Let’s face it, sometimes anime is hilarious. Occasionally a character will say something with just the right animation that will cause a viewer to erupt with laughter. Some of the funniest moments come from anime that aren’t even primarily part of the comedy genre. This reason probably stems from how familiar these anime allow us to become with the characters. Take for example One Piece, an anime about the Straw Hat Pirate crew and their goal to accomplish their dreams.
A viewer learns and grows with these characters as they do and although they are fictional, you feel like you know them. So when they do something humorous or silly it comes off as all the more funny. Take an anime like Hajime No Ippo an anime entirely about boxing. Through the main characters’ training, victory, and losses, we learn their motivations and dreams, and it has one of the coolest male anime characters ever. Through their interactions with each other, we learn their dynamics and watch the building of their camaraderie. It’s having these moments in mind that make the silly arguments and foolish challenges such as catching fish with their bare hands or fighting bears so funny. It’s funny because we know and love these characters. Also makes for one of the coolest fighting movies, beyond just being a great funny anime.
There are moments in these anime that are intentionally written to be humorous such as in Food Wars, where the running gag of terrible food keeps all of the main characters focused. So humor in anime is really just a form of appreciative love of the characters and only a well told story can craft that kind emotion response.