You don‘t have the time or energy to start a longer anime? Then you’ve come to the right place. I present you 20 good short animes which I personally liked very much. I consider short animes to have a maximum of 30 episodes.
Here are my 20 good short animes:
1. Sankarea: Undying Love – (Sankarea)
© Studio Deen Co. Ltd.
12 Episodes + 3 OVAs
The student Chihiro Furuya attends the Shiyo Boys’ High School and is a big zombie fan who dreams of having a “cute zombie girl” as his girlfriend. Since a few days, he goes into an abandoned building every night and tries to revive his recently run over cat Babu as a zombie with the help of a formula on an old scroll. In the abandoned building he meets Rea Sanka from the neighbouring Sanka girls’ high school, who uses the remoteness of the house to shout out her frustration about her obsessive father keeping her at home. Chihiro and Rea become friends on this occasion. As a result, they meet there often and try to revive Babu together. Will they succeed?
2. The Good Witch of the West – (Nishi no Yoki Majo)
© Hal Film Maker Inc.
Firiel Dee is the daughter of a strange scientist who lives in seclusion in a tower in the mountains. To be able to do his research undisturbed, Firiel lives with a couple of upright farmers in rural areas. Her idyllic life takes an adventurous turn when she is invited to a ball as a debutante for her fifteenth birthday – which is also the birthday of the missing queen. On this occasion, her father gives her a necklace with a jewel. At the ball, the jewel is recognized as a family treasure by Prince Eusis: It belonged to Princess Edyleen, who mysteriously disappeared 15 years ago. Edyleen was the rightful contender to the throne of the country, and by law Firiel now takes her place as the owner of the jewel. Where did her father get the jewel that he claimed belonged to her mother? Why is her father rushing off on a journey now of all times? Why do hooded warriors attack the tower?
Firiel Dee and Roux, the friend of her childhood days, find themselves in a web of conspiracy and murder because many people in the country do not want to tolerate Firiel on the throne. And even in the girls’ school, where Firiel is supposed to learn the rules of nobility, she is intrigued…
3. DearS – (Diazu)
© Daume Co.,Ltd.
13 Episodes, and i would highly recommend to read the manga if you are interested in this anime.
Soon, 150 so-called “DearS” – biosynthetic aliens with a youthful, attractive and humanoid appearance – will land on Earth in Japan with their spaceship. Since their emergency landing, the DearS have been trying to integrate themselves into human life. In this endeavour, some DearS have now received Japanese citizenship. For the DearS, whose language and writing is very different from that of humans, to learn more about human customs, they are sent to randomly selected schools and are invited to live with a human host family. One year after the emergency landing, high school student Takeya Ikuhara meets a girl sitting all alone on the floor on his way back from school. This girl is a DearS with the future name Ren. Since the DearS were slaves on their home planet, they do not expect a “rescue” from Earth. Therefore, they try to offer themselves to humans as slaves. A DearS believes that their greatest fortune is following orders from their master. After Takeya learns about this, he is horrified and tries to convince Ren to live an independent life…
4. My-HiME – (Mai-HIME)
© Sunrise Inc.
The HiME (Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment) are twelve girls, who all have extraordinary powers, so-called “elements”, and have a specially shaped mark somewhere on their bodies. Each HiME is assigned a child, which gives her her power. This child gets its power from the feelings of the HiME to the person closest to her. If the child is defeated, this person dies. If the HiME dies, the child dies as well. If the “most important person” of a HiME dies, the HiME loses its power, which becomes obvious with the disappearance of its mark.
The 16-year-old Mai Tokiha comes to the Fuuka Gakuen (Fuuka School/Campus) thanks to a scholarship. With her comes, her little brother, Takumi, who is in bad health. Already on her way to school, she is involved in a fight between two HiME, but in the meantime, she discovers that she also has unusual powers…
5. Terror in Resonance – (Zankyō no Teroru)
© MAPPA Co., Ltd.
A shocking terrorist attack is causing fear and terror throughout Tokyo. There is no trace of the perpetrators. The only clue to the bombers seems to be a bizarre internet video. Two masked teenagers, who call themselves Sphinx, announce the explosion already one day before. And it is not supposed to have been the last attack: Because Sphinx, always presents the police with new tasks that have to be solved within a short time to prevent further bomb attacks.
6. Charlotte – (Shārotto)
© P.A.Works, Inc.
The story of Charlotte takes place in an alternative reality in which a comet approaches the Earth every 75 years. As this happens, tiny particles of the comet enter the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a small number of children who breathe in the dust to develop various superpowers during puberty. The plot follows the high school student Yu Otosaka, who develops the ability to penetrate and control the body of other people temporarily. Through this special ability, he hopes to be able to lead a carefree life but is soon exposed by Nao Tomori, a girl who is able to make herself invisible to a target she chooses…
© Manglobe Inc.
The series takes place in the town of Ergastulum, which is full of mafia, petty criminals, prostitutes and bribed police officers. The story is told by two stooges, Nicolas Brown and Worick Arcangelo, who can be hired by anyone and take on jobs that no one else wants to do. One day, the prostitute Alex meets them, and dark secrets are revealed…
8. Plastic Memories – (Purasutikku Memorīzu)
© Doga Kobo, Inc.
In a not too distant future, androids that look exactly like humans will exist all over the world. A special android production company, the SAI Corp (Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation), releases its newest model – the Giftia. This new type of android is even more human-like than all its predecessors and has a lot of emotions itself. But since this technology is still very unexplored, the Giftia only have a certain life span. Once they have exceeded their duration, however, one is faced with certain problems…
9. Psycho-Pass – (Saiko Pasu)
© Production I.G, Inc.
22 Episodes. There is also Psycho-Pass 2 with 11 Episodes, and Psycho-Pass 3 with 8 Episodes. A movie series “Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System” with 3 movies. And also 2 separate movies “Psycho-Pass: The Movie” and “Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector”
Soon, it has become possible to see a person’s potential for violence at first sight: Due to technical progress, the psyche of a person can be examined. The result appears on the Psycho-Pass, a virtual and legally required identity card that can be scanned anywhere and at any time. A dark colouring on the Psycho-Pass refers to the stressed mental state of its owner. The person is classified as potentially dangerous and can be arrested, treated or even eliminated.
In this world, Akane a young policewoman fresh from the police academy leads a police unit made up of prisoners with high criminal potential. Akane must maintain her leadership role in the harsh society…
10. Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist – (Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai)
© J.C.Staff Co., Ltd.
16 years ago, the government of Japan enacted the “Law on Health Education for Public Order and Good Morals” (Kōjo ryōzoku kenzen ikusei hō), which banned all sexual displays and expression. For enforcement purposes, every citizen must wear a collar, which automatically and immediately reports any violation to the Decency Squad.
Tanukichi Okuma was previously at Japan’s most notorious middle school due to the many violations and is looking forward to his transfer to the model high school Tokyoka Gakuen, as his crush Anna Nishikinomiya is also at the same school. She is the daughter of Sophia Nishikinomiya, the chairwoman of the National Parents’ Council, and Matsukage Nishikinomiya, a politician who both initiated the law and would like to tighten it – as well as chairwoman of the Students’ Council and asks him to join it. The reason for this is that the city known pervert Setsugen no Ao, who for inexplicable reasons always manages to escape the Decency Squad, is also occasionally on the school grounds. Since Anna grew up sheltered, she cannot recognize the signs of improper behaviour until it’s too late. She has, therefore, worked to get Okuma admitted to the school so that he can use his experience from his previous school to support the student council.
11. My Love Story!! – (Ore Monogatari!!)
© Madhouse Inc.
24 Episodes and a movie
The tall and powerful Takeo Goda looks much older but is just entering the first year of high school. Because of his appearance, he was popular and successful in sports, but not with girls. His childhood friend Makoto “Suna” Sunakawa, on the other hand, is adored – even by the girls, Takeo falls in love with. But Suna always rejects them. When Takeo protects a girl from a groper on the train, she comes to visit him afterwards. She wants to thank him for his help with homemade cake, and soon there will be more meetings, where Suna is always present. Takeo believes the cheerful Rinko Yamato has fallen in love with Suna and wants to help her to win his heart. However, because of Suna, it comes out that she has fallen in love with Takeo instead…
12. Death Parade – (Desu Parēdo)
© Madhouse Inc.
12 Episodes and a short movie (25 minutes)
In the bar Quindecim in the realm of the dead, recently deceased people arrive who are not yet aware of their death. Here they are faced with a test that determines whether they will be reborn or whether their souls will fall into eternal nothingness. They are urged to play a game in the bar – darts, billiards, card games or others – which will determine their fate. But in fact, the bartender Decim, as a referee, observes the behaviour of the deceased, who reveal their hidden sides during a game and makes his judgement based on this behaviour.
13. Strike the Blood – (Sutoraiku za Buraddo)
© SILVER LINK., Inc.
Rumour has it that the “Fourth true Progenitor” has appeared in Tokyo: a powerful vampire who could unbalance the vampire world ruled by the three true progenitors. To fight him, the government has formed a group of magicians. The young student Yukina Himeragi is finally sent to Itogami, an island near Tokyo, where the monsters live. There she goes to high school and meets the young vampire Kojo Akatsuki, who is supposed to be the “Fourth true Progenitor”. However, the 16-year-old is unsure of his powers and has to fight, especially with the attractive young women around him, whose charms also arouse his vampiric instincts. He then satisfies his lust for blood by drinking his own. Thus, Himeragi is amazed by her supposed opponent and soon makes friends with him…
14. Baccano! – (Bakkāno)
© Brain’s Base Co., Ltd.
13 + 3 Bonus Episodes
Thematically, a large part of the plot takes place in the 1930s at the time of prohibition and the beginning of the Great Depression after the stock market crash in 1929 in the United States. Large parts of the city are now in the hands of criminal organizations involved in small-scale wars and assassinations.
The plot itself is discussed in a conversation between the deputy chief of the Daily Days and the young Carol. The girl tries to identify Firo as the charismatic protagonist. Still, she is immediately asked by her strict companion not to focus only on parts of the events, but to see them as a whole. This results in a wild narrative structure that often switches between places and times without prior notice. It is up to the viewer to put the individual pieces of the plot together into a whole.
15. Erased – (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
© A-1 Pictures Inc.
The 29-year-old mangaka Satoru Fujinuma has the ability to travel back in time. If a situation in his environment that is life-threatening for a person arises, he suddenly finds himself sometime earlier and has the opportunity to avert the danger. However, he cannot consciously use this ability. When his mother, Sachiko Fujinuma recognizes a serial killer and wants to call the police, she is murdered and found by her son. The son is suspected, and suddenly Satoru finds himself 18 years back in the past – in the body of his ego as a 10-year-old. He remembers that a series of murders already happened at that time and suspects that he has to find the killer in order to save his mother….
16. Another – (Anazā)
© P.A.Works, Inc.
15-year-old Koichi Sakakibara moves in with his grandparents and his aunt Reiko, as his father has to go to India for his work. At Yomiyama Middle School, he is placed in grades 3-3, which Koichi finds strange from the beginning. The class is isolated from everyone else in the school as much as possible. Koichi notices a classmate with an eye patch, Mei Misaki, but his classmates react as if she doesn’t exist when he asks someone about her. Soon Koichi learns that the class is cursed since a student named Misaki died 26 years earlier. Since then, every year, there is an excess deceased person in the class, the “Other” (Another), whose mere presence is the reason why every month students of this class or their next relatives die under strange circumstances. Little by little, Koichi finds out that it is possible to end the curse by “killing” the “Other” (Another) again, which makes the desperate situation worse, since nobody, not even the dead person himself, knows who the “Other” is.
17. The Perfect Insider – (Subete ga F ni Naru)
© A-1 Pictures Inc.
Souhei Saikawa is a professor at Nagono University. While he takes his students on a semester trip to a deserted island with only one research facility. He and Moe Nishinosono, a student who is also the daughter of his mentor, witness a mysterious murder. Since all contact with the outside world is cut off, the two decide to solve the murder. It soon becomes clear that solving this mystery won’t be easy…
© Daume Co.,Ltd.
22 Episodes + 2 on DVD
The story takes place in the 1990s in a small quiet village called Sotoba. A series of mysterious deaths begin in the village around the same time when a strange family moves into the long abandoned Kanemasa mansion. Toshio Ozaki, director of the only local hospital in Sotoba, initially suspects an epidemic. But according to investigations, he finds out that undead plague the village. A young man named Natsuno Yuki, who hates rural life, begins to be haunted and surrounded by death…
19. Mouryou no Hako
© Madhouse Inc.
13 Episodes + 1 OVA and a movie
Commissioner Shutaro Kiba is investigating a mysterious series of murders in which dismembered girls are found packed in boxes. Before that, he had already witnessed how the girl Kanako fell in front of a train under unexplained circumstances. She was then taken to a strange hospital. Together with his colleague Fukumoto, the antiquarian and priest Akihiko “Kyogokudo” Chuzenji and the writer Tatsumi Sekiguchi, Kiba is trying to solve the case.
20. Vatican Miracle Examiner – (Vatican Kiseki Chousakan)
© J.C.Staff Co., Ltd.
12 Episodes + 1 OVA
People who work as Vatican Miracle Examiners have a special task: They have to recognize lies, reject forgeries and reach the miracle of God. Among them are the talented scientist Josef Kou Hiraga and Roberto Nicholas, an expert in cryptography and deciphering old documents. Together they are not only a good team but also work as secret auditors for the Vatican to verify the authenticity of so-called miracles around the world.