It seems there's a lot of these short (e.g. 3-5 minute long) anime series recently, specifically ones that air on TV (as opposed to ONA's). Shows like:

What started the trend of short 3-5 minute per episode TV series. How does that fit into a regular TV time-slot if it's so short?

2 Answers 2


They channel airing the show would just shift things forward or backward 5 minutes.

So something that normally starts at 12:00 would start at 12:05. The shows in the evening will start at the usual time by, over the course of the day, removing 1 or 2 adverts each advert break. The channels that keep a strict schedule just remove most of the adverts during an advert break and play the show then. They do not allocate a 30 minute slot to a short. However, if they have a 15 minute show, they would play that directly before or after the short.

Channels make a lot of money from adverts so they only remove adverts for series they expect to get a high viewing.

As for what started it, I can not say, but while I can not remember any, I am sure I have seen shorts that aren't anime, but the vast majority would probably be anime. I think the main reason we see more shorts is because anime companies are getting bolder due to more sponsors and producing more franchise such as games and figurines etc., but I think mostly due to larger viewing numbers. 10 years ago companies might have had a hard time making profit on a short and so channels would not want to air them, but now more money means they can get better music, scripts and animation for shorts (or any other things that make them worth watching) so channels will want to air them.

  • Do you know what started this trend, is it something stations do in general (as in not isolated to anime)? It just seems as if there's a lot more short shows than 10+ years ago.
    – Jon Lin
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 18:14
  • I can not remember any but i think it is not only anime that does this, however 99% of the shorts you see will probably be anime. I edited my answer.
    – アキオ
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 23:55
  • Of course, it could be that the broadcasters are using these to deliberately shift the timing of the shows one way or another. ie, if Popular_Show_A ends at 8:00 PM on Channel_A, and you don't want to compete with them, you have your Popular_Show_B start at 8:05 PM, to give people time for bathroom breaks, etc. Then, rather than putting in extra adverts (because they'd largely be ignored, and viewers get annoyed if there're too many ads), you put in a quick short, which might be paid for anyways. Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 17:12
  • Stargazer on PBS use to be about 5 minutes long Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 18:08

Japanese television is common to have short series. Most drama episodes are only 10 minutes long. It's just something to watch daily in the morning or something.

For example, a channel at 9:00 shows a few different series and usually, the short ones are all crammed into one drama viewing period. After all the short episodes are aired, something long like the news comes on.

I think it also helps a lot of people who are on a schedule and don't have time to dedicate half an hour of their day for a show.

A lot of these short anime are also taken from 4-koma manga, so the episode is like getting a comic strip in the newspaper.

  • Except that short anime are not aired in the morning - they are aired at late night, along with other anime.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 17:43
  • A 10 minutes drama would end with just hi hello and bye. Not enough time for proper story telling. I never seen a drama only 10 minutes long. Care for some examples? Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 17:05

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