While many Shounen anime may appear to be entire gauntlets for a top spot, what has really made the medium as popular as it is among the fans is the sense of community and legacy that it brings. And there’s no better proponent for community and legacy in fiction than families. Shounen anime love to go on about how special certain families and their genes are and what those mean for the destiny of the series.
Many characters are either trying to continue those traditions or break the curve to follow their own path. In either case, the family is developing some stock on the world, and their own legacy within the community is defined by how strong that stock is. This list will be going over some of the most iconic last names in Shounen anime and seeing whether they stack with the strongest or weakest sides.
10 Weakest: The Ishigami Family (Dr. Stone)
To be fair, it isn’t as if the Ishigami aren’t invaluable. Byakuya was a hard working scientist whose leadership and genius helped protect the legacy of all of humanity. His adopted son, Senkuu, now leads the people of the future, aiming to both revive all of humanity and bring back all of the advances that made it once great.
Despite those contributions, the Ishigamis aren’t exactly known for their strengths. Senkuu is constantly berated for his lack of combat power; and even though Byakuya hasn’t been shown to raise a fist in the series thus far, there’s not a lot to suggest that it’ll have much fire power. They’re brilliant as a family. Just not all that strong.
9 Strongest: The Zoldyck Family (Hunter x Hunter)
In almost direct contrast, the Zoldycks are strong as fighters but are not necessarily ideal as a family structure. As a family built around a particular, underground business, the Zoldycks have a rigid and challenging family culture of their own that raises its kids to become assassins and has everyone follow incredibly intricate rules.
While it’s hard to tell if any of them really love each other, the results are pretty clear. Do not mess with the Zoldycks. They are the premiere familial force in Hunter x Hunter and can practically act as an army on their own.
8 Weakest: The Shimura Family (Gintama)
Even though Gintama is a comedy series, its world is comprised of some pretty strong figures, whether that means the wild force of the White Yaksha or the strong unit that is the Shinsengumi. In terms of families, it has Kyubei’s long line of noble guards, Kagura’s family of beastly aliens, and whatever horrifying nest Hedoro came from.
Though it boasts a strong lineup of families, a few characters within its leading cast are infamous for just being human characters. That is the Shimura family, a struggling pair of kids that want to rebuild their father’s dojo but lack the actual talent to do so. Shinpachi is decidedly the weakest and most cowardly of Odd Jobs; and despite Otae’s strength, she is constantly the series’ damsel in distress.
7 Strongest: The Elric Family (Fullmetal Alchemist)
The Elric family is comprised of what are essentially gods. Edward and Alphonse Elric are two talented kids who mastered alchemy at a young age and lived out their adventure as two of the world’s leading experts.
Their father, Van Hohenheim, used to be a slave that was trained by the series’ main villain to become a brilliant alchemist and even an all powerful deity. Each one nobly fights for the good of all humanity while manipulating reality itself in very unnatural ways.
6 Weakest: The Watch Family (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
Blood Blockade Battlefront was a recent gem in the Shounen world that subverted expectations in many ways. One of the key ones being that the main character was far from having the strongest person in the room and even further from having the most agency. Leonardo Watch, for all intents and purposes, is one of the few Shounen protagonists to be his series’ damsel in distress.
His only other known family member, Michella, can’t exactly hold her own in a fight either. Being unable to walk or see, she’s almost as much of a target as her brother. Though the two are a lovable pair, they probably have no business being involved in the demon fighting world.
5 Strongest: The Uzumaki Family (Naruto)
Naruto Uzumaki started out at the very bottom of Konoha’s world until he eventually found out that he totally wasn’t. In addition to being the vessel for the Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto is also related to the Village’s legendary Fifth Hokage and is part of a long line of reincarnations of Asura Otsutsuki.
His own mother was even the old vessel for the Nine-Tailed Fox. Even now, he’s married one of the legendary Hyuga family and is currently raising two prospective main characters in the making.
4 Weakest: The Heartfelia Family (Fairy Tail)
To some people’s surprise, Lucy Heartfelia isn’t just Natsu’s sidekick or the series’ lead heroine. She is actually Fairy Tail‘s main character who narrates the events for the attentive viewers. For those who didn’t catch this, don’t be disappointed. Lucy has such little agency and fighting capability in the series that it’s hard to even catch her in the arc when she has lines.
Her own family is comprised of a rich merchant and a long line of women whose main job was to open a door. Despite the series’ hardest efforts, the Heartfelias just aren’t all that prominent of a family.
3 Strongest: The Monkey Family (One Piece)
One Piece‘s Monkey D. Luffy may not always be seen alongside his father or brothers, but it shouldn’t be neglected how crazy of a lineage that he really has. His biological family so far consists of Monkey D. Garp, the arch-nemesis to the King of the Pirates, and Monkey D. Dragon, the leader of the Revolutionary Army and currently the most wanted man in One Piece‘s criminal filled world.
On the adopted end, he is the brother to Portgas D. Ace, the Second Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, and Sabo, the Chief-of-Staff of the Revolutionary Army. It’s good that each of them set out to sea, because no single house could possibly contain this family.
2 Weakest: The Amano Family (The Future Diary)
The Future Diary has a love-hate relationship with the anime community, but it’s hard to deny that the the main character’s family is one of the worst in anime history. Yukiteru Amano belongs to a dysfunctional family that is incredibly distant from one another. In one of the few instances where they actually get together, his dad ends up killing his mother out of fear.
Yuki himself is far from being the most capable of Deus’ candidates and often has to rely on some outside help to survive. For a family that might have even taken their own son out of a death game, the Amanos aren’t going to be on the good end of this list.
1 Strongest: The Son Family (Dragon Ball)
Dragon Ball not only reigns as being one of the most successful and influential Shounen series of all time, it also happens to have the strongest family in the genre. Son Goku is the biological son of the Saiyan Soldier, Bardock, and the brother to Raditz, one of the leading members of the Frieza Force.
His adopted father helped train him in martial arts, making the main character himself a beast in both Saiyan power and subtle skill. His family now is comprised of some powerful sons, Gohan and Goten, and a warrior princess wife, Chi-Chi. They’re a family whose name should be known throughout the stars, and they’re looking forward to the next PTA meeting.
Some shounen families are just stronger than others. These are some of the strongest and weakest in the genre.