Heyo! Today, I’ve decided to focus on what comedy in Japan truly looks like. So like many shows Japan’s humor has evolved. Stand-up, Sketch (routine), or improvisation are three types of comedic performances. They each speak to different audiences varying in different content.
Back in the day, Japan used to have a form of comedy that was telling stories. Think about it like, one of those jokes where you have to hear the whole thing in order to understand the punch line. There’s much memorization and particular inflictions that help the audience follow the story. Although it is wait to get to the punch line the story itself is typically funny and relatable. It’s called “Rakugo”. The anime, My Master has non tail.
There is a culture amongst comedians in Japan where they gather together and form part routine and part improv live performances where they riff off each other with a host as a moderator called Owari. When they are in groups of two, where one of them plays the dumb, ignorant person while the other corrects them as quickly as they can. This technique is called Manzai. Lastly there’s Geinin which is the real name of these groups. First, Pin Geinin which is a solo comedic act. Secondly, Konin which is a comedic duo and of course the Trio.
Part of it comes down to shock factor. Sometimes things can get so outlandish that it is hilarious. This can be mild violence like slapping or nudity. Given the censorship in Japan only certain things were allowed to be shown but in anime, it could be stretched pretty far in terms of location and violence. But there’s elements of other comedic styles like dark, deadpan, observational, surreal, parody, romantic and farce.
So next time you want japanese humor pay close attention to what you kind of humor you are watching!