I gain a huge satisfaction whenever I understand a joke that most people ordinarily wouldn’t understand or find funny, and this remains true for my taste in comedy anime. Understanding the context and build-up to a joke can make it so much funnier than just telling the joke in the first place. This is absolutely vital for jokes which are repetitive and frequent to make them funnier. I believe that repetitive and similar jokes can be hilarious if done correctly, contrary to most people’s belief’s.
I’ll use an example from my own personal life to tell the unfunniest joke you will have probably ever heard: “You like my nose way too much” , ok maybe the strange absurdity of the joke might be funny but all of the history leading up to it made it so much funnier and I can use this premise to explain why I love some comedy anime’s so much more than others using the examples of Beelzebub and Squid Girl.
I feel like the styles of humour in both of these shows are very similar to each other, partially due to the repetitiveness of their jokes. Yet there’s a key difference between these two shows and the way that their humour and comedy was used even though they both were fairly repetitive. I dropped Beelzebub after two episodes yet loved squid girl.
It might not be fair to comment on Beelzebub in general after not seeing many episodes however I feel like it still applies to the comments that I’ll be writing about. Explaining the joke is essential for enjoying a comedy, it lets you know when you should be laughing and specifies the reasons why you should be laughing at a joke. Squid girl does that immediately with the girl watching the people at the beach. She reminisces evilly on all of the tragedy’s that humans have inflicted on her and swears that she will take revenge and have vengeance. After that she is shut down immediately and the tone is set. The joke will always be that she want’s revenge but she’s terrible at it and can’t, that’s why you can laugh. This is then built upon by showing you different interactions and moments that are referenced and built upon as the series progresses.
The joke is very clear and understandable yet I don’t find this to be true for Beelzebub. The joke is that there’s a baby that will shock people for no real reason, well no, not really. The jokes are established early on to be whacky comedy humour that surprises you into laughing. Whilst both of these jokes are very similar and happen about as often as each other the jokes in squid girl are still far better.
Squid girl’s jokes are fairly weird and unusual if you just watch a random episode midway through, you will get the random comedy that’s prevalent in Beelzebub but not the history or build up to the joke, therefore finding it less funny. This means that whilst watching squid girl you can slowly get into the jokes and love them even more, or just leave, understanding that the style of joke isn’t really for you.
Beelzebub might be funny too, but the key difference in the comedy for me is that it’s just the one off whacky funny moments; there’s not really a context to understanding these jokes. Most of the time you can always understand them without much context making them accessible but less funny in my opinion as I find the lead up to create much funnier jokes in the end.
I don’t know how well this has come across but I feel like the accessible jokes in Beelzebub hinders my enjoyment of the show as I can never grow a massively strong attachment to the characters in order to find them funny.
Whilst both shows can be funny, Squid Girl is able to make it funnier by explaining the joke and building on it further to create more funny scenarios whereas Beelzebub’s humour is unchanging and the joke is a repetitive joke which isn’t really a joke that I find funny.
I understand that this might be unfair for me to say if you think that what I’m saying about squid girl applies to Beelzebub as well, that just means that I was able to drop the show early as I didn’t want to experience the same joke over and over like many people did with squid girl if they didn’t want to complete it. Both things that I’ve said apply to the first two episodes of both shows so this isn’t completely unfair and unbiased.
Who’d have thought that I’d like Squid Girl so much more?