10 of the Funniest Anime Shows: From 'Nichijou' To 'Gintama' – Collider

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Unwind from a rough day with these laugh-out-loud anime series.
Comedy has always been a crowd favorite, a popular genre that seems to be occasionally overlooked by critics. Comedy has always been able to cement its irreplaceable status by merging with other categories such as romance, action, and adventure. Anime is no exception.
Be it through tried-and-true set-ups and clichés, or jaw-dropping moments that catch audiences off-guard, the versatility of animation acts as a magnifying glass, instantly amplifying the ludicrous jokes whilst gaining gratifying laughter from viewers. These anime series never fail to appease audiences' insatiable appetite for laugh-out-loud moments, no matter if you're watching it by yourself or with a gang of friends.
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Despite running for only a single season spanning over 26 episodes, My Ordinary Life (2011), better known as Nichijou, is truly one-of-a-kind in its delivery of exaggerated slapsticks and semi-random jokes about a semi-normal life.
Clutching the thread that balances between the mundane daily life and the absurdness of the supernatural, the slice-of-life comedy revolves around a group of childhood friends as they interact with various circumstances. For instance, becoming friends with a child genius with her robot caretaker and talking cat, watching the school's vice principal wrestling with a deer, etc.
No 'Top 10 Comedy Anime' list is complete without the inclusion of Gintama (2006-2018), an anime of its own genre and a genre all by itself. While hardcore fans are saddened and simultaneously baffled by the anime's "concluding film" in 2021, newcomers will enjoy this series that has absolutely everything and anything you could expect from an anime.
From gag-humor-filled adventures to will-they-won't-they romances, extraterrestrial aliens that prove to be not as otherworldly when compared with the eccentric samurais defending planet Earth; a lead protagonist with an unhealthy obsession over sugar aided by a female sidekick that has an overwhelming strength and a male sidekick that has an underwhelming presence. Gintama is a complicated anime to introduce to others, but once you start watching it, you'll realize that you'll soon be pulling a few all-nighters.
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What could go wrong in a coming-of-age anime about three childhood friends in an all-boys high school? Well, it's actually the perfect setting for comedy to strike gold, especially when you have main characters comprised of a straight man, a daredevil, and a boy with glasses.
Words like 'boring' and 'predictable' will never be associated with Daily Lives of High School Boys (2012), an imaginative series that mostly observes the three close friends as they make lasting memories of their extraordinary but at the same time, relatable high school events. Aided by fantastic vocal performances from the voice actors, this comedy series is a must-watch for any viewers who fancy a nostalgic trip down memory lane, those treasured school years of making a big deal out of ordinary events.
If you think only high-school boys can offer comic relief, think again when you watch this hysterical portrayal of middle-school girls. Whether it's playing traditional games such as rock-paper-scissors or trying to adapt to a school permeated with strange individuals, Asobi Asobase (2019) embodies female complexity at its finest. It follows closely the members of the Pastime Club as these girls indulge in recreational activities that borderline between harmless pranks and intentions of murder.
With soft pastels and adorable animations, Asobi Asobase is a slice-of-life anime series that will impugn any fan's initial expectations of female-focused comedy anime. Not to mention its commitment to providing countless meme-worthy faces.
For audiences who are tired of toiling in a concrete jungle, Grand Blue (2018) is a perfect getaway comedy series to rest your mind and relax your jaw muscles.
When college freshman Iori Kitahara arrives at the remote Izu Peninsula, his monotonous lifestyle is quickly lopsided the moment he meets the local Diving Club, a bunch of merry upperclassmen preoccupied with partying and drinking every day, not to mention all in their birthday suits. With more man service than fan service, the adult comedy show encourages viewers to make the best out of their limited university years by being open-minded, even if it means putting up with over-the-top shenanigans condoned by naked seniors.
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Soichi Negishi has big dreams like anyone on this planet, and his dream is to become a successful indie pop musician. Success is something he has already achieved at his young age, however, it is his alter ego Johannes Krauser II, the feared and revered lead singer of blackened death metal band Detroit Metal City, that is garnering attention.
In this musical comedy, Soichi can be seen constantly struggling between writing mellow pop tunes for his potential love interest during the day whilst biting off bats' heads and engaging in BDSM acts at night. Will the shy boy with great aspirations be audacious enough to follow his passion or wallow in the underground music scene that has promised him glory?
Another all-girls high school-focused comedy series to make the list, Azumanga Daioh (2002) also focuses on the idiosyncrasies of its characters' personalities varying between inane teachers with an extremely competitive spirit and a lovable group of students whose roller-coaster lives are both surreal and chucklesome.
Whilst similar shows like Nichijou push their surrealism over the limit resulting in absurd situations, Azumanga Daioh is comparatively more relatable, instead offering more heartwarming and realistic moments that hit more at home without excusing a cordial sense of humor.
Everyone dreams of owning superpowers at one point in their lives, but high school student Kusuo Saiki begs to differ when it comes to viewing superpowers as a blessing. On the contrary, Kusuo sees owning supernatural abilities as a major hassle hindering him from leading a mundane life.
Born with a range of psychic abilities like X-ray vision and telepathy, Kusuo refrains from using his superpowers in normal situations but always seems to attract peculiar individuals becoming his allies, such as a simple-minded delinquent, a delusional teen who thinks he is gifted with grandiose powers to name a few. This light-hearted comedy show with a 4-minute runtime for each episode is ideal for anyone aiming for a few laughs during a short break.
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Brimming with double entenders and ecchi fan-service visuals, Prison School (2015) does not hold back when it comes to highlighting the outrageousness of five high-school boys enrolled in a prestigious all-girls boarding school.
With an outstanding ratio of 200 girls to one boy, the male protagonists may think they are in heaven, yet their fantasies are immediately shattered when they are caught by the Underground Student Council whilst engaging in voyeurism. The boys are thrown into and incarcerated in the school's prison block initially for a month as punishment, yet the sentence keeps getting extended for their niche crimes and newfound predilection towards masochism, exacted by the attractive prison guards.
If your mode of transportation to school is either by the school bus or your parent's car, then follow first-year high school girl Chio Miyamo as she demonstrates the good, the bad, and the uncanny of walking to school.
As an average first-year student who likes playing violent video games every night before hitting the sack, Chio has to resort to miscellaneous backup plans to reach her school premises in time. Every day, her unique adventures lead her to create new bonds with classmates, and humiliating situations with strangers whilst trapped in an ambiguous relationship with a biker gang leader who is convinced that she is a legendary assassin nicknamed Bloody Butterfly.
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A recent Monash University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Communication and a Specialisation in Film Studies. She’s fresh freelance writer with a passion for international cinema. Her favorite directors are, but definitely not limited to, Martin Scorsese, Wong Kar-Wai, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Juzo Itami. When she’s not busy writing or daydreaming, Jia Yee Bridgette enjoys spending her free time watching whatever films she could rummage up, listening to songs mostly released in the pre-2010s era and the ocassional indulgence in the act of beer-drinking. Follow her on Letterboxd for personal reflections and rants: https://boxd.it/1PrwF.
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