This week’s short anime series to binge-watch include Devilman Crybaby, Death Parade, Erased, Barakamon, and Tsuki ga Kirei.
Every anime fan might not have the time to delve into extensive series like Naruto or One Piece. Still, everyone should make time to experience these compact, single-season anime adventures.
The intimidating length of renowned anime series like Naruto, One Piece, or The Legend of Galactic Heroes can deter newcomers.
Short Anime Series to Devour This Week
The quality of anime isn’t determined by its episode count, which is one of the genre’s greatest features. For some extensive anime, fans may want to eliminate elements that don’t enhance the story.
Conversely, some of the briefest anime captivate fans so much that they crave more.
1FLCL (6 episodes)
If you’re looking for a short anime that’s bonkers, look no further than “FLCL.” With only 6 episodes, this anime takes you on a mind-bending journey that involves robots, aliens, and a mysterious guitar-wielding woman.
The plot is a wild roller-coaster ride that will make you dizzy, but the intriguing characters and stellar soundtrack will make it worthwhile.
2Erased (12 episodes)
For lovers of mystery and suspense, “Erased” is a 12-episode thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. When a tragedy triggers Satoru’s unique ability to travel back in time, he’s sent back to his childhood years to prevent a series of unsolved kidnappings and murders.
Packed with suspense, emotions, and a captivating storyline, “Erased” is a time-travel treat that will compel you to hit the ‘next episode repeatedly.’
3Death Parade (12 episodes)
Death isn’t the end but the beginning of an unexpected journey in “Death Parade.” This 12-episode series dives into the afterlife, where the deceased must play games that reveal their true nature, determining their final resting place.
“Death Parade” goes beyond mere entertainment, offering a deep exploration of human nature and the value of life itself. It’s dark, dramatic, and filled with gripping moral dilemmas. Short but incredibly profound, this series is a must-watch.
4Devilman Crybaby (10 episodes)
Are you looking for a dark, psychedelic, and emotionally draining journey? “Devilman Crybaby,” with 10 intense episodes, is your pick. It’s a tragic story of friendship and betrayal, humanity and horror, love and apocalypse.
The unique art style and captivating narrative are the cherries on top of this emotionally charged series. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re seeking a series with depth and unforgettable impact, “Devilman Crybaby” will stay with you long after the credits roll.
5Just Your ‘Average’ School Life: Daily Lives of High School Boys (12 episodes)
Craving some high school nostalgia? Step into the comedic world of “Daily Lives of High School Boys.” Don’t let its mundane title fool you. This 12-episode slice-of-life anime bursts with situational humor and relatable schoolboy antics and is an overall feel-good series.
It’s low stakes, great fun, and perfectly captures teenage life’s absurd and hilarious aspects. It’s just your ‘average’ school life, but there’s never a dull moment!
6Cracking the Teenage Enigma: O Maidens in Your Savage Season (12 episodes)
Ever wanted to peer into the minds of teenagers navigating love, curiosity, and the awkward transition into adulthood? “O Maidens in Your Savage Season” lets you do just that.
This 12-episode anime thoughtfully explores adolescence with a refreshing and authentic take. It’s tender, funny, and occasionally poignant. Watch as the characters wade through the baffling waters of youth, and maybe, you’ll decode the teenage enigma.
7Reincarnation Roulette: Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (12 episodes)
“Reincarnation” meets “World War I military” in “Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil.” This 12-episode saga introduces us to Tanya Degurechaff, a reincarnated salaryman turned militaristic child prodigy in an alternate universe.
It’s a rich, engaging narrative that’s loaded with politics, war strategies, and supernatural elements. Strap in for a wild ride with Tanya as she takes on the forces of… well, literally everyone, including God.
8Sweet and Sour Morsels: Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (11 episodes)
“Anohana” is an 11-episode emotional roller coaster about a group of childhood friends who drifted apart after a tragic accident. When their deceased friend Menma appears as a ghost, the group must confront their unresolved issues and buried emotions.
Combining sweet childhood memories with the sour taste of regret and loss, “Anohana” offers a compelling narrative that is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
9A Delectable Slice of Life: Sweetness and Lightning (12 episodes)
“Sweetness and Lightning” is a 12-episode series that serves a delectable blend of heartwarming stories and mouth-watering recipes. It’s about a widowed father and his daughter learning to cook with one of his student’s help.
It’s less about culinary skills and more about the love and connection found through food. Each episode is a tasty morsel of life’s simplicity and beauty, making “Sweetness and Lightning” a series you’ll want to savor slowly.
10An Absurdly Acute Adventure: Kino’s Journey – The Beautiful World- (13 episodes)
“Kino’s Journey” is a 13-episode series that takes you on an exquisite tour of the human condition. Each episode takes place in a different country with unique customs and traditions.
But this isn’t your regular travelogue. It’s an introspective exploration of philosophical and societal themes, presented through the lens of Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes. Jump aboard for an absurdly acute adventure that will leave you musing long after the credits roll.
11Unraveling the Threads of Fate: Charlotte (13 episodes)
Imagine waking up one day and finding out you have superpowers. Cool, right? “Charlotte” might make you reconsider. In this 13-episode series, teenagers with special abilities must navigate the treacherous world of exploitation, secrecy, and life-changing choices.
It’s a unique, heart-rending story that unravels the threads of fate, friendship, and sacrifice. With each episode, you’ll be more deeply entangled in its web.
12Yuri!!! On Ice (12 Episodes)
Unlike the majority of sports-centric anime, which emphasize team dynamics, Yuri instead tells the tale of a distinguished figure skater battling the aftermath of a devastating loss. A world champion figure skater extends his hand to aid him, and in each other, they find the guidance they need when their future paths appear uncertain.
Despite more than six years since its original broadcast, the anime’s popularity remains strong, with fans persistently demanding a second season.
13Quantum Leap of Faith: No Game, No Life (12 episodes)
“No Game No Life” is a delightful blend of strategy, comedy, and otherworldly stakes. This 12-episode anime transports us to a world where everything, including the fate of entire nations, is decided by games.
When two sibling gamers find themselves in this fantastical universe, their gaming skills are put to the ultimate test. So, take a quantum leap of faith into this vibrant, eccentric world – and don’t forget, the game’s afoot!
14In Pursuit of Paradise: Made in Abyss (13 episodes)
“Made in Abyss” is a 13-episode series that takes you on a journey into the depths of a mysterious abyss. This anime disguises itself as a children’s adventure story but quickly morphs into a dark, compelling tale filled with danger, discovery, and the desperate pursuit of paradise.
With its stunning visuals and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, this series will plunge you into a world where curiosity and danger intertwine, and the abyss’s depths mirror the depths of the human spirit.
15Katanagatari (12 Episodes)
Nisio Isin’s renowned light novel, Bakemonogatari, is the source material for the thrilling anime series Katanagatari. The story follows an ambitious woman and her somewhat dense warrior companion as they journey across Japan to retrieve 12 legendary blades.
With visually stunning character designs, exceptional animation, and captivating dialogue, Katanagatari is an unmissable experience.
16Bloom Into You (13 Episodes)
In the short anime series, teenager Yuu Koito embarks on a journey of self-discovery. She revels in romance stories, but when a boy declares his love for her, she doesn’t experience the expected thrill, prompting her to question why. After seeking help from another female student, she unravels the possibility that she might not be interested in boys.
Unlike the typical romance anime, Bloom Into You uniquely focuses on same-gender relationships, crafting a coming-of-age story that blends sweetness and fun.
17Petals in the Wind: She and Her Cat (4 episodes)
“She and Her Cat” is a touching 4-episode short anime series that explores life, loneliness, and love from a cat’s perspective.
This series paints a bittersweet picture of the deep bond between a woman and her cat, their shared moments, and the passage of time. It’s a poignant reminder of the simple beauty found in everyday life.
18A Quantum Leap into Love: The Tatami Galaxy (11 episodes)
“The Tatami Galaxy” is an 11-episode series that takes you on a surreal ride through love, regrets, and possibilities. Each episode presents a different timeline, all revolving around a nameless protagonist and his unrequited love.
With its non-linear narrative, vibrant visuals, and profound themes, this series offers a unique quantum leap into the world of romance.
19Juni Taisen: Zodiac War Is An Intense Rush (12 Episodes)
Juni Taisen: Zodiac War caters to horror genre enthusiasts with its intense storyline. Once every 12 years, the Zodiac Tournament unfolds, pitting 12 warriors against each other in a deadly battle. Representing animals from the Chinese Zodiac, each competitor possesses unique attributes tied to their respective animal.
To ensure the warriors’ engagement, they must ingest a poisonous gem that activates within 12 hours. The only way to secure the antidote is by eliminating their adversaries, striving to be the last one standing.
2091 Days (12 Episodes)
In the era of American Prohibition, 91 Days present a gripping crime drama revolving around Angelo Lagusa, a young man who witnessed the brutal murder of his family as a child. After seven years, Angelo receives an anonymous letter revealing the culprits’ identities.
Assuming the alias Avilio Bruno, Angelo returns to his hometown, now working for the Vanetti family—the mafia group responsible for his family’s demise.
21Angel Beats! (13 Episodes)
Angel Beats! It centers around a group of adolescents in a peculiar world caught between life and reincarnation, which takes the form of a school. To progress to the next stage and find peace, they must confront their grief and address the underlying trauma that brought them to this enigmatic state of limbo.
Through its exploration of life and death at a young age, Angel Beats! delves into the profound impact of missed opportunities and regrets accompanying their untimely demise.
OVA Shorts (Original Video Animation)
Anime with 1-7 episodes is usually classified as OVA (Original Video Animation), ONA (Original Net Animation), or specials. These are often released directly to home video or, in recent years, online.
They can act as standalone series or supplement a longer anime series. Here’s a list of notable short anime series:
- Voices of a Distant Star (1 episode): A single-episode OVA by Makoto Shinkai. It’s a poignant tale about long-distance love set against the backdrop of space.
- She and Her Cat: Everything Flows (4 episodes): A touching 4-episode series seen through the eyes of a cat and his life with his owner.
- Tsumiki no Ie (1 episode): Also known as “The House of Small Cubes”, this one-episode OVA won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
- There She Is!! (5 episodes): Originally a South Korean webcomic, this series of 5 ONAs tells a silent story about a rabbit who falls in love with a cat, despite societal taboos.
- Golden Boy (6 episodes): A hilarious and raunchy comedy about a perverted, toilet-cleaning student who seems to turn every situation into gold.
- Pale Cocoon (1 episode): A single-episode OVA that tells a sci-fi tale about a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in a giant dome and only have ancient data to learn about the outside world.
- Alien Nine (4 episodes): This 4-episode series follows elementary school girls chosen to protect their school from alien attacks.
- Candy Boy (7 episodes): A yuri-themed ONA series about the life and relationships of twin sisters in high school.
- Hori-san to Miyamura-kun (4 episodes): These 4 OVA episodes are the basis for the later anime series “Horimiya.”
- Video Girl Ai (6 episodes): This 6-episode OVA is a romantic drama about a young man who rents a video tape, and the girl in it comes to life.
- Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows (4 episodes): A short series about a young woman’s life seen through her cat’s eyes.
- Nekopara OVA (1 episode): A fan-service-filled OVA based on the popular visual novel series about a world where humans and cat-human hybrids coexist.
Anime Shows That Have approximately 10-13 episodes
- Tsuki ga Kirei – A 12-episode series, tells a tender story of young love between two middle school students.
- Barakamon – A series of 12 episodes, it follows the story of a calligrapher sent to a remote island after a public meltdown, where he learns to find inspiration in the simplest things.
- Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet – This series only has 5 episodes, but it offers a touching story set in a post-apocalyptic world.
- Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai – With 13 episodes, this anime combines elements of supernatural phenomena with adolescent experiences.
- Ping Pong The Animation – This 11-episode series offers a unique take on sports anime focusing on table tennis, using it as a lens to explore its characters’ personal growth.
- Made in Abyss – This 13-episode anime tells the thrilling and sometimes heart-wrenching story of a girl’s journey into an abyss to find her mother.
- The Promised Neverland – Although it has a second season, the first 12-episode run can be viewed as a standalone series, telling a complete and harrowing tale of children attempting to escape from an orphanage that’s not what it seems.
- Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi) – This 12-episode series blends mystery and time travel in a compelling story of a man given a chance to prevent a series of childhood kidnappings.
- Devilman: Crybaby – A 10-episode series, it presents a dark, modern take on the classic Devilman series, focusing on the thin line separating humans and demons.
- House of Five Leaves (Saraiya Goyou) – This 12-episode series is a slow-burning historical drama about a skilled but timid samurai who falls in with a group of kidnappers.
Anime Series With Only 1-3 Episodes
- Voices of a Distant Star – A single-episode OVA that tells a heartfelt tale of love and longing across space and time.
- Tsumiki no Ie (The House of Small Cubes) – An Academy Award-winning short film that tells a poignant story of an old man’s memories and the rising water level in his town.
- Black★Rock Shooter – A 1-episode OVA that combines action and drama with stunning visuals and a memorable soundtrack.
- Pale Cocoon – A single-episode OVA that presents a thought-provoking sci-fi story about a post-apocalyptic world and the discovery of forgotten history.
- Fate/Prototype – A 1-episode OVA prototype for the popular Fate/stay night franchise, showcasing an alternate version of the Holy Grail War.
- Death Billiards – This short film served as the basis for the anime series “Death Parade” and depicts a thought-provoking game of billiards with high stakes.
- Harmonie – A 1-episode OVA that explores the power of understanding and empathy as high school students face their hidden secrets.