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10 Greatest Comedy Anime Motion pictures of All Time

10 Greatest Comedy Anime Motion pictures of All Time

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Comedy and Japanese animation often go hand in hand. If you’re looking for the best comedy anime films, here are some of the best you should watch during this Christmas break.

Humour is an integral part of several movies and TV shows, both live-action and animated creations. The latter is perhaps seen as more suited to comedy due to the vibrancy of its characters and the technical finesse of the artists who create some of the most picturesque moving images on the big or the small screen. Since Japan has a distinctive edge in animation-style storytelling, it explains why all of the world’s best comedy anime movies come from acclaimed Japanese filmmakers and studios.

Take, for instance, Studio Ghibli — hailed by many as the greatest animation film studio in the world. Though much of its projects would fall into more thought-provoking genres, Studio Ghibli has produced some fine gems in comedy such as Porco Rosso (1992) and My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999). While the former indeed has a deeper message of redemption that runs parallel to some of its witty and funny sequences, the latter is all about the hilarious misadventures of a modern-day family.

There are also anime movies like The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (2017), which is a visually stunning spectacle of a young woman’s whirlwind adventure through the streets of Kyoto. Throughout her journey, the audiences are introduced to the beauty of a chaotic life and that feeling of amazement and relief when one realises that the love we are looking for has always been with us in the form of a close friend or companion.

Night is Short
A still from The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl. (Image: Courtesy of IMDb)

Children’s favourites such as Stand by Me Doraemon (2014) also find a place alongside the likes of Tokyo Godfathers (2003), which is more of a heart-warming story of belonging that would also appeal to grown-ups.

Though the element of humour is present in several amazing titles, the fact remains that even the best Japanese anime movies do not completely fall into the traditional bracket of the comedy genre. For instance, Pom Poko (1994) is described by some as a “comedy” film, but the tale of a group of tanuki (shape-shifting mythological animals) trying to protect their forest home from human encroachment makes it a poignant film of struggle rather than a light-hearted story.

The story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok

10 best comedy anime movies from Japan all fans should watch:

Directed by: Isao Takahata

Voice cast: Touru Masuoka, Yukiji Asaoka, Masako Araki

IMDb rating: 7.1

Synopsis: Takashi Yamada (Masuoka) and his wife Matsuko (Asaoka) go about their daily lives and everyday struggles in contemporary Japan with their family including their two children and Matsuko’s mother (Araki).

About the film: Based on the manga Nono-chan by Hisaichi Ishii, My Neighbors the Yamadas is considered one of the best comedy anime movies of all time. It is the penultimate film of Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata, who would direct his final film 14 years later — The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013).

Directed by: Ryūichi Yagi, Takashi Yamazaki

Voice cast: Wasabi Mizuta, Megumi Ōhara, Yumi Kakazu

IMDb rating: 7.3

Synopsis: Fourth-grade student Nobita Nobi comes across a futuristic robot cat named Doraemon, who helps him gain confidence in himself, fight his bullies, study hard and win the love of Shizuka Minamoto. But then comes a day when Doraemon must return to his home in the future.

About the film: Stand by Me Doraemon is one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time and one of the best Japanese comedy movies. It also won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year among numerous accolades.


Summer Wars (2009) 

Directed by: Mamoru Hosoda

Voice cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura, Sumiko Fuji, Ayumu Saitō

IMDb rating: 7.4

Synopsis: Kenji Koiso is a maths genius who accidentally causes an artificial intelligence to go rogue. He must now prevent the world from being destroyed by the machine. Meanwhile, Kenji also has to pose as the fiancé of his friend, Natsuki Shinohara (Sakuraba) at her grandmother, Sakae Jinnouchi’s (Fuji), 90th birthday.

About the film: Summer Wars won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year among several other accolades.


Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2010) 

Directed by: Satoshi Nishimura

Voice cast: Masaya Onosaka, Tsutomu Isobe

IMDb rating: 7.4

Synopsis: Vash the Stampede (Onosaka), a gunfighter who abides by a strict no-kill policy, competes with other bounty hunters to catch the wanted robber Gasback (Isobe) in a big city. Interestingly, it was Vash who had saved Gasback from capture 20 years ago.

About the film: The action-adventure movie is based on the Trigun manga of the same name written by Yasuhiro Nightow. It has been widely praised for effectively merging the high-octane action of anime movies with hilarious comedy sequences.


The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) 

Directed by: Masaaki Yuasa

Voice cast: Gen Hoshino, Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya

IMDb rating: 7.5

Synopsis: A young, black-haired girl (Hanazawa) spends a fun-filled party night in Kyoto, meeting a diverse range of peculiar characters, including supernatural beings. But she remains oblivious to the romantic feelings of her Senpai (Hoshino), her classmate from Kyoto University who is with her.

About the film: The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Tomihiko Morimi. An interesting aspect of the film is that it doesn’t specify the names of its characters throughout. The girl, in fact, is referred to as “Kōhai” (junior). Among its accolades is the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.


K-On! The Movie (2011) 

Directed by: Naoko Yamada

Voice cast: Aki Toyosaki, Yôko Hikasa, Satomi Satô, Minako Kotobuki

IMDb rating: 7.6

Synopsis: Four members of an all-girl high school band travel to London to write their farewell song.

About the film: K-On! The Movie is a continuation of the 13-episode anime series K-On! (2009), which, in turn, is based on the manga series of the same name by Kakifly. Like the series, the movie was praised for its beautiful music and fun-filled sequences between its principal characters.


Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979) 

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Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Voice cast: Yasuo Yamada, Tarō Ishida, Sumi Shimamoto, Gorō Naya, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Makio Inoue, Eiko Masuyama

IMDb rating: 7.6

Synopsis: Gentleman thief Lupin III (Yamada) discovers that the money he robbed from a casino is counterfeit. Tracing its origin, he reaches the small country of Cagliostro where he uncovers a secret that involves the evil Count Cagliostro (Ishida). With his loyal friends and longtime nemesis Inspector Zenigata (Naya), Lupin must now rescue Princess Clarisse (Shimamoto) to prevent the Count from carrying forward his intentions.

About the film: The Castle of Cagliostro is the first feature-length film directed by Miyazaki and is the only one that he created before co-founding Studio Ghibli. It is based on the manga character Lupin III created by Kazuhiko Katō, better known by his pen name Monkey Punch.

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Voice cast: Shūichirō Moriyama, Akio Ōtsuka, Akemi Okamura, Tokiko Kato

IMDb rating: 7.7

Synopsis: When all his brothers-in-arms die in battle, World War I flying ace Marco Pagot (Moriyama) mysteriously turns into an anthropomorphic pig. Now going by the name “Porco Rosso,” or “Red Pig” in Italian, he works as a freelance bounty hunter, confronting air pirates over the Adriatic Sea.

About the film: Porco Rosso was the fifth Studio Ghibli film directed by Miyazaki and the seventh overall.

Directed by: Masaaki Yuasa

Voice cast: Koji Imada, Takashi Fujii, Sayaka Maeda

IMDb rating: 7.7

Synopsis: Nishi (Imada) is jobless but dreams of becoming a comic book artist. A chance encounter with Myon (Maeda), his childhood crush, also leads him into an incident with two yakuza. Following a strange turn of events, Nishi begins a psychedelic journey of self-realisation in the spirit world.

About the film: The film is based on Robin Nishi’s manga book of the same name. The critically acclaimed film is best known for beating Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and four other contenders for the Animation Division Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.

Directed by: Satoshi Kon

Voice cast: Aya Okamoto, Tooru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki

IMDb rating: 7.8

Synopsis: Gin (Emori) is a middle-aged alcoholic who is surviving on the streets of Tokyo with two other homeless people, a former drag queen named Hana (Umegaki) and a teenage runaway named Miyuki (Okamoto). When the trio find a newborn baby in the thrash on Christmas Eve, they decide to find its family based on a handful of clues.

About the film: One of the four critically acclaimed films directed by the legendary Satoshi Kon, Tokyo Godfathers is loosely based on Peter B. Kyne’s 1913 novel The Three Godfathers. Since the story revolves around Christmas Eve, it is also counted among the greatest Christmas movies of all time.

(Hero and featured image credit: Courtesy of Studio Ghibli)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What comedy anime has a high IMDB rating?

Tokyo Godfathers (2003) and Mind Game (2004) are two of the highest-rated comedy anime movies on IMDb.

– Which anime should I watch first?

Watching any of Studio Ghibli’s anime movies can be a good way to begin the exploration of the anime world.

– What anime is the most comic?

There is hardly an anime movie that can be placed in the Western understanding of ‘comedy.’ Several anime movies have elements of comedy in them, but their core story can range from kids’ dramas to action-adventure.

Source: Prestige Online

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