Even though we mostly watch anime in Japanese, the emotional core of the show can break through the linguistic and cultural barriers to hit us right in our heart. And comedy is extra difficult to translate, but if the original work has some savvy writing behind its jokes, we’ll still be clutching at our sides regardless of the language.
Today, we’re taking a look at the five funniest moments in 2018 anime—those scenes that still pop up in our brain many months later and make us giggle in public. Let’s reflect on them and laugh all over again!
5. Death Metal Karaoke from Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: April 2018
Sanrio is well known for its cutesy and childish mascot characters, with Hello Kitty as its poster girl. So what’s all this about them making a show about a 20-something lady working a stifling office job? How could they use their iconic kawaii style to tell a story like that?
And then the shy little red panda shuffled over to a karaoke bar, pulled out a microphone, and started belting out death metal at the top of her tiny lungs. It was at this point in the first episode that we realized what Aggressive Retsuko was: a self-aware comedy that aimed to explore young adulthood through the lens of something childish that we all grew up with. It’s the anime Avenue Q!
4. Overzealous Yaoi Fangirls from Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san (Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2018 – December 2018
Poor Honda-san just wants to manage his bookstore in peace, but the never-ending streams of nerds who come to browse the manga selection keep him on his skeletal toes 24/7. Our favorite scene comes from the first episode, where Honda-san tries to help foreign customers with yaoi recommendations.
After nearly expiring on the spot from attempting to explain what a yaoi doujinshi is to a clueless American man shopping for his daughter, a group of fujoshi foreigners asks him for help with choosing boys’ love books. His panicked declaration of “This muscley guy is uke!!” will never get old.
3. The Kancho Duel from Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (Chio’s School Road)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2018 – September 2018
Chio can’t seem to walk to school even once without stumbling upon some crazy scenario or another. In episode 7, she bumps into her friend’s little sister, Chiharu, who treats kancho (jamming fingers up people’s butts) like a deadly serious martial art.
Soon, the two are embroiled in a shounen-style duel – complete with auras of power, bombastic dialogue, and supersonic clashes that can barely be seen with the naked eye. It’s over-the-top in the best possible way and only ends when the gym teacher taunts Chiharu by sticking out her lovingly drawn butt and daring her to attack. Umm... did we mention that this author used to make hentai?
2. The Torture Dance from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: October 2018 – currently airing
You can’t be a gangster without a sick sense of style, especially when you’re in the notoriously fabulous JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. Characters mostly tend to show off their effortless coolness with elaborate clothes and gravity-defying poses, but episode 7 of Golden Wind shows us another way to flex your style – dancing!
While torturing an enemy gangster for information (by burning his eye like it’s an ant under a microscope), three members of Bruno’s gang spontaneously burst into a choreographed hip-hop dance with a funky tune and trippy visuals to back them up. It doesn’t really make any sense or come up again, but that almost makes this random display of swag even better!
1. Hoshiiro Girldrop Fakeout from Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 – March 2018
Nobody really knew what to expect with Pop Team Epic, but this ditsy idol anime wasn’t it. For the length of an entire opening scene and theme song, the first episode of Pop Team Epic plays out as a cloyingly cliché idol/school romance show... until Popuko tears through the title card and yells “Not!!”
This moment showed us the lengths that Pop Team Epic was willing to go to mess with our heads. They even continued the Hoshiiro Girldrop “storyline” in the next episode previews each week! Popuko’s fourth-wall-breaking entrance let us know that this anime would be unlike anything we’d ever seen before.
Along with these five moments, we also loved that surprisingly funny scene in Attack on Titan season 3 when Historia tells Eren to stop acting like a victim and help out already. You tell ‘em, girl! No pity parties in Historia’s house.
What did you think of our list? What was your favorite funny anime moment from this year? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!