Category Archives: comedy

Nichijou- My Ordinary Life

Type: Just a show about high school girls doing high school stuff.

Synopsis: Yep, just a realistic down to earth show…that’s off the wall and swarming with magic robots.

Pros: At least we have the Speedo Man. On the surface, Nichijou seems like any other high school comedy with female protagonists. That was certainly my impression of it. In fact, it took me two to three tries to really get going. But once your start this roller coaster of an anime, you won’t want to get off! Nichijou may just be the most well made, or at least artistically diverse, comedy anime in the medium. The only one’s that I would come close to it’s comedic variety and directorial flexibility are Lucky Star and High School Rumble. What you see in Nichijou is a show that continues to evolve right up to it’s last episode. It becomes increasingly funnier, and the choice of action becomes increasingly more impressive the longer you watch. While some of it’s jokes may not always land, due to a difference in humor between East and West, the good content far outweighs the bland. It’s little wonder that Nichijou stands as one of the comedy greats in anime, alongside shows like Konosuba, Lucky Star, and Excel Saga.

Cons: Nichijou is great. Nichijou also takes a long time to become great. The reason it took me a while to get started on watching Nichijou is because it’s a little slow at the beginning. You are slowly introduced to the characters and their dynamic. In addition, the reason the show feels like it keeps evolving is because it feels like the directors and animators take a while to realize how far they can go with the animation. If you look up Nichijou clips, you should be able to find amazingly crafted animations that are used to infuse certain jokes with more impact. The ways the characters move or react to certain things is what makes Nichijou so impressive. It’s just takes a while for that to become obvious. For example, the show relies too much on speed lines early on without really doing with them. A good way to observe this change is to notice how expressive Yuko and Mio become over time. Other than that, the pacing of the show is not without flaws. The anime tends to repeat certain jokes, such as hikus and poems to end a scene. The segments at the Shinomone Labs aren’t that funny, and takes up too much time during the first half of the show. But because one of the main girls, Nano, is stuck there so are we.

Watch it?:  Give it 6 episodes to see if it’s for you, or just look up clips online (5/5)

MVP: Mio

I’d give it to Yuko, but Mio’s growing assertiveness is way more relatable

Best Episode: Ep. 25 “Nichijou Episode 25” (Honestly, all of ep.14-26 is strong, but I love the Mio scene in this episode).

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DBZ Abridged

Type: It was the hype!!

Synopsis: It was hilarious, and we will all quote everything it said.

Pros: Dragon Ball Z: Abridged is probably the best anime abridged series in the history of the medium. It’s certainly the standard bearer. I say this with no hyperbole. For over 10 years, Team Four Star created one of the funniest, silliest, and weirdly emotionally resonant parodies on the internet. I think that a part of being a fan is secretly wishing to add to your fandom, at least a little. Team Four Star lived out that dream. Not only did they get to play around with the Dragon Ball Z characters, they made one of the best entries in the franchise. This may sound odd, but I would argue that DBZ: Abridged is the best way to ingest Dragon Ball after the original airing. DBZ: Abridged acts as a loving reflection of all the horribly funny inconsistencies in the greatest shonen story of all time. How many of us witnessed the Saiyan, Freeza, and Cell Saga and thought: Ya know, Goku is kinda a bad father, Piccolo is much better…I wonder what the human Z-fighters think about all these Super Saiyans running around…Now that I think about it, PoPo probably is some sort of Eldritch horror. But in all seriousness, I think that DBZ’s greatest legacy is that for a group of fans, myself included, it kept the Dragon Ball flame lit during some very dark times. It was a 10 years gap between Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. This show started in 2008. The abridged series made me fall in love with Dragon Ball Z again, and got me excited for new entries like Dragon Ball Super and DBZ Fighters. I guess it’s a little poetic that DBZ abridged is ending right as Dragon Ball got another resurgence. After reigniting passions for the franchise, making it’s own mark on the industry, and even creating it’s own lore, it was time to move on. Team Four Star made us laugh and care about Dragon Ball again, and they did it there way.

Cons: After reading all that, you might be wondering: What the hell is Dragon Ball Z Abridged? To which I say: You go some attitude mister. DBZ: Abridged was an online video parody series about the story and characters of Dragon Ball Z. The show covers every episode and plot-line from the original show in a condensed, often satirical version. Everything is more or less the same, just bent or twisted for comedic effect. For example, in the show Guru of Namek is still the ruler of the Namekians, but he’s also an asshole and war criminal. Piccolo is still a stoic warrior, but also a bit of a tsundere. Some characters veer off their beaten track, and others go way off. Looking at you Mr. Popo. Despite my love and gratitude of this show, it’s not perfect in any way. The early episodes are rough, and the joke very in quality. There are some very lazy dick and drug jokes. I would say that this show, on average, is about at a mid-2000’s Adult Swim level of comedy. It’s stupid funny. That could be a compliment or an insult, depending on the episode.

Watch it: A must for DBZ fans! (5/5)

MVP: Team Four Star

Now they can live their own lives, and make their own futures.

Best Episode: Ep. 60, Part 1-3 (They were perfect).

 

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Hensuki: Are You Willing to Fall in Love with a Pervert, as Long as She’s a Cutie?

Type:  “If she ain’t blood, be a stud” -Ancient Proverb

Synopsis: Sigh. I was with you until the ending…

Pros: Look, I’m going to need to give me at least a few sentence here. But spoiler, you probably shouldn’t watch this.

Cons: I will say this, I came to this anime with an open mind. I was like, hey, I need something stupid to watch while I exercise. This seemed like an ecchi anime I can trust. The art style and hue of the show tells you everything you need to know. It going to be about a teenage boys and a harem of cute girls that like him for being relatively nice. And that basically is the show. In fact, I would hazard to say that the best, though generic, parts of the show are when the girls say why or how they came to love the protagonist. Those were at least mildly sweet moments. But the gimmick of the show is that every female character has some sort of “perversion” or kink. These kinks run the spectrum, from mild stuff like sub/dom play and fujoshi (boy’s love artist) to some hardcore stuff like voyeurism and exhibitionism. Each of the girls get about 2-3 episodes, with the major plot thread being the mystery of “panty-rella,” a girl that left her panties in the protagonist’s locker in ep. 01. None of this is actually that bad, and the friendship between the voyeur and the protagonist is kinda nice (since she’s the only girl that likes him as a friend). No, what turned me completely off the show was last two episodes, where it turns out that “panty-rella” was really the protagonist’s sister. What follows is a last episode that spends almost it’s entire run time trying to convince the protagonist (and audience) that humping your sister is totally fine, cause love is love. And hey, she’s not blood related, so no mutant babies for you! Goddammit, did that leave a bad taste in my mouth. There’s trash, and then there’s garbage. And that was garbage.

Watch it: No. No. No. At least the dubbing was silly. NO. (2/5)

MVP: The English Dub

At least they got paid.

Best Episode: Ep. 4-7 The Koharu Arc (For a show this bad, it had a pretty good male-female friendship develop here).

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Kemono Michi: Rise Up

Type: A wrestler in an Isekai anime? Stop! I can only get so erect!

Synopsis: Is what I would say, but honestly this anime was left me disappointingly flaccid. From the ads and word of mouth, I was expecting a story about a Brock Lesnar type suplexing his way across an isekai world. That’s all I wanted!! Instead, the anime is about a retired wrestler who opens a pet shop and uses wrestling moves to capture/grope wild monsters. I came for the sport of kings, but I left for the furry bait.

Pros: This show is a very basic anime. As such, it’s characters are one dimensional and so are their jokes. The protagonist, Genzo, is a animal lover, maybe in the biblical sense. His gimmick is getting angry when someone tries to kill monsters, or using his wrestling skills to erotically grapple animals into submission. He has no interest in saving the world, as this comes from the “[job type] gets sent into another world” and “Hero who wants to live a normal live in another world” generation of Isekai stories. His gal friday, Shigure, has my favorite gimmick, where she steals items from the people Genzo beats up and calls it “discovered treasure” (gatta love a greedy girl). Hanako is a half-dragon that likes to eat, and Camilla is her servant who is also a mess of a person. Some of the good running gags are: Genzo continually destroying the adventurer’s guild, Genzo hitting on a housewife/wolf-woman, and Camilla’s pathetic obsession with her master Hanako. That’s about it.

Cons: Holy crap is this a bland anime. Which is weird because it does have elements of a personality. Genzo has a Ant servant for no reason! But after you get past the surface level gimmicks, all you’re left with is a show with some flash, but not substance. Since Genzo doesn’t want to be a hero, the show becomes a slice of life story. Which would be fine, but everyone is so boring! Genzo’s bestiality jokes gets really old really quick. And outside of Shigure and the princess, no other characters really have any reason to hang out with Genzo. They’re just there because the author wanted more interesting characters to play with. It feels like the author thought that making Genzo immediately retire to open a pet show was a clever swerve that would subvert expectations, but quickly realized he limited the scope of his story. There are not stakes in this anime, and Genzo achieves his goal by episode 2. And since Genzo is established as the strongest characters in the show, his goal is never in danger of being taken away from him. The whole thing just feels unimportant, and the characters just aren’t interesting enough to carry everyday plots. That, I think, is this story’s biggest sin. It take a very unique premise manages to make it as milktoast as possible.

Watch it: I’m working myself into shoot here (by which I mean I’m getting angrier the most I think about this) (2/5)

MVP: Shigure

I like that she gradually got more and more disappointed with Genzo as the series went on.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Wrestler × Summoning” (He suplexes a Princess and molests a wolf-man)

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Coyote Ragtime Show

Type: That Mister sure was a tall drink of…

Synopsis: Hello! I didn’t-I mean I wasn’t-I mean, boobs right? Right??….You know what? Nah. Nah son. It’s time to be loud and proud. Not just for myself, but for future generations. And I will proudly and loudly say that Mister is a top tier Daddy, and were it biologically possible, I would carry his children.

Pros: Coyote Ragtime Show is an anime space western, the best kind of space western in my opinion. The show follows a band of space pirates lead by the charismatic “Mister.” The entire show takes place in the span of about a week, with all the characters chasing after a treasure left behind by the king of the pirates. But this ain’t no One Piece were the treasure is friendship or whatever. This causes three main forces to all converge on the treasure: our lovable protagonists, Madame Marciano and her robot assassin “daughters,” and Detective Angelica Burns with her plucky if dimwitted sidekick. Mister and the crew of the ship “Coyote” play particularly well off each other, reminding you of an Ocean’s 11 esque style ensemble cast. But the emotional core comes from Franca, daughter of the kind of the pirates, and ward of Mister. Their relationship is cute, if a little cliche. The show does really well in handling it’s moving pieces without ever sacrificing pacing. A solid show all around.

Cons: The entire show revolves around all the character’s journey to Graceland, the location of the treasure. So it’s a bit of a shame that the closer we get to Graceland, the less interesting some of the stories become. The first four episodes are really great. They have a prison escape, a noir parenting story, a church shot out, and a high tech robbery. Top notch stuff that establishes the history of these characters. The last eight episodes aren’t as exciting, mostly because the have to focus on the race to Graceland. It also doesn’t help that the robot assassins aren’t allowed to kill the main characters for story reasons, nor the fact that two of the five main characters never get proper backstories. We never really learn where Bishop or Katana are from, or what their motivations are. Ditto with Marciano. She drops hint in her last battle, and Mister speculates, but there was more there that we should have been given.

Watch it: A pleasant surprise (4/5)

MVP: Mister

Our love is true!

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Prison Break” (exactly what it sounds like)

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Back Street Girls

Type: Alright!

Synopsis: Whose your favorite? Personally, I like Aj. I know, me and bad boys. But I think that I could change him, ya know? Anyway, the anime Back Street Girls is about idols or something.

Pros: The gimmick behind Back Street Girls is that three yakuza members are forced to become women by their crazy boss, or Oyabun for you normies. Every subsequent story revolves around the comedic premise of tough yakuza men having to pretend to be teenage japanese idols. This anime is on the edgier side, so a lot of the jokes come from the protagonists having to deal with creepy fans, or bathroom jokes. Although the show is short (10 episodes), there are multiple segments within the shows that help flesh out the stories and characters.

Cons: Production wise, this show seems to have had a tight budgets. Most of the scenes are stills, with slight mouth movements. There is no real story, other than the protagonist having to deal with idol life. A short story arc develops towards the end, but gets resolved without the protagonists even doing anything. The show is also a lot meaner and cruder than your regular anime fare. It’s also not very nice to the idol industry, basically portraying them as a slave market that caters to gross and lonely men (I mean yeah, but still). Finally, the whole premise of “hehe, look at these men in women’s bodies!” is a trite. It’s a little transphobic to be honest.

Watch it?: Only if you want a mean joke (3/5)

MVP: Those surgeons in Thailand.

Apparently, they are at the top of their field.

Best Episode: The Gokudolls Support Group Arc (Around Ep.7-9)

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How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?

Type: About 25 Lb.

Synopsis: I go for endurance, not strength. I flirted with 40LB for a while, but then messed my back up real bad after a prolonged combination of inconsistent workouts and bad form. Let that be a lesson, it’s important to do only what your body is able to do. If something is too heavy, then go lighter. Personal fitness is a journey, not a race. And remember, true strength comes from within!

Pros: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is a great show for people who want to get into exercise, or like me, trying to rework their workout routine. Every episode explores two different types of workout, from using gym equipment to isometrics to hiking. It’s a great show that lets you explore all the different ways there are to stay physically active. I would categorize this show as “Edutaiment.” It uses anime jokes and mild fan service to teach you about basic exercise. Who knew that the best way to get weebs to the gym is by making it 2D!? But seriously, I actually did use this show when I was trying to reestablish my daily workout routine. It helped me stay consistent while also giving me ideas for different exercises to try out. The show is fairly positive about exercise, and it’s approach really makes staying active look realistic (and even fun!).

Cons: I mean, you could argue that the main character’s desire to go to be gym because she thinks she’s fat is sexist. And it is. But let’s be real, 85% of most people’s desire to start exercising is due to vanity. Sure, sure, society has given men and women, especially women, unrealistic ideals for beauty that no normal person should have to strive for. Yet, I can’t help but be a little proud when I see a little bicep pop out when I bend my arms. The fact that I can lift my garbage bags without losing my breath is also nice. Aside from that, the fan service will probably be the most common barrier of interest. This is, after all, cute anime girls bending and squeezing until fatigue. So expect some tired yet sexy breathing. The show also likes to end it’s “Machio Muscle Lessons of the Day” skits with one of the girls posing in bed, beckoning you to join her in bed. Ya know, like you do. Finally, the show was not designed to be watched in one go. The way it explores the exercise world works better in increments rather than a marathon.

Watch it?: With clever editing, this would make an awesome exercise YouTube playlist. (4/5)

MVP: Mr. Machio

The personal trainer we all need.

Best Episode: “Sensei’s on a Diet, Too?” (I just like using dumbells. But all the episodes are great)

 

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Isekai Quartet

Type: The most ambitious crossover since…

Synopsis:…ya know, Endgame and Marvel did not invent the crossover. These things happen in media all the time. Comics had them since the 40’s. Movies had the Wolfman hanging out with Frankenstein and Abbot/Constello since before we landed on the moon. Hell, all of Smash Brothers is built on crossovers. I understand people want to have fun, but let’s not give more credit to the multibillion dollar company that it’s owed, yeah?

Pros: So Isekai Quartet is a show where the cast of 4 Isekai series crossover. Hence the title. This one has the folks from Konosuba, Overlord, Rezero, and Tanya the Evil. They all get transported into another world, again, only this time the setting is a Japanese style high school. Unsurprisingly, the best parts are having different characters from different shows interact with one another. I personally liked Albetto and Rem’s relationship, along with Ainz and Tanya. Because of course the two most evil characters in the show would get along. The show’s pretty short, and each episode is only about 15 minutes. So it was a pretty good refresher on certain shows, and a pretty good introduction to others. I personally have never seen Rezero, but the cast seem fun to watch. And at the end of the day, it’s that what it’s all about.

Cons: Since the show doesn’t have all the character I want, it’s a piece of ##$%. Ha! Got ya. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the the people from Reincarnated as a Slime and Log Horizon where here. I’m sure everyone has their favorites. That’s the problem with crossovers: everyone has a stake in the game. The only real issue is that because the show has such a big cast, a lot of characters get shortchanged. So if you have a favorite supporting character, they may not get the same spotlight the would get in their own show.

Watch it?: Yes. It’s short, funny, and full of reference. (4/5)

MVP: Tanya

I’m surprised, but Tanya has some of the best interactions with characters.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Tension! Introductions” (The Useless Goddess vs. the Lord of Nazaric!)

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The Helpful Fox Senko-San

Type: “All anyone wants is a personal assistant that also holds them at night” -ancient proverb on Twitter.

Synopsis: A sweet story about talking care of your partner, or a creepy loli fantasy. In anime, a series can be both! That’s why the medium is magical! In this, an overworked salary man is graced by the gods with a fox spirit to pamper the daily stress out of him.

Pros: This show really does straddle the line between sweet and creepy. Most of it comes down to the fact that Senko, the fox spirit, is drawn like a little girl. But she’s really 800 year old, so it totally legal. I know the show addresses this, but that don’t make it any better. Where the show really excels, however, is in the scenes where Senko takes care of the protagonists, Nakano. Senko’s mission is to help Nakano relax, so she does things like make him dinner, message his shoulders, etc. But most importantly, she speaks softly and emphatically to him, and when Nakano relaxes, it strangely makes you relax too. This transference of feel speaks to these scenes quality. I would actually recommend imitating some of the things Senko does with  your partner (as an anime review online, I am a of course a qualified couples expert). Not necessarily the housecleaning stuff, as that’s a team effort, or the constant meal prep, as you really should be switching cooking nights, or just go on a dinner date. And I’d moderate exactly how much you let them touch your floofy tail, or else they’ll take advantage of the situation. Look, what I’m saying is-maybe one of these days, if the mood is right, take your partner head and gently put it on your lap or chest, maybe stroke their hair, and just hold them. Make them feel safe and loved. Plus, it’s easier than cooking tofu.

Cons: You know, there are some people that really don’t like being criticized about their love of loli characters. Some feel its a censorship issue, or culture insensitivity, or kink-shaming, or whatever. And while I respect all arguments, BROTHER, STOP PERVING ON LITTLE GIRLS. About 50% of this anime is a sweet and calming story about taking care of someone you love. The other 50% is a full grown man having an underage girl baby him. We all know what “floof you tail” means ya weirdos. And the orgasm ears weren’t subtle either. There’s also a bathing scene I wasn’t a fan of. The show does just enough to sexualize Senko and her equally underage friend Shiro to take me out of a lot of scenes.

Watch it?: It’s calming, but skip the loli-bait scenes (3/5)

MVP: Senko

I can’t talk to my cat without calling her a floof ball now.

Best Episode: “I’m Going to Pamper Him to His Heart’s Content!” (a great episode. I wish the entire series was only this).

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Zombie Land Saga

Type: And they say comedy is dead!

Synopsis: Thank you, I’ll show myself out.

Pros: The anime is about a group of zombie girls from different times brought back to life to become Idols for a small Japanese prefecture. Saga is apparently a real place, though I don’t know how hard up they are for tourists. I hear their chicken is pretty good. Anyway, this show is known for being one of the best comedies of 2018. The comedy comes from three sources: The clashes of personalities between the girls, the brash nature of their manager (Kotaro), and the shows love for abrupt jokes. I mean, when the opening joke of a girl getting hit my a truck becomes a meme, I think you know what kind of show your getting into. The show has a strong cast, and I especially liked Sakura’s anxiety, Saki’s rudeness, and Yugiri’s slapping ability. If you want just pure comedy, I would say focus on episodes 1-5, which show the girls getting into idol-related situations as a group. From doing a silly commercial to trying to land a promotion deal, Franchouchou’s hijinks do a lot to sell the ensemble nature of the show. And the show does get very silly. The animators were clearly having fun at some moments. Tae bursting into a room will never be not great.

Cons: First off, this is an idol show. Zombie gimmick aside, a lot of the stories revolved around being an idol. So if you aren’t digging the rise of idol shows in anime, this probably won’t change your mind. This is because two of the show’s main characters, Ai and Junko, have story arcs the specifically revolved around being idols. Being only actual girls with idol experience, the show explores Ai and Junko’s hesitation to join another group. The show actually does a lot of character work, despite having a reputation as a irreverent comedy. Episodes 6-12 gives each of the characters (except Yugiri and Tae) spotlights episodes exploring their pasts in some way. Ai and Junko have a philosophical disagreement over idol-fan interactions. We learn how Lily and Saki died, and the people they left behind. We also get a three-episode exploration of Sakura’s character as the season finale. While all this is great, is does take away from the comedy of the earlier episodes. So from a comedy scale of Adam Sandler to Adam Sandler, I’d give this a Adam Sandler in Click (2006). Solid, but some of the emotional beats don’t quite mesh well with the comedic nature of the story. (p.s. Those 3D performances were also not great!)

Watch it: Better than dying, resurrecting, then becoming a singer (4/5)

MVP: The Rap Battle in Ep. 2

With one season out, will I live to see season 2? The way the anime industry is going, I don’t know….

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Go Go Neverland SAGA” (Apparently there was some controversy over Lily being trans, but honestly? It’s a very sweet and funny story. Father-daughter stories get me ever time).

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