Ah, comedy. It’s one of the most subjective genres out there, and that fact comes as no surprise when you consider the wide range of comedy sub-genres to choose from. Slapstick, dark, prop, sitcom, deadpan, cringe, satire — the list goes on, and that variety is more than represented by the many anime comedies from Anime Network.
While we can’t guarantee your life will turn into an anime comedy if you watch the following shows (our 3D faces can’t quite manage the exaggerated expressions of our favorite 2D characters, after all), it’s safe to say that you’ll still burst a seam laughing after you pull up a chair and settle in to watch one of these hysterical series.
“Himouto! Umaru-chan” – TV-14
If your sense of humor favors the unexpected, you’ll love “Himouto! Umaru-chan,” because once the titular Umaru gets home from school, she sheds her reserved and gorgeous “outside face” in favor of her polar-opposite “inside face.” Umaru is a bit of a social chameleon: She’s renowned for her manners and grace at school, but once she gets home, she turns into a total slob with an infamous love for video games, cola and snacks. Her brother, Taihei, spends the series trying to rehabilitate Umaru’s brattiness and epic laziness by any means necessary — but while the results are absolutely hilarious, things never turn out quite the way Taihei plans.
Maybe you have a slob-tastic sibling at home and can relate to this title on a personal level (or get a feeling of schadenfreude by watching Taihei’s struggle; we won’t judge). Whatever your sibling situation, this show has two entire seasons for maximum binge-ability, and that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
“Love Lab” – TV-14
In “Love Lab,” Riko (along with the rest of her class) can’t help but admire the calm and collected Maki, her student body president and the envy of every girl in school — but Riko makes a dark discovery when she accidentally finds Maki making out with a body pillow! Turns out, Maki isn’t quite as composed as people realize, and it soon falls on a reluctant Riko to give Maki some guidance on the whole “love” thing. We’re betting most of us didn’t practice hand-holding with our high school class presidents, but even if you can’t quite relate to Riko’s predicament, we think you’ll still get a kick out of watching the awkwardly uproarious love lessons on “Love Lab.”
“Mitsuboshi Colors” – TV-14
If you were ever a carefree kid with an overactive imagination, you’ll love the antics of Yui, Sat-chan and Kotoha in “Mitsuboshi Colors.” This trio of girls are on a mission to protect their town and have a good time doing it as they play games, solve puzzles and outsmart the adults trying to keep them in check. Sometimes reality gets in the way of their big ideas, but it’s nothing The Colors can’t handle with their trademark good humor and cheer. We’re sure you’ll be drawn in by their charming antics … especially when said antics involve a vintage grenade launcher (and poop jokes!). Seriously. The Colors are as unpredictable as the weather, even if they’re as cheery as a warm spring day.
“Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun” – TV-14
Pining for humor with a tinge of romance? Then you’ll definitely fall for “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun”! Chiyo is in love with her high school classmate, Nozaki, but when she tries to confess her feelings to him, a misunderstanding leads to Chiyo becoming Nozaki’s assistant! It turns out Nozaki is an uber-popular manga writer with tight deadlines, and he needs all the help he can get from Chiyo (plus more of their wacky classmates) to turn his manuscripts in on time. Nozaki also has a tendency to base his characters on his real-life friends, which means he spends a good deal of time manipulating them into various harebrained situations for the sake of “research,” with hilarious results.
“Pop Team Epic” – TV-14
Describing “Pop Team Epic” is … difficult. Not because it isn’t hilarious, but because each and every episode is a masterclass in absurdist comedy that makes zero effort to rein itself in or adhere to comedic convention. The series follows Popuko and Pipimi through a series of comedic shorts that spoof popular anime and games (or even entire genres of them), subverting expectations at every turn. Their meme-packed shenanigans are an absolutely chaotic laugh-riot, and those of you who love spontaneity and an unpredictable format will be rolling on the ground before the first episode even ends.
“Strawberry Marshmallow” – TV-14
Got a comedy sweet tooth and need your fix of all things adorable? Look no further than “Strawberry Marshmallow,” an endearing slice-of-life comedy about 20-year-old university student Nobue Itoh, her little sister Chika and all of Chika’s cute-as-a-button friends. Although their friendships are full of misadventures, there are laughs aplenty as Chika and her charming pals go about their daily lives. And when they make a new friend in a transfer student from England, the cuteness (and the laughs) only multiply!
“Tada Never Falls in Love” – TV-14
It’s a tale as old as time: Boy meets girl, girl joins his photography club, and then they run around trying to take pictures of their classmates while the girl’s best friend impersonates a ninja and does her best to interfere in their burgeoning romance. We swear that sentence makes more sense in the context of “Tada Never Falls in Love,” a romantic comedy that gives us a serious case of the giggles.
The series follows Tada as he gets to know bubbly transfer student Teresa Wagner and experiences the (often humorous) pains of first love. If you like comedy that has more to say than just jokes, you’ll enjoy this series’ frequent forays into the concepts of grief, duty and unrequited love. Be sure to keep an eye on Nyanko Big throughout the series, too, because that suave and silly cat alone is worth the price of admission.
Ready to Laugh? Let’s Get Started!
It’s amazing how anime comedies can have such wildly different setups and formats and yet tickle our collective funny bones, but that’s what’s great about anime. The medium can spin itself into myriad different forms, meaning that no matter your exact taste in comedy, you can find a title that perfectly fits your preferences. Check out one of the above titles or any other comedy anime on the Anime Network and you’re sure to stumble across your perfectly wacky match.
Come back each month when you want to know what to watch. Remember, if you’re unsure, just say “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote to discover more Asian American content. There’s more entertainment waiting for you!
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