There is no need to say that shounen is the most-watched and popular genre. Millions of otaku love spending their time watching shounen anime because they entertain them with epic stories, thrilling action, and overpowered characters.
Shounen is not only a source of entertainment but also a great source of knowledge. No matter the genre, there is always something to learn from the anime. I will recommend the 30+ best shounen anime of all time on your popular demands.
The list will include some worth-watching shows from the 90s and early 2000s, so get ready to dive into the world of the best anime!
In this anime, we follow the life of a self Proclaimed delivery god Yato. He does odd jobs to earn money and dreams of having an enormous amount of followers who worship him. Unfortunately, life is not easy for this god, and it gets difficult for him to earn money.
One day when he is about to have an accident, a girl named Hiyori saves him in time, but in return, she gets injured. The accident results in Hiyori’s soul getting loose, which makes it easy to leave her body.
Now stuck in this weird situation, the girl asks the boy to help her get her body back to normal. The anime introduces some interesting events that will keep you entertained. It’s a perfect blend of supernatural and comedy!
30. Pandora Hearts
This is the story of Oz, the heir to the Vessalius Duke house. He is a mischievous kid who believes that the story of the abyss is nothing more than a folktale that people narrate to scare the kids.
However, all his doubts are cleared when he turns 15, and some people from the Baskerville Clan come and throw him into the abyss. The abyss is filled with mysterious and deadly monsters.
Oz forms a contract with Alice, a Chain, to survive in the abyss and unveil the mysteries. You can expect adventure, fantasy, and a lot more to the story, as this anime knows how to keep the audience glued.
Read Also: Best Fantasy Manga
29. Blue Exorcist
The anime introduces the worlds of demons and humans. It’s not easy to travel between worlds; if one wants to enter the human realm, he must possess someone. The king of the demon realm, Satan, decides to send his son to the human world so that he can grow there and make way for him to enter the human world.
Rin Okumura is our protagonist whose life flips upside down when he learns that his father is Satan, who wishes to wreak havoc in the human world. Luckily, Rin is unlike his father and is a very good person at heart.
He decides to train himself to become stronger enough to compete against the demons! The fantastical elements and some action make Blue Exorcist one of the best shounen anime!
28. Hajime No Ippo
This is the story of a hardworking boy Hajime who supports his mother after losing his father. People never leave a chance to bully and humiliate him for useless reasons. One day, Takamura, a boxer, saves Ippo from the bully attack.
That’s when he realizes that Ippo has so much potential in him and he can be a good boxer. Within no time, Ippo steps into the boxing world which changes his life. Ippo’s boxing journey is not easy, but he learns a lot, and at the end of each battle, he finds himself stronger than before.
The anime contains spellbinding, bone-chilling fights, drama, and much more! No success is without failures, so you can expect much in Ippo’s journey. Sometimes he’ll lose, and other times he’ll win, but one thing is for sure he is unstoppable.
27. The Promised Neverland
The anime introduces us to a mysterious orphanage where the orphans are not allowed to cross the gate until they get adopted. Isabella caresses the children like a mother and treats them with kindness.
Off and on, different tests are taken to learn about the IQs of the kids. After some specific period, one student gets adopted. Emma, Norman, and Rey are the genius minds in the orphanage and are good friends. When one of their friends gets adopted, Emma and Norman secretly follow her to the gate to give her a toy.
Unfortunately, Emma and Norman witness a horrible scene that snatches away their innocence and shatters their faith. The duo sees their fellow’s dead body, and above all, a monster is eating it. WAIT! There is more to the story! Isabella was well aware of the scenario, and she was the one who was helping the monsters sufficing their hunger.
The duo returns and plans an escape taking all the orphans with them. The problem is that kids below age 3 are naive and innocent, so it’s hard to train them. Overall, watching the kids racking their brains and planning an escape is nothing less than a visual treat! So, don’t miss the chance to watch this epic masterpiece!
26. Black Butler
In this anime, we learn about the life of Ciel, a boy living a pitiful life where people never left a chance to abuse him. After losing his parents, he learned about the harsh and dark realities of the world.
To escape from his hellish life, he forms a contract with Sebastian, a demon that changes his life for good. The demon becomes his butler, who looks after him like his family. Watching Sebastian protect his master from getting scratched is no less than a visual treat.
I hope we know we don’t get anything for free, so the same goes for Ciel. The contract demands Ciel to feed the demon with his soul in return. So, my shounen lovers, you can expect some mystery, drama, comedy, and a hell lot of action!
What’s better than a shounen who entertains the fans with epic comedy? The anime introduces us to a world where the government prohibits the use of swords in public for certain reasons.
Despite all the restrictions, Gintoki Sakata carries one and wanders from place to place chilled out. The word “Entertainer” describes him perfectly. He loves spending his money instead of paying his rent.
He and his friends move from place to place to fight off the aliens and protect the people from their terror. Gintama enjoys a good rating on MAL (8.94), all thanks to its characters, comedy, and action! If you want to lighten up, please watch Gintama and feel refreshed!
We are all familiar with Naruto, right? This anime follows the story of Naruto’s child, Boruto! The village is now advanced in technology, which has affected the ways of life of the shinobi. Boruto is unlike Naruto and doesn’t share a good bond with him either.
He dreams of being a ninja and starts his journey, where he makes multiple friends, rivals, and foes. The entry of some aliens makes the plot intense. The anime begins with a cliche setting, where Boruto has a mysterious power linked with Otsutsuki directly or indirectly.
The entry of overpowered villains and major plot twists keeps this anime entertaining. However, if you are a Naruto fan, you might not enjoy watching this anime because the creators have completely nerfed him and Sasuke, as the story’s main focus is Boruto!
23. Hell’s Paradise
Like the few others on this list, Hell’s Paradise was also one of the most awaited anime releases. The anime was very well received by the fans as it is one of the best shounen anime ever.
This is the story of Gabimaru, a ninja on the verge of death as the higher-ups have given orders to execute him. Most cruel methods are used on him, but he fails to die, all thanks to his strong will to live.
Though, indeed, Gabimaru doesn’t accept that his will is stopping him from dying. A famous executioner gives Gabimaru the mission to be the elixir of life found somewhere inside the world’s most dangerous place, “Hell’s Paradise”. He is not alone, many other people are on the same mission, and he will have to compete against them by keeping his life at stake.
22. Rurouni Kenshin
In this anime, we learn about the life of Bakumatsu, a merciless and violent killer. Now it’s been a decade since the people have been living peacefully without hearing about Bakumatsu’s terror.
No one knows where the guy disappeared and what happened to him. The truth is the assassin has changed his way of life and realized that he was living a life full of sins. Now he has changed his identity and goes by the name Kenshin Himura.
The man now decides to live a life helping people live peacefully. However, things turn mysterious when an imposter starts wreaking havoc using his old name, Bakumatsu. Rurouni Kenshin is an iconic and fantastic anime from the 90s that one can’t afford to miss.
21. Blue Lock
This was also one of the most awaited anime after the release of its manga. Fans went crazy with the anime release of their favorite manga. Yoichi Isagi is a soccer player whose life changes after a match where his team misses the chance to be in the Nationals.
Yoichi blames himself for the loss because he believes their team would have won if he hadn’t made the pass. Yoichi’s life begins a new chapter when he is invited to participate in one of the most controversial projects called Blue Lock.
If he becomes the champion of the project, then he can become the national striker. However, the competition will be tough because he has to compete against 300 skilled strikers who share the same dream of being the best. This anime will effortlessly keep you entertained and thrilled; each episode will pull you to the edge of your seat! So have a good watch, my sports lovers!
If you have even a little interest in Volleyball, please don’t skip this one. Once you decide to watch Haikyuu, you’ll get addicted to it. Hinata is the main focus of the story. He is a boy with short height, due to which people never leave a chance to underestimate him.
He is skillful and vows to be the best one on the field. He joins Karasuno High School and gets stunned to see his rival and volleyball prodigy Tobio in the school. The anime follows their training journey together, where the duo goes from being unbeatable.
Watching the matches and the skills of Volleyball prodigies will leave you in awe. Trust me, this anime beats the experience of watching a volleyball match live! Each episode will give you chills and thrills, so don’t waste a second to start with this one.
19. Assassination Classroom
This best anime beautifully portrays the teacher’s relationship with his students. The anime introduces us to a world where an octopus-like creature, Koro-sensei, destroys half of the moon and threatens the world to destroy it entirely.
The government is finding ways to assassinate him to protect the world from his chaos. The winning point of the show is that Koro-sensei is the homeroom teacher of Class E. Unlike cliche villains, he performs his duties well by helping the students in their studies and teaching them assassination techniques.
The anime is worth watching for multiple reasons, including the cute bond between the teacher and students, especially the Overpowered Koro Sensei. Assassination Classroom brings us a different story, and trust me, you will feel emotional watching this super awesome anime!
18. Chainsaw Man
This was one of the most awaited anime because the ones who had read its manga couldn’t wait to watch it on screens. Chainsaw Man entered the anime world like a storm, becoming extremely popular among anime weebs. In this anime, we learn about the life of Denji, a boy who is indebted all thanks to his father.
To pay off the debt, he starts working for the Yakuza. Pochita, a cute devil dog, helps him slay the devils. After earning money, Denji puts it in the Yakuza’s pocket. Unfortunately, things become intense when the Yakuza betrays our boy leading him to death.
The plot turns interesting when Pochita merges with Denji, giving him abilities that make him a Chainsaw Man. This marked a new beginning to his journey of devil hunting. Meanwhile, he meets a devil hunter, Makima, an attractive woman who plays an important role in Denji’s life. The anime perfectly teaches us that one should never be fooled by attractive looks!
17. Tokyo Revengers
It’s one of the best shounen anime with themes of time travel and delinquents. The plot begins with Takemichi Hanagaki, who remembers his high school when he was living an ideal life with perfect friends, people who respected him and a beautiful girlfriend. Unfortunately, Takemichi has lost everything and is now living a pitiful life.
Things become even pitier when a gang murders her girlfriend. Intriguingly, Takemichi visits the past, where he tries to advise his GF’s brother to protect her. However, when he returns, he realizes that his visit back in time has altered the future. That’s amazing, isn’t it? If you enjoy watching time travel and action anime, nothing is better than Tokyo Revengers!
16. Spy X Family
Spy X Family entered the anime world and surprised everyone with its fantastic plot, comedy, and highly entertaining characters. Loid Forger is the main character who is a spy, and his missions force him to fake his identity.
He is a spy who devotes himself entirely to completing the tasks. If the mission didn’t require him to get married, he would have remained single his whole life. One of his missions demanded him to be a family man; therefore, he decided to create a fake family.
To do so, Loud adopts Anya and marries a strong woman, Yor. Well, the twist is that it’s not only who is faking his identity, but Yor and Anya are also hiding the biggest secrets. The woman is an assassin, whereas the daughter is a mind reader!
The funny thing is that despite being a spy, Loud couldn’t figure out that Yor is an assassin (XD). To top it off, the mind-reading child makes the show worth loving. This anime has broken all the previous records and has given tough competition to Netflix shows like Stranger Things! Would you dare to ignore watching Spy X Family?
15. Hunter X Hunter
Like the name suggests, the anime introduces us to the world of hunters. Being a hunter is not a piece of cake; it demands one to be confident, brave, courageous and fearless enough to step into danger alone.
In fact, to be a hunter, one needs to pass an exam, and not every participant comes out of the examination alive. Many lose their lives trying to become hunters. Despite knowing all this, Gon Freecs doesn’t step away and decides to become a hunter, just like his father.
His will to become a hunter makes him successful. During the examination, he makes many friends who later join him in his mission to explore the world, find treasures, slay monsters, and find his father. If you like action sequences and overpowered characters, don’t miss watching Hunter X Hunter.
14. Fairy Tail
How many of you think that action combined with magic is the best combo? Fairy Tail is the best shounen anime for all of you who like watching magic, fantasy, action, and adventure. The plot begins with Lucy Heartilia and her dream to join the best wizard guild, Fairy Tail. After meeting Natsu Dragneel, the story becomes even more engaging.
With time they meet different characters and become very good friends. Throughout the anime, they make friends and foes. Like any shounen, they fight off the evil guys who aim for world destruction.
Watching each guild member going selfless for the other is the winning point of the anime. Fairy Tail teaches the lessons of love, friendship, and much more apart from solid action and magic. The anime is very famous in the otaku community for multiple reasons. Its characters rule a particular fandom with many die-hard fans. So, my friend, consider this one the best shounen anime to watch!
13. Fire Force
The anime introduces us to a strange phenomenon of “Human Combustion,” where people out of the blue get combusted. The cause of this phenomenon is unknown, but those who couldn’t control their combustion go wild and become “Infernals”.
On the other hand, the ones who can control their fire become Pyrikinetics. Fire Force is a team of Pyrokinetics who protect the world from the terror of the infernals by resting their souls in peace. Shinra Kusakabe is our main character and a pyrokinetic who joins the Fire Force to help save humanity.
He is a boy with a devil’s smile, and because of his smile, people consider him evil and blame him for the death of his family. In reality, Shinra is a sweet boy, and whenever he gets nervous, he gets a devilish smile.
After joining the Fire Force, he learns that there is a lot more to the story and that there are a lot of mysteries regarding this phenomenon of Human Combustion. The story continues with Shinra making friends, rivals, and foes; meanwhile, the plot becomes engaging with the revelations of some plot twists! So if you are looking for the best shounen anime of all time, Fire Force is worth watching!
12. Fullmetal Alchemist
The anime introduces us to a world where people perform alchemy. The higher authorities forbid human transmutation because of its dire consequences. Well, the Elric brothers do not give the laws any importance.
The brothers end up doing the forbidden to bring back their late mother to life. The transmutation was unsuccessful, and instead of meeting their mother, they lost their bodies. One lost his limbs, while the other lost his body completely.
Now that their missions have changed, they want to bring themselves back to normal, which is apparently possible only with the help of the Philosopher’s Stone. The story continues with them set on their journey full of challenges and dangers, of course!
11. My Hero Academia
Recently, MHA has entered the anime world and has spellbound the audience with its charming characters and action sequences. The anime introduces us to a passionate and optimistic boy, Izuku Midoriya, who only dreams of one thing: becoming a hero like his idol, All Might.
Unfortunately, no matter how much he tries, his dream to become a hero is impossible because he doesn’t have the foremost and most basic thing, which is “power”. Izuku’s will to be a hero was so strong that life created a way for him to be one.
All Might noticed his talent and potential, and due to some situations, he decided to transfer his powers to Izuku. However, attaining All Might’s power wasn’t an easy task. Therefore, he trained our boy day and night for months to prepare him to bear the power.
After day and night of struggles, the main character was ready, and finally, his dream became a reality. The first season is all about Izuku’s training and mastering his abilities, highlighting the powers of different characters and stuff. From the second season onwards, the plot becomes more gripping and thrilling.
10. Jujutsu Kaisen
Yuji Itadori was living a pretty average life before his grandfather’s death. Soon after his loss, things changed completely for him. His friends found a cursed object. After learning from a sorcerer, Fushiguro, about their lives in danger, he decides to help them.
Despite being an ordinary individual without superpowers, he jumped into the intense fight between Fushiguro and the cursed energies. Amidst all the chaos, Yuji ate the cursed object without thinking about its consequences.
The cursed object was the finger of Sukuna, a man feared as the “king of curses”. Surprisingly, not everyone can eat the finger and survive; in fact, only one in a million could become Sukuna’s vessel and guess what? Yuji was the one in a million who was worthy and strong enough to be the king’s vessel!
The incident changed Yuji’s life entirely. He went straight from being an ordinary schoolboy to a fearsome person with supernatural abilities. After the incident, Fushiguro’s senior, Satoru Gojo, enters the scene and decides to take control of things.
At first, it was decided that killing Yuji was the best option because Sukuna residing within him was nothing but a threat. However, as the only way to kill the king is by killing its vessel, it is decided that Yuji will engulf all fingers, and later Gojo will end him once and for all. The plot is amazing, isn’t it? JJK has won millions of hearts for its handsome, gorgeous, and OP characters. JJK’s animation quality is splendid, and if you still haven’t watched the show, don’t waste a second more!
This is the story of Vash the Stampede, who doesn’t enjoy a good reputation among people. People fear taking his name because they believe he is the cruelest, most violent person who doesn’t hesitate to take lives.
However, these are all rumors, and Vash is nothing like what people describe him to be. He is a good person who can’t even think of hurting others. But since there is a bounty of $$60,000,000,000 on his head, two insurance agents come to keep an eye on him. However, the duo gets stunned, learning that Vash is kind.
The plot becomes even more engaging with the entry of some assassins who want to use Vash for their own interests. It’s a perfect anime filled with the right amount of twists and turns. Trigun is considered an iconic shounen, and it’s a must-watch for everyone looking for the best shounen anime of all time.
8. Black Clover
This is the story of two rivals, Asta and Yuno, who share the dream of becoming the wizard king. Yuno, unlike Asta, is a prodigy and full of talent. In contrast, our boy Asta lacks the most basic thing needed to be a wizard, and that is “mana”.
The plot continues, and during the ceremony where everyone is given their grimoires (magic books), our boy doesn’t receive any at that moment. However, later he gets a five-leaf grimoire inside which a demon resides.
Everyone who believed Asta couldn’t do anything because he was not powerful enough was left surprised. No one from the captains agreed to take Asta in their teams except for Yami. Asta joins his Black Bull Squad, where he befriends the team members.
The story progresses, and we see Asta exploring his powers meanwhile fighting some overpowered characters. The first 33 episodes are a little slow in pacing; however, after 30, or 40 episodes, you won’t be able to stop yourself from watching the anime.
7. Seven Deadly Sins
Demons, Magic, Knights, and action, SDS entertains the viewers with almost all of them. The anime highlights the lives of seven characters famous as the Seven Deadly Sins. Each is recognized with a special trait, and the main character Meliodas is recognized for his wrath.
The world considers all of them as pure evil, while all the knights as their saviors. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that the sins are the heroes trying to protect the world. The plot begins with Elizabeth, who seeks Meliodas’ help to save her beloved kingdom.
Our cute boy agrees and sets off to find all the sins to make them join him in this mission. The first season is mainly about the seven deadly sins’ character development, their back story, and their reunion. From the second season onward, the story becomes entangling and spellbinding. I would recommend you watch SDS as soon as you can! It’s worth watching Shounen anime.
Read Also: Best Fantasy Anime To Watch
6. Demon Slayer
Tanjiro Kamado was living a peaceful life working hard to bring smiles to the faces of his beloved family. Unfortunately, our boy loses his loved ones in a demon attack. The demons killed all his family members leaving his sister Nezuko alive… but guess what?
Nezuko was no longer a human but a demon. The poor boy couldn’t afford to lose his sister, so he ran to save her life. On their way, the duo is attacked by a demon slayer who comes to slay Nezuko.
Seeing the love of the siblings for each other and especially Nezuko’s will to protect his brother surprised him. The Demon Slayer sends the boy to his master, who then trains him to be a demon slayer.
After the incident, two things were obvious: Tanjiro would take revenge on the demons, and number two, he will find the cure for his sister. In the anime’s first season, you will see Tanjiro training to pass the Demon Slayer exam, fighting off some demons, and meeting the legendary Hashira! I am sure you will be surprised to watch the anime’s perfect animation and OP characters! So, GOOD LUCK!
5. Attack On Titan
This anime needs no introduction, right? Attack On Titan was a banger and disturbed the balance of the whole anime world with its massive back-to-back hits. AOT has set records that are difficult to break.
The anime introduces us to a world where humanity lives under the protection of huge walls. These walls save them from the havoc and terrors of flesh-eating giants, aka Titans. The anime’s first episode is thrilling enough to push one to the edge of its seat as it shows the destruction of one of the walls by the Titans.
The monsters enter the town and start sufficing their hunger. To top it off, humans have no supernatural powers to fight against them. During all the chaos, Eren Yeager loses his mother as he witnesses the scene where a titan is engulfing his beloved.
The incident breaks the boy and snatches away his innocence. Soon after the incident, he and his friend Mikasa join the military and train harder to fight off the beasts. It was obvious that ordinary humans couldn’t compete with the Titans.
Hence, the twist unveils when Eren becomes a titan himself. BUT HOW? I am sure you wouldn’t want me to spoil the story for you. So get down to your screens and watch this epic masterpiece worthy of being called the best shounen anime of all time.
4. Dragon Ball
The anime introduces us to a world where it’s believed that if one finds all seven dragon balls, he can summon a wish-granting dragon. Therefore, many people started searching for the seven balls to fulfill their desires.
The greed for power attracted many evil minds, and they began their search as well. However, all thanks to our hero Goku who wished to become the strongest and protect the world from the harm of those evil minds.
The anime follows Goku’s journey, where he gets stronger, befriending people, challenging OP villains, and unfolding new mysteries. Dragon Ball entertains the viewers with bone-chilling action sequences and an intriguing plot that effortlessly keep the audience glued. Dragon Ball is indeed one of the best shounen anime of all time. So, don’t wait anymore and get down to your screens right now!
This anime has introduced the viewers to not only a great plot or action sequences but it has introduced massive beauty in the form of heavenly-gorgeous characters. Watching Bleach characters, male or female, will certainly change your beauty standards.
Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character whose average life flips completely after he becomes a substitute shinigami to protect his loved ones. The one who temporarily transferred her shinigami powers to him was Rukia Kuchihiki.
It is forbidden for a soul reaper to transfer its powers to a human. Therefore, the anime later follows the arc where our boy, after mastering his powers, goes to save Rukia from the punishment.
Apart from expecting massive and intense fights, you should expect spine-chilling revelations, twists, and turns. With time Ichigo’s character develops, and he goes right from being weak to OVERPOWERED.
With the entry of different antagonists, the plot becomes spellbinding. Bleach is one of those anime for which fans signed a petition and urged the creators to animate its LAST SEASON (THOUSAND YEAR BLOOD WAR ARC). And I hope you are familiar with the hype of it! There is no need to mention that Bleach is the best shounen anime of all time, as legends already know it!
2. One Piece
It’s indeed one of the longest-running and the best shounen anime of all time. If you are new to anime, watching One Piece might be a task because there are already more than 1000 episodes. However, one can’t miss watching this for an outstanding experience.
The anime introduces us to a fantasy world filled with hidden treasures and, above all, OVERPOWERED people. Luffy is our main character and the soul and heart of the show. His ordinary life changes after he eats the gum fruit, which gives him abilities similar to rubber.
He dreams of becoming the best pirate king. To find the hidden treasure of One Piece and fulfill his dream, he embarks on a journey where he makes loyal friends and sworn enemies.
Though One Piece presents some massive and thrilling fights, the majority of people watch it for its enticing characters and plot. One Piece has been keeping the audience on the edge of their seats for over a decade now, all thanks to Oda sensei for the remarkable story!
When we talk about the best shounen anime of all time, Naruto is a must-add to the list because forgetting the BIG 4 in the list is no less than a sin! People who have grown up watching this anime can only understand what a MASTERPIECE this one is.
Naruto has set high standards for all anime, and no matter the amount of time, I can assure you that none can get even the slightest bit close to it. The story revolves around Naruto, a kid who lost his parents soon after birth.
He grew up tolerating the hatred of people for the fact that an evil nine-tailed beast was sealed inside him that the boy was unaware of. Those heartless people forgot the sacrifices of Naruto’s parents, who died protecting the world by sealing the beast in their son.
People’s behavior had always upset our boy, but thanks to some good people like Iruka sensei, the Third, and Kakashi sensei, who treated the boy like a family. Naruto is not only about action, mind-blowing fights, OP villains, thrill, or a phenomenal plot; these are just like the extra bonuses the anime offers.
In fact, Naruto is about life lessons, embracing the ups and downs, and harsh realities, making friends and keeping them no matter the situation, understanding and respecting different perspectives, and a LOT MORE! If you haven’t watched Naruto, no matter how many anime you have watched, you can’t call yourself an otaku or a weeb!
Frequenlty Asked Questions
Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece, these Big 4 are the most popular shounen of all time!
Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Fairy Tail are considered the Big 5 anime.
So my anime lovers! This is all about the best shounen anime of all time. These are all worth watching; once you watch them, you’ll want to watch them again. You can pick any of your choices from the list and give it a go! I’ll be back soon and will try to entertain you with topics based on your popular demands!