I don’t know if anybody else feels this, but most anime comedy is kind of stressful to watch. Pacing isn’t exactly what people watch comedy adaptations for, but the mitigation of horribly-timed jokes is something that shitty comedy adaptations still sorely neglect. While I wouldn’t say that these two particular shows start off particularly well, they’re still head and shoulders above what we usually get, either because their content is well-paced, or because it shortens the runtime to give the audience a breather. Neither are Comedy Jesus, but they’re not Kill Me Baby, the Comedy Antichrist either.
Muromi-san commits the cardinal sin of thinking it’s the second coming of Comedy Jesus right off the bat, with characters talking at light speed and a mermaid hitting on the boring main character because he looked at her tail to the point that it all comes across as the re-enaction of a run-on sentence, much like this one. For what it’s worth though, most of its attempts at comedy actually threaten to work, especially the ones involving talking jellyfish, and Muromi intentionally letting herself be stung by them for a cheap thrill. Hell, Muromi works as a blatant metaphor for addiction, if anybody wants subtext out of their mermaid druggie shows. If it were a full 23 minute episode, it’d be way too much to digest in one sitting. As it is though, with fifteen minutes of reasonable zaniness, it’s just palatable enough to earn a pass.
Compared to normal 4koma shit, Yuyushiki’s like an overdose of morphine that gradually saps away all stress—a soothing bath after a plunge in the North Atlantic. It’s a bit Nichijou here (improbable physics), a little Kill Me Baby there (two bokes for every tsukkomi), and with a touch of Yuru Yuri added in for good measure, but it manages to avoid the former two’s penchant for joke overdose while making what little content it has actually impactful. In the end, it knows that it isn’t the next Azumanga Daioh, and that it won’t die if it doesn’t make a joke every three seconds. Ironically, this knowledge of its limitations makes it the first 4koma adaptation that I’ve liked in quite awhile. Ultimately, it’s inoffensive and easily skippable, but is oddly endearing for that fact.