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is definitely one where the comedy aspect has no traditional straight man; it's really all about the interactions amongst the characters, which makes the eventual payoff that much better, realizing that the characters themselves aren't totally incompetent, they're just bad at their present occupations.
When I'm complaining about straight men in comedy anime, I don't mean to convey that they're universally a bad thing. In FLCL
, Naoto is absolutely a straight man, but that has bearing in his character; he's in that awkward part of the teenage years where he's overly concerned about what people think of him, and he thinks that he knows everything about how the worlds works and how people should behave. It's an
aspect of his personality, but it isn't the only aspect. I actually think Naoto is one of the most complex characters I've seen in a show given that a) the show is serious and not really serious and b) they rendered him better in six episodes than most shows develop characters in thirteen or twenty-six episodes. It's baffling really. Even his contradictions make sense given what context you have of him.
It's similar in Bakemonogatari
. Araragi is the straight man, definitely, but in his case it also makes sense, given that he's the responsible, self-sacrificing, partially immortal one, AND it's tempered by him constantly doing whatever shady perverted thing he can get away with. He enforces some rules and stretches others because he can. He's also dealing with a wide and varied cast of characters, most of which also have moments where they have to be the serious one in their conversations with him (Shinobu, Senjougahara, Hachikuji, and Hanekawa all play that role at various points).
Watching Jungle Guu
, at least through the first couple of episodes, Hare's defining characteristic is that he doesn't get Guu and what she's doing usually upsets him while the rest of the cast remains mostly oblivious. There's neither explanation nor variation, so Hare is just there to spell out everything that the audience is already seeing and knows. The reason the show still seems worth watching to me is that everything else that's happening around them, the things inside Guu, the weird shit in the jungle that's maybe a plant and maybe and animal but who knows, that's all still interesting even if the core interactions are predictable.