When you have the attention span of a drunken gerbil. What a weird way of stating it. Can gerbils even get drunk? I’m gonna look it up. Back. I don’t know the answer but do you guys think I should get a gerbil? They’re really cute. Not as cute as baby porcupines OR baby sloths. Man those things are the cutest.

baby sloth
bam! cute attack!

What was I saying? Oh yeah… paying attention for an entire season of anime is really tough. You have to sit there for tens of minutes at the time and read stuff (or listen). It’s o.k once in a while but there’s no way you can keep it up always. And for those times when you’re not up to the task, there are short programs. In fact, here are five that I liked:

kitaro yokai diary
there’s a lot of surprisingly epic scenes

5) Kitaro Yokai Diary

Admittedly I don’t have that much to say about this show. I really like Yokai and this was a light-hearted comedy adventure (with a little bit of harem thrown in) full of cute yokai. It had some Natsume elements and some Interviews with Monster Girl elements, both of which are excellent things.

Sure it doesn’t come close to either of those shows but if you want to kill a few minutes and L me the general mood of mister girls or Yokai, then it’s a decent option.

I keep forgetting how expensive this show looks

4) Space Battleship Tiramisu

The elusive science fiction comedy is one of my favourite genres and I don’t exactly get to enjoy it often. Sure Tiramisu was often very childish and low brow but it gave me something I simply couldn’t find elsewhere. Not to mention that it could also be surprisingly earnest. I did laugh at some of those jokes and I’m not even embarrassed about it…much?

Space Battleship Tiramisu also looks surprisingly good for a short series with highly detailed character models and fluid animation. It’s one of the best productions I’ve seen in the short program category.

not even close to the weirdest thing in this show

3) Space Patrol Luluco

Few anime studios have the same emotional impact on fans as Gainax//Trigger, and Luluco is a surreal, science fictionny romp through the studio’s history and works. I did not enough about this history at the time I watched Space Patrol Luluco to truly appreciate the nuances and Easter eggs it contained.

As this is a highly referential series, I know a lot went over my head and I plan to go back and rewatch it armed with my new knowledge. When I watched the fantastic Gurrenn Lagann, scenes from Luluco kept coming back to me and made so much more sense. And since each episode is only 5 minutes long, rewatching it shouldn’t take much effort at all!

understand husband
been there

2) I can’t understand what my husband is saying

I think the great majority of shorts tend to be comedies. The format works a bit like a stand-up act. You tell a joke or a funny little anecdote, deliver the punchline and move onto something else. That’s pretty much how I can’t understand what my husband is saying is arranged, only with a surprisingly sweet love story intertwined.

Like most stand up acts some of the material is a bit questionable and will not land with all audiences but the series has heart. You never get the impression that it’s mean spirited when it pokes fun at some of the less respectful sides of Otaku culture.

I skipped a few of the episodes as some running gags were really not my cup of tea but I know many fans who love this show. So if you’re looking for a short romantic series, this may be the one for you.

Special Mention The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

I don’t know how this show aired originally but when I saw it, they were short skirts bundled together in roughly half-hour episodes so not technically a short program. Nevertheless, the vignette structure of the narrative means you can watch roughly 5 minutes of anime and move onto something else without feeling like you’ve left things unfinished… So although it may not be a short in definition, it remains one in spirit.

the screencaps are both misleading and perfect

1) Orenchi no furo Jijou

I don’t care that this short is super weird with lots of BL overtones. I don’t care that the plot is nonsensical and the narrative fairly threadbare. Fact is, I enjoyed the heck out of this little show and I can’t explain why. I’m assuming *magic*.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if you would like Orenchi no Furo Jijo. It’s one of these shows that’s really difficult to compare to anything else. It’s even hard to simply describe. But no matter the risk to my credibility, I will never stop recommending it. Cause it’s magic.

And at 3 minutes per episode what do you have to lose?

I want to redo my kitchen like this

Also 1) Time of Eve

With each episode clocking in at 15 minutes, Time of Eve is on the longer side of shorts. Not sure if there’s a cutoff to qualify. But since the entire series is only 6 episodes I think it’s perfectly reasonable. It’s roughly the equivalent of 3 regular episodes so if you ascribe to the 3 episode rule, you’d be done before you even have to decide whether you want to watch it or not.

Whether Time of Eve is an actual short program or not, it is a thoughtful and at times stirring work of speculative fiction in the style of the golden age science fiction masters. A tight nest of moral dilemmas and an examination of human nature against a backdrop of near-future technology. I loved this anime.

If I recommend Oorenchi to everyone because I’m not sure who would enjoy it, I recommend Time of Eve to everyone because I think a lot of people would.

There you go 5..I’m 7ish short animes you can binge through in a day or take in one little bite at the time whenever the mood strikes you. Do you have any short program recommendations?

Hinata is short…

26 thoughts

  1. PoyoPoyo. I am not going to tell you how many times I have watched the entire series. It’s my go to series if I just need a few minutes of happy happy joy joy. And now I have so many more on my list…

      1. It really is. I could live on a steady diet of Poyopoyo. I have Poyopoyo merch and you know how little merch I buy. I bought like THREE t-shirts and they are my comfort wear LOL.

  2. Seconding Artemis on Orenchi. Now that I’ve even forked out some money to own the 1st volume of the manga legally, I love it even more.

    My other main favourites when it come to TV shorts are Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san (the skeleton bookseller one, which was a bit of a cult hit in its season), gd men/gdgd men’s party (isekai parody with really bad visuals and an OP that sounds like chaos incarnate, but that all adds to the experience, I think – it’s only good if you can understand all the references in it, though, and I don’t think even /I/ caught all of them…) and Kenka Bancho Otome.

  3. I liked Time of Eve. It raised a few issues that I felt it didn’t totally address or iron out, but maybe that was the point anyway — that there is no easy solution to those questions. That’s one I’d like to write a review/analysis of sometime soon.

    1. Have you seen the movie. I’m nit sure if it answers more. Although like you, I think the ambiguity is part of the point!

      1. I haven’t. I should watch that too then. I thought it might have just been a retelling of the original story, but if it’s its own thing then I’ll definitely check it out.

  4. Ooh, I enjoyed all of those, except maybe Tiramisu. Maybe, because, while I dropped it, it wasn’t because I disliked it. Not sure why.

    There are some pretty good shows in the comments, too. (Aiura was good, but I thought it needed more space. What’s there is definitely worth watching, though.)

    On the <5min front there's:

    Gakkatsu: Two seasons that, as far as I know, never got licensed, and the second doesn’t even more than a few episodes of the second season fansubbed. It’s all about after-school discussion. And it’s weird. My favourite episode includes a sunfish.

    Morita-san wa Mukuchi: CGDCT. Fairly standard, but cute.

    Kagewani: Monster-horror. Imagine South-Park’s cutout technique, but with anime designs that tend more towards the realistic side of the spectrum (but are still clearly anime designs). It shouldn’t work as a horror, but somehow it does. The titular Kagewani is both scary and creepy. It’s among the best anime horror out there, IMO, regardless the length.

    Damekko Doubutsu: Society dropouts wear animal suits and live in the woods. It’s as weird as it sounds. A frightened wolf. A cheeta who may be quick, but always falls over. A violent bunny. An eternally drunk unicorn. A hawk with horrible eyesight. I think you get the picture.

    Donyatsu: Creatures half sweets and half animals live in a post-apocalyptic world. (If you play shiritori with a giant robot, don’t make the loser’s penalty a forehead flick.)


    Tsuredure Children: Romcom alternating between many couples. Relies on situational comedy and is incredibly charming.

    Senryu Shoujo: Adorable romance about a girl who communicates mostly through written senryu. I hope for a second season.

    Rec: Worthwhile romance (not a comedy this time).

    Namiuchigawa Muromi san: Boy accidentally fishes up mermaid, who henceforth keeps pestering him. One of my favourite openings is in this show.

    1. Merpeople show up in shorts a lot..

      There are some really interesting descriptions here. I added a bunch to my queue.

  5. I already watched most of the list recommendations and it seems se have similar tastes! So I absolutely want to try Time of Even… goddess, my list is increasing day by day…
    I must thanks animelist existence! Hope it doesn’t hate me too much😂😂😂

  6. I also thoroughly enjoyed Orenchi no Furo Jijou and Time of Eve. Other than that, I found Aiura oddly cute/charming and Tonari no Seki-kun definitely made me laugh. She and Her Cat: Everything Flows was extremely poignant too if you’re looking for something on the more emotional side. I think my absolute favourite anime short of all time though has to be Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu (This Boy is a Professional Wizard). It’s only 4 episodes, each clocking in at around 7 minutes, but boy does that show pack a mighty punch – and it looks fantastic.

    1. I’m currently watching Seki-Kun and I’m having a good time with it. This boy is on my list… (quite a few of them including professional wizard) I’m looking forward to it now!

  7. After reading this I am definitely going to watch Luluco and Tiramisu.. well not exactly after reading this but you know what I mean. I might have to look up more baby sloths before that and I think I was doing something?! Not sure!

  8. Great list, would definitely give Time of Eve a watch myself!!

    But what I love most about this list is the pun play and how you casually tell everyone your height in the last paragraph, I nearly missed it myself >-<

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