If you’re ever feeling down and just need something quirky yet exaggerated to cheer you up, look no further than these series! These are some of the funniest, smartest, most random and most out-there shows that you’ll find in the anime universe. And there’s no doubt that they will leave you in splits and make you feel much lighter than ever before. It’s the ever-trusty comedy anime at your service!
A lot of anime shows add elements of visual and situational comedy for the sake of distraction from the pure seriousness of their plots. But these are series which have dedicated themselves to the highest forms of humor. From Gintama and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, to Daily Lives of High School Boys and Nichijou, here are 20 of the funniest comedy anime series that’ll make your day.
Best Comedy Anime
Ojamajo or Magical Doremi is the tale of Doremi Harukaze, a klutz in the truest sense of the word. Her family is exasperated, she regularly flunks her tests and her crushes always end up interested in someone else. But things take a turn when she stumbles into a magic shop and accidentally turns the witch owner, Majorika, into a green blob. To reverse the magic, Doremi must take on the mantle of a witch apprentice (or witchling) and clear nine levels of witch tests to become a full-fledged witch. Joined by her friends Hazuki and Aiko (who are clearly more competent), Doremi tries to work her way up to become a witch and turn her luck around. Otherwise she’ll just be the ‘unluckiest pretty girl in the world’.
Ojamajo Doremi seems like it’d be a comedy anime for little girls only. But like the whole My Little Pony craze, you’d be surprised how generally appealing the show is. This show makes perfect use of the exaggerated anime drawing style that Japan is so famous for. The expressions of the characters alone are enough to brighten the mood. And there are always dilemmas ready to ensue. The animation style is nothing to write home about and it’s not the most inventive of shows. But it is definitely a must watch for a person looking for the same appeal of Sailor Moon, but a less serious version of that.
Ken Sugisaki is quite the slacker, who cares for nothing more than food, video games and girls. So he decides to enter the student council, filled with a bevy of beautiful girls. To do that, he studies hard to acquire the highest grades in school. Just when he gets appointed vice president and he thinks his dream has come through, boom! He gets confronted by girls who ACTUALLY want to do something good for their school. He decides to overpower their sheer sense of responsibility to fulfill his dream of creating his own harem.
This show is almost a reversal of a show appearing later on this list, Seitokai Yakuindomo. It’s not uncommon to see a man going to great lengths to acquire his own harem. ‘Harem anime’ is a thing, after all. However, this comedy anime manages to delve into that topic without becoming too perverted. It gives all its female characters their due by making them smart and responsible beings rather than sex objects. You can’t help but root for Ken, even though he is a sleazeball. Because you realise, deep down, he isn’t a bad person. Just… well, misguided. It is a great high school harem anime and also has some truly funny parodies. But, as you’ll see on this list, there are better high school anime and better parody anime. Is it really, really good? Definitely. Is it the best? Uh, not quite.
Also called Sakamoto Desu Ga, this show revolves around, you guessed it, Sakamoto. Sakamoto is perfect. Quite literally. He’s highly intelligent, athletic, charming, handsome, kind, talented, need we go on? He’s so perfect that every girl in the school fawns over him. And every guy can’t help but be a little resentful of him. But every time they try to get him a little off-track or throw him off his game, he rebounds in the most perfect way possible. He’s the glorious and ever-so-popular, model student Sakamoto.
If I haven’t established it enough, Sakamoto is perfect. Usually, characters like these, especially in comedy anime, are either full of themselves or insufferable. But Sakamoto is extremely likeable, despite his infallible nature being thrown in our faces all the time. The cast of supporting characters really does add to the overall narrative and makes this a very entertaining show. While the actual series may not be as perfect as its title character, it’s still a very good watch. And try not to get too jealous of him.
Ko Ichinomiya enjoys a lavish lifestyle of wealth and fortune. His only motto is to never be indebted to anyone. That is, until he falls into a river under a bridge and is saved by the stunning Nino. Tracksuit wearing, homeless, self-proclaimed Venusian Nino tells Ko that he owes her, and she decides to make him her boyfriend. He moves out of his grand home and into the cardboard box that Nino lives in under the bridge. He becomes acquainted to the extremely odd characters that have made the bridge their home. Ko must learn to adapt to this new life while finding a way back home.
Arakawa Under the Bridge is legitimately quite insane at times. Its characters are actual kappas, people with stars for heads and a nun in drag with a gun fetish. Plus there’s the hauntingly endearing Nino. Ko, as the straight man, is the perfect foil for this comedy anime, and with good reason. Unlike other rich brats, he doesn’t have the ego to match and is quite open to growth. This show ranks here because while its characters are rich and insanely funny, except for a few of them, there’s no real growth or development. We don’t even know how some of them even got there. Plus, the extremely modern animation style is a tad bit jarring for this show and these characters. Still, this is a pretty insane comedy and will leave you scratching your head thinking why you’re even laughing.
Takatoshi Tsuda joins Ousai Private Academy simply because it’s close to home. The school just recently went from all-girls to co-ed. On his very first day, Takatoshi is made the vice president of the student council to add a ‘male POV’. Although president Shino later confesses that it was only so she could stalk him in health and PE class. Joining him are even weirder characters like Aria, the sheltered rich girl with the mind of a horny 18 year-old and Suzu, the pint-sized council treasurer with the IQ of a genius and the rage of a beast. Takatoshi tries to navigate his way around his new popular life. And possibly ensure that his clothes aren’t torn off by the end of the day.
Seitokai Yakuindomo prides itself on relying on the absurd and the lewd. And for the most part, that works in its favour. This comedy anime series is hilarious to a fault and Takatoshi is the perfect straight man for the part. It’s nice to see the traditionally pervy characters shifting to the females. But it does hit you when you realise for the first time that almost every female character is the pervy one. And let’s not get into the incest storyline. The show is technically quite sound as well, although the music isn’t that impressive at capturing the show’s appeal. As a TV show, it’s wildly raucous and uncomfortable. But you won’t be able to stop watching, whether you like it or not!
Akihisa Yoshii attends the mysterious Fumizuki Academy. Here, students are divided into classes based on their entrance test scores. The top scorers are in Class A, where they enjoy reclining seats, air conditioners and a snack bar. The lowest ones are in Class F, where all they have is straw mats and low wooden tables. Akihisa, being the titular ‘baka’ (idiot), ends up in Class F. Joining him is Mizuki Himeji, one of the smartest girls in their grade who ends up there because she had a fever on test day. The students of the school are able to summon mystical beings to fight the upperclassmen for some extra perks. Akihisa rallies his class to begin an all out summoning war to take what is rightfully (debatable) theirs.
Baka and Test is a lot different than almost every other comedy anime series on this list because it has the supernatural magical element to it. Plus, it has some great animation to boot. What it misses, however, is a little wit. Its jokes rely on a lot of the same stunts and gags that are used in almost every other show involving similar character personalities and high school drama. The lead characters are great, but the supporting ones are too similar to a lot of other pre-existing shows. But having two genres to rely on for tropes does give it more to pick and choose from, so it doesn’t necessarily stop being funny. You be the judge!
The three Minami sisters are school students who live on their own. There’s Haruka, the eldest, responsible but lazy to a fault. Then there’s Kana, the middle child, lively, brash and impulsive. And then Chiaki, the youngest, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, frustrated by her sisters (mostly Kana). Together, the three undergo the daily tribulations of high school, junior high and elementary school by tackling eccentric classmates, volleyball teams, family, neighbors and, of course, boys.
Minami-Ke is precisely what you’d call ‘slice of life’. The scene has been set and the characters are just going about living their daily lives. Each plot point comes and goes and it’s essentially a riot as it goes on. It has a more old-school animation style and basic music. But what really works for it is the dynamic between the three lead characters, the Minami sisters. They’re all so different, warring yet loving each other all the time, that it makes for an interesting mix. Maybe there are a bit too many supporting characters to handle, especially considering that we have three leads to keep up with. But that’s okay, it doesn’t take away from the funny of the show. A big recommend!
16 year-old Souta Takanashi is recruited as a waiter at a family restaurant by the tiny and cute Popura Taneshima, who’s actually 17 (and blatantly insecure about it). From the get-go, this particular show manages to get by the radar of most others on this list by being set in a location other than a high school (you’ll see why that matters). Anyway, Souta works with the wildest bunch of employees you’ll ever see. From a bored manager and katana wielding chief of staff, to the violently aggressive and mysteriously conspicuous waitresses. Not to mention the terribly charismatic yet emotionally stunted chefs. Working at Wagnaria sure isn’t easy.
The setting for the show at the restaurant allows for it to introduce some brand new characters with every episode. That, fortunately, allows it to stay constantly fresh. The main cast itself is weird enough to say the least, so you’re having a good time either way. The animation’s modern enough and the music sets the right mood. If there’s one flaw, it’s that sometimes, you’re not sure whether you actually should be rooting for these characters. Some of them come off as being unlikable on occasion. While that should ideally be played up for laughs in a comedy anime, it sometimes is missed out on here. But by no stretch of the imagination does that ruin the show, though, so don’t miss it!
In a world of animals, Retsuko is a mild-mannered, sweet and kind red panda, 25 and single. She works a normal office job and constantly faces the abuse of her ill-tempered boss, the big pig. She aspires to be like Director Gori and Ms Washimi, the leading ladies of the company. Alas, she’s frequently riding solo with little social life, no love life and just a lot of frustration. What’s a red panda to do? But Retsuko has a secret. She vents her frustrations every night by singing death metal karaoke, transforming herself into another creature completely.
Aggretsuko (for short) is quite a unique concept in itself. Comedy anime series usually have the most interesting of plots, but this one stands at the top of the scale for its extremely contradictory nature and hilarious imagery. And for the most part, it lives up to it. Retsuko is, on her own, a pretty likable lead and carries the show herself, along with Gori and Washimi as excellent supporting back-up dancers (you’ll usually see them dancing to metal Retsuko). The other supporting characters could be taken up a notch sometimes and some of the plot points do end up becoming a little cliche. The Sanrio fan service series has some of the highest potential on this list, but isn’t at the complete top. Not just yet. Maybe they’d benefit by making the rock-out scenes a little longer, just a thought. Plus it’s on Netflix!
Musekinin Kanchou Tylor or The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is one show that gets perfectly summed up in a name. Tylor wandered into the military with the intention of not doing too much and ending up with a pension check to call his. However, a stroke of good luck/bad luck leads him to save an admiral and get instated as the captain of a decrepit space cruiser, the Soyokaze. As fate would, of course, have it, Tylor is the one who gets thrown into the forefront of the fight between the United Planets Space Force and the Raalgon Empire.
This show is just as much a military anime as it is a comedy anime. And that’s what makes it so enjoyable, something that’ll appeal to larger audiences. But there’s no denying the hysterics the show might just leave you in. It’s been largely termed to be a ‘humorous space opera’. It’s pretty clear in the name itself that Tylor is the major source of comic relief here. He is clearly incompetent, there is no doubt about that. And yet, somehow, he emerges to be the big hero in all this. And sighing away in the background is his exasperated crew, tired of hauling his ass around. They’re struggling to decide whether accepting Tylor as their new captain is worth defeating the Raalgons or should they just throw him off the ship. Is Tylor a klutz or a saviour? That’s for the viewer to decide!
Satan Jacob and his army of demons are on the verge of taking over the kingdom of Ente Isla. They are stopped, however, by the brave hero Emilia. To escape, Satan and one of his loyal generals Alsiel climb into a portal that transports them to modern-day Japan. As a now powerless human, Satan adopts the new identity of Sadao Maou and finds work at a MgRonald’s (clever). His thirst for power is now limited to climbing to the top of the food chain, and you’ll probably find his adoring co-worker Chiho tagging along with him. But he needs to hurry, because Emilia (now Emi) has followed him to Japan and is right behind him.
The Devil is a Part Timer is really what you call ‘slice of life’ comedy. It’s essentially about the daily lives and struggles of these characters trying to adapt to human life. The main strength of this series lies in the innovative premise and the highly complex lead character himself (although the comedy anime series does try to convince you that he’s all good). The downfall of this show is every character except the four leads, who don’t add too much to the plot. Just seeing Satan and Alsiel struggling to pay rent is hilarious enough. And don’t miss out on the clearly inevitable love triangle between Sadao, Emi and Chiho. This show is slightly predictable but stick around for the ‘devilish’ take on mundane issues.
Azumanga Daioh is about a bunch of high school girls and their lives being, well, high school girls. Chiyo is the 10-year-old child prodigy who struggles to fit in with the rest. Sakaki is the athletic beauty with the unhealthy cat obsession. Kagura is the sporty and competitive athletic-type, a little gung-ho for some maybe. Yomi has a very, very short temper and Tomo is the enthusiastic tomboy that temper is usually unleashed on. Then there’s the darling Osaka, flighty, spacey and proud of it. Together, these girls are trying to maintain friendships, keep up their grades and just get through high school. If it were easy, we’d all do it.
Azumanga Daioh, let’s face it, is not something extremely spectacular. It’s definitely well-written and well-acted and the animation is simplistic but effective. In the realm of the many high school comedy anime shows, it’s nothing groundbreaking. Where it really and truly hits the mark is when it comes to character work. Every single character is worthy of her own fan-club and has a very fleshed-out personality. They have their own attributes that make them appealing a variety of different fanbases. This show lives and dies on the strength, humor, and interplay of its characters. As long as it keeps doing that, it’ll continue to stand-out.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun or Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is the story of Umetarou Nozaki and one his classmates Chiyo Sakura. Sakura finally finds the courage to confess to the deadpan Nozaki that she has a crush on him. He responds by handing her an autograph, mistaking her for a fan. That’s when Sakura discovers that he moonlights as the popular romance manga writer Sakiko Yumeno. She instead becomes his assistant and puts her art skills to good use. She attempts to use this time to get closer to Nozaki while trying to weave her way around their schoolmates and manga helpers, hopefully ending up with something akin to a date at the end of the workday.
Comedy anime series thrive on misunderstandings, and this show clearly seems to build on that. The fact that Nozaki is completely oblivious to Sakura’s feelings for him and keeps her on as his assistant is somewhat cliche but a very dependable plot point for laughs. But it’s the supporting characters, Wakamatsu, Kashima, Seo and Mikoshiba, who sometimes steal the show. The obvious conflict of emotions is constantly present and we as viewers develop a fair idea of what’s about to happen between the two after each encounter. However, because of the wildly different storylines and personalities of the other characters, it keeps things fresh and entertaining. Still, you can’t help but feel more than a little sorry for Sakura. But hey, as long as she and we are happy, who’s complaining?
Clannad focuses on the life of protagonist Tomoya Okazaki, a high school delinquent who is held back from playing baseball and decides to just waste his high school days away. That is until he runs into the chirpy and lovable Nagisa Furukawa, who suddenly assumes that the two are friends. Tomoya decides to help Nagisa fulfill her wish of reviving the school’s drama club before her illness takes over her. On the way, he bumps into quite a few extraordinary girls with their own set of quirks. A high school jock suddenly becoming a drama geek? Now that sounds interesting (and very High School Musical).
Clannad has one of the simplest and most believable stories of an entire lot of comedy anime shows. It has two main strengths: its dysfunctional appeal and the cast of characters. All of them are really quite exaggerated versions of their assigned attributes and they play very well off each other. The particular stand-outs are the lead pair of Tomoya and Nagisa, who share quite the budding romance. Clannad is one show that works extremely well when it comes to balancing the comedy with the occasional drama. In fact, the sequel, Clannad After Story, was almost entirely dramatic and diverted quite a bit from the main series. Either way, though, it’s a wholesome show that has a lot to offer and is a pretty good time at the end of the day.
Misaki Ayuzama is one of the few girls at the recently turned co-ed Seika High. In order to get all the boys in control, she becomes the first female student council president. She’s a star pupil, a heroine to the girls and ‘demon president’ to the boys. However, Takumi Usui, one of the school’s most popular boys, stumbles upon a grave secret of hers – she works at a maid cafe to support her family. Takumi decides to keep her secret, but not without having a little fun. Misaki must navigate Takumi’s mischief, the pitfalls of being a working high school student and the task of whipping her school into shape, all while balancing a tray of coffee.
Most of the comedy anime series on this list are pretty clearly populated with the most inane of plots, so this one feels quite tame in comparison. However, it’s still set up in such a way that it leads to some very comedic scenarios. Misaki is already quite an aspirational protagonist, so seeing her lead a not-so-perfect life is kind of encouraging to viewers. The same goes for Takumi – perfect on the outside, conflicted on the inside. The conflicts and the obvious chemistry between the two characters is already quite the set-up for a sitcom like show. The supporting characters are present, sure, but don’t add to the plot as much as the leads do. Well animated, good soundtrack, all make for a pretty solid outing for Maid Sama.
Haruhi is a bright young student who’s managed to secure a prestigious spot at Ouran High School where only the richest of the rich play. She stumbles on to the Host Club, a group of pretty boys who spend their time pleasing the girls at the academy. After breaking a very expensive vase of theirs, Haruhi becomes their errand boy. ‘Boy’ because she looks quite masculine, is generally pleasing to the ladies and they’ve just assumed that she is one. Now Haruhi, an absolute commoner, needs to mix in with the extravagant lives of the Host Club playboys without arousing suspicion.
Boy (see what I did there?), comedy anime does have a way of taking the most inane of plots and creating pure gold with it. This show is hilarious mostly because of the situational nature of it. The lead character of Haruhi falls into some very weird and odd scenarios, amplified by how ‘perfect’ her surroundings and fellow club members are. Add to that (spoiler alert) the complication of the leader of the club finding out that she’s a girl and falling love with her (spoiler over). And then add to that the fact that she’s trying to attract girls while being a heterosexual girl herself. It’s a confusing mess that’s quite a lot of fun.
Daily Lives of High School Boys revolves around three high school boys (surprise surprise!) named Hidenori, Yoshitake and Tadakuni. Their lives are usually pretty standard and somewhat mundane. But it sure isn’t in their heads. In their imaginations, they’re nothing short of kings living the extraordinary lives one can only dream of. Giant robots, dramatic romantic encounters, riveting fight scenes. What you see as child’s play, they see as the adventure of a lifetime.
Daily Lives of High School Boys, like the comedy anime after it, quite adeptly balances out the mundane with the absurd. The three main characters contrast each other quite nicely and put up a mismatched but oddly complimentary trio. The supporting characters are just as funny and pop in and out to deliver as many laughs as they need to. One of the great things about the show is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and lives in the knowledge that everyone in this universe is kind of a nut. Which is perfect for the audience to believe if it’s there for a good time.
Mio, Yuuko and Mai are three ordinary schoolgirls living three ordinary lives. Until they happen to somehow becomes involved in the lives of genius prodigy Hakase, her robot caretaker Nano and their talking cat Sakamoto. Their lives take quite a few turns here and there and it just keeps getting even more insane as it goes on. It’s not that ordinary anymore. Yet, it still kinda is.
This comedy anime is the perfect example of how you make a contradiction work. You have the three completely normal and unremarkable schoolgirls and then you have three complete oddballs in a child genius, a robot babysitter and a talking cat. This show so perfectly blends the line between absurd and mundane that it’s quite hard to even categorize under…well, anything. At one point, it’s just three girls in a classroom trying to navigate the hardships of social convention. The next moment, a robot goes missing and there’s a little girl and her cat out looking for it. Sure, some might find this show to be a bit slow at times. But it’s somewhat of a thinking man’s show and will really just make you go ‘Wow, really? God, that’s so insane it’s funny.’
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is the story of Kusuo Saiki, your average 16-year-old high schooler, dealing with a crazy family, navigating social relationships and living his everyday life (with bright pink hair, of course). Except, as a psychic, he possesses almost every power imaginable. He can fly, teleport, read minds, has super strength, create fire, teleport objects of equal monetary value, judge relationship points and even talk to animals. Each episode has a collection of shorts that provide an insight into Saiki and his powers and how he’s the one always keeping the world in order. But ultimately, all Saiki wants is to be a normal, unassuming and a rarely noticeable teen.
This comedy anime is my personal favorite from this list because of how mundane yet wacko it is in the same breath. Saiki is easily one of the most overpowered protagonists in anime history (and with people like Goku and Saitama, that’s saying something) and constantly talks about how he hates everyone because he’s better than all of them. And you know what? He’s absolutely right. The show is even made even more hilarious by the bunch of absolute idiots like Nendo, Teruhashi, and Kaido that surround Saiki, whose thoughts he telepathically communicates to us, and the fourth-wall breaking that Saiki does on the regular. As much as he can be a prick, you can’t help but fall in love with Kusuo Saiki, and that’s just one of the draws to this show.
Gintoki Sakata is a former samurai who lives in feudal Japan that has been overtaken the Amanto race of aliens. In order to prevent a samurai uprising, swords have been banned by the Amanto. Gintoki, not knowing how to do much else, starts the ‘prestigious’ organization of Yorozuya. He performs odd jobs for a small fee so that he can buy his favorite milkshakes with his rag-tag group of friends and perhaps help him retreat to a time when he was useful. That is when he isn’t on the run from the police, the aliens or a bunch of other people he’s wronged. Let’s face it, Gintoki’s pretty capable of that.
Gintama is one of the most renowned comedy anime series of all time and has consistently been touted as the best. And for good reason. It’s extremely cleverly written, pretty decently animated and well acted and did I mention cleverly written? It often pulls out a bunch of parodies of pop culture events and moments and is able to get a barrel of laughs out of them quite easily. Plus, its host of characters is pretty entertaining to say the least, considering he roams around with an alien, an ordinary human kid and an over-sized dog (where do we get one?). It makes use of the fourth-wall-breaking technique here and there and is, overall, just a really smart show that’ll quite possibly be one of the funniest things you’ve ever seen.
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