Shonen Anime That Are Just Too Short

One of the worst feelings to experience after getting thoroughly invested in an anime is when that “Next Episode” icon vanishes, and a Google search confirms the fan’s greatest fears; that this may indeed be the end of the road! After either drying unwarranted tears or screaming in frustration, one must come to terms with the reality of the situation and find another action-packed anime to binge-watch instead.


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If these events seem all too familiar and are completely unbearable, take note of the following series that end way too soon, and be sure to prepare for the inevitable abandonment issues as the final credits roll. Whether incomplete or simply short-lived, these epic adventures are sure to capture the imagination of any shonen fan; however, a satisfactory conclusion is not guaranteed!

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7 Assassination Classroom (47 Episodes)

When a tentacled creature takes over a classroom of ten-year-olds and adds death-defying feats to their basic education, viewers know that they are in for a uniquely entertaining treat! In a nutshell, the individual responsible for destroying 70% of the Moon declares that he will do the same to Earth unless he is granted the opportunity to teach some kids how to kill. If life isn’t hard enough for Class 3-E, who are considered the underdogs of Kunigigaoka Junior High School, they are chosen to hone their assassination skills while surviving the other students’ torment and saving the world in the process (no biggie!)

Koro-Sensei conveniently has a bounty on his head, which motivates the students to regularly practice their new lethal skills on him (with the aid of Tadaomi Karasuma and Irina Jelovic), creating the perfect environment for bloodshed. Unfortunately for fans, the two Seasons of Assassination Classroom’s anime worked through all the significant Manga content and will not be renewed for a third installment.

6 Death Note (37 Episodes)

One of the most iconic anime series of the 21st century is also one of the shortest shonen around but still served as a satisfactory introduction for many newcomers to the anime industry. This story entails the young Light Yagami playing God with the demonic Ryuk by his side, who will instigate the death of anyone whose name is written into the infamous black book. The police are bound to get involved when people start dropping like flies, and Light is subsequently pulled into a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse while he readjusts his moral compass to fit the mood.

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Regardless of Death Note’s popularity, there seems no hope of another season’s release, as Madhouse has already adapted all the available source material. The fact that this epic anime is banned (or simply unavailable) in several countries is likely not a motivating factor either.

5 Trigun (26 Episodes)

Vash the Stampede is the ultimate peace-seeking hero with the goal of celebrating life to the fullest; however, the large bounty on his head constantly attracts unwanted drama into his world. His carefree adventures of “Love and Peace!” always seem to end in violence as Vash attempts to protect the innocent (and himself) from the villainous forces corrupting No Man’s Land.

This gunslinger offers a rich storyline draped in moral dilemmas with some goofy, comedic action thrown into the works and was first introduced to anime fans in 1998. Trigun wraps up quite neatly after Vash faces his ultimate nemesis (and twin brother) Knives Millions, although Nightow has gone on to produce more Manga in the meantime (after some publication issues). Thankfully, Studio Orange got on board and is working to release a brand-new season of Trigun Stampede on Crunchyroll in 2023.

4 Blue Exorcist (25 Episodes)

Blue Exorcist is considered to be one of the most popular anime to come from the 2011 summer period, and yet its momentum was quickly extinguished along with Rin Okumura’s flames after just two short seasons spread six years apart (and a random OVA.) The supernatural adventures of Satan’s sons take place at True Cross Academy as the prospective Demon Hunters learn to maintain the balance between Assiah and Gehenna.

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Not only were viewers left with two relatively short seasons of anime to work with, but Rin and Yukio’s story ends on a cliffhanger of note, plaguing fans with so many unanswered questions to ruminate over. Having a total of 26 volumes of content to work with, there seems little excuse not to continue with the anime adaptations, and many die-hard fans are still eagerly holding thumbs for a renewal!

3 The Promised Neverland (12 Episodes)

Set within the boundaries of a warped orphanage that views its young residents as valuable commodities, Emma, Norman, and Ray must do what it takes to escape from their evil oppressor… oops! caretaker, Yukko. The Grace Field House throws out some serious horror/thriller vibes while the prolific storyline includes elements of fantasy and science-fiction, making The Promised Neverland an interesting mish-mash of unpredictable tropes (and unexpected jump-scares!)

As the winner of theShogakukan Manga Award” in 2018, it’s a shame that viewers don’t have more thought-provoking content to explore. However, many Manga fans were gravely disappointed by the liberties that the adaptation took in altering the original storyline and called for the anime’s cancellation after Season 2’s disastrous release.

2 Tekken: Bloodlines (6 Episodes)

Jin Kazama came and went with the blink of an eye, with a total of about 2.5 hours of screentime to attempt to successfully honor Bandai Namco Entertainment’s classic video game franchise. Seeking revenge for his mother’s untimely death, Jin is reunited with his less-than-affectionate grandfather and is subsequently trained to become the best fighter imaginable. A tournament is held to draw out the villainous Ancient Ogre from the woodworks, while some other fan-favorite characters also get a chance to shine.

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Thankfully, Tekken: Bloodlines manages to satisfy many audience members with its epic artwork and adequate fanservice, whereas other fans are waiting for the rest of the story. Netflix could have extended its inspirational feelers past Tekken 3 to create even more dramatic content for this highly anticipated anime adaptation but appears to have done the bare minimum instead.

1 Spriggan (6 Episodes)

Fortunately, Spriggan’s six stand-alone episodes are at least lengthier than Tekken’s are, as each installment follows Yuu Ominae on a different mission as he attempts to uncover the mysteries of an alien civilization that once roamed the earth. This classic content combines sci-fi and supernatural tropes with a distinct cyberpunk vibe. This anime series was originally published in 1989 and has already received a (hard-to-find) anime movie adaptation, with a reboot created by the same team that produces Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

When the ARCAM Corporation’s plans are thwarted by the antagonistic US Machine Corps, Yuu teams up with his fellow Spriggan, Jean Jacquemondo, to save Noah’s Ark from the evil onslaught. Netflix only had 11 volumes of Manga to consult and has thoroughly addressed the relevant plot points from the source material, leaving little reason to extend the series much further than six episodes.

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