If you want to see some good series but are short on time, no problem, there are a lot of great anime that is also quite short, usually around 12 episodes. Since looking for the best short animes takes enough time, we offer you a list with all of those we consider most flu. To be honest, it was not easy at all as there are a lot of very high-quality works that you can recover in various ways, as we will show you for the isekai series.
Best short animes
Boogiepop Phantom – Mysteries and Gods of Death
The story tells the events of a small town, where, 5 years after a chain of murders, mysterious cases of disappearance of students begin to follow one another, 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 had 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 the creation of the work.
The anime, however, is far from easy to understand, even according to the critics, who found the main flaw in this. So if you are looking for a simple and light anime, scroll down our list.
Devilman Crybaby – Demonic blows
Devilman Crybaby is an anime lasting 10 episodes, of the genre Action / Fighting, Drama, Supernatural and Splatter, taken from the famous work of the master Go Nagai and presented in a modern key and with the style of the master Yuasa. It is a must-have for anyone with a superfine palate and especially for fans of rather gory anime.
Devilman is based on demons, beings who lived on earth and long gone, 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. Hence the mythical Devilman, a human-demon hybrid who will fight the threat of demons. This is a very important series that analyzes human nature and how sometimes men themselves are 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 works that have influenced the Japanese landscape the most. In any case, we always recommend reading the manga after watching to actually understand what has changed.
If anime winks at horror like this are of particular interest to you, we recommend that you read our article on the best products that the genre can offer.
Erased – A thriller that will keep you in suspense
The protagonist is Satoru Fujinuma, a twenty-nine-year-old who is a mangaka as a profession, but without any success due to the famous writer’s block. However, following mysterious events, he gains a power called Revival, which allows him to go back in time just enough to save people’s lives.
Unfortunately, the quiet does not last long, as one day, he finds his mother dead on the ground and is unjustly accused because of a rather weak alibi. In a desperate attempt to activate Revival, he is mistakenly catapulted into 1988, when he was still a primary school kid.
During those not-so-happy years, one of her classmates had been murdered and this is where her mission begins. But what does this have to do with the murder of the mother? You will discover it right at the beginning, in fact, you just have to look at it!
If you like thrillers, it means that you are in the right place, also because you should already be curious to know how the story ends!
Kaiba – Futuristic dystopia
Kaiba is an anime with a duration of 12 episodes, in the genre of Adventure, Drama and Sci-Fi. The anime is an original story dating back to 2008. Therefore it is not taken from a manga or a novel.
In the futuristic world of Kaiba, technology has been invented that can transfer people’s memory into a chip, which can be conveniently transported to another body. This technology leads to the total cancellation of physical death, given the interchangeability of the mind.
This comfort, however, is reserved only for rich people, thus creating a strong social disparity and forcing the poor to live in poor bodies, in total poverty. As if that were not enough, an electric cloud is also created to divide the rich from the poor, which, if crossed, completely erases the memory of the victim, short-circuiting the chip.
Thus begins the story of Kaiba, our protagonist, woke up in a room unknown to him without memories in search of his identity. His only clues? A locket and a blurry photo of a girl.
If you are a fan of dystopian anime, and with a pinch of mystery, then throw yourself on Kaiba. There are all the rules to please you.
Megalo Box – Box + Cyberpunk
Megalo Box is an anime made up of 13 episodes of 2018, of the genre Action / Fighting and Sports. The series is an original story, even if it celebrates an unpublished story created to celebrate 50 years of the Rocky Joe manga. The latter is the very famous manga of Takamori and Chiba, a great classic and pillar of the Spokon manga, which you will hardly have even heard of.
The anime tells the story of Junk Dog, nicknamed JD, a boy who participates in meetings of Megalo Box, which is a futuristic variant of the classic box to earn a living. However, he is not alone, as he does so under the careful guidance of coach Gansaku Nanbu, who helps him in his training. All are set in a futuristic city where people live, based on income, in wealth or in slums. One day, however, an encounter will profoundly change his destiny.
If you are a fan of sports, fighting and steampunk anime, then Megalo Box is the perfect match, it will surely not disappoint you and it will be quite entertaining.
Paranoia Agent – Terror on the streets of Shonen Bat
Paranoia Agent consists of 13 episodes of the Drama / Thriller, Psychological and Supernatural genres, conceived by the master Satoshi Kon in 2004, a name quite well known for anyone who knows about Japanese animation. This is Kon’s first and last series and is quite experimental in its own way, as it also dares enough to be his first take on the series.
The story begins with the illustrator protagonist Tsukiko Sagi, who claims she was attacked by a little boy with a baseball bat who moves around on roller skates. Following this testimony, a chain of similar cases began to follow one another. Thus was born the urban legend of Shonen Bat, the mysterious masked attacker.
After Paranoia Agent, we still recommend you to recover all the rest of Satoshi Kon, since they are mainly films and therefore nothing too long. We do not recommend this series if you have seen a few anime or if you are looking for something light, as it is usually not the usual anime to see in your spare time.
The anime is based on an original story and there is also a manga, but we do not recommend it because it does not render anywhere near as good as the original.
The plot revolves around the protagonist Madoka who meets a magical creature named Kyubey with her schoolmate Sayaka Miki. This mysterious being fulfills a teenager’s wish at the cost of transforming her into a sorceress, an entity that fights witches, the cause of evil in the world. We do not dwell further because the rest you will have to see and there is no need to spoil. It is still a short anime.
Trust me. The horror genre is no accident. In 12 episodes, Madoka Magica manages to dismantle the idea of Majokko, offering at the same time animations, music and high-level fighting, seeing is believing! Even if you are not a huge fan of wizards, we advise you to try it as it has been a pivotal work in the last 10 years.
Aim for the Top! Gunbuster – A Mecha anime not to be missed
Aim for the Top! Gunbuster is a 6-episode series of OAVs in the genres of Action, Drama, Ecchi, Mecha, War and Science Fiction by master Hideaki Anno, the mastermind behind Neon Genesis Evangelion. With less budget but a lot of heart, he managed to churn out a pearl of the mecha genre that still surprises today thanks to wise use of colors and a fast but still very poignant texture.
The plot describes a near future where the earth is seriously threatened by the arrival of a hostile alien race and the protagonist Noriko Takaya enrolls in a military training school for robot pilots to face this threat. Unfortunately, being selected is not easy at all and the anime will begin with Noriko’s hard training, also thanks to the help of coach Ota.
Gunbuster is a Mecha anime that has nothing to envy its most illustrious colleagues in the genre and indeed has marked the history of the genre. Recover this GAINAX gem as soon as you can.
Serial Experiments Lain
It is an original story dating back to not too distant 1998 and is one of the most famous original works of short duration thanks to its deep enough meaning and the complexity of the plot.
The plot tells the story of Lain Iwakura, a quite particular girl also due to a not exactly ideal family situation. Lain comes into contact with Wired, a global network that is very reminiscent of our Internet, where he 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 lies behind it and it will be up to Lain to investigate its nature. The mystery immediately deepens also thanks to the strange messages that her classmates receive, apparently coming from one of their friends who died recently and who finally considers herself free in the 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 clear separation. Unfortunately, it is not a light anime. Indeed it is rather difficult to understand everything at first sight and for this reason, we advise you to look at it for culture or if you are used to productions of a certain level.
The Tatami Galaxy – Not everything always goes as planned
An anime in which you can see each other and reflect on yourself a lot, especially if you are a university student or if you 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 apparently simple in its development but manages to captivate thanks to its surreality. Above all, for the flow of consciousness. Yes, you read that right. The whole work revolves around the streams of consciousness of the protagonist, therefore an incessant flow of tangled words and thoughts, a little like the hard life we live every day.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – The terror of a catastrophe
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an anime consisting of 11 episodes of Adventure and Drama genres. The anime is an original story, adapted in 2009.
The story is set in Tokyo, after a Richter 8.0 earthquake that devastated the city. The story centers on Mirai and Yuki, at the beginning of the summer holidays, who go to a robot exhibition in Odaiba without their parents, as they are busy with work. And it is while the two boys are there that the earthquake will occur. From here, the journey back home will begin in a destroyed Tokyo.
If you are looking for a realistic anime, which can make you convey the terror, fear and despair of experiencing such a disaster on your skin, then give it a chance. Surely you will not regret it. The strong emotions and the fear felt by the protagonists and characters will surely know how to break into your heart.
Truly a great short anime, who will be able to convey strong emotions to you, and it is unlikely that you will not identify with Violet. If you like intense souls, both emotionally and psychologically, then this is exactly for you.