Konnichiwa! Are you also one of those otakus looking for good shonen anime recommendations? If so, you have stumbled upon the right place. As the saying goes, “ In the world of anime nothing is impossible. If you try hard enough you could always make it perfect “. As some people often tend to mistake anime for “cartoon”.A true anime fan like you and me always knows that there is always much more to anime.
With over a million plus fans around the globe, anime has taken the world by storm! From the 1990s to the early 2000s there has been an incredible rise in anime fans. Anime is even working as a soft power for the Japanese now 😉
So, What is Shonen Anime?
People often mistake the word “shonen“ for an anime genre. But actually, it is just a label which tells the audience about which age group the anime is for. Shonen literally means “few years ” in Japanese. Hence animes coming under this label is typically focused on young teenagers. Shonen anime has their great share of a fanbase and often most mainstream animes fall under this category.
Here is a list we’ve gathered to help you out…..
10. Yu Yu Hakusho
- Author: Yoshihiro Togashi
- First Aired: October 10, 1992 – December 17, 1994
- Number Of Episodes: 112
- Studio: Pierrot
The list starts with the most unexpected entries of all. But trust me, this anime was one of the sole past times for the anime fans during the 1990s. Its one of the best-dubbed animes and is heavily loaded with action. The theme is quite dark as the story deals with life and death. It has quite a bit of comedy too.
Even though it comes under the shonen label, this anime is quite mature especially when we start understanding the main characters’ decisions and personalities. Some of the motives of the antagonists are in the grey area which makes this shonen anime very interesting. Although I won’t recommend this to you if the old art style of anime is not your cup of tea.
- Author: Tsugumi Ohba
- Aired: October 3, 2006 –June 26, 2007
- Number Of Episodes: 37
- Studio: Madhouse
Deathnote! Is one of the best psychological thriller animes out there. Death Note easily goes above and beyond your typical run-of-the-mill psychological, shonen based anime. Some otakus out there even keep DeathNote as there top recommended anime. In the shonen world of animes,
DeathNote is a refreshing change as unlike in most shonen animes it doesn’t deal with action-packed battles and fights. The plot is richly layered and the tension between the two leads is excellently maintained throughout the story. It’s witty, clever and sick. Having the electrifying “ L “ heading the investigation while on the other side a sick “ Kira “ or “ Killer “ is playing God.
Both seem to outwit each other every moment or two, but the ending keeps you at the edge of your seat. The plot is quite complex but at the same time, it is so very enjoyable. This anime is as intriguing as a game of chess – wit, suspense, intelligence, and complexity – everything you need in an entertaining piece of anime.
- Author: Hideaki Sorach
- Aired: April 4, 2006 – October 7, 2018
- Number Of Episodes: 367
- Studio: Sunrise (Episodes 1–265), Bandai Namco Pictures (Episodes 266–present)
Arguably, Gintama can be considered as the greatest comedy anime ever produced. The author has tried to make this a parody, but this is more of a sit-com. The greatest strength that Gintama posses is the ability to turn the seemingly ordinary into something completely different yet amazing.
Much of the humor in this anime comes from the characters themselves. Especially the main lead Gintoki, who is a samurai in an age where samurais have been deemed unnecessary by the aliens who have taken over. All the characters have been served well by the author. You don’t get to see this kind of anime often anymore, heck you’ve never seen an anime like this before! If there’s one thing you need to know about Gintama, it is out and out comical. Gintama is the anime to watch once those dreams have crashed and burned. It teaches you how to smile. To laugh. To look forward.
And if that’s what you have been looking for, then look no further. If not, keep calm and read on!!
7. One Punch Man
- Author: ONE
- Aired: October 5, 2015 – present
- Number Of Episodes: 12 + 6 OVA
- Studio: Season 1 by Madhouse, Season 2 by J.C. Staff
The story is simple. Saitama – an average guy who’s a hero for fun. Basically what the anime does is make fun of the shonen genre itself. Here the main character gets beaten down, trains and gets overpowered to such an extinct that he gets depressed. Almost a guy next to god itself. The irony is that even after being so powerful no one knows that such a figure even exists. Quite a plot, huh? Yes.
The main character, his friends, enemies and the life he lives is a complete mockery of other popular anime plots, both from old and new anime’s. The jokes and puns are smartly injected into the anime. This is a story made to enjoy, not to be taken seriously. After all One Punch is all it takes to win 😉
6. Attack On Titan
- Author: Hajime Isayama
- Aired: April 7, 2013 – present
- Number Of Episodes: 49 + 8 OVA
- Studio: Wit Studio X Production I.G
This anime is simply amazing! The way it is animated, the characters, the soundtrack, the story, the thrill, and the suspense. All in one action-packed anime. Its one of those animes which catch the eyes from the very beginning. Full of twist and turns. Watching it is like eating a really good, but rather small slice of cake. It’s not bad. It’s pretty great, in fact. But it doesn’t feel enough. Perfectly balanced between action and suspense makes it a jaw dropper. The character development and the plot is deep and complex.
This anime is dark, full of blood and death. These three features adds to the beautiful story. The way the story revolves from how the imagination of the characters turns into the beast of there own sins helps the anime come into this list.
Dragon Ball Z
- Author: Takao Koyama
- Aired: April 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996
- Number Of Episodes: 167
- Studio: Toei Animation
Dragon Ball Z is lit. Its One of the earliest shounen animes alongside others of the same label. And is considered as one of the most popular anime which has helped in spreading the art of anime all around the world.
It starts getting your blood boil, muscles start pulsating. That too in one god damn episode! The manliness starts pouring down just like the river Nile. Dragon Ball Z is an art in itself where a group of man could even tear down there limits to help their universe from threats. The world of Dragon Ball Z has evolved from just an anime to a universe itself. Dragon Ball Z was one of those animes who had the greatest impact on the shonen label and helped it grow in masses.
- Author: Eiichiro Oda
- Aired: October 20, 1999 – present
- Number Of Episodes: 855 + 1 OVA
- Studio: Toei Animation
It’s an amazing adventure full of amazing characters, the never-ending yet never too over-the-top humor, fun adventures, exciting fights, heartbreaking moments with quick to follow touching moments. At first, the story seems simple where the MC Monkey D. Lufffy goes on an adventure to find the legendary ‘ one piece ‘ and become the pirate king. He quickly gathers a crew and sets out to his journey. This anime gets better and better as the story starts to revolve.
Not a single character is left alone. Every character has a purpose and a side story. And underneath everything, there’s always the theme of teamwork and friendship, of working to reach your hopes and helping those closest to you achieve theirs hand-in-hand, of growing and maturing as a person and discovering the power within yourself to overcome obstacles of any sort.
- Author: Masashi Kishimoto
- Aired: February 15, 2007 – March 23, 2017
- Number Of Episodes: 500
- Studio: Studio Pierrot and Aniplex
Naruto Shippuden is meant for an older audience than its former Naruto season. The story, the plot and the characters were well served out and are interesting. It’s emotionally heart touching and has all the spices and ingredients to make this shonen anime climb up to the 3rd position in the list. Naruto the MC developed into a more touching and mature person here. And the story now wasn’t was just about Naruto’s dream of becoming the Hokage but also Sakura’s desire to become stronger and support her friends and dear ones, Sasuke’s quest to find revenge for his family, Obito’s tragic history, Itachi’s redemption, and Garra’s loneliness.
Naruto a boy who saw all kinds of pain and has been cursed with the power of the nine tails. He gets forced down with a lot of ugliness and responsibility at a tender age. Many hard questions are well laid out to the audience. I recommend this anime to anyone who looks for entertainment at the highest level.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
- Author: Hiroshi Ōnogi
- Aired: April 5, 2009 – July 4, 2010
- Number Of Episodes: 64 + 4 OVA
- Studio: Bones
This series can make anyone laugh their ass off, cry and can cultivate pretty much every part of human emotion possible. The characters and story are flawlessly made and there is little to no strings present. The pace through the entire anime is great. All characters are developed in a brilliant way throughout the series.
The action is fantastic and looks great, as it always did. We aren’t subjected to single shots or poorly edited sequences. All the action is displayed and wonderfully animated. Likewise, all the charm is here as well, from the more serious scenes that fans will remember to the humor which is consistent and still funny. Bones took everything good about the original series and threw out all the bad, replacing those particulars with higher quality details.
Hunter X Hunter
Author: Yoshihiro Togashi
Aired: October 16, 1999 –March 31, 2001
Number Of Episodes: 62
Studio: Nippon Animation
The genre itself is an ACTION, THRILLER & this has everything someone who enjoys anime series could ever ask for. I recommend this series to everyone and it doesn’t matter what genres you like more, just trust me and give this series a go but stick with it cause it’s kinda slow at the beginning. Overall:10/10
Meaning of Hunter in series as below The Hunters Association is responsible for the testing and licensing of “Hunters” a person that has proved themselves through a rigorous examination to be an elite member of humanity. With the passing of the examination, a Hunter is rewarded with a license to go almost anywhere in the world or do almost anything. Typically, Hunters devote themselves to tracking down priceless items, mystical places, and the unseen wonders of the world.