A character's introduction in anime is one of the most important moments for that character as it sets the tone for how audiences will perceive that character. While some introductions are subtle or efficient, some of the best in anime history are also the funniest, instantly endearing audiences to that character.
Character introductions can be done in all manner of ways, all of which serve to give the audience and surrounding characters a sneak peek at what makes said character unique. They can play with fellow characters and audiences' expectations of how the story will proceed or how that character will behave in distinctly clever ways. Regardless of how it's done though, the funniest anime character introductions are gut-busting scenes that are just as funny out of context as they are in context.
10 Mikoto Mikoshiba - Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun
From the beginning, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun has comedic moments in spades. One of the most memorable includes the introduction of Mikoto Mikoshiba, referred to as Mikorin by Nozaki. Nozaki first describes Mikoshiba as being "pure, sensitive, and delicate" which gives Sakura a certain image of who this friend of Nozaki's might be. However, at first glance, Mikoshiba appears a bit rebellious and intimidating, in complete opposition to what Nozaki has described him as. This prompts Sakura to call him out on his lie. However, it is quickly revealed that Mikoshiba has a softer, more adorable side which frequently serves Nozaki as inspiration for the female lead in his manga series.
Right after Sakura meets him, some female schoolmates call out to Mikoshiba, prompting him to deliver an over-the-top flirtatious line that promptly causes him to turn bright red and get embarrassed. A glimpse of his true personality beneath Sakura's initial impression of him makes Mikoshiba's first appearance in the show a charming and humorous introduction.
9 Satoru Gojo - Jujutsu Kaisen
Despite the often serious nature of the plot in Jujutsu Kaisen, there are a lot of humorous interactions interspersed between the cast. One particular brief, but telling moment is one of the first times that Satoru Gojo truly steps into the picture. Although audiences are introduced to him sooner via his conversation with Itadori about the upcoming execution, Gojo's big intro moment comes right after Itadori has consumed Ryomen Sukuna's finger. At the beginning of episode two, Fushiguro is prepared to exorcise the newly afflicted curse despite his injured state, when Gojo steps into the picture.
Gojo is quick to tease Fushiguro in spite of the general severity of the situation, snapping photos of his injured student to share with the other students later, claiming he wasn't initially going to come, showing up to a battlefield with souvenirs and kikufuku. However, it's quite clear how formidable he is when he faces off against Sukuna in Itadori's body like it's no big deal. The juxtaposition of his laid-back response and the significance of the situation both speaks to his capabilities and provided audiences with a witty introduction to his character.
8 Monkey D. Luffy - One Piece
Naturally, One Piece's main protagonist is introduced in the very first episode; however, his circumstances seem less than ideal for a future King of the Pirates. Despite this, Luffy doesn't seem to be bothered. Audiences first meet Luffy bursting his way out of a barrel that he was taking a nap in, knocking the lights out of one Alvida pirate and startling his eventual friend, Koby. The ensuing conversation where Luffy remarks that the man he just knocked out shouldn't be sleeping there, or else he'll catch a cold, to which the Alvida pirates counter with "You did that!" is a classic example of the humor that One Piece is rife with.
Looking to satisfy his immediate needs sends Luffy off in search of food, which he shamelessly scarves down while relaying his current situation to Koby. Again, Luffy doesn't seem particularly set back by the fact that 1) he no longer has a dinghy, 2) he's aboard another pirate group's ship, 3) he has just knocked one of the other crew unconscious. Audiences quickly realize that Luffy tends to take things in stride, but seems determined where it counts, particularly when it comes helping out his friends and others and accomplishing his dreams.
7 Keroberos - Cardcaptor Sakura
The guardian beast makes his appearance pretty early on in Cardcaptor Sakura, episode one. When Sakura inadvertently awakens Kero from his sleep, the adorable guardian greets her (and the audience) with his patented "Hidey-howdy-ho". The casual nature of the greeting and the emphasis on his vocabulary being out of date quickly usurps the intensity of the moment and Sakura is compelled to examine Kero as though he's a toy. She seems to roll with the punches pretty swiftly, though, leading to a conversation between her and Kero about what happened to all of the Clow Cards. Sakura explains that they all flew away when she read the word "Windy" off of the first card, prompting Kero to reply with a chipper "Ya don't say!" before they laugh to themselves for a moment and Kero has an understandably distraught reaction to the issue at hand. The subsequent quick cut to Sakura eating dinner that evening only serves to add to the moment.
6 Pikachu - Pokémon
When Pikachu is offered by Professor Oak as a possible starter Pokémon to the late arrival Ash Ketchum, Ash is overjoyed at the opportunity. Despite Professor Oak's warnings—a quick-witted "You'll see" when Ash remarks how cute Pikachu is—Ash embraces the adorable Pikachu and finds himself shocked for his efforts. It's only then that Professor Oak adds that Pikachu is known to occasionally have an "electrifying personality." Oak then proceeds to offer Ash some tools of the trade, which Ash accepts, causing both of them to be electrocuted by one grumpy Pikachu.
On top of that, the following scene contains a brief and humorous exchange between Ash and his mom after Pikachu refuses to go into his Poké Ball. She remarks that they're "friends already", to which Ash simply replies "Uh, sure." The stubbornness displayed by Pikachu in the beginning makes it all the more heartwarming when he warms up to Ash and they develop an unbreakable bond.
5 The Host Club + Haruhi - Ouran High School Host Club
Whether the audience is familiar with how the plot unfolds in Ouran High School Host Club or not, there's something distinctly amusing about the emphasis on the Chekov's Gun of this intro sequence. As the scene of Haruhi accidentally entering the Host Club commences, watchers get several shots showing similar scenes from different angles. During this entire time, there is a bright red arrow indicating an expensive vase that really symbolizes the beginning of Haruhi's adventures. This comical effect paired with some of the Host Club members' ignorant remarks about Haruhi's social standing, punctuated by Tamaki's "Love live the poor" declaration sets the stage for what Haruhi will be contending with for the remainder of the series: incontrovertible proof that the rich truly do live in their own world.
4 Shota Aizawa - My Hero Academia
The ever-relatable teacher of classroom 1-A, Shota Aizawa's introduction in My Hero Academia gives viewers a sneak peek into the gruff, but ultimately caring Pro Hero. Unphased by the students' reactions to his emerging from the cocoon-like structure of his sleeping bag, Aizawa launches a quick complaint before introducing himself to the class as their teacher. The matter-of-fact way that Aizawa carries himself through this interaction and the students' response to the unusual state in which he's introduced make for a quirky, but altogether indicative picture of Aizawa as both a character and a mentor. True to his practical nature, which does belie the genuine concern he has for his students, he is swift to put Class 1-A to the test.
3 Hinata and Kageyama at Karasuno - Haikyu!!
Hinata and Kageyama's interactions from both a comedic and emotional perspective, are one of the many gifts that keeps on giving in Haikyu!!, though their relationship stems from some rather rocky beginnings. Putting aside their match in middle school, the introduction of both Hinata and Kageyama at Karasuno definitely serves to shake things up a bit. Hinata's internal monologue at the end of episode 1— about training to become better at Karasuno to then get his revenge on Kageyama—jumping straight into him realizing that they are, in fact, attending the same school sets an instantly amusing and ironic precedence for the audience. It's even followed up by the comedic beat of Kageyama getting hit by his own serving toss due to the shock and a subsequent series of shenanigans that, essentially, end with both of them getting kicked out of the club until they can make nice.
2 Damao - All Saint's Street
The casual nature by which All Saint's Street infuses its humor into the ordinary lives of its extraordinary cast is one of the many reasons why this series is so charming in the first place. With the introduction of the werewolf character, Damao, there's something that the series immediately makes viewers aware of: this poor guy has terrible luck.
In the span of a few minutes, the audience follows the story of Damao's unwitting journey to the city to seek out Neil Bowman and watches as every eventuality that he accounted for puts him in an even worse situation. Water gets on his smartphone? That's fine, it's waterproof. A potted plant shatters on his phone, breaking it? Not a problem, when he has a physical map. Water melts the map? He brought an extra copy. One after another, Damao's backup plans fail him due to his unnaturally horrid luck and he still manages to find his way to his goal... eventually. Damao's introduction in the series is simultaneously so ridiculous, it defies belief and induces chuckles, but also makes him an instantly sympathetic character.
1 Kyo, Yuki, and Shigure's Animal Forms - Fruits Basket
Tohru's introduction to Kyo, Yuki, and Shigure's animal forms is definitely a hilarious and iconic moment in the Fruits Basket series. Naturally, she's understandably caught off guard by what happens, frantically running around the house with her new animal companions, proclaiming to a mail carrier that "everyone is an animal." All the while, the three members of the Sohma family almost seem to carry on as if nothing has changed: Shigure nonchalantly takes the mail from the mailman as a dog, Kyo and Yuki start to bicker again. It becomes quite clear that there's no getting out of the situation, which ultimately prompts Shigure to explain their circumstances in a very straightforward way. Tohru's response and the business-as-usual act by the three Sohmas are moments that lend to themselves to add further humor to this series of scenes.
Different scene elements and components of storytelling can work side-by-side to create distinctly humorous and impactful intros that are sure to capture the interest of their audience. Scenes like these amusing character introductions tend to stay in the minds and hearts of fans indefinitely, especially for the joy that they bring to their experience with a series. The funniest anime character introductions are all great scenes that appropriately set audience expectations.