It’s hard to be an otaku with a full-time job, you know? There are only so many hours in the day that can be devoted to watching anime, and longer series can get so convoluted and lore-heavy that it can be a chore to keep up with one in your free time. Still the urge remains, though, and you can only re-watch Soul Eater so many times before you yearn for something new, yet easily digestible.
Well, that’s what we’re here for! Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the greatest anime series with 13 episodes or less, for a quick and satisfying watch.
Odd Taxi (13 episodes)
I’m a real sucker for this type of anime, where fun and poppy visuals bely dark and visceral subject matter. Odd Taxi follows melancholic taxi driver Hiroshi Odokawa, who is also a walrus, as he interacts with his anthropomorphic animal passengers and gets caught up in all sorts of trouble, some of the yakuza variety.
This anime is full of surprises, and despite being the longest anime on your list, can be polished off easily over a week. Check it out now on Crunchyroll!
Sabuiki Bisco (12 episodes)
Also known as Rust-Eater Bisco, this anime follows a mushroom-related apocalyptic event not totally unlike the one depicted in that very well known video game series-turned-HBO show. Bisco Akaboshi is a Mushroom Keeper and well-known criminal known as the “Man-Eating Mushroom”, considered a terrorist for his love of the shrooms.
Alongside his brother Actagawa, who is also a giant crab, Bisco sets off on a journey to prove the innocence of mushrooms by finding the legendary Sabikui, a mushroom said to be able to eat the rust-based disease that plagues the world.
There’s a lot to unpack in this anime – the best things come in small packages, I suppose! Check it out for yourself here.
Ping Pong the Animation (11 episodes)
Now we all love a sports anime, but I’d forgive you for being put off by the prospect of ping pong – it’s not exactly the sexiest sport out there. But if you know, you know – critics have raved over both this anime and its original manga, especially regarding its characters and story, with some crediting the manga with massively influencing the sport genre as a whole in Japan.
The show follows two friends, Peco and Smile, radically different in personality yet both talented ping pongers, as they face up to their inner demons.
The art style of Ping Pong the Animation does not lean away from the ugly side of the sport, and neither does the story, but fans of the show are quick to assert that Ping Pong the Animation is about so much more than table tennis. Check it out for yourself here!
Deca-Dence (12 episodes)
In the late 2400s, the world has been near-decimated by life forms known as Gadoll, forcing humanity to create cyborgs to compensate. Unfortunately, this meant that cyborgs began to outnumber humans, leading to a large corporation to acquire the rights to humanity.
From this development came the Deca-Dence, a continent-wide dome, fortress city and entertainment facility with an independent all-governing system. The show itself follows Natsume, a Tanker girl that dreams of fighting the Gadoll, and is taught the ways of combat by veteran warrior Kaburagi.
This show is chock-full of lore that I can do absolutely no justice for in this listicle. Do yourself a favour and check it out here!
Humanity Has Declined (12 episodes)
In this post-apocalyptic world (and I’m starting to see now how this list may be a little biased towards my own preferences), humanity is decreasing in number – not only that, but they have to contend with Fairies, magical troublemakers that can cause as much harm as good. The anime follows Ms Sweets, one of the few people left who knows how to make fairy-appeasing sweets, and her journey as the mediator between humanity and fairies.
Despite being another dystopia-flavoured anime, Humanity Has Declined is much sweeter than its title lets on, not to mention incredibly funny. Watch it now on Hidive!
The Tatami Galaxy (6 episodes)
Ok, ok, I promise this one doesn’t have an apocalypse in it. The Tatami Galaxy is an award-winning anime with a killer art style that follows an unnamed upperclassman as he reminisces about his life on campus, bemoans his love life, and wonders how things could have turned out differently for him. Each episode is set in a parallel universe wherein the protagonist joins a different club – when things don’t turn out “perfectly”, time rewinds and he can have another go in a different universe.
This is an astonishing anime, especially considering its short run-time, and can easily be knocked out in a weekend. Watch it now on Crunchyroll!
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