Comedy. We all know it and we all love it. We might not all agree on what is and isn’t funny, but I think you’re gonna have to look a long time for someone who doesn’t enjoy any kind of humor. However comedy can also be very difficult to get across. Especially when you’re trying to translate humor from one language/culture to another. But there is one gag comedy anime that manages to translate its humor, at least if you’re knowledgeable about anime and otaku culture from the 80s and 90s. I’m of course talking about the wacky gag comedy called Excel Saga.
So Excel Saga is a 26 episode gag parody anime that makes fun of anime and otaku culture of the pre 2000s. It’s based on a manga by Koushi Rikdo that is also called Excel Saga. It tells the story of Excel, Hyatt and Il Palazzo. Three members of the «evil» organization ACROSS, that plans to take over the world. Not that they’ll be able to do that anytime soon with only three members. So for now they are only focusing on taking over a single city. But try as they might, Excel and Hyatt never seem to be able to carry out even the simplest missions given to them by Il Palazzo. But watching them fail in spectacular ways is half the fun!
Now the reason why Excel Saga works where a lot of other comedy anime fails is simple. It’s because the show is very much made for anime fans and otaku at the time. They parody popular anime from the 80s and 90s like Fist of the North Star and Space Battleship Yamato, among others. So as long as you’re familiar with anime like that, you’re very likely to get the humor in this show. They also take common tropes at the time and take them to their logical extreme. Like Hyatt who is the frail girl character. As a matter of fact, she’s so frail that she is constantly struggling with nosebleeds, and even the slightest surprise could just kill her. This, as well as the fact that the show feels like it’s constantly going at 100 miles per hour, is why this show works. And that is why I think that this show is worth watching.
Alright, so if you’re interested in watching this I have some bad news. As of the time writing this, it seems that Excel Saga is not streaming anywhere. It was available on Funimation, but I’m not sure if it’s getting moved to Crunchyroll. The good news however is that you can get a hold of it if you’re willing to buy it physically if you live in the US or Canada. Then you can get the complete series DVD on Crunchyroll’s store here. https://store.crunchyroll.com/products/excel-saga-the-complete-series-anime-classics
If you want to know more about this series, then you can check out my video on it right here!
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