I’m participating this year in the anime blogging community’s annual “12 Days” posting spree after taking part in 2014 and skipping it in 2015. The current effort is being organized by appropriant and bloggers involved in the project are invited to use #12DaysOfAnime as a hashtag on Twitter.
Anime series with episodes less than 10 minutes long have become my primary type of anime I watch lately. I sampled many short anime in 2016 and I still need to complete some of them including Please Tell Me! Galko-chan, Space Patrol Luluco, Sekko Boys, and Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro. Here are five short-episode anime series I enjoyed watching this year that happen to all have episodes shorter than 5 minutes.
Ooya-san wa Shishunki! (2-minute episodes – Crunchyroll)
Middle school student Chie Satonaka is the landlord of a small apartment complex where the only visible tenants are normal man Maeda and protective woman Reiko. Those two adults act as surrogate parents for Chie in a way and encourage her to make friends at her school. There are some scenes that betray the anime’s seinen manga origins, such as Maeda’s moe thoughts in early episodes and Reiko taking Chie and her friends shopping for bras, but they thankfully don’t tread into ecchi territory.
P.S. I was pleasantly surprised to see characters from last year’s Komori-san Can’t Decline! make a brief appearance in one episode.
Oji-san and Marshmallow (3.5-minute episodes – Crunchyroll)
Hige is a Paul Blart look-alike who loves marshmallows and works at a web-related company. Wakabayashi, one of Hige’s co-workers, falls in love with him and tempts him with his favorite treat. There are some good minor characters including two workers at a marshmallow factory for Hige’s favorite brand. It’s a mostly wholesome series with a few exceptions including Wakabayashi’s possessiveness and an unsettling bonus episode. Some episodes have quick live-action cooking segments at the very end so keep watching past the ending credits!
Teekyu seasons 7 and 8 (2-minute episodes – Crunchyroll)
Teekyu‘s seventh season aired this winter and season 8 is wrapping up this month. If you have seen any episodes of Teekyu, you are familiar with its breakneck pace of jokes, nonsensical gags, and episode titles that reference movies. Some minor characters from past seasons re-appeared this year and Usakame High School’s tennis club showed up in a season 7 episode before their own spin-off anime called Usakame began in April.
I watched Usakame‘s first episode and though it has a different art style and four-minute episodes compared to Teekyu‘s two-minute ones, it has some shared characteristics like a straight-laced character paired with goofy tennis club members.
Miss Bernard said. (3.5-minute episodes – Crunchyroll)
This one caught my eye before autumn season began for its premise of characters discussing actual books. Sawako, a girl who doesn’t read many books, begins to hang out in her school library with three avid readers: Shiori, a hardcore science-fiction fan; Sumika, a Holmesian who helps out at the library; and Endou, a boy who Sumika loves. Sawako become more interested in reading over time but continues to be light-hearted about it, which frequently annoys the more serious Shiori. The anime’s dialogue contains some bits that sound like anecdotes you might hear from real-life bibliophiles about their reading habits or their experiences with used bookstores.
Anime de Training! XX (4 minute episodes – Crunchyroll)
The first season of Anime de Training! aired during autumn 2015 and it featured five girls demonstrating various exercises under the premise of getting fit and becoming idols. The series had many questionable camera angles from a fictional character’s first person perspective that reminded me a bit of Training with Hinako as well as each girl euphorically exclaiming “Finish!” after completing each exercise.
Season two starts with those five girls living together in a house with the nameless viewer-character and retains the shot framing from season one. A new character, Sakura Izumi, joins the cast and has a royalty complex with many stuffed animals as her loyal subjects. She is also often seen using a “hoverboard”.
I feel conflicted whenever I try to write about Anime de Training! because I like that each episode shows off a couple of fitness techniques that almost anyone can do but there are also the sketchy camera angles and situations surrounding those exercises.
It’s nice to see someone else who enjoys short anime! There’s something special in seeing what can be done with such a short time format, I think it loans itself to a unique kind of comedy and storytelling. You’ve mentioned a few titles I’ve seen and enjoyed (Miss Bernard has been quite a fun watch this season in particular), and also some which I have not seen yet. I’ve only recently heard about the wonders of Teekyuu, but I’m definitely planning to check it out.
I think that my favourite short from this year would have to be Bananya. Watching the bananyas (or banana cats) go about their daily lives was so sweet and relaxing.