Shonen anime have been dominating the anime industry since the 2000s. If you’re confusing between the words Shonen or Shounen, then let us clarify them for you. Either of the two terms is fine because Shonen is the alternative form of Shounen. The shonen genre is the most popular in anime, and even though Shonen anime started sparked from around the late 1990s, we’ve become attached to those stories from 1960 when Astro Boy made its debut. But why is it so popular? And why does everyone prefer it?
Shonen anime always contain enthralling plot, fierce head to head clashes, and more importantly, they involve some expensive budget. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2020 or 2050, we’ll always hear about a shonen anime breaking boundaries and creating records in anime history. But what are the best shonen anime out of all of them? Well, let’s find out from the list below.
Best Shonen Anime
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
If you think why Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is in the list of best shonen anime, then you should also know how masterfully it was made. Admittedly, Brotherhood moves at a good pace revealing most of its unanswered details in the beginning. But when you finish the series, the one word that you can utter is Masterpiece! or at least Wow! It’s not that it has fan service; neither it should be because Brotherhood has a lot of potential to make any viewer startle. If you have watched Brotherhood, you should know why it is one of the best anime of all time and why people call it a Masterpiece of the Shonen genre.
Edward and Alphonse are two brothers who set on a journey to recover their bodies, precisely, Edward’s right arm and left leg and Al’s total body after they commit a taboo to bring her dead mother back to life. As they both learn Alchemy, they enter a world where it is full of alchemy users, and their journey becomes even exciting when they meet friends and foes along the way. The story is more profound than you think, and the characters are the best elements in building this classic. If you haven’t watched it yet, then you’re missing a lot.
Who said a sports anime couldn’t compete with shonen anime? In fact, it is an anime with a deep story and complex characters. With a constantly growing cast and gripping relations, it entertains to the fullest. While the primary genre is sports, it is renowned as shonen jump for its fascinating plot. The entire series is pretty much about basketball and the understandings between the players, but it also respects the shonen ideology by making the plot into an ulterior motive. If you’re a fan of sports or you love to play, this anime isn’t the one you should be missing. After all, Haikyuu! Has everything that a shonen anime must-have.
Hinata made up his mind to achieve his dream after watching a player nicknamed “The Little Giant” play basketball. Although there is no volleyball team for his school, he practiced hard and convinced others to join the group. Even though they qualify into a tournament after a lot of intense practice, they run into a strong team and faces an utter defeat. Hinata decides to become a better player than Kageyama, who gave his school a push to victory against Hinata’s school. But Hinata has to face teams like Kageyama’s school to achieve his ultimate goal.
If you haven’t heard this name even once in your lifetime, then you might’ve been from another planet, or you have been living far from the present humanity’s world. One Piece has been one of the Big Threes alongside Naruto and Bleach for over a decade now. Even though it has over 900 episodes and still running, the creator of the manga Oda is an absolute genius. He knows well about the audience’s mindset, and the storyline of One Piece is still among the best ones in anime history. If you didn’t watch One Piece because of its long run, then you’re missing something more than epic.
The story follows Monkey D. Luffy, who goes on a journey to become the King of Pirates by finding One Piece. On his journey, he gathers his crew slowly and faces many obstacles together, but each hardship makes them stronger. On their journey, they encounter some gruesome pirates who possess devil fruit powers just like him. But pirates aren’t the only enemies they have. The story gets better with each arc, and if you expect humor from One Piece, then you’re in for a treat. Well then, One Piece isn’t an anime that you should be missing.
Gintama is one of the most entertaining and unique anime series out there. It is well-known for its hilarious moments, but it does have some badass moments. With some dramatic situations and hilarious moments, Gintama leaves you on the edge of your seat and never lets you feel bored. Even though it seems quite hilarious in the beginning, the plot does get serious when it needs to be. If you compare Gintama with other anime, no, you shouldn’t because, as I mentioned earlier, it is unique in every way, and you won’t find an anime like this in decades. So, if you haven’t watched it yet or thinking of watching it, then don’t hesitate.
The story of this shonen anime sets in the Edo period, where the world gets attacked by aliens, and samurais fail to prevent it. But to survive, they make a deal with the aliens by surrendering to them. But a sole samurai Gintoki Sakata who is the president of Yorozuya works against the aliens by helping the people. While working, they continuously encounter various challenges where it leaves space for plenty of funny moments. Gintama is one hell of anime humor wise and character-building wise. So, make sure you watch it someday. After all, it is one of the best shonen anime out there.
Naruto & Naruto Shippuden
Naruto is one of the greatest Shonen anime in history and is often known as a lot of the first generation’s favorite anime. It is an example of how well a plot can be developed from time to time, but the only thing that’ll hold you back is its fillers. But don’t consider it as a reason to miss this fabulous show. It gets you hooked up right from the start, and it becomes a reason for you to live. Being of the big threes, it stood up to its heights and ten billion percent worthy of its popularity. If you haven’t watched it yet, then you should give it a try right now.
The story follows Naruto Uzumaki, who dreams become the Hokage of his village, which got attacked by a NIne-Tail fox long ago. To take out the fear of the villages, he wants to become the greatest ninja. But can he achieve it alone with will power? Well, if you see it one way, Naruto is life for so many people because the story is so engaging and inspirational. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, then you must watch it soon. After all, it is one of the best shonen anime of all time, and it is also one of the Big Threes.
Hunter x Hunter
Who said an adventure masterpiece should have a long run of episodes? With just 148 episodes, it shows more than you need to, and surprisingly, there are no fillers in Hunter x Hunter. The world of Hunter x Hunter is quite exciting and dangerous as well. And the main character isn’t overpowered; instead, he is an 11-year-old kid who wants to become a hunter like his father. But through his journey, he achieves more than that. With a good pace and interesting characters, this shonen anime creates a constant sense of tension even though you’re going to watch adventurous anime.
Gon is an 11-year-old kid who leaves Whale Island to become a hunter like his father by attending the hunter exam. However, the path isn’t easy. In his journey, he encounters many foes and friends, which makes this anime even more epic. But the main question is, will he be able to find his father, who is also a well-known hunter? I guess you can find it out while watching. Thus, Hunter x Hunter is one of the best shonen anime that you shouldn’t be missing.
Here is the last one of the Big Three. Besides One Piece and Naruto, Bleach is also very popular and a great watch. It redefines the action and presents it in a very different way from other anime. Every anime has some flaws, and Bleach is no exception. But if you consider those flaws as a barrier to watch, then you’ll be missing the most fantastic part of it. The reason it became one of the Big Threes is more than enough to give it a watch. So, even if you’ve heard some negative reviews about Bleach, this isn’t a type of anime that disappoints you. And it is one of the best shonen anime of all time.
Kurosaki Ichigo possesses a unique ability to see ghosts. His life takes a turn when an evil spirit known as Hollow attacks his family. However, a Shinigami named Rukia, who is a soul reaper that frees the good spirits to spirits society, saves them in the nick of time. But during the battle, Rukia gets injured severely, and he should transfer his powers to Ichigo. With his new powers, Ichigo trains hard to become a Soul Reaper in this world full of vengeful spirits. Plot-wise, Bleach doesn’t have any minus points, and fillers might annoy you while you watch this classic, but you can always skip the fillers if you feel uncomfortable.
My Hero Academia
Welcome to the world of action with interesting quirks and characters. My Hero Academia is an emerging shonen anime that every anime fan must watch it. It’s not like it is doing anything wholly new, but it does everything in a better and exciting way. It still has a long way to go, and manga is running successfully over the years. Author Kohei Horikoshi has been doing an outstanding job in making the story perfect as it moving forward. Even though it is your regular shonen anime, it gives you some unique vibes. Well, if this anime continues this pace, it might become like one of the Big Threes.
Izuku Midoriya is born quirkless, but he has a more powerful thing than a quirk, and that is his willpower. With his resolve, he impresses All Might, who is the Symbol of Peace, and gets One for All quirk, which is passing down through the generations. With his new quirk, his dream of becoming the world’s greatest hero is now possible, but the path isn’t easy. To achieve it, he has to face far dangerous challenges than any other person, and he somehow joins U. A high school that trains students to become respectful heroes in society. But can Midoriya achieve his dream?
Also read: My Hero Academia: A Flawless Action Series!
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins is one hell of a fantasy shonen anime with some coolest moments that can impress you overtime. But what makes it even cooler is its good-paced plot. While entertaining us with its humor, it surprises you with some epic moments. The love story of Meliodas and Elizabeth is by far, one of the best in anime history. Until the first two seasons, this anime never lets you down. But you might get disappointed with the animation of the third season. Even though the second half of season 3 is terrible animation-wise, it has the best story of all seasons. So, at the very least, you can watch it for its brilliant story.
The story follows Elizabeth, the princess of Liones, who goes on a quest to find the Seven Deadly Sins, who are often hated through the country for an uncommitted crime. However, she finds them one by one to overthrow the Holy Knights who take over the kingdom instead of protecting it. As the story progresses, it takes a massive turn, and you will be amazed for sure. If you love action-packed fantasy anime series, then this anime is the best one you can choose. Thus, it became one of the best shonen anime of all time.
Black Clover is a decent shonen anime for the people who have patience. At first, the show starts slowly, but once it gets on the track, you won’t leave it in the middle. While it gives a rough start for the viewers, later more exciting events and some good action sequences make it better. If you like anime like Naruto and Hunter x Hunter, this might become one of your favorites too. But you often see some negative reviews on it, and that’s because a perfect perspective doesn’t exist. Even its Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood or Tokyo Ghoul, there always has a space for both positive and negative audience.
The abandoned people Asta and Yuno, have been together since they were young in a church. They both hold a promise of becoming the next Emperor Magus and to see who’s the best. Yuno is a genius when it comes to magic, but Asta doesn’t know how to use magic, so he puts his efforts into building some physical abilities. When they reach 15, Yuno receives a four-leaf clover while most people receive only three-leaf clovers. But Asta’s powers don’t appear until someone threatens Yuno. However, he gets a five-leaf clover known as “Black Clover.” Now they both head into the world, sharing the same goal.
There you go! These are some best shonen anime of all time. There are lots of anime like the above ones, but we feel that these are the best ones. The best aspect that makes shonen anime to stand at the pinnacle is its uncertainty. That uncertainty is what provides us with a more fabulous experience and continuous manipulation of events. These shonen anime are undoubtedly the best ones to start if you’re looking to watch your first anime. So, you need the best list to choose the right one.
If you’re willing to watch something good at plot, we’d recommend you to start with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. And if you want something to hook you up for several days, One Piece and Naruto might be the best options. It’s all about choosing the appropriate one at last. Well, that’s why we made this list of best shonen anime of all time. What do you think about our list? And what are your thoughts on the shonen anime genre? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Visit the anime community of India-Anime Ukiyo for more content!