We understand if you’re not in the mood to watch long anime arcs that span hundreds of episodes. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time, but the itch to watch anime is still there.
That’s why we’ve come up with this handy-dandy list of short anime to binge-watch!
Ready your snacks and get cozy as we bring you the best short anime series to binge-watch!
- Best Short Anime Series
- 25. Wakaba Girl
- 24. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time
- 23. Daily Lives of Highschool Boys
- 22. Plastic Neesan
- 21. Way of the Househusband
- 20. Brand New Animal
- 19. Zankyou no Terror – Terror in Resonance
- 18. Devilman Crybaby
- 17. FLCL (Fooly Cooly)
- 16. Odd Taxi
- 15. Ping Pong the Animation
- 14. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!!
- 13. Eve no Jikan
- 12. Mononoke
- 11. House of Five Leaves
- 10. Elfen Lied
- 9. Angel Beats
- 8. Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)
- 7. Samurai Champloo
- 6. Death Parade
- 5. Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi)
- 4. Baccano!
- 3. Violet Evergarden
- 2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
- 1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Best Short Anime Series
25. Wakaba Girl
A rich and sheltered girl dreams of becoming a gyaru girl. This kind of fashion style won’t be so easy for her, but her friends help her achieve her goals and learn more about her rich life.
This 13-episode show only spans for seven minutes per episode, but it packs a lot of cuteness as our characters show their friendship and school shenanigans throughout the series.
24. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time
Our main protagonist, Seki, gets easily bored in class, so he comes up with a lot of intricate activities to keep him occupied. Soap opera with shogi pieces? Sure.
Fossil excavation on his desk? You bet! Unfortunately, this spells trouble for his seatmate.
If comedy and hijinks are your cup of tea, you’ll enjoy all 21 episodes of this show, each with a seven-minute runtime.
23. Daily Lives of Highschool Boys
A trio of boys makes the most of their high school life by getting into all kinds of ridiculous and humorous situations.
They say high school life is quite memorable, but these boys take it to the next level!
If you want a short series that’ll make you howl in laughter throughout, give Daily Lives of Highschool Boys a try!
22. Plastic Neesan
Iroe Genma might be short, but she’s a neesan to her friends for a reason! This little bean is the president of her school’s Model Club because of her love for model cars, boats, robots, and other toys.
Throughout the 12-episode show, you see her and her clubmates enjoy their model toys and do club activities, as well as get into school antics like club battles and crush confessions!
21. Way of the Househusband
Done with his yakuza life, Tatsu is now a married man dedicated to his work and lifestyle as a househusband.
He cooks scrumptious and Instagram-worthy meals, cleans the house meticulously, and even joins their neighborhood’s club activities.
Most of the time, he has a hard time shaking off his yakuza habits and gets into a lot of misunderstandings, much to the chagrin of his wife and friends.
While the show is mostly comedic, it also shows a lot of heart, praising househusbands all the time and showing emphasis on family.
This became a Netflix original net animation last 2021, with 10 episodes in total.
20. Brand New Animal
In Brand New Animal, humans coexist with those who can transform into animals through their DNA. These Beastmen face prejudice and persecution because of who they are.
Our protagonist, Michiru Kagemori, suddenly turns into a tanuki after an incident. Now she has to traverse her world where beasts like her are judged. Can Anima City give her the refuge and safety she needs?
Made by Studio Trigger, the studio that brought you Gurren Lagann, Kill La Kill, and Little Witch Academia, expect stellar animation and style that’s a sure treat for your eyes in this 12-episode series.
19. Zankyou no Terror – Terror in Resonance
Two teenage boys manage to steal a prototype atomic bomb from a terrorist attack. They start calling themselves “Sphinx” and uploading their activities and plans online.
They want to use the bomb to threaten the citizens of Tokyo for curious reasons.
Riddles, secrets, and conspiracies – there’s more to these boys than meets the eye, and you can find out more about them in this 11-episode anime made by the studio MAPPA.
18. Devilman Crybaby
Akira is a softhearted guy who is willing to help a friend in need.
This one particular friend stumbled into a gruesome demon party, and Akira had to fuse with a demon to defeat the other demons and save his friend.
What he didn’t expect was that he could overpower the demon he merged with, making its power his own, thus making him a devilman. He’s still a gentle soul and a crybaby, thus earning the titular nickname.
Devilman Crybaby is another Netflix original net animation that debuted on the streaming platform in 2018. It has 10 episodes, each with a runtime of 24 to 27 minutes.
17. FLCL (Fooly Cooly)
It’s hard to summarize FLCL. It’s wacky, it’s unique, it’s bizarre, it’s a lot of things that can’t easily be put into words.
Succinctly, it’s about a boy’s peaceful suburban life being upended by the arrival of a wacky older woman.
If you feel like going on an outlandish anime journey, FLCL might be the series for you. It only has six episodes which will leave you feeling bewildered.
16. Odd Taxi
A walrus named Hiroshi Odakawa lives a simple life. He drives a taxi for a living and tries to help people however he can.
He meets a colorful set of characters during his time as a taxi driver, like a hippo who wants to go viral online, an alpaca nurse, and a delinquent baboon.
Unfortunately, an incident involving a missing girl leads back to him, and now the yakuza and the cops are hot on his trail. Can he drive away from this?
This obscure anime recently aired in 2021 and has a total of 13 episodes.
15. Ping Pong the Animation
Two friends who love ping pong learn more about themselves and why they play ping pong.
One wants to be the best ping pong player ever but refuses to train, while the other has innate talent but holds it back.
This is not your typical sports anime. Ping Pong the Animation boasts of stunning visuals, incredible animation, and a story that is emotional and pure of heart.
It’s a coming-of-age story with a ping pong backdrop.
14. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!!
Midori Asakusa has a wild imagination that she expresses through her drawings. She loves doodling the environment around her, as well as the worlds in her mind.
Meanwhile, her pragmatic friend, Sayaka Kanamori, supports her but keeps her grounded.
One day they meet young model Tsubame Misuzaki, who also loves drawing but focuses more on the human form.
The trio decides to start an animation club at school, with two of them focusing on the art side of things and Kanamori handling the money-making aspect.
If you love drawing and animation, you definitely need to watch Eizouken. It’s a love letter to animation and shows the power of anime as a storytelling medium.
13. Eve no Jikan
Set in the far future, robots, such as android housekeepers, become common in Japan.
Although they look like humans, they are not treated the same, and under the rules of the Robot Ethics Committee, they are to be treated like household appliances.
Main protagonist Rikuo is aware of this rule, but he starts to question things when he finds a curious message hidden in the activity logs of his housekeeper robot.
This message leads him to a cafe called Eve no Jikan, or Eve’s Time, where humans and androids can be equal.
This six-episode series won the OVA category in Tokyo Anime Award’s 2010 ceremonies.
This avant-garde 12-episode anime follows a wandering salesman known as “The Medicine Seller” during the Edo and Meiji periods in Japan.
He encounters people with ailments and problems connected to mononoke, which are spirits that bind to the negative emotions of humans.
The mysteries will draw you in, and the animation and art style will keep you in amazement.
11. House of Five Leaves
A timid samurai, Masa, keeps getting fired from his job due to his meek nature despite his excellent skills at sword fighting.
He meets a charismatic, happy-go-lucky guy who turns out to be the leader of a group of bandits known as the Five Leaves.
Masa is intrigued by them and decides to join. Throughout this 12-episode show, you see how Masa gets entangled by this group and their stories.
House of Five Leaves has a unique look and art style. So if you’re looking for a fresh take on the samurai genre in anime, this is the show to watch.
10. Elfen Lied
Cousins Kouta and Yuka stumble upon an injured girl, not knowing how she got her injuries or where she’s from.
The injured girl seems harmless and speaks in a childlike manner, so the cousins initially think this doesn’t spell trouble for them.
What they didn’t know is that they just got themselves involved with government secrets, human experiments, and a girl with hidden murderous tendencies. Be warned, this show is bloody and gruesome!
Quick trivia: This show is one of the inspirations that led to the creation of Stranger Things!
9. Angel Beats
Students wake up in this bizarre school world where they have to battle the student council president named Angel.
It turns out that the school is some sort of an afterlife, and these students won’t just sit and let god continue to wrong them.
Angel Beats is a heartwarming tale of death, chances, and acceptance. It provides humor in spades but also won’t hesitate to make you cry at the drop of a hat.
8. Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)
Kuragehime follows the life of 19-year-old Tsukimi, who is an otaku when it comes to jellyfish and is a bit awkward when interacting with people.
She lives in an apartment building with other otaku and NEET women, all blissfully enjoying their hobbies with each other.
Their world gets shaken when the house and haven they dearly love might get demolished.
On top of that, Tsukimi meets a stylish-looking woman who turns out to be a man who simply enjoys crossdressing.
Full of fun characters you can’t help but root for, Princess Jellyfish is a cute anime that teaches you about confidence and fighting for the people you care for.
7. Samurai Champloo
This isn’t your typical historical anime. You get baseball and hip-hop music while being in Edo, Japan, and you follow an oddball trio as they find a samurai who smells like sunflowers.
While that might sound pretty wacky, this show delivers amazing fighting choreography, humor, and an emotional end to their adventure.
And if you’re into hip-hop, you’ll be happy to know that it has music from Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes.
6. Death Parade
Characters in Death Parade find themselves in a mysterious bar in the afterlife. They are neither in heaven nor hell, but instead, they’re in a place called Quindecim.
They all have to compete in a series of games called Death Games, with their souls placed as a bet and secret revelations as the reward.
The games can range from darts to bowling, and all the while, the patrons slowly reveal who they are and why they ended up in Quindecim.
With 12 episodes under its belt, Death Parade is a very compelling short anime with a catchy opening theme that has the characters dance.
5. Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi)
Satoru Fujinuma might seem like an ordinary manga artist, but he hides a secret power – he is able to turn back time.
He can’t fully control it, and he doesn’t know why it happens, but this time-traveling power, nicknamed “Revival” by him, has helped him and others countless times.
But when it activated to save someone close to him from getting murdered, it sent him many years into the past, back in 1988 in his childhood.
It seems like an unfortunate murder of his classmate in the past is the key to him getting back to his own time and stopping the murder he just witnessed.
Baccano takes you on a whirlwind of an adventure as you watch seemingly unrelated events from different points in time and a varied cast of characters with their own personal arcs and agendas. Mafia Wars? A train in Chicago? A ship crew?
It all beautifully comes together in the end and will probably make you want to re-watch it all again just to catch little hints that you missed early on.
3. Violet Evergarden
A bloody war leaves a young girl broken and traumatized. She picks up the pieces of her life and starts anew as a worker at the CH Postal Services.
There, she witnesses the work of an Auto Memory Doll, where you put into words people’s thoughts and feelings by writing them on a piece of paper.
She decides to be an Auto Memory Doll, changing and touching the lives of her clients, as well as knowing more about herself and her past.
The show has 13 episodes, with a movie sequel and two side story specials. When watching this, prepare for imminent tears!
2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
A group of friends struggles to get over the death of their childhood friend.
One day, her spirit shows up, acting as cheerful as ever, but only one person can see her. Can she help them with their grief and pass it on to the afterlife?
Anohana is a beautiful story about grief, heartbreak, and friendship. The ending is bittersweet, and most of its 11 episodes will leave you crying your heart out.
1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
In the world of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, magic is real, and girls can become magical girls that battle against evil witches!
They get cute outfits and dazzling weapons and become friends with other magical girls, all while being guided by a fluffy magical creature named Kyuubey.
Sounds sweet and adorable, right? Well, this show isn’t what it seems, and after a few episodes in, you discover that there’s more to the cute and sparkling aesthetics that you see.
It’s a completely unique and fresh take on the usual magical girl genre in anime, with surprising gut punches to the heart that will leave you heartbroken for the girls.
This 12-episode show didn’t earn its widespread critical acclaim for nothing!