Are you a fan of chibi anime? The chibi art style features characters drawn in a very short and squat manner. It’s sometimes also referred to as SD, or “Super Deformed.”
Chibi art is frequently used in spin-off gag series for popular franchises. But other anime shows also feature “chibi-fied” characters.
Let’s take a look at the best chibi anime out there.
List of Best Chibi Anime
- Himouto! Umaru-chan
- Ninja Girl & Samurai Master
- The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan
- Miss Shachiku and the Little Baby Ghost
- Isekai Quartet
- Magical Circle Guru Guru
- Pop Team Epic
- Ika Musume (Squid Girl)
- Sgt. Frog (Keroro Gunso)
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Best Chibi Anime of All Time
Perfect teen schoolgirl Umaru-chan has a hidden side — when she’s at home, she vegs out as a lazy, nerdy otaku. When she’s at school or with friends, she keeps up the “perfect girl” façade.
Her otaku side is represented as a chibi, vaguely oblong version of herself. Oddly enough, her chibi version seems to be real. When a friend accidentally catches her in otaku chibi mode, Umaru convinces her that she’s her own little sister. (However, she’s not under a Ranma-style transformation curse.)
Himouto! Umaru-chan is a fun series with a ton of anime and video game references.
This historical gag series features the real-life Warring States warlord, Oda Nobunaga, and a fictional ninja girl, Chidori, who helps him out.
The series mixes together real events with little comical interludes. It seems that Chidori was working behind-the-scenes for her fierce master, while Nobunaga fought in battles and negotiated treaties with various allies.
You don’t have to be familiar with Japanese history to enjoy these short anime episodes.
If you’re a fan of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, you’ll enjoy this chibi-fied version of the SOS Brigade.
They’re all there, but exaggerated to a comical degree. Haruhi is still Haruhi — bossy, tsundere, energetic, imaginative, and easily bored. Yuki gains some otaku traits — and is revealed to be living with a baby-sized Ryoko Asakura.
The stories are short and silly, but they stay true to the basic premise.
Cute girl ghosts haunt an overworked office lady in this adorable series.
Of course, the office worker is adult-sized. But the ghost girl Yurei-chan and her friends — catgirl Myako and ghost maid Lily — are all fun size. These little spooks get into all sorts of hijinks and other mischief. By the end of the series, they are joined by a fox demon, Miko-chan.
You have to feel sorry for the little ghost girl, who is only trying to get “Miss Shachiku” to leave the office and go home. (Shachiku is not Fushihara’s real name, but it roughly translates as “corporate slave.”)
Overall, this is a cute and heartwarming chibi series.
Isekai Quartet offers a much-needed send-up of the isekai genre in general. Isekai Quartet is actually a reverse isekai — fantasy characters must deal with a “normal” school situation.
The show leans on the fourth wall a lot.
Isekai Quartet is possible because of the high number of isekai to come out of light novel publisher Kadokawa.
As a result, Isekai Quartet is able to parody four separate isekai shows — KonoSuba, Re:Zero, Overlord, and The Saga of Tanya the Evil. In the second season, The Rising of the Shield Hero joins the fun.
This adventure comedy series takes place in an RPG-style fantasy world. If you’re familiar with Dragon Quest, you’d swear you’ve played this game before. (It helps that the manga was published by Square Enix.)
But this series is actually a clever and funny tribute to classic Japanese RPGs. Incidentally, I’ve watched the 2017 reboot, but the original is supposed to be pretty good if you can find it.
Pop Team Epic parodies Japanese pop culture mercilessly. This wild and weird anime series also dives into a lot of surreal comedy. Admittedly, the show’s two vulgar schoolgirl protagonists tend to go for the quick, cheap laugh. But it is undeniably funny.
The series also likes to play with a lot of different art styles. And halfway through each episode, it starts over with a second, alternate group of voice actors.
I’m including Ika Musume in this list because of Mini-Ika (a.k.a. Mini Squid Girl), a miniature version of Squid Girl. Mini-Ika steals the show every time that she shows up in the anime (which isn’t often enough).
The blue tentacle-haired invader girl is pretty short and cute even under normal circumstances. But Mini-Ika takes this cuteness through the roof.
Unlike regular-sized Ika Musume, Mini-Ika is noticeably mute, which eliminates Ika Musume’s more obnoxious and selfish attributes. Instead, we get cute and heartwarming episodes featuring the adorable little squid trying to accomplish various tasks.
Sgt. Frog is a fun and silly kid-friendly anime about alien invader frogs. Fortunately for the human race, Sargeant Keroro and his platoon are horrible at the whole invasion thing.
Instead, many episodes feature various wild schemes hatched by Keroro. Sometimes Keroro helps Fuyuki and the other humans; other times he’s a hindrance.
The series has a lot of pop culture references. For example, Keroro is obsessed with Gundam models. When Sgt. Frog was translated to English, Funimation updated some of the jokes for a Western audience.
As chibi series go, this one is a long runner, with more than 350 episodes.
If your favorite series is missing from this list, I apologize. There are a lot of chibi series out there.
I tried to avoid adding too many spin-off gag series to my list, as there are enough of those for a separate list. For example, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, Fate/ Grand Carnival, and Umayon were all candidates.
Runners-up also included the mascot comedy Di Gi Charat, and the goofy fantasy Dragon Half. I also considered Lucky Star, Hetalia: Axis Powers, Kemono Friends, Osomatsu-san, and Space Patrol Luluco.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the Best Chibi Anime of All Time.