Here Are The Top 20 Short Anime Series You Have To See

short anime

Short anime -Some of the longest-running anime series might be intimidating to first-time viewers because of their duration. Although Naruto, One Piece, and The Legend of the Galactic Heroes are all highly recommended by friends, they each feature hundreds of episodes, so watching them all would be a significant time commitment.

Perhaps the viewer is unfamiliar with anime and isn’t sure whether they want to commit to watching a whole series, or perhaps the viewer is a lifelong fan who doesn’t want to wait for another 70 episodes to see the narrative arc everyone loves so much. Those limited on time will be relieved that several high-quality best animes series can be completed in 13 episodes or less. Numerous excellent anime miniseries exist.

It’s not a good idea to binge-watch a series that’s 700 episodes or more, as Amanda Bruce updated on January 26, 2023. Shorter series might have compelling plots that can be consumed in a single sitting or over a few days by viewers looking for a short anime they can binge-watch. Anime fans may spend a few hours enjoying vastly diverse tales in modern classics like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and new series like The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting.

Twelve Episodes of Katanagatari

The plot of Katanagatari follows an ambitious lady and her somewhat dimwitted warrior bodyguard as they travel throughout Japan searching for twelve legendary swords. Katanagatari is not to be missed because of its beautiful character designs, superb animation, and exciting language in the short anime genre.

One caveat is that Katanagatari will be a bit of a time suck compared to other single-season bestanimes series, despite their just being a dozen episodes.

13-Part series: “Bloom Into You.”

HIDIVE users may watch it right now.

Yuu Koito, a young girl going through self-discovery, is the protagonist of this s  short anime series. She’s a sucker for love tales but doesn’t experience the spark she’d hoped for when a guy declares his affection for her. After consulting with a fellow female student, she realizes that it may be because she has no interest in male students.

Bloom Into You is an adorable and entertaining coming-of-age romantic anime that deviates from the norm by focusing on romances between two of the same gender. Despite having just 13 episodes, unlike several romantic short anime, it seems simple and complete.

Odd Taxi (13 Episodes)

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

Odd Taxi is intriguing since it is both a slice of life and a short criminal anime. The story revolves around anthropomorphic animals, including a walrus and a taxi driver. His narrative involves several strange passengers, but finally, he becomes involved in a search for a missing individual.

While Hiroshi Odokawa may seem a little frank and unconventional on the inside, his life is flipped upside down when he becomes a target for the police and the yakuza. Fans may want to rewatch the episode since there is so much to love, from the quirky cab riders to the intriguing plot.

Yuri!!! On Ice (12 Episodes)

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

Yuri on Ice’s Changing Room Scene

Much sports-themed short anime emphasizes the importance of teamwork. A massive cast of individuals must discover what it means to work together. Instead, Yuri zeroes in on a famous figure skater struggling after a devastating loss and the world champion skater who promises to assist him. When each is unsure about where their journeys should take them, they discover in the other precisely what they need.

More than six years after the first season aired, fans still demand that the best animes be given a second season. There was a movie adaptation in the works, but there is still no word on when it will be released, so fans of the short anime will have plenty of time to speculate about what happens next.

Yakuza’s Advice on Babysitting

A Dozen Episodes of the Yakuza’s Advice on Babysitting

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

In “The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting,” a little girl hands a rolled-up piece of paper to a guy sitting on the floor.

Unanticipated plot twists often make for the most entertaining episodes of short anime. Just picture a Kindergarten Cop. Even the Marriage of Discord! As long as viewers realize that the titular babysitter is very violent, they are both appropriate parallels for this anime.

The protagonist is a yakuza member having trouble convincing his boss that he can control his darker side. The answer appears improbable at best, but it makes for a dramatic and comedic plot when he babysits the boss’s young daughter. After all, if a yakuza without self-control is put in charge of his boss’s seven-year-old, the results will surely be comical.

Violet Evergarden

Thirteen Episodes of Violet Evergarden

You may see it right now on Netflix.

Braiding her hair, Violet Evergarden

The 2015 film Violet Evergarden, based on the 2015 light novel series of the same name, investigates the nature of love. Watching a character who doesn’t know what love is, learning how it changes the world and how it changes her, is moving and touching.

After serving as a soldier during wartime, the protagonist now works as a transcriptionist. As she seeks meaning in her mentor’s last words, “I love you,” she embarks on a quest that leads her to share the tales of others as she searches for her own. If fans want the complete picture, they’ll have to see the original short anime (13 episodes) and the two films that followed in the years after its premiere.

Gunbuster & Diebuster

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

Advertisement for Gunbuster and Diebuster together

Best of 1988’s Nerae Top! The legendary Studio Gainax, known for producing such masterpieces as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, released their first film, Gunbuster, in the early 1990s. Hideaki Anno, the creator of Evangelion, makes his directing debut with Gunbuster. Gunbuster is a classic for a good reason: it combines a cheesy 1980s training montage with a war drama about the dangers of relativistic time in space travel.

Diebuster, a sequel to Gunbuster released in 2004, likewise consists of 6 episodes. Even though it has caused considerable controversy due to its vastly different presentation and tone from its predecessor, the two storylines are still interconnected and should be evaluated together.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Twelve Episodes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Hulu users may watch it right now.

It’s best not to give too much away while suggesting Madoka other than to tell them to watch at least the fourth episode. Madoka presents many fascinating challenges to the genre, but they become apparent once the audience has been invested in the program.

While the original Madoka series of twelve episodes stands well on its own, other films and adaptations have continued the story in various ways. Many viewers regard these sequels and prequels as required watching, so those who complete the original series and still desire more may do so without regret.


Six Episodes of FLCL

Hulu users may watch it right now.

One of the most highly praised OVAs from Studio Gainax is FLCL (or Fooly Cooly), which combines an outrageous visual aesthetic with spectacular set pieces and extraordinary animation. A lady from outer space smacks Naota with a guitar, causing the ordinarily quiet kid from a normally quiet village to grow a battle robot out of his forehead.

On the surface, FLCL’s presentation and ideas may seem strange, but it’s a remarkably sophisticated analysis of becoming an adult and what that stage of life should look like. With just six episodes, there’s little excuse not to see this legendary one-season short anime.

Kaiba (Twelve-Part Series)

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

However, Kaiba is not a program that shies away from the domain of the completely dark and sad, despite its characteristic simple and beguiling aesthetics. The show’s protagonists live in a future where the right people may live forever by storing their memories on electronic chips. Everything goes downhill from the moment the protagonist awakes memory-free with just a locket containing a portrait of a lady. Kaiba is aesthetically imaginative and conceptually intriguing, touching on memory’s significance in the essence of being, class distinctions, and the tensions they produce.

No Game, No Life series.

There are twelve episodes in the No Game No Life series.

HIDIVE users may watch it right now.

The Blank, portrayed by Sora and Shiro, are two top-tier gamers who feel isolated from society and spend much time playing video games. To meet the god Tet again, our heroes must go to the realm of Disboard and vanquish its many kings in the game of chess.

A Universe Beyond (Thirteen-Episode Series)

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

In A Place Further Than The Universe, four high school girls journey to Antarctica to achieve a goal that seems unachievable but which they pursue with remarkable zeal and dedication. The procedural challenges the characters face seem highly genuine, making the program convincing and intriguing despite its bizarre structure.

It’s a pleasure to see the characters grow as individuals and as a unit throughout the twelve episodes; we get to know them quite well by the end of the series conclusion, which is encouraging and uplifting.

The Final March (Twelve Episodes)

Hulu users may watch it right now.

After passing on, the departed visit a purgatorial parlour where they play games such as darts, billiards, and bowling while their behaviour is secretly monitored. Those who are found worthy are reborn after the game, while those who are not are banished to The Void.

This short anime series, which functions as an anthology, has a rotating cast of protagonists and a consistently otherworldly ambience. It’s a strange and, at times, frightening or even scary adventure, but the high quality of the animation and the intriguing idea make it a must-see for anime enthusiasts of all stripes.

Anohana (Eleven Episodes): The Flower We Say Every Day

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

Jinta Yadomi, the protagonist of Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, is a young hermit tormented by a catastrophe from his past. One day, the spirit of one of his former acquaintances, Menma, appears and begs him to help her fulfil a last request before she passes on to the next world. Then, Jinta gets back together with his old crew of pals to figure out how to alleviate Menma.

If you’re a fan of emotionally draining short anime, you should check out Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. Anohana may only be eleven episodes long, but its lasting impact will be felt long after the final credits have rolled.

Eleven Episodes of Tatami Galaxy

Funimation provides access to this content.

Tatami Galaxy is the ultimate destination for lovers of romantic comedies, collegiate slice-of-life stories, and existential time-loop nightmares. The groundbreaking visual style, quirky tone, and unique structure of Masaaki Yuasa’s Tatami Galaxy have made it a popular favourite among short anime viewers all over the globe.

The show is also extraordinary but in a reasonable manner. The plot revolves around a college student who can’t help but fall in love and the evil demon boy who would stop at nothing to prevent him from finding happiness. The fact that he’s stuck in a Groundhog Day–style time loop adds more complexity, but it’s also a big part of what makes the program work.

The Haibane Renmei Saga

Funimation provides access to this content.

One of the most fantastical novels ever written, Haibane Renmei follows the life of a young woman born as a “Haibane” in a strange realm without recollection of her previous existence. Rakka, the show’s protagonist, explores her new environment and meets new people while uncovering the secrets that surround her.

Because of this, it might not be easy to describe what makes Haibane Renmei so excellent without giving away any of the show’s secrets. The show’s emphasis on the individuals’ inner struggles ultimately results in some very nuanced people, so bear with it. When you include it in the fascinating and original scenario, Haibane Renmei becomes an absolute must-watch.

The 13-episode Paranoia Agent

Funimation provides access to this content.

Although relentlessly bizarre and sometimes challenging to understand, Paranoia Agent is considered one of the finest horror anime ever. The series follows the police officers and detectives tasked with apprehending a mysterious young man known only as “Lil’ Slugger,” responsible for several brutal crimes.

Paranoia Agent packs a lot of character development, plot development, and even genre changes into a single season. Those who aren’t already interested in horror may be turned off, but those who like Elfen Lied, or Serial Experiments Lain for its peculiarity may appreciate this.

Twelve-Part Series: Sora No Woto

Crunchyroll hosts it for online viewing.

An epic war has just ended, and five young men are left to guard a little fort in a remote village. Probably the most tranquil war narrative in anime shows, Sora no Woto is satisfied to follow its main characters through their ordinary days.

However, a sense of sadness runs throughout. The history of this world is bleak, and forces more excellent than the show’s people are working to bring about the planet’s destruction. Nonetheless, the play finds charm in such a harsh environment, emphasizing that things are still worth preserving even in a world of profound grief.

Disappeared (Twelve-Part)

You may see it right now on Netflix.

Erased is a 2016 anime shows series based on the manga of the same name, adapted by Tomohiko Ito, a veteran director recognized for his work on Sword Art Online and Death Note, among many others. Satoru Fujinuma, the protagonist, is a man with premonitory abilities who is sent back eighteen years to prevent murder.

It’s a top-tier psychological thriller, and anime fans should not miss it because of its high idea and intellectual nature. Plus, with just 12 episodes, viewers will immediately find out what happens. It’s a fast-paced, entertaining anime short series.

Lain: A Serial Drama (Thirteen Parts).

Currently streaming on Funimation.

Mind-bending animation Serial Experiments Lain explores themes of technology, connection, and, in particular, the alienation that may result from people being more and more linked to one another online. The fact that it was made in 1998 makes it crazier since it was years ahead of its time in forecasting the effects of the internet on humanity.

However, be warned that Lain’s presentation and tale use intentionally obtuse imagery. This messed-up techno-thriller is one of the most off-the-wall anime shows out there, strongly emphasizing subverting any expectations of a “normal story.”