The sheer size of among the most well-known anime sequence will be one thing of a turnoff for newcomers. Friends might enthusiastically suggest Naruto, One Piece, or The Legend of Galactic Heroes, however these exhibits, classics that they’re, have tons of of episodes, making them one thing of a time dedication, to say the very least.

Maybe a viewer is new to anime and is not positive that they need to sink that a lot time right into a single piece of media, or perhaps they are a longtime fan who merely does not have the time or endurance to take a seat by means of one other 70 episodes till they lastly attain the story arc their associates maintain raving about. Luckily for the time-pressed on the market, anime has loads of glorious shorter exhibits that are not held again by their size, coming in at 13 episodes or much less.

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Updated on July twenty fifth, 2022 by Tanner Fox: From Spy X Family to the second season of Komi Can’t Communicate and every thing in between, there’s been a ton of high quality anime content material launched to date in 2022, and, whereas that is nice, many followers simply cannot sustain. Notorious legacy anime sequence comparable to Dragon Ball and One Piece symbolize severe time commitments, however even standard-length sequence can typically come throughout as a bit too time-consuming.

Fortunately, there are many quick, single-season anime sequence for followers who haven’t got all that a lot time on their fingers. Spanning all genres and eras, nobody ought to miss out on these unbelievable franchises.


Katanagatari (12 Episodes)

Shichika and Togame promotional image

Adapted from a lightweight novel by Nisio Isin (of Bakemonogatari fame), Katanagatari tells the story of an bold girl and her considerably dull-headed warrior guardian on a quest by means of Japan to gather 12 legendary blades. Featuring striking anime character designs, excellent animation, and fascinating dialogue; Katanagatari is to not be missed.

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One caveat is that, whereas there are solely a dozen episodes, every has a forty-five-minute runtime, that means that Katanagatari shall be a little bit of a time sink relative to different single-season anime sequence.

Gunbuster & Diebuster (6 Episodes)

Joint Gunbuster and Diebuster promo image

1988’s Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster is notable for being an early work from the venerable Studio Gainax, the producer of a variety of classics comparable to Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Also of notice is that Gunbuster is the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, the mastermind behind Evangelion. Part campy ’80s coaching montage and half battle story in regards to the horrors of relativistic time throughout house journey, Gunbuster deserves its fame as a basic.

Gunbuster additionally has a more moderen sequel—additionally coming in at 6 episodes—in 2004’s Diebuster. Although it’s considerably controversial in comparison with its predecessor on account of its wildly completely different presentation and tone, the 2 tales are nonetheless elements of a complete and need to be thought of on their very own deserves in addition to in relation to 1 one other.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica (12 Episodes)

Madoka closeup across broken glass

When recommending Madoka, it is best to not say a lot about it apart from to keep it up till the fourth episode on the very least. Madoka challenges the style in numerous extraordinarily fascinating methods; it is simply that they do not reveal themselves till a viewer has settled into the present a bit.

Although Madoka works excellently as a self-contained twelve-episode sequence, there are additionally numerous sequels and facet tales within the type of films and different diversifications. Fans usually contemplate a few of these entries to be important viewing, so those that discover themselves wanting extra can proceed fortunately after ending the unique sequence.

FLCL (6 Episodes)

Haruka smacks Naota in the face with a guitar

Combining an outlandish visible fashion with wild setpieces and glorious animation, FLCL (or Fooly Cooly) is among the best-regarded OVA choices from Studio Gainax. Naota is an strange boy dwelling in an strange city, that’s till a lady from house strikes him within the face with a guitar which leads him to sprout a combating robotic from his brow.

Although its presentation and ideas may be weird at face worth, FLCL is definitely a surprisingly mature exploration of the transition into maturity and what precisely maturity should appear like as soon as one truly will get there. It’s a classic single-season anime, and it’s only six episodes, so there is not actually an excellent motive to not watch it.

Kaiba (12 Episodes)

Kaiba scenery and environments

Don’t be deceived by the distinctly easy and disarming aesthetics of Kaiba; this can be a present that is not afraid to enterprise into the territory of the totally darkish and tragic. The present’s characters inhabit a world the place recollections will be saved in particular chips, permitting everlasting life for a choose few. The protagonist wakes with out recollections, his solely possession being a locket with a photograph of a lady in it, and issues escalate from there.


Touching on the function reminiscence performs within the nature of being and on class divisions and the conflicts they create, Kaiba is as visually creative as it’s thematically participating.

No Game No Life (12 Episodes)

Characters from the 2014 anime series No Game No Life.

No Game No Life options The Blank, a duo of elite avid gamers named Sora and Shiro who spend a lot of their time on-line on account of their standing as social outcasts. After defeating the god Tet in a sport of chess, they’re transported to a brand new realm generally known as Disboard and should conquer the land’s numerous kingdoms in an effort to as soon as once more face Tet.

While No Game No Life might sound like comparatively commonplace Isekai fare, it is bolstered by its flashy neon visuals and impeccable artwork course. Though the sequence solely contains twelve episodes in the mean time, rumors of a second season have been circulating for a while.

A Place Further Than The Universe (13 Episodes)

Shirase among penguins.

Four high school girls pursue a seemingly impossible goal to nice lengths and with nice willpower in A Place Further Than The Universe, with the “place” in query being Antarctica. Despite the seemingly outlandish setup of the anime, the procedural struggles that the characters need to undergo really feel extraordinarily life like, making the present appear plausible and compelling.

Watching the characters develop individually and as a bunch is a pleasure, as effectively; in simply twelve episodes, the viewers involves know them exceptionally effectively, and an emotionally charged climax seals the deal on an inspiring and uplifting anime.

Death Parade (12 Episodes)

The bartender from the anime series Death Parade.

After dying, souls arrive at a purgatorial parlor and are made to compete in video games like darts, billiards, and bowling whereas their demeanors are surreptitiously noticed. After the sport, these deemed worthy are reincarnated, and people deemed unworthy are despatched to a spot generally known as The Void.

An anthology sequence of kinds, the tone and key characters change all through this quick anime sequence, although the otherworldly environment stays constant. It’s a surreal and, at occasions, disturbing or outright horrifying outing, however its glorious presentation and thought-provoking premise make it a worthwhile look ahead to anime followers of every kind.

Anohana: The Flower We Say That Day (11 Episodes)

A still from the anime series AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day.

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day issues Jinta Yadomi, a younger shut-in who’s haunted by a tragedy that occurred in his previous. One day, Menma, the ghost of one in every of his previous associates, returns and asks him to grant her closing wish in order that she might transfer on to the afterlife. Jinta then reunites along with his previous buddy group in order that they might uncover what it’s that should be completed to appease Menma.

Gripping and overtly-emotional, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a must-see for individuals who love tear-jerking anime. As quick as it’s poignant, Anohana will stick with viewers lengthy after the credit roll after the eleventh episode.

Tatami Galaxy (11 Episodes)

Tatami Galaxy couple amongst sakura blossoms

Fans of the romance/school slice-of-life/existential time-loop nightmare style look no additional; Tatami Galaxy has all of it. Directed by visionary trade veteran Masaaki Yuasa—director of Devilman Crybaby, amongst others—Tatami Galaxy‘s distinctive aesthetics, funky tone, and memorable construction make it beloved amongst anime followers the world over.

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It’s additionally a fairly bizarre present, albeit in the very best means. The present follows a school pupil who’s hopelessly in love and a malicious demon-boy set to thwart him at each flip. He’s additionally caught in an endlessly repeating time loop ala Groundhog Day which complicates issues, but it surely’s additionally an enormous a part of the explanation why the present’s construction is so fascinating.


Haibane Renmei (13 Episodes)

Artwork depicting the cast of Haibane Renmei

One of essentially the most deeply imaginative works ever, Haibane Renmei tells the story of a younger woman with out recollections of her previous, born as a being referred to as a “Haibane” in an unfamiliar world. The present follows the principle character named Rakka as she learns extra about her fellow Haibane in addition to the mysteries that appear to pervade this new world.

Haibane Renmei’s energy is in its subtlety, and it may be tough to elucidate what makes the present so nice with out revealing an excessive amount of about it. Be assured, although; though it may be a sluggish burn, the present’s fixation on the inner conflicts of its forged produces some exceptionally nuanced characters. Add in an engrossing and distinctive setting, and Haibane Renmei turns into a must-see.

Paranoia Agent (13 Episodes)

Paranoia Agent Satoshi Kon

Relentlessly bizarre and tough to observe at occasions, Paranoia Agent is commonly hailed as one in every of the very best horror anime of all time. Principally regarding a sequence of assaults perpetrated by a mysterious baseball bat-wielding boy nicknamed Lil’ Slugger, the sequence explores the backstories of the attacker’s numerous victims in addition to the law enforcement officials assigned to trace him down.

Constantly shifting between characters, ideas, and typically even genres, Paranoia Agent packs fairly a bit into a brief, single-season run. It’s in all probability not going to draw those that aren’t already predisposed to horror content material, however followers of the equally bizarre Elfen Lied or Serial Experiments Lain might effectively get pleasure from this.

Sora No Woto (12 Episodes)

Sora no Woto cast observes no man's land

Set in a world caught up in a sluggish decline, 5 younger troopers man an unimportant fort in a faraway city on the tail finish of a cataclysmic battle. Sora no Woto is surely anime’s most peaceful war story, and the present is essentially content material to concentrate on the day-to-day experiences of its primary forged, giving it a type of slice-of-life tone.

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There’s an undercurrent of melancholy, although. The backstory of this world is darkish, and there is a sense that forces bigger than the present’s characters are intent on edging the planet nearer and nearer to its demise. Still, the present finds magnificence in such a setting, stressing that, though it may be a world of nice disappointment, there are nonetheless issues in it which can be value defending.


Erased (12 Episodes)

Characters from the anime series Erased.

A 2016 twelve-episode adaptation of the manga of the identical title, Erased was directed by trade heavyweight Tomohiko Ito, who’s greatest recognized for his work on sequence comparable to Sword Art Online and Death Note. The story focuses on Satoru Fujinuma, a person with premonitory powers, who’s forged eighteen years into the previous in an effort to forestall a homicide.

High-concept and cerebral, it is a top-tier psychological thriller that avid anime viewers should see. Plus, with only a dozen episodes, followers will not have to attend too lengthy to resolve the present’s many mysteries.

Serial Experiments Lain (13 Episodes)

Lain, with bear, wired in to the net

Serial Experiments Lain is a mind-bending anime about technology, connectivity, and, specifically, alienation that may be led to by the rising interconnectedness of the human race through know-how. One of the wildest issues about it’s that it was produced in 1998, placing it means forward of its time when it comes to predicting how the web would possibly affect people as a species.

Fair warning, although, the presentation and story of Lain is shrouded in some intentionally opaque imagery. It’s one of the crucial deeply unusual anime on the market, and appears to be extraordinarily focused on upending any pretenses of being telling a “normal story.” Questions are left unanswered, photos are open-ended, and the viewer is finally invited to attract their very own conclusions from this messed-up techno-thriller.

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