Best Shonen Shows
Are you looking for mangas and anime shows typically having a young male hero with a story focused on action, adventure, and fighting. That is quite often what Shonen is about and here you’ll find the best rated Shonen based on IMDb. However, there are classified in alphabetic order and not ranked.
All of them were ranked at least 8.5/10 by anime fans!
Best Shonen Shows:
Attack on Titan
It is set in a world where mankind lives inside cities and towns surrounded by 3 gigantic walls that protect them from Titans, which are gigantic man-eating humanoids. The main character Eren Yeager vows to exterminate all the Titans after a Titan brings about the destruction of his hometown and unfortunately the death of his beloved mother. AoT was ranked #1 among the best shonen shows in 2013.
The story follows the young Light Yagami, a teen genius who discovers a mysterious notebook named the “Death Note”, which belonged to the Shinigami Ryuk, and grants the user the special ability to kill anyone whose name is written within it pages. The series centers around Light’s subsequent attempts to use the Death Note to carry out a worldwide massacre of individuals whom he deems immoral and to create a crime-free society, using the alias of a god-like vigilante named “Kira” and the subsequent efforts of an elite Japanese police task force, led by enigmatic detective L, his biggest rival, to defeat him. Death Note was ranked #1 among the best shonen shows in 2006.
Demon Slayer takes place in Taishō-era Japan. It follows the young teenager Tanjiro Kamado and his sister Nezuko Kamado as they seek a cure to Nezuko’s demon curse, after their entire family has been murdered. Tanjiro and Nezuko become entangled in the affairs of a secret society, known as the Demon Slayer Corps, that we learnt have been waging a secret war against demons for centuries.
Son Goku spends his childhood far from civilization until he meets a teen girl named Bulma, she encourages him to join her quest in exploring the world in search of the 7 Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several other friends, becomes a family man, discovers his alien heritage, and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.
Dragon Ball Z
One of the best shonen shows ever, the adventures of Son Goku, who, along with his companions, defend the planet against villains ranging from aliens, androids and other magical creatures. While the original Dragon Ball anime followed Goku from childhood to early adulthood, Dragon Ball Z is a continuation of his adult life, but at the same time parallels the life of his son, Gohan, as well as the development of his rivals.
Fullmetal Alchemist Hagane no renkinjutsushi
One of the best shonen show ever created, the steampunk world of Fullmetal Alchemist is primarily designed after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is a widely practiced science, the story follows the journey of 2 alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who search for the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies after an unsuccessful attempt to bring their mother back to the life using alchemy.
The samurai of Edo Japan fight to defend Earth, but the shōgun is cowardly when he realizes the aliens’ power. He accepts an unequal contract with foreigners, forbidding the carrying of swords in public and allowing invaders to enter the country. The swords of the samurai are confiscated and the Tokugawa bakufu becomes a puppet government.
The story centers on Eikichi Onizuka, a 22-year-old former bōsōzoku member, who becomes a teacher at a private college, Holy Forest Academy, in Tokyo, Japan. This is a continuation of Fujisawa’s earlier manga series, Shonan Junai Gumi, and Bad Company, both of which focus on Onizuka’s life before she became a teacher.
High school student Shōyō Hinata becomes obsessed with volleyball after seeing Karasuno High School playing Nationals on television. Small himself, Hinata is inspired by a player nicknamed by commentators “The Little Giant”, the small but talented spiker of Karasuno. Although inexperienced, Hinata is athletic and possesses an impressive vertical jump; he joins his school’s volleyball club – only to find out he’s its only member, forcing him to spend the next two years trying to convince other students to help him practice and develop his skills.
Hunter x Hunter
The story follows the young boy named Gon Freecss, who has been told all his life that both of his parents are dead. However, when he learns from Kite, an apprentice of his father Ging Freecss, that he is actually still alive and has since become an accomplished & famous hunter across nations, Gon leaves his home on Whale Island to become a hunter like him with the hope to eventually meet him.
Mob Psycho 100
Shigeo Kageyama is an average middle school student, nicknamed Mob for his lack of presence. Although he looks like a quiet person, he is actually a powerful esper with immense psychic power. In order not to lose control of this power, he constantly lives a life under emotional shackles. In order to help learn to control his abilities, Mob works as an assistant to swindler Reigen Arataka, a self-proclaimed psychic.
My Hero Academia
The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called Quirks) to a world where they have become mundane, but still dreams of becoming a superhero himself. He is spotted by All Might, Japan’s greatest hero, who chooses Midoriya as his successor and shares his Quirk with him after recognizing his potential, and later helps him enroll him in a prestigious high school for hero-in-training.
After 3 years of training with his master, Naruto Uzumaki comes back to his village stronger than ever, ready to save his best friend Sasuke Uchiha who’s left Konoha to join his worst enemy named Orochimaru. Meanwhile, the criminal organization named the Akatsuki also persue the 9 demon hosts living on Earth, such as Naruto himself to gain unprecedented power. Naruto now has multiple challenges and enemies to face while trying to persue his dream of becoming the Leader of his village and strongest ninja of all time. Naruto Shippuden ranks among some of the best shonen shows ever.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Shin Seiki Evangelion
Evangelion takes place fifteen years after a global cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic walled city of Tokyo-3. The protagonist is Shinji, a teenage boy who was recruited by his father Gendo into the dark organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha named “Evangelion” in battle against beings called “Angels”, The series explores the experiences and emotions of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv as they attempt to stop the angels from causing more cataclysms. In the process, they are called upon to understand the ultimate causes of events and the motives for human action.
The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body acquired the properties of rubber after unwittingly eating devil fruit. Along with his pirate crew, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as “One Piece” in order to become the next Pirate King. OP ranks among some of the best shonen shows ever.
One Punch Man
On a supercontinent Earth, powerful monsters and villains have been wreaking havoc in the cities. Because of that, the millionaire Agoni creates the Hero Association, which employs superheroes to fight evil to fight them back. The main character, Saitama, an unassociated hero performs heroic deeds for his own enjoyment. He’s trained himself to the point of being able to defeat any enemy with only a single punch, but his unmatched strength has left him with an overwhelming sense of boredom.
Samurai Champurû is set in an alternate version of Edo-era Japan (1603–1868) with an anachronistic, predominantly hip-hop setting. He follows Mugen, a brazen, freedom-loving wandering swordsman; Jin, a compound and stoic rōnin; and Fuu, a brave girl who asks them to accompany her on her quest across Japan to find the “sunflower-smelling samurai”.
Samurai X Rurôni Kenshin – Meiji kenkaku romantan
In the early Meiji era, after participating in the Bakumatsu War as the “Hitokiri Battōsai” assassin, Himura Kenshin wanders the Japanese countryside with an inverted blade katana, offering protection and assistance to those in the dark. need as atonement for the murders he once committed. Arriving in Tokyo in Meiji’s 11th grade (1878), he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who is in the middle of a fight with a murderer – who claims to be the Hitokiri Battōsai – tarnishing the name of the swordsmanship school that she teaches . Kenshin decides to help her and defeats the fake Battōsai.
To Your Eternity Fumetsu no Anata e
The manga follows a mysterious immortal being named Fushi, sent to Earth without emotion or identity. Fushi is able to take the form of those around him who leave a strong impression on him. Starting from a white orb, it takes the form of a boulder, then a dying wolf. As a wolf, Fushi meets a boy living alone, whom he later takes on his form. Fushi has traveled the world for hundreds of years, taking the form of various beings and gaining new powers, such as the ability to create objects from nothing and resurrect the dead.
Yu Yu Hakusho
The series tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a delinquent teenager hit and killed by a car while trying to save the life of a child. After a number of tests presented to him by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the afterlife Underworld, Yusuke is revived and named “Underworld Detective”, with which he is to investigate various cases involving demons and appearances in the human world. The manga focuses more on martial arts battles and tournaments as it progresses.
Where to read/watch?
Now that you’ve seen some of the best shonen shows, you might be interested in finding out where to read/watch them: Manga/Anime sites.