Finding an anime that makes you laugh can be difficult for some. It was for me – I’ve seen nearly 800 anime, and I don’t find most of them funny.
However, for whatever reason, quite a few managed to make an impression on me. Even if you could believe it, receive a chuckle from me.
Today we’ll be looking at 21 different comedy anime, estranging some of the more obvious to highlight obscure works you may have missed.
We’ve got awkward comedy, witty comedy, slapstick comedy, absurd comedy, dark comedy, and wholesome comedy! That’s a lot of comedy – so I’ve tried to include a few that blends it with other genres for variety’s sake. Let’s get into this!
- Best Comedy Anime
- 21. No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!
- 20. Bakemonogatari
- 19. FLCL
- 18. NANA
- 17. Kill la Kill
- 16. Prison School
- 15. Welcome to the NHK
- 14. One Punch Man
- 13. Samurai Champloo
- 12. The Tatami Galaxy
- 11. Barakamon
- 10. Dorohedoro
- 9. Space Dandy
- 8. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- 7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- 6. Toradora!
- 5. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
- 4. Hinamatsuri
- 3. Mob Psycho 100
- 2. Aggretsuko
- 1. Kaguya: Love is War
Best Comedy Anime
21. No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!
No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! is about an introverted student who prefers to project their problems onto everyone else as opposed to solving them herself.
We follow Tomoko as she bumbles and fails her way through life, embarrassing herself and anybody she is in every situation she encounters.
This is for fans of cringe or awkward humor, as every episode has at least one moment that internally sends me to the Shadow Realm. But for whatever reason, I love that kind of humor, even if it is nearly unbearable.
KoyomiAraragi is a half-vampire who helps his friends with supernatural abnormalities, encountering weird and peculiar characters across a large and beautifully produced series.
What makes Nisioisin’s franchise so interesting is the witty dialogue, made even more entertaining due to Studio Shaft’s incredible adaptation.
Most of the comedy from Monogatari comes from the aforementioned dialogue and characters, throwing non-sequiturs, puns, and one-liners out in a regular but diegetic way.
It’s a lot for anyone new to anime, though, both in content and the speed of discussion, so I’d hold off on this one for a bit.
FLCL gained a reputation for its concise run-length (6-episodes not including the unnecessary and belated sequels) featuring an eclectic coming-of-age narrative wrapped up in the absurdity later followed by series like TengenToppaGurrenLagann.
It’s got an amazing soundtrack and subtextual story following a cast of complex and beloved characters.
The crazy levels of escalation are what make FLCL so exciting and funny to watch, making it almost impossible to guess what’s going to happen next yet somehow always making sense.
Nana is the story of two women – Nana and Nana – who meet on a train en route for Tokyo to restart their lives. The two become connected, friendship groups merging into one another and problems shared.
It’s a harrowing, tragic melodrama that might leave you in tears – but between those crying moments are some of the most lovable characters genuinely being funny.
It’s got great running jokes and cutaways, never obtruding on the narrative and instead always fleshing out the characters with its comedy. This is a tough and sad watch, but it still made me laugh harder than most anime at times!
17. Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill is unmistakably Studio Trigger, showing they were willing to take over when Studio Gainax failed to ensure we get absurd high-stakes action coated in comedy and fluid animation.
This one features RyuukoMatoi, a delinquent teenager who is looking for the murderer of her father.
In her search, she discovers Honnouji Academy, run by the elusive but powerful Satsuki Kiryuuin.
It’s got tons of supporting characters capable of bouncing off one another and the more serious protagonists and antagonists, always willing to deflate the tension with slapstick and one-liners that’ll leave you with a grin.
Even in the most epic, dynamic of moments, there’s a joke snuck in that feels completely in place.
16. Prison School
Prison School is as funny as it is suspenseful. Set in an all-girls high school where a small group of boys has been given the opportunity to study, things go really wrong really quick.
After they are caught leering in the middle of the night, they are sent to the on-campus prison and given humiliating, demoralizing, and inhumane tasks to perform to earn their freedom.
This is a very raunchy comedy, so don’t watch this with your mother.
It’s an absurd, ecchi mind game anime with a crass yet somehow entertaining and tense plot from episode to episode. For fans of things like The Inbetweeners or Shameless, really.
15. Welcome to the NHK
Years after dropping out of university, suffering from substance abuse, hallucinations, and introversion, Tatsuhiro is approached by a strange girl who seems hell-bent on fixing his life.
He’s resilient and untrustworthy at first, unsure if he can trust her and be skeptical of her true ulterior ambitions. He doesn’t realize that she’s just as confused and in need of help as he is.
I like about Welcoming the NHK! Its eccentric and unique approach towards mental illness and loneliness remains consistently morbid and
hilarious to off-center the tragic and darker moment. Through and through, it’s an under-watched hit with a shoddy but somehow appropriate art style and scant animation.
It’s dialogue and character-heavy, but at least it’s all interesting!
14. One Punch Man
One-Punch Man is one of those rare anime that transcends cultural barriers and manages to appeal to near-enough everyone.
Even my big brother watched it while it was airing, and he can’t differentiate a cartoon from an anime.
It’s got amazing animation and art (particularly the first season) with some truly brilliant sound work, all relying on its central gimmick: Saitama is a man who can defeat anyone and anything with a single punch.
Somehow, it remains consistently entertaining and surprising, with a rich cast of interesting and well-designed characters all bringing their own unique personalities.
It’s filled with jokes from beginning to end and manages to avoid the repetitiveness that could come with that.
13. Samurai Champloo
When two samurai, Mugen, and Jin, accidentally destroy the waitress Fuu’s workplace, she manages to excuse them.
But in return, they must act as her bodyguards in the search for a samurai that smells of sunflowers.
This is one of Shinichiro Watanabe’s best works, effortlessly blending Hip-Hop and samurai narrative whilst retaining the charismatic charm Cowboy Bebop is known for.
This includes the comedy, with the well-defined protagonists all entirely different and incredibly able to play off one another.
It’s quickly interspersed among more serious and dynamic moments, always catching the watcher off guard.
12. The Tatami Galaxy
Masaaki Yuasa has one of the zaniest directorial styles out there, blending realistic or somber narratives with wacky animation and lovable comedic elements.
The Tatami Galaxy is one such work, and possibly his magnum opus, telling a story about living in the moment.
It follows Watashi, a loner who’s graduating university when he’s given the opportunity to go back to his first day and try again.
Every episode tackles a new topic tied to the carpe diem motif, whether that beromance or sports, and manages to inject both sentimentality and comedy with ease.
I recommend this to any adult, honestly, anybody over the age of 16, as it’ll stick with you.
Seishuu is a struggling artist who, after hearing a critic call his work derivative, attacks him and is sent to an island for self-reflection and artistic growth.
There, he encounters the locals – young and elderly – who help him to understand himself through social connection.
It’s dramatic and simply wonderful, with a wholesome and comedic backbone holding the entire production together.
I recommend this to anyone interested in a relaxing slice of life with a touching core message.
Dorohedoro has the art style of Akira and the animation of Beastars, more or less.
It’s a CGI horror action comedy set in the squalor known as Hole, a dirty and gritty locale filled with eccentric humans and magic wielders alike.
We follow Kaiman, a crocodile-headed man with amnesia on the hunt for the man who made him the way he is.
It’s disturbingly funny, featuring all types of comedy across a vicious and dark backdrop with some truly sick yet hilarious jokes.
I can’t wait for season two; there’s not much out there like Dorohedoro.
9. Space Dandy
In case you didn’t know, Space Dandy is a dandy guy in space! Drawing from Western influences, the two seasons of the series are very different beasts.
The first is a space adventure romp, with an episodic storyline set atop an undercurrent narrative. However, the second season is something special.
It keeps that main narrative but leans into the episodic nature more by having different directors and animators for every episode.
It’s exciting, fresh, irreverent, soulful, and resoundingly funny fun—Watanabe’s funniest work by far.
8. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
I don’t think there’s a piece of media that goes to the extremes as much as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does.
It’s bombastic and over the top in every conceivable way, providing an entertaining mecha about doing the impossible.
It’s constantly funny and zany at every turn, from character art to the eccentric and weird scenarios that occur.
But it still has an incredible heart and soul to it, being as inspirational as it is hilarious.
7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s an action, adventure, horror, fantasy, shounen, seinen, and more.
But definitely comedy from the very beginning; there’s a reason why so many memes have come from this series. It’s utterly insane.
Let’s go through a basic synopsis of each part for clarities sake:
In Victorian England, we follow a buff aristocrat fighting to end his adopted vampire brother.
In New York and elsewhere, we follow a delinquent con-man and his battles against an ancient sun-fearing race of superior beings set across the backdrop of World War II.
In Japan all the way to Egypt, we follow a group of men and their pursuit of the immortal Vampire from the first part.
In Japan, again, we follow a group of students and their hunting of a hand-fetishizing serial killer.
In Naples, we follow a gang and their goals to topple the Italian Mafioso. In Florida, we follow a woman sent to prison for a crime she didn’t commit and dragged into a world-changing plot pioneered by the warden.
In America, towards the end of the 1800s, we follow a paraplegic jockey in a horse race scavenger hunt for the corpse parts of Jesus Christ.
And in the most recent part, we follow a man spliced together out of two other men, forced to defend his new life from rock humans. It’s crazy stuff.
Taiga and Ryuuji initially don’t get on, the former being a fiery girl and the latter a calm boy, but form an uneasy agreement to help one another with getting with the other’s best friend.
However, as the plot progresses, their reliance grows, and they find they might feel a bit different. It’s a sweet teenage romance with a simple plot development yet tons of charm.
Toradora! It is a well-rounded and satisfyingly complete romantic drama with some of the most wholesome and unexpected humor around.
Every character is rounded and complex yet strong enough to fire off one-liners or double entendres in a way that feels natural for the characters.
5. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Another Studio Science Saru production, Eizouken, is a beautiful love letter to the production of anime and all the creative details that entail.
It features three girls – the imaginative background designer, creative character and plot designer, and the brains of the group – as they attempt to establish an anime club in their school.
It’s not only wonderful to watch for the narrative and characterization, but for the wacky gags scattered throughout every episode. Eizouken is a terrifically imaginative show for anyone of any age!
I was not expecting Hinamatsuri to be as good as it is. It’s a funny as hell comedy-drama about a Yakuza member, Yoshifumi Nitta, who has a blue-haired alien girl drop into his house one day.
After realizing she has telekinetic abilities, he adopts her and decides to use her for her powers in his job.
However, he comes to care for her and other characters that appear throughout the show. It’s a heart-warming yet hilarious romp through the absurd and stupid, and I recommend it to anyone!
3. Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 is so damn good. It’s got some of the best sakuga in the entire business, amazing music, and a wholesome yet hopeful plot that left me as inspired as I was grinning.
There’s something so inherently lovable about ONE’s work, but Mob Psycho 100 is his best, in my opinion.
It manages to increase the stakes to One Punch Man levels while retaining a large cast that’s not too overpowered and never stops being entertaining and surprising.
But one of the best parts of this show is the comedy; consistently funny and character-building gags all interwoven naturally into the plot.
Come on, Studio Bones – give us a third season!
I don’t think a single person was expecting Aggressive Retsuko to be the show it is. We were expecting Hello Kitty or Gudetama and received something way, way better.
It tells the story of Retsuko, an office-working red panda who uses heavy metal karaoke to unwind from the coworkers and bosses she needs to deal with on a daily basis.
It touches on topics of feminism, deindividuation, bureaucratic unfairness, and more without being too pandering.
The third season also went to dark and somber directions that blew me away. And best of all: it’s a funny show!
It’s not the most amazing anime in the world, but with a short but consistent narrative across a 15-minute episode run time, Aggretsuko is definitely worth a watch to see if it’s for you.
1. Kaguya: Love is War
Kaguya: Love is War is a weird show that managed to leap into the charts upon release, so I decided to check it out. And I’m really glad I did!
While it’s not narratively incredible and has a methodically slow pace, Kaguya is one of the funniest and most entertaining shows out there.
It’s a story about two people – Miyuki and Kaguya – who are top of the school and have garnered everyone’s respect and love.
They adore each other but refuse to admit it first. This show chronicles the Death Note-Esque battle of wits that comes from their manipulative efforts in an immature yet heartfelt show that never drops in quality or production.
I hope the third season is even better because it’s building to something really sweet!
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