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Ranking Popular Shonen Anime By How Good Their Plots Are

October 6, 2020 35.1k votes 4.7k voters 57k views20 items

One of the most important elements of any anime is its plot. No matter how compelling the characters or how spectacular the fight scenes, the story is the connective tissue. 

We're looking at some of the most popular shonen anime out there, and ranking them by how good that all-important plot is. Whether you're a fan of One Piece's seafaring adventure, My Hero Academia's journey to heroism, or The Promised Neverland's high-stakes horror, you'll find a story on this list that excites you.

Which are shonen anime with the best plots? That's up to you! Vote up the anime with plots you love, and vote down the ones that you think need some work. 

  • After failing to bring their mother back to life via alchemy, Edward and Alphonse Elric lose part or all of their bodies. To get them back, they'll have to learn even more about alchemy. For Ed, this means becoming a State Alchemist. Meanwhile, Father is trying to achieve godlike powers with the help of his homunculus children. Can the State Alchemists - and all of their allies - stop them?

    Great plot?
  • Photo: Wit Studio

    After his hometown is destroyed by giant man-eating monsters called Titans, Eren Jaeger swears to exterminate every last one of them. But after he joins the Survey Corps, he not only realizes how difficult it will be to accomplish his goal, he also discovers that there's a whole lot more to the Titans than he ever imagined.

    Great plot?
  • Photo: Madhouse

    A high school student named Light Yagami discovers a magical notebook that allows him to destroy anybody whose name is written inside. Hoping to create an ideal society, he decides to start taking down criminals and creating a reputation as an anonymous living god. He quickly draws the attention of the world's greatest detective, L. With his freedom on the line, Light starts focusing more on avoiding getting caught and dispatching of his enemies than he does on his original goals. 

    Great plot?
  • Photo: Madhouse

    Hoping to find out more about his absent father Ging, Gon Freecss sets out to become a Hunter. He meets a professional assassin, a would-be doctor, and a revenge seeker, and becomes good friends with them all. With the help of his friends, he continues to search for his father while encountering challenges that range from defeating real life video games to saving the world.

    Great plot?