Are You Laughing Yet? – Day 17: Favourite Comedy Anime

Even though I consider them among my favourite comedy anime, I’ll be omitting Dai Mahou Touge and Senyuu because I already mentioned them in a previous post and so I can talk about other anime of the genre that I love and thoroughly enjoyed.

Once again I’ll be keeping things vague here, and moving forward (unless I feel inclined to do otherwise) so I don’t extend these too long, and to leave some things to be discussed in the future. Fair warning, I don’t feel equipped to explain the appeal of comedy shows I like, let alone write reasons for them in one day. So, don’t expect much out of this post.

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Ouran High School Host Club

This show is one delightful thing after another. A lot of fun and amusing moments that make you smile. Many of them gave me surprising turns that just blasted me with good feeling. It may not be the funniest show on the list, but it’s actually got quite a lot of charm going for it. Though I very much enjoyed this one, I am iffy on whether I consider it a favourite of mine. It’s purely on this list as an honourable mention for the goodness it made me feel when I watched it. Even if it doesn’t get many laughs out of me I appreciate it for being its silly, sincere, and sweet self.

The World God Only Knows

Here is a show that charmed the hell out of me. From its amazing opening themes to its hilarious premise executed spectacularly with an awesome protagonist, TWGOK manages to both subvert and stick to its genre trappings and conventions in an excellent fashion. Keima Katsuragi does wonders as the protagonist of a show with a premise that involves saving a harem of women through romancing them like he’s playing a video game. Which just so happens to be what he’s an expert in (among other things). Much of its comedy plays on the harem genre and while it has shown to make clever use of its humour here, it flops in other parts, such as some (or all) of its slapstick comedy. There’s a corniness and gimmicky feel in many situations, but I felt Keima was a strong enough character to reign in the rest of the show. Maybe I don’t like it for the comedy aspects as much as I thought (or maybe I do, I don’t know), but I enjoyed it quite a lot and it is a comedy anime. Regardless, I think this show is awesome and I love it.

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One Punch Man

Beyond the parodic and comedic turns what I find very interesting about One Punch Man and Saitama’s character is the implied pathos of the character. You might think it’d get repetitive and boring to predictably see the titular character beat all of his opponents with ease, but what makes the battles so awesome and hilarious is how they’re framed. A lot of the time they’re made out to seem bigger than they actually are, but this is relative only to Saitama and a few others. Everyone else experiences them as we are made to perceive them.

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Saitama showing up and ending it abruptly doesn’t diminish that, but quite literally acts as a punchline to what in most other shounen battle series should be a more cathartic victory. What makes them hilarious is Saitama’s reactions of boredom, confusion, indifference, and crushing disappointment. As well as the reactions of onlookers such as Genos, gaping in awe at the oceanic difference in power between everyone and Saitama. And of course a lot of the show’s humour can be found in the capriciousness of the show in its art style, going from stylish and badass to childish and crude on the drop of a dime, but times it so well it serves as the perfect cue for the audience to laugh.

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Konosubarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)

For the most part, especially early on in the anime, KonoSuba can be enjoyed as a lighthearted yet dark comedy. It directly parodies other anime of its premise, setting, and genre quite in both blatant and natural ways. But I think the creators were a bit more clever than that. Instead of relying on clichés and references for its humour, KonoSuba is a refreshing character study as much as it is what it’s parodying. A lot more nuance than I initially expected out of it and plenty of moments that add oodles of character under the guise of its unabashed lighthearted, but still dark comedy.

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I find it liberating in its shamelessness. Stakes get really high for the characters involved in the second season. Not to give anything away, but the conceit of these episodes is how the protagonists (along with other characters) serendipitously run into each other and in doing so set up their individual and collective narratives. I shouldn’t say conceit really, since the way this is executed in both their mini-adventures along the journey and the climatic finale doesn’t feel like the probability of these occurrences is low. Rather I commend it for seamlessly flowing each of the characters’ believable actions and reactions together to get to the awesome culmination of it all.

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Sorry for the lame post. Many shows I find absolutely hilarious are missing from this list, but just didn’t feel able to comment on them under such a short time constraint. I want to do them justice and celebrate my love for them. Maybe I’ll revamp this one in the future for a more accurate representation of my favourite comedy anime. We’ll see. I aim to do better after this challenge is over.

~ Ace

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