Through the many decades of manga that have existed, those aimed at the Shounen demographic have been the most popular kind. With intense action, exhilarating adventures, and adrenalin-pumping moments, we see protagonists gain power and form relationships, It is no surprise that it has a wide-reaching audience.
In this article we take a dive into this world and explore the 10 best Shounen manga that have been made and that manga fans need to try.
10. Blue Lock
With its very popular recent anime, more people are getting introduced to the intense story of Blue Lock.
The manga follows a project conducted in Japan in order to find the perfect striker for the national team. However, unlike other sports mangas that focus on teamwork, Blue Lock encourages selfish and egoistic playing claiming that those are the qualities most important in a striker. When an innocent young boy named Yoichi Isagi is selected for this, his entire world is turned upside down as the ideals he believed in are completely different from those in the Blue Lock Project. He is forced to become a brutal and manipulative person to be the best among the many candidates who are competing against him.
With amazing art and eccentric characters, this is one of the best mangas that have come out in the newer generation.
As one of the best-selling manga of all time, Bleach has managed to stay relevant to audiences ever since its release nearly 20 years ago.
Our protagonist, Ichigo, is a normal high school student who lives his days in the company of his friends and family. This changes when he is attacked by a supernatural monster known as a Hollow and is forced to become a Soul Reaper to protect his loved ones. The person he got his powers from, another Soul Reaper named Rukia, ends up losing her powers which makes Ichigo take her place and hunt down the Hollows that threaten the world. This is only the start as he meets several villains who threaten the peace in his world and Ichigo needs to find ways to constantly keep increasing his power.
With extremely stylish art and a diverse cast of characters, Bleach is one of the most fun experiences that fans will have.
8. My Hero Academia
In a world filled with quirks that give people superhuman abilities, Izuku Midoriya is a young boy who is extremely ordinary. This changes when he runs into the number 1 hero and inherits his power. Finally being able to escape his powerlessness, Izuku works hard to fulfill his long-time dream of becoming a hero and enrolls in a high school that trains those with powers. While facing intense competition inside the school, he also faces several powerful villains from outside who threaten the hero society as a whole.
My Hero Academia is the perfect representative that one can find for Shounen Manga. With an inspiring plot, underdog protagonist, and amazing characters who all have their moments to shine, it has all the good elements of a Shounen manga.
7. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist is a battle Shounen manga that has a lot more mature topics and complexity in its story that completely entices the reader.
In this world, special people are capable of bending matter to their will while using it similar to superpowers. These are known as alchemists. We witness the journey of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric who fail to bring back their dead mother through illegal human transmutation and end up losing several body parts. In order to get back what they lost, the two brothers set off on a journey to gain a gem known as the Philosopher’s Stone. During this, they came across a nefarious plot that could change the entire world as they know it.
Fullmetal Alchemist has received a lot of acclaim throughout the years for its near-perfect plot and conclusion and memorable characters that stay in our minds long after we finish reading the series.
It is nearly impossible to be a fan of anime and manga and not have heard of Naruto. The supremely popular series is about young Naruto who is bullied and shunned by many in his village.
Hoping to become the Hokage or head of the village, he works hard from the bottom to make his way up top. Through this journey, he forms lifelong bonds of friendships but also runs into many enemies and hurdles that force him to push himself beyond his limits.
Naruto is a very motivational series filled with bittersweet moments and entertaining fights that keep us on the edge of our seats. It is the perfect series for anyone looking to start Shounen Manga.
5. Death Note
Yet another manga that’s famous to a wider audience even beyond the animanga fanbase is Death Note.
This thrilling and suspenseful story follows an honor student by the name of Light Yagami who coincidentally gets a notebook that allows him to kill anyone by just writing their names on it.
While one might think he would use this book to do good deeds, Yagami takes the exact opposite route as he slowly descends to become a psychopathic killer with a god complex and kills anyone whom he deems to be evil. While causing chaos throughout the world, Light meets his match as a genius detective named L vows to take him down.
With extremely thrilling mind games between the two, Death Note keeps the reader engrossed from the start to the end.
4. Jujutsu Kaisen
The Jujutsu Kaisen manga is an exciting story that takes us on a wild ride in its world filled with curses. To defeat these curses, people known as Jujutsu Sorcerers who use cursed energy exist. An athletic young boy named Yuuji Itadori ends up being roped into this world when he eats a finger and becomes the host of Sukuna, the king of curses. To help in defeating the fearsome curse, Yuuji enrolls in a Jujutsu academy where he learns to control his powers and become a sorcerer. Over here, he forms many friendships and gets into several battles with people as well as curses that change his perception and outlook on life.
Inspired by many great Shounen manga that preceded it, Jujutsu Kaisen has a lot of tropes that it improves upon while making it an amazing experience for readers.
3. Chainsaw Man
Chainsaw Man is a brutal and shocking manga that shows us how mature Shounen manga can get. It is the story of a poor young boy by the name of Denji who kills devils for the Yakuza with the help of his pet devil, Pochita. However, after getting betrayed by them, Denji ends up getting the powers of a Chainsaw from Pochita. As he is able to transform parts of his body, rapidly heal, and cut down devils, fighting becomes much easier for him.
He is made to join the Public Safety Bureau as a devil hunter and meets many friends through this. But life isn’t very easy for Denji after this as he meets several strong enemies and experiences the feeling of loss and depression for the first time.
Chainsaw Man is a gory manga filled with extremely fun and sad moments that make readers feel a range of emotions while reading it.
2. One Piece
Being the highest-selling manga of all time, the popularity of One Piece among fans is undeniable.
This epic journey revolves around a young boy named Luffy as he travels through the seas to find the mysterious One Piece the greatest treasure, and become the Pirate King. On his journey, he finds several reliable comrades who help Luffy in achieving his dream. With each of them having a unique personality and own goals, the readers are instantly attached to them. Luffy and his crew have several hurdles to cross as the World Government and notable figures of the pirate world stand in their way.
1. Attack on Titan
The phenomenal story and character development of Attack on Titan have undoubtedly made it earn its spot as the best Shounen Manga of all time.
Set in a world where most of humanity has been wiped out by giants known as Titans and the remaining few stay hidden in fear behind huge walls. However, when Titans break through one of these walls, our protagonist, Eren Yeager, ends up losing his mother and becoming consumed by his hatred towards Titans. Without being overwhelmed by the fear, he works towards becoming stronger and joining the rangers, forces that fight against these Titans.
Attack on Titan only keeps improving in quality as there are several plot twists and a main character that steals the show. With a lot of commentary on problems that affect society in real life and exhilarating fight sequences, it has cemented its place at the top of this list.