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Anime Underground

15 Anime With Insanely Dark Humor

Humor can be a fantastic coping mechanism for dealing with the most painful parts of life. It may seem distasteful to crack jokes about depressed teachers, socially isolated teenagers, or souls who get tortured in Hell, but sometimes that's the only way to cope. Anime with dark humor isn't for the faint of heart or the easily offended - but if you're into it, it's some of the best comedy out there.

Examples of standout black humor anime include Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei, which follows a teacher who repeatedly tries to take his own life and persuade his students to do the same - all while managing to turn the whole thing into a giant joke. There's also Welcome to the NHKa show in which a twenty-something suffering from paranoid delusions that keep him locked in his home tries to figure out how to rejoin society. If you want something a little more musical, there's Detroit Metal City, which depicts the extremely violent world of a death metal band.

All of these shows shake down their subjects for every ounce of humor they have to offer. You might leave them feeling unsettled, but you'll probably laugh, too.

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  • Adulthood Sucks In 'Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan'
    Photo: Studio Blanc

    Former gymnast Uramichi is the beloved host of a popular educational children's program called "Together with Maman." And while he's known on-screen for being a bright and cheerful big brother, his real personality couldn't be any different. In fact, the entire cast of the program is filled with miserable, depressed people struggling with the harsh realities of adulthood. Whether it's Uramichi on the verge of having a mental breakdown in front of kids or dealing with his annoying, unreasonable boss, most adults will find this anime both hilarious and painfully relatable.

     

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  • 'Gintama' Makes War Seem Hilarious
    Photo: Sunrise

    Gintama is a show that mixes humor with extreme pain and suffering. Gintoki is a war veteran who makes his living doing odd jobs, and occasionally fights off aliens and other beings who threaten the safety of the human race. While many of the jokes have nothing to do with the show's more disturbing content, it's also not afraid to make jokes about death, torture, and other upsetting subjects. 

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    Everything From Child Labor To The Yakuza Gets Parodied In 'Hinamatsuri'

    Everything From Child Labor To The Yakuza Gets Parodied In 'Hinamatsuri'
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    When Nitta, a member of the yakuza, encounters a psychic child named Hina, his life is changed forever. If she doesn't use her powers, she'll set off dangerous explosions - which means that someone has to take charge of her. Nitta ends up reluctantly becoming her adopted dad. Some of the humor is wholesome, focused on the day to day relationship between the father and daughter - but some of it is super dark. One great example of this is Hina blasting rival yakuza members out of the window to their apparent demises as they yell "owie!" Another is when one of Hina's classmates ends up working as an exceptionally skilled bartender despite being a little girl. It's a deeply funny show, but some of its content is surprising, to say the least. 

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  • 'Hozuki's Coolheadedness' Is Literally Set In Hell
    Photo: Wit Studio

    Hell is the perfect setting for dark humor, and Hozuki's Coolheadedness takes full advantage of this. Hozuki is King Enma's assistant in a bureaucratic version of Japanese Hell. His job involves coordinating the various sectors of Hell, making sure that sinners are appropriately tortured for their sins, and making sure Enma doesn't screw things up. The show has no qualms about depicting the extremes of human suffering and turning this into comedy gold.

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