Not every anime has to be thousands of episodes long like One Piece or Case Closed. In fact, some of the most enjoyable stories are those that are succinct and compact. So, let’s take a look at some of the shows that do that well.


These are shows that can be defined as “easily bingeable” either because of their fast pace, their close-knit narrative, or the amount of variation from episode to episode. Be it one season or two, these shows draw in viewers with interesting plotlines and lovable characters. With such a large variety of styles and genres at hand, there’s something here for everyone who is searching for the best anime to binge-watch.

Updated Novemebr 18, 2022 by Mark Sammut: Overflowing with quality, the Fall 2022 anime season should be keeping most fans busy for the time being. As such, starting a lengthy completed show requiring weeks or months of commitment might not be on the cards. Thankfully, there are plenty of binge-worthy anime that can be completed in a day.

Anime with multiple seasons will be considered as long as the cours work well in isolation.

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20/20 She And Her Cat: Everything Flows

She And Her Cat Everything Flows Daru

Japanese Title Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows
Studio LIDENFILMS, LIDENFILMS Kyoto Studio
Number of Episodes 4
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Based on a 1999 short by Makoto Shinkai, which is a must-watch for fans of the director’s later works, She and Her Cat: Everything Flows chronicles the relationship between Miyu and her cat Daru. These two have been together for a long time, so much so that Daru is in the twilight of his life; meanwhile, Miyu is on the cusp of adulthood as a college student. Jumping back and forth between the present and the past, Everything Flows showcases the small moments that forged Miyu and Daru’s unshakable bond.

RELATED: Best Anime Cats, Ranked

Unsurprisingly, She and Her Cat: Everything Flows does not hesitate to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings, and pet owners might find some parts to be almost too relatable. Permitting someone is searching for a slice of life with the potential to cause tears, they should check out this short anime.

19/20 Tonari No Seki-kun: The Master Of Killing Time

Tonari No Seki-kun The Master Of Killing Time anime

Japanese Title Tonari No Seki-kun
Studio Shin-Ei Animation
Number of Episodes 21 Shorts
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Tonari no Seki-kun has a delightfully uncomplicated premise. A diligent student, Rumi Yokoi just wants to pay attention in class; unfortunately for her, she happens to sit next to Toshinari Seki, a boy who will go to great lengths to ensure that he never has to pay attention in class. A battle for the ages ensues as Seki devotes all his concentration to accomplishing his experimental acts of time-wasting while Rumi tries desperately to resist the urge to stare in bafflement at the chaos transpiring at her neighboring desk.

The main episodes last roughly 7 minutes, so the series goes by in a heartbeat. While each skit revolves around essentially the same joke, its short runtime and willingness to embrace absurdity permit Tonari no Seki-kun to feel fresh throughout its entire run.

18/20 Megalo Box

Megalo Box Junk Dog Narrowly Dodging A Punch In The Middle Of A fight

Megalo Box took a lot of people by surprise when it was first released in 2018, and it’s surprised even more people recently with the confirmation of its upcoming second season. The anime was made as a sort of pseudo-celebration and commemoration for the 50th anniversary of Ashita no Joe, an iconic boxing anime comparable to Rocky Balboa in its style and structure.

RELATED: The Greatest Sports Anime Of All Time

Yet, for something that was made to celebrate another series, Megalo Box really does a good job standing on its own two legs. The world is interesting, Junk Dog, AKA “Joe” is a relatively mysterious MC that viewers want to learn more about, and his fights are pretty amazing to watch as well. And, because it follows Junk Dog’s relatively short career, there are only 13 episodes to watch in the first season.

17/20 Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

Based on Takashi Okazaki’s seinen manga, Afro Samurai gained a following due to its well-choreographed action and star-studded English voice cast. In an alternative interpretation of feudal Japan, warriors are classified by the number on their headbands, with “Number 1” representing the greatest fighter in the country. As a child, the eponymous samurai witnessed his father’s death at the hands of Justice, a killing that saw the latter take the former’s Number 1 headband. Now a capable swordsman, Afro Samurai seeks revenge on Justice.

Afro Samurai has fun characters and a great soundtrack, but the anime’s main appeal is its gory fight sequences and stylish animation. Although the story has some depth and flashes of introspection, the series and movie both understand what the audience is here to see.

16/20 Gakuen Handsome

Gakuen Handsome anime

Japanese Title Gakuen Handsome
Studio Team YokkyuFuman
Number of Episodes 13 Shorts
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Gakuen Handsome has awful animation, detestable characters, and is stuffed to the brim with yuri harem tropes. Importantly, the anime is self-aware of all of these elements, and it uses them to parody a genre that has produced quite a few polarizing shows.

A self-insert protagonist, Yoshiki Maeda, attends an all-boys high school and quickly finds himself attracting the attention of the academy’s most eligible bachelors, along with a teacher. Yoshiki’s days become consumed with inappropriate declarations of love, grandiose romantic gestures, and the sharpest chins in anime.

15/20 Erased

Erased Cover Art Showing Fujito's Determination To Solve The Mystery Even In His Younger Body

Erased is one of those “go back in time to change the past” stories similar to Back to the Future, but done so incredibly well. A-1 Pictures is the animation studio behind this, known for quite a variety of anime, such as the Fairy Tail adaptation, Blue Exorcist adaptation, and even made the absurd series known as GATE.

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What Erased does differently though, is that MC Satoru Fujima is an adult that travels back in time to when he was in middle school to solve a murder mystery! So, as a child not even in high school, Satoru has to investigate very adult issues and convince people he knows what he’s talking about, all in the body of a child. That, combined with the fact that he goes back to the present a couple of times, and the impeccably well-written story between him and the girl he’s trying to save, Kayo, makes Erased the perfect thriller to binge in a day or two. Oh, and most if not all viewers will find that the opening song of Erased is stuck in their heads for weeks to come.

14/20 Senyuu.

Senyuu. anime ross and alba fruhling

Japanese Title Senyuu.
Studios Ordet, LIDENFILMS
Number of Episodes 13 Shorts (Season 1) & 13 Shorts (Season 2)
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Once upon a time in a fantasy world, a hero defeated the Demon King, sealing him for a thousand years. Sadly for everyone, the Demon King seems set to make a comeback, prompting every descendant of the original hero to be sent on a quest to defeat the villain. This includes Alba, an average dude outside his lineage, and he is escorted on his journey by Ross, a soldier who has a tendency to make matters worse for his companion.

Senyu. is primarily a comedy anime that parodies fantasy tropes, especially in its first season. While the sequel does focus more on advancing the plot compared to its predecessor, humor is still the name of the game here, and the anime is frequently hilarious. With episodes lasting only four minutes, Senyu. can be binged in under two hours.

13/20 No Game No Life

No Game No Life: Shiro and Sora Looking At The Camera

What if arguments weren’t settled with words or with fists, but with the results of a game? That’s the concept of No Game No Life, and that would’ve been simple enough as a setting. But, the author takes it even further and throws two shut-in siblings who are atop the world’s best gamers on Earth into the world of Disboard, so obviously, things get a lot more interesting. No Game No Life is an anime with some truly beautiful art, a great soundtrack, charming characters, and an absolutely unique concept.

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Sure, it relies pretty heavily on fanservice and referential humor, but at the end of the day, Sora and Shiro are some of the most memorable protagonists in recent memory, and it so desperately deserves a second season.

12/20 Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby demon shadow

Japanese Title Devilman Crybaby
Studio Science Saru
Number of Episodes 10
Where to Stream Netflix

Unlike a lot of other series on this list, Devilman Crybaby is not a happy-go-lucky story or a comedic masterpiece. It has some funny moments, sure, but Devilman is nihilistic to its core, as author Go Nagai intended it. But, when Masaaki Yuasa was approached with the concept of creating his own spin-off Devilman story, things somehow managed to get even darker. It’s honestly a psychological sort of experiment with gratuitous amounts of violence, gore, and other adult themes. Though, to be fair, it’s not quite on the same level as some other, more nuanced, psychological anime.

But, being sad or dark isn’t equivalent to being bad, as the series is incredibly well-made. The style of the show alone is memorable enough, but then the animation, rap scenes, voice acting, horror elements, and action scenes all take it over the top.

11/20 AHO-GIRL

aho girl yoshiko hanabatake and akuru akutsu

Japanese Title Aho Girl
Studio Diomedéa
Number of Episodes 12 Shorts
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

AHO-GIRL tells a simple story about a girl and the guy she routinely annoys. Yoshiko Hanabatake is energetic, blunt, and creative; however, more than anything, she is an idiot. Akuru Akutsu tends to get the brunt of the girl’s stupidity, and he often reacts in an equally over-the-top manner.

AHO-GIRL is an acquired taste as the show mainly utilizes slapstick and cringe humor to get its laughs. The anime does both things well, and the role reversal of the main characters is quite amusing. The 12-minute episodes also work in the series’ favor as the gags manage to avoid losing steam.

10/20 Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Hands Of Eizouken Poster Showing Off The Experimental Nature Of The Show And Its Art Style

Japanese Title Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!
Studio Science Saru
Number of Episodes 12
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is such a uniquely charming anime. It’s popular, for sure, but this show deserves twice if not three times the amount of renown it currently has. The show follows the story of three girls, Midori, Tsubame, and Kanamori who all love art in different ways. Well, Kanamori is more in it for the money, but all three of them work incredibly hard to put together their own animations and projects. Someone could even categorize this series as a fantastical slice of life, though that category is already full to the brim right now.

RELATED: The Best Anime That Never Aired On TV

Every single episode of this show brings a brand-new concept and world to life whether it’s through the sound design, the characters, or the world-building. Midori’s the world-builder, Tsubame is the character illustrator, and Kanamori is the no holds barred manager. Eizouken is an anime full of experimentation, passion, love for the industry, and so much more. And, it not only engrosses the audience in its story and world but also teaches them about the meticulous process of creating anime.

9/20 Golden Boy

Golden Boy anime kintarou ooe and reiko terayama

Japanese Title Golden Boy
Studio APPP
Number of Episodes 6
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

A classic anime comedy, Golden Boy stars the poster boy for perverted characters, Kintaro Oe. Traveling across Japan with little more than the clothes on his back, Kintaro wishes to explore the many flavors of life, along with meeting as many beautiful women as possible. Throughout his educational and endearing journey, Kintaro must constantly evolve and adapt to survive.

Undoubtedly for adults, Golden Boy does not sugarcoat Kintaro’s lustful nature, all the while still keeping things at a relatively respectable level. Kintaro is an oddly lovable protagonist, someone who wears his heart on his sleeve and constantly strives to improve himself. Permitting it suits somebody’s comedic sensibilities, Golden Boy‘s humor has aged pretty well.

8/20 Gunbuster

gunbuster anime

At an initial glance, one might be tempted to dismiss Gunbuster as just another mecha anime about a timid pilot proving their doubters wrong as they defeat alien threats. In some ways, Gunbuster is that show, but it is also a lot more. Over the course of the original OVA series’ six episodes, Gunbuster blends fantastically animated action sequences with a strong roster of characters who go through an impressive amount of development, particularly Noriko Takaya and Kazumi Amano. This anime also improves as it goes along, culminating in a satisfying conclusion.

The sequel, Diebuster, is a bit more convoluted and, consequently, polarizing, although it is still enjoyable and worth a try for fans of Gunbuster. However, the 2005 series only loosely connects to its predecessor, so Gunbuster can be binge-watched without worrying about the sequel.

7/20 BNA: Brand New Animal

Brand New Anime - BNA Poster Art Showcasing The Main Cast Running From Right To Left

Japanese Title BNA
Studio Trigger
Number of Episodes 12
Where to Stream Netflix

Alright, let’s just say it, Brand New Animal is just Trigger Studio’s attempt at a Beastars-like anime. And, just like most other shows Trigger makes, it’s a visual spectacle but the writing isn’t quite as standout as the animation.

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That said, for anyone who has seen any of the previous anime Trigger has made such as Gurren Lagann (still one of the best mecha series out there), Kill La Kill, or Little Witch Academia, this show is more of that style, just with animal-people instead of magic, sentient clothes, or giant robots. It’s not the most complex or interesting story, but it is a fun time all the way through.

6/20 Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Japanese Title Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san
Studio DLE
Number of Episodes 12 Shorts
Where to Stream Crunchyroll, VRV

Laboring at a bookshop is hard work, regardless of whether someone is a skeleton or a knight. Despite the fantastical presentation of its characters, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is quite a realistic look into this profession, showing the trials and tribulations faced by the store’s staff.

While a tense thriller can be impossible to pause, some of the best anime to binge-watch craft a cozy atmosphere that feels like a warm blanket on a cold day. These are shows that only expect attendance from their viewers, and Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is one of these series.

5/20 Angel Beats

Angel Beats - All Of The Main Cast Members Gathered Together In A Group Shot That Shows Off Their Most Identifiable Personaltiy Traits

Angel Beats is an anime from 2010 with an art style that doesn’t fully hold up compared to modern style trends, but its writing still knocks most other series out of the park. What else is there to say, this show is an absolutely addicting tear-jerker from start to finish. P.A. Works manages to write a cast of 15+ people to their natural conclusions in just 13 episodes, and they do it fantastically.

Each character’s narrative conclusion brings forth more waterworks, the dialogue between characters is so realistically believable, and that opening song is still one of the best in the anime medium! Angel Beats is not a show for people who only like happy or action-type media, but for those who can cry, there’s not much better.

4/20 Death Parade

Promotional Artwork For Death Parade Featuring A Large Portion Of The Main Cast Of Characters

Death Parade isn’t one of the most popular anime out there like Naruto, One Piece, or My Hero Academia, but it still had a pretty big following while it aired. It’s a short story with a simple concept that oozes atmosphere, style, and charm. This was an anime from 2015 that took off online because of its funky fresh opening animation and song, only to reel people in with the whole “heaven-or-hell death game” concept.

Basically, the anime takes place at a “bar” called Quindecim which functions as the stopping point between Heaven and Hell. In this bar, people are subjected to sly tests (usually in the form of bar games) that are much more complex than they first appear. Decim, the bartender, is the one who oversees and lays down judgment once the game is over, and these scenes combined with the humanizing conversations with his “assistant” and sudden amnesiac Onna is what makes Death Parade so great. It’s all packed neatly into 12 episodes that people will have a blast watching; more importantly, they won’t get tired of hearing the anime’s OP.

3/20 Children Of The Whales

Children Of The Whales - An Example Of How Mystical This Show Gets In The Later Episodes

Japanese Title Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau
Studio J.C. Staff
Number of Episodes 12
Where to Stream Netflix

Lastly, Children of the Whales is a bit of an old hipster recommendation since the anime by J.C. Staff first aired back in 2017. But, even then, it’s a show that has still stayed memorable, and that says a lot for something that seemingly came out of nowhere. The story of this anime is complex, to say the least, and there are a lot of mystical concepts that it slowly introduces over its 12-episode run.

RELATED: The Best Anime About Japanese Folklore

To name a few, there are the Mud Whales, the magic power they use called “thymia”, who the Marked are, what exactly a Lykos is, and so much more. But, those who can keep up with the relatively brisk pace this series introduces new concepts, characters, and events will suddenly find that they’ve been watching for a couple of hours now. It’s an addictive show.

2/20 Bunny Drop

Bunny Drop anime, Rin Kaga and Daikichi Kawachi

At his grandfather’s funeral, Daikichi Kawachi meets Rin Kaga, the deceased man’s illegitimate daughter. Angered by his family’s treatment of the young girl, the directionless protagonist decides to essentially adopt the child, acting as her caregiver. Suddenly finding themselves living with a stranger, Daikichi and Rin both have a lot of growing up to do if they want this relationship to flourish.

Bunny Drop is a sweet and realistic slice of life about family, responsibility, and love. At just 11 episodes, the anime moves along at a lovely pace, especially since the show’s main characters are consistently developing.

1/20 FLCL

Haruko from FLCL

FLCL is a fever dream of an anime that has mechas popping out of people’s heads, an alien with a fondness for guitars and Vespas, and a plot that flies by at a billion miles per second. The show is overwhelming in the best possible way, and while the plot often feels secondary to the visuals and action, FLCL‘s story comes together quite nicely by the end of its run.

The original series eventually spawned two belated follow-ups in Progressive and Alternative, neither of which add anything that significant to their predecessor. All three seasons are perfect for individual binge sessions, even if the sequels do not reach the same heights as FLCL.

MORE: Amazing Anime That Will Likely Never Be Finished

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