Let us know if this has happened to you before: you’re watching a random anime; It’s good or okay and you are enjoying it enough that you have not dropped it. When out of nowhere, some character from the series smashes a power reader exclaiming that it’s over the readings while sporting something that looks like Vegeta hair. Or, another has a shocked face while sporting a kimono and blue/silver hair a la Gintama. It happens all the time and with Japan’s slightly lax censorship laws when it comes to parodies, anime especially is able to do it often. All it takes is a small change, like saying Pintama instead of Gintama. Or putting a bullet sound over another syllable to make it something like Gin*bullet sound*ma. If you are new to anime or new to parodies and want to know more, then this is the place for you.
Jokes Jokes Jokes Jokes!
More or less, what parody anime rely on is shamelessly poking fun at established genres, stereotypes, and sometimes, even people. In fact, it’s quite common to see the easiest of all, characters, parodied in various shows. Today though, we are going to look at shows that not only shamelessly abuse what it means to be a parody anime, but clearly and distinctly help you grasp what it means.
- Episodes: 201
- Aired: April 2006 - March 2010
Gintama is set in another version of Japan. In this Japan, aliens have invaded and to keep order, have banned swords. This has put pressure on samurai who are now out of work. Save for one specific one that is. His name is Gintoki. He will undertake any job no matter how strange or ridiculous as long as it has money coming his way. Everything should go smoothly but doesn’t. Assassins are ever present, the Shinsengumi is a total mess but has it out for him, and of course, there have to be other criminals as well. It is one of the longer running series, as there are still adaptations on air, so Gintama must be doing something right to appease audiences.
Gintama is known for being one of the longest running comedy series that blatantly does things the way it does merely because it feels like it. Gintama takes jabs at modern society parodying leaders of countries, the fourth wall is constantly broken, and pokes at the shounen genre like there is no tomorrow. Just know that the jokes keep coming and never stop.
Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 - March 2018
Poputepipikku or Pop Team Epic has no story. The entire show is just parody after parody after parody with some original skits here and there, but for the most part, the anime characters, Popuko and Pipimi, make fun of everything. Mahou Shoujo, Shounen, Horror, even real life. Nothing is safe from the grip of Pop Team Epic, and that includes Pokemon. If you really do want to give this show a try—and we recommend that you do—be sure to check out the other shows on this list for a feel and revisit this one. It’s well worth it. However, like we said, there is no story per se to lay out other than there are two main characters and they appear across a wide variety of topics.
Pop Team Epic PV
Hating on Everything You Love While Making You Smile
Everyone loves to see something that they are familiar with. Even if it might not make you burst into a giant grin, seeing anime characters or characters in general appear to be coy about something or just randomly making a joke about something you know is oddly satisfying. The viewer feels like they are in on the joke, and chances are that if you have seen enough anime, at least one joke is going to land when made. Common shows picked on are from the shounen genre like Dragon Ball Z, Gintama, Inuyasha, Conan, but that doesn’t exclude others like Evangelion. Chances are that if the show was big enough, it’s going to be made fun of somewhere, and you just need to be present to catch it. That’s not all though as now with the advent of newer shows, even whole genres are being made into one long running joke. Let’s check out two below.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2016 - March 2016
Kazuma Satou dies a humiliating death. It’s so pathetic that even the goddess of life herself Aqua laughs at him for it. However, since he died early, shut-in NEET Kazuma has two choices: He can either ascend to heaven or be reincarnated into a fantasy world that needs to be saved from a Demon King. As a bonus, he can choose whatever he would like as a powerup in this new world. Anything at all, but only one thing. After a few seconds of thinking, Kazuma decides living out a fantasy RPG is just for him, and after Aqua reassures him for what has to be the 15th time that he can have any single thing that he wants in the new world, he points to Aqua herself and says “okay then, I want you.” Dragged into this new world with a reluctant goddess, Kazuma now finds himself nowhere near what he anticipated. He’s level zero with no money, items, or skills. Aqua is about as useful as the panties she doesn’t wear, and with the help of two more in-world characters, Kazuma has a lot to accomplish.
Konosuba took the anime world by storm when it debuted. While fans did get the new isekai anime that they were expecting, they were not expecting it to be a perfect foil for said isekai genre. While isekai is getting very dry as of late when it comes to originality, Konosuba flips everything on its head. Kazuma starts at level 0 with no skills or money. Aqua, for being a goddess, is completely useless. Megumin can only cast 1 form of magic at a rate of one casting per day, and Darkness has a gaggle of issues to work out. Fights are never easy and almost always end in the party being almost decimated. Then when a real battle comes, rather than be useful, Aqua destroys a city. See what we mean? Get ready to laugh as this fanciful adventure takes off.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! PV
One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 - December 2015
Saitama is a bald young man whose hobby is being a hero. He has trained relentlessly for three years and now he is so powerful, that he can finish his enemies in one blow. However, this takes all the fun out of fighting. That changes one day when he meets a cyborg named Genos who was blown away by seeing Saitama fight. The two join the Hero Association in order to become heroes and get recognition. When they take the test however, Genos is placed in the top tier while Saitama barely makes it to C-tier? Their life together now begins as they fight insanely powerful bosses that descend on their city.
Where do we even start with this one? For starters, the entire show is a parody of the shounen genre. While most shounen heroes fight to defeat evil, protect earth, or save loved ones, Saitama’s hobby itself is being a hero. He doesn’t take anything seriously and that includes fights. Rather than have an entire 12 episode arc to fighting one foe, a slap or a punch from him obliterates his foes. Even if a new boss appears every single time, he easily defeats them. Saitama is also not insanely ripped. While other characters are, he, until he undresses, appears plain by all meanings of the word. Another fantastic example is how saitama trains. When you look at other shounen series, they train with danger, fighting, and an intense desire to be stronger. Saitama did it and is done. Not to mention too, his regimen was just plain exercise. Finally, another great example would be how he see him doing everyday tasks like cleaning and cooking. This is something you NEVER see shounen characters doing.
One Punch Man PV
We hope you have enjoyed this article shedding light on parody anime. There are so many other ones out there like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Fooly Cooly, Lucky Star, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Hetalia, hayate no Gotoku, Binbougami ga!, and more! There are plenty more beyond these additional shows, but this gives you more than enough of a starting point to either learn more about parody anime or anime overall. If you have seen all of the above mentioned shows, do you have more shows that you’d recommend for our readers? If so, be sure to let us know down below. Till next time!