Eat my shorts

Dai

Dandy Guy, in Space
You know the feeling: sometimes you're just not in the mood for something full-length, and that's when you reach for your shorts (multiple puns intended, and also I'm so sorry).

Anyway, it can be a disappointment when you start watching a new show only to find that the episodes are only three minutes long, or maybe eleven. Other times a show can perfectly fit that format. So I'm curious about two things: what are some anime shorts that you would recommend (bonus points if they're still streaming), and what are some that just don't work as shorts to the point where you wonder why they even bothered making them?

Here are a couple of good ones to get the ball rolling:

Senryu Girl. A gentle romantic comedy/slice-of-life about a girl who only communicates through senryu poetry, and the looks-like-a-delinquent-but-isn't who likes her. Streaming on Hidive.

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san. Autobiographical series about a bookseller who lives in constant fear of his customers, and presumably it's his anxiety that turned him into a skeleton. Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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CommanderZx2

School Idol
Some short runtime series that I enjoy are as follows:


Teekyuu - Perhaps the fastest paced hyperactive comedy series I've ever seen. There's 9 seasons available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

Space Patrol Luluco - a fun Studio trigger multiverse story set in the background of a coming off age story of Luluco. Streaming on Crunchyroll.

How clumsy you are, Miss Ueno. - bizzare comedy about girl who is constantly inventing powerful items to try and catch the attention of a boy she likes. May not be to everyone's taste if you dislike cringe moments. Streaming on CR.

Tsuredure Children - fantastic romantic comedy which features short stories of various pairs. Streaming on CR.

Please tell me! Galko-chan - really good series about Gallo and friends talking about every day life. Streaming on CR.
 
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Azar

Pokémon Master
Tonari no Seki-Kun: The Master of Killing Time
Still one of the funniest comedy anime I've seen, no plot or developments whatsoever, just 7 minutes of Seki-kun's crazy classroom antics and Yokoi's hilarious reactions to them.

The closest anime you'll find to Mr Bean.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
I came here to post Teekyu as well. It is an experience.

Aside from that, Oji-san and Marshmallow is kind of cute. A hefty older man with a fondness for marshmallows remains staggeringly oblivious to his colleague’s very unsubtle attraction to him. It has the rare distinction of being a romance series about working adults, although that actually seems more common in short series? I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying and Love is Like a Cocktail are similarly themed.

I also quite liked Wakako-zake, although there’s very little to it. An office lady visits various bars after she’s finished work, enjoying alcoholic beverages and fine bar snacks. That’s it. It’s strangely charming.
 

Demelza

Adventuring Alchemist
AUKN Staff
Recently I've been watching With a Dog and a Cat Everyday is Fun on Crunchyroll, which is a great little 3 minute series for people who are animal fans. :)
 

CommanderZx2

School Idol
Some others I recommend are:

Aho girl - a really funny anime about dumb vigorous girl trying to get involved with the smart introvert guy next door.

Mysteria Friends - a lovely story about the relationship between a dragon princess and human princess.

Both are available for streaming on various places.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
Seconding recommendations for Please Tell Me, Galko-chan, I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, and Ojisan and Marshmallow. I also have to sing the praises for Morita-san wa Mukuchi, which is basically about a girl who's really shy. She's just cute, okay?
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
There’s a bonkers early 2000’s CGI anime series called Popee the Performer, which is available to watch in it’s entirety (I think) on YouTube.

The episodes are usually around three to five minutes in length and though the CGI has aged the anime has an almost demented charm to it.
 

Dai

Dandy Guy, in Space
Aho girl - a really funny anime about dumb vigorous girl trying to get involved with the smart introvert guy next door.
I love Aho Girl. The key to enjoying it is getting past the first two episodes. At that point the writer apparently realises that the male character is pointless, drops him almost entirely, and it gets a lot better.
 

Neil.T

Shinki
I feel like short films are a bit of a pet subject of mine on these forums, so...

(No bonus points for me, because none of these are officially streaming.)

"Toujin Kit" and "Dimension Bomb" from Genius Party Beyond:
I love that Anime Limited love short films. The above two are my favourites from their release of Studio 4°C's two-part anthology Genius Party and Genius Party Beyond. The first short is a dialogue-free piece set in a grey, distopian world where any attempts at injecting colour into life bring the fun-police a-knocking, and the other is an absolutely hypnotic abstract work by Kōji Morimoto.

They're the last two films in the set, and they saved the best for last, in my view.


Also from Anime Limited...
"Li'l Spider Girl" from Pigtails and Other Short Stories from Production I.G:
Another all-time favourite short film of mine, which I first saw as part of Anime Mirai Project at Scotland Loves Anime back in 2012. It's great to finally have it on Blu-ray. Look out for charming character designs and one hell of a twist.


Pretty much anything from Japan Animator Expo:
Japan Animator Expo was an online short-film project set up by Studio Khara where animators were given a budget to make a short between 10 and 15 minutes in length. Of the 36 pieces that were made, one of the few that I wasn't so keen on was called "The Dragon Dentist". It was later expanded into a two-part OVA which is now one of my favourite anime.

I'm so very glad it exists.


And just to round this post out with something random, how about...
"Fumiko's Confession":
Two minutes and 10 seconds of delirious imagination, brilliantly executed. I gave it an unreasonably high score on MyAnimeList just because no-one can stop me. 😛
The short is not at all difficult to track down online.


There's more, but that'll do for now.

(P.S. I like short films.)
 

Azar

Pokémon Master
Tsumiki no Ie (The House of Small Cubes) is a 12 minute short film with a really unique visual style, that manages to tell a very moving story with no dialogues, and the whole thing is just wonderful.

Highly recommend giving it a watch on YouTube.
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
Just saw this animated music video on YouTube and thought I'd share it as it looks stunning and manages to tell a complete story in 4 minutes. And even not understanding the lyrics you can fully follow the story.

 

D1tchd1gger

The Wildcard
Just saw this animated music video on YouTube and thought I'd share it as it looks stunning and manages to tell a complete story in 4 minutes. And even not understanding the lyrics you can fully follow the story.

Ah, yeah ZUTOMAYO. Their entire catalogue of songs released have animated videos, I first found them when this one blew up:

Already mentioned my favourite in the under appreciated thread. Encouragement of Climb is a CGDCT with mountain climbing. A must watch for anyone who likes Yuru Camp, but like I mentioned before season 2 isn't streaming here and having a quick Google doesn't seem to reveal a Western physical release, so you would have to don the old hat and set sail in the open seas!

There's also Aggretsuko on Netflix and second season only, but I liked Dagashi Kashi as well, although talking of shorts that don't work the first season of full episodes was better. S1: Funimation (S & D) and S2: CR (Sub) & Funi (Dub)
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Was thinking about this again today - another one I really liked is Sexy Commando. It's an absurdist pastiche of classic high school fighting shows following a well-meaning idiot who practices an ever more convoluted martial art, based around distracting your opponent through seemingly any means possible. It's absolute glorious nonsense and often has to be seen to be believed (my favourite gag being the recurring bit about Masaru punching his enemies so hard, they briefly end up in a different show), but remains sadly unlicensed and may be considered problematic, now that director Akitaro Daichi has been cited in accusations of sexual harrassment by a VA.

Speaking of unlicensed shows of the late 90s, Ms. Critical Moment is another one pulled from the same programming block that never even seems to have had a home video release in Japan, let alone internationally (possibly due to licensing problems with the theme tune?) It centres on a hapless young woman who finds herself in a series of baffling, but life-threatening predicaments, and must work out equally unlikely solutions to save herself. Some of the raunchier gags can be a bit eye-watering, but if you're of a mind to check it out, it's probably worth looking into sooner rather than later, as there's a real chance this one may end up as lost media in the not so distant future.
 

IdiomaticLynx

Student Council President
I find myself often disappointed by shorts for some reason. In my opinion they either suffer from the lack of time or play it safe, where it just ends up being lackluster or without any substance. So the ones that I do enjoy tend to either be more on the artistic side, or series that manage to still put some meaningful story and character development in. Most of the ones I'm going to mention have been mentioned before in this thread, but I'm going to mention them again anyway 😉

How all shorts should be
Teekyu - This is undeniably a unique experience. Best watched by binging if you ask me. It's a great example where the (very) short format is used as a strength. If the episodes would be any longer it simply wouldn't work. The spin-off Usakame interestingly enough makes that mistake.

Japan Animator Expo - As @Neil.T also said, most of the shorts are worth your time. And I think which ones will vary from person to person, so you should just watch them all. Some are more style of substance, some focus on story, others don't make any sense at all. It's a pity the official site is no longer online and there is no easy way to view them.

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows - A story told from the perspective of a cat. Has a nice and slow pace (as opposed to a lot of shorts that try to squeeze out everything they can in that short timespan), but manages to never be boring. Ultimately it conveys a very simple story, but done very well.

Positive surprises
Koro Sensei Quest! - A spin-off of Assassination Classroom. Normally I dislike comedy spinoffs, but this one had me genuinely laughing. Obviously you'll have to have seen Assassination Classroom, but it manages to stand on its own. Now it has been a while since I've seen it, so I could be wrong, but I believe it isn't a constant reference/fan-service fest, but simply takes the cast, re-imagines them in a fantasy setting, and amplify their "comedic" interactions.

Nobunaga no Shinobi - Basically a history lesson about Nobunaga, but with 3 seasons (26 eps each) it covers quite a lot of ground. Despite each episode only being 3 minutes long, it manages to have a good chunk of comedy, actually teach you bits about history and have some more serious moments. I was watching this as it was airing and I do recall "parts" being a bit boring, but honestly don't know which parts when/where. The good definitely outweighed the bad.

Senyuu - Wasn't really expecting something so funny. Binged both seasons and found it hilarious. A bit like Teekyu in the sense that there is a good chunk of random nonsense and recurring jokes. That being said, a word of warning: I tried rewatching it some time later and found it very unfunny. So not sure what to make of it, but it never hurts to give it a try?

Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san - YMMV, but I wasn't expecting much, but ended up quite enjoying it. It is quite episodic, focussing on different characters nearly every episode. With only ~2 minutes an episode that is quite bad, but through it all they do sort of develop the main couple and honestly, that was the best part of it IMO.

Give me story
Mysteria Friends - My thoughts on this show

Netsuzou TRap - Definitely not for everyone due to the themes it deals with. The story doesn't handle them particularly well and it feels like condencing the story harmed it (although I haven't read the manga, so wouldn't know if that's actually the case). But nevertheless, I did end up enjoying it somewhat. The main reason I kept watching it is ridiculuous (don't ask), but that did bring me to the last episode which actually has a resolution of sorts.

Okay comedy shorts
Can't get enough of comedy short series? Here's a list of the ones that I enjoyed enough to mention:

Tonari no Seki-kun
How clumsy you are, Miss Ueno.
Oji-san to Marshmallow
- Last episode made it worth it TBH
Hagane Orchestra
- Don't even know/play the mobile game
Crossing Time - Different story each episode, some I enjoyed, most I didn't TBH


"Honorable"? mentions
One Room - Honestly I couldn't get through the first season at all, just isn't for me. But what I do acknowledge is that it attempts something you don't see often in anime. Perhaps if they actually maintained the POV approach for all shots, had a slightly more realistic progress, compared to just plain pandering, it might've turned out as something half-decent. But my point is that I do believe the concept itself does benefit (or even require) the short format to succeed. POV scenes for a long time, would probably not really work.

Cheating Craft / Gin no Guardian - Both done by Haoliners and are some of the worst series I've watched. Both suffer from illogical stories that are hard to follow. Now you might think this is due to a story being condensed into a short format, right? Nothing could be further from the truth, there seem to be gaps introduced in the story in between episodes for no apparent reason. The stories start of semi-serious but at some point just "derail". I would call it "jumping the shark", but honestly there is no event leading up to it, it just suddenly happens.
So why mention them? Well, if you enjoy things because they are "so bad, it's good", these could fit that bill. I had some good laughs with friends trying to make sense of these messes.
 

Azar

Pokémon Master
Shelter

Everyone's probably already seen this one since it's very popular but worth mentioning. This song was on Fifa that year funnily enough.

 
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