If you’re new to anime, you might just assume every show is around 20 minutes long. Not so! Welcome to the world of short-form anime, where shows are generally five to ten minutes long. Some take it to extremes and can be as short as two minutes each! Let’s dive right in and take a look at four of the classics:

1. One Room

One Room anime screencap
Typhoon Graphics

One Roomis something of an experimental show. It’s filmed from a first-person perspective, putting the viewer directly into the story. Don’t worry – there’s nothing crazy here. Over the course of a season, you’ll just get to know your neighbours, help a friend study, and relax in your apartment.

To be honest, it’s a little weird to see characters staring intently into the camera. That said, this does make you feel like you’re genuinely involved. Love it or hate it, the entire show can be finished in a couple of hours, although if you’re into it, a second season is currently airing.

2. Kowabon


Like Black Mirror, Kowabon shows the dark side of how technology impacts our lives. Sure, this show has a more supernatural angle, and it’s rarely all that scary, but it certainly has its creepy moments. What’s more, if you look around a bit, you’ll often find that things are going on in the background of any given shot.

You can relax – each episode is around three minutes long. Even if you get scared easily, this means that you won’t have to go too long with a break. There’s only 13 episodes, though, meaning you can easily finish this show in under an hour.

3. Pop Team Epic

Pop Team Epic Totoro reference
Kamikaze Douga

Pop Team Epic is insane. There’s no real storyline, instead the show is a series of skits interspersed with frequent, surrealistic references to pop culture. In episode one alone, you’ll find parodies of Skyrim, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Your Name, among others.

This show is 20 minutes long, so what gives? After ten minutes, it simply repeats with one major difference: it has female voice actors instead. If you have a few hours to spare, do yourself a favour and watch Pop Team Epic; if nothing else, it’ll give you something to talk about.

4. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

I can't understand what my husband is saying screepcap

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is a show about a woman married to an anime otaku. This anime manages to both celebrate and poke fun at anime culture, without being overly mean. The characters are both relatable in their own ways, and best of all, every episode is over in a few minutes.

Imagine a much shorter version of fish-out-of-water shows like Great Teacher Onizuka or Salaryman Kintaro, and you’re halfway there. With 13 episodes, this is a show that’s over quickly, but that you won’t forget any time soon.

Ian Garland

Just an ordinary guy who woke up one day in the magical world of anime reviews. Check them out... or don't, i-it's not like he likes you or anything...

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