35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

If you want to watch a short anime series with no more than 13 episodes, here are some of the most well-known ones.

So you got bored while watching a long anime, or you need something to wake up your mind, or you just want a short series with no strings attached and as little pain as possible.

Today, we made a list of 13 episodes or less of the most popular short anime of all time for you to watch. There is only one season on this list, and there are no movies.

Let’s start with the top short anime shows of all time.

36. No Game No Life 

No Game No Life 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

The Blank is a group of two elite gamers named Sora and Shiro who spend most of their time online because they don’t have many friends.

After beating the god Tet at chess, they are taken to a new world called Disboard, where they must take over the different kingdoms in order to face Tet again.

No Game, No Life may sound like a pretty typical Isekai story, but its bright neon colors and great art direction make it stand out.

Even though there are only twelve episodes so far, there have been rumors for a while that there will be a second season.

35. Kaiba

review Kaiba2 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Don’t be fooled by how simple and unassuming Kaiba looks. This show isn’t afraid to go where it’s really dark and sad.

The people in the show live in a world where memories can be stored in special chips, giving a few people the chance to live forever.

The main character wakes up with no memories and only a locket with a picture of a woman in it. From there, things get worse.

Kaiba is both visually interesting and interesting in terms of its themes. It talks about how memory affects who we are and how class differences cause problems.

34. FLCL

FLCL 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

FLCL, or Fooly Cooly, is one of Studio Gainax’s best-known OVAs. It has a crazy art style, crazy set pieces, and excellent animation.

Naota is a normal boy who lives in a normal town, but when a woman from outer space hits him in the face with a guitar, he grows a fighting robot from his head.

Even though its presentation and ideas might seem strange at first, FLCL is actually a very grown-up look at the process of becoming an adult and what it should be like once you get there.

It’s a classic anime with only one season, and there are only six episodes, so there’s no real reason not to watch it.

33. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

If you want to recommend Madoka, it’s best not to say much about it other than to watch at least the first four episodes.

Madoka challenges the genre in a lot of very interesting ways, but they don’t become clear until you’ve watched the show for a while.

Madoka works great as a twelve-episode series on its own, but there are also a number of movies and other adaptations that tell sequels and side stories.

Fans usually think that some of these are must-sees, so those who want more can keep going after finishing the original series.

32. Gunbuster & Diebuster

Gunbuster Diebuster 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Top of the World! Gunbuster is notable because it is one of the first things that the well-known Studio Gainax made.

This is the same studio that made classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Gunbuster is also important because it is the first movie that Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno has ever directed.

Gunbuster is a classic for a reason. It is both a campy 1980s training montage and a war story about the horrors of relativistic time while traveling through space.

Diebuster, which came out in 2004, is a sequel to Gunbuster. Like Gunbuster, it has 6 episodes.

Even though it’s a bit controversial compared to its predecessor because it’s told in a very different way and has a very different tone, the two stories are still connected and deserve to be looked at both on their own and in relation to each other.

31. Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Violet Evergarden is a movie that looks at what love is. It was based on a light novel that came out in four parts in 2015.

It’s sad and emotional to see a character who doesn’t understand love slowly learn how it affects the world and her.

The main character used to be a soldier in a war, but now she works as a typist. When her mentor’s last words are “I love you,” she tries to figure out what they mean.

This leads her on a journey where she tells other people’s stories as she looks for answers. The original anime has 13 episodes, but in the years after it came out, there were also two movies made based on it.

This makes it a little longer than some of the other short anime on this list if fans want to see the whole story.

30. The Yakuza’s Guide To Babysitting

The Yakuzas Guide To Babysitting 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Some of the best short anime come from the strange things that happen to the characters. Think Kindergarten Cop.

Or even The Strangers. These are both good ways to describe this anime, as long as people know that the main character, whose name is Babysitter, is a very violent person.

The story is about a member of the yakuza whose boss thinks he can’t control his darker side.

The solution is to have him watch the boss’s young daughter, which seems like a stretch but makes for a funny and dramatic plot.

After all, a yakuza with no self-control who is put in charge of his boss’s seven-year-old son’s day-to-day tasks is bound to make a mess of things.

29. Yuri!!! On Ice

Yuri On Ice 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

A lot of anime about sports are about teams. There are a lot of characters who need to learn what it means to work as a group.

Instead, Yuri focuses on a famous figure skater who is hurting after a devastating loss, as well as a world champion figure skater who offers to help him.

When they aren’t sure where their lives should go next, they find what they need in each other.

Fans still want a second season of the anime even though it has been more than six years since the first season aired.

Even though a movie was being made, it hasn’t been given an official release date yet, so fans of this anime will have to keep guessing about what will happen next.

28. Odd Taxi

Odd Taxi Odokawa Walrus Form in Taxi Screenshot 1 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Odd Taxi is a pretty interesting anime. It is both a slice-of-life show and a crime show.

Its main characters are animals that act like people, and the main character is a walrus who drives a taxi.

His story is about a lot of strange passengers, but in the end, it’s about how he’s connected to a case of a missing person.

Hiroshi Odokawa might be blunt and a little strange, but when both the police and the yakuza come after him, his life is completely turned upside down.

Fans might want to watch the show twice because there is so much to like about it, from the different people in the taxi to the overall mystery.

27. Bloom Into You

Bloom Into You 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

In this short anime series, teen Yuu Koito goes through a time when she learns more about herself.

She loves romance stories, but when a boy tells her he likes her, it doesn’t make her feel as excited as she thought it would.

She has to figure out why.

When she finally asks another girl for help, she finds out that it might be because she doesn’t like boys at all.

Rarely do romance animes focus on relationships between people of the same gender, but Bloom Into You does this in a sweet and fun coming-of-age story.

Even though there are only 13 episodes, it doesn’t feel rushed or unfinished, which is also rare in romance anime.

26. Katanagatari

Katanagatari 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Katanagatari is based on a light novel by Bakemonogatari author Nisio Isin.

It tells the story of an ambitious woman and her somewhat dim-witted warrior guardian who go on a journey through Japan to find 12 legendary blades.

Katanagatari is a must-see anime because it has beautiful character designs, great animation, and interesting dialogue.

One thing to keep in mind is that even though there are only 12 episodes, each one runs for 45 minutes.

This means that Katanagatari will take up more time than other single-season anime shows.

25. Prison School

Prison School short anime

This short anime starts at Hachimitsu Private Academy, a famous all-girls boarding school on the edge of Tokyo that is known for its high-quality education and well-behaved students.

But all of this is about to change because the school’s most famous rule has been changed and boys can now also attend.

At the start of the first semester after this new rule went into effect, only five boys were allowed in. This means that there are 200 girls for every boy in the school.

Kiyoshi, Gakuto, Shingo, Andre, and Jo are quickly thrown away before they can make a first impression.

When the boys couldn’t talk to the girls in their classes, they decided to do something much more dangerous: they peeped into the girls’ bathrooms.

Only after the infamous Underground Student Council completely ruins their plan are the misfits thrown into the school’s prison for a month as punishment.

So starts the story of the boys’ hard lives in Prison School, a struggle for right that will test the bonds of friendship and perverted brotherhood in the end.

24. Charlotte


This short anime story is about the following. Yuu Otosaka seems like any other charming and smart teenager, but he has a secret: for five seconds at a time, he can get into other people’s minds and control their bodies.

Yuu has been using this skill for a long time to get the best grades, which helped him get into a good high school.

When the mysterious Nao Tomori sees Yuu using his power, she makes him and his sister Ayumi go to Hoshinoumi Academy, a school for people with supernatural powers.

Nao is in charge of the school’s student council, which is in charge of finding teens who use their power wrongly. Yuu has to join the student council against his will.

Together, they face hard challenges that bring him closer to the shocking truth that his ability, which seems to be incomplete, might be much stronger than he ever thought.

Jun Maeda, who also made Angel Beats and Clannad, came up with the story for Charlotte. It looks at what it costs these teens to be different and how their supernatural lives affect them.

23. Darwin’s Game

Darwin’s Game

It’s time to fight to the death!

There have been a lot of copies of Mirai Nikki, but I think that Darwin’s Game can stand on its own.

As was kind of said, it’s all about making alliances and killing other players so you can move forward and, well, not die.

This series is definitely “edgy” because there is a lot of death in it. And it is not in any way censored or kind.

At the moment, there is only one season with 11 episodes. But I really hope that we’ll get more (diaries) in the future.

22. Death Parade

Death Parade

This short anime begins with There is no heaven or hell after death. Instead, there is a bar between reincarnation and nothingness.

There, the attendant will pair up recently dead people and challenge them to a random game in which they will bet on whether they will go back to life or fall into the void.

Whether it’s bowling, darts, air hockey, or something else, each person’s true nature will come out in a horrifying parade of death and memories that dance to the whims of the bar’s master.

Welcome to Quindecim, where the judge of the afterlife, Decim, is waiting for you! Death Parade adds to the original short film, which was made to teach young animators how to draw.

It continues with more people being judged, until a strange visitor with black hair makes Decim start to doubt his own decisions.

21. Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

Here’s what happens in this short anime story. Lucy is a “Diclonius,” a special kind of human who was born with a short pair of horns and the ability to move her hands without touching them.

Because of this, the government has been using her as a test subject for cruel scientific experiments.

But when circumstances give her a chance to get away, Lucy, who has been locked up and tortured, kills a lot of people as she runs away from her captors.

During her escape, she gets a serious head injury that leaves her with two different personalities. One has the mind of a harmless child and can’t talk much.

In this state of chaos, she runs into two college students, Kouta and his cousin Yuka. They take care of an injured fugitive, not knowing that she has a tendency to kill.

This kind act will change their lives, as they will soon be pulled into the dark world of government secrets and conspiracies.

20. Plastic Neesan

Plastic Neesan

While you were reading this list, did you think, “Man, 13 episodes is still too long for me!”

Then you’re in luck, because there are only 12 episodes of this. Each episode is also 2 minutes long.

This makes me feel like I don’t know what’s going on and why I can’t breathe.

Plastic Neesan is like a “best of” compilation where every skit has a punchline that is so strange you never see it coming.

The main characters are cute, the story moves quickly, and why was that one guy wearing a bra? I really do have a lot of questions.

19. WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular!

WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular!

Here’s what happens in this short anime story. Tomoko Kuroki thinks she is ready for her first year of high school because she has lived 50 fake high school lives and dated over 100 virtual boys.

She doesn’t know it yet, but she isn’t as ready as she thinks she is.

Tomoko is actually a shy and awkward young woman, and she is the only one who doesn’t know it.

Tomoko tries to face the new world of high school with the help of her best friend Yuu Naruse and the love and support of her brother Tomoki.

In Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!, a high school otaku who is socially awkward and doesn’t have many friends tries to overcome her own problems so she can live a full life.

18. Ishuzoku Reviewers

Ishuzoku Reviewers

You know, sometimes you want a well-thought-out plot, a good lesson, and some action with a lot at stake… and sometimes you want Ishuzoku Reviewers.

Simply put, this is like if the anime community and the adult anime community joined hands.

It goes way beyond what usually happens on ecchi shows by a mile or two and is very raunchy overall.

But what do you know? If you’re an adult who just wants to forget about life for a while, give it a try.

Even so, there are only 12 episodes. You’ll also have a good time, which is really all that matters, right?

17. House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

This short anime is about samurai who don’t have a leader. Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naivety and lack of confidence have caused the lords who have hired him to fire him over and over again.

He becomes a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a gang called “Five Leaves.” He does this because he is hungry and needs money.

Even though the gang’s bad behavior bothers Masa, he starts to think that Yaichi’s intentions are not what they seem to be.

Even though he has doubts, the more he gets involved with the Five Leaves, the more he is interested in these sneaky, mysterious criminals.

16. The Comic Artist and His Assistants

The Comic Artist and His Assistants 1 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

I mean, it’s kind of obvious from the name, isn’t it?

This show is about a mangaka and all the women who are in his life.

It’s a typical harem comedy with a cute and horny main character and short skits.

What’s the point? I don’t know, but I bet it has something to do with women’s pants.

But the story doesn’t really matter because there are only 12 episodes that are each 13 minutes long. And because the whole point is to have a good laugh.

I can’t say that it’s my favorite funny movie. But it is, at the very least, fun!

15. Grand Blue

Grand Blue 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

This is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen so far.

There are only 12 episodes, but trust me when I say that the laughs never stop.

It’s a show about a bunch of guys who just like to get drunk, strip down, go diving, and have a great time.

The jokes are very direct, and I think the physical ones are the best.

If you’re old enough, you can even drink with the characters to feel even more like one of them.

In addition to the funny parts, there are also some very touching ones.

And the landscapes, or should I say waterscapes, are just gorgeous.

14. Another


Here’s what happens in this short anime story. Misaki, a popular student in class 3-3 at Yomiyama North Middle School in 1972, died during the school year.

Since then, the town of Yomiyama has had a scary feeling because of the dark secrets that are hidden deep inside.

Twenty-six years later, when Kouichi Sakakibara is 15, he moves into class 3-3 at Yomiyama North. Soon after, he notices that everyone in the class seems to be in a strange, sad mood.

He is also interested in Mei Misaki, a mysterious student who wears an eyepatch. However, the rest of the class and the teachers act like she doesn’t exist.

Even though everyone, including Mei, has warned him, Kouichi is getting closer not only to her but also to the truth about the horrible thing that is happening in class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.

In Another, Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates are drawn into the mystery of a series of tragic events that are bound to happen. But figuring out the horror of Yomiyama may cost them the ultimate price.

13. Baccano!


The best way I can explain Baccano is by saying that it’s like watching all of Game of Thrones in one season.

This is because the story jumps between three plot lines that are all important, and there are a lot of important characters.

It also takes place in America in the 1930s, so get ready to forget who belongs to which mafia family all the time.

There is more to the story than just the mafia. For example, there is alchemy and a murderous beasty-boy. Plus some blood and even a little love.

All of that is crammed into just 13 episodes and a few extras.

And really, it’s worth every second to watch this show.

12. Ping Pong the Animation

Ping Pong the Animation

You know how I said that the style of art in Five Leaves was interesting?

Well, you’ll have to turn that up a few notches. Like in every other sports anime, the sport is more of a tool for telling the story than the main focus.

You don’t need to know how to play ping pong to love the show, its message, or its characters. It’s a well-written show about passion, what it means to try to be the best, and what it means to grow up.

I strongly suggest that you don’t skip the show just because the art style and animation are different from what you’re used to. It doesn’t take long to get used to.

At the end of the day, the ratings don’t lie: this show is a real gem.

11. The Devil as a Part-Timer

The Devil as a Part-Timer

Paradise Lost: The Anime has a lot of great things in it.

First of all, it’s very funny. Even the fact that The Devil is flipping burgers makes you want to laugh.

But it also has well-animated action scenes and a strong slice of life feel. It’s a winner in so many ways.

The main characters are all very colorful and weird, but Shirou is my favorite.

So any scene where there are more than two main characters is a good time.

10. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time

Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time

I don’t know how, but this show reminds me a lot of Phineas and Ferb.

It’s all about a boy who doesn’t like school at all. So he finds something else to do.

But instead of skipping school, he brings his fun to class by showing a new game or activity in each episode.

He brings a pet with him sometimes. Other times, he plays both chess and shogi at the same time. It also has funny parts where the girl who sits next to him is always blamed for his antics.

There are 21 episodes of the show, but each one is only 7 minutes long. So it’s still possible to eat it all in one sitting.

9. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

Here’s what happens in this short anime story.

Even though they couldn’t be more different, Hajime Tsunashi, a hard-core otaku who doesn’t leave his house and makes a living from his blog, and Kaoru, a hard-working office worker who is pretty normal, if a little bit of a crazy drunk, have fallen in love.

This unlikely couple learns that love is much more than a first kiss or a wedding. The years of marriage bring both joys and problems.

Hajime and Kaoru get into a lot of strange and funny situations, either because they are strange people themselves or because they hang out with other strange people.

But even though they have problems, their love for each other pushes them to move forward and try to be better people so they can make their partner happy.

8. Senyuu


Senyuu can’t be stopped by any trope.

It’s a “looks like isekai but isn’t” isekai comedy with a very fast pace and a lot of satire. It will take you about 2 hours to watch the whole thing.

It basically turns the usual “hero chosen by the king to defeat the demon” plot on its head, kicks it in the teeth, and then says “I love you.”

Everyone in the story is as strange as it gets. We have the pedophilic knight, the inept main character, the sadistic sidekick who is actually the strongest character in the story, and a lot more.

Even the beginning of the show changes all the time and cracks jokes as it goes. I swear, this show is totally different.

7. Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland

Here’s what happens in this short anime story. It looked like Ganta Igarashi and his classmates were going to have a normal day.

They were getting ready to go on a class field trip to a prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where prisoners do dangerous things for the entertainment of people watching.

But Ganta’s life quickly turns upside down when a mysterious man in red kills everyone in his class. Ganta was blamed for what happened and given a death sentence.

He was sent to the same jail he was supposed to visit. But Ganta’s nightmare hasn’t even started yet.

The main character, a young man, is thrown into a world with cruel inmates and mysterious powers. He has to live in constant fear of the deadly collar around his neck, which can only be slowed by winning the prison’s deadly games.

In Deadman Wonderland, Ganta has to risk his life to stay alive in a dangerous place where it’s not always easy to tell who is a friend and who is an enemy. He’s also trying to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name.

6. Sakamoto desu ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto)

Sakamoto desu ga?

I’m beginning to think that short anime comedies could be a goldmine.

Sakamoto is the main character, and he is perfect in every way.

Want to be mean to Sakamoto?

So, you’re in love with him now, right?

You know Sakomoto, right? Now, your mom really likes him.

He does everything in such a great way, even though most of the things he does don’t make any sense… He makes it work, though.

It’s a pretty crazy and silly comedy, and you keep wondering how they’ll ever top Sakamoto’s perfection.

5. Erased


Here’s what happens in this short anime story. When something bad is about to happen, Satoru Fujinuma is sent back a few minutes before it happens.

This powerful and mysterious phenomenon, which the 29-year-old manga artist calls “Revival,” has helped him save a lot of lives.

But when he is falsely accused of killing someone close to him, Satoru is sent back in time again, this time to 1988, 18 years ago.

Soon, he realizes that the murder may have something to do with the kidnapping and killing of his classmate Kayo Hinazuki when he was a child. Hinazuki was a mysterious and lonesome girl.

Now is his chance to fix things. Boku dake ga Inai Machi follows Satoru on his quest to find out what really happened 18 years ago, save his classmate from dying, and protect those he cares about now.

4. Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby

It’s hard to believe there are only 10 episodes of Devilman Crybaby. Because, boy, does everything happen fast.

One second, it looks like a slice-of-life show with some banger rap, and the next, death is everywhere, you’re crying, and God might be dead.

The art style is so unique, the music is great, running is funny, and the whole thing makes you feel like you’re on acid.

Even though it’s based on something else, the show is so different. Plus, it’s short enough that it’s a great way to clear your mind.

3. Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)

Zankyou no Terror 1 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

Here’s what happens in this short anime story. After a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan, all that is left is the word “VON” painted in red.

The government is broken because it can’t do anything, and the police are scrambling to find ways to punish the criminals.

The public has no idea what’s going on until a strange video shows up on the internet six months later. In it, two teenage boys who only call themselves “Sphinx” directly challenge the police and threaten to cause damage and chaos all over Tokyo.

Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki is in the middle of it all. The police can’t stop the panic that is spreading quickly through the city, and they are desperate for any clues that might help them find the terrorists.

The story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx, is told in Zankyou no Terror. They shouldn’t exist, but they do.

They’re strong in a world of lies and secrets, and they’re destroying the city around them to hide their own sad truth.

2. Beastars

Beastars 5 35+ Popular Short Anime Series Of All Time

If you haven’t watched this anime because you think it will turn you into a furry, you’ve been missing out on a lot.

It might be one of my favorite new shows of 2019.

With only 12 episodes, it’s easy to watch them all at once.

The story talks about a lot of interesting things, like how to control your nature, how to be happy in your own skin, what it means to be dangerous, and so on.

You’ll quickly like everyone in the story. You’ll also notice that, ironically, the cast is made up of some of the most realistic characters written in the past few years.

1. The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland

Here’s what happens in this short anime story. The Grace Field House is in the middle of a forest and has a gated entrance. Isabella, who they call “Mama,” takes care of the orphans who live there as if they were one big family.

Even though they have to take tests every day, the kids are free to do what they want with their time. Most of the time, that means playing outside, as long as they don’t go too far from the orphanage, which is a rule they have to follow no matter what.

But every few months, a child is adopted and sent to live with their new family, never to be seen or heard from again.

But the three oldest siblings have their doubts about what’s really going on at the orphanage, and they’re about to find out that the children who live at Grace Field are in for a cruel fate, and that their beloved Mama is a very strange person.

It’s set to have a second season in 2021, but I advise you to get on the hype train as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Garima Singh

Moshi Moshi everyone! I'm Garima, an anime enthusiast with a passion for sharing my love of anime with others. I've watched over 1000 anime, and I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting shows to watch.

I love everything about anime, from the stories and characters to the animation and music. I'm also a big fan of anime culture, and I love to learn about Japanese culture and history through anime.

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