There’s something to be said for an anime that can tell a complete story in 11, 12, 22, or 24 episodes and not leave the viewer unsatisfied or waiting for a conclusion that may never occur. While I have nothing against the longer running anime brethren, the anime I rewatch most often meets the condition of being a complete story in and of itself. Which actually made it quite hard to narrow this list down.
Now the order is entirely subjective and based only upon my enjoyment of the story and how complete it feels when watching, so I’d love for you to share your top 5 anime with only one season. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Please note, there will be spoilers below.
Honourable Mentions: Parasyte, Ouran High School Host Club (this one actually kind of needs a sequel), and Trigun.
Number 5: My Love Story
I don’t know why it is that I am completely in love with this anime and even though there’s plenty more that could be said about the characters and where they go, I never finish the story feeling like I’m missing out. This one is a sweet story that deals with two people not falling in love, because they actually cover that in about three episodes, but with the act of being in love for the first time and not really knowing what to do. It is awkward at times, adorable at others, and overall it is an incredibly rewarding watch.
Number 4: Death Note
While logically you could write sequels, spin-offs and whatever else you want from this story, but I’m pretty sure most viewers will agree that Death Note feels decidedly finished with that final episode. Realistically, the story felt finished before it got to the end given the narrative structure. When you set up two characters in binary opposition and one dies, that definitely feels like an end point. Death Note pushes on nonetheless leaving us with a definitive ending later on, though a little bit of the satisfaction does get sucked out in the process.
Number 3: Erased
Mystery stories are probably a bit easier to make feel complete. When you are first waiting for the who is the bad guy reveal followed by the will they catch him, it kind of gives you a clear end point for the series. Needless to say, while there are some lingering questions about the nature of revival, the story is most definitely complete in this anime.
Number 2: Your Lie in April
Much like Erased, there was always an end point in mind for this series. However, what we get is a fairly profound character journey and ultimately an ending that will leave you in a smiling/teary mess as you can’t decide whether it was tragic or beautiful or somewhere in between the two. Anymore of this would simply take away from the power of that ending and really that is not something anyone should ever try and do.
Number 1: Angel Beats
This anime begins with Otanashi waking up in a limbo and being told he has to fight against god. The story explores the true nature of the world he is in and the other characters inhabiting it. By the time we get to the end of this story everything that ever needed to be said about this world has been said. And while you have to wait around until after the end credits of the final episode to get to the resolution you so desperately want, it is most definitely there and leaves you with a feeling that everything is going to work out okay which is pretty much how I want to feel at the end of the emotional roller-coaster that is Angel Beats.
That’s the list for this week, so now I’m turning it over to you. What is your favourite anime with only one season? Or what are your top 5 is narrowing it down to one is too hard?
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
38 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That Only Have One Season”
I am currently watching Angel Beats! as I type this! Very interesting concept and story that I never thought I would like…until I started to watch Angel Beats!.
Btw I think you’re missing The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. in your list. 🙂
Isn’t there a second season of it? That said, I’m still working on my review of that and I wasn’t a huge fan so it probably wouldn’t have a spot. I’m not the biggest fan of comedies.
I love that type of humor similar to that of One Punch Man!
Sorry to hear that. Nonetheless, I’ll be keeping an eye out for your review of it! \m/
I did a double take when I saw Death Note on this list, then I went, “Oh, right.” It really does not feel like one season, ya know? It feels like two, where the second season was half the length of the first.
That second part really does feel like a continuation and it is totally unnecessary to the story.
Well, I certainly don’t mind the bit where Light finally loses (hated him from the start), but outside that part… yep, unnecessary, overwhelmingly.
I agree, Ouran needed a sequel! Fruits Basket too!
Your pics just won me over.
Here’s like. Have like.
Here’s comment. Have a shitpost by me.
Great list!! I love all of them
Glad you enjoyed it.
I’m ashamed that I didn’t watch any of those titles. But erased and my love story are on my list.
Actually, I might end up watching the live version of Erased
The live action version is actually pretty cool. I enjoyed it as much as the anime version. There’s some key differences but the basic story plays out the same either way.
This may still be considered too new of a submission, but I thought A Place Further Than the Universe was really, really good. It was equally as pretty as your lie in april, and I actually got more emotional at the end.
I suspected someone would bring that one up at some point. I’m surprised it hadn’t already been mentioned. I didn’t get very far with it, but it certainly left an impression on those who watched it.
“I didn’t get very far with it”
The first episode really didn’t grab me, though it did look lovely.
> only have one season
Man, that’s sadly gotta be the easiest top 5 list I’ve seen.
Personally, I prefer anime with one season. They are easier to finish and review. Hahaha!
Some of my picks would be:
-Yugo the Negotiator
-ROD: The TV
-Patapata Hikousen no Bouken
Okay, I think I’ve only seen ROD and Haibane Renmei from that list. Thanks for sharing and I’ll look up some of the other titles at some point.
Gotcha. You saw the ROD TV series? Nice! I take it you also saw the original OVA, right?
I didn’t see the OVA. I’ve never found it anywhere to watch.
I know Aniplex licensed both the OVA and the TV series. The TV series makes a lot more sense after watching the OVA since it focuses on Yomiko, Nancy, and Drake as the main heroes. The events are alluded to in passing in different parts of the show.
These are really famous animes yet I haven’t watched them. 🙂 🙂 But thanks for this list, I might engaged to watching them knowing they just have one season. tehy’ll be easy to squeeze in my sked. 🙂
One season anime are great for when you aren’t looking for a huge time commitment. Plus you know you will get an ending rather than the story just kind of stopping mid-stream.
Exactly… I’ll be reading one of these once Im done with Hunter x Hunter… I’m so late I know but I already tried watching it before but didn’t finish it. 🙂 🙂
I have watched all but Erased in the above list. Planning on watching it but already have too much on my plate! I think Cowboy Bebop and Anohana would be noteworthy Anime with only one season.
Anohana I could see being on a lot of people’s lists. I’m not the biggest fan, but it certainly concluded its story well within the one season.
I’m glad Death Note was in this list 😁
I loved Erased and Death Note, and though it felt that DN was getting to lengthy by the end, I have no doubts in admitting that it’s better off without a second season. For me, the ending was perfect.
As for Angel Beats, I dunno if it’s true or not but I heard that it’s gonna get a second season, or an alternative ending. I wonder if it’s really true, I would love to see them go beyond.
I would really hate to see Angel Beats get an alternative ending or a second season. That story is finished. Though, I do feel kind of the same way about Steins;Gate which is why I’ve been struggling to get into Steins;Gate0.
Out of these, I’ve only seen Erased (which was really good surprisingly) and the other 4 are ones that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages now
Hope you enjoy them when you get around to them.
Ive seen all but My Love Story, but I love those top 4 for sure!
I would have to say that Baccano! and Akame ga Kill! would be noteworthy anime with only one season for me, and Charlotte as well.
Baccano is a great choice and I also really enjoyed Charlotte.
I need to work through my box of anime and get to Angel Beats sometime. Maybe after I finish Haruhi, if I ever get around to resuming it -_-
I really like anime that end after 1 season. Those stories always strike me as more well thought out and have more integrity in no needing to drag on a franchise. That said, there are always exceptions like Noragami.
Some notable anime that I would point out for this list are the 90’s darlings, EVA and Cowboy Bebop. You already mentioned Trigun, but in the same vein these were some really engaging stories that end kind of definitively after just 1 season.
Though you might get arguments and possibly fights regarding EVA 😀
I think EVA finished beautifully. That’s one thing I didn’t like about the film reboot. it seemed to want to make the whole thing into a ongoing story rather than one that had a clear end point.