not really that milk-able).

The Grand Magic Games arc in Fairy Tail is a tournament arc that follows the Fairy Tail guild participating in a prestigious competition held in the city of Crocus.

The arc features intense battles between various guilds, including Fairy Tail’s rivalry with their long-time rivals, Sabertooth. Throughout the arc, tensions rise as dark forces manipulate the games for their own sinister purposes.

Coming to One Piece, this is an arc people tend to skip, apart from the Skypiea arc, due to its slow pacing, but nevertheless, it’s quite important in the grand scheme of things. What’s more, Zoro fans would NOT let you skip this arc as his backstory is expanded a wee-bit.

The Fishman Island arc in the One Piece anime centers around the Straw Hat Pirates’ journey to Fishman Island, an underwater utopia inhabited by fishmen and merfolk. The arc delves into the complex history and racial tensions between fishmen and humans, as well as the political landscape of the island.

The gang encounters new challenges, including confronting the tyrannical fishman Hody Jones and his New Fishman Pirates, who seek to overthrow the island’s ruler, Queen Otohime. Through battles and alliances, the Straw Hats save Fishman Island and foster an understanding between its inhabitants and humans.

Both these arcs are entertaining enough to let you binge without thinking things too much, if you know what I mean.

9) Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power arc

SeriesDragon Ball Super
Total No. of Episodes55
Episode Range77-131
Arc Length (Hrs)22 hrs
Series MAL Rating7.44


The arc that literally broke the internet before anyone could! If you’re any kind of anime fan, be it action-adventure or SoL, or have never watched Dragon Ball, you’d watched atleast some clips of the iconic battle between Goku and Jiren. That fight was so big, it was literally live-streamed in huge screens in the city of Mexico, garnering thousands of fans to cheer on for Universe 7’s mightiest heroes.

Dragon Ball Super’s Universal Survival Saga or the Tournament of Power arc is a tournament arc that unfolds as universes are pitted against each other in a high-stakes battle royale. Faced with the threat of erasure by the Omni-Kings, teams of warriors from eight universes compete in a grand tournament held in the World of Void. The stakes are immense, with the fate of entire universes hanging in the balance.

Goku, Vegeta, Gohan and the others shake in fear as they watch other universes being destroyed by Zeno for his own amusement. The final part of the arc features the epic battle between Goku and Jiren and that trumpet that you can hear at the back of your head. The arc concludes with Universe 7 emerging as the victor, securing their survival while also displaying the importance of teamwork and determination in the face of overwhelming odds.

8) Hunter X Hunter’s Chimera Ant Arc

SeriesHunter X Hunter
Total No. of Episodes61
Episode Range76-136
Arc Length (Hrs)24 hrs & 24 minutes
Series MAL Rating9.04


The Chimera Ant arc of Hunter X Hunter is that arc where all hell breaks loose. You think you know a show after watching its 1st arc and think, “Hmmm… this show seems happy-go-lucky. Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika got their licenses. They go into an assassin’s lair to rescue their friend.

The two main characters go through their own training arc via a tournament arc. Then they explore a gaming island and carry on their adventures. Seems fun right? RIGHT?”

Then the first thing you see is little children swallowed by giant ants and their leader trying to take over the human race.

The Chimera Ant arc in “Hunter x Hunter” is a complex and gripping storyline that follows the Hunters’ quest to stop the emergence of Chimera Ants, a species that threatens humanity’s existence. The arc introduces the Chimera Ant Queen, who gives birth to a new breed of ants with human traits and immense power.

The narrative delves into themes of evolution, morality, and the nature of humanity as the Chimera Ants grow in strength and intelligence, posing a formidable threat to the world. The arc begins with Gon and his friends as they navigate the dangers of the Chimera Ant nest, facing off against powerful enemies and forming unexpected alliances, and ends with one of the saddest deaths in anime.

Meruem’s character development after meeting Komugi is a sight to behold for any anime fan. From being a ruthless dictator to someone who just wants love and affection, his story will continue to be the pinnacle of how to write a compelling villain, and it makes sense why the series dedicates so many episodes to this singular arc.

Sure, it might be slow at times, but it pays off in the end (And yes, the narrator is also part of the main cast LOL).

7) Black Clover’s Elf Reincarnation Arc

SeriesBlack Clover
Total No. of Episodes64
Episode Range94-157
Arc Length (Hrs)24 hrs & 36 minutes
Series MAL Rating8.15


Up next comes an arc from Black Clover. The Elf Reincarnation arc centers around the resurgence of the ancient elven race, who were reincarnated into the bodies of various magic knights from the Clover Kingdom’s past.

Led by the dark elf, Licht, the reincarnated elves seek revenge on humanity for the past injustices inflicted upon them. Asta and his friends from the Black Bulls, along with other magic knights, must band together to stop the elves’ rampage and prevent the destruction of the Clover Kingdom.

In his quest to rescue his nation and end the war between humans and elves, Asta must overcome formidable enemies while discovering hidden abilities and forging surprising partnerships. At the end of the arc, the leader of the elves and Asta have a dramatic showdown, which ends the fight and brings peace back to the Clover Kingdom.

6) One Piece’s Whole Cake Island Arc

SeriesOne Piece
Total No. of Episodes95
Episode Range783-877
Arc Length (Hrs)38 hrs
Series MAL Rating8.72


Another One Piece arc jumps its way into this list (of course One Piece will have multitude of long arcs). But this time, it’s not an arc that everyone skips cause’ Nami’s outfit here is SMOKIN’ HOT (as if her other outfits aren’t enough)!

In this arc, Luffy, Nami, Chopper, Brook, and the minks Pekoms, Pedro, and Carrot come face to face with Big Mom of the Four Emperors. Having Sanji and some members of his family captive, Luffy faces numerous challenges and powerful adversaries as he infiltrates the massive wedding ceremony between Sanji and Pudding, a member of the Charlotte family.

The wedding is a set up to finalize a political alliance between the Charlotte Family and the Vinsmoke family.

With the help of new allies, including the Fire Tank Pirates, Luffy and his crew navigate a series of escalating conflicts, leading to a climactic showdown with Big Mom herself. The arc concludes with the Straw Hat Pirates narrowly escaping Whole Cake Island, leaving a lasting impact on the world.

5) One Piece’s Dressrosa Arc

SeriesOne Piece
Total No. of Episodes118
Episode Range629-746
Arc Length (Hrs)47 hrs & 12 mins
Series MAL Rating8.72


What is with this list and One Piece arcs?? You may think. Well, it’s not my fault that One Piece has these insanely long arcs (I don’t care. Give me more of them Oda).

Entering the Top 5 longest arcs of anime is the Dessrosa arc. It gave us white beard Luffy and one of Shonen’s most beloved villains, the charming and twisted Donquixote Doflamingo.

Continuing from the Punk Hazard arc, the Strawhats aim to liberate the oppressed kingdom of Dressrosa from the tyrannical rule of Doflamingo. The arc begins with the crew’s alliance with Trafalgar Law and their infiltration of Dressrosa, unveiling the mysterious past of the country and Doflamingo’s control over it.

Luffy, along with his allies, faces numerous challenges and adversaries, including powerful executives of the Donquixote Pirates and the unforeseen threat posed by Admiral Fujitora.

The plot intensifies as revelations unfold about the history of the Mera Mera no Mi, the existence of the legendary toy soldier, and the true identity of several characters. The climax of the arc features a massive showdown between the Straw Hat Pirates, their allies, and Doflamingo’s forces, culminating in a fierce battle between Luffy and Doflamingo himself.

The Dressrosa Arc concludes with the liberation of Dressrosa, the defeat of Doflamingo, and the repercussions echoing through the world.

6) Naruto Shippuden’s 4th Shinobi War arc

SeriesNaruto Shippuden
Total No. of Episodes119
Episode Range215 – 222, 243 – 256, 261 – 270, 272 – 289, 296 – 310, 312 – 332, 322 – 348, 362 – 375
Arc Length (Hrs)47 hrs & 36 mins
Series MAL Rating8.26


The 4th Ninja War arc of Naruto Shippuden gave us Madara, one of the best villains of anime and Neji’s death, which was one of the worst deaths in shonen history. It’s okay, cause’ you need the good and the bad to balance things out eh?

This arc involves various ninja villages uniting to combat the existential threat posed by the mysterious antagonist, Tobi (later revealed to be Obito Uchiha), and his powerful ally, Kabuto Yakushi. The arc features the resurrection of legendary ninja through Kabuto’s reanimation jutsu, including formidable adversaries like the Akatsuki members and past Hokages.

Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura and the reanimated Itachi Uchiha, play pivotal roles in the conflict as they confront their past and fight to protect their world. The arc concludes with a series of dramatic confrontations, culminating in Naruto’s final showdown with Obito and Madara Uchiha, leading to the resolution of the war and the dawn of a new era for the ninja world.

Of course, there’s no Naruto without filler. So there are some filler arcs that come in between this great arc that is originally just one in the manga. But Studio Pierrot thought “I need to milk this more because money”.

3) Hitman Reborn!’s Future Arc

SeriesHitman Reborn
Total No. of Episodes129
Episode Range74-203
Arc Length (Hrs)51 hrs & 36 mins
Series MAL Rating8.13


At number 3 is a surprise entry. I’m pretty sure most of y’all reading this have no clue what this show even is, let alone its arc.

This is, of course, an action-comedy series where the story follows Tsunayoshi “Tsuna” Sawada, a clumsy and inept teenage boy who discovers that he is the heir to the Vongola Mafia family. Reborn, an infant hitman, is sent to train Tsuna to become the next boss of the Vongola family. As Tsuna reluctantly accepts his destiny, he is joined by a colorful cast of characters, each with their own unique abilities and backgrounds.

In the Future arc, the main characters get transported ten years into the future by the Vongola Famiglia to prevent a catastrophic event known as the “Trinisette.” Tsuna learns that he has evolved into the Vongola Decimo in this future and that he must lead his friends in a conflict with the Millefiore Famiglia, under the command of the strong Byakuran.

There’s not a single pivotal arc without significant character development. and Tsuna undergoes a lot in here.

Initially, Tsuna is hesitant and lacks confidence in his abilities as a leader. He is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being the Vongola Decimo and doubts whether he can live up to the expectations placed upon him. However, as the arc progresses, Tsuna begins to demonstrate growth and maturity as he takes on the challenges before him.

Despite his initial doubts, Tsuna realizes that he must take a stand against the Millefiore Famiglia to ensure the safety of those he cares about. This determination drives him to become stronger and more capable as a leader.

By the end of the arc. he emerges as a confident and capable leader, one that the family can be proud of.

2) Bleach’s Entire Arrancar Arc

Total No. of Episodes142
Episode Range110-167, 190-205, 213-229
Arc Length (Hrs)56 hrs & 48 mins
Series MAL Rating7.94


Coming at the 2nd is the entirety of the Bleach Arrancar arc. Now, I know there are a couple of filler arcs in the anime that come in between the continuation of the Arrancar arc, but the manga treats the arc as one, and I’m gonna do the same, whether you like it or not. Hmph.

So, the whole arc is divided into 5 main parts:

  • Arrancar: The Arrival Arc
  • Arrancar: The Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry Arc
  • Arrancar: The Fierce Fight Arc
  • Arrancar vs. Shinigami Arc
  • Arrancar: Decisive Battle of Karakura Arc

And it circles around the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Arrancar, led by the former Soul Reaper captain and one of anime’s master manipulators, Sōsuke Aizen.

It is a significant storyline that follows Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends as they face a new threat in the form of the Arrancar, powerful Hollows who have gained humanoid forms and unique abilities.

Key elements of the Arrancar Arc include Ichigo’s training to master his newfound powers, the introduction of new allies and enemies, and the exploration of characters’ backstories and motivations. The arc culminates in a series of epic battles between Ichigo and his friends and the powerful Arrancar, leading to a dramatic confrontation with Aizen himself.

The arc is praised as one of, if not. the best, of Bleach’s arcs, especially for the Aizen reveal. However, this may not be Bleach’s longest arc in the anime for long, as the Thousand Year Blood War arc, which is the manga’s longest arc, will surpass the Arrancar Arc’s episode count after it’s finished adapting.

1) One Piece’s Wano Arc

SeriesOne Piece
Total No. of Episodes191
Episode Range890-894, 897-906, 908-1028, 1031-1085
Arc Length (Hrs)76 hrs & 24 mins
Series MAL Rating8.72


And finally, if you’ve come towards the end of this list, OMEDETOU!

Sigh, it’s another One Piece arc isn’t it?

But this is a crucial one, cause’ it gave fans something to compare with Dragon Ball on which is the most iconic transformation in anime/manga history!

In the Wano Country Arc, Luffy and the Strawhats come to Wano and form allies with the legendary samurai Kin’emon and his group of retainers known as the Nine Red Scabbards samurai, to rally the citizens and resistance against the tyrannical rule of the shogun Orochi and the Yonko Kaido.

Key elements of the arc include the revelation of Kaido’s devil fruit powers, the introduction of powerful allies such as the legendary samurai, Oden Kozuki’s history, and the emergence of new enemies like the Beast Pirates’ All-Stars.

The arc concludes with the defeat of Kaido at the hands of Luffy in his Gear 5 transformation. Fans have praised this arc for its engaging plot, tear-jerking backstories and thanking God for giving birth to GODA and his unparalleled ability to foreshadow events 200 chapters ago.

We hoped you gain a better appreciation of One Piece the list of longest arcs that stood the test of time. Pretty sure you’ve either watched these as part of watching the Big 3 or you’ve never watched them at all (and not planning to do so cause’ who would watch these long-ass shows?)

Until next time, Ja ne!