When it comes to comedy, humor tends to reside in the reactions to an act rather than the act itself. There is nothing inherently funny about someone's pants suddenly dropping in front of a large audience, but if they responded with a standing ovation, then we would be witnessing comedic gold! Freed from the restrictions imposed by live-action series, anime has all the necessary tools to deliver some truly extraordinary reactions. Besides dishing out hilarious facial expressions, the best comedies even play around with their art style. The creator is only limited by their own imagination!
Based on Kenji Inoue and Kimitake Yoshioka's brilliant on-going Manga, Grand Blue acts as a testament to anime's comedic potential. The premise is unspectacular: Iori Kitahara enrolls at Izu University and moves in with his uncle, who happens to own a diving shop. Despite not being much of a swimmer, Iori ends up getting dragged into the Diving Club, which largely consists of naked muscular men who enjoy quenching their thirst with a drop of alcohol. Living with his two female cousins, Iori spends the vast majority of his time trying to convince them that he is not actually a pervert. Alas, most of Iori's pleas fall on deaf ears.
Misunderstandings are the name of the game, but Grand Blue consistently brings the house down with incredible moments of slapstick and perfect timing. With barely any dramatic moments to be seen, Zero-G's anime is all about the comedy! For those who love Grand Blue's irreverent sense of humor, here are six similar anime worth watching.
Similar Anime to Grand Blue
1. Great Teacher Onizuka
- Episodes: 43
- Aired: June 1999 – September 2000
What better place to start then with a bonafide classic? Great Teacher Onizuka centers around a former biker gang leader who dreams of becoming the world's greatest teacher. On the surface, Onizuka's goal sounds almost noble, but the dude's motive is rather perverse. As a virgin, the protagonist desperately wants to hang out with high school girls. Admittedly, the basic premise sounds somewhat off-putting, but Great Teacher Onizuka has no qualms about calling out the titular character's gross behavior.
While shows like Gintama and Grand Blue are experts at shocking viewers with a gut-busting reaction shot, Studio Pierrot's anime set the pace back in the 1990s, and some would argue that Great Teacher Onizuka has yet to be surpassed. The majority of Grand Blue's humor arises from Iori's earnest but misguided attempts to impress his cousins, and most of the side-characters are not intrinsically funny. The same can be said about Studio Pierrot's series, as the humor starts and ends with Onizuka. The teacher's students are depicted in a realistic manner, so the protagonist's shocking behavior juxtapositions sharply against the anime's broader context.
At its best, Great Teacher Onizuka ranks among the funniest series of all time, but there are quite a few serious moments spread throughout the 43 episodes. Tackling themes of neglect and bullying, the anime occasionally takes a solemn turn, but the laughter is usually not far behind!
2. Gin No Saji (Silver Spoon)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: July 2013 – September 2013
"Fish out of water" stories are the bread and butter of the comedy genre, but Gin no Saji pushes things to a whole new level! Developed by A-1 Pictures, Silver Spoon centers around a hardworking but exhausted student who enrolls in an agricultural high school to spite his parents. Arrogant enough to believe that physical labor would be chicken feed for anyone with a brain, Yuugo Hachiken quickly learns that farming is not for the faint of heart.
Silver Spoon wastes little time in getting down to its humor's core. Within the first episode, Hachiken is put through the ringer, as the teenager tries and fails to become accustomed to his new lifestyle. In some ways, Gin no Saji's premise is the extreme version of Grand Blue, as the protagonist has to deal with an alien school rather than merely a recreational club. As one would expect, Hachiken gets involved in countless of shenanigans and frequently gets in trouble.
Grand Blue never hides the fact that it is rather silly, but Gin no Saji has a firmer grip on reality. In the former, the relatively normal Iori is stuck in a quirky club filled with peculiar individuals; conversely, Hachiken is Silver Spoon's weird one. The school itself is nothing extreme, but the protagonist lacks the proper background to deal with its challenges.
Silver Spoon Trailer
3. Working!! (Wagnaria!!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
Replace the Diving Club with a family restaurant and you have A-1 Pictures' anime! Okay, there are also a lot fewer naked men running amok, but fans of Grand Blue should definitely check out Working!!. Spawning two further sequels and a spin-off series, Karino Takatsu's manga proved to be a perfect source for an animated adaptation. While the later seasons devote a fair amount of time to develop the franchise's romantic component, Working!! never forgets its comedic roots!
A high school student obsessed with everything that is small and cute, Souta Takanashi cannot decline the short Popura Taneshima's invitation to work at Wagnaria, a family restaurant run by a fairly eccentric crew. Alongside the odd protagonist, the cast consists of a variety of hilarious individuals, including the quiet Mahiru Inami, who punches any man on sight due to an innate fear of the opposite sex, and the perpetually hopeless Aoi Yamada. Even though Souta tends to take center stage, Working!! is more of an ensemble comedy, with each character being allowed to shine in their own unique way.
Wagnaria may not be the ideal place to work, but the anime is a blast to watch! For those who enjoy Grand Blue's physical comedy and love Iori's interactions with his cousins, A-1 Pictures' Working!! should be a must watch!
Any Anime Like Grand Blue ?
4. SKET Dance
- Episodes: 77
- Aired: April 2011 – September 2012
From one weird club to the next! SKET Dance's title refers to Kaimei High School's SKET Brigade, a troublesome club that specializes in aiding other students. While the group's intentions are clearly admirable, the members are about as far removed from "ordinary" as feasibly possible!
Wearing goggles and extremely talented at concentrating really hard, Yuusuke Fujisaki acts as SKET Dance's main character, although the teenager is probably the least interesting member of the club. Armed with a hockey stick and always ready to take a swing, Hime Onizuka garnered notoriety as a dangerous demon who could take down entire gangs by herself. Last but definitely not least, Kazuyoshi Usui is the brains of the operation and speaks only through a computer. The characters bounce effortlessly off each other, while the rest of the cast is also well developed.
While Grand Blue sees Iori trying to save his reputation at a new school, SKET Dance's club has already made a name for itself as a hangout for troublemakers with hearts of gold. Both anime avoid depending on mean-spirited humor, as there is a certain sincerity that pervades the episodic storylines.
SKET Dance PV
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2014 – March 2014
Out of all our recommendations, D-Frag! is the closest in premise and tone to Grand Blue. Based on Tomoya Haruno's ongoing manga, Brain's Base's anime is a comedic Tour de Force that delivered 12 impeccable episodes capable of tickling anyone's funny bone! A seinen series with an almost haremesque plot, D-Frag! wisely avoids adhering to any cliches associated with either genre.
Seeking to conquer Fujou Academy, the Kazama Family is a ragtag group of delinquents who are not particularly good at spreading mayhem. Led by the charismatic Kenji Kazama, the gang inadvertently ends up saving the Game Development Club from a fire, but they are rewarded with a beating rather than a polite thank you note. In order to protect his friends, Kazama accepts an invitation to join the club.
Consisting solely of girls, the Game Development Club's members are utterly hilarious, while Kazama acts as the straight-man to their absurd antics. In other words, the setting is exactly like Grand Blue, with a protagonist being forced to join a club that proves to be far more entertaining than they initially assumed.
6. Arakawa Under the Bridge
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
While it does follow certain patterns and tropes, Grand Blue's humor can be very random. With the exception of Iori's gradually expanding appreciation for diving, the series' slice of life nature means that episodes are generally self-contained and focus on the daily lives of the characters. When it comes to Arakawa Under the Bridge, randomness serves as its comedic essence. Set in a strange alternate reality where mythological creatures exist but resemble men in costumes, we recommend leaving logic at the door while watching this anime!
Believe it or not, Arakawa Under the Bridge is actually a romance, but the central couple just happens to be incredibly funny. A wealthy businessman who detests the notion of being indebted to anyone, Kou Ichinomiya is saved from the brink of death by a homeless girl, Nino, who lives under Arakawa Bridge. Yearning to balance the books, Kou desperately wants to repay Nino, but the only thing she wants is to fall in love. Left with no choice but to move in with his new partner, Kou and Nino commence their strange life under Arakawa Bridge!
Stoic and arrogant, Kou's reactions to the riverbed's residents make up the bulk of the humor, and the roster consists of some of the quirkiest individuals to ever grace an anime. Kou's situation is slightly more permanent than Iori joining a club, but both characters are stuck in a situation that goes against their immediate life goals.
Arakawa Under the Bridge Trailer
As one of the funniest comedies of the current season, Grand Blue takes full advantage of the medium to deliver some truly memorable jokes. While waiting to experience Iori's next embarrassing dive into the strange world of university clubs, these six shows should be more than enough to keep the party going!
Is there any other anime that you would recommend for fans of Grand Blue? If yes, please leave us a comment below with your recommendations.