Anime, Archive, Daily Rant

ARCHIVE Day 43: Which Shonen is the Best?

Original Release: 4/10/18

Please Note: these are my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to comment below and start a discussion. Just try to be civil about it, okay? Let’s all try to be friends here.

Shonen. Japanese manga/anime targeted towards young men. Stories that have lots of high power action, mildly attractive women (or sometimes men, but let’s be real mostly women) and screaming. Lots of screaming.

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably watched a Shonen at some point. Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and Yu Yu Hakusho just to name a few. In the anime community, these shows are often the longest running and most financially successful shows on the air. Look at it this way: we have the Simpsons, Japan has Dragon Ball.

But which Shonen is the best? Well, that’s all subjective, so let’s talk about what I think it is. And for the sake of discussion, we’ll eliminate Dragon Ball. That series is the most influential in the Shonen world, so it wouldn’t be fair to use it. So let’s go by some of the others.

Let’s start with One Piece. This series is pretty good. Solid characters, an interesting premise, a fun world, and plenty of awesome fight scenes and emotionally punching moments. Sounds perfect, right? So what’s the problem.

One word: length.

There are over one thousand episodes of the One Piece anime. One thousand. To put that into context, there are seven hundred episodes of Dragon Ball across four separate sequel series. And this one series had over a thousand.

How accessible is One Piece? Not at all. So One Piece is right out.

Next, let’s talk about another one of the big three from back in the day: Naruto. Another show with all the qualities that lead to greatness. Lovable characters, intense fight scenes, a fascinating world, and it’s far more accessible than One Piece. So where’s the issue?


In the anime, over sixty percent of the episodes are filler. And really bad filler at that. None of it adds to the world, the characters, or even grabs your interest. They’re all just boring fluff that makes you want to scream. And over sixty percent of the fucking show is this filler. They ruin the show in the most heartbreaking way.

However, there are two good ways to experience the story without that filler: the original manga and the Ninja Storm games. Use those. Don’t watch the anime.

To wrap up the big three really quick, we’ll go over Bleach really quick. It’s got the same qualifiers as Naruto, as well as the same flaws of too much filler. However, Bleach is also dragged down by repetitive and convoluted story telling. Even reading the manga, you’ll notice how repetitive it gets, and you’ll be confused by the fourth arc of the story. No thanks.

So what’s next? Well, that’s hard. There are a lot of Shonen shows, ranging from really good to really bad. Yu Yu Hakusho, HunterXHunter, Fairy Tail, Black Clover (ha ha ha), and so many more. But that’s not satisfying. Which one is the best, you’re asking?

Well, if you’ve been reading my blog before, you know the answer.

My Hero Academia.

Every character is memorable, lovable, and unique (in ability, design and power). The world is simple, easy to understand, and fascinating. The action is intense, interesting, and engaging. The pacing is perfect, featuring only one filler episode (which is one of the best episodes by the way). The animation is gorgeous, the music even more so, and everything is so well executed that you won’t even care that not a whole lot has happened yet.

I could go on forever, but I’ll save that for the review of the next episode. Because yes, I love this show enough to make it a point to review every episode on this shitty blog. Why? It’s fun, that’s why. And if the show continues to hold the level of quality season two had, then I won’t be stopping any time soon.

Well, I will when season three ends, but you get the point.

To conclude, as much as I love (and kinda hate) the other Shonen shows listed here, My Hero Academia is easily my favorite.

Unless Black Clover somehow got really good while I was looking away, but something makes me doubt that.

2 thoughts on “ARCHIVE Day 43: Which Shonen is the Best?”

  1. I like MHA but as much as I enjoy it, it seems to be a bit forgettable. It could never catch up to a masterpiece like Hunter x Hunter or Yu Yu Hakusho. One piece is annoyingly long yes but the manga is fantastic.


    1. That’s true. MHA is a ton of fun, and I think it’ll have a ton of staying power, but I can say that Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho are high quality classics that My Hero has a hard time comparing to. I’ve also been reading the One Piece manga, and I can agree; it is truly fantastic.

      Liked by 1 person

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