what are the best short anime series for binge watching?

Top 24 Best Short Anime That Are Great For Binge-Watching

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Published: 25/06/2018

Updated on: 22/07/2021

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Do you know how there are those days you wish you stayed at home and only watched anime? Today, I have compiled a list of anime that would be great for those kinds of days. Here are the top 20+ anime that are great for a 1-day marathon. The list was based on my own personal preferences; however, I tried mixing in different genres so that you have an easier time finding an anime to watch. We will cover stuff from horror to comedy and shounen. So without further ado, let’s dig right into it.  The anime on the list are all worth watching, in my opinion, regardless of their ranking.

Best Short Anime

24. Blood of Zeus

  • Episodes: 8
  • Studio: Powerhouse Animation Studios, Dongwoo A&E
  • Source: Original
  • Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action 

This Netflix anime is set in the world of Greek mythology. It revolves around the demigod, Heron. Initially a commoner, he finds out that he is the son of the god Zeus. He is given a mission of trying to save Earth and Olympus from a demonic army. Heron does not exist in Greek mythology and is a character only made for the show.

The show has the typical troupe of a hero and his journey. However, the classic tale is retold in a way filled with twists and action. Along with this, music, writing, art, and character development is impeccable. One pair in particular that stood were the characters of Zeus and Hera. Even if you don’t like Greek mythology, this anime may change your mind.

23. Charlotte

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: P.A. Works
  • Source: Original
  • Genre: Drama, School, Superpower 

Yuu Otosaka may seem like your run-of-the-mill intelligent and charming teenager. But he has a secret he’s been keeping. He has the ability to control someone’s body for five seconds at a time. With this skill of slipping into people’s minds to do what he wants, he can do anything. And he has. Over the years, he has gained the highest grades, allowing him to enter a prestigious high school. Could his powers be even more powerful than he initially thought?

This gripping story will leave you wanting more. The main character’s development is also quite endearing to see. The pacing is just right, and the emotional story gives it depth. 

Death Parade

22. Death Parade

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Source: Original 
  • Genre: Game, Mystery, Psychological, Drama, Thriller

This anime does not believe in the concept of heaven and hell. Rather, after death, you arrive at a bar. Here, the ‘bartender’ will make each pair complete a game or challenge after arriving. This randomly selected game will be the deciding factor for whether your soul gets reincarnated or sent into the void. In fact, the challenges could range from bowling and air hockey to darts.

The series shows a great understanding of death, grief, and anything surrounding it. It’s an episodic show where there are new characters introduced each time. They aren’t just measly side characters, however. Every character brings in a new depth and element that didn’t exist in the show before. Themes such as revenge, loneliness, regret, and emotions are heavily played with. 

21. WataMote

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Silver Link
  • Source: Web manga
  • Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, School

Tomoko Kuroki has prepped herself for the first year of high school in an… unusual way, to say the least. She’s dated over 100 virtual boys and has been through around 50 simulated lives of high school students. With this practice, she thinks she’s ready to conquer the first year.

But, it seems her plan may not have been as effective as she’d like to think. Instead of being a social butterfly, Tomoko ends up being an awkward and introverted girl. Except, everyone else knows this but her. With her best friend and brother’s help, Tomoko attempts to survive this new world of high school. 

The character Tomoko is quite easy to relate to. We may not be as eccentric as her, but we’ve all been in socially questionable situations. There are plenty of shows with socially inept or antisocial characters, but WataMote still manages to stand out from the bunch. Her attempts to overcome her struggles are incredibly humorous. The comedy is definitely the highlight of the show. Although the artwork is simple, it’s quite entertaining to watch.

20. Elfen Lied

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: Arms
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre:  Action, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Drama, Romance, Seinen

Lucy is a part of a special breed of humans known as “Diclonius.” She possesses invisible telekinetic hands and a short pair of horns. However, these features land her at the center of an unethical scientific experiment by the government. As a victim of this heinous plan, she doesn’t let an opportunity to escape go. Corrupted by the constant surveillance and torture, she leaves bloodshed as she attempts to escape. 

Unaware of her destructive and murderous nature, they take her in as she’s injured. This single act of kindness will transform their lives forever. Kouta and Yuka end up being dragged into a world of deceit, government conspiracy, and secrecy. 

This anime is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time. With its cruelty, nudity, and gore, this anime may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But do keep in mind that you may be missing out on a great, intense plot with memorable soundtracks.

19. Baccano!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: Brain’s Base
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genre:  Action, Comedy, Historical, Mystery, Supernatural

The show is set in early 1930s Chicago. Flying Pussyfoot, a transcontinental train, is about to start a legendary journey that will eventually leave a trail of blood. Simultaneously, a determined scientist Szilard, is working with Ennis in New York. The duo is searching for the immortality elixir bottles that have gone missing. To add on to things, a mafia war is getting more and more intense.

As you start watching Baccano, it may seem like several events are unrelated. However, these events play a small role in a bigger story surrounding survival and immortality. The non-sequential storytelling adds to the enjoyment of the series. If you don’t pay attention, you may miss out on essential details making this an amazing anime to watch.

18. Ping Pong the Animation

  • Episodes: 11
  • Studio: Tatsunoko Production
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Drama, Psychological, Seinen, Sports

Every athlete has a certain song that pumps them up before a match, a snack, or even a mantra. Makoto Tsukimoto is no different. He always recites, “The hero comes. The hero comes. The hero comes. Chant these words in your mind, and I’ll surely come to you”. But he doesn’t just repeat these words for ping pong matches. There’s more to it.

Although a seemingly simple story about the friendship of two boys, this anime is beautifully crafted. With its unconventional art style, the show is pushing boundaries while still being charming. Despite only having 11 episodes, it’ll give a memorable experience.

17. Tonari no Seki-Kun

  • Episodes: 21
  • Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Comedy, School, Seinen 

Don’t let the number of episodes fool you; it’s still a short anime as each episode is only 7 minutes long. The show revolves around Toshinari Seki. Rumi Yokoi is his neighborhood classmate who only cares about school and studies. She constantly finds herself being distracted by Toshinari, though. This comes as no surprise because school is the least of Toshinari’s worries.

Instead, he obsesses over creating intricate setups with an assortment of items. This could range anywhere from a domino course to a war depicted with shogi pieces. While Rumi desperately tries to focus in class, she ends up being a part of his eccentrics. However, she receives the short end of the stick as she’s the one who gets in trouble with the teacher. Thankfully, lessons will never be boring when Toshinari is around!

With 7 minutes each episode, you may think that it won’t have enough material to suck you in. But that is definitely not the case here. The creativity of Toshinari is astronomical, and so is the humor. It has a slice-of-life element, and despite its weird quirks, the show is quite simplistic. There’s no reason for you not to try this anime. 7 minutes. That’s all it takes to get you addicted. 

16. I can’t understand what my husband is saying

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: Seven
  • Source: 4-Koma manga
  • Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance, Seinen

Hajime Tsunashi is a hardcore otaku who makes a living off of his blog. His wife, Kaoru, is a white-collar worker who is fairly ordinary. She can be somewhat of a crazy drunk, though. The pair couldn’t be more different, but they somehow fell in love. The unusual couple will soon realize that love is much more than a wedding or a kiss.

With 3 minutes per episode, you can binge this show in an hour. It’s actually quite fascinating how the couple’s story is told in such a short amount of time. The married couple is not just for comedic relief, but a real connection exists between them. 

Terror In Resonance - best dark anime

15. Terror in Resonance

  • Episodes: 11
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Source: Original
  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller

A terrorist attack targets a nuclear facility in Japan. After the explosion, only the word ‘VON’ is left behind in blood red. The government was unable to act in time. It’s up to the police to frantically search for ways to catch the perpetrators. Until half a year later, the public remains clueless when a strange video circulates its way around the internet.

In a video, two boys who called themselves “Sphinx” challenge the police. The stakes? Destruction and mayhem in Tokyo. Mass panic quickly rises, and the police are desperate for leads in their pursuit. As they struggle in their investigation against the terrorists, Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki gets caught in the middle of it.

You may have seen several shows with anti-heroes and themes of terrorism and high-pressure cases. But I can assure you, none of them come close to Terror in Resonance. There’s an underlying artistic element to show and its realism. If you want a compelling storyline, this is the one for you. It can be compared to the likes of Tokyo Ghoul as well. 

Devilman: Crybaby

14. Devilman Crybaby

  • Episodes: 10
  • Studio: Science SARU
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Action, Dementia, Demons, Horror, Supernatural

The premise of this show surrounds devils. And here, devils need a living form to take shape. But, if a human’s will is strong enough, they can take the devil’s power and make it their own. This leads them to become Devilman.

The manga is quite old and is considered a classic, so the show was bound to be good. It’s got heavy gore, violence, and sexual elements. The characters have depth to them as the friendships and relationships in this anime get highlighted. And the music may be one of the best parts too. With quick pacing, you’re taken for a ride with this short anime of 10 episodes. 

goblin slayer - best short anime

13. Goblin Slayer

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: White Fox
  • Source: Light Novel
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy, Adventure, Acture, Gore

The story is about a young priestess who puts together her first adventuring party. Very soon they find themselves in trouble when a swarm of goblins starts to attack them. A mysterious man in armor comes to their aid. Known as the Goblin Slayer – a man with a mission to exterminate all goblins, by any and every means necessary. Soon, this daring act makes rounds and now there is no telling who might show up next.

12. Grand Blue

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Zero-G
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Comedy, Seinen, Slice of Life

Grand Blue just finished airing its first season. The anime’s main focus is on diving as a sport. However, it involves a lot of College Humor and Drinking. The anime also has some good comedy, and later you can see some romance starting to unfold when the characters get a bit of development.

The anime is ongoing, however, it only has one season so far, which makes it a short watch.

kakegurui - best anime on netflix

11. Kakegurui

  • Episodes: 24
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Gambling, Game, Mystery, Psychological, School

Kakegurui second season is currently being released on Netflix. The first season was really good, so if you have not seen it already, I would definitely recommend watching it.

The anime follows Yumeko Jabami who enrolls into an elite gambling school. She is a compulsive gambler which brings her and her friends into a lot of risky situations. The gambles are a thrill to watch, and the visuals go really well with the soundtracks.

Currently, it’s a short anime since there are only 2 seasons.

10. One Punch Man

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: First Season: Madhouse, Second Season: J.C. Staff
  • Source: Web Manga
  • Genre: Superheros, Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Parody

One Punch Man is not first on the list? Wow, why? Well, you see, even though One Punch Man is a great anime packed with comedy and action and also followed by some great visuals from MadHouse. I don’t think it deserves a place higher than number 10, simply because of its popularity.

People that do not watch anime, have probably heard of, or seen this anime. Due to its wide popularity and worldwide acceptance, I do believe this anime deserves to hit the list. However, because it’s so popular, there’s a higher chance you have already heard of it, and hence it’s on number 10 of best short anime list. If you have not seen it, then what are you waiting for?

Top 10 short anime - Tokyo Ghoul

09. Tokyo Ghoul

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Seinen, Action, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, Drama, Thriller

On our 9th place is an anime that you might have already heard about, it has been popular lately, the name is Tokyo Ghoul.  Tokyo Ghoul is an action-packed yet mysterious anime that brings forth elements of horror, psychology, and drama into play. The first season is a bit slow-paced as compared to other seasons, but it is definitely worth it. The season has 12 episodes and you can easily marathon it in 1-day. However, after watching season 1 I would recommend reading the manga because seasons 2 and 3 were changed a lot from the original story and a lot of fans are hating on the fact.

Top 10 short anime - No Game No Life

08. No Game No Life

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Source: Light Novel
  • Genre: Game, Adventury, Comedy, Supernatural, Fantasy

Ever heard of the Isekai genre? If not, to explain it quickly, I’d have to say that Isekai is “in a different world” genre. A great example of another anime like that would be either Log Horizon or SAO. Even though No Game No Life is based on a similar premise, the anime is not really the same as the other two. With only one season and one movie out, the anime left the fans wanting for more.  One day, Shiro and her brother Sora end up in a virtual world. They are suddenly moved there and have to find a way to survive. How will they manage in the new world?

Top 10 short anime - Kokkoku

07. Kokkoku

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Geno Studio
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Psychological, Time-travel, Seinen

Our 7th entry on the Top 10 short anime list is Kokkoku, unlike the above two which you might have heard of. This anime has a lot less chance to have already been on your watchlist. From what I have seen in the anime communities that I frequent, not many people knew about this anime. It’s quite underrated but really good. The story starts when one of the Yukawa family gets kidnapped. The rest of the Yukawa family, lead by their grandpa, decide to save them. To save them, they use a mysterious stone, and they enter the world of Stasis. In a world where time is frozen, will they manage to save their family?

Top 10 Short anime - Another

06. Another

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: P.A. Works
  • Source: Light Novel
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Supernatural

Judging by the picture, you might be thinking, oh this is another high school anime. Well yeah, the main characters are high schoolers, but the anime is nothing like you would think it really is.  When I first started this anime I could not stop myself from marathoning it. I had to wake up early the next day, but I spent watching it until 3 am, because it really got me hooked on it. The mystery and the chill the anime gives you are of a unique kind. It really has a spooky and dark vibe that no other anime can give you.  An anime that is definitely worth watching.

Top 10 Short anime - btoom

05. Btooom!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Survival, Action, Seinen

Btooom! is one of the best survival anime I have ever seen. The main character Ryota is a no-lifer that all day only plays games, however, he is the number one player in the online game Btooom! If you’re thinking now, what does this have to do with survival?

Well, you see, they don’t get trapped in a game like SAO in here. Ryota along with other characters is kidnapped and taken to an isolated island. All of the players that were kidnapped are given bombs and a radio chip. The rules are the same as in the game, although, it’s real life. How will Ryota survive this dangerous predicament?

04. Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: J.C. Staff
  • Source: Light Novel
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

My list of Top 10 short anime has been full of Seinen anime so far. So to break the ice from all the seriousness, I have decided to include this anime in my list. Is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon, also known as DanMachi, is a Fantasy anime that I definitely enjoyed watching?

The anime is packed with action and light comedy that keeps you wanting for me. The main character Bell starts off weak and slowly becomes stronger, and I do believe that the “from Zero to Hero” concept is definitely a hit amongst many viewers.

03. Mob Psycho 100

  • Episodes: 24 (2 seasons x 12 eps)
  • Studio: Bones
  • Source: Web Manga
  • Genre: Action, Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, Seinen

Finally, we are in the top 3 of our Top 10 short anime list, and with that, we’re going to switch over the genre a bit. Mob Psycho is an anime with a unique art style, it’s an anime adaptation of the same name Manga created by ONE. ONE is also the creator of One Punch Man.

Mob Psycho is nothing like One Punch man, even though it’s still built on a similar principle. The main character is Mob, a boy that has trouble with socializing, and is bad in sports. Well, he’s basically bad in everything in life. Although his life is below average, he possesses extreme god-like esper abilities. His life starts changing once he meets his sensei Reigen. Together they solve countless cases that require espers.

02. Boku no Hero Academia

  • Episodes: 63
  • Studio: Bones
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Shounen, Comedy, School, Super Powers

Boku no Hero Academia taking the number 2 spot on our list for Top 10 short anime. This anime has been on the popular chart ever since it’s the first season.  It’s definitely the next bix shounen, with the concept of Heros and the previously mentioned “from Zero to Hero” system.

This anime is being talked about a lot, and I do think most people have heard already about it.  However, I still decided to add it to number 2, because it again is not as popular as One Punch Man.  But it is still definitely worth watching, you will enjoy the animation, story and the setting overall. Plus. the opening songs are all really good.

Update: With 63 episodes we can’t really call this a short watch. However, the anime is quite good for a shounen. I think that if you pick it up, you might find yourself finishing it sooner than you expected.

Boku Dake ga inai Machi

01. Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Drama, Psychological

Also known as “The Town Without Me” or the American version “Erased”, this anime was quite popular when it first came out. But not many people have continued to talk about it. The amount of anime that look good and have a good story is rising much faster than before. With that, I do think a lot of viewers forgot about this anime or perhaps missed a chance to see it.

The anime is about time leaping, and how the main character suddenly leaps in time whenever an accident is about to happen. Although he can’t control his power, a certain event happens that leads to a complete change in his life.  With that we conclude our list of Top 10 short anime, before you go, we would like to mention 2 more anime we think you might enjoy watching.

Noteworthy mentions

There are two more anime I would like to mention, however, they are quite popular nowadays. One of them just finished airing and the other still has an episode left until it is completed.  One of them is Megalo Box, an anime about boxing and technology which was inspired by Ashita no Joe, you’ll definitely love it if you have not seen it already. Once it finishes airing it will have 13 episodes.

The 2nd anime I wanted to mention is Hinamatsuri, a slice-of-life anime adaptation of the same name manga. I don’t really like the slice of life genre, but this one really hit my attention, and as such, I’d like to recommend it to you if you have not seen it already.

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