Hundreds of new anime flood the market every year, many spanning a wide variety of narrative genres and visuals. For decades, however, it has been the elevated nature and exaggerated action of the shonen genre that has been the medium’s most popular type of series.
The shonen genre is aimed at an adolescent male audience, sometimes missing the depth of more mature series. Nevertheless, even the laziest and most disappointing shonen series still have passionate, vocal fandoms.
10/10 Dragon Ball Z is full of iconic moments that justify the long journey
Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z has become a banner for shonen anime, and the imprint it left on the genre is undeniable. The ongoing Dragon Ball franchise is still going on, so it might sound a bit harsh to group it with the weakest of the Shonen series.
However, Dragon Ball Z is still arguably the weakest, but also the most popular series in the franchise. Dragon Ball Z suffers from poor pacing, repetitive combat formulas, and irrelevant filler episodes. Dragon Ball Z also features many of the franchise’s greatest moments, which helped give the long series a shot.
9/10 Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Recaptures Its Predecessor’s Magic
Naruto is without a doubt one of the most successful Shonen series of its generation. The anime’s satisfying conclusion was followed by a spin-off sequel series that follows Naruto’s son, Boruto. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has good intentions, but many of its earlier episodes are derived from its predecessor and cover similar ground.
Promised, boruto gradually finds its own voice, but with over 270 episodes it becomes a bloated expansion of the Naruto lore. However, continuous Naruto love and intermittent appearances of old characters have been made boruto quite popular.
8/10 Bleach’s Legacy survives the bad execution of its anime
Ichigo Kurosaki’s Quest to Become a Legendary Soul Reaper Helped Turn Around Bleach in one of Shonen Jump‘s most popular series of all time. Bleach has an exceptional foundation, but the anime adaptation is filled with filler, lasts over 350 episodes, and goes wildly off course.
Bleach‘s anime ends on a weak, unresolved note. However, the overwhelming excitement that has been seen for the anime’s Thousand Years of Blood War anime return is proof that a subpar ending isn’t enough to kill the fans’ interest Bleachcharacters, action and storytelling.
7/10 Fairy Tail bids its time and relies on stereotypes
Fairy tale is a comprehensive shonen series set in a rich fantasy world filled with magical users and prolific guilds of heroic warriors. Fairy tale has found a devoted audience in its hundreds of episodes, but the shonen series takes some time to find its way.
The earliest episodes of Fairy tale are the weakest and have the brash Natsu Dragneel in his most repulsive way. This slow start, Natsu’s stunted development and copious caricatures are justified criticisms, but the adventure it eventually becomes is satisfying.
6/10 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Is a Major Turning Point in the Series
Stardust Crusaders is a fascinating chapter in Hirohiko Araki’s larger JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. For many fans, Stardust Crusaders is the franchise’s most popular installment, and it marks a pivotal shift from Hamon power to energy Stands. Stardust Crusaders is indispensable, but the positive reception of the anime is largely colored by nostalgia.
Stardust Crusaders‘ anime is the longest of them all JoJo’s series with 48 episodes divided into two parts. This results in some pacing problems and many of Stardust Crusaders is random fights with Stand users across Egypt. Stardust Crusaders is still very nice, but it would benefit from tighter editing.
5/10 One-Punch Man puts fun in the bloated superhero genre
Fans eagerly await the arrival of One Punch Man‘s third season, and the elevated shonen series couldn’t have come at a better time. One Punch Man shows great reverence for both the shonen and superhero genres, but also lovingly mocks them through its ridiculous heroes and overpowered characters.
Calling may be difficult One Punch Man one of the worst series, but the premise wears off quickly and the noticeable downgrade in animation during season 2 contributed to the lowliness of the anime’s reputation.
4/10 Black Clover is the ultimate underdog story that takes its time
black clover is a magic-based Shonen series that borrows a lot from other fantasy and action stories. The Clover Kingdom is a world where magical powers are the norm. However, Asta, an orphan, struggles to develop this ability. Asta’s growth as an anti-magic user is juxtaposed with that of his brother, Yuno, who is heavily involved in spells.
The biggest complaints with black clover Getting Asta involved and how long it will take for him to give up his unpleasant habits, but most audiences agree it’s worth the wait. if black cloverThe upcoming 2023 feature film is popular, then it’s unlikely to be the last fans of Asta and his company have seen.
3/10 The story of the redemption of the seven deadly sins makes up for its weaknesses
The Seven Deadly Sins embraces the popular shonen trope where a team of powerful magical users work together to restore a corrupt world. Meliodas and the rest of his team are wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit and are forced to embark on the ultimate redemption tour.
This second chance story is inspiring as far as shonen series is concerned, and the humanized characters are what works best. Meanwhile, the anime is seen as a lower shonen series due to its poor pace and repetitive storytelling.
2/10 Toriko gets his audience hungry for a subversive Shonen story
Toriko would be the next big shonen hit at the level of Dragon Ball or A piece thanks to its unique take on action and adventure. As a famous gourmet hunter, Toriko searches the world for the best food and ingredients. Toriko himself is an odd anime hero who is sometimes enough to win over fans.
TorikoIts popularity plummeted so much that the English dub stopped after only 50 episodes out of 147. However, both the full anime and the manga end on equally abrupt notes. All this detracts from Toriko‘s legacy, and the series hasn’t really returned in other forms.
1/10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers Delivers Youth Joy Despite the Obvious Advertising
The success of duel based Battle Shonen anime with real counterparts like Yu-Gi-Oh! resulted in countless imitators. Bakugan Battle Brawlers involves transforming marbles used as a way to fight monsters.
There is nothing particularly original about the Bakugan franchise, and its efforts to sell toys are incredibly transparent. However, Bakugan became an odd success in North America in the 2010s, surpassing its reputation in Japan and resulting in a wide variety of sequels. Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a nostalgic guilty pleasure for many anime fans.
NEXT: 10 Darkest Shonen Anime, Ranked