Best short anime series — top 30 of all time

Short anime series are often quite amazing, so most of us anime fans are obsessed with them; these shows don’t waste time with overly used anime cliche and stay on the line with the actual plot. We all wish to watch more unique and amazing shows like this, which is why this list will cover the best short anime series. Check out our top list section for more great content.

While it’s true that the best short anime series are worthy of being praised as a masterpiece, regardless of how amazing these shows are, not every show has a deep meaning behind its story. Some anime series are built around a romantic story, some revolve around a comedic plot, and then, of course, some shows will take your breath away.

Do you occasionally run out of material to watch? If you’re looking to spend your time watching romantic comedies, look at our list of best romance anime, where you’ll surely find some amazing shows to watch, and if you’re in the mood for some old-school action, check out these legendary 90s anime.

So, let’s continue with the list of best short anime series for you to watch.

1. Rascal Doesn’t Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Credit: Illumination Entertainment

Bunny Girl Senpai is a beloved anime series that tackle multiple aspects of high school, which is why it is most popular among teenagers; the anime digs into the effects and consequences of social isolation and loneliness. Well, it has one of the most realistic anime couples with no anime cliches, well-written characters, and good pacing. This high school romance is surely one of the best.

Mai Sakurajima is a normal high school student who suffers from a unique condition known as an adolescent syndrome which has caused her to become invisible to everyone around her. Well, everyone except Sakuta Azusagawa, who then decides to figure out the reason behind this phenomenon and helps her fight it however he can.

2. My Dress-up Darling

Credit: CloverWorks

My Dress-up Darling is one of the most beloved anime series from 2022, and for a good reason. The show is a high school romantic comedy series, but it’s much more than that; My Dress-up Darling is about accepting yourself for who you are and not feeling bad about the choices you made, there is a place for everyone, and you just have to find it. This is a series worthy of praise.

Marin Kitagawa is an eccentric high school teenager who is obsessed with cosplaying as her favorite anime character; however, she isn’t good at making clothes or knows the first thing about cosplay. She meets Gojo Wakana who likes to spend most of his time creating clothes for Hina Dolls; after meeting one another, Marin requests that Gojo helps make her cosplay outfits.

3. Violet Evergarden

Credit: Kyoto Animation

Violet Evergarden is a phenomenal series, to say the least, it’s a show about war, specifically the aftermath of war, and there are so many things that make this show amazing. It’s a beautiful story about finding a purpose in your life; it’s about moving on even when you feel like you can’t; the series is loved for its impeccable storyline, well-written characters, and most of all, the beautiful visuals that blew us all away. 

After the war has ended, Violet tries who was solely trained as a soldier, tries to live her new life as an auto memory doll. However, her only desire is to understand the meaning of “I Love You” which were the final words told to her by Major Gilbert Bougainvillea. Violet meets many people on her journey to becoming an auto memory doll.

4. Horimiya

Credit: CloverWorks

Coming up as one of the most adored high school romantic comedies, it’s Horimiya. The series has one of the most active fanbases out there; what makes this show different from the hundred other high school romances is the amazing characters. It also gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside; if you’re a fan of high school romantic comedies, you’re sure to love this one.

The story follows two of the most adored characters in the series, Miyamura is considered a gloomy otaku in his school and has no friends, he prefers to be by himself and doesn’t try to engage with others, and Hori is a top student at school, who is good at studies and everyone boy in school wants to date her.

5. Tanaka-Kun is Always Listless

Credit: SILVER LINK.

We’ve all had lazy days; some days, you just want to sleep and do nothing productive. Tanaka-Kun is a series that will put you to sleep; it’s a story about a guy who is too lazy to do anything by himself; he prefers to sleep no matter where he is; luckily, he has a friend who takes care of him. Tanaka-Kun is often overlooked due to its lazy art style and unusual synopsis, but it’s definitely worth watching.

Tanaka wants nothing but to rest, all the time. Most of his day is spent being lazy, either at his desk or in the playground under a tree; thankfully he has friends who are always there to take care of him or who knows what would happen to him.

6. Gamers!

Credit: Pine Jam

“Sorry, I only see you as my boyfriend” the series is famous for its hilarious relationship between the protagonists; you must’ve seen a few memes on the internet already. Sometimes you just want to play games without being labeled as a “gamer” or an otaku, which is the dilemma of our protagonist, who just wants to enjoy playing games, but he’s surrounded by try-hard gamers.

Keita Amano is a normal high school student who wants to play games and make some friends in his class, he decides to join a game club at his school; however, instead of finding people he can relax with, he’s met with some try-hards who only want to compete. Keita’s normal un-eventful life starts becoming more interesting.

7. Tada Never Falls in Love

Credit: Doga Kobo

The series is nothing less than a fairytale, to say the least, almost like Disney made it. It’s a beautiful story about two unique characters who live in completely different worlds but manage to fall in love and make an effort to be with one another despite their differences. Tada never falls in love is a show that will make you fall in love with anime again.

Tada is a normal high school student whose dream is to become a photographer, he works at his studies and also helps around the home; helping his grandpa run the coffee shop; however, his life will soon change when he meets an eccentric foreigner by the name of Teresa Wagner.

8. Beyond the Boundary

Credit: Kyoto Animation

Almost every anime made by Kyoto Animation is worth watching, but Beyond the Boundary is a special series known for its amazing visuals and one of the most lovable cast members. The story is set in a supernatural world where humans with special abilities known as spirit warriors fight off fictional creatures known as Youmu that can cause damage to human society.

In a world full of fictional monsters known as Youmu and spirit warriors, we have some peculiar characters. Mirai Kuriyama is a spirit warrior with the unique ability to use her blood as a weapon; however, she is too afraid to fight Youmu, and then we have Akihito who is an immortal half Youmu; while he technically can be considered a monster, he is an ordinary human.

9. Interspecies Reviewers

Credit: Passione

Possibly one of the biggest controversial anime series of all time, Interspecies reviews is a show about reviewing different species based on their sexual appeal. Of course, this series would cause one of the biggest controversies; however, the series is enjoyable nonetheless. If you’re a fan of ecchi anime series, you will love this one.

In a world where countless species exist, our heroes have taken it upon themselves to review the sexual appeal of each and every species. Our protagonists visit every county’s brothels and write reviews about the appeal of all succu-girls, in the name of research of course.

10. Amagi Brilliant Park

Credit: Kyoto Animation

Amagi Brilliant Park is frankly one of the most adored and loveable anime series of all time, and it’s a huge plus that the series is animated by Kyoto Animation, the most beloved anime studio in the anime world. The series starts with a particularly goofy premise, but later reveals the severity of the situation, Amagi Brilliant Park is a fantastic series that will make you want more.

Seiya Kanie is a normal high school student but his life changes when he’s one day forced to go on a date by her classmate, Isuzu Sento, who wants him to be the manager of an amusement park, The Amagi Brilliant Park to be exact. The anime starts off easy and our protagonist continues to help make the park more interactive.

11. Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun

Credit: Doga Kobo

Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun is a cute love story between two characters, mixed with confusion and misunderstanding, this series will definitely make you laugh in every scene. There are many other aspects of the series that make it interesting, such as its hilarious characters and the comedic plot.

The story is from the perspective of our heroin, Chiyo Sakura, who is deeply in love with his crush Umetarou Nozaki. However, after she confesses her love to him, Nozaki assumes Chiyo is just another fan of his popular Manga and gives him an autograph. And from then on, Chiyo joins him and helps him produce manga.

12. Darwin’s Game

Credit: Nexus

Much like Btooom, Darwin’s game is set in a battle royale type of setting, where characters are given unique powers and have to fight off against other players, the winner is decided by either competing in events or eliminating the other players, and you can guess which option the players will choose.

Darwin’s Game pit players against one another in a battle royale setting; however, it also gives them unique powers. Kaname Sudou decides to play Darwin’s Game but unknowing to him, this game will change his life forever. As soon as he launches the game, a snake emerges from the phone and bits his neck, Kaname thinks of it as a hallucination until he starts getting hunted by a man in a panda costume.

13. Charlotte

Credit: P.A.Works

Charlotte is a beloved anime series for many reasons; the story pulls you in with its amazing plot and loveable characters. Charlotte is a show about teens with supernatural abilities looking for a place to belong while trying to avoid the government that wants to experiment on these children.

Some kids are born with supernatural abilities, and our protagonist is among those few; his ability allows him to take control of another person’s body for five seconds where he can do anything he wants. At first, he uses his ability to do whatever he wants; however, his life changes once he learns more about his powers.

14. Devil is a Part-Timer

Credit: White Fox

Isekai genre never ceases to be entertaining; Devil is a Part-Timer is a show where the protagonist, the infamous demon lord, is teleported to a new world and begins living his life as a normal human being. The series has some hilarious anime plots and characters that make the show entertaining.

A demon lord living in a fantasy world loses his fight against the hero and manages to escape into modern-day Japan, where he continues his new life living as a human being, doing a part-time job, and renting a place where he can live.

15. Deadman Wonderland

Credit: Manglobe

Deadman Wonderland is popular among the old anime fans; the series is mainly known for its gruesome animation and the high-stakes survival plot, which keeps you on your toes, making you guess what comes next. Deadman Wonderland is full of strange and weird characters who are just plain scary.

It’s a normal day when a strange man in red appears and kills the entire class but leaves one boy alive, the boy is then blamed for murdering his entire class and is sent to a prison where he is pitted against other prisoners to fight for his life. He continues to part-take in the challenges and survives as long as he can.

16. Haven’t you Heard? I’m Sakamoto

Credit: Studio Deen

A series like Sakamoto needs no introduction, it’s hilariously entertaining on all levels, and it gets more enjoyable with each passing season that introduces even more hilarious characters; the series is carried by the protagonist, Sakamoto, who can avoid any and every problem with swag, it is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.

The series follows our protagonist, Sakamoto, who is simply the coolest guy around. He is amazing at everything he does, and he does it with such class and passion that everyone can’t help but fawn over him, even the students who initially hated him have begun to admire his ways. No one knows anything about Sakamoto beyond his school life; who he is or where is he from, all they know is, that Sakamoto is cool.

17. Barakamon

Credit: Kinema Citrus

Barakamon is a series that will make you fall in love with its peaceful nature; the series is about a guy who has trouble managing his anger, so he moves into a remote village until he learns to control his emotions better. He meets new people and learns to enjoy his life a peaceful life in the countryside.

Handa is a known calligrapher; who is well respected by everyone around him; however, he’s unable to accept any criticism about his work. During his award-winning ceremony, he loses his temper when a senior calls his work unoriginal. He is then later exiled to an island by his father so that he can learn to control his emotions a little better.

18. Handa-Kun

Credit: Diomedéa

Handa-Kun is a hilarious comedy anime series that you are sure to enjoy watching, mainly due to the hilarious characters, the comedic premise of the show mixed with slice-of-life moments make this worth the watch. Apparently, this season is a prequel to the previously mentioned Barakamon so be sure to give it a watch.

Handa is an excellent student at his school, he’s a well-known calligrapher and popular throughout his school; however, he assumes that everyone in his school hates him. So, most of his time is spent trying to figure out why that is, he distances himself from people who only want to be his friends.

19. ReLife

Credit: TMS Entertainment

If you get a second chance at life, will you do things differently? ReLife is an amazing anime series that is about making an effort no matter how old you are; it teaches you how you should never skip on opportunities provided to you, and to make good choices, so you don’t regret anything. The show will leave you wanting more.

Everyone wishes they could get a 2nd chance at life, Arata Kaizaki is the protagonist of the series, who quits his first job over some office dispute and struggles to find work; after being unable to find a job. He almost gives up trying until he meets Ryou Yoake who offers him a chance to relive his life as a high school student.

20. Made in Abyss

Credit: Kinema Citrus

Made in Abyss is a series about exploration, entering the deepest depths of the earth trying to uncover the great mysteries. Although the anime starts easy and cheerful but then goes on to become one of the darkest series we’ve ever seen. Made in Abyss is known for its light-hearted adventure and decent characters, it’s a show that will keep you hooked.

No one knows the actual depth of the Abyss, no one has reached the end except only the chosen few, Riko is the daughter of a famous delver and her dream is to become a white whistle so she can explore the deepest depths of the abyss, she quickly reaches the rank of red whistle and continues her journey down the abyss.

21. Angel Beats

Credit: P.A.Works

Grab some tissues and get ready to cry like a baby; Angels Beats is a show that will play with your heart and pull strings that you didn’t know existed. The show is about having regrets and not being able to move on from the past; the series is set in a high school setting where students are stuck in purgatory, unable to move on.

When someone dies while having regrets, they’re transported to a high school in the afterlife. The protagonist of the series wakes up in a high school which he later learns is the afterlife; however, he can not remember his name or what happened to him. Only learning that they have to fight against an angel named Tenshi.

22. No Game No Life

Credit: Madhouse

No Game No Life is an incredible anime series that almost every anime fan has seen; the story is set in a fictional world where everything is decided through games; the series was aired in 2014 and is still one of the most beloved anime shows of all time. No Game No Life is the stepping stone to becoming the ultimate otaku.

The most popular brother-sister duo, Shiro and Sora rule the world of online games with their superior skills and intellect; believing that life is just another game. However, their ordinary lives change when one day, they’re challenged by an unknown god by the name of Tet, upon accepting the challenge both of them are transported into a strange world where everything is ruled by games.

23. Tower of God

Credit: Telecom Animation Film

One of the biggest anime betrayals happened in Tower of God, the series was way overhyped due to it being a webtoon, and everyone had high hopes for it; although there were people who were disappointed by the actual anime adaptation most fans were satisfied with how the show turned out. The unique art style and the amazing characters are what carried the show.

The series’ protagonist Bam wakes up inside a cave when he’s greeted by a girl named Rachel who shows him light outside of that cave. He is then later called upon by the tower and summoned to climb the tower with the promise to offer them anything in return. Thus begins the journey of Bam to climb the tower only so he could see the girl he saw inside that dark cave.

24. Another

Credit: P.A. Works

It is possibly one of the most iconic horror anime, more popularly known for its memes than the actual horror. Another is more a psychological horror anime, with many intense moments that will make you glued to your seat. Another is well-known for its amazing animation, attention to detail, and the eerie OST.

Kouichi Sakakibara is a high school student who comes back to school after being disappeared for the entire first month of school, after returning to school, he is drawn toward this strange girl known as Mei who no one seems to notice; however, Kouchi ends up befriending her and even spending time with her. Trying to uncover the mystery behind her existence.

25. Death Parade

Credit: Madhouse

Death Parade is a series that breaks down the invulnerability of a human heart, how fragile we humans are how easy it is to break us. The purgatory concept displayed in the show is nothing less than amazing; humans are judged based on their actions but not on the reasons behind those actions, which is, of course, flawed. But does life actually have meaning?

When two people die at the same time, they’re transported to Quindecim, where the bartender known as Decim will pass judgment onto you but things change when Decim meets a girl who’s transported to his bar as a mistake. Not understanding what to do with her, he’s forced to let her work with him.

26. 91 days

Credit: Shuka

An old-school series about revenge and murder is enough to get anyone excited, 91 days is a series set in the prohibition era; it’s a series that will keep you glued to your seat and leave you wanting more. There is something very satisfying about revenge; you get to learn about the characters; understand their reasons go wanting revenge; 91 days is a phenomenal series.

The story reveals the past of our protagonist when his family is assassinated by a group of mafia members while he’s hiding in a closet, skip over a few years later, Angelo Lagusa decides to take revenge on his family’s murderers. Angelo Changes his name to Avilio Bruno and goes on to Befriend Nero Vanetti, the man who killed his family.

27. Btooom!

Credit: Madhouse

If you enjoy watching people pit against each other in a confined space, you’ll love Btooom! This show is a battle royal, where characters are thrown onto a battlefield with no weapons or equipment, and they have to find a way to either kill others or survive.

The protagonist of the series, Sakamoto Ryouta is an unemployed man living with his mother, when one day he finds himself stranded on an island with a green gem stuck inside his hand, later finding himself fighting other opponents, he realizes that he’s stuck inside a game-like environment where he has to survive.

28. Gangsta

Credit: Manglobe

The first season of Gangsta served as an amazing introduction to the crime-riddled city of Ergastulum, it showed what goes on in the underbelly of the city, how the city overlords operate, and the story behind the group of humans with super-human abilities; too bad there isn’t going to be a season 2. If you’re looking for an anime about gangsters, you should check it out.

The story is set in the run-down city of Ergastulum where our protagonist Nico Brown and Worick live their life as hired guns, they’re often called when things are too difficult for anyone else to handle, Nico being one of the Twilights is an excellent fighter and Worick is good at using his head.

29. Terror in Resonance 

Credit: MAPPA

The element of mystery and thrill are what make Terror in Resonance a unique show, for most of the show we aren’t given any specific hints as to what the actual goal of the characters are, we do understand that they are trying to make a statement but have no idea what it is actually is. The art style fits the tone of the show, the characters are mysterious yet likable, and the impeccable story keeps you glued to your seat

The anime opens up inside a nuclear facility where some intruders manage to steal something from a nuclear bomb, later those intruders are revealed to be the protagonist of the story, Nine and Twelve, their reasons for doing these things are unclear.

30. Erased

Credit: A-1 Pictures

Erased is a series that will make you feel a lot of things; anime series with a time travel plot hold the biggest impact. We all have regrets, and these shows know how to exploit that with a character who can go back in time and fix his mistakes. Erased is a show loved and cherished by the community for its amazing plot and characters.

The story begins when our protagonist unexpectedly goes back in time back to when he was a kid and tries to fix his mistakes, he tries to save one of his classmates, Kayo, who is constantly abused by her family; however, things don’t go so well.
We hope you liked our list of some of the most popular short anime series; all of these series are loved and cherished by the community with a significant following. Animals in anime are often portrayed funnily, as they do not contribute to the story but are still somehow relevant to the plot; they are the best travel companions of our protagonists and know exactly how to steal the show, check out this list of most lovable anime cats to find your favorite companion.