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The 7 Best Shounen Anime of All Time
Published : 07/10/2019 - Categories : Manga and anime news
Nothing is more uplifting than watching a shonen anime after a bad day, right? It reminds us to keep going no matter how hard it gets. After all, life is filled with adventures – and we have friends to share the fun with!
In this article, we have rounded up the 7 best shonen anime that you might want to watch or re-watch right now. Sail on a quest, train to become your best, and save the earth from those evils who wanted to take it over.
Pump up your adrenaline with these shonen anime! Let’s go!
1. One Piece
“We are, we are on the cruise! We are!”
It has been over two decades since One Piece has started to capture our hearts. We have witnessed how a goofy pirate Luffy was able to rise above after overcoming numerous encounters thrown in front of him.
Personally, I can’t think of any other anime that had made me cry and laugh other than One Piece!
If you haven’t sailed with them yet, catch up and binge it over 900 episodes!
The Pirate King Gol D. Roger, the infamous pirate who has sailed the Grand Line, was captured and executed by the World Government. His last words revealed the existence of the greatest treasure – One Piece! This marked the Grand Age of Pirates.
Monkey D. Luffy, a non-conventional and self-proclaimed King of the Pirates sets off a journey to find the One Piece. Along the way, he met the mischievous members of his crew. Together, they overcome challenges and unravel mysteries as they head on to their goal – the One Piece.
2. Dragon Ball
There is no need to hide it. We know that at some point in your childhood, you tried clenching your fist and shouting on top of your lungs to unleash that Super Saiyan within. Good times, right?
Dragon Ball needs little introduction. After all, with its franchise in existence for over 30 years up to present, everybody knows Son Goku!
If you want to be reminded how everything began, start with the very beginning and be amazed by how cute and crazy kid Goku was.
Dragon Ball started with the journey of Goku and Bulma to gather the wish-granting 7 Dragon Balls. Along the way, they met interesting friends – the turtle Umigami, Master Roshi who gave Goku a Flying Nimbus, and the pig Oolong, among many others!
Soon, Goku became a martial art student of Master Roshi. Together with his fellow pupil Krillin, they entered the 21st Annual Teinkaichi Budokai to demonstrate the results of their training. Here, they bumped into foes and challenges that inspired Goku to become stronger.
Dragon Ball Z continues the journey of Goku into adulthood. Together with his friends, family, and even his rival Vegeta, they defended the Earth against villains – Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu, among many others.
You can follow more of Son Goku’s adventures in its two more sequels: Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super.
3. Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac
"Young Saints! Carry on my soul and defeat this great evil!"
Saint Seiya hooks viewers like no other anime. It has numerous references on Greek Mythology and constellations that made its narrative really exhilarating. Oh, who can forget the awesome unique armors shown throughout the anime? Indeed, this shonen has perfected both art and story.
Knights of the Zodiac follows the story of a young boy Seiya who was forced to enter the Sanctuary to obtain Pegasus Bronze Cloth – a protective armor used by the Greek goddess Athena’s warriors called Saints. However, when he went to Japan, Seiya learns that his sister disappeared at the exact moment when he went to Sanctuary. Saori Kido made a deal with Seiya to join the Galaxian Wars tournament; if he wins, Saori would search for Seiya’s sister. Yet, the tournament was interrupted by Phoenix Ikki. Seiya met new friends and rivals and decided to fight together against evil forces.
We definitely owe it to Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya. Without them, shonen animes will never become what they are right now.
4. Hunter X Hunter
Hunter X Hunter or Hiatus X Hiatus?
Despite the extended and repeated hiatuses of its creator Yoshihiro Togashi, we can’t help but to still acclaim Hunter X Hunter as one of the best shonen manga/anime ever created. After all, this work is simply genius and amazing!
Hunter X Hunter follows the story of a Gon Freecss who looks forward to following to the footsteps of his father – a notorious Hunter! He entered the rigorous Hunter Examination where he met his friends Kurapika, Leorio, and Killua.
5. One Punch Man
Do you want to become the strongest hero on Earth? Try Saitama’s recipe: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10 km run EVERY SINGLE DAY!
One Punch Man is undeniably one of the wittiest shonen out there. Primarily, it appealed to the general audience due to its satirical approach. It threw out the window every shonen conventions and made the protagonist omnipotent – a bored god.
To defeat the swarming monsters and villains on earth, the world’s government established a Hero Association to stop them. Saitama, an unassociated hero performs simple heroic acts for entertainment. To become stronger, he trained himself and eventually became so powerful that he can defeat any opponent with a single punch. However, such omnipotence led him to become bored due to a lack of challenges. Eventually, cyborg Genos pleads Saitama to become his mentor. Together, they joined the association fought against villains and life’s mundanity.
Are you one of those who wanted to become a ninja because of Naruto? Were you able to wear that Konoha’s forehead protector before?
Naruto is a pretty good shonen that displayed a perfect combination of adventure, friendship, betrayal, and conspiracy, enough to keep you hooked up until the very end.
The Nine-Tails attacked Konohagakure which results in the destruction of the village and the death of many villagers. The Fourth Hokage sacrificed his life to seal the Nine-Tails into the newborn Naruto Uzumaki. Growing up, Naruto was despised by the villagers who regard him as the Nine-Tails itself. Now, Orphaned Naruto, thirsty to be recognized, vowed to become the greatest Hokage ever.
With him are his rival Sasuke Uchiha and love interest Sakura Haruno. Sasuke strives to become powerful to avenge his clan which was brutally murdered by his own brother Itachi Uchiha. However, when Itachi returns to the village after Sasuke’s chunnin exams, he appears to be powerless against his older brother. Such misfortune led him to fall prey to the villainous Orochimaru to become stronger. Now, Naturo does everything he can to redeem Sasuke back!
Follow the adventures of Naruto in its sequels: Naruto: Shippuden and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
7. My Hero Academia
“All will be well now, for I am here.”
This anime got it right. True to the spirit of shonen, My Hero Academia inspires its viewers that dreams can be a reality! If you are into superheroes and have enjoyed X-Men, Avengers, Superman, and the like, you will definitely have fun with this anime.
My Hero Academia takes place in a world where having superpowers, or quirks, are the norm. Yet, despite waiting patiently for his turn, Izuku Midoriya never had his quirk. Thus, he was bullied by his classmates. However, due to his heroic deed, All Might, Japan’s Greatest Hero, gave him One For All – All Might’s own Quirk.
Midoriya enters U.A. High School, an academy for the next generation of heroes. However, the evil organization League of Villains plans to dominate Japan by destroying all Heroes.
So that’s it for the 7 best shonen anime of all time! We hope we were able to help you reminisce and pick out the next shonen are going to indulge yourself with.
Indeed, shonen is more than just anime. Watching them reminds us of the most important things in life: friends, dreams, and adventures!