Shounen based anime are some of the most-watched anime out there. The intended audience for shounen anime are males aged between 10 and 18 but people of all ages and genders watch them. They cover the typical adventure, coming of age, action-based anime series that often shows the comrade between friends. As such there are thousands of shounen anime available to watch. Below is a list of 10 popular shounen anime.
They are so popular that I am pretty sure that even if you have not watched a single episode of any one of them, you would have at least heard about them – or seen a meme or two from them. In fact, it somewhat makes one question whether this list has any originality because you will find that the below are recommended so frequently and repeatedly. That just goes to show how popular the below 10 anime are.
The first episode aired in 1999 and is still airing today. Currently, there are over 900 episodes. Plus there are various movies based on the series available as well.
For those who do not know, One Piece follows the story of Luffy, a kid who dreams of being the Pirate King. In order to become the Pirate king he needs to go on a journey to find the lost infamous treasure, One Piece. which had been left behind by the previous Pirate King, Gold D Rodger. Along the way he builds up his crew and makes and saves his friends from danger and somehow manages to keep unearthing villainous plots and ploys. Luffy and his crew work together so that they may continue their journey to discover the One Piece.
Bleach currently has 366 episodes available. The first had aired in 2004 and the last episode aired 2012. A continuation has been confirmed with the date set for 2021, however, there may be delays due to production halted as a result of COVID-19 worldwide lockdowns.
Bleach centers around Ichigo Kurosaki, an average 15-year-old guy except he can see and speak with ghosts. One day he comes face to face with a Shinigami- death god – Rukia . In order to save his family Rukia is forced to transfer her abilities to Ichigo. A decision that will cost her life. Appaled at the unfair decissions and actions of the Soul Society – home of the shinigami – Ichigo decides to rescue Rukia even if it means going against all of Soul Society. However, there is more going on than what first appears.
Naruto / Naruto Shippuden
Naruto covers two long-running anime, Naruto and Naruto Shippuden and has since branched out into its spin-off, Boruto. The first episode of Naruto aired in 2002 and was then followed up with Naruto Shippuden in 2007 after a time-skip allowing the characters to age up.
Naruto – the namesake of the show – is a rumbunktious kid who dreams of becoming the Hokage and finally having all of the villagers of the ninja town he lives in accept him. Orphaned, alienated and with the worst scores of his ninja classes he works hard to find and stick to his Ninja Way. Little does he know that his path to fulfilling his dream is filled with bloody battles, heartache and frustration. Will it all be worth it?
(Seems not cause in the spin-off series, Boruto, he is just a below average dad who is kinda a big deal but is resented by his son – you guessed it, Boruto. Which sucks because Naruto, the show and character, are epic – but that is just my opinion).
Fairy Tail is a feel-good anime with 328 episodes in total. It had first aired in 2009 and had a total of three seasons breaking the story up into three main sections with multiple arcs.
On Lucy Heartfelia’s journey she comes across an odd pair as they rescue her from an abduction scheme. Just as she was explaining how the wizarding world works and that she herself is a mage, she learns that the duo, Natsu and Happy, are part of her dream guild. Natsu decides to help Lucy join their guild, Fairy Taill. However Lucy is completely unaware of the insanity that is to come as she makes lifelong friends and fufils multiple dreams and discover new ones.
Detective Conan / Case Closed
A seriously long-running anime with almost 1 000 episodes and still bringing out more on a weekly basis. The anime had first aired in the winter anime season of 1996.
Renowned for his detective work, highschool student Shinichi Kudou gets caught up in some trouble and exposed to an experimental drug. The drug inadvertently reverts his body to when he was 7-year-old. Adapting a new identity as Conan, he keeps his real identity a secret from everyone. He keeps solving crimes and puzzles in order to eventually restore himself and reverse the drugs’ effects.
My Hero Accademia / Boku no Hero Academia
Taking the anime community, in 2016, by storm this anime currently has four seasons raking its episode count up to 88. However, more seasons are expected and anticipated.
Izuku Midoriya a.k.a Deku, is a powerless kid in a world filled with people with special abilities called quirks, dreams of becoming the ultimate hero like his idol, All Might. His rare lack of a quirk devastates him but he does not give up on his dream. Persistant, stuborn and hopeful he studies all that he can about heroes and aims to attend the prestigious school, UA academy. With some unexpected help and amazing luck, determination and quick wits Deku learns to control the power he has been given while learning to navigate the world of heroes. A true zero to hero story.
Demon Slayer / Kimetsu no Yaiba
Some claim it as anime of the year 2019 others say it is overrated, either way, it packs one heck of a punch with a single season of 26 episodes dividing the community. With the characters becoming fast fan favourites, there is a lot of excitement and anticipation for season 2.
Tanjirou Kamado comes home to find that his whole family has been massacred. He is so relieved to find that his younger sister, Nezuko still alive, although severly injured. While trying to get her to someone who could help he realises that his sweet and innocent sister has been turned into a demon hungry for human flesh. He vows to do everything that he can to restore his sisters’ humanity and avenge the death of his family. In order to do so he trains to join the Demon Slayer Corps.
367 episodes of pure comedic genious and insanity. It can be said to be on the same level as Spongebob randomness. Each episode covering a new story with the same characters following a common thread to tie them all together.
After the war feudal Japan eventually settles down and slowly adapts to having and coadapting with the aliens that took contol. The defeated samurai are no longer allowed to carry their swords due to the public ban on swords. This has left samurai struggling to find a new career path. Gintoki Sakata is one such samurai. He finds himself offering an odd jobs service. Along the way he ‘adopts’ fellow odd balls and struggles to pay the rent. However, he is quite happy to laze around reading the latest issue of jump and drink his strawberry milk.
Hunter x Hunter
The original and the remake are both highly acclaimed within the anime community. The first aired in 1999 and the remake aired in 2011.
Both follow the epic of Gon on his quest to pass the Hunter exam and find his father. Along the way, he makes some friends, becomes stronger and fights some heartstopping battles while trying to save and hold onto what he holds dear.
Sword Art Online
Another controversal anime in the anime community, some call it trash, others call it golden, either way when it first came out in 2012 and ever since, it has left all of us wishing Nerve Gear were real and has had some impact on the direction real-life gaming has developed. With still new seasons coming out, it is still one to watch.
Kirito (Kazuto Kirigaya) is happy to spend his time playing games. He even beta tests the brand new fully immersive virtual reality game, Sword Art Online. With the official launch of the game he is eager to level up and enhance his character’s skill to where he had been in the beta version. Along with 10 000 other players he suddenly finds himself trapped in the game, unable to log out. Now everything is all too real. The players have to clear all the levels of the game in order to log out. Forced with the decision to either solo the game or to work and party up with others, Kirito needs to adapt to his new reality and just do his best to not die.
Which Shounen anime have you really enjoyed?