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This May is once again Mental Health Month and recently, a blog on Psych Central called "Your Body, Your Mind" challenged readers to incorporate laughter into their daily lives. Laughter has so many benefits as it helps boost your immune system, relieve stress, and improve relationships with people. With that said, what are some anime/manga series that get you smiling and laughing through the day? Here are some favorites I would recommend to those who want to turn their frowns upside down.
Hayate the Combat Butler
An unlucky poor butler works for a spoiled rich otaku girl. Insert a great number of female characters and wacky situations and you have an quite humorous title with some added drama in-between.
The above picture does not capture the wackiness of this series. Oh, the life and trials of supervillains trying to live the villain life, while dealing with superheroes who just happen to be their neighbors. If you love weird and strange humor, Excel Saga is right up your alley.
The funniest little girl in all of manga is in this series. Yotsuba Koiwai is the queen of the universe. There’s a reason why she would be the President of the University of Anime, if it ever existed. Besides being very funny, Yotsuba&! is ADORABLE. Funny and adorable = super, positive, happy feelings.
Daily Lives of High School Boys
Do you get a kick out of seeing teenage boys acting stupid as they usually are? This is your series. As the Otaku Journalist once said in her analysis of the series, I don’t understand how Nichibros was never picked up by Crunchyroll when previously, Nichijou (which is very similar to this series) got chosen.
Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee And His Ninja Pals
This is a series I really recommend to kids. All the jokes in this series are targeted towards that demographic to begin with. Plus, it’s NARUTO, the ninja that everyone likes. What makes this series even funnier is that the original voice actors from the Naruto anime also voice their respective characters in this spin-off. Will the Rock Lee spinoff manga be licensed next?
Great Teacher Onizuka
When you have a teacher that’s perverted, dumb as bricks, and a former gang member teaching the most troublesome class in school, you can bet there will be no shortage of laughs when that happens. Onizuka Eikichi is probably the most immature teacher you will ever see and he will have you cracking up in no time. Despite his wackiness, Onizuka has a heart of gold that will shine bright in many fans’ eyes.
A classic series in Japan and one that actually had quite an interesting English anime dub by Funimation. Shin-chan’s crude and vulgar, but hey, I’m sure we’ve met a kid like him once in our lives. The manga is being published again in North America as well.
If the idea of a high school delinquent running around with a naked baby (who just happens to be the next great demon lord) doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. Beelzebub is a pretty funny series with over-the-top characters and gags. While the series does have a lot of action, Beelzebub is still a comedy at heart and that part is reinforced throughout its story.
A series that I feel is underappreciated by many fans. This is a really funny look at high school extracurricular clubs and activities. All of the characters have some wacky quirk that makes them unique. It won the 55th Shogakukan Award for Best Shonen Manga in 2009.
I can’t make a comedy anime/manga list without this gem. Gintama is probably THE current king of comedy anime/manga series to read/watch. Even the name of the series itself is somewhat of a joke (it’s a play off the word “kintama”, which means testicles in Japanese). What makes this series extremely hilarious are the character interactions and ridiculous banter. Be prepared for parodies, wacky references, and lots of dirty jokes.
This is a title that’s definitely for all the otaku out there. It’s a humorous and yet realistic look at Japanese otaku culture. Genshiken still has some relevance today with the continued rise of the otaku.
Ouran High School Host Club
Yes, this series has cute boys, but more importantly, it pokes fun at many common cliches found in shoujo manga. Not only that, Ouran also parodies the views of female anime/manga fans. Take a look at this wonderful article about the main character, Haruhi Fujioka, and you’ll see what makes Ouran a joy to read/watch.
If you want to share any other interesting series that tickle your funny bone, feel free to post your comments below!
To quote the great Bob Hope,
“I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”
Let’s all find some funny anime/manga and laugh for the better, shall we?