Japanese shonen anime is geared toward younger male viewers, and this has several implications, including the tone of such animated stories. Seinen tends to be serious, complex, and dark, but shonen anime frequently uses humor and comic relief to charm audiences and keep things grounded. Often, the protagonist will be the funniest character of all.
If a shonen protagonist has a great sense of humor, then that character will often amuse viewers with tasteful and hilarious jokes or gags, even when the hero doesn’t even realize they’re being funny. Other times, the hero appreciates a good joke when they hear one, and they can easily find the funny side of things to cope with their own problems or keep themselves in high spirits.
10 Joseph Joestar Is A Total Goofball
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
While Jotaro Kujo is a famously humorless JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure hero and Jonathan was pretty straight-laced, Joseph Joestar is wonderfully silly and hilarious by comparison. He was the prankster star of the Battle Tendency story arc, and fans will always remember his cross-dressing gag and his spaghetti Hamon antics.
Joseph Joestar is a natural troublemaker hero who uses his creative, prankster mind to come up with resourceful solutions to any problem. He’s the one who pioneered the “run away!” strategy when facing powerful foes, a tactic that’s actually more effective than it sounds, given how even Jotaro sometimes uses it.
9 Valac Clara Wants To Cheer Up Her Friends With Humor
Welcome To Demon School, Iruma-Kun!
Valac Clara is Iruma’s wacky friend in Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-Kun!, a horned demon girl with a heart of gold. For years, Clara was highly unpopular because she annoyed everyone with her energetic, childish antics, but she restrains herself a bit around Iruma Suzuki.
Valac Clara loves toys, games, and food, and she is also Iruma-Kun!‘s #1 comic relief character. Clara finds the funny side in almost everything, and she helps tightly-wound characters like Asmodeus Alice relax with her innocent, childlike humor and antics.
8 Power’s Humor Is Bizarre But Always Hits
Chainsaw Man is a dark and brutal deconstruction of shonen anime, poking fun at the likes of Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer while still following the basic shonen formula. This includes the humor, with the lead characters being total punks with off-the-wall jokes and gags.
The horned fiend Power is the best example, being an unpredictable troublemaker with zero restraint and no filter on her mouth. Power is never self-conscious or timid about anything, meaning she will gladly joke about getting the Nobel prize for a 100% sales tax or chase Denji to get more food during breakfast.
7 Yuji Itadori Pranked Everyone With His Return From The Dead
While Jujutsu Kaisen has a generally dark tone with its grotesque curse monsters and the heroes’ usage of their negative emotions, this shonen anime still has ample room for wacky, zany humor. An example is the comedic duo Yuji Itadori and Satoru Gojo, who are a riot together.
Yuji is a naturally kind-hearted and easygoing boy who always loves a good joke, such as his Wilson volleyball gag at Junpei’s house. He also conspired with Satoru to magically emerge from a box when everyone thought he was dead, though tragically, no one else found it funny.
6 Anya Forger Is Such A Goofy Kid
Spy X Family
The young Anya Forger is truly one of a kind in modern shonen anime. Unlike her tense spy father Loid, Anya Forger is an unpredictable, whimsical kid who has audiences in stitches with her wacky facial expressions and frequent misunderstandings throughout Spy x Family.
Anya’s “heh” face was an instant classic, and that’s not her only funny face, either. Anya is hilarious with her brave but sloppy attempts to be a hero and become “sy-on boy’s” friend, and she will always think “Gan!” out of shock when something doesn’t go as expected.
5 Soma Yukihira Always Finds The Humor In Food
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma
Protagonist Soma Yukihira knows that love is the real secret ingredient in any worthwhile dish, but a pinch of humor is also essential for some zesty flair in his cooking. Throughout Food Wars!, Soma had a great sense of humor as a cheerful deredere who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Soma’s the one who pranks his friends with his terrible peanut butter tentacles dish, and he’s also quick to kindly laugh at any funny plot twist. He’s also glad to cheer up his friends and classmates with his warm laughter so they can feel at ease.
4 Yotsuba Nakano Can Gently Laugh At Herself
The Quintessential Quintuplets
The five Nakano sisters all get terrible grades in The Quintessential Quintuplets, though at least quintuplet #4, the deredere Yotsuba, has the good humor to gently laugh at herself for that. Deep down, Yotsuba knows she must take this seriously and get good grades with Futaro’s help, but she won’t wind herself too tightly in the process.
Yotsuba cheers herself up by laughing off most of her problems, and even if that exasperates Futaro, it makes for some good humor, and it’s good for Yotsuba’s mental health. She knows that even if she failed the last quiz, surely she will score better next time, and she’ll make Futaro proud eventually.
3 Senku Ishigami Has A Dry & Sharp Sense Of Humor
Dr. Stone protagonist Senku Ishigami is a teen scientist with an important mission – use his vast knowledge of hard science to restore human civilization in the new Stone Age and free everyone from the petrification ray’s effects. Senku takes science seriously, but he also knows how to unwind with some well-earned humor.
Senku Ishigami sometimes makes funny faces and has a good chuckle at someone else’s expense when they can’t keep up with him, though Senku doesn’t aim to be truly mean. He also knows how to laugh off mishaps and errors, finding the funny side in things while thinking up a new solution.
2 Reina Aharen Has Hilarious Visual Flair
Aharen-San Is Indecipherable
Reina Aharen is a total kuudere, a quiet and calm lover who’s not too quick to show her emotions. Aharen-San is Indecipherable pairs her up with a fellow kuudere, the brawny Raido, and they immediately hit it off as classmates who truly understand one another.
Throughout this rom-com anime, Reina Aharen is a total riot with her wacky hobbies and visual flair, and she has a totally straight face the entire time, too. She mimicked KISS, street rappers, and more, and she is also inexplicably talented at claw games at the arcade.
1 Hayase Nagatoro Is Annoying But Still Endearing
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro!
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro! is a goofy slice-of-life rom-com anime starring the dandere boy Naoto Hachioji, the senpai, and his obnoxious new friend Hayase Nagatoro. Hayase is the co-star and appears constantly, usually to pester Naoto so she can indirectly express her romantic feelings about him.
Hayase took it too far at first, but she has now found her rhythm as an annoying but somehow endearing friend of Naoto’s who knows how to push his buttons. Her silly antics and bizarre facial expressions are hilarious, but when Naoto is in trouble, Hayase will finally get a little serious and help him.
NEXT: 10 Most Passionate Shonen Protagonists
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