One way in which anime has made its mark from its animated peers is the wealth of unique genres that are specific to the medium. Anime never has a shortage of comedy series, but these silly shows often push boundaries more than the medium’s other genres. Comedy is subjective material that often splits its audience, and there’s a lot of pressure for the first episode of a comedy anime to successfully stick the landing.
Some comedy anime series have played-out plotlines, yet they’re still able to transform tired ideas into comedic gold. It is thanks to these series that the industry continues to prove its extreme versatility as a medium of storytelling.
10 Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo Is A Long Tribute To Endless Nonsense
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that an anime that’s titled Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The ridiculous parody pokes fun at battle-shonen series with a post-apocalyptic world that finds itself follicly challenged and with a bold nose-hair-empowered individual as its greatest savior.
It initially seems like the anime’s ode to non-sequitur nonsense will quickly grow thin, but Bobobo figures out how to properly maintain this zany energy across more than 75 episodes. The odd cast of characters and the unusual running jokes that Bobobo embraces make it a one-of-a-kind experience.
9 Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Is An Exploration Of The Human Condition
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto is 13 episodes of a perpetual perfectionist excelling in every area that he sets his sights on. This basic idea shouldn't work nearly as well as it does, but every execution of the same core premise results in comedic gold.
Sakamoto wisely doesn't wear out its welcome, and it even goes out on an unnecessary twist that makes the series' story work even better. Despite the one-note premise, it's hard to imagine someone watching the anime's pitch-perfect opening theme song and not being immediately on board with what this anime is selling.
8 Shimoneta Proves That It’s Far More Than Lewd Laughs
Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist doesn’t leave anything up to the imagination, and its overly long title perfectly sets up the hormonal humor of this 12-episode comedy.
Lewd humor can be hit or miss, so there’s understandable trepidation when going into an entire series that doubles down on it as a way to liberate its ultra-repressed society. However, Shimoneta is an encouraging blend of both the humorous and the heartwarming, and there’s an important message beneath the vigilantes that fight for free speech.
7 KonoSuba Gives Playful Comedy The Isekai Treatment
The isekai genre has found unprecedented popularity across the past decade, and it's led to a number of inventive spins on the concept. KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! neatly fits into the isekai genre, but it's just as much a comedy series that pokes fun at the well-trodden territory's clunky tropes.
Sato, a mild-mannered boy, wakes up in a fantasy world following his death, and he's suddenly the center of attention of a group of magically-gifted girls. A satisfying adventure slowly transpires in KonoSuba, but both its comedy and isekai are slightly above average even though it all looks fairly generic.
6 The Ping Pong Club Leaves Its Audience With More Than Lewd Laughs
The Ping Pong Club is a crude, no-frills 26-episode anime from the 1990s that’s largely slipped through the cracks due to it not receiving a modern remaster. The comedy looks at a group of social outcasts who try to use the school’s recreational ping pong club as a way to get the attention of the opposite sex.
The juvenile gags and one-dimensional characters may cause some audiences to write the series off, but the show’s heightened humor helps it stand out, especially during the ‘90s.
5 Pop Team Epic Is Unpredictable Parody That Makes Its Audience Part Of The Joke
Pop Team Epic is a chaotic burst of comedy that’s either going to turn into the audience’s newest obsession or completely confuse them. The fast-paced series delivers sketch comedy at a frenzied and unrelenting pace. This allows Pop Team Epic to jump between ideas without worrying about structure or proper transitions.
Pop Team Epic is one of the few modern anime series that feels like it actively trolls the audience. The absurdist series might seem needlessly random, but there’s a mature undertone that makes sense of this mayhem.
4 The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K Follows The Most Perturbed Psychic
Some of the most fascinating figures in anime are those who are imbued with amazing psychic powers. These abilities can be a serious advantage on the battlefield, but The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. focuses on an esper who uses his powers to actively stay out of the spotlight.
Saiki Kusou wants a quiet life of solitude where he’s not disturbed by the inane interruptions of daily life. Saiki’s psychic scenarios frequently get out of hand and their distillation into short several-minute-long chunks presents the extreme comedy in an easily digestible package.
3 Asobi Asobase Celebrates The Unique Beauty Of The Mundane
So many anime series use a school as their setting that it's often hard for these programs to separate themselves from the pack. Like many series before it, Asobi Asobase follows a group of precocious girls who bond through an unusual recreational club. Hanako, Olivia, and Kasumi form the Pastimers Club and get involved in all sorts of zany activities.
There's a casual slice-of-life component to all of this that might make Asobi Asobase feel somewhat disposable. The storytelling stakes are admittedly low, but the comedy is the anime's secret weapon, and each episode is absolutely packed with laughs.
2 Cromartie High School Turns The Learning Experience Into An Exercise In Absurdity
A common plot point for many anime series involves a rough-around-the-edges teenager who gets sent to an educational institution for juvenile delinquents in an attempt to cure them of their rebellious ways. Cromartie High School has an extremely dry tone, but it's absolutely in favor of mocking these self-serious tropes.
Takashi Kamiyama's indoctrination into Cromartie High exposes him to unusual students, including a robot, and he finds himself to be the most normal individual at the school. It’s also the only anime where Freddie Mercury is just casually, inexplicably part of the school’s student body.
1 Space Dandy’s Galactic Adventures Contain Surprising Scope And Depth
Some anime series are brilliant exercises in misdirection that require a few episodes to properly determine their scope and aim. Space Dandy begins like a comedic rip-off of Cowboy Bebop, right down to how both space-hopping bounty hunter series come from Shinichiro Watanabe.
Space Dandy’s titular protagonist, Dandy, is a slacker who comes across like any other generic underdog. Space Dandy slowly reveals itself to be a brilliant deconstruction of genre, form, and so much more. These episodic galactic adventures are fun in the moment, but the greater picture that they paint elevates this silly space opera into mandatory viewing.
NEXT: 10 Best Comedy Anime That Need A New Season