10 Anime that will make you laugh
Anime has the ability to make us sad—like, really sad. Luckily, not all anime seems to want to market Kleenex, so, for your rib-tickling of the day, here are 10 anime to make you laugh.
1) Slam Dunk
You may wonder how an anime that can easily wring out the tears in its more emotional moments could ever be so funny, but those moments of deep emotion only work to emphasize how ridiculously hilarious Takehiko Inoue’s masterpiece can be. Hanamichi thinks he is a genius basketball player. Rukawa thinks he’s a moron. Hanamichi’s gang is full of similar morons, so every time they meet, hilarity ensues. When first challenging the team captain, Hanamichi accidentally pulls down the guy’s sweatpants in front of the whole gym. When challenging a rival, Hanamichi keeps insisting—bloody face and all—that a mosquito is biting him. And perhaps one of the funniest moments comes when an opponent gang introduces them as “Hanamichi Sakuragi, Yohei Mito...and the rest.” The rest do not enjoy that.
2) Shin Chan
Sure, it’s a bit on the inconsistent side because some episodes get more weird than funny, but there is no denying that Shin Chan is occasionally an amazing satire on the state of education and parenting. Because the creators did some truly intelligent dubbing and, instead of simply translating the Japanese humor, re-wrote it for American sensibilities, the result is a consistently hilarious sitcom around little Shin Chan and the Nohara family. Britney Spears, surgical beauty enhancements, a loser neighbor who can’t get into community college—this show has something to say about everything suburbia. It’s like an anime version of Desperate Housewives...starring the filthiest, most honest kid you will ever see.
3) Ultimate Muscle
Again, one of the very few shows that should be enjoyed in its English dub, Ultimate Muscle is a sequel to the beloved 80s series Muscle Men and takes a decidedly different tone. This time, instead of a champion wrestler, we have his supremely talented but perverted son, Kid Muscle. He hits on women and gets hit in return. He pretends to be a British school lad to hide from fights. He faces the world’s weirdest opponents, including a guy who can turn into a shoe and a guy with a dinosaur head for an arm. And, when it comes to the wrestling commentary, the show is filled with beautifully written puns like, “Wally’s chances for victory are as slim as he is thick!”
The comedy here certainly is very divisive, and there will be many who simply throw up their hands and say, “it’s just not funny.” But they will be part of the group that this show doesn’t target, and that is the beauty: for all its divisiveness, Gintama has never made itself approachable. The episodes move fast and often feel disjointed. There is a central story, but it gets lost amidst the very episodic structure. Even the characters are developed but through occasional tidbits instead of detailed backstories. And the running gags make it all but impossible to jump in and appreciate. But for those who stick it out from the beginning, the show has the tremendous ability to slowly escalate when and how it uses its repeating humor. By the end, even the smallest joke is said so many times, and in such varying contexts, that you can’t help but blow milk out of your nose in laughter, Zura. (ZURA JA NAI, KATSURA DA!)
5) Ouran High School Host Club
In a weird way, Ouran is both a parody of and a tribute to all things anime. Brought to movement by the beloved Studio Bones, the show stars the lovable Haruhi, who breaks a vase in all-guys club at her school and has to work for them as an errand boy to pay off her debt. However, two small things complicate the matter (and bring about the comedy): first, she happens to be a girl, and the boys don’t see that. And second: it happens to be a club of male entertainers for lady clients, and Haruhi is soon upgraded to full member, aka “Host.” And to add to the hilarity, other members start figuring out who Haruhi is...and don’t tell each other. Shoujo, yuri, yaoi, harem, cosplay...Ouran parodies it all with style. Get ready to laugh at yourself, fellow otakus.
6) Baka and Test
"Baka" means “idiot,” which should tell you a lot about this anime. Akihisa Yoshi, the proverbial “baka” of our story, has the bad fortune of being in the lowest ranked class of a very competitive school. As a result, he is relegated to the class with the worst facilities, while the A students enjoy air conditioners, classy desks, and that rare thing called humane treatment. But before you start to think this is just some post-grad thesis on educational inequity in modern society, there is also a terrific love triangle between our hero, the really smart girl stuck in class F because she was sick the day of the test, and a foreign exchange student who is only there because of language deficiency. Oh, almost forgot—they also summon monsters.
What happens when members of a failed rock band become farmers instead? Find out in Lee Hong Ki’s comedy drama Modern Farmer
7) Tonari No Seki-Kun
Contrary to what One Piece and Bleach fans may tell you, seven minutes and a handful of episodes is all you really need to make an impact that is unforgettable—just ask Seki-Kun. As an overly creative kid who is stuck in some of the most boring classes known to man, Seki loves coming up with beautifully choreographed games to keep himself busy in the back of the class. Whether it is elaborate dominoes or starting his own in-class post office, Seki will do anything to kill the time. And while it is all amazingly complex, that is not the real beauty of the show. The real pull actually comes from Seki’s nearby student neighbor, Rumi, who simply cannot focus on her work while Seki is doing all sorts of crazy things. Her hilarious commentary, her attempts to stop him, her taking taking part in his games while still pretending to want to focus on the work—all of this is what really makes the show stand out. And the first time you hear Rumi’s insane overreaction scream, you will literally have it stuck in your head forever.
Known stateside as My Ordinary Life, this anime revolves around a school with some of the most unordinary students and staff you will ever meet. A boy who rides a goat to school with his butler, a little girl scientist who makes a little girl robot, and a cat with a red scarf are just some of the manic creatures you will meet as you see these people live life to the absolute limits of normalcy. And there’s also Fe-Chan. She ends every sentence with “fe.”
9) Fruits Basket
Don’t let the weird name fool you; Fruits Basket is a lot weirder than a container of oranges. Happy orphan Tohru Honda has quite a few problems in her life, but she solves them all with a very cheery demeanor. There’s just one little thing: the family she lives with is cursed and turns into a member of the Chinese zodiac any time they are touched by someone of another gender. Tohru is also very clumsy, and that—coupled with her selflessness—leads to some of the most laughably bad attempts at breaking a curse in history, which, in turn, makes some of the best comedy in modern anime.
10) Ramen Fighter Miki
A spoof of classic anime and martial arts movies, Ramen Fighter Miki is about a girl whose family owns a noodle shop, and she gets in a lot of fights while delivering said noodles. That’s it. No, really—that’s really all there is to the story. And while it may not sound like much, this anime has some great references to other comedy series, but it doesn’t steal their humor. Instead, it manages to make the comedy its own while throwing up some of the most common tropes in action cinema and anime history. The first time you see Miki’s mother react to yet another one of her off-task adventures in the middle of a delivery, you will sit there stunned...and then laugh until your stomach hurts just as much as Miki’s.
11) Bonus: Candy Candy, Clannad, Nobody’s Boy: Remi and Nana
Yes, watch these anime. I assure you they are hilarious and filled with many happy moments. You will laugh until tears come out of your eyes. Just kidding, actually. Really, just kidding. Seriously, that was a grim joke. They will make you cry. Don’t want them unless you have an affinity for gut-wrenching, heart-shredding drama.
So what are some anime that you love to watch when you’re feeling a little blue? Sound off in the comments below! And for all your news needs, be sure to follow Dramafever on Twitter!