The 30 + 1 Best Short Anime To Binge Right Now

Short anime usually have 13 episodes at most and you can watch them in one night.

Many good OVAs and experimental anime usually fit the bill and you can find some of the best Japanese productions ever in this category.

Let’s see what you can binge-watch today with our list of the best short anime!

31. Charlotte


Charlotte is a 2015 anime that consists of 13 episodes and manages to deliver a compelling story with supernatural themes, with a focus on superpowers.

In the world of Charlotte, a supernatural phenomenon causes a small percentage of teenagers to develop superpowers.

Yuu Otosaka, the main character, is one of these power-bearers, but he keeps his mind-control ability a secret. However, an encounter with Nao Tomori, another girl with powers, sets off a series of events.

While Charlotte may seem like a typical teen series with superpowers, it’s far from it. The story is filled with plot twists, psychological depth, and a well-developed cast of characters.

More importantly, the teens’ powers are not the central focus of the story, but rather a means to tell the events, which lends the story more credibility.

30. Another


Another is a spine-chilling horror series that consists of 12 episodes and a one-episode prequel spin-off, which is a must-watch for thrill-seekers.

The story follows Koichi Sakakibara, a boy who moves to the small town of Yomiyama, famous for the curse of its high school where a student died years ago.

In his class, Koichi meets Mei Kisaki, a mysterious girl with an eye patch that no one, including the teachers, seems to notice.

However, a terrible series of events unfolds, leading to a horrifying trail of deaths.

Another is an excellent horror anime that we highly recommend. It manages to maintain a high level of tension throughout the series, keeping viewers constantly on the edge of their seats, never letting them rest.

Additionally, the show uses gore and violent scenes effectively, and fully contextualized within the plot, enhancing its overall quality.

29. Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied is a seinen manga-based anime that gained notoriety in the 2000s for its controversial and visual elements in its 13 episodes.

The story starts in a lab where Diclonius, a race of beings with special abilities, are subjected to brutal experiments to make them lethal weapons.

The events begin to move with Lucy, one of the Diclonius, escaping the base, but after suffering a violent head injury, she loses her memory.

She is later found by a boy named Kota with a connection to her past.

The anime is known for its unapologetic depictions of violence, gore, and even sexual themes, making it a polarizing work in the anime community.

28. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Tokyo Magnitude

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an anime consisting of 11 episodes, where the story is set in Tokyo after a Richter scale 8.0 earthquake devastates the city.

The main characters are Mirai and Yuki, who go to a robot exhibition in Odaiba, without their parents, as they are busy with work. Suddenly, an earthquake occurs. From here, their journey home will begin, moving towards a destroyed Tokyo.

If you are looking for a realistic anime that can make you convey the terror, fear and despondency of experiencing such a disaster on your skin, then give it a chance.

You certainly won’t regret it; the strong emotions and fear felt by the protagonists and characters will surely be able to break through your heart.

27. Detroit Metal City

This 12-episode story is based on a death metal band dominating the indie scene thanks to its captivating style. The demonic lead singer is Johannes Krauser II, none other than Souichi Negishi, the average college graduate you see in a lot of anime.

Detroit Metal City is the ideal show if you want some good old dark humor and good animations. Even though the music isn’t actually death metal, it’s something you want to put on your watchlist for its super entertaining scenarios.

The protagonist lives a double life; he is able to put up a mask and fake being someone else at night and a singer by day. Beware, this is not a deep or psychological show, it’s just about comedy and music!

26. Ao Haru Ride

A 12-episode anime based on the shojo manga of the same name written and drawn by Io Sakisaka.

The main character Futaba Yoshioka is a girl who had a very neat and feminine style in middle school. Because of this, she was liked by the boys and kept in the background by the girls in her class.

However, she detested boys except for her peer Ko Tanaka, with whom she was in love and who was kind to her. The boy, however, suddenly moved to another city.

Although we are looking at a classic love comedy, the real highlight of the play is definitely the relationship-building between the two main characters.

While the other characters in fact will be left somewhat to themselves, Futaba and Ko’s characterizations will be largely deepened, uncovering a relationship of mutual necessity. The narration is not obvious and it’s quite realistic.

25. After the Rain

After the Rain

After the Rain is an incredibly underrated romance anime that was released in 2018 with only 12 episodes based on a manga by Jun Mayuzuki, featuring a mature storyline and excellent animation.

Akira Tachibana is the quintessential unattainable beauty, as captivating as she is aloof.

But even though everyone is in love with her, Akira is secretly in love with her middle-aged, divorced café manager who is also a father.

The plot of After the Rain delicately explores the theme of love between 2 individuals with a significant age gap, showcasing great sensitivity and realism on this sensitive topic.

The series doesn’t aim to promote this controversial dynamic and instead, it employs it to delve deeper into the characters’ psyches and aid them in overcoming their personal challenges.

All of this is complemented by animations characterized by a distinctive style, which undoubtedly enhances and sets the entire series apart even more.

24. Tsuki ga Kirei

Tsukigakirei - as the moon, so beautiful

Tsukigakirei is one of the most underrated romance anime that we can think of, as it boasts incredible animation, a great cast of characters, and an excellent and profound storyline, all in 12 episodes.

With its well-developed and relatable characters, Tsukigakirei draws you into its world, making you feel like an integral part of the story.

What truly sets Tsukigakirei apart is its beautifully crafted love story. The genuine and realistic feelings between the main characters, Akane and Kotaro, will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings.

The anime beautifully captures the difficulties of growing up, from the joys of falling in love to the challenges of making new friends and navigating the uncertainties of the future.

If you like slice-of-life romance anime, this is one of the definitive series in this niche.

23. Terror in Resonance

An interesting anime released in 2014 and consists of only 11 episodes, with an extremely fascinating thriller and detective component.

Tokyo is under a terroristic attack, and a group calling itself Sphinx has begun planting explosive devices around the city. They pose riddles via the Internet daring the police to solve them or they will detonate the bombs.

The storytelling pacing is quite fast, given its short duration.

22. Wotakoi


Wotakoi is an 11-episode anime series based on a manga of the same name written and drawn by Fujita.

The series stars Narumi Momose, a serious and impeccable employee who hides from friends and colleagues the fact that she is an otaku and especially a fujoshi, something she is quite ashamed of.

At the office where she works, however, Hirotaka Nifuji, a charming and affable old friend of hers from high school, lives his otakuhood head-on. In addition, Hanako Koyanagi, Narumi’s senpai, and her boyfriend Taro Kabakura, are also otaku in the office.

The story then follows the affairs of these four “fanatics” and how they reconcile their passions with the responsibilities of adult life.

Fans of video games and Japanese pop culture will know how to appreciate the countless quotes in the anime, which are very cute and best convey the protagonists’ otaku-ness.

21. A Place Further than the Universe

A Place Further than the Universe

A Place Further than the Universe is an anime with cool animations and direction, released in 2018 with 13 episodes that narrates a complete story.

The series follows the journey of four high school girls: Mari Tamaki, Shirase Kobuchizawa, Hinata Miyake, and Yuzuki Shiraishi, as they embark on an expedition to Antarctica in search of Shirase’s missing mother.

Throughout their adventure, they encounter both physical and emotional challenges, discovering more about themselves and each other, while experiencing the adventure of a life.

A Place Further than the Universe tells a captivating story of adventure and the bond between the main characters, in a chill and laid-back atmosphere.

Their journey is utilized as a pretext and metaphor to depict the growth and evolution of the characters, a narrative approach that will make you feel part of their group.

20. Megalo Box

Megalo Box

Megalo Box is a 2018 steampunk boxing anime consisting of 13 episodes. It’s ideal if you want a modern ’90s-style anime that is a tribute to old glories.

The series is an original story, although it is celebratory of an unreleased story created to celebrate 50 years of the Rocky Joe manga.

The latter is the very famous manga by Takamori and Chiba, a great classic and mainstay of Spokon manga.

The anime tells the story of Junk Dog, nicknamed JD, a boy who participates in Megalo Box matches, a futuristic variant of classic boxing to earn a living.

The story takes place in a futuristic city where people live, according to income, in wealth or slums.

19. Paranoia Agent

Paranoia Agent

Paranoia Agent is a 13-episode thriller/supernatural anime by the renowned director Satoshi Kon. It’s his only anime series, as he is mostly known for movies.

The story begins with the protagonist illustrator Tsukiko Sagi, who claims to have been attacked by a young boy with a baseball bat, moving around on roller skates.

Following this testimony, a chain of similar cases began to follow one another. Thus is born the urban legend of Shonen Bat, the mysterious masked attacker.

If you’re on the lookout for something more convoluted and psychological, this is one of the best suggestions for you. Paranoia Agent masterfully deals with some complex themes like mass delusions and traumas.

18. Erased

Erased lasts a full 12 episodes and merges Mystery/Crime, Psychological, Supernatural, and Thriller elements.

The main character is Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old mangaka without any success, mostly due to suffering from the notorious “writer’s block”.

However, following mysterious happenings, he obtains a power called Revival that allows him to go back in time just enough to save people’s lives.

During his far from a happy childhood, one of his classmates had been murdered, and this is where his mission begins. What does this have to do with his mother’s murder?

If you like thrillers, you are in the right place: Erased will keep you glued to your screen and wanting for more as you will feel more and more curious to find out how Satoru’s story ends!

17. Macross Plus

Macross Plus

Macross Plus is a four-episode OAV released in 1994 that serves as a sequel to the iconic Super Dimensional Fortress Macross series.

Macross Plus has a distinct vibe and narrative compared to the original and it features extraordinary music by Yoko Kanno.

Set in the year 2040, 3 decades after the momentous war between Humans and Zentradi seen in the original series, the Supernova Project commences on the space colony Eden.

This project involves testing and evaluating 2 new models of space fighters, with the plane that passes all tests slated for use by the military.

But fate takes a curious turn as the two pilots selected for these tests are Isamu Alva Dyson and the half-Zentradi Guld Goa Bowman, childhood friends and former lovers who now harbor deep resentment for each other.

And their strained relationship is further complicated by the arrival of Myung Fang Lone, the source of their past discord.

16. Bocchi the Rock!

Bocchi the rock

Bocchi the Rock is a recently released anime with its first season just ending a few months ago. Despite its newness, it has already gained a massive following and received very high audience ratings.

The show is composed of 12 episodes and is based on a seinen manga with music, slice of life, and comedy as its main themes.

The protagonist is a high school student named Hitari Gotou, who begins playing the guitar in pursuit of her dream of joining a band. However, her extremely shy nature presents a significant obstacle.

One day, she meets Nijika Ijichi, a drummer who is searching for a guitarist to join her band, and things start to look up.

Bocchi The Rock! is an exceptional series that despite primarily being a light-hearted slice-of-life comedy, is an anime that delves into depression and social anxiety.

Not to mention that the show’s technical aspects, including its animation and soundtrack, are of the highest level.

15. Flip Flappers

Flip Flappers

A niche anime released in 2016 by Studio 3Hz with strong Studio Trigger vibes.

Flip Flappers is a hidden gem with just 13 episodes but a lot to show. The story follows Cocona and Kapika, two young girls who explore a fictitious world called Pure Illusion, where they get access to powerful transformations.

They work for the Flip Flap organization and their goal is to look for some magic crystals, but they are not alone…

This anime has all the potential to become a cult, as it features great animations, OST, and a good plot with unexpected twists that will keep you glued to the screen.

Flip Flappers is the ideal modern majokko anime that many need but haven’t discovered yet.

14. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song

Vivy Fluorite Eyes Song

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is an anime by Studio Wit aired in 2021, consisting of 13 episodes in total.

The story, which is deeply science-fiction oriented, is set in the distant year 2056. In this future, humanity has invented androids controlled through artificial intelligence, capable of performing various tasks for which they are created. Our protagonist, Vivy, is one of them.

Vivy’s job is to bring cheer to her colleagues and people through the music she plays, working as a singer at NiaLand amusement park. However, her normal life is disrupted by the arrival of Matsumoto, an android who claims to arrive from 100 years in the future.

He in fact wants to involve her in the Singularity Project, which is a move to prevent a now imminent android rebellion against humans about to occur. After fighting her many doubts, Vivy will accept, initiating the mission.

A decidedly futuristic anime, but with a truly captivating plot and full of twists and turns that will make you jolt often.

13. Death Parade

Death Parade consists of 12 episodes and blends the tension of death games with an interest in the occult and mystery.

When on Earth two people die at the same time they must be judged, and they are sent to liminal spaces, such as the Quindecim bar.

On the surface a simple bartender, Decim is the judge, whose job it is to decide whether to send souls to reincarnation or to the eternal void.

In the death game, players take turns, remembering during the games both their identities and the reasons for their deaths.

12. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Cyberpunk Edgerunners

As a prequel to the game Cyberpunk 2077, this anime follows the story of David Martinez. In Night City, a futuristic metropolis, David attends Arasaka Academy to fulfill his mother’s dream of reaching the top of the world’s leading security corporation.

But things changed when a street gang incident left him devastated.

He then implanted Sandevistan cyberware for superhuman speed and strength, to get revenge on his enemies. Witness his journey as he fights to survive the dangerous, corrupt system while never backing down from any fight.

Cyberpunk: Endgerunners is one of the most popular and successful anime of recent times, which has become a hit because of its excellent storyline, cool action moments, and excellent soundtrack condensed in only 11 episodes.

Being a cyberpunk anime, it delves deeply into the theme of the individual’s annihilation by society, a theme as relevant as ever.

The setting is also simply stunning. Night City will captivate you with its colorful, futuristic locations reminiscent of Blade Runner, contrasted by the poor, dirty, and congested alleys.

11. Kaiba

Kaiba is a 12-episode sci-fi dystopian anime and it’s an original work, meaning that there is no source material.

In the futuristic world of Kaiba, it’s possible to transfer people’s memories into a chip, which can be conveniently transported to another body.

Physical death is no longer a problem for humanity thanks to science, even though this comfort is reserved only for wealthy people.

An electric cloud divides the rich from the poor and if crossed, completely erases the memory of the unfortunate person, short-circuiting the chip.

Kaiba, the protagonist, wakes up in an unknown room with no memories in search of his identity. His only clues? A locket and a blurry photo of a girl.

If you’re a fan of dystopian anime and enjoy a hint of mystery, then jump on Kaiba, an anime with all the credentials to be enjoyed.

10. Aim to the Top! Gunbuster

Aim for the Top! Gunbuster is a 6-episode OAV series by Hideaki Anno, the mastermind behind Neon Genesis Evangelion.

With less budget but a lot of heart, he managed to churn out a gem of the mecha genre that still surprises with wise use of color and a fast-paced but still poignant plot.

The plot describes a near future where the earth is severely threatened by the arrival of a hostile alien race, and protagonist Noriko Takaya enrolls in a military training school for robot pilots to deal with this threat.

Unfortunately, being selected is not at all easy, and the anime will begin precisely with Noriko’s hard training, also with the help of Coach Ota.

Gunbuster is a Mecha anime that is no match for its more illustrious peers in the genre and indeed has made its mark on history. Take the time to catch up with this GAINAX gem as soon as you can: you won’t regret it.

9. Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom is a 12-episode anime, fantasy/horror genre, released in 2000, based on a light novel, also adapted in 2000.

The story recounts events in a small town, where, 5 years after a chain of murders, mysterious cases of student disappearances begin to occur, bringing to mind the horrors that have already happened. These events will connect the protagonists to Boogiepop, also called the God of Death.

The anime was a huge success at the time, also receiving several praises for the multiplicity and depth of the characters, and for the author’s deep and remarkable research in creating the work.

Don’t miss out on it if you are a fan of the horror/fantasy genre with a twist of mystery.

This anime is far from easy to understand, even according to critics, who have found this to be its main flaw. Therefore, if you are looking for a simple and light anime, scroll down.

8. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Based on Hajime Kamoshida’s light novel of the same name, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a 2018 anime by CloverWorks.

The plot revolves around Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school boy who keeps to himself and has only two friends. This is caused by the fact that rumors are circulating about him allegedly assaulting some boys. One day, while walking around the library, he runs into a girl dressed as a bunny.

The girl’s name is Mai Sakurajima, his senpai as well as a professional actress. The two will begin to discover each other, opening doors to their various past experiences.

Although the premise might mislead, the series is far from light, and ecchi situations are virtually absent.

It is also divided into what might be called full-fledged story arcs, with events affecting various characters. The latter will generally be enjoyable as well, always bringing interesting twists to the events.

7. Haibane Renmei

Haibane Renmei

Haibane Renmei is a 13-episode anime created by Yoshitoshi Abe in collaboration with the Radix studio.

Rakka is a girl with angelic features who lives inside thick, stifling walls together with her fellow humans, called Haibane.

None of them remembers who they were before they found themselves there, why they have this strange appearance, nor even why they live inside this wall, isolated from the outside world.

A must-see if you are a lover of suspense and mystery, with a comb-over plot that keeps you glued to the screen.

All, of course, with that touch of reflection and depth of theme that distinguishes the anime on this list. A great mix not to be missed for any reason.

6. Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden is a 13-episode series about drama, war, and romance released in 2018. This is indeed one of the best choices if you’re looking for a great short romance anime.

After four years of uninterrupted conflict between the northern and southern regions of the Telesis continent, peace is finally born.

Violet, a girl who since birth has lived always and only in the army and with the purpose of war, under the orders of Major Gilbert, must now reinvent her life from scratch.

Thus will begin Violet’s journey to discover emotions and feelings, trying to leave behind her warlike past.

In short, the usual cliché of the machine trying to become human and the difficulty of such a process, but with some nice sentimental gimmicks and a chilling graphic compartment.

Truly a great anime, which will be able to convey strong emotions to you, and you will hardly fail to identify with Violet. If you like intense anime, both emotionally and psychologically, then this is exactly for you.

5. Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain

Series Experiments Lain has 13 episodes and is an original story dating back to 1998, and is one of the most famous short original works due to its fairly deep meaning and plot complexity.

The plot tells the story of Lain Iwakura, a rather peculiar little girl partly because of a less than ideal family situation.

Lain comes into contact with Wired, a global network reminiscent of our Internet, where she will learn a lot of information regarding this mysterious virtual network.

However, Wired is not such a simple and clear system; in fact, much more lurks behind it, and it will be Lain’s job to investigate its nature.

The mystery also deepens immediately thanks to strange messages that her classmates receive, apparently coming from one of their classmates who recently died and is reputed to be finally free in Wired.

Serial Experiments Lain examines the dualism between real and virtual, in a world that increasingly seems to be a union of the two rather than a stark separation.

4. Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby is a 10-episode anime of the Action/Combat, Drama, Supernatural, and Splatter genres, based on the famous work of master Go Nagai and presented in a modern key and in the style of master Yuasa.

This is a must-watch for anyone with an over-the-top palate and especially for fans of rather gory anime.

Devilman is based on demons, beings that lived on Earth and disappeared long ago, frozen in huge blocks of ice. One day, however, something slowly begins to awaken them.

Akira Fudo, the protagonist, is informed of the incident by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, who invites Akira to merge with a demon. This gives rise to the mythical Devilman, a man-demon hybrid who will fight the demon menace.

This is an important series that examines human nature and how sometimes humans themselves are the real demons.

Although it is quite different from the original work in some parts, it is a fairly interesting modern reading of one of the most influential works in the Japanese landscape.

3. Puella Magi ★ Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi ★ Madoka Magica is a 12-episode thriller and dark-themed anime.

The plot revolves around the protagonist Madoka Kaname who encounters a magical creature named Kyubey together with her schoolmate Sayaka Miki.

This mysterious being grants a teenage girl a wish at the cost of turning her into a sorceress, an entity that fights witches, the cause of evil in the world.

In 12 episodes Madoka Magica manages to give a dark twist to the Majokko genre, even though this is not the first time the genre has seen such themes.

We recommend you give it a try since it is a pivotal work in the last 10 years, also thanks to a super solid technical sector and animations.

2. The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy is an anime consisting of 11 episodes based on a light novel and adapted in 2010 by Yuasa.

An anime in which you can see and mirror yourself, especially if you are a college student or have ever thought about what your life would be like if you had taken a different path.

The beauty of The Tatami Galaxy is that it is seemingly simple in its unfolding but manages to enrapture because of its surreality and especially because of the stream of consciousness.

Yes, you read that right, the whole work gravitates around the streams of consciousness of the protagonist, so an incessant flow of words and tangled thoughts, a little like the hard life we live every day.

1. Ping Pong: The Animation

Ping Pong The Animation

Ping Pong the Animation has 11 episodes and is an adaptation by Yuasa, who based its remake on the original Spokon manga. This is not the classic anime about sports, it’s more than that: it will speak to your soul thanks to its deep introspection about the characters.

The animations are really smooth and it is a delight to watch the ping pong matches in this series, even if you may not be a fan of the sport.

The fights take place on more of a psychological and motivational level than a physical one, and that is why you have to give it a chance; this is something that borders on the avant-garde.

The story centers on Tsukimono (Smile) and Hoshino (Peko), childhood friends with a hobby of playing Ping Pong since they were schoolmates in elementary school.

The former plays ping pong to kill time, the latter because he hates to lose and loves the sport. How will they be received by the cold world of competitive Ping Pong?

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Passionate about Japanese culture for years, serial devourer of manga, anime, and videogames that have now become part of my routine. My favorite series? Goodnight Punpun and One Piece.

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