Most excellent content often offers a glimpse of a sense of humor. This isn’t exclusive to movies or TV series; it’s true for anime as well. In many shonen manga, which are the origins of numerous anime, comedic elements have been essential for a long time. Comedy is a crucial element for many popular anime, and sometimes it’s packed with laughter as the main theme. Romantic comedies, as the name suggests, are a blend of romance and comedy, and they are currently trending in the anime world. Even in other genres like slice-of-life or adventure, comedy plays a significant role.
In this article, we’ll look back at the history of anime and introduce a curated list of the best comedy anime of all time. Some are purely categorized as comedy, while others shine by blending with other genres. From classic masterpieces to the latest hit series, we’ve got it all covered. Dive in with the following selection and experience the essence of comedy anime.
While there are anime where the appeal may be difficult to grasp without a deep understanding of Japanese culture and context, I find such intricacies interesting in their own right. Therefore, I will also feature such domestically-oriented anime here.
10. Mr. Osomatsu
Mr. Osomatsu (おそ松さん), known as Osomatsu-san in Japanese, is a famous comedy anime series inspired by Fujio Akatsuka’s classic manga, Osomatsu-kun. The manga was serialized from 1962 to 1969. In commemoration of Fujio Akatsuka’s 80th birthday, the first season of the anime was broadcast from 2015 to 2016. The second season and third season were also made by the anime studio Pierrot. In 2022 and 2023, two anime movies were added to the series: Mr. Osomatsu: The Hipipo Tribe and the Glistening Fruit and Mr. Osomatsu: The Soul’s Takoyaki Party and the Legendary Sleepover Party.
Revived decades after the original manga story, this modern rendition introduces the Matsuno sextuplets as mischievous adults, navigating life’s absurdities. The comedic series, brimming with nostalgic callbacks and contemporary humor, became an unexpected hit. The Matsuno brothers are all grown up but are still living together and causing mayhem. Despite being adults, they haven’t quite figured out life, jobs, or relationships. Through episodic adventures filled with over-the-top humor, parodies, and occasional touching moments, the sextuplets navigate the ups and downs of adulthood, friendships, and sibling rivalry, often leading to unpredictable and hilariously chaotic outcomes.
Aired: 2015-2016 (Season 1)/2017-2018 (Season 2)/2020-2021 (Season 3)
Episodes: 25 (Season 1)/25 (Season 2)/25 (Season 3)
9. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Based on the manga series by Aka Akasaka, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War (かぐや様は告らせたい〜天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦〜) which began airing in January 2019, quickly carved a niche for itself in the romantic comedy genre. Many global anime fans have looked on Kaguya-sama as the best anime series in the recent years. The anime adaptation, brought to life by the acclaimed A-1 Pictures studio, has blended humor, strategic romantic pursuits, and layered character dynamics to offer a unique spin on the rom-com genre.
In the elite Shuchiin Academy, Miyuki Shirogane serves as the student council president with Kaguya Shinomiya as his vice president. They seem like the perfect match, yet pride keeps them from admitting their feelings for one another. Rather than confessing, they devise complex plots to force the other into revealing their emotions first. This tactical love game is both comedic and intense, often drawing their fellow council members into the chaos.
Aired: 2019 (Season 1)/2020 (Season 2)/2022 (Season 3)/2023 (TV Special)
Episodes: 12 (Season 1)/12 (Season 2)/13 (Season 3)/4 (TV Special)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
The popular romantic comedy anime series focuses on an indirect relationship between Kaguya and Miyuki, and the nail-bit[…]
8. Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 (モブサイコ100) is a completed contemporary comedy anime that has garnered significant popularity, even internationally. Created by ONE, the renowned manga artist recognized for hits like “One Punch Man,” the series is rooted in a blend of comedy and science fiction. Initially serialized from 2012 to 2017 in Ura SundayMangaONE, the manga culminates in a total of 16 volumes. Studio Bones adapted this compelling narrative into an animated series, releasing its first season in 2016. The story then progressed with a second season in 2019 and a conclusive third season in 2022.
Mob Psycho 100 follows Shigeo Kageyama, affectionately known as Mob. While appearing unassuming, he is an extraordinarily powerful esper. Struggling with his emotions and the weight of his psychic abilities, Mob desires a regular life. Under the mentorship of his self-proclaimed psychic mentor, Reigen Arataka, Mob aims to understand his powers without letting them spiral out of control. As he confronts other espers and various supernatural challenges, he also grapples with teenage angst, seeking purpose and a sense of self beyond his abilities. The story highlights the importance of human connections and personal growth.
Aired: 2016 (Season 1)/2019 (Season 2)/2022 (Season 3)
Episodes: 12 (Season 1)/13 (Season 2)/12 (Season 3)
7. Monogatari Series
As one of the crowning achievements in modern anime, Monogatari Series (〈物語〉シリーズ) stands, masterfully brought to life by the studio Shaft. The series kicked off with the first title Bakemonogatari in 2009, initiating its first season which aired until 2012. The saga continued with a second season from 2013 to 2014, and a final season, the third phase, spanned from 2014 to 2018. The three-part film series Kizumonogatari, released between 2016 and 2017, serves as a pivotal prequel to the story. While blending genres like mystery and comedy, the engaging and humorous dialogues crafted by the original light novel author, Nisio Isin, make it particularly captivating. The light novel series is still ongoing, leaving fans eager for more animated adaptations of the yet-uncovered tales.
Monogatari Series revolves around Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who survives a vampire attack and subsequently meets various girls afflicted by apparitions and supernatural entities. From cursed cats to weightless crab gods, Araragi finds himself entangled in their unique predicaments, attempting to help them alongside the enigmatic Meme Oshino. Numerous captivating heroines make their appearance, each dealing with issues related to their respective apparitions. Among them, the protagonist, Araragi, engages in witty and comedic dialogues, especially with characters like Mayoi Hachikuji and Suruga Kanbaru.
Aired: 2009-2012 (Season 1)/2013-2014 (Season 2)/2014-2019 (Season 3)
Episodes: 30 (Season 1)/28 (Season 2)/42 (Season 3)
What do you think is the best anime series ever? In addition to lots of classic masterpieces that were born decades ago,[…]
6. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (斉木楠雄のΨ難) is a comedic anime based on the manga by Shuichi Aso. It follows the life of Kusuo Saiki, a teenager with vast psychic abilities who strives for an ordinary life, despite his overwhelming powers. The series began with its first season airing in 2016, followed by the second and third season in 2018. In 2019, Netflix introduced an original series titled The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened as a continuation. Throughout its run, the show delivers a mix of humor and supernatural events, showcasing Saiki’s daily challenges.
Kusuo Saiki, a high school student, possesses a wide range of psychic abilities, from telepathy to teleportation. However, rather than enjoying these gifts, Saiki finds them to be a curse. He yearns for an ordinary life, free from the chaos his powers bring. Despite his best efforts to stay unnoticed and avoid attention, Saiki frequently finds himself in comedic and unexpected situations due to his abilities and the eccentric personalities of his classmates and family. The series humorously captures Saiki’s daily struggles to navigate life without revealing his powers.
Aired: 2016 (Season 1)/2018 (Season 2)/2018 (Season 3)/2019 (Season 4)
Episodes: 24 (Season 1)/24 (Season 2)/2 (Season 3)/6 (Season 4)
Studio: J.C.Staff/Egg Firm
5. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops
While this anime is primarily recognized within Japan, its original manga holds the distinction of being the longest-running series in the shonen category, and there’s hardly anyone who isn’t familiar with this title. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所) is the animated adaptation of one of Japan’s longest-running manga series written by Osamu Akimoto. Spanning four decades of serialization, the 201-volume manga has become an iconic staple in Japanese pop culture. The anime, which aired from 1996 to 2004, consists of nearly 400 episodes including TV specials airing between 2005 and 2016, making it a monumental effort that brought the quirky characters and comedic misadventures of the manga to life on the small screen.
Set in Tokyo’s downtown district of Katsushika, the story revolves around the comical misadventures of a middle-aged cop, Kankichi Ryotsu. Despite his occupation, Ryotsu is anything but your typical officer; he’s notorious for his brash behavior, get-rich-quick schemes, and love for traditional games. While he’s often causing more problems than he’s solving, his unorthodox methods, combined with the diverse cast of colleagues at Kameari Park Police Station, ensure that there’s never a dull moment. The anime delves into both the comedic and heartwarming moments of everyday life, capturing the essence of the district’s residents and their interactions with the ever-chaotic Ryotsu.
Studio: Studio Gallop
4. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Having been loved by lots of modern anime fans around the world, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! (この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!) stands as a pinnacle in the Isekai comedy genre. It is adapted from a light novel series spanning 19 volumes published between 2013 and 2020. Studio Deen commenced the anime adaptation in 2016 and followed up with the second season in 2017. The third season is produced by a different studio, Drive. In 2023, a spin-off series titled KonoSuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World! aired with 12 episodes. Additionally, a movie named KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson was released in 2019.
After a laughable and untimely death, the young NEET Kazuma Satou is given a choice to be reborn in a fantasy world. Opting for this new life, he’s allowed to take one thing with him, and he chooses the goddess Aqua herself. However, instead of an epic adventure, they find themselves struggling with mundane tasks in a world that’s not as glamorous as it seems. Alongside an explosion-obsessed magician and a masochistic crusader, the duo faces hilarious challenges in their quest to defeat the Demon King.
Aired: 2016 (Season 1)/2017 (Season 2)/2024 (Season 3)
Episodes: 10 (Season 1)/10 (Season 2)/TBA (Season 3)
Studio: Studio Deen (Season 1, 2)/Drive (Season 3)
Who are looking forward to the new season of KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World? It has been just announce[…]
3. One-Punch Man
Gaining immense popularity partly due to its superhero theme, One-Punch Man (ワンパンマン) is a globally renowned action comedy anime. Initially starting as a manga in 2012 by ONE, with illustrations by Yusuke Murata, it quickly gained traction among fans. Supported by the unique humor of ONE, who is also the manga artist of Mob Psycho 100, the series was adapted into a 12-episode anime by Madhouse in 2015. The second season, produced by J.C.Staff, aired in 2019 with another 12 episodes. Production for the third season has already been confirmed.
In a world plagued by mysterious monsters and supervillains, an ordinary man named Saitama seeks excitement. Discontented with his mundane life, he trains relentlessly, becoming so powerful that he defeats any opponent with a single punch. Ironically, his unmatched strength leads to an existential crisis, as he struggles to find a worthy adversary. Alongside his cyborg disciple, Genos, Saitama grapples with his overwhelming might, joining the Hero Association to gain recognition. The series humorously explores the challenges and responsibilities of being an invincible hero in a world filled with complex threats.
Aired: 2015 (Season 1)/2019 (Season 2)/TBA (Season 3)
Episodes: 12 (Season 1)/12 (Season 2)/TBA (Season 3)
Studio: Madhouse (Season 1)/J.C.Staff (Season 2)/TBA (Season 3)
One-Punch Man is one of the most famous and popular manga and anime series all over the world. The one and only series i[…]
2. Nichijou – My Ordinary Life
Despite being a laid-back slice-of-life anime that offers comfort, Nichijou – My Ordinary Life (日常), one of the best comedy anime series of all time, overwhelms with its surreal humor and intricate antics. Nichijou is a unique blend of comedy and slice-of-life, created by Keiichi Arawi. Originally a manga series, its adaptation into anime aired in 2011 and was produced by Kyoto Animation. The anime, acclaimed for its eccentric humor and beautifully detailed animation, seamlessly blends mundane everyday occurrences with surreal and absurd comedic elements. Spanning 26 episodes, the series has garnered a dedicated fanbase appreciating its quirky, exaggerated take on daily life events, all backed by a vibrant animation style.
Set in an ordinary town, Nichijou offers an anything-but-ordinary depiction of daily life. The narrative primarily revolves around three high school girls: the energetic Yuko, the logical Mio, and the placid Mai. Their seemingly typical school experiences are juxtaposed with absurd happenings, such as a robotic caretaker, a talking cat, and a principal wrestling a deer. As the episodes progress, the show delves deeper into the hilarious, and at times bizarre, adventures of these girls and their classmates, transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary comedic events. The series expertly captures the charm of everyday life while infusing it with a heavy dose of the fantastical, making the mundane mesmerizing.
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Along with the increasing popularity of anime, the presence of slice-of-life anime is also growing stronger. Nichijou is[…]
Although a recent comedy anime, Gintama (銀魂) stands out as one of the all-time favorites, frequently cited by many fans as the best comedy anime. It is based on the manga by Hideaki Sorachi, serialized from 2004 to 2019, and has concluded with 77 volumes. The series skillfully blends genres, including comedy, action, and sci-fi. Overall, the anime encompasses four major seasons and three movies. The first season aired 201 episodes from 2006 to 2010, with subsequent seasons broadcasting 51 episodes each. Gintama: The Very Final was released in 2021. Both the humor and coolness of the characters consistently captivate fans.
In an alternate-history Edo period, aliens called Amanto have invaded Earth, leading to a prohibition on swords. Gintoki Sakata, once a formidable samurai, now runs an odd-jobs agency with his friends Shinpachi and Kagura. Navigating life under alien rule, they face various challenges, from confrontations with Amanto overlords to hilarious day-to-day escapades. Throughout the series, Gintama masterfully melds slapstick humor with heartfelt moments, providing a satirical take on historical and contemporary issues, while showcasing the characters’ enduring spirit and camaraderie.
While it features touching, heart-stirring narratives and intense battles, it also produces laughter through timely jokes and satire. It’s a truly unique work in the realm of comedy.
Aired: 2006-2010 (Season 1)/2012-2014 (Season 2)/2015-2016 (Season 3)/2017-2018 (Season 4)
Episodes: 201 (Season 1)/51+13 (Season 2)/51 (Season 3)/51 (Season 4)
Studio: Sunrise (Season 1, 2)/Bandai Namco Pictures (Season 3, 4)
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