Follow TV Tropes


12-Episode Anime

Go To

Television Anime series running 10-14 episodes (generally 12). They're usually scheduled for a 3-month airing slot, if aired weekly, at Otaku O'Clock.note  Anime with this format are commonly called '1-cour' shows, with a 24-26 episode run being called a '2-cour' show and so on; 'cour' (kuuru/クール) being a jargon term (probably from the French cours) used in the Japanese broadcasting industry referring to the periods of time these shows are aired and scheduled, as detailed in the above "note".


This format became popular (see 12 and 13) in the second half of the 2000s as a compromise to the often sporadic nature of OVAs and the longer, sometimes filler-ridden, previous standard of 22-24 episodes. Being a smaller time investment and financial risk, it is much easier to determine if a show will be successful; or, if it isn't, to not take on as much of a loss. In that respect, the closest Western equivalent to this trope would be Front 13, Back 9.

It's also common for seasons to have 13 episodes produced, broadcasting only 12 of them, and leaving the 13th as a Bonus Episode OVA. This is especially common in shows that frequently dance the line with controversial, taboo, and/or explicit Fanservice scenes. In this case, whatever the creative team wanted to do that just wouldn't bypass the Moral Guardians is saved for here.


The only real downside to this format is the possibility of a Gecko Ending, as most anime released each season are adaptations of manga or light novels, many of which are still ongoing at the time of airing.

Due to their length, a particularly noteworthy 12-episode anime can often lead to severe cases of Awesomeness Withdrawal.

For the British live action equivalent, see British Brevity.

    open/close all folders 

    12-Episode Series 

    11-Episode Series 

    10-Episode Series 

    13-Episode Series 

    Originally This, But Given More Seasons 
  • Birdy the Mighty Decode got 13 episodes; its second season got 12 (but with bonus episode #13 produced shortly after.... which technically acts as original episode 1).
  • Haganai started with 12 episodes in fall 2011, then got another 12-episode season in winter 2013.
  • The Familiar of Zero started with 13 episodes, and has three sequel seasons with 12 each.
  • Gravion had 13 episodes with little to no conclusion. All of them are wrapped up nicely in the 12 episodes sequel Gravion Zwei. There were plans for a 3rd season, but since most plot elements have been concluded, they decided to turn it into Dancougar Nova instead.
  • I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying and it even lampshades how most anime only run for 12/13 episodes and Hajime admits he's always curious on how it goes on with the heroes after, during its own 13th Episode. Then the anime got a second season right after this episode.
  • Ikkitousen's first season had 13 episodes. It later got another three seasons of 12 episodes each.
  • Infinite Stratos has two 12-episode seasons, not counting the OVA.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has two 12-episode seasons so far, plus an OVA.
  • Koihime†Musou. All 3 seasons have 12 episodes.
  • Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions. (Both seasons contain 12 episodes plus an OVA. Given their plot importance, they could be seen as 13 ep. seasons.) note 
  • Maria Watches Over Us has three 13-episode seasons.
  • The initial run of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya got 14. The second season also has 14 episodes (a total run of 28, including the first season).
  • The first season of My Hero Academia was 13 episodes, but every subsequent season has had 25 each.
  • Non Non Biyori has three seasons of 12 episodes each, plus several OVAs and The Movie.
  • Oreimo has twelve broadcast episodes in its first season and 13 in its second, plus four OVA episodes.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal has ran for three 13-episode seasons, each adapting an arc from the manga.
  • All three Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei seasons are 12-13 episodes long.
  • Strawberry Marshmallow. Two OVA series, one with three episodes, the other with two, were made after the TV series, so there are now 17 episodes of Ichigo Mashimaro.
  • Symphogear: originally a one shot 13 episode series, it was eventually expanded to five 13-episode seasons mostly on the back on music sales.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! has one 12-episode season so far, with a second season announced for 2022.
  • Vandread first aired with 13 episodes, but managed to get a second 13 episodes and resolve the story. There's rumors of a third season, but aren't there always?
  • Zombie Land Saga originally aired with only 12 episodes, but due to the massive popularity in Japan alongside the show's critical acclaim, a second season was announced in 2019, under a new title: Zombie Land Saga: Revenge.

    Unusual Cases 
  • Angels of Death's anime adaptation is 16 episodes long.
  • ARIA The ANIMATION and The ORIGINATION (Season One and Season Three) are both 13 episodes in length whereas ARIA The NATURAL (Season Two) is 26 episodes long.
  • Attack on Titan: Its first season was 25 episodes long, then its second season was 12. The third season is quite unusual: it was 22 episodes in total, but it was split up six months apart into a Part One and Part Two consisting of 12 and 10 episodes, respectively. The fourth and final season was then scheduled for a very odd episode count of 16 episodes.
  • Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales was aired as an 11-episode series on Japanese television, but is actually an anthology consisting of three separate 3- or 4-episode anime by completely different production groups. The final series in the anthology, "Bakeneko", ended up with its own spinoff, Mononoke, also a 12-ep series.
  • Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!'s anime adaptation is twelve episodes long, though they're each only eight minutes.
  • Bakemonogatari ran for 15 episodes long.
    • Nisemonogatari: 11 episodes
    • Monogatari Series: Second Season: 26 episodes
    • Owarimonogatari: 12 episodes
  • While Beyond the Boundary only has one 12-episode season in 2013 with a prequel OVA, it later received two movies, the first one aired in 2014, adapting the anime series; the second one served as a sequel, which aired in 2015. It also had several spinoff shorts.
    • Blue Literature follows the same format, with five arcs adapted from Japanese literature.
  • The Big O, though notable for being one of the first shows of this type to get a second season, was actually planned as a 26-episode anime, but had production end after only 13 due to low ratings in Japan - the second season, co-produced by Cartoon Network after the show pulled much better ratings abroad, was essentially just bringing the staff back to finish the other half of the original series.
  • Black★Rock Shooter is eight episodes long, and was aired in noitaminA. If you count the OVA (which was released two years earlier and is in a separate continuity), then it had nine episodes in total.
  • The 2019 adaptation of the Boogiepop Series was 18 episodes long. The series started off with a one-hour special with the first two episodes debuting immediately, and then in a truly unique situation, episodes 10-13 were all released at once when the show hit that point, leaving enough time for the entire season to finish its run in a standard season.
  • Buddy Complex had a first season with 13 episodes. It was slated for a second season, but low ratings caused season 2 to get cut to only two episodes which released as a pair of OVAs.
  • D.Gray-Man in its first TV broadcast from Oct. 2006 to Sept. 2008 had a whopping 103 episodes. The odd thing is that the show is considered to be 2 seasons of 51 and 52 episodes, even though there was no break in the airing schedule and it continuously aired until the end. Regardless, the manga went on hiatus for over 2.5 years before returning in July 2015. A continuation series called D. Gray Man: Hallow aired starting July 2016 and picked up where the first anime left off, but Hallow was only 13 episodes long.
  • The first arc of Dragon Ball had its 23 chapters into 13 episodes, with some chapters being expanded to fill an entire episode while several others were consolidated into one. Presumably this was done to fit this trope on the off-chance that the anime didn't catch on. Needless to say, it did.
  • Digimon Adventure was written so that it could end cleanly after 13 episodes. It didn't have to, and ultimately ran to 54 episodes, and eight more seasons followed after that.
  • Durarara!! in its initial run had 24 episodes, divided into two halves and denoted by the different opening and closing credits sequences. For its second run, it had 36 episodes which were divided into three cours. Unlike the first run where both cours were broadcast back-to-back, the new cours were released separately - Shou was in Winter 2015, Ten was in Summer 2015, Ketsu was in Winter 2016.
  • Fate/Zero's first season has 13 episodes, but it's effectively 14 episodes, because the first episode is 45 minutes long. This was apparently done to get the humongous amount of prologue exposition (for a show which is itself a prologue for an entire franchise) out of the way in the first episode. The second season is a normal 12-episode season.
    • ufotable's next Fate adaptation, Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], is an even crazier case. The first season is 12 episodes, but it's actually 16 episodes long because there was a prologue "Episode 0" that was 45 minutes long, and Episodes 1 and 12 were also double-length episodes. The second season was 13 episodes, all standard length this time.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, a spinoff series of the above-mentioned Fate franchise, started its anime adaptation with a 10 episode season. Then the second season got split into two cours, each one 10 episodes long. The third season is 12 episodes long.
  • The first season of Food Wars! was 24 episodes long. The second season, Ni no Sara, was only 13 episodes long, much to the fanbase's irritation because the manga has plenty more content that could easily be adapted. The third season, San no Sara, went back to 24 episodes, but it was a split-cour season divided into two 12-episode airings in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. The fourth season, Shin no Sara, was 12 episodes in Fall 2019. The fifth and final season, Gou no Sara, was 13 episodes in Summer 2020.
  • Girls' Frontline's "Healing Chapter" (which tells original stories) and "Madness Chapter" (which adapts yonkoma chapters from the game's loading screens and the comics purchased with in-game currency) are 12 episodes each, though the episodes are only three minutes long. The former later got a second season with six-minute-long episodes, followed by a proper anime adaptation with standard-length episodes.
  • Haikyuu!!'s first two seasons were 25 episodes long each along with a 2 episode OVA. The third season is only 10 episodes long. Later on, the fourth season was released into separate two cours with the first cour airing with 13 episodes and the second cour only having 12.
  • Idolish 7 conveniently has 17 episodes that covers Part 1 of the Main Story
  • Kamichu! had 12 to start, with four DVD-only episodes interspersed between the broadcast episodes. A ploy to get people to buy the DVDs, as the DVD-only episodes are not strictly filler.
  • K-On!'s first two arcs are only twelve episodes, but the show ended with a special episode outside of the second arc. Then it skyrocketed in popularity, and the second season got 26 episodes.
  • Kokoro Connect has 13 episodes, but with 4 OVAs on the way in 2013, it's an amount of 17 episodes altogether.
  • Little Busters! had a 26-episode first season covering Komari, Mio, Haruka, and Kud's routes along with most of the common route, and then a 13-episode second season covering Kurugaya's route, Rin's route, and Refrain.
  • Magical Pokaan ran for 12 episodes, albeit in Two-Shorts format, and with the DVD releases adding three more OVA episodes.
  • Princess Tutu was a VERY odd variation on this in its original TV broadcast. The first 13 episodes of the series were the standard 30 minutes each, but a time-slot change beginning with episode 14 lead to the running time being halved and the latter half of the series airing as 24 episodes of 15 minutes each - until the final episode, which was again 30 minutes long. Even more strange is that there was no gap in airing between the "seasons" - the 15-minute episode 14 aired the week after the full-length 13. Confused yet? The DVD release restored the split episodes into 30-minute ones, making it look like a 26-episode series to those who don't know its broadcast history. Of course, there were also the three TV specials produced.
  • Psycho-Pass, as far as its regular TV broadcasts went, started off with a 22-episode first season. The second season was 11 episodes long. The third season was only 8 episodes, but in a rather unique case, each episode was double-length (45 minutes long), effectively making it the equivalent of a 16-episode season. Season 3 then had the sequel movie Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector as its conclusion, which was over 2 and a quarter hours long, which essentially made Season 3 have a runtime equivalent to 22 episodes, the same as the first season.
  • Shrine of the Morning Mist has 26 episodes, but each is under a quarter of an hour long, half the "standard" episode length.
  • The fourth season of Slayers ending up being split into two 13-episode seasons instead of one 26-episode season. Of course, Revolution leaves a lot of plot threads for Evolution-R to pick up, but season five did get a new OP and ED...
    • This isn't too dissimilar to how previous series of Slayers played out: typically, The Dragon would be fought by Episode 13, and from episode 14 onwards, the focus would shift to The Man Behind the Man or some other Big Bad therein.
    • It has, however, been packaged together in Japan and elsewhere.
  • Space Dandy consists of two 13-episode seasons, although this had been planned out before it began airing, so it can also be considered a 26 episode series with a break in the middle. Nonetheless, it's still officially two seasons.
  • Tokusatsu GaGaGa only ran for seven episodes.
  • The second season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero is broken down into two six-episode series Washio Sumi Chapter (which was originally three theatrical films) and Hero Chapter.
  • The Way of the Househusband was released with 5 episodes (though some fans would hesitate to call it "anime"), and an unknown number of future episodes have been planned.
  • Yasuke has 6 episodes, though there are rumors of a planned second season.
  • Figure17: Tsubasa & Hikaru is a particularly odd example. 13 episodes long, pretty standard. Only the episodes are 40 minutes long and even stranger still, released over a period of almost exactly one year. And it's not a case that they had a break half way through, no they aired each individual episode almost one month apart.

Alternative Title(s): Eleven Episode Anime, Thirteen Episode Anime