We all love short and sweet anime series which doesn’t demand investing too much time. Although we have discussed the best short anime here, do you still find yourself looking for an even shorter series or just don’t want to wait for further seasons to enjoy the show?
As always, we got you covered up pretty well as today we selected a list of the best short anime under 13 episodes or less for you!
Best Short Anime With 12/13 Episodes or Less
This time we have considered short anime with one season and a movie/OVA to wrap up the plot so even after finishing the show, you can expect another relaxing or exhilarating evening for some more content the anime might have to offer so sit back and let us present to you this list of incredible short anime.
15. Eden of The East
Release Year: 2009
Studio: Production I.G
Genre: Sci-Fi, Suspense
We start the list with Eden of The East. Japan has forgotten all about the 22nd of November, 2010 because of a supposedly failed terrorist attack where no one was harmed. Despite the day being referred to as the “Careless Monday”, Saki Morimi’s fate says otherwise as she meets the enigmatic yet amnestic Akira Takizawa who in turn saves her life.
She comes to know that he considers himself a terrorist and his phone is loaded with a huge amount of money but that doesn’t stop her from befriending the man as she gets stuck in a death game that involves other people using similar phones. She needs to unravel the mystery behind her savior as she realizes the failed terrorist attack might not have been careless at all. Filled with mystery and action and some romance, it is an allrounder short anime with under 13 episodes!
Now if you loved watching the series, there is more to offer as there are two sequel movies that take place after the events of the series! They are – Eden of The East Movie I – The King of Eden, Eden of The East Movie II – Paradise Lost.
14. Wonder Egg Priority
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Psychological
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. However, viewer discretion is necessary as it contains themes that could come across as triggering to some.
It also features in our list of short anime with just a single season.
Release Year: 2016
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Erased is a beautiful story about revenge and correcting your mistakes. Also, people who like time travel are definitely going to enjoy this particular short anime as Satoru Fujinuma’s “Revival” sends him back in time just a few minutes before a particular event, in turn saving many lives but this time things go south as he is accused for the death of someone close to him.
This time his power sends him back much before as compared to mere minutes and he realizes that the unfortunate events in the present might be connected to the disappearance and murder of one of his classmates in the past. The story is filled with determination and the constant struggle of Satoru as he strives to save everyone around him.
12. Terror in Resonance
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
At the twelfth position, we have the eleven-episode wonder, Terror in Resonance. Attacks on a nuclear facility have terrorized Japan 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 anime does exactly that!
11. Asobi Asobase
Release Year: 2018
Genre: Comedy, School Life
Taking a different turn from action, Asobi Asobase is a light-hearted, comedy-driven short anime that can bring a smile to anyone. Olivia might not be fluent in English but her language barrier is not important when it comes to her relationship with Hanako Hona who is nothing but a loud-mouthed airhead. Their entertaining acts pull the attention of Kasumi Nomura who joins them, despite being annoyed at first.
The peculiar trio then established the “Pastime Club” where they continue their random acts of amusement which leads to them getting into trouble or outright being a nuisance to everyone! With an equally hilarious side cast, it is must watch if you are looking for a good laugh within 13 episodes!
If you still want to enjoy more of this hilarious yet adorable show, check out the sequel OVA Asobi Asobase: Cosplay Contest/To the Future Me which wraps up the story!
10. Elfen Lied
Release Year: 2004
Genre: Gore, Horror
Elfen Lied is known for its gore and horror elements. Despite being a short anime, it leaves the viewer in shock and surprise. The main character Lucy is a “Diclonius”, a special breed of human born with defining horns and supernatural powers, that is a result of a series of experiments done by the government but despite getting an opportunity to escape, she leaves behind bloodshed and a crippling head injury.
Her injury results in her developing a split personality where one side of her is a harmless child with limited capability of speech. During this time she meets Kouta and her cousin Yuka who take her into care but Lucy’s murderous instincts plus the government looking for her will make their lives difficult.
9. Serial Experiments Lain
Release Year: 1998
Studio: Triangle Staff
Genre: Supernatural, Psychological
An avant-garde mystery series, Serial Experiments Lain is on the darker side of the short anime spectrum. It deals with the life of Lain Iwakura who is completely unfamiliar with technology and as she opens a strange email sent by one of her classmates who recently committed suicide, she gets sucked into “Wired”, a virtual world of communication networks that is similar to the Internet.
With her life turned upside down, she is now stuck in this precarious situation where she is constantly observed and questioned by strange men who seem to know more about her than she knows herself. As she stumbles across more mysteries, can she find her way out before her sense of reality and perception turn into something else completely?
8. A Place Further Than The Universe
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
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 short anime offers a rollercoaster of emotions as by the end of the series one realizes that the journey matters more than the destination!
7. Daily Life of Highschool Boys
Release Year: 2012
Genre: Comedy, School Life
Now then, let’s get back to something more light-hearted but ready your stomach beforehand because it’s gonna hurt really bad after watching Daily Life of High School Boys. Tadakuni, Yoshitake, and Hidenori are the trio in attention as their unwavering curiosity and budding adolescence lead them into performing the most bizarre acts.
As they discover their teenage lives, their wild imagination leads them to daydream a world filled with robots, RPG impressions, and even intense love but in totality, this short anime can turn your boring days into something special which is a great feeling! Despite under 13 episodes, we would have loved it to be longer!
6. Paranoia Agent:
Release Year: 2004
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Released back in 2004, Paranoia Agent takes the sixth spot on the list. This short anime consists of 13 episodes and was animated by the famous studio Madhouse. It deals with the infamous thug of Musashino City, referred to as Shounen Bat or “Lil’ Slugger” who goes on terrorizing the streets and beats up people using his oddly bent, golden baseball bat.
His first victim was the famous yet timid character designer Tsukiko Sagi but there is more to it as she becomes the catalyst of the plot. As his terror continues to spread, a detective duo begins to investigate the identity of the thug but will they be able to find him or will they become victims of the same? The sense of horror and mystery reeks in the streets and every episode of this fantastic show.
Release Year: 2007
Studio: Brain’s Base
Genre: Action, Comedy
One of the classics, Baccano! is a pretty common choice for people looking for short anime under 13 episodes. Not only is the show filled with action-packed content and comedy the light novel has won its deserved awards. The plot describes multiple different situations taking place at different locations and even different time periods but do not be fooled by the randomness.
Although the events may seem unrelated at first, they all add up to the main themes of the story that is connected by the likes of two would-be thieves, Issac and Mira. With a colorful character cast, interdependent storylines, and a jazzy soundtrack, Baccano! should be the choice for people looking for something unique.
After binging the series, it is quite important to go through the 3 episodes of Baccano! Specials as it closes the haphazard plot and concludes the story.
4. Death Parade
Genre: Drama, Supernatural, Suspense
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.
If you still aren’t satisfied with this madness, Death Billiards is the prequel movie to Death Parade, whose success led to the formation of the series and it is worth checking it out.
3. Bunny Drop
Release Year: 2011
Studio: Production I.G
Genre: Slice of Life
Bunny Drop or Usagi Drop comes next in third place. A beautiful short anime about the relationship between 30-year-old Daikichi Kawachi, a working bachelor, and Rin Kaga, a young girl. But wait, did you think they were father and daughter? No! Rin is the illegitimate daughter of Kawachi’s grandfather who passed away recently. That means the young girl is… Kawachi’s elder by relation!!
Along with this bizarre situation, her life is not so easy as she is ostracized by everyone and no one wants to take responsibility for taking care of her, so Kawachi decides to step in after looking at her rough treatment! Will he, who has no experience in being a parent be able to take care of her? The beautiful father-daughter dynamics and adorable moments make this watch worthwhile.
Release Year: 2014
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: Slice of Life
One of the more popular series, Barakamon is loved by many. It tells the tale of Seishuu Handa, an up-and-coming talented calligrapher, who is also a narcissist despite his good looks and skills. After an unfortunate turn of events, he is sent to rural life, far from the comforts of Tokyo by his father and now he has to develop his own unique art style.
Although it might seem like a rational decision to make as one gets closer to nature, his life is turned upside down when he realizes that he cannot live and practice his art with peace of mind. From mischievous kids to intrusive old men, can Seishuu find his direction amidst this chaos? From lovable characters to beautiful development, Barakamon has got it right but there is another short anime that excels in everything.
The comedy does not end here as the prequel series Handa-kun has more to offer. Learn more about his past life and attitude to have a better understanding of him!
1. The Tatami Galaxy
Release Year: 2010
Genre: Comedy, Romance
We have gone through many titles but Tatami Galaxy is different. Taking the number one spot on this list, this short anime is one the best anime to come out from Madhouse. The plot talks about the life of a single third-year college student who, let’s say, didn’t live the best college life, and after meeting a supposed god who makes him retrospect, he tries out hit luck one last time by asking out the unsociable yet kind Akashi, who in turn turns him down.
As he begins to regret not living his college life up to his best, he is suddenly taken back in time to the beginning of his college life. Can he do things correctly this time? With an interesting plot, what Tatami Galaxy excels in is its unique art style and character design that never leaves a moment mundane and along with the MC’s chance to relieve his life again. Will he live his life better this time?
The unique portrayal of emotion with animation is carried over to the sequel OVA The Tatami Time Machine Blues which further explores the lives of the students as we conclude the list of the best short anime under 13 episodes!
Good short anime know that their job is to satisfy the audience with a limited episode count and this list is the collection of the ones that excel in the department. We would love to know more from you so let us know in the comments: Which one is your favorite? Which one you did not like and which other anime deserve to be on the list? Let us know!