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These Are The Best Arcs From Your Favorite Shounen Anime

Updated January 5, 2021 41.4k votes 9.3k voters 165.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the arcs you believe best represent the anime.

A great narrative arc needs more than just an interesting plot and captivating action. While these are both appreciated, the best arc shounen anime also feature exquisite writing that takes the cast into uncharted territory. All great shounen sagas are packed full of intense fights and brutal takedowns, but they also feature incredible moments of victory, tragedy, redemption, and deceit. It's these terrific ingredients that make them the best shounen anime ever made. After all, who wants to read the same old boring thing? 

  • Even after he comes back from the dead, Yusuke Urameshi of Yu Yu Hakusho is still a smart-ass kid. However, in the "Dark Tournament Saga," Yusuke takes his first steps towards maturity, as he's forced to enter an underground tournament filled with vicious killers. If he refuses to participate, his arch nemesis Toguro will kill everyone he loves in a matter of seconds. 

    Toguro pushes Yusuke to his breaking point, as he dreams of dying in battle, and Yusuke's struggle to match Toguro's power is heart-wrenching. He endures excruciating physical torment to inheret Genkai's spirit energy, but it's still not enough to get the job done. It takes the death of Genkai — one of the most important mentors in Yusuke's life — and a brilliant fake out by Kazuma Kuwabara to motivate Yusuke to unlock his inner strength and defeat Toguro once and for all. 

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  • Rurouni Kenshin repeatedly asks viewers to consider whether or not someone can truly move on from their horrific past. While Kenshin Himura was given another chance at life, the same cannot be said for Shishio Makoto, who was burned alive by his comrades at the Meiji government. "The Kyoto Arc" moves the story in a darker, politically-driven direction, as Shishio's plot for revenge against the Meiji government reveals the cruelty of war and the gruesome effects it can have on everyone involved. 

    Fan-favorite characters such as Saitō Hajime and Misao Makimachi are introduced in the storyline, while series regulars like Sagara Sanosuke and Kamiya Kaoru are explored with greater depth. Most importantly, Kenshin manages to invalidate Shishio's mantra of survival of the fittest by proving there's no point in surviving if you have nothing to live for.  

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  • 7

    'Black Clover' - Reincarnation Arc

    Black Clover's longest arc yet is also its most intense and thrilling arc. The "Reincarnation Arc" follows Asta and the Magic Knights fighting against the Eye of the Midnight Sun as well as the reincarnated Elves that Patolli resurrected. 

    This arc takes the series to a whole new level with its crazy plot twists, amazing fights, and emotional scenes. Never has there been a greater threat to the Clover Kingdom than the Elves' reincarnation. It forced our protagonists to fight against their old friends and allies who were possessed by the Elves. From the reveal of Licht's true identity to the incredible fight between Asta and Yuno vs. Licht, this is Black Clover at its peak. 

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  • Medusa Gorgon is up to her old tricks again as she prepares to trap Death and revive an all-powerful god underneath Death Weapon Meister Academy. This batch of episodes is Soul Eater at its best, as it expands upon the history of Death City and its mysterious creator. It also provides viewers with the tragic background of Crona, making it hard to not pity the villain. Then there's the exceptional fight between Medusa and Franken Stein that puts their strength, skills, and intelligence on full display. 

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