The Best Comedy Anime, Ranked
Somebody—anybody—PLEASE make me laugh.
The planet is exploding. Ron DeSantis exists. I was considering adding a third thing, but no, those two are enough to fuel my woes. The world is a dark, scary, brutal place. And sometimes we all just need a really good laugh to keep us from spiraling into existential dread.
So that’s why I’m coming up with a list of the absolute best comedy anime that will make you laugh until you cry! Then keep crying. Then start punching holes in the drywall, wailing, “Why, God, why?”
Let’s get started!
This show is Torador-able. It’s about a boy named Ryūji Takasu who has a particularly scary face, and a fiery girl named Taiga Aisaka who will cut you as soon as look at you. And guess what? They’re perfect for one another. The only issue is, they don’t know it yet. They are each in love with the other’s best friend, and so they strike up an alliance to woo their respective crushes. As they spend more time together, their romantic feelings towards each other begin to bubble up! Toradora will make you laugh and maybe even shed a happy tear or two.
6. The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! begins in a parallel dimension, where the forces of heaven battle Satan and his demonic hordes. Satan, on the edge of defeat, tears open a portal to another world in a desperate attempt to escape. And that world is JAPAN! Satan soon realizes that his demonic appearance isn’t gonna do him any favors, so he takes the form of a high school boy. But what’s he gonna do with all his time? How’s he gonna pay rent? With a part-time job! Using the goofy pseudonym “Sadao Maou,” Satan gets a part-time job at a McDonald’s clone. He makes friends with his coworkers and attempts to lay low, but little does he know that the forces of good have traveled to Japan as well—and they’re hunting him down.
5. Mob Psycho 100
From the makers of One Punch Man comes this comedy gem. Mob Psycho 100 is about a young boy named Mob who is the world’s most powerful psychic. The only problem is that he lacks the confidence in himself to do anything about it! He begins to work as an “apprentice” to fake psychic and professional con-man Reigen Arataka, and helps his “mentor” exorcise evils spirits. Everything changes when a mysterious organization wants to capture Mob and use his abilities to further their nefarious goals. Mob Psycho 100 has the slapstick-meets-deadpan comedy of One Punch Man, but with a twist!
4. The Way of the Househusband
The Way of the Househusband centers on Tatsu, a once-feared Yakuza member known as the “Immortal Dragon” who has renounced his criminal ways and married a career woman named Miku. So what does he do with all of his time? He makes sure he’s the best damn househusband the world has ever seen. This man is Martha Stewart with a chest tattoo. He’s a gifted homemaker, but he often gets into misunderstandings with his neighbors due to his terrifying demeanor. He also has to avoid his old yakuza employers so he doesn’t get roped back into the biz. He’s much better off making five-star meals from scratch and chasing his cat around.
3. Ouran High School Host Club
A reverse harem anime with a non-binary protagonist? Yes. Yes, I do believe I’ll take 20. Ouran High School Host Club follows Haruhi Fujioka, a high-schooler whose exceptional test scores allow her to join the prestigious Ouran Academy, home of rich and beautiful teens. The most rich and beautiful of all are a group of boys who have decided to form a Host Club in order to titillate the school’s female population (and make a ton of money in the process). When Haruhi accidentally breaks an expensive vase belonging to the Host Club, the boys decide that she can pay off her debt by joining the club and working as a host. Haruhi’s androgynous appearance allows her to pass as a handsome anime boy, and she soon becomes one of the club’s most thirsted-after members. Hell, half the club itself is in love with her! The boys of the Host Club learn to navigate their burning passions for their classmate, and Haruhi eventually realizes that some feelings may be mutual.
2. One Punch Man
One Punch Man is about a man named Saitama who trained so hard that he can defeat ANY OPPONENT with ONE PUNCH. How did he achieve such a feat? He did 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and ran 10km every day for three years. And now he is able to turn Godzilla-sized monsters into goo with his furious fist. Except his fists really aren’t all that furious anymore. They’re more like … bored? Saitama achieved what every shonen protagonist dreams of, becoming the most powerful fighter in the world. But now that he has it? He’s depressed. Nothing is a challenge for him. He has nothing to work towards anymore. So he just spends all day playing video games and punching the odd monster out of obligation. It’s one of the funniest and most creatively subversive anime ever made.
Gintama takes place in an alternate version of Edo-period Japan, where freaky aliens have taken over the nation. How is former samurai Gintoki Sakata supposed to cope? By working for them, of course! Gintoki is now a freelancer, doing all sorts of odd jobs for the aliens. Like what? Battling space pirates. Participating in game shows. Running a barber shop. The kind of work that space aliens would pay you to do. Gintama does occasionally have its serious notes, and explores themes like love, loss, and loyalty. If you’re looking for an anime that will have you rolling on the floor and then kick you in the feels while you’re down, you’ve come to the right place.
(featured Image: J.C. Staff)
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