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Which Shonen Anime Had The Best First Opening Arc?

Updated February 10, 2021 7.6k votes 1.1k voters 17.6k views20 items

Viewers often decide whether or not they're going to keep watching an anime based on the first few episodes. If they really love it, they'll stick around for the first arc, and maybe even the whole series. Not every first anime arc has the power to keep viewers watching - but some do. For this list, we're looking at shonen anime in particular, and asking the question: what's the best first arc in shonen anime?

Is it the first arc of Hunter x Hunter, which focuses on Gon Freecs' attempts to take on the Hunter Exam? Or is it the first arc of My Hero Academia, which sees Izuku Midoriya getting into the hero school of his dreams? What about the first arc of Dragon Ball Z, which shows Goku's throwdown with his older brother, who wants him to join the Frieza Force? Everyone has a different take, so let your voice be heard and vote up the first arcs you think deserve recognition.

  • Photo: CloverWorks

    Grace Field House seems like a warm, loving orphanage run by a gentle caretaker named Isabella. Emma couldn't be happier - that is, until she realizes that the children she thought were being adopted are actually being sold to demons as meet. At the end of the first arc, she and her friend Norman must grapple with this new knowledge, and they decide they aren't going to go down without a fight. 

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  • Photo: MAPPA

    Jujutsu Kaisen is a brand new series, so we don't know everything about it yet. One thing we do know is its opening arc. After Yuji Itadori's grandfather passes away, he leaves him with a mission: lead a good life in which he helps as many people as possible. He finds an opportunity to do that when his classmates are attacked by a Curse, and he ends up eating Sukuna's Finger, a Special Grade Cursed Object, in order to defeat it. Now brimming with cursed energy that he's unexpectedly able to somewhat control he's given a choice: be executed on the spot, or train at Jujutsu High with the goal of finding and consuming all of Sukuna's Fingers. 

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  • Born without a quirk, Izuku Midoriya's dreams of becoming a hero seem hopeless. But after a chance encounter with the Number #1 Pro Hero All Might, he gets the chance to inherit his quirk. It takes a ton of hardcore training under All Might's watch, but he eventually becomes strong enough to pass the entrance exams and get into his dream hero training school, U.A. High School. 

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  • 3,000 years after the world's population is suddenly encased in stone, Senku Ishigami wakes up to a wild world that's completely different from the technological paradise he once knew. His first order of business is to survive - but his next order of business is to start rebuilding society from scratch. With help from his friend 

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