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Top 20 Best Short Anime of All Time

When you don't have the time or energy to indulge in a long and complex anime, but still want to watch something, there are a number of fantastic short anime options to choose from. Here are 20 of the best, as chosen by Japanese netizens!

by Aiwin
Jan 24, 2016 11:16 PM | 262,636 views

Is short anime worth watching?


boku no imouto wa osaka okanShort anime can be just as thrilling, entertaining and adventurous as long anime adaptations can. Although it is certainly not as frequently talked about as the popular 'long' series, there is a charm to a well-crafted 3-minute piece of anime, or an entire story told in only 12 episodes. In many cases, shortness can account for high quality, because the story reaches its point faster, there are no long delays between revelations, and above all, no fillers! Whether you are new to short anime or have already become accustomed to watching it.

All ranking information was taken on the date of publication.


Here are short anime series that are definitely worth the time!


20. Makura no Danshi

MAL Rated 5.13, Ranked #7204 | Aired Summer 2015 | Produced by feel.


Makura no Danshi: Merry

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

Need someone to whisper sweet nothings into your ear? (I'm not kidding.) Makura no Danshi dedicates each episode to one 'pillow boy', who will tell you about his life and hobbies, and then proceed to 'whisper' a few things towards you as well. Four minutes of gentle talk and great music.


19. Mangirl!

MAL Rated 6.07, Ranked #6246 | Aired Winter 2013 | Produced by Doga Kobo


Mangirl!

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 13 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

A group of girls with zero experience in the world of manga, decide to take a chance on their passion alone to create the bigger manga magazine in Japan to date! The journey is difficult, stressful and full of failures, but the girls of Mangirl! have no intention of giving up!


18. Starry☆Sky

MAL Rated 6.35, Ranked #5621 | Aired Fall 2010 | Produced by Studio Deen


Starry Sky

・Episode length: 11 minutes
・Number of episodes: 26
・Number of seasons: 1

If 'pillow boys' aren't your thing, how about the 13 signs of the Zodiac coming to life as boys? Yeah, good? Because Starry☆Sky invites you to a school where the 13 boys melt hearts and make it very hard for any girl in school to concentrate in class.


17. Miss Monochrome: The Animation

MAL Rated 6.56, Ranked #4939 | Aired Fall 2013 | Produced by SANZIGEN, LIDENFILMS


Miss Monochrome: The Animation

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 39 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 3 (13 episodes each)

Miss Monochrome: The Animation is the story of an aspiring idol girl who hates all colors and prefers for everything in the world to be black and white. Her quirky character and the facial expressions of those around her who are trying to understand her reasoning in life make for some hilarious moments.


16. Oneechan ga Kita

MAL Rated 6.56, Ranked #4945 | Aired Winter 2014 | Produced by C2C


Oneechan ga Kita

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

A new marriage brings a new sister to the family for Oneechan ga Kita's unprepared Tomoya Mizuhara. Her overwhelming love for him is often too much to handle, and his friends sure aren't making it any easier! See what happens when two families combine in this funny short anime.


15. Danchigai

MAL Rated 6.67, Ranked #4548 | Aired Summer 2015 | Produced by Creators in Pack


Danchigai

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

Danchigai is the story of one brother and his four sisters, who make it a daily goal to lecture him about the way he lives his life and the people that he hangs around with. What starts of as a story of a 'regular' bit family, turns into an adventurous journey through the world of siblings.


14. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san

MAL Rated 6.73, Ranked #4321 | Aired Spring 2014 | Produced by Seven


Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

When a cat lover and a dog lover form an attraction to each other, sparks fly as the two girls in Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san try to get close! There is plenty to laugh about in this short anime, and also quite a few 'love' problems that need to be overcome!


13. Teekyuu

MAL Rated 6.79, Ranked #4083 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by MAPPA


Teekyuu, Teekyu

・Episode length: 2 minutes
・Number of episodes: 74 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 7 (12 episodes each)

If you need to let your brain run wild and are in no need of plot, watch Teekyuu! There really is no single plot that follows this anime, because it is simply a bunch of friends who play tennis and get into weird conversations and situations. On the other hand, it's quite reminiscent of a teenager's mind in its chaos and non-linear development. There will definitely be many "Huh?" moments here, but they will be worth the watch.


12. Ketsuekigata-kun!

MAL Rated 6.80, Ranked #4029 | Aired Spring 2013 | Produced by feel.


Ketsuekigata-kun!

・Episode length: 2 minutes
・Number of episodes: 48 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 4 (12 episodes each)

As silly as the picture of the characters may look at first, Ketsuekigata-kun! is actually quite a clever depiction of personality traits according to blood-type, which are particularly popular in Japan. Sure a lot of it is based on stereotypes concerning blood types, but this is precisely how people who believe this characterize others. Cute, funny and surprisingly informative. The fourth season is currently airing!


11. Recorder to Randoseru (Recorder and Randsell)

MAL Rated 6.82, Ranked #3963 | Aired Winter 2012 | Produced by Seven


Recorder and Randsell, Recorder to Randoseru

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 38 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 3 (13/13/12 episodes each)

Recorder to Randoseru Do♪ is a hilarious depiction of the life of an 11-year-old boy who is 180 cm tall, and his 17-year-old sister who is only 137 cm. You can imagine how many inappropriate situations he finds himself in when he is surrounded by girls who make him look like a constant pervert. A little naughty but mostly just hilarious.


10. Nyanpire The Animation

MAL Rated 6.85, Ranked #3826 | Aired Summer 2011 | Produced by Gonzo


Nyanpire The Animation: Nyanpire

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12
・Number of seasons: 1

A stray kitten is saved by a vampire before almost dying, and has now become... Nyanpire! Nyanpire The Animation is adorable, funny and very relaxing to watch. It may not have the most complex of plots, but the idea of a vampire kitty is priceless.


9. Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb)

MAL Rated 6.85, Ranked #3835 | Aired Winter 2013 | Produced by 8bit


Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb)

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 36 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 2 (12/24 episodes each)

A childhood sunset guides the girls of Yama no Susume to new heights of adventure! This 3-minute per episode anime is an adorable depiction of friendship and adventurous spirit. As the girls take up mountain climbing as a hobby, they meet new friends, find out new things about themselves and explore nature. This is a very laid back anime, but one that offers plenty of giggles.


8. Aiura

MAL Rated 6.87, Ranked #3735 | Aired Spring 2013 | Produced by LIDENFILMS


Aiura

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12
・Number of seasons: 1

What do you do in school when there is nothing to do? Aiura has an endless supply of ideas to help you out! Whether it just hanging around in the classroom or on school grounds, the story follows a group of very unmotivated high school girls who just want time to pass a little more quickly at school.


7. Super Seisyun Brothers

MAL Rated 7.02, Ranked #3268 | Aired Fall 2013 | Produced by AIC Plus+


Super Seisyun Brothers: Mako Saitou, Mao Saitou

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 14
・Number of seasons: 1

Super Seisyun Brothers is a very laid back anime about the friendship of two brother-sister pairs. There is not a lot of emotional impact to it, but there is certainly a nice amount of humour. This is the perfect anime for a quick break.


6. Wakaba*Girl

MAL Rated 7.03, Ranked #3243 | Aired Summer 2015 | Produced by Nexus


Wakaba Girl

・Episode length: 7 minutes
・Number of episodes: 13 plus 1 OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

Ok, cuteness overload! Wakaba*Girl follows the life of a cute rich girl who really wants to embrace the Gyaru style! With frequent mishaps and confusion, her friends try to help her become the perfect Gyaru girl!


5. Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation (The Comic Artist and His Assistants)

MAL Rated 7.39, Ranked #1938 | Aired Spring 2014 | Produced by Zexcs


Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation

・Episode length: 13 minutes
・Number of episodes: 12 plus a 6 episode OVA
・Number of seasons: 1

A little pervertedness, a lot of passion and even more humour can be found in Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation. It revolves around the story of a mangaka who is trying to make it in the very competitive world of manga, and his parallel problems of not knowing how to talk to girls, at all! Super funny and very entertaining!


4. Senyuu.

MAL Rated 7.50, Ranked #1553 | Aired Winter 2013 | Produced by Ordet, LIDENFILMS


Senyuu.: Alba, Ross

・Episode length: 4 minutes
・Number of episodes: 26 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 2 (13 episodes each)

Senyuu. follows the journey of hero Alba and his assistant Ross on their journey to defeat an evil being that has unleashed demons into the world. Each episode is very short, put is jam-packed of adventure, laughter and action, and is an absolutely must-watch in the short anime genre.


3. Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying)

MAL Rated 7.57, Ranked #1337 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by Seven


Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken: Hajime Tsunashi, Kaoru Tsunashi

・Episode length: 3 minutes
・Number of episodes: 26
・Number of seasons: 2 (12/13 episodes each)

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying) portrays the life of a married couple where the husband is a full-on otaku, and the wife is a regular office girl who is trying hard to make the most of her job, and who also is completely separated from the world that her husband is obsessing about. Super cute anime, which shows how love can overcome any difference in a couple.


2. Tonari no Seki-kun (The Master of Killing Time)

MAL Rated 7.70, Ranked #1044 | Aired Winter 2014 | Produced by Shin-Ei Animation


Tonari no Seki-kun (Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time

・Episode length: 7 minutes
・Number of episodes: 21 plus specials
・Number of seasons: 1

Creativity is the driving force behind Tonari no Seki-kun! Toshinari Seki spends most of his time in class creating paper wars, sceneries and small inventions on his school desk to pass the time. Although he doesn't notice her, Rumi Yokoi is intrigued by his creativity, which often gets her in trouble with the teacher. Oops! Each 8 minute episode is both delightfully funny, and also brings support to the power of creativity.


1. Hetalia Axis Powers

MAL Rated 7.80, Ranked #833 | Aired Winter 2009 | Produced by Studio Deen


Hetalia Axis Powers: Germany, North Italy

・Episode length: 5 minutes
・Number of episodes: 135 plus specials and 1 movie
・Number of seasons: 4 (15-54 episodes each)

Hetalia Axis Powers is one of the most popular short anime series of all time, and for good reason because it is hilarious! Each character represents a different country, with all the stereotypes that come with it, and their mutual interaction makes for an exceptionally entertaining 5 minutes!


And if you just so happen to have seen everything on the list already, fear not because there are plenty of new short anime coming in 2016!
Two of which are highly anticipated are:

Sekkou Boys: A female manager decides to turn four gypsum images (literally head statues) into idols! Weird? Yes. Impossible? Not in anime!

Sushi Police: The Japanese government decides to hunt down anyone around the world who isn't serving 'real' traditional Japanese food. No restaurant is safe as the 9th Division travels the world to make sure that Sushi is served a la Nippon style, and that you aren't messing with your chopsticks either!

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