One Piece started serialization in Shonen Jump back in 1997—a whopping 24 years ago—and still continues serialization to this day. It’s got over 1,000 chapters and is set to exceed 100 tankobon volumes. And the One Piece anime is just as massive. It started airing in 1999 and continues to this day, with over 900 episodes under its belt. The series has done great with its themes and characters, but most impressively, One Piece has managed to turn the ordinarily villainous pirate trope into a group of misfit rebel heroes.
It’s no exaggeration to say that One Piece has become a shonen behemoth that will influence the shonen genre for decades to come. But for those who are hungry for more shonen action, there are plenty of classic and modern series that will appeal to One Piece fans.
10 Naruto Follows A Motivated Ninja On His Journey To Become The Strongest
It’s hard to imagine that most anime fans these days haven’t at least heard about Naruto, let alone watched some of it… but for those who haven’t, there are a lot of elements in Naruto that One Piece fans will like. One notable difference between the series revolves around the main goals of their main characters, Monkey D. Luffy and Naruto Uzumaki.
While Naruto wants to become the strongest ninja and become his village’s next Hokage, Luffy wants the more lofty and amorphous goal of being the King of Pirates. But both Luffy and Naruto are underdogs of their series, so rooting for them on their journeys is satisfying.
9 Bleach Is An Action-Packed Narrative Utilizing Shinigami
Ichigo Kurosaki finds himself tied up in the politics of the afterlife after he agrees to help Rukia Kuchiki as a God of Death, or Shinigami. Bleach is notable for bringing a fresh perspective to the shonen genre with its focus on death and the afterlife, but it wasn’t long until the series became more about the behind-the-scenes political strife of the Soul Society.
Like Luffy defying the World Government in One Piece, Ichigo also challenges the status quo of the Soul Society. There are plenty of edge-of-your-seat battles in Bleach, which is sure to delight any One Piece fan.
8 Fairy Tail Infuses The Shonen Genre With Literal Magic
While it’s common for shonen anime to feature some kind of martial art or spiritual power, it’s not as common for it to rely on magic. “Magic” might seem like something more suited for shojo anime (magical girls, anyone?) but Fairy Tail challenges that notion spectacularly.
Earth-land is full of talented wizards and other magical folk, including Natsu Dragneel, a Dragon Slayer wizard from the Fairy Tail guild. The series focuses on Natsu and his comrades as they help him track down the dragon Igneel, Natsu’s adoptive father.
7 Black Clover Gives The Shonen Genre A Black Magic Paintjob
While Fairy Tail‘s magic and setting have a lighter tone, Black Clover uses a slightly darker tone for its storytelling. Nevertheless, Black Clover‘s protagonist, Asta, is the same type of protagonist you’d find among the ranks of Luffy and Naruto. He’s determined to become the Wizard King but doesn’t have the strength or talent to get there.
But what Asta does have (just as Luffy and Naruto do) is the potential to become a powerful wizard. The anime is currently on hiatus in order for more content to build up in the manga, but at 170 episodes currently, there’s plenty to watch while the manga pumps out more stories.
6 My Hero Academia Is A Love Letter To Superheroes
Izuku “Deku” Midoriya lives in a world where an overwhelming amount of the population are born with “Quirks”: special innate abilities such as invisibility, super speed, and super strength, among others. Society developed around Quirks to give birth to real-life superheroes who can protect humanity with more strength than a modern police force has.
Deku wants to be like his superhero idol, All Might… but he was born Quirkless! My Hero Academia is another series devoted to cheering on the underdog in their quest to surpass their own limits.
5 Dragon Ball Is The Classic Shonen Experience
The Dragon Ball series is quite possibly the first series to invent the typical shonen arc structure. Any entry in the Dragon Ball library will work for fans of One Piece, but it’s recommended to start with the first series, Dragon Ball, since it’s got a sillier and more relaxed tone than its successor, Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball will also introduce fans to the main cast of characters that occupy most of the Dragon Ball universe. There’s not really a clear plot to Dragon Ball. It’s mostly made up of the increasingly difficult challenges that its main character, Son Goku, has to surpass in order to keep the Earth safe.
4 Yu Yu Hakusho Features Spirits & Otherworldly Brawls
This supernatural shonen series was popular in the ’90s and takes its inspiration from the occult, Buddhism, and horror films. It also utilizes the street-fighting high school delinquent trope that was popular in the late ’80s to mid-’90s anime and manga. Teenage delinquent Yusuke Urameshi meets an untimely death after being struck by a car while (uncharacteristically) saving a child’s life.
But the Underworld wasn’t prepared for Yusuke’s sudden death, so they don’t have a place for him in either Heaven or Hell! Instead, Yusuke is offered the rare opportunity to return to life… and once he earns his life back, he’s granted the title of Underworld Detective and expected to help sort out supernatural activity in the Human World.
3 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Puts Human Struggles & Space Battles In The Spotlight
Gurren Lagann is the wildly popular 2007 Gainax series that led to the birth of Studio Trigger (which has been trying to replicate Gurren Lagann‘s popularity ever since, with mixed results). Anyone familiar with Trigger should know, then, that Gurren Lagann‘s action scenes and animation are top-notch and captivating.
In the world of Gurren Lagann, humans were forced underground by an alien race that rules over them. Platonic brothers Simon and Kamina stumble across a mysterious robotic vehicle that Simon can pilot, which they plan to use to explore the Earth’s dangerous surface and take the planet back for humans. The overall plot of Gurren Lagann gets a bit convoluted after the time skip, but fans of both shonen tropes and mecha will find an interesting series with a large cast of characters and mesmerizing fight scenes, both on Earth and in space.
2 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Has Wonderfully Animated Battle Scenes
One Piece has dozens of battles over the course of the series, but it’s arguable as to whether any of them can outclass the beauty of Demon Slayer‘s battle scenes. The flow and cinematography of Demon Slayer‘s battles will have viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see who the victor will be.
The series follows young Tanjiro Kamado, who loses almost his entire family to flesh-eating demons. It’s up to Tanjiro and his traveling companions, Inosuke and Zenitsu, to become powerful demon slayers and find a cure for Tanjiro’s demon sister, Nezuko.
1 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Is An Eccentric Shonen With Several Storylines
There’s no doubt about it: One Piece is an exceptionally long anime that’s been running for the past 20+ years. While JoJo’s can’t compare in anime length, its manga can definitely contend with One Piece. JoJo’s first started serialization in Shonen Jump back in 1987 and continues to this day (although it can now be found in Ultra Jump rather than Shonen Jump).
There’s plenty of content that can be eventually made into anime and a new JoJo’s anime installment is coming in the form of Stone Ocean. There are still two more storylines to be animated after this, so there’s plenty of action-filled content for the One Piece fan to enjoy.
For those who are hungry for more shonen action, there are plenty of classic and modern series that will appeal to One Piece fans.