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The Best Episode Of Every Major Shonen Anime, Ranked

Shonen anime is full of incredible episodes, but which ones are truly the best? That's a highly subjective question. For some My Hero Academia fans, the best episode was the one where All Might defeats All For One, but others might favor the one where Izuku works with Eri to bring down Overhaul, or the one about Shigaraki Tomura's sad backstory. How are DBZ fans supposed to pick between the moment when Vegeta sacrifices his life to save the world from Majin Buu or the moment where Goku goes Super Saiyan for the first time? 

But there is a way to parse this out. For this list we're counting down the best episodes of shonen anime according to their IMDb rating. All episodes are excellent, but are they truly the best from their series? That's up to you.

  • Photo: Wit Studio

    Armin has never really stood out amongst the Survey Corps. He doesn't appear to be especially strong, or especially brave. In Hero, he demonstrates that he has a brilliant strategic mind. He comes up with a plan that lets them take down the Colossal Titan and plug up the hole in the wall. It works, but it also results in Armin being nearly burnt to a crisp. His incredible courage is beyond anything he ever expected of himself, but it proves to his comrades that he may just be the biggest hero among them. 

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  • Photo: ufotable

    Tanjiro and Nezuko must defeat Rui the Spider Demon who doesn't just threaten everyone around him, but who represents a toxic view of family that the two of them must repudiate. The siblings work together to take him on. Tanjiro channels the Hinokami Dance, which was inspired by their father, while Nezuko uses Blood Demon Art: Exploding Blood. By defeating him together, they cement the power of their bond. 

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  • 3

    'Death Note' - Silence

    Photo: Madhouse

    Silence sees Light achieving his goal - to permanently end the detective who has been trying to prove his identity as Kira. It's also the turning point that leads that leads to the second part of the series - and to Light becoming increasingly unhinged. It's devastating to see L pass away, and it's even moreso because of the effort the anime puts into it. The art and animation surrounding his demise is the best the show has to offer. The flashbacks to L's childhood at Wammy's House and the weird, religious-imagery inspired moment between L and Light in the rain make L seem more human than he ever has before. 

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  • Naruto has plenty of incredible episodes, but this one takes a major plotline that's been developing throughout the series and finally resolves it. Naruto loves Sasuke more than almost anything in the world, and he will do anything to save him from his bloodstained path - even beat him into the ground. Meanwhile, Sasuke has been unwilling to accept Naruto's devotion, but in this final, gorgeously animated fight that ends in a draw, he finally does. 

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