What are the best short anime?

When you love anime but are always on the run, it helps to have something light and quick to enjoy with your limited time, and thankfully, so does Japan. Here are some of the best short anime to watch on the go.

52 contributors
8 solutions
  1. 16

    #1Devilman: Crybaby

    Devilman: Crybaby

    Demons invade humanity after being frozen in ice for millions of years. Akira, a timid boy, is tasked by his friend Ryo to merge with one of these demons in order to be able to fight back against them for the sake of humanity.

    TV Shows

    $8.99- 1 month. Free trial available

    Christian Martin
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "One of the best shot anime with just 13 episodes in the season. This is also one of the first anime series production by Netflix that got a great reception from audiences all over the world. A must watch for any anime fan."
  2. 14

    #2FLCL

    FLCL

    FLCL is a short 6-episode anime series. A 12-year old boy named Naota one day meets a strange woman, riding a Vespa and wielding a big guitar. As soon as she appears, mysterious things start happening.

    TV Shows

    $1.99- Price per episode

    Sean Ye
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "This 6-episode anime series is a gem of a shot that explores the ups and downs of adolescence and somehow manages to do so with the very limited longevity that it had to work with."
  3. 5

    #3Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)

    Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)

    Aggressive Retsuko or more commonly known as Aggretsuko is a shot anime series. In this series of shorts, a polite accountant deals with her annoying co-workers by chugging beer and singing death metal.

    TV Shows

    $8.99- 1 month. Free trial available

    Samantha Ward
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "I can relate so much to this show, it's painfully funny. It portrays so much of the mundane, often chaotic office life for use desk workers in such a short time per episode. Brilliant. Just brilliantly funny."

DID YOU KNOW?

Your Name, the highest grossing anime movie of all time, had a runtime of 106 minutes. Ironically enough, the film’s writer and director, Makoto Shinkai, has also made one of the shortest Japanese anime films to be sold: She and Her Cat, released in 1999. The short black-and-white-film runs for five minutes and follows the story of a cat and his female owner over the span of one year, all told through the cat’s perspective. Shinkai had originally made the film for a romantic interest at the time, and it was meant to help them through a difficult time of their life. Shinkai used his experience of living in an apartment surrounded by electrical wires in order to portray the “vague loneliness of living”, “slight pain”, and “modest warmth”. The film is animated by Shinkai himself using hand-drawn animations, with 3D scenes being rendered with Adobe After Effects and additional effects added using Shade 3D, Adobe Illustrator, and Lightwave 3D. Shinkai explained that he left the film in black and white to minimize complex procedures and to save space on his computer, letting the simplicity speak for itself. She and Her Cat was the film that earned Makoto Shinkai his fame and led to him working for CoMix Wave Films, and eventually, to his later films, including Your Name.

She and Her Cat isn’t the only short film that Makoto Shinkai made, but it is one you can watch on a quick break. The same goes for the best short anime series on this list. Try out Aggretsuko or Tonari no Seki-kun if you want something of similar length, or you can go for FLCL if you want full-length episodes. Eitherway, your break won’t have a SHORTage on anime to watch!

  1. 3

    #4Tonari no Seki-kun (The Master of Killing Time)

    Tonari no Seki-kun (The Master of Killing Time)

    In the middle of a class at a certain school, a diligent student has her in-class life turned upside-down when her next-door desk mate "Seki" creates intricate activities to play at his desk during class.

    TV Shows

    Free

    Jessica Jiang
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "This is another one of those short animes that has been gaining popularity recently. For this particular show, it works great to its favor making for some really hilarious comedic skits that fit perfectly with each episode's time constraint. Funny all the way through and it never felt forced or dragged along."
  2. 2

    #5Castlevania

    Castlevania
    Castlevania is the anime adaptation of the famous video game of Nintendo. A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself.
    TV Shows

    Varies by plan

    Mick Fang
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "One of the best short anime series and one of the best anime productions to have come out of Netflix, bar none. They did an amazing job of translating the beloved game franchise on to the small screen. Definite recommendation."
  3. 2

    #6Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation (The Comic Artist and His Assistants)

    Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation (The Comic Artist and His Assistants)

    Manga author Yuuki Aito is an incredibly perverted man whose main loves and desires is to love everyone close to him and draw panties. His assistant, Ashisu, is constantly put into awkward situations and is forced to cope with Aito's shenanigans.

    TV Shows

    Free

    Phillip Lawson
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "This show has a lot of ecchi elements in it and that alone won't be to everyone's tastes. Give it a chance and you'll see that it goes beyond all the pervertedness to show a lot of passion and of course, plenty of humor to go along with it."
  4. 1

    #7Asobi Asobase

    Asobi Asobase

    Asobi Asobase is an anime adaptation of the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rin Suzukawa. It began serialization on Hakusensha's Young Animal Densi website in June 2015 and has been compiled into 6 tankōbon volumes as of June 2018.

    TV Shows

    Free

    Rachel Armstrong
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "We have all experienced it before during high school. Classes can be boring and we need something to pass the time until the bell rings. This show reminds me so much of that time with a lot of humor and comedy added in. Funny from start to finish."
  5. 1

    #8Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)

    Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)

    Pop Team Epic, also known as Poputepipikku turns absurdist comedy up to eleven with its pop culture references and surreal hilarity. With two bonafide high school girl protagonists, they throw genres against the wall and don't wait to see what sticks.

    TV Shows

    Free

    Ronald Castillo
    Written on March 5, 2019
    "This show isn't afraid of making fun of the very genre that it is part of and it results in some really hilarious short comedic skits. There will be plenty of pop culture reference both from other anime and others as well. This won't be for everyone but I personally enjoyed my time watching it."

Summary

Best What are the best short anime
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Devilman: CrybabyTV Shows 16 Paid
2FLCLTV Shows 14 Paid
3Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)TV Shows 5 Paid
4Tonari no Seki-kun (The Master of Killing Time)TV Shows 3 Free
5CastlevaniaTV Shows 2 Paid
6Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation (The Comic Artist and His Assistants)TV Shows 2 Free
7Asobi AsobaseTV Shows 1 Free
8Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)TV Shows 1 Free
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