Shounen is perhaps the most famous demographic in anime. It has the most diverse genre and theme. It could be action (arguably the most popular one), comedy, sports, slice of life, even romance. And the best thing about it is that people from other demographics can also enjoy some of these anime because it provides a lot of variety.
Top 50 Best Shounen Anime
And today’s topic is slightly different from usual, because it is something that is pretty huge. I have collected the top 50 best shounen anime, to make a must-watch shounen anime list. But before talking about this topic specifically, we need to talk about what shounen actually means first.
As I stated earlier, shounen is a demographic. It is often mistaken by a lot of people due to misunderstanding. Based on the Oxford Languages Dictionary that supported Google Search, Shounen means “a genre of Japanese comics and animated films aimed primarily at a young male audience, typically characterized by action-filled plots”. I hope this clears up some misconceptions.
But back to the ultimate list, the research is quite draining because I need to collect tons of shounen anime. At first, there are some anime that should be categorized as a seinen or other genre, yet it falls under the shounen demographic. I need to look up why it is a shounen anime even though it does not look like something that a young boy should watch or enjoy.
And then there is the process of elimination, which took quite a while. There are some that need to be removed, and there are others that fit the criteria (mine, to be exact. Worry not, I tried to be as objective as possible). And after doing some work, I eventually managed to make an (hopefully) ultimate shounen anime watch list.
A bit explanation about the structure of the article, I would first explain about the general story of the anime, then tackle on what makes this anime worth watching, and a caution so you are not going to be disappointed before watching it (no spoilers, I promise).
So, since we already have the same wavelength, let us not waste anymore time and jump into our number 50. Starting with:
50. Tsurezure Children
Opening the list with a romance comedy anime called Tsurezure Children. It is basically a bunch of stories about teenagers who fall in love with their schoolmates. And frankly that is it. It is pretty much a standard shounen romcom anime.
When I say standard, it does not mean it is a bad anime per say (or else it would not make it into the list). It is in fact quite cute seeing these teenagers being in love with their opposite genders. And some of it might remind you on the days where you were way too afraid to express your love.
Some others however might be a bit too cringey to watch. This is perhaps because of secondhand embarrassment, either that or you get reminded by something that you would love to forget. But my point still stands. Tsurezure Children is a good watch for those who seek a good romcom.
49. Kanojo Okarishimasu
In Japan, you can actually rent a girlfriend (and that is true). This is the main premise of Kanojo Okarishimasu. Kazuya Kinoshita has recently broken up with her girlfriend. He then rents a girlfriend to heal his wound. And who would have thought he actually fell for her rented girlfriend, Chizuru Ichinose.
As you may expect, this is another romance anime that may hit a bit close to home. Not only that, it is also a harem romance so you may expect more girls appearing later on. And it is more mature than your usual romance anime since the background is a college student instead of high schooler.
I said that it hit close to home, so you might expect getting secondhand embarrassment from it. Some people also find Kanojo Okarishimasu is also more of a guilty pleasure anime rather than something to follow seriously (even though it is not true at all).
A gambling anime that tells a gambling high school with gambler students inside it. What a crazy premise that was. Everything in that school can be settled by gambling. It is said that the main purpose of this is to teach the students how cruel reality is in the outside world hence they prepared them for the worst.
The main character in Kakegurui is Jabami Yumeko, a transfer student who immediately fits the gambling environment. The main highlight is of course seeing her in gambling actions. And trust me you need to see it by yourself instead of me telling it here.
Just like the previous list, this anime is pretty much a guilty pleasure. But unlike the previous list, it really is a guilty pleasure. It has a plot, sure. But I do not believe that those who watch this truly want to see the plot. Despite being a bit out of place, it is still a shounen anime due to its simplistic nature.
47. Owari no Seraph
Owari no Seraph is a post-apocalyptic supernatural shounen anime that follows a young man’s quest for revenge, while fighting for friendship and loyalty against seemingly impossible odds. Its background takes place years later when a weird virus appeared and killed everyone above 13 years old.
It follows the story of Yuuichirou Hyakuya and Mikaela Hyakuya, two boys taken captive from an orphanage, along with other children they consider family. It is bittersweet, emotional, and also wholesome at some point.
There are some who dislike the drama and prefer to see the action. Luckily, Owari no Seraph has it, and it is pretty good. The plot is perhaps too mature for some people, but for me personally, it is still pretty understandable rather than some other anime. Overall, if you can withstand the plot and drama, then you might like it.
46. Kekkai Sensen
Well… How to describe Kekkai Sensen? I think the best way to start is by talking about the “Libra” organization that fights crime in the city of Hellsalem’s Lot, formerly known as New York City. Hellsalem’s Lot was formed after a portal to the invisible world opened, making the city a meeting point between monsters, magic, and earthly life.
And the main focus is the compelling Leonardo Watch, a photographer who loves to help people. Just like your main protagonist. By far this is perhaps the most generic shounen battle anime. It has its own fighting methods, comedy, and drama.
But the main selling point here is arguably the ending sequence. It is so catchy that it is impossible to only play it once. But apart from that, Kekkai Sensen is a good pick for those who seek another shounen battle anime. You could say that it is a hidden gem that is beloved by a lot of fans.
Currently the third romcom on the list, and another wholesome one. This is the story of 2 teenagers Hori Kyouko and Miyamura Izumi, who were classmates but not that close. It is until Miyamura brought Hori’s brother back to her house, they started to get to know each other. In and out.
Among the newest romcom anime, Horimiya quickly gained a lot of fans because the story is quite fresh and, as I said, wholesome. The fans were also coming from those who have read the manga and have been waiting to be adapted into anime for years.
That said, there are also those who got disappointed because they skipped a lot of stories from the manga. And it is a shame because there are many details on the anime that have been kept in the manga. But if you are okay finding out what you have been missing by reading the manga, then it should not be a problem.
Beastars is an anime about animal society in which carnivores and herbivores live alongside each other. One night, a wolf named Legoshi met a tiny female rabbit named Haru. After that night, Legoshi developed these weird feelings towards Haru, and cannot comprehend what it is about.
Yes, that is the main premise. It is weird, but it does not tell you only that. Beastars also tackle some real-life issues such as bullying and ethnicity, but it is wonderfully crafted to be fit to the animal kingdom, and then applying its own twists that might only apply to animals but still feel relatable to us humans.
Regrettably since the actors are animals, a lot of people associate it with furry anime. While it is true to a tiny extent, Beastars’ theme about psychological slice of life should be the highlighted thing instead of the furry topic. You should understand it after watching the first episode.
43. Quintessential Quintuplets
Another romance anime and as usual, there is a harem twist in it. It is all about Uesugi Fuutarou who needs money so badly, thus he took the offer to teach a “non-academic oriented” quintuplet. His goal is to be able to leverage the quintuplets’ score so they would not get expelled.
We have seen a lot of romance-harem anime. But the idea of quintuplets having a crush with the same person is quite interesting to watch. Slowly we become attached with them, knowing the reasons behind their personality, background, dream, etc. And at the end, we eventually become fond of them.
Unlike Kanojo Okurishimasu, you cannot expect Quintessential Quintuplets to have mature relationships, since they are currently still in high school. There are some “unnecessary” ecchi (it is inevitable for almost any harem anime), so those who dislike it might have to sigh occasionally. But again, quintuplets never get tiring to watch.
42. Black Butler
Young Ciel Phantomhive, known as “The Queen’s Guard Dog,” took care of many of the troubling events that took place in Victorian England for Her Majesty. He is aided by Sebastian Michaelis, his loyal butler with seemingly inhuman abilities, Ciel uses whatever means necessary to get his job done.
Black Butler is a complete package of action, comedy, and even mystery. Back then, most of us were still young, and seeing some of the action scenes made us thrilled (even if we are seeing it today, we are probably still thrilled). The main characters’ dynamic, Ciel and Sebastian, are also really enjoyable and sometimes funny to watch.
Perhaps these days, there are many other anime that provide better components compared to Black Butler. But even by today’s standards, Black Butler provided a solid story for a shounen anime, and is still beloved by a lot of anime fans out there.
Currently the oldest anime on the list. Vash the Stampede is a man with a $60 billion bounty on his head. The reason is that he is a merciless villain who squandered all those who opposed him and razed entire cities for fun, earning him the title “The Humanoid Typhoon.”
And the funny thing is, that is totally wrong. It seems like a spoiler but that is the part of the story. The story is actually about Vash’s daily life, showing that he is not what people like to think about. Instead, he is a big cotton ball who likes doughnuts and somehow has idiotic nature.
The story is rather simplistic hence people love it because they can understand it really well. Especially the young boys. Vash’s antics never failed to trigger some laughter. As an OG anime, it was among one of the most entertaining anime at that time, and probably still is.
40. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
A beautiful fantasy anime that tells the story of Chise Hatori, a 15-year-old Japanese girl, who was sold for 5 million pounds at an auction to a tall masked man. That man turns out to be a Magus, an ancient magician with both human and fae characteristics. Since then, Chise lived her life with this Magus and should be the bride at the end of the day.
When I say it is beautiful, I really mean it. Thanks to Studio Wit, its artwork and frame by frame are pretty to look at. It really fits as a fantasy anime with a lot of environmental shots and magical beings. It is perhaps the most serene and graceful anime on the list. By far.
The story itself however might be a bit too mellow for young boys. Especially those who crave actions and bombastic fighting scenes. But if you want to look at something soothing and relaxing, The Ancient Magus’ Bride is your kind of anime.
39. D Gray Man
D Gray Man is about a man named Allen Walker, who was sent by an organization composed of those willing to fight Akuma called Black Order and by the mysterious Millennium Earl to become an official Exorcist. And that is it, that is pretty much the synopsis.
It was launched back in 2006 and is considered to be an OG anime. As a shounen battle anime, you got an action scene, comedy, and bits of drama. Pretty much everything you expected from this kind of anime.
The good news from this (or perhaps it is the bad news) is that D Gray Man only has around 100ish episodes. The last season we got was back in 2016. The manga itself is still running, making it possible to catch up if you want.
If you translate Nichijou into English, it literally means “everyday”. So as you may guess, the story itself is pretty much about daily life. But that was what I thought at first, because clearly I did not expect what would come after seeing the first episode. Nichijou, is more than “Nichijou”.
It takes your daily routine into something that is comically absurd. Some fans regarded Nichijou as one of the funniest shows they ever watched. There are several characters to follow, and each of them has their own traits and running gag and amazingly it never gets tiring to see.
The main genre of Nichijou is slice of life and comedy. It rarely has other elements like romance or action. When it does, it does not really take it seriously, and most of it is a running gag. Some of you would perhaps dislike it, but if you decided to watch comedy, I doubt that you will expect other things besides it.
Released back in 2014 by the legendary studio Shaft, Nisekoi is another romcom anime that narrates the story of Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki who are forced to have a fake relationship for the purpose of diplomatic relations between mafia gang (useless fact, nise means fake, and koi means love).
What makes this interesting is that Raku is interested with his friend, Kosaki Onodera. And these relationships got more complicated as the new characters got introduced to stir things up. The female characters are also pretty compelling, making you kind of sad to see that only one is able to become Raku’s girlfriend, and the rest need to be eliminated.
Since this is a romcom anime that also contains a piece of harem in it, you might find some generic scene that you have seen in a lot of this kind of anime, almost like a cliche. Regardless, a cliche is not always a bad thing and could be exciting stuff if it is done correctly.
36. Black Clover
Next up is an anime about a boy named Asta who does not have magic power in the world where magic is everything. However, he has a dream to become a Wizard King, the strongest magic user in the kingdom. Can he fulfill his dream despite having no magic at all? (It is a rhetorical question. You know the answer already).
Perhaps Black Clover depicts what shounen anime should look like. At least by far from this list. The action scenes are amazing, the story is easy to understand, and it also has a great sense of humor. Which is quite weird because Black Clover is often overlooked by anime fans.
And sadly there is a good reason behind it. A lot of fans dropped after a few episodes because they think it is pretty basic. However, those who have not watched it, if you are able to go through the earliest episodes, it would pay off by a fun shounen battle anime.
35. Yakusoku no Neverland
This anime was highly anticipated back in 2019. It tells the story of Grace Field House residents Emma and Norman, who found out that this house is actually a slaughterhouse for humans, and their bodies would be fed to monsters. With their friend Ray, they are planning to escape with all of the residents that consists of children.
If you remember that strategy, psychological anime that requires wits and tactics, this is what you will get in Yakusoku no Neverland. We will witness how Emma, Norman, and Ray had a trial and error for strategizing to escape from the farm.
However, the sad thing is that the 2nd season got bad feedback from the fans because it skipped A LOT of things from the manga, and went straight to the end. But if you simply want to know the story, you can watch it regardless and follow the manga to learn what you have missed.
Kagome Higurashi one day fell into quite a deep well near her house. Instead of ending up at the bottom of the well, she was transported back to the past (your Isekai anime before it was famous). She met a young hybrid dog demon human named Inuyasha to help her collect the shards and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
What is so great about Inuyasha is that it can be enjoyed by not only young boys, but also girls. The romance in Inuyasha is the main factor on why they can enjoy this anime. It is quite thick, it almost feels that you are actually watching a romance anime instead of action.
Of course there are still the action parts, and it is not that bad. It has in fact some iconic action scenes from shounen battle anime. Perhaps not as famous as other anime tropes, but it is definitely not a bad one and still something that certainly worth watching.
33. Fire Force
Fire Force is an anime narrating about firefighters who not only extinguish fire from buildings, but they also need to defeat an infernal, a human being that spontaneously combust. Enter Shinra Kusakabe, who joins the Fire Force to become a hero and save other people from infernals.
At the first glance, Fire Force might look like your standard shounen action anime. But after a few episodes, the focus shifted to mystery. Not only are they trying to put an end to infernals, Fire Force is also going to investigate what made infernals exist in the first place. And turns out they discovered something much bigger than that.
Fire Force is still your generic action shounen anime though, despite its mystery element. (A personal opinion alert) It does not really offer something new apart from the unique fighting style where the users are all using fire. It is still really enjoyable especially if you are young at heart.
Dororo narrates the story of a samurai’s son who has no limbs, no nose, no eyes, no ears, nor even skin yet still, he lives. Thankfully, a doctor saved him and gave him prosthetic limbs. One day, a boy named Dororo found him wandering around, and just like that their journey began.
At the first glance the story looks more mature than we expected. But after a while, the shounen essence of this anime started to come out. One thing that should be noted is of course the action scene that is fluid and beautiful to watch even though it is not as crazy as other shounen battle anime.
The plot could possibly be too difficult to follow for some people, and even depicted as boring. But after you break that “plot” barrier, Dororo is actually pretty enjoyable to watch. And eventually there will be some parts that might actually pique your interest.
31. Soul Eater
We can say that this is an OG anime since it was released back in 2008. Soul Eater follows these Death Weapon Meister Academy students led by Soul Eater Evans (yup. That is his name). They go on a mission to gather souls and protect the city from the threats of the world while working together.
Soul Eater has a lot of main characters, and all of them shine well in the anime. It is always nice to see their interactions with others and this dynamic is even still discussed among the OG fans who have watched it. And of course there are other aspects that make people love it (well I can explain it more but then it will take too much space for other anime).
Currently only one season of Soul Eater has been released and it is never seen since then. The manga itself finished years ago. I guess the silver lining here is that you got some time to binge watch the show and read the manga after finishing the whole thing.
30. Tokyo Revengers
Into the top 30, we have a time travel anime that is actually pretty dark. Hanagaki Takemichi somehow got the ability to time loop, after finding out that his old lover Tachibana Hinata died. He then uses his power to save her from her fated death by alternating the past and seeking the reason on why she died in the future.
If you have watched some time travel anime, it usually gets pretty heavy. The same applies to Tokyo Revengers. However, Tokyo Revengers is able to make it somehow lighter because of its sense of humor and basically its soul as a shounen anime. It does not get really bloody and dark except it really needs to.
And that creates some dilemma because some fans want it to be rougher, but then it will stray from its shounen heritage. And if it does not, it will be your generic shounen anime just like others. But hey, what is wrong to be generic if it is still good?
29. Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
This anime is taking a different approach to being a psychic. Here we have the everyday life of Saiki Kusuo, a psychic who dislikes being a psychic and simply wishes to be a normal student. He thought that his power was more of a hindrance rather than useful.
Saiki Kusuo (not going to mention the full title lol) is a slice of life comedy that follows Saiki’s struggles being a psychic. And what is special about this anime is how extreme the side characters are and how often it breaks the 4th wall. The interaction between Saiki and other characters is also the main highlight of the show.
While it might sound nitpicking, but since it is adapted from a manga, the dialogues and scenes can be really fast and sometimes it is impossible to follow. It is chaotic indeed. For some fans however, this adds more comedy and makes them laugh because they could not understand a single thing.
28. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Magi has a background somewhere in the Middle East. It is about the saga of a young adult named Ali Baba, a decent dude who wishes to change his fate. He met a magical boy named Aladdin. Their meeting is the beginning of their journey to become adventurers with the hope that his life would be better.
From the synopsis, it is not hard to guess that it is all about the classic adventure shounen anime. And it is true. But its components like story, world building, characters and humor are all really good. You can say that it is an underrated shounen anime series.
And you will have some time to catch up on all the 50 episodes from 2 seasons. No really, it has been years since the 2nd season was released. Fans have been begging A1 Pictures to release the 3rd season already. But of course, there is an alternative called “manga” if someone could not resist their curiosity.
Gintama is regarded as one of the funniest anime they have ever watched. But explaining Gintama is quite difficult because of its eccentricity. No really, I personally have no clue what it is all about despite having watched the show for quite a while now.
Regardless of what the story is about, what I said about Gintama being the funniest show is no exaggeration. It often breaks the 4th wall and has a great punchline, often coming from something you will expect the least. It can break you down from something trivial because of how great the joke delivery is.
However, knowing that comedy is a subjective object, some others might disagree with my judgment about Gintama. But since a lot of people love the show, you might want to try seeing some of the episodes and judge it by yourself. But I highly doubt that you will hate or despise the show. No way at all.
26. Dr. Stone
We got here a rare specimen of anime which is about science. All the human beings around the world are petrified by a weird light. One day in Japan, Taiju, a teenager managed to break out from petrification. He then met his friend, Senku, a scientific genius teenager who broke out earlier. They both tried to rebuild civilization in the stone world.
Dr. Stone received almost no hate because it is something new that even the OG anime fans have not seen. Here science played a massive role for the classic “power up” that became a trait for shounen anime. You can get excited by seeing them invent something trivial like soap or light bulbs.
It is worth mentioning that a lot of people get inspired by this anime and even try to make their own stuff. The explanation is pretty detailed and pretty much plausible (it is hard though). Just be careful while experimenting, because some of the ingredients are pretty dangerous.
25. Yu Yu Hakusho
Back in the day Yu Yu Hakusho was among the most beloved shounen battle anime. It tells the saga of Urameshi Yuusuke who died because he saved a child from a car crash. But then his life was brought back by Koenma, heir to the throne of the spirit realm, with some requirements for him.
Just like some other shounen battle anime, it has everything like comedy, unique characters, you get the point already. It was also considered as revolutionary because it also provided a variation of arcs that has something new to it. Viewers never got tired because of it.
Since it was an OG anime, the animation or artwork may not look the most appealing. But that does not mean it is bad. You could say it is actually the charm of older anime that newer anime does not have (you can say this is an excuse. But it is not. Those who have watched the older anime know what I am talking about).
24. Blue Exorcist
Blue Exorcist is about a teenager named Rin Okumura who was ambushed by a demon. He then discovers that he is actually the son of Satan and wants to conquer the world together with him. Not wanting to join his father, Rin decides to start training to become an exorcist so he can fight for his world.
As your battle shounen manga, Blue Exorcist has it all. The comedy is not monotone, the fighting system is also really good. And honestly it is difficult to say what makes it so good because all components in this anime are pretty much above the standard.
Since we are more than halfway, I would like to bring up that if there are any other shounen battle anime that ranks higher than Blue Exorcist, it means either there is something special about that anime or it is more popular. Putting this anime here is pretty much correct because it is simply “good”, but not better than others.
23. Great Teacher Onizuka
Another OG anime that tells daily life about an ex biker gang leader named Onizuka Eikichi who somehow became a teacher in high school. But it is not your normal high school. It is a problematic high school called Holy Forest Academy.
As a teacher, despite having a lot of personal problems, Onizuka is really likeable. We can see how he solved many problems that the academy had with his eccentric method. And it is kind of satisfying seeing him solving problems just like that when the high school does not really know how to solve it for years.
Great Teacher Onizuka is one hell of a slice of life comedy anime. Since it is quite ahead of its time, the animation looks old school, and people who were not born that era feel nostalgic for something that they have not watched. It is a must watch for slice of life anime lovers.
22. Shokugeki no Souma
If you are a food lover, this is the perfect anime for you. Shokugeki no Souma (or Food Wars in English) tells you the story of Yukihira Souma, a student who got transferred into an elite cooking academy called Totsuki Academy. There, he proved himself that he is not a weak chef and can adapt with the hellish curriculum.
Yukihira is the type of main character who has a great skill from the beginning. Seeing him proving that he is more than a transfer student and able to stand on par with some of the elites is satisfying. It is kind of like an underdog story but not really because they simply have no clues about Yukihira’s cooking ability.
And about the food itself, a lot of home cooks have already made the Food Wars recipe and most of it is not really that hard to follow. If you are a true gourmet lover, you should watch it and make some of the food there.
21. Akame Ga Kill
Akame Ga Kill narrates the saga of Night Ride, a group of assassins that eliminates those who stand on their way for a revolution. They do this due to a corruption of power in the government. Each of them have their own unique skill sets to finish the job as smoothly as possible.
The story itself kind of reminds me of V for Vendetta, but the anime version. There are waifus here and there, and bombastic action scenes that are definitely unrealistic. And of course, it is pretty easy to understand compared to the movie.
And since the story is pretty straightforward, I could not find anything else to say about Akame Ga Kill. The reviews are pretty much splitted among the fans. Some like it so much, whereas others think it is “meh”. Either way, those who love it so much think that it is an interesting anime to follow and should be on your watching list.
20. Samurai Champloo
A unique samurai anime that tells the story of a waitress named Fuu, who was saved by 2 samurai, Mugen and Jin. But that brought them into trouble because they started to fight with each other. Fuu however saved them both from execution and asked them both to go on a journey finding a samurai who smells like a sunflower.
This was considered a classic due to its unique story and characters. Not to mention the music was among the best even by today’s standards. The dynamic between the trio is also fun to watch even though sometimes it puts you to the edge because of their antics.
Just like other older anime here, Samurai Champloo proved that the classics are not always a bad quality one. In terms of story, it is even better than some of the new shounen anime (yes it is a personal opinion). You should give it a try if you want to see something different.
19. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
One day, a mysterious weird octopus-like alien has decided to teach Class E in an elite private school, Kunugigaoka School. But there is a catch. The Class E students are not only taught by him, but also need to kill him before he destroys the world.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu follows the daily activities of the Class E student with their teacher whom they called “Koro Sensei”. It has everything you want from a shounen anime, starting from action, drama, comedy, and even romance. The bond between the students and their teacher is the main highlight of this anime.
And apart from that, I personally do not have a warning and such. The premise may seem weird at first, but over time you will understand everything. If you can overcome the barrier of “confusing premise”, it is possible that you will like Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. Because others said the same and eventually regretted saying it at the end.
18. Kuroko no Basket
A basketball anime (what a surprise. Yeah) that tells the story of Kuroko Tetsuya, who entered Seirin High School and joined the basketball team. He then met Kagami Taiga, a powerful power forward who seeks challenge in Japan after returning from the USA. After Kuroko told him about the existence of Generation of Miracles, Kagami has decided to aim for the top by beating them one by one.
The main focus of Kuroko no Basket is definitely Kagami’s rivalry with other Generation of Miracles. There are 5 of them, and Kagami needs to push himself beyond his limit to eventually defeat them in a Basketball match. So yeah, it is your basic sports anime premise we got here.
And for some viewers, seeing Kuroko as the main character yet overshadowed by Kagami is quite confusing. It is like Kuroko becoming a side character. But this is something that I cannot explain, since it will become a spoiler. So yeah, better watch it by yourself.
17. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
(Or Your Lie in April in English) tells the story of Arima Kousei, a piano prodigy who stopped playing piano because of certain things in the past. He then met a violinist named Miyazono Kaori, who kept asking him to play a duet of piano and violin with her. And… If I tell you more it would be a spoiler. So that is it.
If you have noticed, this is the highest non-battle shounen anime on the list. It is about slice of life and drama with a dash of humor. Many fans love it because of the beautiful animation and artwork, not to mention the story itself is wonderfully created by the author.
Honestly talking about this anime is extremely difficult because if I explain something wrong then it could lead to spoilers (I hate being spoiled, so that is why I do not want to spoil). Let us just say that if you love a drama anime, it should be on your watching list.
16. Nanatsu no Taizai
Like many other forms of entertainment, anime also has their own version of 7 Deadly Sins. These 7 Deadly Sins tell you about Meliodas, the former captain of the strongest knights in the kingdom of Lionnes called “7 Deadly Sins”. Used to be, at least. They are now hunted by other knights because they tried to overthrow the throne of Liones.
And it was the start of Meliodas’ adventure, collecting the rest of the 7 Deadly Sins members because the kingdom itself is in danger. This anime is fun to watch, especially seeing the dynamic of all the 7 Deadly Sins. It has all you want from a shounen battle anime.
It is sometimes perceived as generic. But as I said earlier, being generic is not necessarily a bad thing. And also be prepared for some ecchi because it will clearly have some sort of things. And there is not anything that has not been said before
A volleyball anime that tells the story about a tiny teenager named Hinata Shoyo who got inspired to play volleyball because he saw another small volleyball player with the nickname “Little Giant”. He then joined Little Giant’s senior high school, Karasuno, only to find out that he met the one who defeated him back in junior high school, Kageyama Tobio.
The main story is about the rivalry between Hinata and Kageyama, despite being teammates. It is kind of funny because both of them are quite different, yet managed somehow to find anything to compete with. Over the time, they built a mutual respect towards each other.
It does sound generic, but Haikyuu managed to elevate the classic components of sports anime beautifully. What you will see in Haikyuu you might have seen in other sports anime. You are either going to love it or have a “meh” feeling because you have witnessed it countless times.
14. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
(I will not talk about the meme, okay?) Talking about Jojo is pretty difficult because there are so many parts of it and the stories are all different. A super oversimplified explanation is basically there are goods and evil fighting each other and the good guys win (but seriously it is difficult to summarize Jojo into one paragraph).
If you are anime fans for a while now, you may have seen some “Jojo reference” stated by Jojo fans. It is not mocking the anime, but it shows how iconic Jojo actually is. Whether it is the action scene or the conversations, Jojo has consistently delivered an amazing story for each part.
Jojo however is quite long to follow and perhaps not for those who have little time to watch anime. But you know, there are others that are longer than this. There will come the time where you eventually have the time to watch Jojo, and you can avoid it no matter what.
13. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is a name of the guild inside the Fairy Tail anime. To be precise, it is a magic guild whose members can use magic. The main character here is Natsu Dragneel who uses fire magic and has a goal to look for his father figure, a dragon named Igniel.
It is getting pretty repetitive, but Fairy Tail is pretty much your basic shounen battle manga that you have found beforehand. What makes it special is actually because back in 2009, people wanted to look for other action anime aside from the big 3, Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach. And Fairy Tail fits the criteria.
And by no means it is only a sidetrack for the big 3. In fact, Fairy Tail proved itself to be able to “fight” toe to toe with the older anime generation. It has its own uniqueness and has gained a good amount of fanbase. It was a breath of fresh air for the action anime back in the day.
Yato used to be the God of War. But now, since war itself is almost nonexistent, he became a “stray God” (I kid you not) who begs for a follower because he barely has any. And then he eventually met a girl named Hiyori Iki, who was somehow able to see him. And because of it, Yato kept pestering Hiyori and asked her to be his worshipper.
It looks like a plot about a comedy anime, and it is. But Noragami is actually more of an action anime. What’s unique about this is that its story is based around Japanese Gods, something that is quite heavy to discuss but it managed to keep it simple and straightforward so a lot of people can follow it.
Sadly just like some of the anime here, it has been years since the last time we saw Noragami airs. Let us just hope we will eventually get the 3rd season because the manga itself has more than enough to cover at least 2-3 seasons.
The story of Kurosaki Ichigo becoming a soul reaper to defeat hollows is quite well-known among anime fans and even the newer one. With his power, Ichigo is ready to protect his comrades and will do anything he needs to, such as rebelling against the imperial guards and even fight against advanced hollows called Espada.
Fans love Bleach because of many things. The battle concept is cool, the story is rather easy to understand and very straightforward, and the characters are all interesting. It is your absolute basic shounen anime series that accompanies you back when you were just a child until at least you went through your adolescence.
Perhaps those who are more mature are not that interested anymore towards the series (again, it is a shounen anime and targeted towards young boys). But you cannot deny that Bleach and some other anime used to be your favorite despite the story itself being pretty generic.
(At this point, the list could be rearranged depending on your taste, because they are all equally good) I personally think I have no need to explain this legendary anime that is beloved by many people. Even non-anime fans know about it. So I simply want to explain why Naruto became so popular worldwide.
When we were young, Naruto taught us a simple premise: not to give up. That is it. But because of its simplicity, a lot of young boys can understand the meaning and follow his path as a hard working person and not giving up easily.
Apart from that, the story is just like Bleach, pretty standard. But that is because we already developed our own taste hence we tend to underestimate Naruto when we grow older. And that is fine. But it is a complete lie if you tell me that you did not hype the Naruto series back when you were just a boy. We all experienced it at least a handful of times.
9. Death Note
Death Note is a classic anime that follows the battle of wit between a self-proclaimed world savior who killed thousands of criminals using a “Death Note” named Light Yagami, and a bunch of police and detectives led by the famous L, who have solved hundreds of mysterious cases worldwide.
Death Note’s main theme is mystery and supernatural. It can be a bit difficult to understand, since it revolves around talking and outwitting each other. But once you have a grasp on it, Death Note is really exciting to watch.
However, as I said earlier, there is a lot of talking and you need to pay attention really well if you want to understand it. Some of you may have a short attention span thus making it a bit difficult to follow the series. But I do hope that you will give it a try because it is literally the most popular anime of all time, at least according to myanimelist.
8. Dragon Ball
Arguably the granddaddy of all shounen battle anime. It is all about a magical ball called Dragon Ball that can grant any wishes, including returning your beloved one from death. And many people are trying to get these balls to fulfill their desires.
However, that is not actually the main focus. The highlight of the show is actually the battle between the main character, Son Goku, against his opponents. And there are way too many battles to be mentioned here. The hardcore Dragon Ball fans are never get tired seeing this and always get hyped whenever Goku fights.
Of course Dragon Ball has other elements like a tiny portion of slice of life and even romance. But it has never been the main focus. If you are the typical person who loves the fighting scene in a shounen battle anime, Dragon Ball is the most suitable anime to watch.
7. One Piece
Another all time favorite anime that has been around since 1997. Just like Naruto, One Piece‘s story is already popular even non-anime fans have understood the basic premise of it. And recently, it just touched 1000 episodes after all these years. What makes it so special among the fans?
There is a saying that the journey is more important than the goal. It is not always true, but it does apply with One Piece. Seeing Monkey D. Luffy grew up from just a rubber boy who hid inside a barrel, now he fights against not one, but 2 Emperor of The Sea. That alone is enough to make an OG fan cry.
It sure is a long long journey. I mean, it has been 24 years since it first aired. And only dedicated fans are the one who is able to follow Luffy’s adventure to become a pirate king. But those who are bold enough to witness his journey, might be given an unforgettable feeling when it ends.
6. My Hero Academia
Another stereotypical shounen battle anime that narrates the story of Midoriya Izuku, a quirkless boy among the super powered society. In spite of that, he still has a dream to become a hero. This spirit is enough to move the number one hero in Japan, All Might, to give his power to Izuku, known as One for All.
It is pretty difficult to explain why My Hero Academia is so popular. Because it lies in something that you cannot see: it has a “heart”. It is ambiguous, I know. But I alone cannot explain it briefly. It is something that you feel, and you will understand once you watch the show.
In the first few episodes, you might feel that it does not differ that much from any other shounen anime. But keep watching, and some of you might understand what I mean by “heart”. The rest of it is pretty much what you can find in any other shounen battle anime.
5. Demon Slayer
(Finally! After days of writing I managed into the top 5) Despite being among the newest boys in town, Demon Slayer has taken over the world by instant. The story itself is about Kamado Tanjiro, who under a tragic occurrence, needs to live with his demon sister Nezuko, and find a way to turn Nezuko back into a human.
While the story is pretty decent, what elevates Demon Slayer on another whole level is the godly animation and artwork, thanks to Studio Ufotable. It made Demon Slayer absolutely beautiful to watch. Not to mention the music soundtrack supports the high quality animation.
Watching some of the episodes (especially the fighting related episodes) for the first time are some experiences that many anime fans cannot forget. Demon Slayer might not be the one who seeks an amazing story, but it is certainly for those who enjoy visuals more than the story.
4. Jujutsu Kaisen
(I honestly am a bit confused on where to start about Jujutsu Kaisen. So it is what it is) Itadori Yuji is a “normal” teenager who has lost his grandfather. After a lot of complicated things that could possibly be a spoiler, he then became a jujutsu sorcerer whose tasks is to exorcise curses and help people.
Just like the Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen is among the newest anime among the OG, yet people already predicted that it will become one of the biggest. Even though it looks pretty generic, it tweaks some of the elements from its predecessor into something fresh and enjoyable to watch.
Since there will be a new movie on December 24th, it is the right time to start watching Jujutsu Kaisen. The first episode might look standard, but after a certain episode you will find something interesting about it that differentiate it from your typical shounen battle anime.
3. Fullmetal Alchemist
Entering the top 3, literally all of them are regarded to be the best anime of all time. And the story about Edward Elric and Alphonse Eleic, 2 alchemists who have a dark past. They are currently working under the government as an alchemist. One day, they are involved in something breathtaking and groundbreaking.
The journey of Edward and Alphonse after finding that “something” is full of surprise, emotional, and definitely worth following. There is something magical about it that makes you cannot stop watching. You want to know what is at the end of their journey, but at the same time you do not want it to end.
For a shounen anime, its topic is perhaps quite difficult to follow for some people. It also contains some philosophical themes that require a bit of thinking. Let us just say that if you manage to watch Fullmetal Alchemist until the end, you will also mature as a human being. And I am not joking. At all.
2. Attack on Titan
Back when Attack on Titan (AoT) was launched in 2012, it quickly became a sensation among anime fans and even some non-anime fans. The saga of Eren Jaeger who wants to kill all of the titan after witnessing his mother’s death has attracted a lot of fans to see whether or not he managed to do so.
It is hard to explain what makes AoT so popular. You do not know where to start because it is a complete package of action, drama, thriller, and mystery. It has a lot of twists, just like riding a roller coaster of emotion. Every season has something to offer to the audiences.
And as I said earlier, it has a thriller element on AoT, thus you need to be prepared for a bloodbath. It is not for a person who is weak to gory stuff. But if you are not that kind of person, you will witness something that perhaps can be called a “modern classic”.
1.Hunter x Hunter
And finally the number one shounen anime that should be on your watching list is Hunter x Hunter (HxH). It is all about a boy named Gon Freecs who departed from his small island to find his long lost dad. However, his adventure is treacherous and Gon needs to overcome all of the obstacles to eventually meet his dad.
HxH is often compared with Fullmetal Alchemist because it has a lot of similarities. The comedy, philosophical theme, combat method that requires brains over brawns. And honestly putting one above another it only matters of taste and personal feeling because they are all that good.
And since it is quite similar to Fullmetal Alchemist, HxH also needs some thinking when you watch the show. It has a lot of dialogues about this and that, some people dislike it. But apart from that, it is definitely something worth watching and really it should be on your watching list.