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15 Best Short Anime With Just A Single Season!

If you want to know about the best short anime series which you can binge in a couple of days, this is the place for you.

Best Short Anime With Just A Single Season

Have you ever found yourself looking for anime and got intimidated by the sheer amount of episodes or seasons some of them have to offer? Although it is worth watching the long ones such as Naruto, Bleach, or One Piece it is only the case when you have the appropriate time.

Also, you may not want to indulge heavily for a long time and want some short anime series to binge. Don’t you feel that way? If yes, you have come to the right place.

We have compiled the top 15 best short anime with a single season in this list. These include anime ranging from a meager 6 episodes to a full-on season of 24 to 25 episodes, all of which can be binged on a free weekend. A variety of genres have been considered here on the list for everyone to enjoy so without further adieu, let’s jump straight into it:

15. Summer Time Rendering

Episodes: 25
Studio: OLM
Genre: Supernatural, mystery, suspense

Summer Time Rendering

Starting the list of the best short anime with a single season, we have Summertime Rendering. Released in Spring 2022, it is one of the best titles to come out last year. The basic premise of the story follows the life of Shinpei Ajiro, who has returned to his home, the island of Hitogashima after the death of his childhood friend Ushio. He is grief-stricken to find out about this news and is not ready to believe the cause of death.

As he starts to investigate further the real cause of her death, danger looms closer, and in almost no time he realizes that he is stuck in a race against death and time with supernatural forces.

Despite gaining seemingly powerful abilities, can he decipher the mystery of her death and save everyone else on the island? Every episode keeps the viewer at the edge of their seat and it is especially recommended for fans of Re:Zero if they are looking for something very similar!

14. Wonder Egg Priority

Episodes: 12
Studio: CloverWorks
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Psychological

Wonder Egg Priority

Wonder Egg Priority comes next as we gear up for the list. Ai Ooto is devasted after the suicide of her best friend and desperate measures lead her to purchase a mysterious egg, known as A Wonder Egg.

This egg allows her to help people with their problems after she breaks the egg in her sleep. As he starts helping others, she realizes that this takes her one step closer to saving her best friend but as she realizes the problems that humans deal with, she takes it upon herself to rescue them from their worst nightmares.

This short anime deals beautifully with a lot of things in a single season, including conditions such as trauma and depression. The regrets that Ai discovers within countless people and her act of caring for and helping them makes it a beautiful one-time watch although viewer discretion is necessary as it contains themes that could come across as triggering to some.

13. Run With The Wind

Episodes: 23
Studio: Production I.G
Genre: Sports, Drama

Run With The Wind

Produced by the same studio which did Haikyu, Run With The Wind is a fantastic short anime about sports, more precisely running. Kakeru Kurahara is a former ace runner from Sendai Josei High School but after joining Kansei University, things change, and he resorts to gambling and shoplifting.

But one day, after being caught shoplifting by Haiji Kiyose, his life changes.

Himself a part of the Kansei University Track Team, Haiji offers Kakeru to join the team so that they can participate in the Hakone Ekiden, one of the most prestigious marathons held annually. But will Kakeru’s past allow him to bring back his inner sportsman once again?

A masterclass depiction of the mindset of a runner and most importantly, this show encourages passion for improving, a common yet satisfying trope found within all sports anime.

12. Terror in Resonance

Episodes: 11
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Terror in Resonance

At the tenth position, we have the eleven-episode wonder, Terror in Resonance. Japan has been terrorized by attacks on a nuclear facility and the incompetence of the police has left it in shambles. Six months later, a duo who recognize themselves as “Sphinx” threaten to cause destruction and mayhem around Japan in a video that was released online, going viral.

What are the motives behind this threat and who are the mysterious duo?

Zankyou no Terror is an action-packed suspense story with a masterclass ending, as the duo tries to bring down the world of lies and deception to the ground. Short anime tend to make every episode count and this is just the beginning of the list!

11. Dororo

Episodes: 24
Studio: Tezuka Productions, MAPPA
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural

Dororo

Dororo is a story about loss and taking back what is rightfully yours. Everything born out of desperation is without reason and Lord Daigo Kagemitsu’s plea to save his land from dying was no different. To turn fate, his first son’s body parts were sacrificed to twelve demons which granted his pleas for help but the child did not die. He still breathes even after having not even a corporeal form.

Hyakkimaru’s fate had different plans as he was saved and able to get a body. He sets off on the journey to retrieve his body parts by killing the demons and accompanying him is a child named Dororo, who holds enough secrets to keep the viewer engaged in this short anime.

10. Golden Boy

Episodes: 6
Studio: APPP
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi

Golden Boy

A higher number of episodes does not necessarily pertain to the quality of a series as Golden Boy takes a special place in the hearts of people who watch it. Released in 1995, it is a collection of only six episodes that shows the journey of Kintarou Ooe, a college dropout who wanders throughout Japan looking for part-time jobs, the only thing that can help him raise money.

He excels in daydreaming and admiring beautiful women as he finds himself doing odd jobs for companies and other people but that is not at all everything that the story has to offer. You see, there is a reason why he’s a college dropout, and if you want to know why, it won’t take you much time to realize as you can zoom through the 6 episodes. It is worth the short watch!

9. Banana Fish

Episodes: 24
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Action, Drama, Suspense

Banana Fish

Entering into the world of Mafia and Gang warfare, Banana Fish handles the genre perfectly in a short anime format. Ash Lynx now is the boss of his own gang, after being picked up seventeen years ago by Dino Golzine, the godfather of the Mafia. He starts investigating a certain “Banana Fish”, the two words muttered by his older brother since his return from the Iraq War.

As he tries to dig deeper into the mysterious words his efforts are hindered when Dino sends his men after him. Some of his friends are kidnapped and now he has to save his friends and continue his search for Banana Fish. With great story writing and character development and a bit of Yaoi, Banana Fish is a must-watch short anime.

8. Samurai Champloo

Episodes: 26
Studio: Manglobe
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Samurai Champloo

A creation of Shinichiro Watanabe, Samurai Champloo is set in the Edo Period of Japan with some spice to it. The story follows the duo of Mugen and Jin, who are the supposed bodyguards of Fuu Kasumi. Jin condones a traditional style of sword fighting whereas Mugen brings in a twist with an eccentric way of fighting, akin to breakdancing. It is Fuu’s job to control them and not go after each other’s throats!

As they set on the journey to find a certain someone, the series provides a perfect mix of action, comedy, and soundtrack which is inspired by hip-hop. Also, as mentioned before it is a creation of Shinichiro Watanabe who is also the creator of Cowboy Bebop, and it is set in the same universe! Watanabe is a master of short anime.

7. A Place Further Than The Universe

Episodes: 13
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Adventure, Comedy

A Place Further Than The Universe

An original creation by Madhouse, A Place Further Than The Universe depicts the story of Mari Tamaki, whose burning passion for discovering what lies beyond the extremities of the universe also has her anxious about her limitations of reality but such ambivalence will not stop her from living an adventurous life as she meets like-minded people with different aspirations.

One of them is Shirase Kobuchizawa, whose mother’s disappearance has led her to fund a trip to Antarctica.

Mari will not abandon this opportunity as she along with two others join Shirase for her trip to the frozen continent. Can they deal with the harsh climate and make new memories out of dangerous experiences? This anime offers a rollercoaster of emotions as by the end of the series one realizes that the journey matters more than the destination!

6. Your Lie in April

Episodes: 22
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Drama, Romance, Music

Your Lie in April

Music lovers rejoice as your favorite anime takes the fifth spot. A fantastic representation of drama and music, Your Lie in April is a must-watch if you are looking for one-season masterpieces. It follows the story of Kosei Arima, a child prodigy in music who is more of a robot due to his extreme mechanical skill in playing and his interactions with the eccentric Kaori Miyazono, the complete opposite of him.

Her style of music is the portrayal of freedom of melody and improvisation which completely opposes Arima’s style but as he finds himself entranced with her whole being and learns more about her, the viewer goes through a rollercoaster of emotions. April would hurt more after watching this short anime.

5. Parasyte: The Maxim

Episodes: 24
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Gore, Supernatural, Psychological

Parasyte The Maxim

One of the darkest yet eye-opener of a series, Parasyte: The Maxim is one of the most famous entries when short anime come to mind. The world has been invaded by gruesome parasitic aliens who can take control of any living being once they get access to the brain. Still, Shinichi Izumi was lucky to have prevented the invading parasite to achieve its goal albeit with a twist: it is now stuck and fully formed into his forearm.

As Shinichi’s brutal life pursues, he comes to learn more about these parasites and how their ideology works. It turns into a symbiotic relationship working on trust, as they strive to battle and defeat other infected humans and animals. A masterclass portrayal of human attitude and emotion, it is a must-watch short anime that leaves an impact with not too many episodes to indulge in.

4. Trigun(1998)

Episodes: 26
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Trigun(1998)

The late 20th century was hit with a storm with the release of Trigun. It received a massive cult following and we are here to tell you why. Vash is considered to be a ruthless villain of the planet Gunsmoke with a sixty billion bounty on his head due to his heinous crimes of mass destruction and massacres, all for his own enjoyment.

Despite such claims, he is actually a soft-spoken “normal” guy who claims to have never taken a life and is obsessed with not death, but donuts.

What is the true mystery behind the accusations? Witness his journey alongside his two insurance agents as hired assassins come to take his throat. With an exhilarating plot and a riveting backstory, Trigun’s success is not only a nod to the idea of short anime but also classic anime in general.

3. Death Parade

Episodes: 12
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Drama, Supernatural, Suspense

Death Parade

We are all aware of the blockbuster opening song of this anime, titled “Flyers” but do not be fooled by the atmosphere it presents in the opening as the setting is entirely different! If you think that Death Parade is a short anime about a bar filled with a goofy bunch who enjoy drinking and dancing you are gravely mistaken as the bar is actually called Quindecim, a place where pairs of humans who die at the same can enter and it is the job of Decim to pass judgment on them, acting as the arbiter.

Decim’s judgment includes people participating in life-threatening games that decide whether they will be reincarnated into a new life or be sent to void, forever missing but Decim’s days of unadulterated thinking are about to change after a certain someone appears. From the opening to the characters to their interactions, you will thank yourself for investing your hard-earned free time into this.

2. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Episodes: 27
Studio: Gainax
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The action-packed, mecha-powered Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann comes next as we witness the short anime that comes in second position. Simon and Kamina were born and raised in a deep underground village and adopted different personalities.

Simon is a shy and timid young boy with no real aspirations but on the other hand, Kamina’s only goal is to make a name for himself, hellbent on it. Everything changes when they stumble upon a mysterious object which they decide to call Lagann. Little did they know that it was an ancient artifact responsible for the destruction.

Can they use the power of Lagann to fend off evil? As they explore the wastelands of Earth’s surface, they find themselves trapped in intra-galactic warfare between the beastmen and gunmen. A thrilling and adrenaline-rushed story, you will be at the edge of your seat at all times throughout this short anime as the story unravels its mysteries.

1. Cowboy Bebop

Episodes: 26
Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Futuristic

Cowboy Bebop

Shinichiro Watanabe’s contribution to the anime world cannot be appreciated enough as his original creation of Cowboy Bebop takes the first place. Although Samurai Champloo is set in the same universe, it was Cowboy Bebop to have laid the foundations.

Set in the year 2071, humanity has spread all over the galaxy but human tendencies of crime, theft, and murder have not changed. Spike Spiegel and Jet Black strive to live an honest life by pursuing criminals throughout space.

A heavy past can severely affect a character and it is the case with Spike as he is disrupted by a menace of his past. Despite making new friends in his journey of delivering justice, will he abandon his newly found family for treating the wounds of his past?

A masterclass setting with an eccentric yet fan-favorite main character, Cowboy Bebop is not only one of the best short anime but also one of the most iconic anime in general, as we conclude our list with a “Bang!”.

Conclusion

Many entries would fulfill the list of great one-season short anime and we would encourage our readers to have a healthy discussion regarding other amazing series that could make it into the list! We have more content lined up for short anime series so stay tuned for that! Meanwhile, you can also check out our suggestions for best-underrated comedy anime and best feel-good anime.

Reference is taken from myanimelist.

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