The dilemma of humor in anime

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Using American humor as a comparison to Japanese humor, jokes often fall out due to an unfamiliarity with both sides. Of course, over time, the humor evolves according to the change in demographic and the new workers taking over. For example, the themes of comedy in the twentieth century will not be as well received as comedy in the modern era.

Despite this, there is a distinct difference between the styles of humor. Slapstick and irony are more prevalent in Japan. Whereas wit, sarcasm and pessimism are more favored in America. Due to the difference in comic culture, media that use different humor may not be very popular – panty and sock for example; It was well received in America but almost unheard of in Japan.

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The nineties – the first decade of the twenty-first century

It is safe to say that a large number of comedies during this time relied heavily on sexism and discrimination of both cultures. Although Anime’s portrayal of her has relied more on elements of harassment and her heroine is “more than emotion,” with a male protagonist, who is supposed to be the inspiration, her “funny” quirks are rooted in harassment of women. Of course, not all early animations depended on these metaphors, much of the classics conveyed humor unobtrusively – and even others managed to incorporate these traits rather tastefully into animations such as The great teacher Inuzakawhose character is already established as a pervert from the start, and Narutowho was portrayed as immature.


Despite these amalgamations in their characters, there were times when the jokes fell into overdrive – the male protagonist appeared hypersexual or accidentally peeked at the female protagonist, and it hit him. Rinse and repeat. If the metaphor was used sparingly, it could have been a funny gag, but the personification of the female characters in question has become exaggerated. It may have become an exaggerated joke in the West as well, but situational humor is more common in Japan – a misunderstanding or misunderstanding is seen as funnier than making fun of a character.

In Japan, equal pay laws for both genders were not passed until 2020 and the first female entrepreneur who successfully launched a business on the Tokyo Stock Exchange started around 2010. Function. With the small role that women play in society, they have also been the subject of most jokes and comedies. Other anime comics have been marrying characters who either cheat on their wives or girlfriends and treat the revelations as jokes, when the latter gets upset.


Needless to say, there were a lot of sexual values ​​during production. In the United States, there was a similar dilemma, but comedy relied more on stereotypes and “dumb blonde” to tell jokes. However, the male characters did not constantly repeat the jokes mentioned – rather than misunderstanding the male heroes that drove the comic narrative, it was instead the female characters that were written to ridicule themselves. While the themes of the jokes are mostly similar, the implementation is much different.

2010 – 2020

As 2010 approaches, Anime has seen a change in humor, and Japan has had a change of leadership. The late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed, while receiving a mixed reception from the public when in office women’s economy In 2013, a program to encourage more women to enter the labor market. Additionally, the politician, Seiko Noda, became a member of the House of Representatives of the Japanese government in 2005, and has been an advocate of women’s rights and gender equality.


With the heavy presence of women in leadership positions, the humor in popular culture has also begun to change. In some cases, the same gags were used – but in an inverse order. Even long-running soap operas that relied heavily on the embodiment of women as something for humor, like NarutoI started using men and what’s more, these situations were funnier because they were so unexpected. In episode 463 of Naruto ShippudenNaruto relies on a “new technology” he created in order to defeat the enemy he was against. Because of the severity of the fight, viewers were expecting a heavy throw – which they did somewhat, albeit in a much different way. His popular movie “Sexy Jutsu” got an upgrade to “Reverse Harem Jutsu”, which gave viewers a good viewpoint and Naruto an advantage over his opponent. The humor remained situational, but the punchline (no pun intended) was delivered differently.


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When the gender gap in the industry began to narrow, this also meant that feminist perspectives were at play. The earlier anime portrayed women as “chaste,” due to the emotional and intimate infatuation that was frowned upon. The humor became less about sex and more about character. The male and female characters were no longer metaphorical, but were instead well-rounded characters that all viewers could enjoy. Even anime aimed at women was not afraid to make them an offer. before him, not me Written by Junko, the popular BL author who appeared on the small screen in 2016 as a reverse harem, it tells the story of Kae Serinuma, a fuguchi who would rather see her male fans date each other than her. The narrative stands out from other reverse harems in the way the female characters are written more emphatically.

Additionally, male characters are more common, and similar to earlier American humor, the comedic aspects come from the character himself rather than by another external force driving them. One such example is a scene in Konbini Karishi, where Honda and Haruki argue about a girl. The controversy escalates and one ends up addressing the other. Tired of the noise, Haruki’s younger brother entered the room, telling them to be quiet, before jumping to the conclusion that his older brother was intimate and telling him about it. Situational humor, but the actions of Haruki and Honda made them mark the finish line.


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