Each season, there are a good dozen anime that are overlooked because of their short runtimes. However, they shouldn’t be–especially this five, which are the best short-form anime 2016 had to offer.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi

Non-spoiler Plot Summary: Young Saiki is the most powerful psychic on the planet. He can fly, teleport, read other people’s minds, and even rewind time. But while this sounds great, nothing comes without a price and Saiki would give anything to stay unremarkable and “normal”–though fate doesn’t seem to be willing to let that happen.

Why You Should Watch It: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a great little comedy focusing on the downside of Saiki’s powers and how they often cause more problems than they solve. Sure he can read people’s minds, but he can’t turn off the power, so every movie and TV show is instantly spoiled for him by the minds of those around him. On the physical side, his powers give him super strength, but not the ability to control it–so in his hands, a dodgeball is a lethal weapon.

The Eight Deadly Sins of Crappy Games According to Saiki K.

But the best comedic moments in the series come not from the powers directly, but rather from the colorful cast of characters that surround Saiki. Whether its his family exploiting his powers or the “perfect” girl at school who can’t seem to get a reaction out of him, each and every interaction in Saiki’s life makes for a series of laughs that never stop.

Watch It If You Like: Mob Psycho 100

Where You Can Watch It: Daisuki, Funimation


Genre: Modern Japanese Fantasy

Non-spoiler Plot Summary: Araragi is a high school senior who, after temporarily becoming a vampire over spring break, finds himself involved in all sorts of occult events happening within his city. Part of the much larger Monogatari franchise, this anime is a collection of short, one-off supernatural mysteries Araragi has encountered over the course of the year.

Why You Should Watch It: Koyomimonogatari is the Monogatari series distilled down to its very best: it’s an anime of odd short stories populated by creative visuals and incredibly clever word play. For new viewers, it is a fun introduction to the colorful characters and situations of the world. For longtime viewers, it fills in a number of tiny little gaps in the overall narrative. But be warned: It ends on a cliffhanger so unexpected, you’ll be dying for the next anime series to begin.

Watch It If You Like: Bakemonogatari or any of the other Monogatari series.

Where You Can Watch It: Not currently streaming.

Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan

Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life

Non-spoiler Plot Summary: Otako is your typical otaku schoolgirl–expect that she is best friends with the incredibly popular and beautiful Galko. Yet, while Galko’s physical appearance makes those who don’t know her personally think she is a slut, she is actually quite innocent. So innocent, in fact, that Otako can’t help but tease Galko at every possible opportunity.

Why You Should Watch It: Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan is an exploration of all those crazy rumors about the opposite sex you might have heard of in school. Do large boobs float? Can a simple question prove what kind of lover you are? Is it true that a high sex drive causes hair loss? These are the kind of questions that are humorously covered in the anime.

Yet, it is more than just a series of gags. It is the story of unlikely friends trying to figure out just what exactly their friendship means, and making mistakes in the process. Add on top of this a core message of how appearances can be deceiving and you have a short-form anime better than many of the full-length titles of this and many other years.

Watch It If You Like: Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll

Space Patrol Luluco

Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi

Non-spoiler Plot Summary: Luluco is a normal high schooler living in the most abnormal place on earth: Ogikubo, a city where aliens roam the streets en masse. When her space police officer father is frozen and broken into pieces, Luluco is forced to do his job for him. Her life only gets crazier from there.

Why You Should Watch It: Space Patrol Luluco is non-stop slapstick humor from start to finish. The characters are extreme and the story is so over-the-top it borders on the nonsensical. But that’s the series’ strongest point. Humor, not logic, is the main goal, and you are just along for the ride.

It is also a show that ties into other Studio Trigger anime like Kill la Kill and Inferno Cop, granting fans of their other works more than a few inside jokes to add yet another layer onto the humor. If you want to do nothing but laugh, this is the short-form anime for you.

Watch It If You Like: Kill la Kill, Ninja Slayer, Inferno Cop

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll


Genre: Comedy, Superhero

Non-spoiler Plot Summary: One day, a handsome single father (and toilet seat salesman) is sucked into the sewers where a Super Mario knockoff gives him superpowers–and turns him into a fat slob of a man as a side effect. Returning home, he is now treated like a stranger by his daughter and finds himself as the first and last line of defense against an alien warlord with his sights set on Earth.

Why You Should Watch It: TO BE HERO is an anime 80% comprised of dirty humor. Sex jokes, poop jokes, snot jokes, vomit jokes: these are what you should expect coming into this anime. The remaining 20% of the humor is a satire of traditional Japanese superhero shows where the aliens come one by one to earth and the hero defeats them.

In To Be Hero, Super Mario Turns Men into Fat, Super-powered Slobs

But surprisingly, beneath the (rather enjoyable) juvenile humor is the touching story of a father and daughter that is used to explore the concept of abandonment and loss. In fact, even the aliens and their backstories also center on this theme, making the anime as a whole far deeper than the humor would imply at first glance. All in all, it is a series that delivers what it promises in the humor department and even ends on a note that ties all the insanity together with the core theme into an emotional finale.

Watch It If You Like: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll

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