Most anime series and movies have some sort of setting — a place, a time, and characters with an interesting backstory. But a few of them are plotless. Of course, not all plotless anime shows are bad. In fact, there are quite a few good ones that offer viewers an unforgettable experience. So, here are five plotless anime that are fun to watch.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo takes place in the year 3001.5. The world is under the tyrannical rule of the Maruhage Empire and their ruler Tsuru Tsurulina IV. Tsuru’s sole mission is to steal everyone’s hair and, of course, their freedom.
His gang the Hair Hunters go around shaving off people’s hair, leaving them bald and their homes in ruins. But, standing against the evil regime is the rebel Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo who fights the Maruhage’s troops with his mighty Fist of the Nose Hair.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is a full-blown parody of Fist of the North Star. It pokes fun at pop culture, tells terrible jokes, and features bizarre scenes. The anime barely follows the plot that it claims to have, giving off the impression that the sole purpose of the show is to have a few laughs.
Hetalia: Axis Powers
A lot of plotless anime are parodies of either popular shows or people. But, Hetalia: Axis Powers takes things a bit further than that. Taking place between World War 1 and 2, the anime personifies and embodies the stereotypes of the nations involved in these wars, portraying them as cute anime characters.
The show follows two factions, the Axis Powers and the Allied Forces. On the Axis side, there’s the main character North Italy, who’s a bit of a coward and loves pasta; the serious and efficient Germany, who gets easily flustered; and Japan, who is shy but has bizarre interests like his erotic woodcuts collection.
Each episode takes a comedic and light approach to the events that occurred at the beginning of the 19th century and onward. But, besides making light of a serious topic, the series also tries to educate the viewer about these political and historical events. While the series might be educational, the anime’s main plot is nonexistent. Each episode focuses on a country involved in WWI or II — and how Italy’s love of pasta annoys them.
Lucky☆Star takes the plotless anime concept to a new level. The anime follows four high school girls: Konata Izumi, the lazy otaku; the Hiiragi twins, Tsukasa and Kagami; and the intelligent and well-mannered Miyuki Takara.
The series chronicles their lives inside and outside of school. Most of the humor comes from watching these characters grow and discuss mundane things. Like their love for pastries and ponytails or accidentally turning off a light switch. It’s their observation of the world, which will either crack you up or make what you’re watching.
Azumanga Daioh: The Animation
Airing in the early 2000s, Azumanga Daioh: The Animation follows a group of five young girls starting high school and their eccentric homeroom teacher, Yukari Tanizaki. How eccentric? She has no problem taking a student’s bike to avoid being late. Each episode recounts their day at school, from the first day up until everyone graduates and goes their separate ways.
We see the weird lives of these young high school girls and their equally strange teachers. The show is categorized as a slice-of-life anime. But it doesn’t have a plot, the deep exploration of the characters’ personal lives, or a profound message.
Instead, Azumanga Daioh: The Animation captures funniest moments of these girls’ school lives in 30 minutes — like when Ayuma Kasuga, who isn’t as smart as the other girls, kicks her shoe off as a good luck weather charm. The shoe lands on a passing truck, forcing her to walk around with only one show. Moments like this may not make much sense, but they will make you smile.
Milk-chan is a drooling foul-mouthed baby who lives in an apartment with a robot named Tetsuko, an alcoholic green slug named Hanage, and an uncontrollable pet called Robodog. To make matters a bit more hectic, her landlord, a man who resembles a Q-tip, comes by every day to collect their rent — which is six months overdue. Each time, the gang tricks him into running away.
Super Milk-chan can go from weird to terrible to hysterically funny. Each episode has the same premise. Milk-chan and her friends have to do some odd job, like counseling a school of drunk fish, for the President (“of Everything”) but wind up doing nothing. Either another character resolves the problem or it fixes itself, and then the Milk-chan crew celebrate with sushi. Their greatest challenge is avoiding their nagging landlord.
Besides not having a plot, the series is full of witty references to Japanese pop culture. For example, the opening song is a parody of the classic anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps. Also, the seventh episode, “Miruku no Tan-Tan-Tanuki – Heisei Buta Gassen Bū-Bū no Maki” of OH! Super Milk Chan takes a jab at the long Japanese title of the Studio Ghibli film Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko.
All these in-jokes make this plotless anime show fun to watch, especially if you’re looking for some dark comedy.