Getting through 12 episodes is a breeze when they're only three minutes long
What’s a person to do when they’re trying to find something to watch, but really aren’t in the mood to try and view just a couple of episodes of an anime? They want a complete story instantaneously, rather than only getting two episodes in an hour, or maybe even just one episode. How can they solve this very specific problem? Well, luckily, anime is such a flexible medium that you can get an entire story with some series in under an hour! Tight and compact storytelling with episodes that can average about 3 minutes, means you’re in and out without having to commit to a large swath of binge watching. In order to do that, you’re going to need some recommendations, so here are some fun, wholesome, and ridiculous anime you can finish in the same amount of time as two traditional length episodes!
Runtime: 42 Minutes
Room Camp is probably the toughest show to jump into immediately as it’s the stopgap between seasons 1 and 2 of Laid Back Camp. So, if you’re coming into this blind, you might be confused as to who some of the characters are, but even still, there’s certainly enough charm to help push you through that. Room Camp is able to capture the tone and feel of its longer predecessor, but it does so with the tight storytelling that short-form anime is known for. The way the members of the Outdoor Activities Club play off each other and lead into the twist at the end might make this the most wholesome show of the year thus far. Perhaps the only downside to this series is that it makes the wait for Laid Back Camp season 2 feel even longer, but given what Room Camp offers, it’ll certainly be with the wait.
Runtime: 39 Minutes
Sometimes, you just need to kick back and unwind after a hard day of work. That’s essentially the plot of Love is Like a Cocktail. Chisato has a more stern image when at work, but after she comes home and has an adult beverage from her husband, she’s able to let her hair down, literally. With how the show gives you a recipe for each cocktail over the course of the series, I was slightly reminded of the alcohol facts in Catherine, although these are less facts and more details about how a specific drink is made. Love is Like a Cocktail is very cute, sweet, and really lets you get a good feel for the dynamic of Chisato and Sora’s relationship, why Chisato feels she needs to put up this front at work, and is able to show that sometimes, all you need is good company and a good drink to feel at home.
Runtime: 42 Minutes
This might be strange to say, but Joshi Kausei was one of my more highly anticipated shows of last year. I was incredibly curious to see how they would adapt a manga that has no dialogue and breaks one of the key relationships between a reader and a manga—a main reason I included it in a manga course project I created in college. The anime adaptation does a remarkable job of keeping that same strange feeling that the manga does. It feels bizarre to watch a series where no one talks. Yet at the same time, Joshi Kausei is still able to tell a small story in each episode that’s easy to understand and comprehend since the basic concept is just a slice-of-life show. The dialogue of what they could be saying isn’t important, it’s what these girls are doing in their everyday lives and sometimes, that’s all you really need. It successfully challenges the relationship between anime and viewer, similarly to how the manga does, and you get a fun twist ending to boot.
Runtime: 48 Minutes
Italian restaurants are pretty good, but what about working at one? That’s what Morina learns as she stumbles across Trattoria Festa on her way back from school and decides on a whim to answer the help wanted sign she sees. Of course, that means Morina is going to come across a wide variety of strange characters such as those that come into the restaurant to eat as well as her fellow co-workers. Each episode represents a different dish, so you should either eat prior to watching or figure out which featured meal is your favorite and attempt to recreate it after watching the final episode.
Runtime: 42 Minutes
The whole concept of this feature is that all of these series can be watched in under an hour, but that might not necessarily be true for Gakuen Handsome. It’s not because these episodes are long; that’s not the case. Instead, you’re probably going to have to rewatch the whole series again to fully figure out what you witnessed. The ridiculousness of the series and the handsomeness of the boys means you’ll be captivated, but also wondering what on Earth just happened. On top of that, you’ll also be able to see what is perhaps the greatest dance sequence in an ending credits sequence that’s ever been in any form of media, period.
Runtime: 24 Minutes
There’s certainly a theme when it comes to short-form anime, as they really like showcasing food in some way. Wakakozake gives us a brief glimpse into the life of Wakako and her favorite activity—going somewhere to enjoy a nice meal that’s accompanied by the perfect drink to complement it. There’s a wide variety of meals Wakako enjoys that range from bar snacks and finger foods to regional specialties that are delicately crafted. With each episode having the shortest runtime out of the series we’ve discussed, you get in and out very quickly and are still able to get the chill vibes that Wakakozake provides. Although, if you finish the anime and are wanting more, you’re in luck as there’s two seasons of a live-action adaptation that are full-length episodes.
In the time it you took to read this, you could be three episodes into any of these series! So, carve some time out for yourself, settle back, relax, and let these short-form anime give you a wide variety of entertainment that range from wholesome fun to complete ridiculousness. You can also enjoy some pretty good and tight storytelling along the way.
What are some of your favorite short-form anime? Is there any show you'd like to see tackle this format, and if so, in what way? Let us know down in the comments below!
Jared Clemons is a writer and podcaster for Seasonal Anime Checkup where he can be found always wanting to talk about Love Live! Sunshine!! or whatever else he's into at the moment. He can be found on Twitter @ragbag.
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