30 Best Short Anime of All Time (to Watch in a Day)

30 Best Short Anime of All Time (to Watch in a Day)

Depending on which generation you belong to, you might have a very different idea of what anime should be like. Those that are a bit older might know more anime shows that have several hundred episodes in total (think Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, Digimon, Detective Conan, etc.), while younger audiences might know anime as a phenomenon with, at best, a 26-episode season.

The paradigm has changed, but we cannot say that modern anime are, really, short, at least not all of them. In this article, we are going to talk about the best short anime you can watch in one day. There is no fixed definition of a “short anime”, but we have specified that we’re looking for those anime series that can be binge-watched in one day.

Now, if you consider the fact that a day has 24 hours and that you have 8 hours for work and 8 for sleep, we assume that you’ll have eight hours per day to watch these anime series. Knowing that the average length of an anime episode is roughly 25 minutes, we have calculated that a “short anime”, in the context of this article, is an anime series that has less than 20 episodes.

Best Short Anime

Our list is going to include a total of 30 titles, which are going to be ranked in random order. We have tried to include titles from different eras, as well as genres. The chief criteria was that the show has less than 20 episodes in total, i.e., that it can be watched in one day.

1. serial experiments lain

Release: July 6, 1998 – September 28, 1998
Number of Episodes: 13

After the suicide of the young Chisa Yomoda, some girls receive e-mails from the girl. The suspicion is that this is a bad joke, but one of them, Lain Iwakura is particularly intrigued. After asking her father for a new NAVI (Navigator, the evolution of the PC), she starts surfing the Wired (a computer network similar to the Internet) in search of answers.

From here on, a series of inexplicable events disrupt her life. She learns that another Lain, quite similar to her physically but temperamentally opposite, has made her the appearance of her both in the Wired and in the real world and that the Knights (knights – a group of hackers) are particularly interested in her.

Indeed, it seems that Lain has always had a counterpart in the network, born with the network itself. In the search for the truth, Lain discovers that she has no past, that her parents are nothing but actors and that her real self is the virtual one.

Through the Psyche chip, Lain comes into contact with the creator of the Wired structure, who after having downloaded her conscience in the computer network has proclaimed himself God; driven by her requests, she Lain begins to make real reality and Wired collide and merge, connecting all human beings on planet earth without the aid of peripherals through the Wired Protocol 7, which exploits the Schumann resonance.

But during the process she realizes, thanks to her only human friend Arisu, that reality and the Wired must remain separate if she doesn’t want to cause just more pain. She then makes the decision to reset the system by restoring the world to the state prior to Chisa’s death and erasing herself from the memory of human beings to completely eradicate the anomaly.

2. Terror in Resonance

Original Release: July 10, 2014 – September 25, 2014
Number of Episodes: 11

In an alternate world, Tokyo is hit by a terrorist attack that leaves the entire city in shock. The only element of investigation is a video that the culprits posted on the Internet. The terrorists are actually a duo calling themselves “Sphinx”, two teenagers called Nine and Twelve. They have survived an unknown incident, and decide to “wake up the world” with terrorist attacks.

3. Death Parade

Release: January 9, 2015 – March 27, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12

The story consists of a succession of two people who wake up in a bar with a dark atmosphere. Unsuspecting, they do not yet know that they have entered a deadly game. Indeed, they don’t know how they landed here. Decim, the bartender, and his assistant then explain to them that they will have to play a bar game (darts, bowling, billiards, etc.) and put their lives in game in order to perhaps understand what happened to them.

4. Erased

Release: January 8, 2016 – March 25, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12

We are in 2006. Satoru Fujinuma is a mangaka who cannot get his career off the ground. To make ends meet, he works as a pizza delivery boy. Reserved, Satoru does not open up to the world around him.

RELATED: 20 Best Anime Like Erased You Can’t Skip

Yet he has the ability to go back a few minutes before an accident occurs. One day, following a sudden event, Satoru is taken back to 18 years ago when he was still in elementary school, giving him the opportunity to stop a criminal who had kidnapped and murdered three of his classmates.

5. Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Release: July 2, 2015 – September 17, 2015
Number of Episodes: 11

The story takes place in a college where several murder cases take place. Kobayashi, a boy who goes to this school, meets genius detective Akechi, who comes to the school to investigate. Kobayashi takes an interest in Akechi, and despite his friend Hashiba’s concerns, he volunteers to be Akechi’s assistant.

6. RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne

Original Release: February 3, 2008 – July 6, 2008
Number of Episodes: 6

A mysterious tree called Yggdrasil has repeatedly appeared in the human world and released many small balls into the human world. A small fraction of the balls, known as “Time Fruits”, is quite special. When a fruit of time enters a woman, she becomes immortal. When a fruit enters a male, he becomes a mad winged being known as an “angel”.

Rin Asougi is an immortal who, along with her equally immortal assistant Mimi, runs a private investigative agency in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. Rin often talks on the phone with a mysterious stranger. She is often hunted by an assassin named Laura, hired by Apos, an angel who pursues the immortals and is the current guardian of the Yggdrasil.

The story begins in 1990. While searching for a missing cat, Rin instead finds Koki Maeno, a young man with distorted memories. While investigating his past, she discovers that he is a clone created by Sayara Yamanobe, a woman who seeks immortality. After finding out about this, Koki decides to work for Rin at her agency.

In 2011, Koki married a former client, Yuki. Sayara Yamanobe returns, kidnaps Rin, and attempts to attack Japan with biological weapons. After becoming an angel, Koki sacrifices himself to save Rin and Japan.

7. Star Wars: Visions

Release: September 22
Number of Episodes: 9

Star Wars: Visions is a collection of animated shorts presented “through the lens of the world’s best anime creators” offering “a fresh and diverse cultural perspective on Star Wars.”

8. Devil May Cry: The Animated Series

Original Release: June 14, 2007 – September 6, 2007
Number of Episodes: 12

We follow the “demonic” adventures of Dante, demon hunter, and private detective in his agency: the Devil May Cry. He will have to face the most emblematic monsters of the saga and to rub shoulders with characters such as the demon hunter “Lady” and the demon woman Trish.

9. Pokémon Origins

Release: October 2, 2013
Number of Episodes: 4

The story follows a young boy named Red, who begins his journey with his partner Pokémon, Charmander, with the goal of capturing every known Pokémon in the Kanto region and also becoming the champion of the Pokémon League. Along the way, he comes up against his rival, Blue (“Green” in Japan), various Pokémon arena champions, and the infamous crime organization, Team Rocket.

10. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Release: January 7, 2011 – April 21, 2011
Number of Episodes: 12

There are creatures with the power to grant a young girl’s wish, in exchange for which she will become a Puella Magi (or Mahou Shoujo) to fight demonic creatures, witches. A schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname, as well as her friend Sayaka Miki, are approached by one of these creatures, Kyubey, who offers them to become Magical Girls in turn. The new student in their class, Homura Akemi, however, mysteriously seeks to prevent Madoka from making this contract.

11. ΛFΓO SΛMUΓΛI

Original Release: January 4, 2007 – February 1, 2007
Number of Episodes: 5

In a futuristic Japan with the feudal system still in force, it is said that the one who wields the armband called Number 1 will be the proudest fighter in the world and will have in his hands a power equal to that of the gods. The only way to get this armband is to challenge the current owner to a fight.

12. Yuri!!! on ICE

Original Release: October 6, 2016 – December 21, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12 + OVA

After coming in last place during his first participation in the Grand Prix, the young Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki continues to lose and begins to doubt his career. Months later, Yuri returns to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyūshū, which he had left five years earlier, and there perfectly reproduces a choreography by the famous Russian skater Victor Nikiforov.

When a video of his performance filmed without his knowledge goes viral and catches Victor’s attention, the latter decides to become Yuri’s coach and train him with one of his prodigy students, Yuri Plisetsky.

13. HELLSING

Original Run: October 10, 2001 – January 16, 2002
Number of Episodes: 13 (+10 OVA episodes)

The Royal Knights of Protestant Order are a noble house of London led by Abraham Van Helsing. For generations, he has been fighting against creatures that most ordinary people are unaware of like vampires, ghouls and any non-human entity that is generally referred to as a “monster”.

The Order operates in great secrecy and has long been a paramilitary organization in the service of her Majesty. Leading the organization is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, a direct descendant of the first Lord Hellsing. Still a teenager, she is forced to take control of the Order.

Her father Arthur, sick and close to his death, orders his daughter, should she feel threatened, to go down to the basement of the mansion, where there is something able to protect her.

14. Violet Evergarden

Original Release: January 11, 2018 – April 5, 2018
Number of Episodes: 13 + OVA

The story is set around a young girl who performs the trade of “automatic memory dolls”: dolls initially created by Professor Orland to help his blind wife Mollie write her novels, and later rented out to others. people who needed their services.

The term refers to people who perform the function of a public writer, whose purpose is to transcribe the words and feelings of people. After four years of bitter warfare, this young girl with a heavy past tries not without difficulty to rebuild her future, starting with the exercise of this profession. However, among all the wounds inflicted on him during the war, there is one that seems unwilling to heal.

The words of a loved one still echo in her heart, without the young girl knowing the real reason. She wants to know, to understand their meaning. Thus begins the quest of Violet Evergarden, learning mixed with letters, encounters, and various emotions.

15. Angel Beats!

Original Release: April 3, 2010 – June 26, 2010
Number of Episodes: 13

The characters are teenagers who have died – often in a tragic way – who have not had an easy life or who have not been able to achieve their dreams, their ambitions. They are all in a world that is life after death, a place where they have to try to live normally again to fulfill their dreams in order to disappear or admit that they had a good time together.

But a young girl, Yuri, wants revenge on God, for the evil he has done to them in the real world. The day Otonashi arrives in this new world, he is forced to integrate. But who is this girl with white hair? An angel, the servant of that famous God the group is looking for? Yuri, along with his whole group, will try to unravel these mysteries during the 13 episodes.

16. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11

A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.

One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.

However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.

17. Charlotte

Original Run: July 5, 2015 – September 27, 2015
Episodes: 13 + OVA

Yû Otosaka, a young student, is endowed with supernatural powers: he can possess anyone in his field of vision for five seconds. Using his power to cheat on exams, he is spotted by Nao Tomori, also a holder of strange power and a member of the student council of the prestigious Hoshinômi Academy.

These powers, which emerge during adolescence and disappear in adulthood, affect a number of young people in mild, controlled or even dangerous forms. Their origins are however unknown, but linked to a mysterious comet called Charlotte – which gives the series its title – and few people outside of the holders know of its existence.

Nevertheless, these adolescents are highly sought after by several groups of scientists wishing to use them as guinea pigs, then by criminals eager to exploit these gifts for their profit. After his transfer, Yû’s new mission within the Hoshinômi student council will be to protect other young people of his age by warning them of the dangerousness of using their skills.

18. Plastic Memories

Original Run: April 5, 2015 – June 28, 2015
Number of Episodes: 13

The anime deals with the themes of meeting and separation. In a futuristic world, androids look more and more like humans. One day, the robotic company SAI Corp produced the Giftia model, capable of understanding and feeling human emotions, but this kind of robot has a limited lifespan.

This animated will focus on the daily life of Tsukasa Mizugaki who integrates the Terminal service of SAI Corp responsible for recovering Giftia at the end of their life, then will team up with Isla who is herself a Giftia.

19. Tsuki ga Kirei

Original Release: April 6, 2017 – June 29, 2017
Number of Episodes: 12

The somewhat shy and reserved Kotarō Azumi comes in the third year of middle school for the first time with the sporty Akane Mizuno in a class. During the preparations for the sports festival, they get to know each other a little better and exchange their line contact details. Soon they are texting each other regularly on their cell phones and getting closer.

Both spend their free time very differently: Kotarō is active in a traditional festival association, works in a bookstore, and is often in the school library. He writes stories himself and wants to be a writer. His role model is Osamu Dazai, whom he often quotes. Akane, on the other hand, is a runner in the athletics club and is also successful at it. She represents the school in competitions. After a while, they finally admit their love for each other.

20. 91 Days

Original Release: July 9, 2016 – October 1, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12 + OVA

The story takes place in the United States, during prohibition. The mafia is then a powerful organization which it is better not to rub shoulders with. However, Avilio decides to confront this gigantic organization with the one and only goal of avenging his murdered family. His target? The group his father once worked for.

21. Aoi Bungaku

Original Release: October 11, 2009 – December 27, 2009
Number of Episodes: 12

A Japanese anime series comprising twelve episodes inspired by six stories taken from works of Japanese literature.

22. Kaiba

Original Release: April 10, 2008 – July 24, 2008
Number of Episodes: 12

In this universe, memories can be stored as information via a memory chip; when individuals die, their spirit lives on. This digitalization of mental information allows the transfer of one’s mind to someone else’s body, the theft and manipulation of other people’s memories has become the norm. Society is broadly divided into two classes.

In the sky, there are electrical storms, which one cannot cross without losing one’s memory. Above them is the realm of the rich and powerful, who trade the bodies and memories of others for their own pleasure and longevity. Beneath the clouds lies a troubled and dangerous world where good bodies are hard to come by and real money is scarce.

23. Devilman Crybaby

Original Run: January 5, 2018
Number of Episodes: 10

Akira Fudo is informed by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, that the ancient race of Demons taking possession of the bodies of humans in order to possess them, has returned to Earth to take them back. Believing that the only way to defeat the Demons is to prove their existence to humans, Ryo suggests that Akira accompany him to see Demons take possession of humans.

Merging himself with Amon, the Lord of Demons, Akira transforms into the Devilman, a human with the powers of a Demon while retaining his own heart.

24. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Original Release: January 5, 2020 – March 22, 2020
Number of Episodes: 12

Midori Asakusa is a young girl whose dream is to create an anime, but she doesn’t dare to go for it on her own. She is friends with Sayaka Kanamori, a girl in her class who has no interest in making an anime but wants to make some money. One day, the duo meets a famous young model, Tsubame Mizusaki, who dreams of becoming a host. Together, the trio founded the Eizouken club in order to make their dream come true.

25. School Days

Release: July 3, 2007 – September 27, 2007
Number of Episodes: 12

School Days centers on the life of Makoto Itō, a first-year high school student living with his divorced mother in the fictional town of Haramihama. He is attracted to Kotonoha Katsura, a classmate from another class who shares the same train with him to go to high school.

After a change of class plan, he becomes acquainted with Sekai Saionji, an optimistic girl who will help him form a relationship with Kotonoha by giving them reasons to meet.

26. Kids on the Slope

Original Release: April 12, 2012 – June 28, 2012
Number of Episodes: 12

Beginning of the summer of 1966. Because of his father’s job, Kaoru Nishimi, a first-year high school student, moves from Yokosuka to live with relatives in Kyushu. Until then, Kaoru had a tendency to cut himself off from others, but when he arrives at Higashi High School, his meeting with his classmate Sentarou Kawabuchi, a notorious thug, transforms him. Under his brute air, the latter makes him discover the joys of jazz, especially when it is played with a friend.

27. BTOOOM!

Original Run: October 4, 2012 – December 20, 2012
Number of Episodes: 12

The series follows the story of Ryouta Sakamoto whose only real achievement was being Japan’s top player in a popular video game name Btoom! He soon gets drawn into a reality that looks likes the game without any idea of how he got there. Players are to kill seven other players and redeem their green crystals in order to return home. Ryota has to team up with a fellow player, Himiko, as they try to escape and also find out the real truth behind the reality they found themselves.

28. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Original Release: April 8, 2016 – June 30, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12

During the industrial revolution, a mysterious pandemic struck the world and soon spread to the far reaches of the East, even in the sovereign island of Hinomoto. People themselves infected or bitten by other infected humans are transformed into Kabane, formidable blood-hungry undead whose extermination is extremely difficult.

Indeed, the heart of the Kabane is covered with a special steel film which renders most conventional weapons (bladed weapons and steam rifles) bushi ineffective.

29. Deadman Wonderland

Original Run: April 17, 2011 – July 3, 2011
Number of Episodes: 12 (+ OVA)

A powerful earthquake ravaged mainland Japan and largely destroyed Tokyo, submerging three-quarters of the city in the ocean. Ten years later, the story centers on Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary student who attends Nagano Prefecture College.

Although a survivor of the earthquake, Ganta has no memory of the tragedy and has lived an ordinary life. All of this changes when a strange man covered in blood and wearing purple armor floats outside the classroom windows. Smiling like a madman, the Man in Red slaughters Ganta’s entire class and, rather than killing him, embeds a shard of red crystal in his chest.

A few days after the massacre, Ganta is declared the sole suspect and, after a speedy trial, is sentenced to life in prison in Deadman Wonderland, a prison lined with an amusement park.

30. Blade Runner: Black Lotus

Release: November 14 – ongoing
Number of Episodes: 13

Black Lotus takes place in 2032 (13 years after the 1982 film), the day after Black Out, and centers on Elle, a female replicant. The latter wakes up in Los Angeles with no memory within her possession an encrypted data device and a tattoo of a black lotus on her back. She decides to investigate to find her memories and find those responsible for her condition.