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15 Underrated Shonen Anime You Should Check Out

Updated December 16, 2019 6.3k votes 1.8k voters 52.6k views15 items

There's a whole lot more to the world of shonen anime than heavy hitters like Naruto, One Piece, and My Hero Academia. While there's nothing wrong with popular shows, sometimes you want something a little different. For that, there's underrated shonen anime.

First, let's have a quick definition. Shonen means any series aimed at boys, typically those under the age of 15. While anyone of any age or gender can enjoy them, that's the target demographic. So while you'll see a ton of action and supernatural battles, you're not likely to see a lot of romance. Some great series like this include Shaman King, Ushio & Tora and Katekayo Hitman Reborn! But there's more to shonen than just action. Some shows, like Beck and Silver Spoon, focus on characters trying to achieve meaningful goals outside the realm of fighting - in these cases, creating a band or getting through agricultural school.

Check out these lesser-known shonen anime and vote up the ones you like to let your fellow fans know which ones are worth their time. 

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    The Millenium Earl uses the souls of those who have passed away to power artificial beings called Akuma. To exorcise these souls and allow them to rest in peace, an organization called the Black Order uses anti-Akuma weapons called Innocence. Allen Walker, who has a cursed eye that allows him to see the souls inside the Akuma, works alongside his fellow exorcists to take down the Millenium Earl. 

    Is this shonen underrated?
  • Photo: Artland

    Middle school student Tsunayoshi Sawada is weak, clumsy, and possesses no notable talents at all. Everybody sees him as a loser, including himself. He isn't exactly what most people would call mob boss material, but nevertheless, it's his job to become the next boss of the Vongola family.

    To get him ready to take on the task, a "hitman" from the family is sent to help - and that hitman is actually a baby named Reborn. The training is brutal, but with help from Reborn, he might be able to surpass his limits. 

    Is this shonen underrated?
  • Photo: Xebec

    In a world where whoever is named the Shaman King gets the power to reshape the universe to their liking, Yoh Asakura is one of the strongest contenders. Shamans can control spirits, but only the Shaman King is able to control the Great Spirit. Yoh hopes to be able to make life easier for himself and his fiance Anna - between Anna's difficult powers and Yoh's villainous twin brother Hao, they have a lot to contend with. 

    Is this shonen underrated?
  • Even though he's the son of a temple priest, middle school student Ushio Aotsuki doesn't have much interest in spiritual matters. But when he finds a youkai sealed in his basement demanding to be released, he suddenly has to care. At first, he refuses to remove the spear keeping Tora in place, but after yokai attack his town, he finds that he needs Tora's help. Thus begins the unusual and uneasy partnership between a powerful yokai and a reluctant human.

    Is this shonen underrated?