Tag Archives: Comedy

Good for laughs. This tag only applies to shows that have consistent attempts at humour or are particularly funny.

Assassination Classroom – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Ansatsu Kyoushitsu TV


Related: Assassination Classroom Season 2

Similar: Great Teacher Onizuka

Kill la Kill

My Hero Academia


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Action Comedy

Length: 22 episodes, 1 OVA



  • The occasional good joke.


  • Squandered premise.
  • Repetitive in plot and humour each episode.
  • OP is cancer.
  • Modern generic character design with little animation.

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Class of delinquents 3-E has one task before graduation: kill their teacher, Koro-sensei! This isn’t an easy task when the teacher is a yellow octopus alien with super speed, god-like strength, and seemingly no weakness. Should they fail, Koro-sensei will rend Earth apart as he did to the Moon.

Assassination Classroom should be a slam-dunk success. The premise is so ludicrous that failure seems impossible, and yet they managed the screw it up. The humour doesn’t work, repetition drills the mind, and a confused identity results in an anime I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

Let’s start with the humour. Half of the comedy is ‘lol random’ and other half is predictable, going for the obvious joke. Assassination Classroom runs out of material within two episodes. Each episode features copies of the following jokes: students surprised at Koro-sensei’s speed despite seeing it every day (their reactions fill what feels like half the dialogue), kids being idiots, and the slutty teacher doing something bimbo related. None of the characters are interesting enough, largely owing to no personalities or memorable characteristics, so you can’t lean on them for enjoyment as you could in the likes of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. Never underestimate the power of good characters to hang out with. The students of 3-E are supposed to be the worst students, yet we never see proof of this, which is a missed opportunity, as that should be their unique selling point and source of comedy. They’re simply generic.

Assassination Classroom tries to teach a moral each episode through Koro-sensei to his students, commentating on the intense and overbearing nature of studies in Japan. He helps them in their assassination attempts – a recurring joke that isn’t as funny as it sounds – and mentors them in life, despite his threat on the world. The aim is to evoke emotion when he is the only teacher that gives these delinquents a chance. Don’t kid yourself, Assassination Classroom, you haven’t earned the audience’s trust to start moralising about life. How are we supposed to take any of these lessons seriously when your poorly handled humour undermines the message? Do you really believe anyone will become a better person from hearing this tripe? Try applying effort next time.

There is no tension, if that’s what you’re looking for after reading the impending doom premise. There are no consequence, not even in a comedic way. A suicide bomber in episode one survives his detonation because Koro-sensei shields him at the last millisecond. It would have been much funnier as a dark comedy like Hot Fuzz, but that would require talent.

Each element of Assassination Classroom is in competition with the other. It can’t decide if it’s a comedy, a death game, a commentary on Japanese education, or about assassinations. These aren’t mutually exclusive elements – a decent author can handle easily – yet here they feel like a fart during a dramatic death scene.

Assassination Classroom doesn’t sell its concept whatsoever and is such a failure in execution that you shouldn’t give it a minute of your life. I have an idea: watch Hot Fuzz instead.

Art – Low

Here we have the modern generic designs for characters, just as Zegapain had a decade ago. The animation is cheap, static, often using the patented Dragonball Z teleporting action.

Sound – Low

The acting is passable with nothing to say. The opening sequence could kill Koro-sensei with cancer.

Story – Very Low

A classroom of students must assassinate their alien teacher before he destroys the world. Assassination Classroom has a potentially hilarious premise executed by repetition and bad humour.

Overall Quality – Very Low

Recommendation: Skip it. Assassination Classroom is a waste of time unless you love seeing the same bad jokes every episode.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


Horrendous ActionIncoherentNot FunnyRubbish Major Characters


Black Butler – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Kuroshitsuji


Related: Black Butler II (included in review)

Black Butler III: Book of Circus (included in review)

Black Butler: Book of Murder (included in review)

Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic (included in review)

Similar: Pandora Hearts


Hellsing Ultimate



Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Historical Supernatural Action Comedy

Length: 46 episodes (3 seasons), 1 movie, 9 OVA



  • That’s one hell of a butler.
  • Dub’s goofiness is fun.
  • The ‘Making of Black Butler’ episode.
  • Book of Murder OVA.


  • Ciel is a bore.
  • Every Britain-set anime cliché.
  • Keeps retconning itself with each season.
  • Season 2. All of it.

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Black Butler is a bit of a mess. Its production is rife with uncertainty, changes of story, and confused accents.

It follows the story of Ciel Phantomhive, young noble of his name and Queen Victoria’s ‘Guard Dog’ aided by his trusty butler, Sebastian Michaelis, a demon with whom he made a contract – service in exchange for Ciel’s soul once his goal is finished. Despite the dark pitch, Black Butler is more comedy than anything as Sebastian deals with all manner of problems caused by guests and even his own staff. Not that any of this is a challenge for him. He is one hell of a butler, after all.

When the Italian Mafia tries to do the naughty in Her Majesty’s land, it’s up to Ciel to give them a good kick up the backside. Well, Sebastian will do the kicking – after offering some wine, of course. It would be insupportable for a butler to lose his manners even with the most trying of guests. Even a con-noble receives a meal before the gothic mansion eats him alive.

The relationship between Ciel and Sebastian has a good dynamic – similar to Integra and Alucard of Hellsing, though Sebastian will offer to resolve conflict with a spot of tea and cake first. Hopefully he won’t need to use the finest silverware on the guest’s throat. He’s a great character and the key selling point of Black Butler. Without him, there wouldn’t be much of worth here, for Ciel is a bore, always dour and he just sits there giving orders most of the time.

The mansion staff are incompetent – except for Tanaka, who’s fine as is – and would be fired in any other scenario, generating much of the comedy, even more so in English. Here we come to a key decision when watching Black Butler – Japanese or English? The Japanese is quite standard, solid even, but without accents, whereas the English is full of accents – British of varying classes, Irish, Indian – many of them not particularly great, but that’s part of the fun. The mansion staff in particular are a riot in English. A joke about being a posh Victorian also works better when the character sounds like a posh Victorian.

Black Butler’s serious elements are where the inconsistencies manifest. It starts with an encounter against the Ripper (featured in every Britain-set anime, along with Indian royalty), who turns out to be a weirdo and sort of a good guy. Then season one ends with a major event on which you could conclude the anime, only to have it reversed for season two, as though they didn’t know they had a green light for a sequel until too late.

Now, season two is rubbish. The antagonist is a mirror to Ciel, another young noble with a demon butler contracted. The poncey kid is obnoxious and the endless allegiance switching is a trial in tedium. That arc too ends on a major event, only to have it yet again retconned by season three. You could count the erasure of season two as a blessing considering how bad it is, but you know what would be better? Not needing to wipe it in the first place. My understanding is that these major events aren’t from the manga, which would lend to the idea that each season ended as though it were the last to avoid the common problem of incomplete anime. Black Butler now has three seasons and a movie with more likely on the way. I liked the end of season one – lots of tension, Ciel finally challenged – but not in the grander context of other seasons. It’s a real mess, I tell you.

A surprising success of Black Butler is in the OVAs. These are often throwaway episodes that waste your time, but the OVAs for season two are a ton of fun, the best of which is the ‘behind the scenes’ episode that pretends all the characters are mere Victorian actors starring in a TV show. Season three’s OVA, Book of Murder, is a great standalone Holmesian mystery around a dinner party of eclectic characters.

Black Butler’s messy nature makes it difficult to recommend in the face of countless other superior anime. Even so, its appeal will come to those looking for an anime that isn’t set in Japan or high school. This may be a case where the manga is better.

Art – Medium

Black Butler looks like anime from the era, such as Ouran High School Host Club, Emma, and Spice & Wolf, though with a gothic slant. Not much in the way of animation.

Sound – Medium

You have two choices: the better yet standard Japanese or the inconsistent yet far more entertaining dub. I much prefer the latter. The haunting Gregorian choir is great while most of the theme songs are unsuited to the gothic Victorian atmosphere.

Story – Medium

A young Victorian noble and his trusty butler dispatch the queen’s enemies in between a spot of tea. Black Butler fluctuates wildly in quality and engagement because of poor planning for future seasons and odd changes from the manga.

Overall Quality – Medium

Recommendation: Try it. Black Butler is dated by today’s standards and has its issues, but it can be fun for those seeking something a little different. I recommend the dub. You can watch the two Book of Murder OVAs for a good standalone experience.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan


Related: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. 2 (TBR)

Similar: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto


Daily Lives of High School Boys


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Supernatural Comedy

Length: 120 episodes, 5 min. each grouped into 24 episodes on disc



  • Bloody hilarious!
  • Saiki is perfect.
  • The most absurd world rules.
  • Excellent acting.


  • Room for escalation.
  • Budget art and animation.

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Saiki is such a powerful psychic that it has made life tedious. Nothing surprises one who can hear thoughts from hundreds of metres away. Going to the cinema is an exercise in futility when everyone spoils the twist in their minds. The only person on Earth that can surprise him is his “best friend” with a mind so moronic that it’s blank. Life has devolved into doing everything in his immense, yet seemingly still insufficient power to avoid his peers at all costs.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is one hilarious anime. I didn’t expect as much when looking at the cover art, particularly with Saiki’s goofy design of pink hair with alien antennae. However, his character design is perfect once you hear the explanation for it. Because pink hair would look weird, – yes, one of few anime to question it – he used his power to alter reality and made coloured hair perfectly common. Finally an explanation for anime hair! The meta humour is my favourite part of Disastrous Life. I lost it when Saiki explains that the reason your crotch always retains a piece of “strategic censorship” cloth in action scenes is thanks to his will. Karate chops knock people out in one hit? Thank Saiki. I love it!

From meta humour to visual gags to witty comments, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. packs so many jokes in each of its mini 120 episodes. Saiki himself is a non-stop joke machine. Not by his intent, mind you. His inner monologue and telepathic speech provide a constant stream of humour as he reacts in monotone to all the bothersome people around him. His face rarely changes from the blank stare.

At first, I thought this would grow old – each episode would have a monotone Saiki with a blank face foiling some plan by a classmate to hang out with him. Disastrous Life is the opposite, always trying the same types of jokes in a different way, building upon a gag from several episodes ago, and it never drags. The decision to go with 5-minute episodes was spot on. It makes this so consumable and, oddly enough, had me watching more episodes at a time because “It’s just five more minutes for another.” That another soon turned into several, which in turn became hours. Furthermore, he isn’t a cool or arrogant character, as you would expect of the premise. He’s just some overpowered guy that does his best to solve problems of daily life.

The show owes much of this engagement to the side cast, an odd and varied group including the moronic “best friend”, a guy who believes he’s a superhero, Saiki’s nutty parents (his mother cooks his father a shoe for dinner when mad), and many more. My favourite has to be the Kokomi, the prettiest and most popular girl in school. She hits on him, but he ignores her, which she takes as a mark of his shyness and in her magnanimity, she keeps flirting with him. Again. And again. It is so generous, so benevolent of the hottest girl in school to flirt with the shy dork, after all. You know, because she’s so nice and giving. I chuckle recalling their scenes.

There are too many great characters and great jokes to cover them all in a mere review. Needless to say, this anime entertained me to the end.

However, room for improvement exists in escalation, as the locations and scenarios play it a little safe at times. There is the possibility that such material is for the second season. Even so, many existing scenarios could have gone up a level. They could have made more use of Saiki’s reality altering powers to take his classmates to crazy places, for instance. Here’s hoping season two pushes matters further.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is such an entertaining easy anime to watch that you have no reason not to try it.

Art – Medium

Great visual and character design redeem this otherwise low budget production. There is little animation or detail here.

Sound – Very High

This sharp script packed with witty humour works in either Japanese or English. I applaud the translator for making every joke work. You can go with either language and receive the full experience.

Story – High

A teenager of immense psychic power does his utmost to avoid his fangirl, his moronic best friend, a wannabe superhero classmate, his parents, and everyone in general really. Always hilarious and full of memorable characters, Saiki’s disastrous life could only get better by escalating further into crazier scenarios.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Watch it. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is hilarious and its bite-sized structure makes it easy to pick up and watch at any time.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)


HilariousStellar Voice Acting

Negative: None

Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Tetsuwan Birdy Decode


Related: Birdy the Mighty (old OVA version)

Similar: Parasyte -the maxim-

Ajin: Demi-Human

Darker than Black


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Science Fiction Action Comedy

Length: 26 episodes (2 seasons)



  • Surprisingly good.
  • Complexity of alien relations.
  • Birdy is a fun character.


  • Audio mixing issues.
  • The guy is too ordinary.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Birdy Cephon is an intergalactic officer from the Space Federation working on Earth to find her target, an alien disguised as a fashion worker. To that end, she remodels herself as ‘Shion Arita’, fashion idol by day, officer by night. The target is within reach when it all goes wrong. She accidentally kills Tsutomu, a high school boy that happened to be in the building, and in her distress, she takes his consciousness into her body with the hope her people may be able to restore him. Until then, they have to balance his school life with both her jobs, all while keeping the dual residence a secret. More aliens are on the way.

When I first saw this setup, I resigned myself to an average series, something pleasant along the lines of Noragami. You have ordinary guy with extraordinary girl in high school for hijinks thanks to the ability to swap appearance back and forth, and the occasional villain to vanquish. The humour made good use of the scenario – when he annoys her, she initiates a punch against herself, swaps bodies, and he takes a fist to the face. They soon travelled to her home world, a nexus of alien civilisations with the Space Federation, where she initiated protocol to restore his body and she faced punishment for his destruction. I like the alien tech, such as the ships and the city – I anticipated an earthbound adventure only. These were pleasant surprises, but they returned to Earth sooner than I would have liked and the ‘ordinary’ settled in.

I had heard conflicting reports of Birdy the Mighty: Decode for years (the reason it’s on my list to begin with), and I started to feel which side I would fall on. Once the plot gets going, however, and all the typical body swapping jokes and secret identity scenes are out of its system, Birdy the Mighty: Decode captured my attention. This change starts when an alien entity merges with one of Tsutomu’s friends, raising his personal stakes and delivering a heartfelt narrative. The main villain of the season, Shyamalan (I can’t find confirmation if this is a play on the Hollywood director), also steps up. His pure evil heightens conflict further.

The first season ends with significant ramifications, which the second season uses to full effect. A group of alien fugitives are in disguise on Earth for Birdy/Tsutomu to capture. However, rather than be typical evil-only villains, they have shades of grey that creates a complex web of relations. Some ally, some turn on each other, and some even want no part of the whole affair. Then other villains want to kill these villains. And a friend of Birdy’s adds yet another knot to the plot.

Birdy the Mighty: Decode goes from predictable to engaging and far more violent than the colourful art implies. If anything, it adds too much in season two. A few sub-plots don’t have much to them since there simply isn’t enough screen time for everyone. Also, though we do return to the alien world, it’s still not as much as I would like. This nexus reminds me of Mass Effect’s Citadel, which is my favourite location in that game.

Lastly, Tsutomu never grows into a deep character, despite all efforts. He’s not harem level, of course, but the writer fell for the trap of thinking that an ordinary character meant bland. Birdy makes up for it with her sense of fun contrasted by her violent backstory as ‘Berserker Killer Birdy’.

Birdy the Mighty: Decode is by no means excellent, yet it does just enough to put it above the middle tier of comfortable anime. This was a pleasant surprise.

Art – Medium

Can you believe this stylised art came for A-1 Pictures, the studio of blandness? This was before they ran out of creativity. The ‘weak’ line work makes the colours pop and the animation is great most of the time, but the character detail is too low by today’s standards. I still like the style and texture.

Sound – Medium

Season one has a serious audio mixing problem. You strain to hear the dialogue because it sounds as if everyone whispers, then a sudden moment of action blows out your eardrums. It’s been a while since I experienced an anime with this problem. Be careful of the ED, which is at twice the volume of the content. That said, I enjoyed the music when it wasn’t trying to kill me.

Story – High

A boy merges with an alien girl after she accidentally blasts him apart, dragging him into her world of alien criminal hunting and intergalactic relations. A patchy first season doesn’t stop Birdy the Mighty: Decode from weaving an engaging plot in the second.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: For sci-fi fans. I didn’t expect to like Birdy the Mighty: Decode – you may have the same experience. Don’t bother with the old OVA version (unless you love awful dubs).

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None

Humanity has Declined – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita


Similar: Yurikuma Arashi


Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

Arakawa Under the Bridge


Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Post-apocalyptic Fantasy Comedy

Length: 12 episodes



  • Bright and colourful.
  • The manga episodes.
  • Surprisingly good protagonist.


  • Lacks focus.

(Request an anime for review here.)

You know that you’re in for a weird one when a robot loaf of bread ends a tour of the bread factory by telling guests to eat him, and when they refuse, he tears himself apart in agony and blood sprays everywhere. Except, it’s not blood. It’s carrot juice for the kids.

That wasn’t even the first weird moment of Humanity has Declined. In episode 1, the nameless protagonist has to show a village how to do butcher meat because no one can do it anymore in this post-apocalyptic society. For their convenience, an already plucked and headless chicken appears. But first, they have to catch it. Her investigation of where the chicken came from leads to the bread factory, where she meets the lovely loaf mentioned earlier.

Humanity has Declined’s speculation of our future is certainly one of the more unusual versions. Don’t expect much sense – there is no logical leap from our world to the one presented here. It’s a mix of Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In this future, miniature fairies run everything with their advanced technology, which humanity relies on due to incompetence and lack of self-sufficiency. The protagonist works as an arbiter for the UN and must be the link between humans and fairies. She knows their secret. Candy is one hell of a drug. It’s stronger than crack to these ever-smiling keychain charm-looking things.

The story’s themes are commentaries on society and culture – the factory arc satires consumerism, for example. The best episodes succeed the factory arc with the resurgence of yaoi manga after a woman called Y discovers an ancient disk of BL material. She “invents” the yaoi serial magazine, taking the world by storm. The first yaoi convention has a queue to the horizon. Unfortunately for her, others get in on the craze and make magazines of their own – satire on the spread of culture. Her love of yaoi gets her and the protagonist trapped inside a manga. What follows is a great meta episode where reality follows the rules of manga, including space confined to the size of panels. The only way out is to become a bestseller by hooking readers for many volumes.

This episode – 4 – is the best, no contest. I love how they use clickbait and the usual nonsense that long running manga resort to for sales numbers. As odd as the manga concept may sound, it’s saner than earlier events. It goes back to crazy afterwards and then to more normal again for the final two episodes at a girls’ boarding school filled with secrets. Humanity has Declined has consistency problems. Half the time it’s random weird thing after the next, leaping from one gag to another. The other half picks a theme to the jokes and sticks to it for a couple of episodes at a time, which allows development of the jokes and the sub-plots. I enjoyed the latter version and could have passed on the former.

Another aspect that doesn’t work for me is the fairies. I enjoy them best in the background, brought out when needed. Episodes that focus on them aren’t interesting because the fairies have the one joke about candy obsession (and their voices drive you insane after a while – explains that scene in the opening sequence).

Humanity has Declined isn’t a long series and the episodes I enjoyed made it worth my time, thanks in no small part to the protagonist. She could have easily been a moe girl enamoured by the fairies and all the weirdness. Instead, it presents this cynical and witty girl that provides a degree of sanity to the audience. You’re going to need it.

Art – High

The colourful pastel art gives a storybook feel – a weird storybook, sure, but a colourful one.

Sound – Medium

The OP is nuts. Expect lots of cutesy VO.

Story – Medium

A girl investigates the candy-obsessed fairies and their technology that makes this post-apocalyptic world go round. Half good and half unfocused, Humanity has Declined is one odd anime.

Overall Quality – Medium

Recommendation: For fans of the weird and wonderful. You don’t even need to watch an episode to know if Humanity has Declined is for you – the opening sequence will suffice. I recommend episodes 3 & 4 to lovers of meta humour.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None