This is a complete list of the 20 best short anime series ever to watch in 2023. So you just finished watching an anime series and you are looking for a new one, well don’t look any place further.
Every individual or anime fan often needs a new short anime series that they can binge-watch in one day.
Of course, anime like Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, HunterxHunter, and Bleach are great but they take a long time to finish.
The anime series on this list are short, so this only includes anime that consists of a maximum of 13 episodes.
This way you can easily finish the series all in one day.
You can even watch some amazing anime series on Netflix. So, let’s dive right into the list and select an anime series to your liking.
The anime series on this list offer you a variety of genres, so there is plenty to choose from.
These anime series offer a variety of genres, from sci-fi and psychological thrillers to slice-of-life and supernatural stories.
Each of them is known for its unique storytelling, memorable characters, and quality animation.
Scroll down to see the complete list of the 20 best short anime ever.
Comment below the new series you’ll watch, and tell us why!
20. Death Parade (12 episodes)
Death Parade is a 12-episode anime series with a mixture of mystery, drama, and psychological events. The opening theme song of this series gives you a joyful expectation for what’s to come. However, Death Parade is about something different.
In the afterlife, souls are sent to a mysterious bar to participate in deadly games determining their fate. So they either get reincarnated and send back to the world or they get sent to a place called “The Void”.
Decim, the bartender, judges these souls and uncovers their true nature. This is why the show seems quite dark. at times, but it also has many heartfelt moments in it.
The plot is easy to follow. The deadly games are different in each episode, along with the interesting stories of the characters.
It is a well-structured anime with many interesting characters and great compelling soundtracks too.
19. Angel Beats! (13 episodes)
Angel beats! brings you an emotional drama story with lots of comedy and action as well. Their opening theme song is one of the best you will ever hear, check it out here.
In the afterlife, a group of teenagers rebels against a god-like entity. They form a band of 15 members and engage in battles to resist their fate and find peace while uncovering the mysteries of their existence.
Yuzuru Otonahi is the main character of Angel Beats, who arrives in an abnormal realm after his death. He does not remember how he got there, nor has he memories of his past life.
He attends a school where everything is controlled by this god-like creature.
So now the students cannot make decisions about their own life.
These students form the alliance Afterlife Battlefront to battle this “Angel”.
Angel Beats greatly displays the beauty of life and how important it is, along with a life lesson to fight against adversity and to think and feel free.
18. No Game No Life (12 episodes)
No Game No Life” is an exciting anime series set in a world where all conflicts and disputes are settled through games rather than violence. The story follows Sora and Shiro, a pair of highly skilled gaming siblings known as “Blank,” who dominate the gaming world online.
One day, they receive a mysterious challenge from Tet, the god of games.
Tet transports them to a parallel world called Disboard. In this world, everything, from political conflicts to personal disputes, is resolved by playing games.
Sora and Shiro quickly realize that Disboard is a realm filled with diverse races, each with unique abilities and strengths. Their goal becomes clear: to conquer the world through games and challenge the reigning god, Tet, and become the new ruler of the world.
Throughout their journey, Sora and Shiro face numerous opponents, and eccentric godlike beings, all seeking to challenge Blank’s undefeated streak.
The series explores themes of wit, strategy, determination, and the power of the human mind.
This anime blends comedy, fantasy, and adventure genres perfectly.
17. Elfen Lied (13 episodes)
Elfen Lied is one of the short anime series with a lot of action, you notice after episode 1 that it is worth watching. This is also another anime on the list with 13 episodes, filled with bloody scenes, cruelty, and many deaths.
There are no scenes where cruelty and bloodshed are censored, so be advised to keep this in mind when watching.
But what is the plot of Elfen Lied? Well, meet Lucy, a beautiful and mysterious girl with telekinetic abilities who breaks free from a sinister research facility.
She went through many cruel experiments and is now a “Diclonius.
Lucy now also possesses special powers and has animal horns on her head. After she escapes from the facility, Lucy loses her memory and her previous way of speaking. The shy girl from before now struggles to even speak normally without any harmful and bloodthirsty intent.
Her dark story changes after the meets Yuka and Kouta, two college students.
They together witness and go through horrible, insane, and disastrous events that cause them to do absurd things.
16. Prison School (12 episodes)
Prison School is not what you may think it is, expect a lot of explicit scenes and fan service. However, there is a lot of comedy involved so everything that happens is not so serious at all.
“Prison School” is a mix of friendship, loyalty, and the absurdity of societal rules. With its combination of over-the-top humor, fan service, and unexpected plot twists. Also, the series offers a comedic and often risqué take on the challenges faced by the group of five boys.
Be ready for a wild but hilarious experience with Prison School, an experience to never forget for sure.
Please take our word for this: don’t watch this series while someone is next to you.
You might find the explicit scenes funny cause you understand the humor, but someone else might not.
15. Violet Evergarden (13 episodes)
Violet Evergarden is one of the most beautiful and visually stunning anime series you will ever see. This breathtaking anime series follows the incredible journey of a young woman seeking to understand the true meaning of love and human connection.
There is also an anime movie of Violet Evergarden on Netflix.
In the post-war era, Violet Evergarden, a former soldier with robotic arms, becomes an Auto Memory Doll, helping others express emotions through letters.
Each episode explores human emotions and the transformative impact of Violet’s writing. The amazing soundtracks and stunning animation help you feel more connected to the story.
14. Charlotte (13 episodes)
Charlotte is one of the short anime series to watch for beginners. And why is that you might think?
Well, the pacing is great, and the main character’s personality constantly evolves throughout the episodes. Secondly, there are groups of fun high schoolers who each have their special ability.
They use these abilities for fun, and to help others, but there are also special ability users who utilize their powers for crime and wrongdoings.
The events that happen during the story of Charlotte keep it realistic, so there are no plot armor moments. You take each episode more seriously once you know anything can happen, even with all the action and fight scenes.
13. SK8 The Infinity (12 episodes)
Sk8 The Infinity is the first sports anime on this list, and it comes along with only 12 episodes!
This is another great short anime series worth watching, from the famous animation studio Bones.
“SK8 the Infinity” follows Reki and Langa, two high schoolers who love being a skater. They find themselves entering the thrilling world of underground skateboard racing.
With rivalries, intense battles, and jaw-dropping stunts, they aim to dominate “S”, a secret skating race. They want to leave their mark on the skateboarding scene by winning it all. A thrilling adrenaline-fueled anime that defies gravity.
12. My Dress-Up Darling (12 episodes)
My Dress-Up Darling is a fantastic romance anime series that combines the themes of comedy and friendship with it. This heartwarming story shows the bond of the two main characters Wakana and Marin, and how beautiful friendship can be.
In “My Dress-Up Darling,” high school student Wakana stumbles upon talented cosplayer Marin, who struggles with social interaction. They form an unlikely friendship as they bond over their shared love for cosplay and create stunning costumes together.
Through their collaborations, they help each other’s personal growth, self-discovery, and the challenges of pursuing their passions.
This heartwarming slice-of-life anime explores themes of friendship, creativity, and acceptance.
11. Tekken: Bloodline (7 episodes)
Tekken: Bloodline is an action martial arts anime series that is an adaption of the video game Tekken 3 by Bandai Namco Entertainment. In “Tekken: Bloodline,” the legendary martial arts tournament, the King of Iron Fist, takes center stage.
This is a perfect start for someone who wants to watch a short anime series with less than 10 episodes.
Jin Kazama battles against formidable opponents, seeking vengeance against his father and confronting his inner demons. Meanwhile, a new power threatens the world, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
There is nonstop action throughout each episode, along with many fierce and intense fight scenes. The CGI animation might surprise you at first, but it fits well and looks cool.
10. Devilman Crybaby (10 episodes)
Devilman Crybaby ironically comes in at number 10 on this list, with a total of only 10 episodes to watch!
Even though this anime only has 10 episodes, every episode hits hard and the series is full of action.
Prepare for a mind-twisted drop into the darkness with “Devilman Crybaby.”
When Akira fuses with a demon, he becomes a formidable Devilman, tasked with protecting humanity from the awakening demons. Even though this anime is mostly about demons, it still leaves room for some laughs.
The art style may seem odd at first, but it fits perfectly with the dark story.
9. Erased (12 episodes)
Erased is one of the classic anime mystery anime you need to have watched at least once in your lifetime. Its popularity kept growing after it was available on Netflix for a while.
Erased is the story of Satoru Fujinuma, an aspiring manga artist who works in a pizza shop. He suddenly discovers he can travel back in time just right before a disaster is about to happen.
Satoru travels back in time 18 years when he was in elementary school shortly after the moment his mother got murdered.
In addition, his classmate Kayo Hinazuki originally got kidnapped during that time.
So now Satoru has two big tasks: to save Kayo from getting killed and kidnapped and to prevent the death of his mother.
This is one of the short anime series perfect for beginners to watch. Why? The elements of mystery, thriller, and supernatural power make Erased the right pick for you.
8. 91 Days (12 episodes)
91 Days is another great 12-episode anime series you should watch. It is another combination of thriller and mystery, but this time with more crimes and drama involved.
91 Days is a tale about revenge and complex deception set during the Prohibition era.
Avilio Bruno witnesses the brutal murder of his family, leading him on a quest for vengeance against the Vanetti mafia family.
With cunning determination, he infiltrates their ranks, changes his name, and slowly unravels their dark secrets.
In addition, Avillio also tries to expose the hidden alliances that shroud the criminal underworld.
His mission is to dismantle the mafia gangs and get rid of them by himself, all because of his great thirst for revenge.
Be ready to experience a thrilling anime with twists, action, betrayals, and a story of a person who only seeks the truth.
7. Deadman Wonderland ( 12 episodes)
Deadman Wonderland is one of the best 12-episode anime series ever and let us tell you why. It has many cool characters, amazing soundtracks, an interesting and easy-to-follow story, and people fighting with their blood. That sounds pretty amazing, right?
In “Deadman Wonderland,” Ganta Igarashi is wrongfully accused of a heinous crime and sent to a twisted amusement park prison known as Deadman Wonderland. There, prisoners with blood as their supernatural abilities.
The prisoners have to participate in brutal death matches for public entertainment. Determined to survive and uncover the truth behind the conspiracy, Igarashi fights to discover the secrets of Deadman Wonderland.
This action-packed anime explores themes of survival, corruption, and the indomitable human spirit.
All of the episodes are exciting to watch because there is always some type of mystery and action happening.
Make sure to check this series out because it is bloody fantastic.
6. Another (12 episodes)
In this thriller anime series “Another,” Koichi Sakakibara transfers to a new school and soon discovers a chilling secret surrounding his classmates. This is one of the great underrated anime to watch that has 12 episodes only.
Haunted by a curse that befalls Class 3-3, Koichi and his enigmatic classmate Mei Misaki must unravel the mystery and break the cycle of tragedy before it claims more lives.
This captivating horror-mystery anime will keep you on the edge of your seat.
You can easily binge-watch this anime series and finish it in one day.
5. The Promised Neverland (12 episodes)
Talking about an epic first episode of an anime series, The Promised Neverland is the one to watch.
Prepare yourself for a gripping and suspenseful journey in “The Promised Neverland.”
Emma, Norman, and Ray reside in an idyllic orphanage, seemingly surrounded by care and love. However, they soon discover a horrifying truth— their peaceful existence hides a dark secret.
This 12-episode anime series comes with intense mind games, unexpected twists, and a race against time.
Secondly, it explores the depths of human survival and the lengths one will go to protect their family.
Curiosity awaits in every corner, so be ready for a great experience.
4. Terror in Resonance (11 episodes)
Terror in Resonance is an absolute masterpiece from Shinichiro Watanabe, also known for creating the iconic series Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. This 11-episode anime series is everything you can ask for when it comes to action, mind games, and terror.
The story begins in Tokyo, with the two terrorists Nine and Twelve who go by the name of by the name of “Sphinx”. They succeed in a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility and spread fear throughout the city.
This duo continues to plant devastating bomb attacks on Tokyo and pick a fight with the police force.
Secondly, the terrorists keep pushing their agenda by provoking the police force with their attacks. The police force still can’t prevent the attacks from happening.
There is a thrilling cat-and-mouse game going on and the stakes keep on rising.
The truth behind the terrorist attacks unravels, as they let you in more about their motives and what they think is right or wrong.
Do you think the police will stop “Sphinx” and capture them or will “Sphinx” prevail and control all the authorities of Tokyo?
3. Horimiya (13 episodes)
Dive into the heartwarming and charming world of “Horimiya.” This is your ideal short romance anime that will touch your heart from the start.
The story follows Kyouko Hori, a popular high school girl with a hidden side, and Miyamura Hori, a seemingly gloomy loner with a surprising secret. When they accidentally discover each other’s true selves, an unexpected bond forms.
Kyouko and Miyamura are in terms of personalities polar opposites, but they still slowly fall in love with each other.
It is like an extreme extrovert having a perfect match with an extreme introvert. Nonetheless, Kyouko and Miyamura navigate the complexities of school, friendships, and their evolving relationship.
This is a delightful tale of self-discovery, self-love, and acceptance.
Their bond is so honest and genuine that you can relate to this, similar to the slice-of-life genre.
“Horimiya” invites you to experience a captivating story that explores the beauty of genuine connections and the transformative power of acceptance.
2. Chainsaw Man (12 episodes)
Chainsaw Man might be the most popular anime on this list and rightfully so. This series is a great mix of shonen and action, definitely worth watching. The anime became an immediate hit on Crunchyroll after the release of the first episode and is still trending to this day.
Chainsaw Man gets you hooked from episode 1, so this is the type of series that can be binged in one day without effort.
Chainsaw Man follows the story of Denji, a broke teenage boy who lives in a world full of demons. Denji goes on a mission to earn some money, but he gets killed by a demon while on the mission.
He then gets revived from death by merging with his faithful chainsaw-dog demon, Pochita.
As a result, Denji becomes the host of the chainsaw devil and becomes Chainsaw Man. The Chainsaw Devil allows Denji to have incredible destructive powers and superhuman abilities, perfect to kill demons.
He gets tracked down by Makima, the head of the Public Safety Devil Hunters. She convinces Denji to join her forces and help him towards his goal.
Chainsaw Man is an interesting story that combines action, supernatural abilities, dark humor, and a lot of intense battles.
1. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (10 episodes)
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is our #1 pick for you and with every reason why. This anime won the award for Anime of The Year during Crunchyroll’s 2023 Anime Awards was none other than Cyberpunk: Edgerunners!
The series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is created as a 1-cour anime series based on the game Cyberpunk 2077. This is arguably the greatest anime ever that consists of 10 episodes, the resume speaks for itself.
So the story takes place in a future world where everything revolves around technology and cyberware.
The main character of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is David Martinez, a poor teenager living in Night City.
One day David and his mother find themselves in a car accident where his mother dies because some gangsters were settling their battle on the road.
This results in David becoming furious at his weakness and decides to modify his body with the secret cyberware Sandevistan his mother kept secret from him. This cyberware grants David superhuman speed and great powers.
However, after David gets expelled from school due to a fight, he stumbles upon a mysterious data thief called Lucy.
She convinces David to join the world of Edgerunners and they together go on an unforgettable journey.
Of course, narrowing all the amazing series down to only 20 is a tough task but we hope you find this list helpful. Do you agree with our picks for this list? Or are there some anime series that we did not mention that you would like to have seen?
Please let us know in the comment section down below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org