Considering that 2017 was a rather turbulent year, we needed a bit of laughter. Like always, anime delivered a ton of humorous series spread across the 12 months. Besides returning greats like Gintama and Osomatsu-san, a host of new comedy-oriented shows hit the scene. While they were not all worth watching, quite a few hilarious characters left a lasting impression.
Comedy is subjective and comes in all shapes and sizes. Some might prefer the over-the-top hijinks of slapstick greats like Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, while others are drawn towards the more surrealistic style of Nichijou. Whether these anime suit your preference or not, it is hard to deny that they are effective and memorable.
Here are 2017's top 10 funniest characters!
10. Gintoki from Gintama.: Porori-hen (Gintama.: Slip Arc)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: Oct 2, 2017 – Dec 25, 2017
If this list was not restricted to 2017, Gintoki would rank much higher. Gintama has been around since 2006 and continues to deliver a brilliant mix of action and comedy. The last hundred or so episodes have shifted the focus from the latter to the former, with entire seasons dedicated to just furthering the plot. Gintama.: Porori-hen was a return to the classic comedic episodes of yesteryear; although, the content was nowhere near as consistent.
Gintoki continues to be the funniest character on the show, often delivering the only laughs in an otherwise serious episode, but the Slip Arc had him constantly acting like a jerk. To the white demon's credit, there were still a lot of laughs to be had, but 2017 was hardly a definitive year for Gintama. Despite this critique, the Super Sadist episodes were gut-wrenchingly funny and showed Gintoki at his absolute best. With the final arc currently airing, we will miss the adventures of Odd Jobs.
9. Satanichia Kurumizawa McDowell from Gabriel DropOut
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: Jan 9, 2017 – Mar 27, 2017
Gabriel DropOut pondered what would happen if a group of angel and demon girls traveled to the human world and fell in love with video games. Most of the humor derives from how the anime subverts expectations when it comes to the girls' behavior. While Gabriel might be an angel, she is crude, irresponsible, and nearly ends the world due to an accidental panty shot. Nothing about this anime is politically correct and that is definitely a compliment.
If forced to pick the funniest character on the roster, it would have to be Satanichia Kurumizawa McDowell. Her name probably gives it away, but Satania is a demon. Prideful to a fault, Satania sees Gabriel as her arch nemesis and sets out to defeat her. In reality, her stunts are harmless and nothing more than innocent pranks, while Gabriel tends to retaliate in a much more brutal manner.
Satania's constant attempts to prove that she is evil lead to some of the funniest scenes in Gabriel DropOut. She is the perfect foil to Gabriel and, honestly, the show's most sympathetic character.
8. Zapp Renfro from Kekkai Sensen & Beyond (Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: Oct 8, 2017 – Dec 24, 2017
With the exception of the tense final two episodes, Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond seemed to prioritize comedy over drama. The Libra members really work well together, with their conflicting personalities leading to some genuinely hilarious interactions. In the first season, Zapp Renfro was introduced as a cool action hero before slowly becoming the comedy relief.
The second season treats this hotheaded punk as a borderline idiot. While still capable of delivering a punch, most of Zapp's appearances are played for laughs. Thankfully, the jokes rarely ever miss the mark. Zapp's arrogance regularly gets him into trouble, especially when he is interacting with Chain Sumeragi; so, we cannot help but laugh whenever Zapp is on the receiving end of a bit of slapstick. Zapp has racked up a ton of negative karma and the universe has decided to even the score.
7. Tooru from Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: Jan 12, 2017 – Apr 6, 2017
Who does not want a dragon as their best friend? Especially when they seem to be willing to go that extra mile to make you happy. Due to a terrible experience and her father's teachings, Tooru hates humans with every fiber of her being. Things change when she meets a drunken Kobayashi, who saves her life and proves that not every human is out to get her. From that point on, Tooru dedicates her life to Kobayashi and becomes her maid.
A fish out of water setting is a great basis for laughter, and Tooru is no exception. Some of the funniest moments of the series arise from the dragon's misconceptions of how the human world works. Tooru's idea of doing the laundry consists of thoroughly soaking the clothes in her mouth, and cleaning the apartment involves wiping out all the furniture with her special magical abilities. Suffice it to say, for a maid, Tooru is hilariously inept.
The lovable dragon tends to react less than positively to any human besides Kobayashi. If someone happens to show romantic interest in Tooru's master, they can expect a visit from a dragon in their near future. With the flick of a switch, Tooru changes from Kobayashi's sweet maid to a comically terrifying monster capable of destroying the world.
6. Kurokami no Otome from Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Apr 7, 2017
Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome came and went without making much of a fuss. Based on Tomihiko Morimi's manga of the same name, who also penned The Eccentric Family, and directed by Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei's Masaaki Yuasa; this movie is best described as a surreal study into human behavior and love. The plot follows Senpai, a guy desperate to declare his love for a wandering black-haired maiden, who is simply referred to as Kurokami no Otome. Unfortunately, she refuses to stand still, forcing Senpai to follow her from one wacky situation to the next.
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is packed with colorful and unique personalities, as random strangers drop in and out of Otome's journey. Due to the frantic storytelling and the ever-changing setting, the secondary characters are constantly in rotation. Propelling the narrative forward, Otome is the anime's entire driving force. Incredibly charming and unique, the maiden's wild personality is reflected by the plot's eccentric nature. Despite Senpai's best efforts, Otome remains oblivious to his advancements, as her night takes a few weird turns.
Otome is initially presented as an idealistic heroine before her true nature is slowly revealed. She is driven merely by whim, as her night of debauchery leads her from one strange character to the next. Otome gets involved in a drinking contest against a money lender to free the debt of an aging farmer. Later on, she ends up as the central character in a theatre production alongside Don Underwear, a student who refuses to change his pants until he meets the love of his life. Like Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome, the heroine is hard to pin-down but her love for life is infectious.
5. Yasaburou Shimogamo from Uchouten Kazoku 2 (The Eccentric Family 2)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: Apr 9, 2017 – Jun 25, 2017
The Eccentric Family follows a pack of tanuki as they try to avoid being cooked in a hot pot by a group of humans known as the Friday Fellows. Despite being fully aware that tanuki have magical powers and feel pain, the Friday Fellows show practically no remorse when using these beautiful animals as food. The premise probably does not sound like much of a comedy, but the story and tone tend to be laid-back and darkly comical.
Yasaburou Shimogamo deserves most of the credit for the anime's humor, as his carefree attitude reduces some of the story's weight. Reckless and irresponsible, Yasaburou has a sharp tongue. A situation has yet to pass that renders this tanuki speechless. There is just something hilarious about following a central character who barely reacts to the insanity surrounding them.
Yasaburou brings the best out of the rest of the cast. His relationship with Benten turns her from a monster to a somewhat relatable human, while Yasaburou's happy-go-lucky personality juxtapositions well with Yaichirou's level-headiness.
4. Kazuma Satou from Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2)
- Episodes: 10
- Air Date: Jan 12, 2017 – Mar 16, 2017
Wait, an isekai series were the protagonist is not an overpowered hero destined to save the world from an impending evil? Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! returned with a hilarious second season that should have lasted for much longer than ten episodes. Packed with some of the funniest waifus of the year, Kazuma Satou stands in the middle of this wacky adventure.
Kazuma is normal. Sure, the setting might be outlandish, but the protagonist remains grounded in our reality. Kazuma is spiteful, weak, smartish, and way over his head. While the first season spent a significant amount of time introducing the large cast, this sequel allows the core relationships to flourish and speak for themselves. Kazuma is far from one-dimensional; depending on the situation, the 16-year-old teenager can play the part of the straight man or shoulder the majority of an episode's humor.
Relatable and a comedy juggernaut, Kazuma is the hero we deserve. It could be said that humor depends heavily on how people react to a situation, and nobody pulls off 'bewildered' quite like Kazuma.
3. Dino from Blend S (BLEND-S)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: Oct 8, 2017 – Dec 24, 2017
Dino loves the otaku culture. Born and raised in Italy, this handsome and charming entrepreneur traveled to Japan with the goal of opening a maid café. With the launch of Stile, this fantasy became reality, providing Dino the ideal stage to meet an array of waifus.
At heart, Dino is a stereotypical otaku. Despite working as a manager in his own personal café, this 26-year-old man is easily the least responsible person on the roster. Due to his belief that anime has to be watched live, he always arrives late to work. Dino is also a romantic. He instantly falls in love with Maika and tries repeatedly to ask her out. It should go without saying, but these attempts never plan out.
Dino is loud and overly dramatic, but his failed declarations of love are always worthy of a laugh. The manager is generally a pleasant and kind individual, although that did not stop the police from arresting him for seemingly harassing Maika. Obviously, that incident was the one time Dino was not declaring his love.
2. Hoozuki from Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2nd Season (Hozuki's Coolheadedness 2)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: Oct 8, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017
Hey, running hell is a tough job but someone has to do it. In the public eye, Hoozuki serves as the King of Hell's right-hand man who helps to carry out some of the more menial tasks. Behind the scenes, this sadistic demon casually manipulates the King and practically controls Japan's Hell. Serious and never flinching, Hoozuki is hardly a straight-up villain, as his dedication to the job ensures that the underworld continues to function at a satisfactory rate.
Hoozuki hates incompetence, a trait that nearly all of his subordinates possess in spades. When pushed to the limit, this demon is quick to nonchalantly recommend violence as a solution. Hoozuki's stoic demeanor masks a harsh and terrifying protagonist who you do not want to annoy. While he would not harm anyone just for the sake of it, Hoozuki always carries a massive metal club just in case someone drops the ball.
Before long, Hoozuki's reputation starts to precede him, leading to demons like Beelzebub and Satan scaring themselves silly by trying to predict what he is planning.
1. Yoshiko Hanabatake from Aho Girl (AHO-GIRL)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: Jul 4, 2017 – Sep 19, 2017
Stupid does not begin to describe Yoshiko Hanabatake. Aho Girl's protagonist took the concept of dimwitted and made it her own. If 'annoying' was an Olympic sport, Yoshiko would have more gold medals than Micheal Phelps and Usain Bolt combined. In other words, Yoshiko is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. On the other hand, she is the funniest anime character of 2017.
Aho Girl centers around Yoshiko's energetic high-school shenanigans. As every comedian needs an able straight man, she is accompanied by Akuru Akutsu, her childhood friend who wants nothing more than to be left alone. Yoshiko is absurdly confident, to the point that she is willing to pursue her sexual desires without any hesitation. Despite Akuru's best efforts, Yoshiko always ends up getting a zero in her test scores, although she doesn’t really care.
Aho Girl is a sketch show, with each episode being divided into multiple stories. The focus is always squarely on Yoshiko, and she never fails to deliver the goods.
2017 ended up being a great year for comedy. Each season contained a handful of shows that prioritized humor above drama, with quite a few knocking it out of the park. Whether someone prefers slapstick or a more subtle form of comedy, an anime was released to satisfy their needs. Hopefully, the laughs do not dry up during the upcoming months.
What was your favorite comedy series? Please let us know in the comment section below.