While I pretty much watch any anime under the blue sky as long as it has a good storyline, I usually steer clear from watching comedy anime shows. Sure, there are some comedy anime shows that are worth my time watching it, but for most of them, they’re not worth it.
The reason? These so-called comedy anime don’t even make me laugh!
The Answerman corner on ANN once again has caught my attention about this person who complained that the comedy anime didn’t even make him laugh. He was asking Justin why he didn’t find comedy anime funny. You can read the question and Justin’s answer to this question here if you’d like to find out more.
Am I on the same page with Justin?
I do agree with what Justin said in response to this question. When it comes to humor, it’s more like a personal thing. What makes you laugh won’t necessary make other people laugh. That’s the reason why making people laugh can be tricky only because of this personal preference.
Heck, even Justin also thinks that the comedy anime shows don’t even make him laugh too.
Maybe there are people out there who find comedy anime shows are funny enough for them. At the end of the day, it’s all about preferences. Sometimes, it makes me think why this person even bothers to ask this question since it’s all about preferences and everybody has a different taste when it comes to humor.
What makes humor in anime and manga memorable
Justin did mention that the comedy in most Japanese movies and TV shows are usually the broad and slapstick type. The slapstick kind of comedy may no longer fashionable in Western comedy circles. But as far as making people laugh, the slapstick type is the easiest to pull off if you want to make people laugh.
The reason for that is simple: you don’t need a rocket science to figure out what the jokes are all about.
The surprising part is, the non-comedy anime shows are pulling the slapstick jokes much better than the comedy anime. Here are the joke elements which I’ve found in most anime and manga regardless of the genre:
- Jokes based on what the character says: I’m not referring to puns here because the non-comedy anime don’t use this much. When it comes to what the character says, it’s the thing that the character says that will make him or her just sound plain stupid. This kind of joke styles is usually used when the main character is the idiot type like Sawamura Eijun from Ace of Diamond.
- Jokes based on the facial expressions: I’m pretty sure you’ve seen these sort of jokes in any anime and manga, even the dead serious one. Whenever the idiot character says something that sounds plain stupid, the response is usually followed with the funny-looking expression. Even they will also make the angry and the annoying expressions look funny just to trigger you to laugh at it.
- Jokes based on the action taken in that situation: Well, the klutz type of characters usually pull this sort of jokes, but in most cases, even the normal-looking character can pull this off too most of the times. I remember this one scene in Yowamushi Pedal where Naruko and Onoda are chasing a man in his car with their bikes. Naruko wants Onoda to seek revenge by throwing the man’s cigarette back to his car and never underestimate that bikes can be as fast as cars too. Since they’re going to be in high speed, it’s dangerous for Onoda to chase him without a helmet. So, Naruko is fast enough to grab a safety helmet and wants him to wear it while chasing the man. The thought of seeing Onoda with a safety helmet is enough to crack me up.
For me, the comedy anime shows are trying too hard to make people laugh. As a result, the slapstick jokes end up being too cliche.
While non-comedy anime shows can also pull cliche slapstick jokes, we tend to let it go simply because that’s not the focus of the anime. Even if you don’t laugh at the jokes, they won’t feel offended.
As an author, I also have a difficulty to pull off jokes in my book and I won’t deny that I’m not even good at all. After all, it’s not easy to convey jokes with just words alone without any kind of graphical reference. So, if you find my jokes sound lame to you, please forgive me.
Even though I don’t like to include jokes in my book, I think it doesn’t hurt to do it once in awhile. If some dead serious anime can include jokes in between, maybe I should try to do that as well. But then again, that’s just a possibility. If it sounds awful, I just cut it out from the original manuscript.
What anime to watch instead
If you’re like me who finds that the comedy anime shows don’t rock your boat, I suggest that you give sports anime a try. The reason why I’m suggesting sports anime is because the jokes are simple and most importantly, they don’t try too hard to make some part of the story funny.
I’ve also written a blog post about what sports anime and manga that I love, so you can read that post to find out my sports anime recommendation and why I love sports anime and manga.
My comedy anime shows recommendations
Even though most comedy anime shows don’t even make me laugh, there are some anime that are hitting me hard with their jokes. It’s not that many, but I hope it can help you to identify the comedy anime shows that are worth your time.
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei: This is the anime which discusses social problems in Japan in a funny and hilarious way. That may seem serious because this is social problems we’re talking about here. But hey, this is how you bring the social problems to your attention in an entertaining manner.
- Osomatsu-san: There’s a reason why they’re reviving the comedy anime from the 60s. It’s because people, whether they’re otaku or not, love the show. The comedies in this anime itself aren’t over the top and they’re not even cliche at all. Not to mention, the anime itself will have a second season coming in January next year. That’s saying something.
- One-Punch Man: I’m not into superhero trope, but it does make me laugh in every episode. At least this anime does have a storyline even though it classifies as a comedy anime.
Just like I’ve mentioned before, I do enjoy watching anime regardless of the genre. That is as long as it has a good storyline. But the problem is, the comedy anime shows don’t even have a good storyline. That makes sense why the comedy anime shows aren’t my thing.
If you want the comedy aspects, you’re better off with watching non-comedy anime. At least you do get a few laughs here and there, even though it’s not that much.