There are countless things to appreciate when it comes to anime series. There’s so much versatility and creativity in the medium that it feels like there’s a show for everyone. Anime has a host of specific genres that appeal to both mainstream and niche audiences, but by far one of the most successful types of series are shonen anime.
Shonen anime are responsible for some of the greatest action-adventure stories in the medium, but there’s no set style for the look of a shonen series. It’s important for a shonen anime to master the basics, but that doesn’t mean it has to have a dull appearance. There are some great shonen anime out there that feature groundbreaking animation which is just as much a plus as anything.
ten Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba is constantly creating works of art
Every few years there’s a new shonen critical darling who sets a new standard and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is currently the golden child of the genre. demon slayer has two seasons and a record-breaking feature film under his belt, all of which perform at such a high level of quality. Tanjiro’s coming-of-age story as he hones his demon-slaying skills and strives to help his sister is still compelling, but Studio Ufotable’s animation elevates the action sequences of the series to a whole new level. The final installments of the anime’s second season contain some of the finest shonen animation to come in years.
9 Mob Psycho 100 unleashes visually glorious psychic frenzies
Mob Psycho 100 is a fantastical subversion of many shonen tropes as its lowly protagonist, Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, actively shuns the spotlight and tries to avoid the use of his enormous psychic powers. Mob Psycho 100 features intentionally simplistic character designs, making their release of deadly psychic abilities turn even more of a visual spectacle. Studio Bones goes above and beyond with Mob Psycho 100, especially with the second season of the anime. The opening title sequences alone are dazzling displays that can be enjoyed endlessly.
8 Haikyu!! Translates volleyball action into gorgeous footage
The anime caters to a wide range of sports series that puts everything from table tennis to synchronized diving in the spotlight. It really is as if every sport and recreational pastime has a corresponding anime and Haikyu!! is the flagship series for exciting volleyball shows.
Haikyu!! comes from Production IG and even though there are almost 100 episodes, there is an incredible level of quality that is maintained throughout the series. Haikyuu!! Engaging visuals prove that a match of volleyball can be just as thrilling as a super-powered deathmatch.
7 Attack On Titan Creates A Beautiful World Lost In Darkness
The attack of the Titans is undeniably one of the greatest anime series of the decade and it captivated audiences with its layered and flawed characters, creepy monsters and the seismic twists who continually redefine the status quo. The attack of the Titans meticulous storytelling would likely make the anime a hit no matter what it looked like, but it’s also a triumph in the animation department. WIT Animated Studio Titans first three seasons, with MAPPA taking over for the final run. Many anime suffer from a change of studio, but The attack of the Titans pushes each sequence to the limit.
6 My Hero Academia features hundreds of super powers with style and flair
my hero academia cleverly embraces superhero and shonen stereotypes as he crafts his sprawling origin stories for Izuku Midoriya and many other budding heroes. my hero academia just passed the 100 episode milestone, produced three impressive movies, and there’s still no end in sight for the series. Studio Bones ensures that every quirk and superpowered confrontation in my hero academia looks amazing. The visuals got more inspired as they went Midoriya and the Oddities of Company become more powerful. my hero academia consists of so many battles that it’s essential that each one has a unique look and feel.
5 One-Punch Man turns his fight sequences up to 11
Audiences are so familiar with shonen and action tropes at this point that an anime like One-punch man can cheerfully deconstruct the genre, but still indulge in its many stereotypes. Saitama laments his intense strength, which can defeat most enemies with a single hit. Every villain and energy attack is as over-the-top as the anime’s premise and the animation goes wild to convey Saitama’s true power.
The man with one fist studio is moving from Madhouse to JC Staff for its second season and it’s a noticeable difference. JC Staff do their best and there are still some engaging fights, but nothing quite reaches the incredible and subversive heights of Season 1 battles.
4 Space Dandy gets lost in the visual madness of an unruly universe
space dandy comes from much of the same creative team that is responsible for Cowboy Bebop, yet it comes across as a surreal satire of the iconic animated series that perpetually reinvents itself. space dandy follows a ragtag team of bounty hunters in search of a big score, but each of their adventures turns into a radically different genre exercise. Studio Bones ensures that space dandy animation doesn’t detract from bold storytelling. Every planet and alien species has a totally unique look, and some anime visionaries, like Masaaki Yuasa, are even involved in specific episodes.
3 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure clashes with convention and creates her own look
Hirohiko Araki JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is so notable in the shonen genre because of how it always plays by its own rules and adopts a very narrative structure for its greatest adventure. David Productions is an animation studio responsible for great animated series, but their work on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ever-evolving masterpiece. The anime captures Araki’s changing art style and the anime’s visual aesthetic really finds its voice during The diamond is unbreakable. Unconventional uses of color and character designs all contribute to JoJo’s uniqueness.
2 Gore never looked so gorgeous as in Devilman Crybaby
crybaby devilman is technically an anime-only series, but it’s yet another adaptation of Go Nagi’s iconic shonen horror action hybrid. Different takes on the evil man The property connects due to the series’ dark themes and intense violence, but Masaaki Yuasa and his studio Science SARU fill every frame with abstract visuals and explosive uses of color. crybaby devilman is as beautiful as it is vicious; the art style fuels the transformative fear that grips Akira and the audience. Characters melt and demons reign supremeall of which feel overwhelming due to the aggressive animation choices.
1 Hunter X Hunter Elevates The Shonen Genre Through Constant Magic
Hunter X Hunter doesn’t always get the same respect as his shonen peers, like Dragon Ball, Naruto, or even something like Yu Yu Hakusho. However, Hunter X Hunter constantly pushing boundaries and striving to exceed expectations with a gripping shonen narrative that never feels repetitive. 2011 Hunter X Hunter adaptation by Madhouse has nearly 150 episodes, all of which are visual masterpieces and portray extreme power in stunning ways. It’s a testament to the respect that is present for the source material and Gon’s greatest battles never disappoint as a result.
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