Anime shorts can be a great way to kill time. With their little snack-sized lengths, you can watch several episodes or even multiple series end to end in the time it would take to watch a single full length show. However at the same time shorts can vary wildly in quality, with some seasons only have one or two shorts entertaining enough to keep watching. Quite frankly we were spoiled for quality shorts last year, to the point where I was able to do a Top 10 list, with an honorable mention, and still left several good shorts unmentioned! However with the death of the Ultra Super Anime Time block, the golden age of anime shorts has seemed to come to an end, as this year returned to the kind of output we got in the pre-USAT days. Fittingly this means the list has shrunk in size as well, to a mere 5 + honorable mention list.
Like last year, for a short to be eligible it had to air this year, be available on Crunchyroll, and the majority of its episodes had to be 15 minutes or less in length. As an aside this list also more of less functions as my “Favorite Short Series” award for my end of the year awards. So with all that out of the way, let’s get started with my honorable mention.
This adorable little series follows Chisato Mizusawa, a hard working office lady by day who is a cute drunkard by night, and her husband Sora Mizusawa, a stay-at-home husband who used to be a bartender. Each episode of this series includes a quick recipe for the drink of the week(interestingly enough, not always alcoholic). This series is also notable for being for many people their first exposure to a new -dere type, the yoidere, or basically people who become cute/adorable when drunk.
#5 - Koro Sensei Quest!
Much like last year’s Re:PETIT, Koro Sensei Quest! is best seen by fans of its parent series, in this case the stellar Assassination Classroom. In this abridged parody of AssClass, the story takes place in an RPG-like world, where the students are now heroes in training, but unlike the other students in their school, they are each afflicted by a computer glitch that makes them weaker than others in different ways. Such as one student have a full set of armor...that only covers the front of his body. Koro Sensei Quest! also earns some bonus points for using a chiptune remix of AssClass’ first OP for its ED theme.
#4 - Teekyu 9
If the measure of success for an anime series is its longevity, then the king of anime shorts is Teekyu, which entered its absolutely unheard of for shorts ninth season this year, crossing the 100 episode threshold in the process. This season of the series about a tennis club that does literally everything but play tennis honored the occasion by delivering one of the funniest collections of episodes in the entire franchise. A word of warning for anyone who has never seen this show before but want to see what kind of short manages to get 9 seasons, I sure do hope you are fast at reading subtitles, because this franchise is the Dark Souls of reading subs.
If there is anything that can tell you the state shorts were in this year, it is the placing of this show. For reference, last year the first season of this show came in at #9 in my list, so it leaped 6 spots. It isn’t like the show improved(not did it need to), it is an insanely consistent, and extremely enjoyable show. It just ended up having a stranglehold on the shorts scene for the entire first half of the year, because there just simply wasn’t anything else in its league, and managed to only be knocked down two pegs by some truly exceptional shorts. Nevertheless, Ninja Girl & Samurai Master still remains a prime example of edutainment done right, giving viewers a history lesson over the Sengoku period while placing it in a comedic wrapper.
#2 - Tsuredure Children
Oh boy, looks like someone’s a little salty they lost to yet another redhead. So yeah I already went on my little Tsuredure Children rant back in my Summer 2017 favorites article. Long story short, the show burst out of the gate as my favorite short, and one of my favorite shows, of the season. Then as the show went along it started amassing enough flaws, in my eyes, to bring it down a bit.
Chief among the flaws being indulging a bit too much in some “will they, won’t they” pairings after going so far out of its way to dodge around those kind of annoying romances, and the fact that the show’s cast was just way too damn big, especially for a short, with them bringing new characters into the spotlight all the way through literally the final episode. It’s still a damn good short, though in hindsight I probably would have preferred it to be a full length show given its insane cast size.
#1 - Aho-Girl
I mean what else can I say? This is the first ever short series to get an Anime of the Season from me(admittedly helped by an incredibly weak season where Crunchyroll didn’t really get that many good shows). This show is also the reason that, unlike last year, this article isn’t just a chance in the spotlight for shorts before they get buried by all the other end of the year articles. This damn show won a total of 5 seasonal awards in the Summer season, including favorite short series. So that means this...thing...is in contention for 4 more awards, including AotY! As such, Aho-Girl is unquestionably my favorite short series from 2017. May god help us all...
And there you have it, my favorite shorts from this past year. As I mentioned earlier, this was a pretty difficult year for shorts, mainly dominated by new entries in existing franchises, though the new series that shined were among some of the best shorts to ever come out.
So what about you guys? What were your favorite shorts from this year? Feel free to share your thoughts down below!
Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming weeks for my yearly article for favorite hidden gems of the year as well as of course my end of the year favorites article(hopefully this year I can manage to fit in my Fall seasonal favorites article before that)!