Damekko Doubutsu, Adventures of Mini-Goddess, Nekojiru Gekijou- in their time, each of them offered short comedy skits that amused, bored or repelled, depending on your sense of humour. Now joining them on the list of “five minute comedies” is Gag Manga Biyori, a series just as random as anything that has gone before, and tied together by even less of a plot.
Unlike its peers, Gag Manga Biyori does not even have much in the way of a recurring cast- instead, each episode (or group of episodes) is set in a different time and place, from misadventures in feudal era Japan to a father and son eagerly awaiting a female college student, or even an all-animal elementary school with a perverted teddy bear and a rabbit who likes to play detective. Yes, it’s completely random and often crazy, but happily, it often manages to be amusing. If you’ve ever laughed at Excel Saga, Pani Poni Dash or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, you should be able to find some amusement here, and since each twelve episode ‘season’ takes less than an hour to watch, it is hardly a huge investment of time (sadly, however, only three episodes of season two have been subbed so far).
Visually, Gag Manga Biyori’s animation is generally simplistic, but since the series is just playing it for quick and easy laughs, this is no more than expected. The OP and ED music are a little too forceful (and in the case of the ED, borderline disturbing), but happily these can be easily skipped.
Sometimes amusing, sometimes dull, occasionally bordering on the puerile, Gag Manga Biyori is straight up animated comedy. It isn’t the best use of time, but if you need something to fill a dull hour, then this might just do the trick.