11 Shounen Anime Series You Have Never Heard of

You liked Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z, or One Piece, and that’s great. Contrary to what some may tell you, they are pretty good watches and are so very popular for a reason. If you like those series because they show intense, occasionally emotional fights and a spanning adventure story, then you find yourself a fan of the shounen genre. Though marketed towards younger men (shounen = boy), it is not like there is a fence around it saying you can’t enjoy the shows if you are not young or even a man. If you like exciting anime, then maybe give these lesser known oft-underrated shounen anime series a try.

D Gray Man

This series almost made it onto the hot popular shounen anime list, but the fact that it took such a long break before Hallow was created kind of made everyone forget about it. The original series also had a problem with filler, but what shounen hasn’t had that problem at this point? Anyway, if you like the standard long cast, longer list of powers, and villains that just keep on coming, this is for you.

Shaman King

Shaman King, as an older series that has long ended, is a bit past its prime. Combine that with a lackluster dub and animation that definitely shows its age, it can be difficult to get into. However, it is much in the same way as Pokemon, or perhaps, Persona would be an apt comparison. People have spirits bonded to them, and they fight with these spirits to become the best there ever was, otherwise know as the Shaman King.

Law of Ueki

Most unfortunately for it, Law of Ueki starts off pretty weak and also takes a bit of a dive in the middle. However, chances are the story isn’t so much why you watch battle-type shounen series like this. The overwhelming strong point of this series is actually the characters. The cast builds at a reasonable pace, which gives them time to properly build out their backstories.

Busou Renkin

Only really famous for its stupid antagonist with the butterfly mask, it is a travesty that so few ever watched it. Putting all else aside, it has some of the best rage animation of shounen, which is surprising because it does kind of skip on the animation in other regards. Anyway, what this series really is – like “really” really – is a homunculus about fighting homunculuses (homunculii?). What that sentence means is that it takes a lot of aspects from more popular shounen series and melds them together. It is not a bad thing, but it can definitely be noticeable sometimes.

Rave Master

Although it came before the author’s vastly more popular series Fairy Tail, Rave Master was of middling popularity at one point. In the west, it got a little spotlight on Cartoon Network, but suffered from a less-than-great dub. You will want to see subs or read the manga for this one, but it is a fine adventure series with very much the same vibe as Fairy Tail. If you are a Fairy Tail fan, you will see some of the original inspiration for sure.


Beelzebub is one of those series in which you can watch, like, and kind of forget about since it has an ending and a reasonable amount of episodes. It is something for those that want a concrete story but don’t need the cast to span literal generations.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn

Similar to Beelzebub, Katekyo has the unfortunate lot of being good, but not good enough to rise above other popular shounen titles. Interestingly enough, it is also about a guy and a baby, which makes it so easy to confuse with Beelzebub which is also about a guy and a baby.


Radiant is newer, but I think it is struggling pretty hard as it is adapted from a French manga instead of a Japanese one. It doesn’t have as vast of a fanbase. Yet, if you are a shounen fan, you are doing yourself a disservice by skipping it. It is the sort of story you’d expect. You know, the whole guy on a mission to kill a big bad, but it has the great benefit of modern animation in its fights. Not all of these underrated series can say the same.

Ushio & Tora

A remake of an older series, modern Ushio & Tora is the same story, but in a better animated wrapping. It can be a bit repetitive in that monster of the week sort of way, but it can be especially vicious in ways you would only see in the days of older anime.


Even when it was airing on Toonami back in the day, S.Cry.Ed was an underrated series. It is on the mature side of shounen and can be difficult to just hop right into in the middle. It has one of those classic cool type main characters and a never ending series of explosive fights.

Hero Tales

Hero Tales was the created by the same author of Fullmetal Alchemist, but didn’t live up to such high expectations. Hero Tales tells a story about samurai with various powers trying to kill a corrupt Shogun. It is not as intriguing as fans of the previous series were expecting, but it tells a tale of interesting sword fights at very least.

Do you have more underrated shounen anime that fans need to know about? Well, let them know in the comments section below.

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