Commuting to work can be a drag, especially when you’re just sitting in the bus or taxi waiting for your stop. Sure you can check social media for the statuses of your family, friends, frenemies, your favorite celebrities—or watch random Youtube videos—or maybe play video games to pass the time, but why not spend that time on watching anime instead? Finish your never-ending backlog, maybe? Or catch up on some anime before its second season arrives in a few months time? And most importantly, is there an optimal experience to watch anime on the way to work? Honey’s Anime has got you covered!
Technically, any anime, apart from super-ecchi shows or hentai, is watchable on the go, but distractions are all over the place. A shaky bus full of people, standing on the train as you struggle to maintain your balance as people push and shove, and have situational awareness so that you won’t miss your stop. We’ve found a few tricks on how to get the most optimal experience during these situations and explain why by providing you the Top 10 Anime to Watch on the Way to Work.
Buckle up, folks!
10. Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2013-March 2013
Yukimura Aoi is awkward around people and was never good at socializing. That is until she is reunited with her childhood friend in high school Kuraue Hinata. Hinata still remembered she and Aoi gazed upon a wonderful sunrise high atop a peak and both promised that one day to relive that experience. There’s a problem though--Aoi is afraid of heights.
Anime tells stories of almost everything from cooking, camping, drawing manga, mini 4WD, being a NEET, and as for Yama no Susume, it’s all about mountain climbing. Now, don’t go expecting the Aoi, Hinata and the gang start climbing mountains in the Himalayas, but rather the anime gives you an insight how to prepare for the climb like cooking tools, hiking expeditions and meeting new friends who share the same interests. Aoi has to start somewhere so gaining some experience and knowledge beforehand is a theme in Yama no Susume. Each episode is extremely short around 3 minutes and 31 seconds, but the time is more than enough to not only provide you with some mountain-climbing tips, it’s just enough time make use the last few minutes until you’ve reached your stop.
9. Uchuu Patrol Luluco (Space Patrol Luluco)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2016-June 2016
Luluco is a normal girl living a normal life with her father in a town where humans and aliens live together. Luluco’s father is a police officer accidentally ate a pill that turned him into ice. Luluco rushed to Space Patrol where her father worked and have him restored, but the chief of Space Patrol, Over Justice, convinced Luluco to work part-time as an undercover agent in order to catch criminals in her school, and at the same time earn enough money to pay for her father’s restoration. Donning the Space Patrol suit, Luluco lives two lives as a normal middle school girl and a tool for justice.
If you’re a fan of the art style of Studio Trigger, then you’ll love Uchuu Patrol Luluco’s exaggerated and crazy art style, all packaged into 7+ minute episodes. The episodes are short, but it’s long enough to fit in good pacing, and it’s amusing enough to keep you entertaining while commuting to work. Watching Luluco cracking down on crime is far more entertaining than browsing your social media feed with cat videos you’ve seen a trillion times.
8. Tonari no Seki-kun (Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time)
- Episodes: 21
- Aired: January 2014-May 2014
At the back row of the class sits Yokoi Rumi, just a typical girl studying in school. Next to her is a boy named Seki and he is fond of making little distractions during a boring class. His “little” distractions are nothing but little for he is out to make elaborate domino courses using erasers or play Go in an unconventional way using bears and rabbits, all done on his desk. Rumi can’t help but getting interested in Seki’s games and eventually getting scolded by her teachers for staring at the wrong direction.
You can’t really blame Rumi though because Seki is one bored guy with a ton of creativity. Each episode, whilst short at around 7 minutes, Seki manages to find ways to kill time in creative ways, and Rumi just stares in utter amazement on how Seki getting a ton of fun with just using two erasers. If you want to kill time by watching an anime about killing time, then Seki here can show you how it’s done. But, don’t be like him and start building a volcano at your workplace.
7. Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)
- Episodes: 100
- Aired: April 2016-March 2018
Retsuko is a 25-year old red panda who works in a company’s accounting department. Her job isn’t exactly a dream job because she is constantly getting pushed around by her superiors and co-workers. To vent her rage and frustration of her daily experiences, she sings death metal cursing everyone around her… in her head.
The runtime of each episode is around 1 minute, so this makes it the shortest anime on the list, but the anime still managed to pack in as much humor and relatable things a typical office lady had to endure. Each episode focuses on a specific quirk or problem you often encounter at the office like a demanding boss, self-centered coworkers, annoying new employees, forced to work overtime with no pay, and you always receive the short end of the stick. Retsuko experienced a lot of these and sometimes she bursts into a fit of rage complaining about life is treating her like crap. But no matter how touch office life is, Ritsuko is still positive and strive to work harder the next day.
Aggressive Retsuko has a ton of episodes with the story revolving about her and her experience at work, this anime is very good to watch on the way to work. Watch an episode in quick bursts, and by the time you punched in and your boss demands you to work overtime, think of Retsuko and how she handled things. Maybe you’ll be the next death metal rockstar like Johannes Krauser II. And speaking of death metal music...
6. Detroit Metal City
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: August 2008-???
Negishi Soichi is a country boy who moved to Tokyo to start a new life. With a passion for pop music and dreaming of someday to become a popular artist, Soichi signed up to be the lead singer of a death metal group named Detroit Metal City. Wait, what?
Your performance at school or at work depends on how much you’ve slept, how nutritious your breakfast was, did you have coffee or not, or you’ve worn deodorant or not. But the most vital thing to have before a grueling day is a positive mindset. Detroit Metal City is very offensive with song lyrics containing various ways to rape people, but the story of one guy trying to get on with his life, but he had to play a persona exactly the opposite of his so he can meet ends meet is relatable.
Now, Detroit Metal City isn’t a social commentary but rather it’s a comedy of Soichi dressing as a terrorist from Hell and he has to keep that persona to maintain the reputation of his death metal band Detroit Metal City as a hellish group of musicians who did horrible things to living things. This leads to hilarious situations of Soichi getting forced to do some stupid things in order to keep their hardcore fans believe that he’s an evil drug addict from Hell. And the best part is each story is technically 7 minutes long, and it’s just enough time before you arrive to work.
But try to be careful like Soichi though because you may end up looking like a fool in public transport for laughing too hard. They might think you got possessed by the devil.
5. Detective Conan (Case Closed)
- Episodes: Ongoing
- Aired: January 1996-Ongoing
Already a great mystery expert, Kudou Shinichi age 17 has gained a reputation for solving seemingly impossible cases. His life takes an unexpected turn when the two suspicious men he was following gave him a drug that reversed his aging to that of a seven-year-old. Even with a body of a child, his intellect remained and continues to fight crime under the new name, Edogawa Conan, while hiding his identity to everyone including his childhood friend, Mouri Ran.
But okay, your commute time is longer than 10 minutes and you’re in a comfortable position where you’re less likely to get distracted like riding a taxi, or at the backseat of your friend’s car, or riding a not-so-crowded bus, and you want some meat to your anime, what kind of anime that’s optimal during commuting? Detective Conan is an episodic anime that follows the same formula of good guys solving a murder mystery and catch the bad guys. The contents are, at best, inoffensive and easy to follow because Detective Conan is targeting a younger audience so there are no nudity, grotesque dead bodies, etc.
With the episodic formula, a murder case lasts in 25 minutes, so there will be no story threads hanging. Having a continuous running story with tons of dialogue isn’t good to watch on the go because there’s urgency and since you’ll be focused on work for the entire day, you’ll end up forgetting the story and eventually end up rewatching the episode. Conan’s cases are self-contained, and while some stretch for a few episodes, a majority of the episodes in Detective Conan are episodic and you can watch them in any order. Create a playlist of these episodes and watch one at a time as you commute to work. Not only you get your daily anime fix, you spent the good 25 minutes of waiting on the bus while helping a boy solve murders and unmasking villains.
4. Slow Start
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018-March 2018
If there’s a genre the West truly invented, it’d be the “CGDCT” genre. CGDCT or Cute Girls Doing Cute Things are anime shows that features an all-female going about their daily lives be it doing club activities or working hard to become popular school idols. Slow Start is of the school life category featuring a group of girls talking about anything. The main story revolves around Ichinose Hana, a shy girl who is about to start her new life in high school. There she meets new friends and new experiences, and maybe perhaps her new life may finally fix her introvert personality.
Slow Start’s main draw is the exceptionally done art and animation. The characters move with smooth fluidity and are almost consistent throughout made the anime feel like it’s an OVA. The smooth animations made the characters move more naturally and with a cutesy design, it’s hard to take your eyes off the screen. Apart from the typical humor you find in Slice of Life anime, there are some light yuri elements and a bit of developing romance between a student and her female teacher to keep you interested. If you want to start your day with a smile, Slow Start is one of the CGDCT anime made just for you.
3. Sakamoto desu ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: March 2016-July 2016
Sakamoto desu ga? is a story of a young man who is cool at everything, from how he handles daily stuff like walking, eating, doing chores, or even hiding from obsessive mothers. All the girls in the class fell in love with him instantly because of his good looks, smarts and are able to handle situations easily, almost superhuman-like. His attraction towards girls didn’t go too well with the guys in the class as they felt attention was stolen from them. They all tried to ruin Sakamoto with various schemes, but only to fail as Sakamoto is untouchable and is always one step ahead. Some of the guys were impressed by his deeds that they even admitted Sakamoto is one cool guy. Like, seriously, one guy even asked Sakamoto for a smile as a takeout order when Sakamoto was working part-time in a fast-food restaurant.
Each episode is 25 minutes long, but they’re divided into 2-3 self-contained chapters of Sakamoto doing cool stuff like handling a manipulative senior, solving the problems of a guy getting bullied, or made three girls get along together. Sakamoto isn’t doing this out of malice, but rather he does things to improve the lives of everyone around him. When Sakamoto is on to something, it’s usually for the betterment of everyone involved. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll laugh some more because Sakamoto desu ga? is one hell of a funny anime, and it’s perfect to start out your day at work with a smile. As cliche as it may sound, but “laughter is the best medicine.”
2. Aikatsu Friends!
- Episodes: Ongoing
- Aired: April 2018-ongoing
Yuuki Aine is a very eccentric girl who is helping her family run a cafe. Aine’s world has completely changed after she meets the top idol Minato Mio from the prestigious idol school Star Harmony Academy. Mio has invited Aine to sing and dance together, and seeing her potential, Aine enrolled to Star Harmony Academy to become an idol to bring smiles to everyone.
Aikatsu Friends is the third and latest installment of an idol series that was either you never heard of before or was overshadowed by her big sisters like Love Live and Idolm@ster. But this shouldn’t detract you from watching Aikatsu! because unlike the shows we’ve mentioned, Aikatsu! is lighthearted, colorful, has mahou shoujo-like transformation scenes, it’s drama-free, has a huge playlist of great songs, and with a ton of characters, you can’t help but love.
The stories are episodic and aren’t plot-heavy, so a typical Aikatsu! episode is about the girls doing idol activities like auditioning for a commercial, practicing for an idol competition, or the girls making new friends, so they’re very easy to consume and requires less concentration, especially if you’re packed like sardines inside the train. Aikatsu Friends! and Aikatsu! in general, are perfect examples of fun and inoffensive anime you can watch on the go, especially when you’re stuck in traffic for at least 30 minutes.
1. Yuru Camp (Laid-Back Camp)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018-March 2018
Shima Rin loves camping around Mount Fuji and prefers to camp alone. On one specific camping trip, Rin meets an energetic yet clumsy girl Kagamihara Nadeshiko who got stranded. Eventually, the two became close friends and started camping together along with two new friends from the Outdoor Activities Club. Yuru Camp is a laid-back camping experience you’ll won’t find anywhere else.
Yuru Camp is a fun show of a group of girls who loves camping in the outdoors and that’s all you get. There is no big plot to follow, and nothing big really happens, but rather Yuru Camp offers a relaxing experience that you just want to sit down and have a good cup of cocoa. And add the fact that Yuru Camp teaches its viewers about the aspects of camping like teach you the different types of tents and their advantages, teaches you how to start a campfire and how to maintain the flame, and teaches you camping etiquette like the anime is one huge guidebook to camping. The slow and relaxing pace is best experienced in a cool and quiet room, but it also works during long commutes. Sit back, plug in your favorite pair of earphones and watch one of the most relaxing shows you’ve ever seen.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this topic, you can watch any anime on the go and you’ll get the same experience regardless of length or genre. But the other purpose why we listed these anime is to give you a boost in morale, a boost in confidence and be in a mindset that will help you perform better at school or at your workplace. A daily dose of laughter every morning improves morale and confidence a lot, so that’s the very reason why the majority of the list is comedy-centric. But ultimately, the big boost of morale is watching the characters themselves working hard and how they inspire you to be better. And who knows, looking at that wonderful and heart-melting smile of your waifu is more than enough to get you through the day.
And there you have it, folks! We would like to remind you that watching anime is still a distraction, so please pay attention to your surroundings and don't miss your stop. Also, it is never a good idea to watch anime or anything when driving. So drive responsibly!
Now that you’ve made it in one piece, what other anime do you think it’s best to watch on the way to work? If you have any, please don’t hesitate to share them with us!