Recommendations: Comedy (10)

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[Description]:  A genre that needs no explanation, comedies are all about making people laugh. Full of ridiculous scenarios, absurd characters, and outlandish premises, comedy shows typically try to evoke humor and hilarity and not much else. Because they are often situationally dependent, many comedies are episodic and lack an overarching plot. Links to spoiler-free reviews of all of the shows that have them are included.

10. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

Alternative Title: Baka & Test – Summon the Beasts

Episode Count: 28 Episodes; 2 Seasons (24-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Silver Link; 2010 – 2011

Details: Baka to Test is an outrageously ridiculously show that centers around a group of students in Fumizuki Academy which divides its students into different classes based on their academic results. The titular idiot of the story is Akihisa Yoshii who, along with his friends, belong to the lowest scoring F class. The school has a system that allows students to manifest fantasy avatars that correspond in power to their grades and allow them to battle one another to improve their standings. Akihisa and his primarily idiot friends take on the A class full of geniuses and prodigies in a comedic game of school supremacy. Baka to Test isn’t anything you haven’t seen before and its full of a lot of typical tropes and gags but it has enough refreshing elements to keep its absurd and brainless comedy consistently funny.

Recommendation: Tentative

9. Yuru Yuri

Episode Count: 39 Episodes; 3 Seasons (23-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Doga Kobo; 2011 – 2015

Details: Yuru Yuri is a slice of life comedy that revolves around Akaza Akari, a middle school girl, who joins her childhood friends in forming the ‘Amusement Club’ that they’ve set up in the building that previously belonged to the Tea Club. The focus of the show is on the daily lives and comedy of Akari and her friends as they aimlessly while away their time attempting to enjoy themselves. The show has good gags and is pretty consistently funny but its the small, memorable cast of characters that really elevate the comedy through their personalities and chemistry. Yuru Yuri is a sweet and simple comedy for anybody looking for something cute, funny, and lighthearted.

Recommendation: Tentative

8. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Alternative Title: Weekly Girl’s Nozaki-kun

Episode Count: 12 Episodes (24-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Doga Kobo; 2014

Details: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is about a high school girl named Sakura Chiyo and her schoolmate Umetarou Nozaki whom she has a crush on. After mustering up the courage to confess her feelings to him, Nozaki hands her an autograph having mistaken her for a fan and revealing his identity as a popular shoujo mangaka. Through a serious of misunderstandings, Chiyo becomes Nozaki’s assistant in the hopes that as she helps him that he will eventually recognize her feelings for him. The cast of the show features a handful of characters all with their own gags and eccentric personalities which perpeutate the show’s comedy. The characters can feel a little one-note at times but the comedy that surrounds them is often pretty humorous. Don’t go in expecting much in the way of romantic development.

Recommendation: Tentative

7. Uchuu Patrol Luluco

Alternative Title: Space Patrol Luluco

Episode Count: 13 Episodes (7-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Trigger; 2016

Details: One of the most chaotic, unhinged, erratic comedy shows out there, Uchuu Patrol Luluco stars a young girl named Luluco whose only desire is to live a normal life despite her outlandish surroundings. When her father is accidentally frozen and subsequently shattered, she has to bring his pieces to his office where she is inducted into the Space Patrol by the chief as an undercover officer responsible for cracking down on intergalactic crime in her school. What follows is a wild adventure full of absurd lunacy involving shape-shifting gun uniforms, space pirates, and shoplifted cities. The show is full of outright references to other studio Trigger shows which further accentuate the insanity of its narrative. Luluco is a hilarious, way over-the-top, micro series that is a ton of fun and a must-watch for any viewers familiar with most of Trigger’s other works.

Recommendation: Tentative

6. D-Frag!

Episode Count: 12 Episodes (24-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Brain’s Base; 2014

Details: D-Frag! is a sketch comedy about a delinquent high schooler named Kazama Kenji who is tricked into joining a group of girls in the ‘Game Creation Club’ after trying to help them put out a fire. Despite the premise, the show has actually very little to do with game development and is mostly about all the characters goofing around in contrast to Kenji’s vigilant yet equally ridiculous role as the straight man. It’s hard to pin down what makes D-Frag! funny but it’s strong ensemble of amusing characters and countless absurd school situations consistently combine to create very refreshing comedy. It’s short, silly, and well worth checking out.

Recommendation: Tentative

5. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Alternative Title: Humanity has Declined

Episode Count: 12 Episodes (23-minutes each)

Studio and Year: AIC A.S.T.A.; 2012

Details: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is an absolutely hilarious, surreal comedy that takes place in a world where declining birthrates have led to only a few humans remaining. The new primary race of Earth are small, adorable, candy-loving, creatures called fairies who possess supernatural technology. Watashi, a cynical girl, serves as the mediator between the rest of humanity and the fairies. The comedy of the show is derived from Watashi’s dry wit, the outlandish, often perturbing things the fairies say to each other and how those remarks don’t fit with their overly cute, always-happy design. Alongside the uproarious comedy of the show is a satirical, social commentary that even goes as far as to make the show endearing at times. Watashi is an incredibly funny protagonist and the fairies are one of the best comedic gags in anime.

Recommendation: Strong

4. Working!!

Episode Count: 40 Episodes; 3 Seasons (24-minutes each)

Studio and Year: A-1 Pictures; 2010 – 2016

Details: Like its name suggests, Working!! is a workplace comedy detailing the daily lives of the various characters working at a small, family restaurant in Hokkaido named Wagnaria. What makes the show so incredibly funny is how its eccentric cast of characters interact with each other and how they all deal with one another in the work space. The cast of Working!! has some of the best character chemistry in all of anime as each of their absurd personalities and character traits accentuate and define their co-workers. It’s more than just comedy between these characters – there’s romance, comradery, and friendship which make the cast incredibly endearing and memorable as well as funny. If a show about a protagonist obsessed with small things, a lethargic manager, a katana-wearing floor chief, an imposing head chef, a scheming sous chef, and an androphobic waitress sounds funny then Working!! delivers and so much more.

Recommendation: Strong

3. Shokugeki no Souma

Alternative Title: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

Episode Count: 37 Episodes; 2 Seasons (25-minutes each)

Studio and Year: J.C.Staff; 2015 – 2016

Details: A hilarious, over-the-top cooking comedy, Shokugeki no Souma revolves around Yukihira Souma who worked at his family’s diner until his father decided to close up shop and travel the world as a chef. Possessing a prodigious among of cooking skill, Souma transfers into the world-renowned Tootsuki Culinary Academy famous for its incredibly low graduation rate and shokugeki – intense culinary battles. Souma ambitiously pits himself against the multitude of impressive chefs at the school as he endeavors to clim to the top. Shokugeki no Souma is all about going over-board with its narrative elements and characters. It over-dramatizes the act, smell, and taste of cooking in order to produce a fast-paced, action-oriented, comedic setting and story. The characters are a lot of fun and the show is often as exciting as it is funny. You can read a spoiler-free: here.

Recommendation: Strong

2. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Alternative Title: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

Episode Count: 10 Episodes (23-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Studio Deen; 2016

Details: KonoSuba is about a high school student and reclusive gamer named Kazuma Satou who loses his life in a car accident and awakens in the afterlife where he meets a goddess named Aqua. She offers him the choice to pass on to Heaven or reincarnate with his memories in a world ruled by a Demon King he must defeat. Opting to live out his dream of becoming a hero he begins life anew however quickly realizes the world is not what his gaming experience had led him to expect as he struggles through each day and becomes surrounded by comically incompetent allies. What makes KonoSuba so exceptionally funny is just how dumb its main cast of characters are. Aqua is a hysterical, counter-productive mess, Darkness is an absurdly masochistic knight, and Megumin is a powerful archmage who faints after one spell. It’s about a group of idiots wandering around a fantasy world desperately trying to improve their quality of life. You can read a spoiler-free review: here.

Recommendation: Must-Watch

1. Nichijou

Alternative Title: Daily Life

Episode Count: 26 Episodes (23-minutes each)

Studio and Year: Kyoto Animation; 2011

Details: Nichijou is a an often surreal, slice of life, sketch comedy which centers around a group of friends in high school as well as a robot girl, her creator, and their talking cat. The show comprises various scenes, adventures, and vignettes that explore the daily lives of the characters and their absurd interactions with each other. What sets Nichijou apart from the other comedies in its vein is its impeccable comedic timing and the stylistic presentation of its gags. Its characters are hilarious to watch as they fuss over the mundane as well as the absurd and surreal but the varying pace at which it all unfolds is extremely funny – some jokes taking place at break-neck speed and others sitting and ruminating for entire minutes on end. Nichijou is an incredible comedy.

Recommendation: Must-Watch

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5 thoughts on “Recommendations: Comedy (10)

  1. [Cracks knuckles.]

    I kid, I kid. This is an intriguing list, debatably the most intriguing list you’ve made thus far. I certainly have some opposition to it, but at the same time I can understand the logic behind the placement of these titles. It’s hard to argue with comedy, as that in of itself is one of the most subjective and varying of genres. One person finds gratuitous memes funny while the other enjoys sexual misunderstandings. Taste is taste.

    Now then, where to begin…?

    Numbers ten through seven I have no issue with, except that I see Yuru Yuri more as a slice-of-life coated in comedy than a comedy coated in slice-of-life. I thought Luluco was an interesting choice to put above Yuru Yuri and Baka-Test, but I haven’t seen the show so I wouldn’t know anything about it.

    And n— Ooooooooooohh… Number six. Mrmm. Let’s just say that I feel D-Frag is very overrated. Very, very, very, very, very, very overrated. And not funny (but that’s subjective).

    First of all, I love you for giving attention to Suitai Shimashita because the show is pretty great. But like your placement of Shirobako at the top of the “Slice-of-Life” Recommendations List, I don’t really see Suitai Shimashita as a “Comedy.” I don’t really know what I see it as, frankly. It’s a little parody, comedy, drama, and slice-of-life rolled into one. It doesn’t really mend into one particular genre, but I’d be more inclined to put it into a “Parody” list. I don’t know if you have one of those coming up or not, but this listing is a little odd. I can understand it, but it’s odd to me nonetheless. Still love you, though.

    Working!! seasons one and two are great. Three is… not so great.

    I hope there’s more comedy to Shokugeki no Souma than the “omg this food tastes so great lets overexaggerate how good this tastes by comparing it to absurd fantasies,” because that shit is cringey. (Sorry, I tend to loathe shows with overinflated scores.)

    K-Kono Subarashii? At number TWO? Don’t get me wrong, I hear good things about this show, but number TWO? Above Working!! and Baka-Test and Nozaki-kun? It must be a fucking riot if it’s above those shows. I’ve been meaning to watch it recently, but now I think I’ll watch it, say, immediately if it’s so far up this list. From your blurb about it, it seems like a fantasy version of Baka-Test, which makes it all the more alluring.

    Once again, an easy #1 choice. It’s everyone’s favorite slice-of-life/comedy show and it seems you’re no different. Personally, I think the show’s fine (from what I’ve seen), but the repetition of one joke (overexaggerating everything) can get pretty tiring after a while. That and, for whatever reason, I HATE the little scientist girl. Every scene with her is immensely annoying to me. Not sure why.

    Woo. I think I’ve set a record for longest comment on one of your lists. Don’t mind me, just selfishly throwing in my opinion like a know-it-all. Nice list regardless. I’ve always enjoyed these.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh god, I’ll try to tackle each of these. As always thanks for all the thoughtful input. Luluco surprised me and given its brevity I didn’t go in expecting anything substantial but I thought it was a really funny distillation of Imaishi’s comedy style and the way it incorporated other Trigger shows into its universe was a lot of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen D-Frag! it feels like so I can’t weigh in too heavily but from what I remember it was just kind of a typical, trope-filled, gag comedy. Nothing particularly different about it but I remember it getting more laughs than I would have thought.

      Oooh another Jintai fan! It’s always hovered around the upper 7s / lower 8’s part of my list but I absolutely love that show. As you say the show is very mixed in what it covers and how it handles itself (especially its latter half) but seeing as how I don’t have any kind of parody category I just put it here because of how consistently it made me laugh and how much fun I had watching it.

      There is more comedy in Souma than just the over-the-top food fantasies but the comedic element of the show doesn’t purely outstrip something like Working!! by itself. The show is just kind of fun in addition to its comedy though the second season has been focusing on the more ‘serious’ side of things and doesn’t emphasize as much the parts I liked about the first season.

      Like you said, comedy is pretty preference-driven and so I’ll just say that personally I found Konosuba absolutely hilarious. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on if after you watch it. Nichijou might be an obvious choice but like I outlined, it just has a kind of pacing and animation that I haven’t seen the like of elsewhere. I can see how the show could feel repetitive though. I can only imagine you hated Hakase because of how she continually tormented Nano but outside of that pervasive gag I generally liked the two characters – especially Nano anyway.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! – Criticism and Thoughts

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