The traditional hallmarks of shonen anime are action, adventure, friendship, and the hero’s journey. Unlike shojo anime, romance tends to be a subplot at best. Elements of comedy tend to be running jokes with comic relief characters, like Miroku in InuYasha.
Sitting back and enjoying an anime packed with action and comedic characters and clever, zany plot twists is a great mood-lifter. Shonen, especially the classic titles, tends to go for slapstick humor, like tsundere characters who lash out violently, but that can get an old hat. Some shonen anime embrace parody, clever turns of phrase, and comedy of errors plots.
10 The Vampire Dies In No Time
Audiences who want a vampire anime with less horror and a more kitschy Halloween aesthetic will love it The Vampire Dies In No Time. Draluc is hardly the stereotypical vampire lord who is seductive and patrician. He’s goofy, to say the least, and has more in common with a teenage boy than Count Dracula.
Draluc boasts of a huge collection of video games in his mansion rather than torture chambers or cursed objects. When his mansion’s destroyed, Draluc moves in with a roommate, the vampire hunter Ronaldo. The Vampire Dies In No Time is a delightful, comedic subversion of traditional horror tropes.
9 Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo
Bobo-bo-bo Bo-bobo is based on the comedy shonen manga of the same name by Yoshio Sawai. The tone of the anime is frenetic and jam-packed with comedy and the circumstances that grow zanier and zanier. Though it has a very colorful palette and cartoony art style, the sense of humor definitely isn’t for young ones.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is a rebel fighter who battles with the ultimate weapon — his nose hairs. It certainly makes for some creative, entertaining fight scenes. The central antagonist is a terrible government that wants to make everyone bald.
8 Nyaruko: Crawling With Love
Fans who wonder what it would be like to fall in love with a Lovecraftian entity should watch Nyaruko: Crawling with Love. Nyaruko is an eldritch deity of chaos who walks the earth as a young girl. She saves the boy Mahiro from being hunted by a fellow alien.
Mahiro’s life is thrown into chaos as more and more Lovecraftian aliens invade Earth. Crawling with love‘s hilarity stems from its ridiculous alien-girl characters. The alien roommates’ antics and running gag can sometimes feel a bit overdone, but the premise is unique.
7 Muhyo And Roji’s Bureau Of Supernatural Investigation
Muhyo and Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation is a shonen comedy that will give fans the creeps. Muhyo and Roji are like the Ghostbusters meets the DMV; Their differing personalities foil each other and keep things interesting.
Muhyo is the youngest paranormal investigator in his field, and Roji is his sweetheart assistant. The team hunts down misbehaving spirits and doles out of penalties according to the Magical Law guidelines. Injecting elements of horror into the comedy adds a dose of freshness that might otherwise feel formulaic.
6 Food Wars!
Food Wars! is a slice-of-life comedy with a lighthearted premise about an elite culinary school. The series takes shonen tropes, like high-impact action, verbal repartee, and competition, to the extreme.
Soma is a complete goon who cackles at his own hare-brained food pairings, has emotional swings, and likes to terrorize his fellow students with repulsive experimental dishes. The chibi interludes as the characters bicker are cute, and Soma is proudful and doesn’t appear to take himself seriously, though he really does.
beelzebub opens when Oga, a teenage ne’er-do-well, is chosen to adopt the spawn of a demon lord. Luckily, Oga isn’t totally alone in raising the baby demon; Hilda the maid helps out. In the beginning, Oga’s determined to pass off his parental duties to other students.
No matter what Oga does, though, baby Beel remains emotionally attached to his caregiver. The devious baby, who likes to relieve himself on people’s heads and cause lightning to strike, makes a perfect duo with Oga. The show is so fast-paced and funny that even the filler episodes are captivating.
4 Spy X Family
For a show about assassins and spies, Spy x Family is rather wholesome and cute. Yor, Loid, and Anya are an unlikely group pretending to be a family for Loid’s cover as a spy. Loid and Yor can’t help but be wrapped around Anya’s little finger.
Loid goes to great lengths to make his daughter happy, and Yor will do anything to protect her. Yor’s slow-burn romance with Loid is as adorable as it is quirky. With their disparate lies and secrets comes an odd sense of acceptance. Even when Yor spends an entire episode being adorably drunk, Loid takes her behavior in stride, and Yor does her best to play along at their daughter’s school acceptance celebration.
3 Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Miyuki and Kaguya are school rivals Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. Their rivalry extends far beyond academics and extracurriculars, though. They are both head over heels for each other and refuse to confess. Rather, they both want to trick the other into confessing their feelings.
Misunderstandings fuel the plot, but they never get tired or trite; Miyuki and Kaguya’s games trigger many arguments hidden behind the facade of politeness. It’s adorable as Kaguya tries not to blush over Miyuki and as Miyuki rages internally about how cute Kaguya is in everything she does.
2 The Devil Is A Part-Timer!
When a demon warlord is expelled from his world and dumped into the mundane human world, he has to find a way to make ends meet in The Devil Is A Part-Timer!. Sadao can barely access the might of his demonic powers, so he must get along like every other human scratching out a living.
Though he was once a terror, Sadao takes well to the responsibility of a part-time MgRonalds position slinging burgers and fries. He takes pride in his work, much to the surprise of his demon companion and hero-girl “enemy.”
1 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure lampoons nearly every shonen trope, and it parodies some shojo ones, too. Though the series is full of violent fights, horrific creatures, and gorey scenes, there’s a belly laugh in nearly every episode.
The promise of JoJo‘s premise is not to take itself too seriously, resulting in an unending amount of fandom inside jokes. That’s not to say it doesn’t have hard-hitting moments, either. Some death scenes are so well-written that they can prick tears. but overall, JoJo is so chaotic that it’s never boring.
NEXT: 10 Happiest Anime Endings That Leave Us Feeling Sad
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