Last Updated: May 19, 2020
Shounen is a Japanese word that refers to young boys below the age of fifteen. Consequently, it is believed that Shounen anime is targeted at young male audiences. We can vouch that adults of all ages and gender can enjoy the tropes and tricks in shounen anime. In fact, it is most popular among the people of age because it takes them on a trip down memory lane.
This genre of anime is energetic, full of twists and turns that can keep the young as well as adult audiences hooked to their seats. It mainly focuses on action and adventure, since that is exactly what the young male audiences with boiling blood crave. It’s a good thing that we all enjoy fast-paced and intense anime plots that can keep us invested. Since we have brought to you, a list of Top 35 Shounen Anime of 2020, pick your choicest anime from here.
1. Attack on Titans
Aired on: April 7, 2013
Episodes: 59 episodes
This anime is often regarded as a Shounen anime because of the characters who are young boys. The main protagonist fights to achieve his goal and it’s motivating for young viewers. The strength and action of the central character are clearly meant for teenage viewers.
It tells the audience about the clash between the giant humanoids named Titan and a group of teenagers. The Titans had destroyed the human locality. Eren Yeager, a young boy and his foster sister Mikasa saw how their mother was killed by Titans. He decides to avenge his mother’s death by destroying the Titans.
The twists and turns in the plot are heightened by the coherence of action. These surprise elements in the plot create a lot of high and low moments.
The characters are realistic and hold a wonderful bonding with each other. They are all supported with interesting backstories to form an emotional attachment between the characters and the viewers. The character of Mikasa has an ambiguous relationship with Eren, but still, she is loyal and possessive. She is ready to fight the world for Eren, this special relationship makes the audience fall for this lovely pair.
This journey two young people take is in no way simple. It has struggle, sorrow, fear posed against power, delight and bravery, which makes it one of the best Shounen anime.
Aired on: October 3, 2002
Episodes: 220 episodes
Naruto is considered one of the best anime ever made. It has all elements like power, action and humour that can attract young minds. The way a boy who was almost a powerless ninja dreams of being the Hokage, the leader of the village and constantly fights to make his way is amazingly portrayed in this anime.
The protagonist of the story is Naruto Uzumaki, a ninja boy who wants to get validation from his peers. The story has two sections, the first section deals with a pre-teen Naruto, whereas the second section is about his teenage days.
The story of the first section starts with an attack by a Nine-Tailed demon in Konohagakure. To save the villagers, the fourth Hokage sacrificed himself and sealed the demon in his new-born son Naruto Uzumaki. Being orphaned by the attack, he was subjected to the hatred of the villagers. He vows to get acknowledged as the best Hokage and here on starts the journey of the boy from a helpless chap to the most powerful ninja.
The most attractive part of this anime is the positive nature of the mischievous young Ninja boy. The way he considers himself to be a strong and potential Hokage, even after being hated by other villagers or growing up without any family, inspires young minds to stand tall in all conditions.
3. Hunter × Hunter
Aired on: October 16, 1999
Episodes: 62 episodes
This anime is one of the best in this category because it shows how a character grows from nothing to one of the most powerful men. Its subject deals with humanity, power and connections. It makes it to the list of best Shounen anime because the main protagonist inspires the viewers as he follows his dream of being a Hunter and achieves it, without any supernatural powers.
The story is about the struggle of a boy named Gon Freecss living on Whale Island. The boy was told that his father was dead. But, later he was informed by “Hunter” kite that his father is still living as a “Hunter” in search of unknown items. The boy decides to be a Hunter, like his father.
For being a Hunter he has to pass Hunter examination, where he meets and befriends three other aspirants namely Kurapika, Leorio and Killua. There grows a very sweet but unusual relationship between Gon and Kilua. The way Kilua reacts to Gon is enough for the viewers to fall for the pair. This friendship adds a brighter angle to this anime.
The most positive part of this anime is the journey of Gon. From a Naïve little boy to a strong human being who outthinks his opponents is something that captivates the viewers for years.
4. My Hero Academia
Aired on: April 3, 2016
Episodes: 88 episodes
As the title suggests this anime is the story of being a hero. This is one of the best Shounen anime because it deals with the dream of almost every child. Izuku Midoriya is a superhero-loving boy. Though he has no special powers, still he dreams of being a superhero. He decides to enrol in the prestigious hero academy and learn to be a hero there. This anime also shows how difficult it is to be a hero, even though on more occasions it appears to be simple.
This story starts with a world where all human beings have developed a superpower labelled as “quirks”. Only a few humans do not possess this power and they are looked down upon. Izuku is also powerless and hence discriminated against and bullied by others.
The hero academy is set to teach its students to be heroes so that they can protect powerless humans. Izuku ends up being a hero to protect the minority who are powerless. This anime shows that it is not necessary for a person to be born with powers, a person can develop it through their will power and self-mentoring.
5. Naruto Shippuden
Aired on: February 15, 2007
This anime is the second part of the anime Naruto and deals with Naruto in his teens. This anime is the perfect blend of emotions like love, hatred, sorrow, humour, ambition. There are several characters and all of them have their own back story. All of them want to be the most powerful and struggle to prove themselves. This journey is more like finding the self.
The story primarily focuses on Naruto and Sasuke. They were both outcasts and for the power is the only means of survival. Naruto is shown as a character who wants to earn love and respect from his fellow villagers, whereas Sasuke wants to get everything back to normal after the Uchiha Clan massacre. Initially, the power-hunger in both of them creates conflict, but by the end, they both mature to form a bond between them.
The characterization of this anime is amazing. Each and every character has their struggle. They are different from one another, but all of them have their own special ability. The character Naruto shows that growth and power cannot be given to someone, but they need to achieve it, as “life’s greatest lessons are learned through the pain”. The life lessons that Naruto Shippuden preaches is the reason why this anime is an all-time favourite of viewers. The way Naruto inspires the young minds to achieve their dreams through positivity makes the viewers fall for this series.
6. The Seven Deadly Sins
Aired on: August 19, 2014
Episodes: 24 episodes
It is rare to see the insecurities of the heroes, as they are often portrayed as perfect. But they too have their insecurities and they learn how to leave them behind in order to grow. This is what makes a hero a ‘hero’. This anime shows us this wonderful confrontation of self and its shackles.
The story is about several confrontations and conflicts. The Holy Knights of Britannia use their powerful magic to protect the kingdom. But suddenly some knights decided to betray their motherland in order to overthrow the ruler, but the Holy Knights defeated them.
Several years later, the Holy Knights kill the ruler to become the new rulers of the Kingdom. Then Elizabeth, the discarded third princess of the kingdom, tries to search for the disbanded legendary knights known as ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ so that she can free her kingdom from the tyrants.
This anime is extremely popular with teenage fans because of its plot and action sequences. There are numerous battle scenes and none of them is dragged. The superiority of this anime lies in its unique expression of how the heroes are set to meet their insecurities. The viewers feel the emotional attachment to them as the plot shows the humane side of the heroes.
7. One Punch Man
Aired on: October 5, 2015
Episodes: 24 episodes
The heroes have their own struggles too and this series proves it. The main protagonist of this anime Saitama spends most of his life as a normal guy. As he trains himself to be a hero, he develops a unique power to defeat any enemy with just a single punch. In a world filled with superheroes, his life becomes dull and meaningless. He constantly tries to find a suitable opponent to fight against. He gradually finds his hero life pointless without any stronger challenge or the thrill of battling against the enemies.
Things start changing as a young cyborg named Genos comes to Saitama. After realizing his strength and skills he wants to be his disciple. He suggests for both of them to join the Hero Association where they will be recognized for their positive impact on the society. Saitama who was not known to many accepted this proposal. He hopes that he will find a strong opponent in the process, which makes him excited.
The most wonderful thing is the anime shows how a layman trains himself to be powerful being. Even after having been subjected to sheer pain, he keeps on training himself. Every teen wants to be powerful, wants to gain exceptional strength. This anime makes it fit as a Shounen as it includes the journey of a normal boy to be a hero.
8. Demon Slayer
Aired on: April 6, 2019
Episodes: 26 episodes
This anime is about the journey of a kind-hearted boy who wants to avenge the destruction of his family. But, there is a greater responsibility on him. He wants to find a cure for his sister who was turning into a demon herself. There are so many spectacular angles of this anime that young minds find themselves sympathizing with the characters.
As the name speaks for itself, the plot discloses how Tanjiro Kamado becomes a demon slayer. A family was attacked by demons. One day Tajiro goes out to the local market to make a little money to buy charcoal. He returns home to find out that his family was attacked and slaughtered by demons. The only survivor of the attack, Nezuko has turned into a demon.
As Nezuko is still left with human instincts and behaves like one, Tanjiro focuses on curing his sister. Their lives an elite community who kills these demons, known as a demon slayer. After an encounter with the demon-killing sword man Giyu, Tanjirou sets out to track the demons that destroyed his family, so that he can avenge the death of his family and cure the condition of his sister. He realizes that he must find out a way to free his sister from the curse.
This anime is one of the shounen anime as it deals with a young adult, Tanjiro’s actions against demons, whose ultimate goal changes to save the world from these demons.
9. Black Clover
Aired on: October 3, 2017
Episodes: 132 episodes
This anime has a good amount of action, adventure and humour and they are used to tell the story of a young boy who was considered to be a joke at the beginning but ends up being the strongest wizard. This has similarity with characters like Naruto or Goku, but Asta has his own attitude and uniqueness. The audience falls for Asta’s hard work to improve his abilities so that he can fulfil his dream.
The main protagonists of this anime are Yuno and Asta. They have abandoned kids spending their childhood in utter poverty. They promised each other to compete among themselves to be the next Emperor Mangus. As they grow up, they can see a certain distinction between themselves. Yuno has a better magical skill and control over it, whereas Asta has no power at all. But he tries to cover up his lack of hardcore training.
Yuno was afraid that the truth about Asta may get to people. Asta tries to become a Magic Knight of the kingdom’s elite defence force by his constant hard work and determination. After this, Yuno and Asta go out on the same journey of being the country’s most respected and powerful men.
This most important and beautiful element of this anime is the brotherly love between the boys. The way they support each other on their journey of healing the world is something that confers this anime the title of one of the top Shounen animes.
10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Aired on: April 5, 2009
Episodes: 64 episodes
Fullmetal Alchemist: a brotherhood is an action-packed anime, mainly set up to be the favourite of teens. The story of the two brothers and the special bonding between them is no lesser than the powerful actions that run throughout the plot. The lead characters are vibrant, dynamic and powerful, and so are the other major characters. They are both willingly ready to sacrifice themselves for their brothers and family. These characters are humane with nicely developed personalities.
This story is set in an alternative universe where the main source of power is alchemy. The main protagonists of this anime are two brothers named Edward and Alphonse Elric. The story actually starts from the incident where they try to bring their mother back to life. But, they fail to do it and end up losing their body parts. This cost Alphonse his whole body and Edward his left leg. Edward sacrifices his right arm in exchange for Alphonse’s soul. They burn down their house as they decide to find a way to recover themselves.
The story becomes a quest from hereon, where they search for the philosopher’s stone. The stone can help them to restore their bodies. Edward, also known as Ed, takes the State Alchemy exam so that he can become State Alchemist. This will allow him to transmute and gain access to research off-limits of most civilians.
The way these two brothers show immense strength to fight so that they can recover is amazing. They face different powers on their way. But, still remains indomitable and that’s what inspires the young viewers.
11. Dragon Ball Z
Aired on: April 26, 1989
Episodes: 291 episodes
Dragon Ball Z is considered to be one of the best Shounen Anime. It is the sequel of the long-running popular anime series dragon ball. This anime features the story of adult Goku and his other companions. This anime has well-coordinated action to blow the minds of young viewers.
Dragon Ball z depicts the adventure of Goku, who fights to save the earth from different dangers like intergalactic space fighters, powerful androids, immortal magical creatures etc. This anime is a sequel of dragon ball shows the maturation of Goku and his other companions from dragon ball. In this anime, Goku’s son Gohan is introduced.
Gohan gets kidnapped by a Saiyan alien, named Radditz. He has previously asked Goku to join him and participate in the destruction of the world, but Goku refused. Now, he blackmails Goku to kill innocent civilians, thus contributing to his plan of destruction. Meanwhile, Goku decides to stay loyal to earth and he seeks another way of rescuing Gohan, by killing Reddit. On the very first battle, surprisingly Piccolo allies with Goku and thus their mission starts. Goku tries his best to save Gohan without hurting his fellow civilian and ends up saving him at the cost of his own life.
Goku’s adventure and positivity is something that has actually captivated the audience for a long time. This huge fan following has led to the creation of the Dragon Ball franchise. It is still one of the most favourite of kids as well as adults.
12. One Piece
Aired on: October 20, 1999
This anime has action and reaction to their fullest and hence has become a favourite of young teens. The story begins with the pirate named Gol D. Roger being caught. This powerful pirate king was executed after this. But, before death he reveals that he has a hidden-treasure called One Piece, lying somewhere at the Grand Line. Many people tried to track this treasure, but nobody succeeded. Twenty-two years later, a boy named Monkey D. Luffy decides to find the hidden treasure so that he can acquire the title of Pirate King.
The plot of this anime is supported by strong and individualistic characters. Whether hero or villain, all the characters carry some weightage in here.
All the characters are offered their own backstories. They have their individual struggle and hence their aims are different as well. All of them have their own identity. The development of the characters is mostly built on their backstories. This makes the characters more humane and the viewers relate to them easily.
This anime is another anime that tells about the growth of the protagonist from a ‘nobody’ to the best. But, this anime does not only show it for a single character but shows how everyone has his or her struggle to fulfil their aim. This individualistic approach makes this one of the top Shounen animes.
13. Death Note
Aired on: October 3, 2006
Episodes: 37 episodes
Death Note is a Japanese manga series, penned by Tsygumi Ohba. It showcases the story of Light Yagami, a brilliant teenager. Light ends up stumbling across a mysterious book called the ‘Death Note.’ This book belonged to Shinigami Ryuk. It grants the user the supernatural power to kill anyone just by writing the name in that book.
The story portrays Light’s mission to kill people deemed unworthy to live in his eyes in order to restore a utopian version of society, free from crime. He uses the alias of “Kira,” a God-like vigilante.
The concept of the series revolves around the ancient Japanese notion of spirits revolving around the world and coexisting with humans. So, in a way, it is very much a Japanese story.
The theme of the story is based on the fact that no human has the right to pass judgment based on others’ life. We have one life and we should give it to live that life while we are alive as we won’t be able to come back once we die. Ohba even says, “No one should play God.” He also states that the climactic speech of Near is based on his own beliefs of life, death and judgment.
14. Tokyo Ghoul
Aired on: July 4, 2014
Episodes: 12 episodes
Tokyo Ghoul is a Japanese dark fantasy series by Sui Ishida.
It is set in an alternate dimension where creatures like ghouls exist. They are human-eating but they survive by eating human flesh. They live amongst the human population, hiding in order to avoid persecution from the authorities. The ghouls have more resilience and power than the human. Half-ghouls are said to be stronger than both humans and ghouls.
The story deals with the experiences of Ken Kaneki. Ken is a college student and he goes on a date with Rize Kamishiro, who ends up being a ghoul and attacks Kaneki. Kaneki is taken to the hospital and he undergoes surgery. When he wakes up, he realizes that he has become a half-ghoul since some of Rize’s organs got into him while he was being attacked by her.
Now, Kaneki has to survive on human flesh. The ghouls in the coffee shop, Anteiku, end up taking him in, teaching him the ways of ghoul life. Kaneki struggles with this – trying to find a balance between his life as a ghoul and his other life as an ordinary college student while trying to keep his identity safe from his best friend Hideyoshi Nagachika.
Aired on: October 5, 2004
A Japanese Shonen manga series by Tite Kubo, Bleach shows the life and adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, a hot-headed teen, who ends up inheriting his parents’ destiny and becomes the Soul Reaper from Rukia Kuchiki, another Soul Reaper. As he inherits his newfound powers, he is settled with the task that he needs to protect the human race from evil spirits and guide the departing souls to the afterlife. His powers also set him on a voyage to the spirit dimensions of existence.
Bleach portrays the traditional Japanese notion that humans and spirits coexist in nature. Their character can be either good or evil but it completely depends on the circumstances. This is reflected by Orihime’s back story, which shows that she was raised by her brother Sora from the age of three. When Sora died in a car accident, she started praying for his soul’s peace. However, as time went by, she prayed less and less, finally invoking Sora’s jealousy that he turned into a Hollow and ended up attacking Orihime.
This instance can be regarded as a lesson of not forgetting the old ways and ending up provoking the spirit world.
Bleach also contains hints of Christianity and Caribbean Santera. There are certain Spanish terms used in the series while Bounts and Quincy know the German language, making Kubo’s creation as diverse as possible.
16. Fullmetal Alchemist
Aired on: October 4, 2003
Episodes: 51 episodes
Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga series by Hiromu Arakawa.
It takes place in the fictional city of Amestris, where alchemy is one of the most practised sciences. The State Alchemists are those working for the government. They are given the rank of Major in the military. Alchemists have the power to create whatever they desire with the help of the Transmutation Circles. However, according to the Law of Equivalent Exchange, they have to give something equally valuable in order to retain the balance of the universe.
The only things they are forbidden to create are humans and gold. There was never a successful human transmutation for these things and the consequence of those who tried to do it is harrowing.
People trying to transmute humans are forced to face a semi-cerebral God-like being whose form is relative to the person he is talking to. The popular notion is that God punishes the arrogant in a very crude way possible.
People who are interested in human transmutation find out that it can be made possible with the use of the Philosopher’s Stone. Success would lead to the creation of Homunculi, a human-like species, yet superior, with powers. The Homunculi happen to be very arrogant and look down upon ordinary humans. They can only be killed by the destruction of the Philosopher’s Stone.
Aired on: April 6, 2014
Episodes: 85 + 4 OVA
Haikyuu!! Follows Shoyo Hinata. He is a junior high school student. After watching a volleyball match, Hinata feels motivated to try the sport. Despite being short in height, he takes inspiration from his favourite player, who is nicknamed as the “Little Giant.” However, his dreams are crushed when his school team suffers a disappointing defeat against the rival gang because of the opponent’s star player, Tobio Kageyama, with the nickname, “King of the Court.” Hinata is crushed because of the defeat but then, he quickly springs back, taking inspiration from the “Little Giant” and vowing to defeat Kageyama and enter Karasuno High School.
However, plans change when Hinata ends up on the same team as Kageyama. However, their relationship evolves as time goes by and together, they developed a volleyball technique, taking the “genius-like qualities” of Kageyama and Hinata’s “sheer athleticism.” Together, they become the unstoppable duo within the court, utilizing the new tactic and bringing laurels to the school.
The new dynamic in their relationship helps not only Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama but also the momentum of the entire team, as it rubs off on their teammates. We follow them on their journey from the school leagues to the nationals.
18. Dr. Stone
Aired on: July 5, 2019
Episodes: 24 episodes
Dr. Stone is a Japanese manga written by Riichiro Inagaki. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump.
The story takes place 3700 years later, after a flash of light ends up petrifying the entire human civilization. Senku Ishigami, a teenage genius, is suddenly revived. He starts his study on petrified humans after setting up a base camp and discovers that nitric acid was responsible for reviving him. He uses the same plan to revive his friend Taiju Oki, classmate Yuzuriha Ogawa and Tsukasa Shishio, a trained martial artist. Senku proposes to rebuild a new scientific civilization but Tsukasa opposes and says that it is better to create a world based on power structure. The rift eventually results in a war between the two forces.
When Tsukasa beats Senku to near death and leaves to start his own civilization, Senku discovers a tribe of people already living on the planet. He proposes to them his idea of a new world order. They were hesitant at first but later they accept his idea when they see the miraculous benefits of science. Senku learns that the tribe was revived by his father, an astronaut, who was in space when the petrification happened.
Finally the two forces, Senku and Tsukasa, fight a battle and Senku’s side emerges victorious. However, his triumph is short-lived as a new evil knocks at the door. Surprisingly, it is the same evil responsible for the petrification of the world 3700 years ago.
19. Assasination Classroom
Aired on: January 9, 2015
Episodes: 47 + 1 OVA
It is a Japanese sci-fi comedy series by Yusei Matsui. It was later serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump. The series portrays the daily lives of an Octopus-like junior high homeroom teacher and his students, who plan to assassinate him as he is planning to destroy the world. His students are deemed ‘misfits’ and are taught in a different building. He teaches the class 3-E.
The plot involves this mysterious creature landing on earth and destroying a part of the moon, leaving it in its crescent shape permanently. He vows to destroy everyone on earth within a year. However, he gives them a chance to avert their fate. He enrolls himself as a teacher in Kunugigaoka Junior High School and ends up teaching Class 3-E.
The Japanese government issues a reward of ¥ 10 billion to anyone who can kill him. The monster is named “Koro-sensei.” The students try their best to kill him but his powers let their attempts go in vain. Moreover, he is a really good teacher and is helping them to improve their grades.
Ultimately, they end up knowing the reason for such an incident, Koro-sensei’s back story and how he is related to the previous homeroom teacher. They also learn the reason as to why killing him before the year ends is an important mission.
20. Fairy Tail
Aired on: October 12, 2009
Episodes: 328 episodes
Fairy Tail is a Japanese manga series by Hiro Mashima and it was later serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine.
The story showcases the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, a very well-known wizard of the guild Fairy Tail as he searches for the fictional Earth land for Igneel, a dragon.
Earth land is an alternative reality. It is home to a number of magical guilds where wizards work paid jobs by using their magic. One such guild on Earth land is named Fairy Tail, to whom the wizard Natsu Dragneel holds his allegiance to. Natsu explores the Earth and lands on the mission of finding out about his adoptive father – Igneel the dragon. During his encounter, he befriends a wizard named Lucy Heartfilia. They grow as friends and Natsu invites her to join Fairy Tail. Natsu, along with Lucy and his cat-like partner Happy, builds an army including Ice Wizard Gray Fullbuster, the Magical Knight Erza Scarlet and the dragon slayer-Exceed duo Wendy Marvell and Carla. As a team, they embark on different missions such as fighting criminals, dark and illegal guilds and the ancient Etherious demons created by an immortal dark wizard named Zeref.
The South East Asian network, Animax Asia, aired an English language version of this anime for 5 years, which includes 7 seasons.
Aired on: October 16, 2000
Episodes: 167 episodes
Inuyasha, also known as Inuyasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, is a Japanese manga series illustrated and written by Rumiko Takahashi.
It follows the story of a 15 year old schoolgirl named Kagome Higurashi, from modern day Tokyo. She suddenly falls into a well in her family shrine and is transported to the Sengoku period of Japan. After she lands in that timeline, she encounters the dog-demon named Inuyasha.
A monster in the Sengoku era tries to steal the jewel embodied in Kagume but just in time, Kagume shatters the jewel into pieces and disperse them all over Japan. Later, Inuyasha and Kagume travel all over Japan to retrieve the shattered pieces before Naraku, the evil half spider demon, finds them. As they journey all over the country, they meet people and befriend some of them along the way, forming a number of alliances as they go. They are also joined by Kirara, Miroku, Shippo and Sango.
In the end, we see Kagume back to her time period, graduating high school. However, she manages to go back to the Sengoku period again – this time, deliberately – and then meets Inuyasha. They get married and she continues her training to become a priestess.
22. Soul Eater
Aired on: April 7, 2008
Episodes: 51 episodes
Soul Eater is set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy.” It revolves around the story of three teams, each containing a meister and a weapon that can transform into a humanoid. Their mission is to make any of the weapons into a death scythe in order to fit the objectives of the school. For that, they have to collect 99 evil souls and another of a witch in the same order, failing to which they have to start all over again.
They battle the witch Medusa for that very reason. Medusa forces her child Crona to collect good souls and transform into an evil God – kishin. Medusa fights with the teams to revive Asura, the kishin who was defeated by Shinigami, the school principal. The teams are defeated and Medusa succeeds in reviving Asura who leaves after a battle with Shinigami. However, at the end, Medusa and her cohorts are defeated and Crona surrenders, enrolling into the school.
Crona, after being brainwashed by Medusa in her sister’s body, ends up in Russia and then kills Medusa in a fit of rage. When Asura is traced, the teams fight him but Asura absorbs Crona and then overtakes him. The team traps Asura and then returns to earth where Death the Kid succeeds Shinigami after his death and makes a peace treaty with the witches.
Aired on: April 4, 2006
Episodes: 367 + 6 OVA
The series focuses on the eccentric samurai named Gintoki sakata. He works as a freelancer. Once, he helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura save his sister from an alien group who wants to send her to a brothel. Impressed by Gintoki, Shinoachi becomes his freelance apprentice in order to pay the bills.
The pair later rescues an alien girl named Kagura. She has super strength. Kagura joins Gintoki and Shinpachi at work and the three are known as “Yorozuya” (“We do everything” or “The Anything store”).
The trio also encounters police from time to time during work. This is because the police works with Gintoki when his work is regarding catching criminals.
The team also ends up meeting Gintoki’s former comrades. They are from the Amanto invasion. They also meet Kotaro Katsura, a friendly associate, even though he has certain experiences regarding terrorist activities against the government controlled by the aliens.
The series falls under the genre of science fiction comedy. It can also be sub-categorised as samurai comedy. Its main objective is to highlight “an irritating foible about modern society,” such as the days of celebration of famous and ancient mythical figures. The main focus of the anime is the frequent use of gags, such as the various jibes regarding other shonen series.
24. Food Wars: Shokuyeki no Soma
Aired on: April 3, 2015
Episodes: 75 episodes + 5 OVA
It is originally a Japanese manga series. It is written by Yuto Tsukuda. Later, it was serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump.
The plot of the series is set at the Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute. It is an elite school in Japan. Most of the students come here from Totsuki’s junior high school. However, transfers from other schools are also taken if they pass the examination. The campus is teeming with various societies and clubs, all set to give a very competitive feeling in the atmosphere.
The most affordable dormitory is the Polaris, where the matron takes in lodgers based on a competition of food wars.
The story revolves around Soma, who aspires to become a very good chef in his father’s restaurant. However his father gets a business opportunity outside that required him to shut down the restaurant. Before leaving, he admitted his son to the school with the best culinary department where Soma is assigned to the Polaris Dorm. He later finds out that his father is not only an alumni here but also one of the ten members of the Council of Ten, a very prestigious group.
Soma plans to become the best student and chef in the academy and prove his talent to everyone, especially his father.
25. Dragon Ball Super
Aired on: July 5, 2015
Episodes: 131 episodes
Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime television series, chronicling the adventures of Goku, 10 years after he defeated Majin Buu. He encountered and defeated many other powerful beings along the way and ultimately gained the status of God. He is seen to maneuver his life as God as he travels to different universes, facing powerful opponents and foes.
Dragon Ball Super takes place sometime after the defeat of Majin Buu. Goku has finally settled down and became a farmer to support his family.
However, a new threat looms on Earth. The God of Destruction, named Beerus, challenges Goku as he sees this legendary warrior in a prophecy. Beerus is the second most powerful being in Universe Seven. Goku draws upon the powers of the five Super Saiyans and fights Beerus to save Earth. Although Goku is defeated, Beerus becomes impressed with Goku’s valor and spares his home, Earth.
Goku and Vegeta then leave with Beerus and Whis to train for a year, during which Frieza’s army comes to earth to collect the Dragon Balls to revive Frieza. They succeed and Frieza challenges Goku and is defeated by the latter, for which Frieza blows up the earth, only for Whis to use his powers to manipulate time, making Goku fight Frieza and defeat him again.
26. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Aired on: October 7, 2012
Episodes: 25 episodes
It is a Japanese anime series, originally enacted as a manga by Shinobu Ohtaka. It falls under the genre of fantasy adventure.
It takes place in an alternate reality, where the geography remains the same. However, the people there have an essence named Rukh. When they die, the Rukh meets the river of fate. A corrupted person’s Rukh becomes black in colour.
There are also several castles with treasures. They are known as Dungeons and each is the lair of some powerful magical being. If an individual overcomes the allure of the magic castle, then they earn the allegiance to the Djinn.
People can also use the Rukh in their body to power up a weapon. It is then called a Magoi. Although the magoi can be rested and then recuperated, excessive use of the magoi can exhaust the weapon and can result in the death of the individual who created it in the first place. They can use their powers to create weapons like Metal Vessels and the lesser potent Household Vessels.
One of the rare classes of magicians is called Magi, who can perform magic with their magoi. The magoi can greatly increase their capability. A Magi can choose a Dungeon Capturers for protections, making them King Vessels
Aired on: January 5, 2014
The show revolves around Hiyori Iki, a middle school student. She is involved in an accident while trying to save a stranger. This allows her soul to slip out of her body every now and then. This is how she becomes aware of the co-existence of the two parallel worlds – the Near shore, home for ordinary humans and creatures and the Far Shore, home for demons and human souls.
Hiyori, during one of the slip outs into the Far shore, meets Yato, a strange and nameless God without any shrine, who is determined to make a mark for himself out there. He has the ability to accept any wishes for 5 yen and that also includes the knowledge of Hiyori to fix her body.
Yato also has a weapon named Regalia, which is a weapon from some dead human soul, named Yukine, the God in question. The three of them set out to experience many adventures and build friendships, while they struggle with relationships and pasts.
The serialization of this manga began in the Monthly shonen Magazine of January 2011. The meaning of the Japanese word ‘noragami’ is ‘stray god.’ Noragami was written originally by Adachitoka and was later directed by Kataro Tamura.
28. Yu Yu Hakusho
Aired on: October 10, 1992
Episodes: 112 episodes
The series follows a 14 year old boy named Yusuke Urameshi. In an act of uncharacteristic altruism, he saves a young boy from an accident while sacrificing his life. When he revives his senses, he finds himself with a woman named Botan, who introduces herself as the pilot of River Styx. She takes souls to the Spirit World to be judged for the afterlife.
Botan informs him that the Underworld is surprised by his act and has not made arrangements for him yet. In order to buy some time, Koenma, the son of the Underworld King Enma gives Yusuke a mission to return to his old life through a series of tests and help Koenma by becoming the Underworld Detective, investigating any type of supernatural activity in the Human World.
The show has many martial arts tactics as it progresses. It was also bashed by the critics as a series provoking occult practices. The anime was serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump. The series, in overall, was well received and even managed to score some prestigious awards in Japan, like the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1993 and the Animage Anime Grand Prix Prize, 1994-95. It also scored very well internationally, especially in the United States.
29. Code Geass
Aired on: October 6, 2006
Episodes: 25 episodes
A Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise, Code Geass follows an alternate timeline, showcasing the story of Lelouch VI Britannia, an exiled prince. He retains the “power of absolute obedience,” from C.C., a mysterious woman. With this supernatural ability, he leads an act of rebellion against the ruler of the Holy Britannian Empire, leading to a string of mecha wars.
Code Geass follows an alternate reality, where the world is divided into 3 superpowers – the Holy Britannian Empire, consisting of America, the Chinese Federation includes the entirety of Asia and the European Union, also known as Europa United as well as Euro-verse, consisting of Europe and Africa.
The Holy Britannian Empire attacks the Chinese Federation with the help of their newest weapon, “Autonomous Armoured Knight” (also known as “Knightmare Frame”) and then takes control of Japan, stripping the citizens of their natural rights and renames the area as Area 11, with the citizens renamed as Elevens.
With the fall of Japan in the hands of the Holy Britannian Empire, Lelouch vows to his Japanese friend, Suzaku Kururugi, that he will defeat the entire Holy Britannian Empire as an act of vengeance.
The anime was well received in Japan and sold over a million copies.
30. Mob Psycho 100
Aired on: July 12, 2016
Episodes: 25 episodes
Mob Psycho 100 is a manga series written and illustrated by ONE. The anime version was produced by Bones later.
Mob Psycho 100 shows the adventures of Shigeo Kageyama, an ordinary middle school student. He is nicknamed Mob. This is because he lacks a sense of presence. Although he is seemingly an ordinary fellow, he is secretly a powerful esper with great psychic abilities. In order to keep himself from rather than losing control of his power, he lives a very emotionally shackled life. He starts to work as an assistant to a con man named Reigen Arataka, a self-proclaimed psychic, in order to learn how to control his powers. Mob dreams of living a normal life like a normal human being as the rest of his friends. However, it looks like troubles have a way of finding him. Mob’s suppressed feelings and emotions keep growing inside of him as time goes on and it threatens to burst out after crossing his limits when he ultimately meets other espers named the Claws.
Later, a spin off of this series, called Reigen, was aired on Manga ONE.
Mob Psycho 100 won the 62nd Shogakukan Manga Award of 2017 under the shonen group of categories.
31. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
Aired on – October 6, 2013
The story follows the adventures of a boy named Aladdin. Aladdin was excluded for his entire life and eventually manages to travel the world with his friend, Ugo, a Djinn, who lives in his flute. While travelling, he meets Alibaba Saluja. Alibaba is a young man who aims to explore the nearby dungeon in the hopes of finding the treasure and claiming it as his own.
Aladdin and Alibaba befriend each other and together, they conquer the dungeon, named Amon. However, at the end they face the opposition of the cruel antagonist, Jamil and his two slave warriors, Morgiana and Goltas.
After a heavy fight, the duo wins over Jamil and helps Morgiana from being freed from Jamil by breaking her chains. Alibaba claims the ownership of the dungeon and Djinn appears to inform Aladdin about his status as a Magi and Alibaba is his king’s candidate.
After the battle, they experience an outside force trying to shut the dungeon. In a hurry, Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana leave. However, Goltas resolves to atone for his sins and ends up being inside Amos along with Jamil.
Aladdin is suddenly transported to a distant land where he learns about being a Magi and Alibaba, without his friend, frees all the slaves in the city with the treasure and returns to his homeland.
32. Samurai Champloo
Aired on – May 20, 2004
Episodes – 12 episodes
Samurai Champloo is the story of the adventures of 3 friends – Mugen, a harsh yet freedom loving swordsman, Jin, a stoic and reserved ronin and Fuu a courageous girl while they travel all over Japan, trying to find the samurai, who smells like sunflowers.
The scene is set during the Edo period, which comes roughly after the Sengoku period. A woman named Fuu is working as a waitress in a quaint tea shop when a bunch of samurais attack her. She is saved by Mugen, a swordsman and Jin, a ronin. When Jin proves to be adept in his field, Mugen attacks him. The competition between the two leads to the death of Shibui Tomonoshina, the son of a magistrate. They are sentenced to be executed for this. However they are saved by Fuu and manage to escape the execution.
Fuu, in return for her feat, asks them to travel with her all over Japan in order to find “the samurai who smells of sunflowers.”
The setting of Samurai Champloo resembles that of the Edo period, as stated earlier. Thus, it has backdrops of the historical Edo culture as well as the modern day style and architecture, in a perfectly blended fashion.
33. No Game, No Life
Aired on – April 9, 2014
Episodes – 12 episodes
The series showcases the lives of Sora and her step sister Shiro. They are hikikomori. They are two halves of the group named Blank, an undefeated team of gamers. They are challenged by the god of games to play chess and they emerged victorious. Based on the outcome, the god then places them on a Disboard where the reality merges with the gaming world. Determined to maintain their reputation as the undefeated gamers, Sora and Shiro plan to defeat all 16 of the ruling species and usurp the god of games after their victory.
A spell is cast on the Disboard in order to prevent the citizens from inflicting any kind of harm onto each other. The only way to resolve their differences is through gambling in games that are magically enforced.
Sora and Shiro travel to Elkia – a land inhabited by humans, and befriends the Duchess Stephanie Dola. After learning about the decline of the empire, they participate in a tournament that determines the next heir of the kingdom. After winning they take the crown and challenge other species of the Disboard as humanity’s representatives. If they win all 16 fights, only then can they challenge Tet, the god of games.
34. Rurouni Kenshin
Aired on – January 10, 1996
Episodes – 95 episodes
The story follows the life of a former assassin from the Bakumatsu – with the name, Hitokiri Battosai. After he finishes his work against the bakufu, he ends up disappearing, only to return with a changed name – Himura Kenshin, a wandering swordsman, who vowed to protect the people without killing anyone.
The story takes place during the 11th year of the Meiji period of Japan, 1878.
The writer Watsuki wrote the manga version, in order to highlight a shonen manga being different from the rest.
We see Himura Kenshin wandering the countryside when he comes across a woman, Kamiya Kaoru, fighting a murderer, who claims to be Hitokiri Battosai. When Kenshin helps Kaoru defeat the Battosai, they figure that he is not a real Battosai. Kaoru discovers that Kenshin is actually the real and infamous sword. She offers him a place at her dojo, seeing how he is not cold-hearted at all but a peace loving person. There, he meets many people, with whom Kenshin forms lifelong relationships – such as, Sagara Sanosuke, Myojin Yahiko, and Takani Megumi. He also deals with many enemies, such as shinomori Aoshi, the ex-leader of the Oniwabanshu and a police officer named Saito Hajime, among others.
35. Gurren Lagann
Aired on – April 1, 2007
Episodes – 27 episodes
Gurren Lagann is set in the future timeline where Earth is colonized and ruled by the Spiral King named Lordgenome. Lordgenome has forced mankind to live in isolated underground villages after taking over Earth as its ruler.
The plot focusses on two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, living in underground villages as the rest of humans. Both of them want to reach the surface and see the world. They end up using a mecha, known as the Lagann and succeed in reaching the surface, where they join the forces of humans fighting for their freedom against Lordgenome and his forces before facing the real enemy.
The series highlights 2 main characters – Simon and Kamina – more than others. Simon is a 14 year old digger from the village of Giha and is considered to be timid and weak by his peers. Kamina is like his brother and Simon admires him greatly. Kamina is extremely passionate and confident and dreams of leaving the underground someday. Kamina yields a katana that he stole from the village chief before fleeing the underground. He is known for wearing sunglasses and a tattered cape that had, once, belonged to his dead father. He acts as a foil to Simon.