This last decade has brought us many beloved anime whether they lasted 1 season or 5. All kinds of isekai, romance, and shounen anime stood out but what many of these genres shared was a distinctive comedy. While anime can usually rely too strongly on the same old jokes and gags, there were a number of shows that were just as refreshing as they were hilarious. Trying to narrow down what anime made us laugh the most in the last ten years is a tall order, but here are our best recommendations for the top 10 best anime for the 2010s!
10. Aggressive Retsuko (Aggretsuko)
- Episodes: 100 (JPN)/10 (Netflix)
- Aired: April 2016 - March 2018 (JPN)/April 2018 (Netflix)
Retsuko is a young office lady who has to deal with a lot of unpleasantness in her work life. Unfortunately, any sort of backtalk or lashing out will lead to undesirable outcomes so she’s forced to bottle it all up. That is until she makes it to her favorite karaoke place where she can scream her grievances to death metal! Even the sweet, quiet ones have their limits.
One fun thing about the characters of Aggretsuko is that everyone is an animal! The whole company is a zoo in more ways than one with hyenas, fennec foxes, pigs, gorillas, and more. Otherwise, it’s a pretty relatable show for working-age people about having to do more than their job requirements or having to stomach unfair treatment at the hands of their bosses. Even with its rather bleak premise, it’s quite funny. Poor Retsuko totally transforms from a mild-mannered lady to a vicious fighter once she gets her hands on the mic!
9. Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2012 – December 2012
Once identifying as the Dark Flame Master in his middle school years, Yuuta has chosen to leave this all behind and start fresh at a high school far away from anyone who could know his dark secret. Still plagued by memories of his embarrassing behavior, Yuuta gets rid of any traces that would let others recognize his past chuunibyou, those delusions of dark powers. His past comes back to haunt him in the form of his new classmate Rikka who announces to the class that her cursed eye resonates at Yuuta’s presence. It seems like leaving his chuunibyou days behind won’t be so simple.
While this show may not be directly relatable for everyone, most of us either were or know the person to skulk in the shadows and quote edgy books. It can be painful to see similar behavior acted out but it’s done in a fun and charming way. Yuuta is often brought to tears by his own childhood antics and yet he’s forced to babysit his chuunibyou neighbor Rikka who has no shame. Seeing the difference between the epic battles playing out in her mind with the reality of her sister beating her with a ladle is pretty great.
8. Nichijou (Nichijou – My Everyday Life)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2011 – September 2011
In the everyday lives of high school girls Mio, Yuuko, and Mai, things are constantly catching them off guard. Even the child-professor and robot living nearby have a hard time keeping up with the various violent and sassy animals in their town. Even trying to study for (or skipping out on) a test can prove to be a harrowing experience. No matter what happens, though, they still keep looking forward to the next day!
Nichijou is misleading in that is sounds like it would be a pretty normal slice of life anime when, in reality, it’s a barely coherent timeline with crazy scenarios held together only by the different characters meeting and recognizing each other later on. Otherwise, the events seem incredibly random and you can pretty much enjoy the episodes in any sequence as much as you would watching in chronological order. You can’t help but laugh at the conclusions the girls come to when faced with even the most mundane obstacles. When the talking cat tends to be the one that makes the most sense, you know you’re in for a weird time.
7. Shoukugeki no Souma (Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2015 – September 2015
Boys become men when they no longer live in their father’s shadow, and that’s the goal of Souma Yukihara to become a chef that even rivals his legendary dad. So determined is he that Yukihara enters the Tootsuki Culinary Academy. Saying the produce the world’s top chefs would be an understatement; the graduates are near cooking gods. Famous for their Food Wars, where students battle for supremacy, spices are their weapons, ingredients are their tools, and cooking utensils are their shields in these high-stake battles. With so many first-years dropping out, can Yukihara survive to be in the 10% that make it to graduation?
If you think that an anime about cooking couldn’t hold your attention, you’d be wrong. Everything from the varied characters, beautiful artwork, and ridiculous reactions to good food can easily keep you entertained. It’s amazing how a show can be both so educational and yet so stupidly funny. Every taste-test is like an acid trip with people turning into vegetables or skinny-dipping in a pot of soup. There’s a lot of ecchi hilarity over the inappropriate but entertaining three seasons.
6. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
In Ente Isla, hordes of demons begin taking over under the command of Lord Satan. Against all odds, the hero Emelia uses all of her strength to force the demon and his right-hand man Ashiya to flee. They manage to escape immediate danger but find themselves in the mortal realm of Earth where their powers are severely weakened! Being a demon king doesn’t pay the bills so Satan, now known as Sadao, takes up a part-time job at the fast-food chain MgRonalds.
Few things are funnier than a once-powerful, sadistic person being forced into a role of servitude. It’s especially funny seeing how Sadao and Ashiya try to fit in and understand the humans’ ‘strange ways’. Things that are quite normal for us bring forth great interest and sometimes fear for our demon cast. Things get even better when Emelia immerges from Ente Isla and is torn between needing to fit in and her desire to destroy the now part-time-employed Lord Satan.
5. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
Pathetic recluse Kazuma died as he lived; only thinking about gaming. When he arrives before the goddess Aqua, he’s given the choice between going to heaven or begin reincarnated in a medieval fantasy realm much like the kind of games he plays. He is only allowed to bring one thing with him and he all too readily chooses both the fantasy reincarnation and to bring Aqua herself! Unexpected complications arise for both of them as Aqua’s powers are weakened and IRL adventures are a lot more exhausting than computer adventures!
KonoSuba takes what would seem like simple fantasies and makes them near burdens. A beautiful fantasy world? There’s no tutorial and the weak get pushed around. Beautiful goddess accompanying you? She’s super weak now and is quick to throw you under the bus! New comrades? A chuunibyou that can attack once before passing out and a masochist for a knight… You can’t even feel that bad for Kazuma, though, because his immediate example of equality is getting to hit his female friends.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2018 – June 2018
Yakuza member Nitta may not be in the high ranks, but he’s respected for his hard work and loyalty to the family. He finds himself in a different family dynamic when a young alien girl crashes into his home. Hina has little to say and doesn’t emote but reveals that her incredible powers will become unstable without proper use. Not wanting her to become the weapon she was created to be, Nitta ends up watching over her. Trying to maintain his image as a productive member in the yakuza while raising a little kid is a tall order when the kid could also wipe out the city.
Hinamatsuri is a great anime because it manages to be unbelievable, hilarious, and sobering at different parts. You might not think there could be a relatable message in a show about a yakuza dad with an alien girl but there are times you’ll be shocked at the sobering reality they discuss. Then it’s back powerful aliens playing children’s games and a guy desperately trying to account for the needs of a young girl and it’s great fun.
3. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)
- Episodes: 120
- Aired: July 2016 – December 2016
Saiki is a gifted child but in his eyes, he’s cursed. His amazing powers of telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis would make his life easier if he didn’t have to try so hard to keep them a secret from everyone else. He tries to keep others at arm’s length but he seems to naturally draw to people to him. What a difficult life Saiki leads!
With only 5 minutes an episode, it’s easy to get lost watching Saiki. Despite, or maybe because Saiki is such a stoic character, it’s a hilarious show. You’d think the kid with superpowers would be the one doing the unbelievable stuff but instead, it’s the school idol that’s too into herself, the chuunibyou that won’t shut up, and the empty-headed yankee-looking dude that acts like a puppy that make you question what you just saw and heard. Seeing a way over-powered kid try his best to do things in the most normal way possible is pretty funny when all his less-impressive fellow students are so unrestrained.
2. Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2015 – March 2016
The Matsuno sextuplets may be identical (and similarly avoidant of responsibility) but they are quite different individuals! It’s a shame for their parents that not one is cut out for adult life. Osomatsu, Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Ichimatsu, Jyuushimatsu, and Todomatsu live their lives following their passions like petting cats and playing games and genuinely avoiding real work. However, avoiding work can be a real job itself!
In a show where the characters’ situations and even histories are constantly changing in the most bizarre ways, the only real constants are the sextuplets’ characters. They may have similar goals they strive for together but they often diverge on how to get there in the most ridiculous ways. Nothing is off-limits from jokes about masturbation, hitting children, and even incest. Common decency be damned, and you’ll definitely find something new to laugh about if you’ve grown tired of more run-of-the-mill comedy
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 2011 – March 2012
Yorozuya members Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura will take any odd job that comes their way and as such have created quite a reputation for themselves. That is until Shinpachi returns after their one-year hiatus only to discover the others have completely changed. In fact, all the residents of Edo seem to be entirely different. Shinpachi nearly loses hope when he finds his older sister pregnant and married to the masochistic stalker she would normally beat up. When things are already completely backward, Shinpachi does the only nonsensical thing that makes sense; he turns to the Shinsengumi for help.
We wanted to stick to this last decade but even if you didn’t watch the first Gintama, you’ll catch up quite quickly. Shinpachi does a good job recounting the plot even though Gintoki and Kagura give him crap for trying. With a series that’s constantly breaking the fourth wall and using references from other anime for gags, it’s hard to tell that anything is even terribly different in the first episode for a while. With new characters and new dangers, it’s the same old unpredictable Gintama that will keep you laughing through the decade!
Animation has the freedom to more easily explore controversial and downright impossible scenarios that live-action shows often can’t match. The best comedy is unpredictable and we can clearly see that on our list.
Nichijou and Aggretsuko might be a little more easy to watch and appeal to a younger demographic and when it comes to shows like Osomatsu-san and Gintama’, we’d recommend not watching in public or being faint of heart! Whatever your fancy, we hope you laugh long and hard to these top 10 best comedy anime of the 2010s!
If you feel there are other anime deserving of recognition, please leave a comment with your suggestion!