Many parts of society still believe that anime is just for kids. That watching a pirate stretch himself to become pirate king or seeing an alchemist look for a way to reverse a mistake is just silly. But it’s no more ridiculous than watching the Avengers save New York or Batman punch Superman into submission. With that in mind, and with invaluable help from brilliant new Fan Contributor Zuleika Boekhoudt, here’s a list of some great short anime for your entertainment.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
Waging war on the multi-island continent known as Ente Isla, the Dark Lord Satan finds himself being pushed back by the combined forces of humanity and their Hero. Forced to admit defeat, Satan vows to one day return and flees through a dimensional portal with his trusted general, Alciel. Arriving in modern Japan, the devilish duo are shocked by their suddenly human forms and loss of magic. Taking the name Sadao Maō, Satan decides to subjugate this new world through advancing the ranks of MgRonald. Unfortunately, the Hero from Ente Isla has followed him to this new world. Between the struggles of work, assassins attempts from his home dimension and trying to recover his magical powers, Satan struggles with trying to come to grips this new world that he is stuck in.
Take the most mundane tasks like trying to cover an extra shift to make ends meet or finding a means to conquer the world, everything is brilliantly amusing when seen through the eyes of a powerless lord of evil.
Elfen Lied revolves around the Diclonius species. Physically similar to humans but for a pair of horns on their heads, Diclonii are exclusively female and control ‘vectors’. Invisible arms that can become insubstantial or solid at will, vectors are usually a few metres long but length varies amongst Diclonii. Vectors can also be used to slice through objects which appears to be a particular favourite form of killing. If a vector penetrates or touches a human, they contract the ‘vector virus’ and their children with be born as Diclonii. Most of the Diclonius have a predisposition towards violence but it remains unclear if this is genetic or due abuse and fear from humans. Hounded and captured by the Special Assault Team, Lucy the Diclonius is taken in by Kouta and his cousin Yuka as they struggle to protect her from the SAT and other Diclonii.
This series incorporates large amounts of heavy gore and nudity. Fair warning.
Time of Eve
Set in a future where androids are commonplace and taken for granted, Rikuo Sakisaka discovers that his android has been acting independently. Within her activity log, he finds the phrase “Are you enjoying the Time of Eve?”. Following his android’s movements, he and his friend Masakazu Masaki find an unusual café “The Time of Eve”. The barista informs the pair that the café does not discriminate between humans and androids. When in the café, androids do not reveal that they are robots and the door temporarily locks whenever a customer leaves to prevent anyone else discovering their identity. Time of Eve makes frequent allusions to Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and questions what makes a person an individual. The main plot revolves around the beginnings of independence being shown by the androids and what independence they can experience within the boundaries of their coding.
Ten years after an anomaly ravaged mainland Japan, Ganta Igarashi is framed for the murder of his entire class. As the only survivor of the incident and with fabricated evidence against him, he is sentenced to death at Deadman Wonderland. Although a prison, it doubles as a sadistic theme park for the rich to torment the prisoners with. Whilst on death row, Ganta develops the Branches of Sin, the ability to control his own blood. Once this is discovered, he is forced to participate in Carnival Corpse, gladiatorial matches paid for by the wealthy anonymous donors. Whilst trying to keep himself alive and lower the amount of people trying to kill him, Ganta attempts to prove his innocence and uncover the dark secrets being kept by the prison authorities.
Over two hundred years ago, a group of alchemists created an elixir for immortality but there’s a catch: they now have to kill each other until only one is left. The group quickly decide that it isn’t worth it and destroy the elixir. However, one of them, Slizard Quates, begins killing off his fellow immortals. So that they are at less risk, the group heads their separate ways. Now in 1930’s Manhatten, Quates has managed to recreate the original formula. Unfortunately, it is quickly lost and ends up circling around town where the residents believe it to be alcohol. The drinkers of this new elixir include Isaac and Miria, an eccentric pair of thieves; the Gandor brothers, a Mafia family; and their associates in the Camorra, the Martillos (who employ some of the original immortals). Now a new group of immortals are created and the simmering criminal underworld is ready to explode.
This anime is set in a fictional world where humanity has lost both the ability to have children and truly die. According to legend, God has abandoned the world but left behind one final gift in the form of ‘Gravekeepers’. People with the ability to put others to their final rest, Ai is the main character whose life is irrecoverably changed when immortal gunslinger Hampnie murders all the residents of her small village. With no other place to go, Ai is forced to partner up with Hampnie as she slowly comes to learn the truth about him and her village. During her journey, Ai continues to perform her duties as a Gravekeeper, learn more about why the world has fallen into such a state and declares her desire to save the world that God has abandoned.