10 Best Shonen Anime With Better Fights Than Dragon Ball Z

Anime’s appeal is partly due to its ability to cater to different tastes, demographics, and cultures. There is an anime for every mood, age and gender. One of the most popular genres is shonen, compared to shojo, seinen and josei. However, Shonen has gathered fans across a broader spectrum than that of young guys.

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Typical shonen follow a protagonist who is disadvantaged, but grows stronger through sheer determination, training, guts and will. Strength is a function of how many battles are engaged and how many techniques or skills are unlocked, and thus are a defining characteristic of the genre. Dragon Ball Z paved the way and its successors have nearly perfected the art of shonen battle scenes.

10/10 Hunter X Hunter’s Nen Provides Unique Battles

Hunter X Hunter is a classic in shonen anime. The sweet and young protagonists, Killua and Gon, wanted to become Hunters. Once they do, they discover that the Hunter world is far more deadly than they realized. Given Hunter x Hunter’s unique and complex power system, Nen, the battles are countless and unique.

Each character uses their life energy to create fighting techniques specific to their Nen type. Netero vs Meruem, Gon vs Neferpitou, Kurapika vs Uvogin, and Gon vs Hisoka are all epic battles. The emotional weight of the fights, the stakes, the progress made through each fight and the losses allow viewers to be completely immersed in the action.

9/10 Attack on Titan’s clashes comes at a high cost

The battles in Attack on Titan are recognizable, especially when it comes to motive. Fans have to fight for a belief in something better. They understand fighting for justice and achieving their dreams.

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AOT‘sanimation is crisp and portrays the insecurity, helplessness, despair and spirit of the characters as they fight against Titans, their government, Marley and misinformation at every turn. While it might be too gory for some, Attack on Titan’s graphic combat has etched itself into anime history.

8/10 Naruto’s growth is also reflected in the battles

Naruto Shippuden is a satisfying look into the main character’s life after the events of the Uzumaki Chronicles. Naruto and the nation of Konoha have matured, and the challenges and villains they face have matured as well. The battles are centered around ideological differences, centering on opposing views of achieving and maintaining peace.

Shippuden shows different ways to achieve the elusive peace. Pacifism is a virtue that Naruto exemplifies, but the hero and his crew can get dirty when it comes down to it. The Konoha 11, Sasuke, numerous sensei, the villainous Akatsuki and several other characters took part in many legendary battles that eventually led to the climax between Naruto and Sasuke.

7/10 Bleach’s unique swords make for unforgettable battles

Bleach is one of the big three of shonen anime, and its return to screens this month has sparked a palpable hype in the anime community. Following Kurosaki Ichigo and his adventures as a Soul Reaper, viewers are immersed in the unique fighting style required by the swords the characters wield, as well as the unique power system based on reiatsu.

During their journey, Ichigo and his support crew battle tradition, personal demons and evil adversaries as they grow and protect the innocent. Kuchiki Byakuya vs Renji, Kenpachi vs Nnoitra, Aizen vs the Captains and the monumental Ichigo vs Ulquiorra fights bleached Bleach’s stash through the roof.

6/10 Demon Slayer’s action choreography is breathtaking

demon slayer is the closest competitor to a modern ‘Big Three’, next to My Hero Academia and Jujutsu Kaisen. Consensus seats demon slayer as the epitome of a modern shonen series. The animation is clear, smooth and detailed. The fight scenes are well choreographed, the movement seamless and the resulting effects of the skills are clearly detailed.

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The main character, Tanjiro, is the patron saint of big brothers and can be easily found. Tanjiro and the rest of the Demon Slayer’s battles against enemies like the spider-demon family, Akaza, and Gyutaro have raised the bar for modern anime.

5/10 Black Clover’s battles are high octane

black clover follows the story of an orphan who happens to be the only human with no affinity for magic. Asta is shunned, ridiculed and prevented from pursuing his dream of becoming the Wizard King. However, he was relentless and continued training in the belief that his… grimoire would choose him and allow him to use magic.

Asta lived by faith, as his ultimate anti-magic ability became the cornerstone of countless strategies moving forward. The action is high octane, hair-raising and lightning fast. Asta’s battles, along with Yuno and many others, were pivotal, evocative and exciting battles to watch.

4/10 My hero Academia’s battles are filled with heart

My Hero Academia follows Midoriya Deku, a young child obsessed with heroes, especially All Might – the symbol of peace. Characters can be heroes through Quirks, those are special abilities that have been passed down genetically and that manifest within a certain time frame. Deku showed no idiosyncrasy when he was four years old, which left him distraught and depressed.

However, his fortunes took a turn when he met All Might, who allowed him to inherit his Quirk. Now Midoriya is a student at the prestigious school of heroes, UA, and he is slowly progressing towards discerning and mastering his abilities. Deku has taken part in several essential confrontations, such as his fight against Shoto Todoroki at the UA Sports Festival, and his life-changing battle against the villain Muscular who is the heart of MHA – the will to never give up.

3/10 Jujutsu Kaisen’s take on the dark side is refreshing

Shonen protagonists with a dark side, demon or separate antagonistic personality in their psyche is not strange. Jujutsu Kaisen, however, adds a unique twist to the template. Yuji Itadori is a normal teenager who under strange circumstances eats the finger of the special degree Curse, Ryomen Sukuna – the Curse King.

There are 20 fingers in total and Yuji has consumed 4 of them so far. Being Sukuna’s ship has certain implications and draws Yuji into several battles. As Yuji masters his newfound power, the series introduces several powerful new wizards such as Gojo Satoru, Megumi Fushiguro, Nobara Kugisaki, Kento Nanami and countless others, allowing JJK to portray many explosive battles that will be fondly remembered.

The story of the Elric brothers has gained cult status since the manga. It describes the story of two boys – Edward and Alphonse, as they seek the philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies. The brothers received this unfortunate punishment after disobeying the first rule of alchemy, the law of equal exchange, in an attempt to bring their mother back to life.

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This horrific incident sets them on the path to becoming state alchemists. They excel and begin to expose state secrets that put them at war with the current powers. The Armstrongs, Father, Ed, Greed, Roy Mustang and Envy take part in grand battles for you to enjoy.

1/10 Yu Yu Hakusho served as frontrunner for modern shnen

Yu Yu Hakusho is a precursor to many shonen anime that came after the late 90s. It follows the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a quintessential high school delinquent, after he heroically rescues a girl and is hit by a car. After the incident, Yusuke finds himself in the afterlife where no one is sure where to send him.

The Prince of the Afterlife brings Yusuke to life after passing a series of tests, granting him the title of ‘Underworld Investigator’. Yu Yu Hakusho nailed the formula of tough guys battling against cooler antagonists. Kuwabara vs. Risho, Hiei vs. Bui, and the trailblazing Yusuke vs. younger Toguro, set the pace for the shonen that followed.

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