Top 10 Shonen Anime Series

Credits: Dan Paradis Ashley Bowman
Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Action, explosions and battles galore; it can only be shonen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top 10 shonen anime. For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime that fit within the shonen genre; as in typically appealing to a young male demographic. On a side note, while it may be a great show in itself and published in Shonen Jump magazine, we won’t be including JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, as it steps outside the conventional boundaries of the genre a little too much to be included on the list. Finally, be on the lookout for a few spoilers. Special thanks to our user Darkmilo13, Marlon Jacques, and Boppster35 for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Shonen Anime Series


Action, explosions and battles galore; it can only be shonen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top 10 shonen anime.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime that fit within the shonen genre; as in typically appealing to a young male demographic. On a side note, while it may be a great show in itself and published in Shonen Jump magazine, we won’t be including JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, as it steps outside the conventional boundaries of the genre a little too much to be included on the list. Finally, be on the lookout for a few spoilers.

#10: “Fairy Tail” (2009-)

While you won’t see any conventional wizards wandering around the kingdom of Fiore, there’s more than enough spells being cast and evil being thwarted to satisfy anyone. Following the adventures of Natsu and the Fairy Tail Guild, this series gave us an endearing cast with their own unique magical talents. Though the series has been criticized for borrowing from other popular shonen series, there’s certainly some unique charm to it – Plus it gave us Ezra Scarlet, so who are we to complain?

#9: “Bleach” (2004-12)

Ichigo Kurosaki’s life took a rather ghostly turn when he became a substitute Shinigami, and in doing so led the way to a series that soared during its prime. We were treated to some dazzling sword fights throughout Ichigo’s encounters with the members of the Gotei 13 and again with the Espada. Throw in a solid supporting cast that often outshined our hero, as well as some top-notch villains. Despite what many consider to be a lacklustre conclusion, there’s no denying the huge impact that this series had on the genre.

#8: “My Hero Academia” (2016-)

In anime’s most recent underdog story, we follow the trials of the kind hearted and timid Izuku, a young boy who originally lacked any superpowers in a world where they’re the norm, but still dreamt of being a hero. He’s eventually granted his own quirk by the world’s greatest hero, All Might, leading him to attend an academy for heroes. Embracing the more light-hearted tone while still providing over the top action, Izuku’s journey to become a professional hero will have you cheering him on every step of the way.

#7: “The Seven Deadly Sins” (2014-)

Focusing on seven extremely powerful knights who were falsely exiled, the group is reformed when they are enlisted by a princess in order to help bring peace to her kingdom. This high fantasy series balances just the right amount of outrageous comedy, vicious fights and some sweet moments between the characters. While the 2016 short series satisfied our craving a little bit, we’re all eagerly awaiting Meliodas and the gang’s next adventure - especially if we get more of Ban, the man!

#6: “Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)

This second adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi revered manga blew us away upon release. With contrasting but equally investing leads, we see our four heroes fight their way to earn themselves the title of Hunter and accomplish their own personal desires. Everything from Gon’s and Killua’s moving friendship, Kurapkia’s lust for vengeance against the Phantom Troupe and the unnerving appearances of the psychotic Hisoka, there’s a little bit here for everyone. But most of all, these fights can be brutal as hell!

#5: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)

While the original series remains a strong contender, this second adaptation remained much more true to the manga, and in doing so gave us the definitive tale of the Elric brothers and their mission to find the philosopher’s stone. With beautiful visuals, a top notch soundtrack, and a compact plot that doesn’t slow down for a second. This is one that doesn’t shy away from the heavy subject matters either, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself choking up on more than one occasion.

#4: “Naruto” series (2002-)

Does it have an ungodly amount of filler episodes? Yes. Does it have some shining moments? Absolutely. Blazing the trail for many shonen that followed, Naruto and its sequel series gave us one of anime’s most well-known protagonists, whose way of the ninja leads him on quite the character arc, going from prankster and social outcast to the hero the Hidden Leaf Village needs. Complete with an unforgettable roster including Sasuke, Kakashi, Sakura and a whole lot more, to this day, the series continues to rack up more hits than misses.

#3: “Gintama” (2006-)

Bringing the laughs just as much as the bloodshed, the misadventures of samurai freelancer Gintoki Sakata lend themselves to comedy more so than most. While the countless odd jobs that often end poorly for our protagonist constantly have us in stitches, the series knows just when to bust out the bokuto and deliver on some truly savage fight scenes. You wouldn’t have thought a narrative involving paying the rent and alien insurgency would blend together with a heart-wrenching duel between two former allies, but you’ll find that the series balances itself seamlessly.

#2: “Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

Is there anything more shonen than having a Super Sayains screaming his lungs out? We don’t think so. While the series continues to expand with its newer incarnations, no fan can forget just how much fun it was to see Goku go up against the likes of Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu in fist fights that would more often than not end with a planet getting destroyed. With so many iconic moments that have worked themselves until pop culture, this classic proves that even decades on, no one will be forgetting the Kamehameha anytime soon.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Haikyuu!!” (2014-)

“Food Wars!” (2015-)

“Yu Yu Hakusho” (1992-94)

#1: “One Piece” (1999-)

Amazingly developed characters? Check. Out of this world settings? Check. Perilous struggles with equally complex villains? Check. Fight scenes that will make your head explode? Aye captain! Still riding high to this day, the Straw Hat Crew continue to bring us a mixture of thoughtful commentary on concepts like good, evil and justice all wrapped inside a bombardment of downright goofy comedy and surreally brutal fights. All we can hope is that this ship continues to sail for as long as possible.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the best shonen anime of all time? With new top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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