When life gets too stressful, try watching some anime comedy series.
Long-running shonen adventure series often hog all of the attention. But anime fans shouldn’t overlook comedies. After all, sometimes you just need a good laugh.
The following anime comedy series should give you some much-needed chuckles. Even if you’ve already watched some of them, they’re worth a rewatch.
Top Comedy Anime Recommendations
- Laid-Back Camp
- Non Non Biyori
- Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
- Ika Musume
- Tonari no Seki-kun
1. Laid-Back Camp
This easy-going series (a.k.a. Yuru Camp) lives up to its title. In the series, high school girls in rural Yamanashi Prefecture near Mt. Fuji start an outdoor activities club. (One girl starts out as a solo camper, but eventually joins the group.)
And they generally take a relaxed attitude toward the whole camping experience. Food plays a huge role in most episodes; don’t watch it if you are hungry.
But Laid-Back Camp is undeniably also a funny, sweet series. There are some great gags, such as Nadeshiko the human tent pole, or the many silly variations on Shimarin’s bun hairstyle. The characters also have these wonderful expressions, especially Nadeshiko when she eats something tasty; or Aoi Inuyama when she is telling a whopper.
You will feel the stress drain out of you when you watch these campers.
Six identical brothers cause chaos in this very funny, very slapstick anime series. The series, which started in 2015, is the second sequel to a series that began in 1966. The other sequel ran in 1988. As such, some of the comedy pokes fun at the original’s Showa Era roots.
Besides the nostalgic inside jokes, there’s a lot of Japanese cultural comedy, and quite a few parodies. (In fact, the first episode got pulled because the parodies contained too many copyright violations.)
The characters are wonderfully flawed. The Matsuno brothers are lazy, weird, and generally lovable losers. Designated love interest Totoko is tsundere to the point of ridiculousness. Iyami has an endless supply of bad schemes. Every episode will have you laughing out loud.
3. Non Non Biyori
This slice-of-life series is a lot like Laid-Back Camp in some ways. It’s a cozy series about a group of girls living out in the rural part of Japan. (There’s one boy, but he’s mostly silent.) But while the schoolgirls of Laid-Back Camp head out for the wilderness, the girls of Non Non Biyori have fun at home.
The setting is so remote that these girls generally have to create their own adventures. Fortunately for the viewer, they are endlessly creative about it. Hotaru has a large collection of homemade dolls — mostly her beloved sempai, Komari. The best girl is probably Ren-chon, the youngest. She’s a wonderfully imaginative little weirdo, and many of the best plots revolve around her roping the others into her Calvin and Hobbes-esque games.
4. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid might be called a reverse isekai. Instead of a human trapped in a fantasy world, the series features a fearsome dragon, Tohru, in modern-day Japan. Tohru (who remains in semi-human form for most of the series) works as a maid for a human, Kobayashi. Then other dragons show up.
Modern-day humanity is confusing and weird for a dragon, and there are plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings and pop culture comedy. For example, one episode takes place at Comiket, where Tohru is mistaken for a cosplayer.
Tohru also falls in love with Kobayashi. Naturally, there’s a lot of romantic comedy from that as well.
This wacky, cartoony series features the world’s worst girls tennis club. Each short episode is fast-paced, with a lot of gags piled up on top of each other.
Teekyu is technically a sports series. But it’s probably the least-serious sports anime series you will ever find. Instead, the club inevitably gets side-tracked into all sorts of random hijinks. Many episodes parody other genres. The series is very slapstick. If one joke misses the mark, another one is just around the corner.
In a few episodes, the girls actually try to play real, actual tennis. But it doesn’t last. The rest is slapstick humor about everything but tennis.
6. Ika Musume
Ika Musume (a.k.a. Squid Girl) is literally a fish-out-of-water series. Or rather, it’s a squid-out-of-water series.
The titular protagonist is somewhat similar to Sgt. Frog, in that she’s a non-human who initially wants to conquer Earth. But there the similarity ends.
At the beginning of the series, it’s firmly established that it’s impossible for a childish, anthropomorphic squid to take over the world. She ends up living and working with the Aizawa family: cute, younger brother Takeru; easily-annoyed teen Eiko; and scary elder sister Chizuru.
The series then shifts gears. While Squid Girl still dreams of world conquest, the series concentrates on slice-of-life comedy from the point-of-view of the ultimate outsider. Squid Girl doesn’t understand basic human stuff like school and umbrellas. And her creative and clever misunderstandings are both hilarious and cute.
7. Tonari no Seki-kun (My Neighbor Seki)
This short gem is a clever 2014 series about a creative guy, and the girl who sits next to him in class. It seems that Seki-kun gets bored at school easily, and he invents all sorts of imaginative ways to pass the time. (Somehow, his elaborate creations never get caught by the teacher.)
It’s told from Rumi’s point-of-view, as she is alternately fascinated, embarrassed, and annoyed by her classmate’s eccentric behavior. She frequently gets involved in whatever it is that he’s up to, with hilarious results.
Each episode is only about seven minutes long, but they pack a lot of humor into those seven minutes.
Final Thoughts on Comedy Anime
When you’re feeling down or need something carefree and relaxing to watch, definitely give one of these comedy anime a try!
If you’re trying to watch these anime on Netflix or any other streaming platform that geo-locks certain anime titles, you can get around these restrictions by using a VPN.
How to Watch Anime in Geo-Restricted Countries via VPN
This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.
- Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN. I can confirm that NordVPN works for this purpose.
- In the settings, choose the country that you know has the title you want to watch as your location.
- Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic
- Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (or whatever streaming app you’re using)
- Search the anime name in the search bar and you should see it pop up.
Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected in your VPN, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again. This may be the same for other streaming platforms as well!
To to do this, go to settings -> apps -> Netflix -> clear cache. I’ve had no trouble using this method and I still use NordVPN to watch anime from various Netflix country libraries daily.