Black Clover is hands down one of the best Shonen anime to have come out in recent years, and that’s a fact. And if you don’t know Shounen is the most popular sub-genre of anime, where we have young protagonists overcoming hardships to fulfill their dreams and that inspires us all.
Typically, these anime are filled with epic fights, a strong focus on friendships, named special attacks, and heart-breaking flashbacks. If you like a Shonen anime chances are you will like other good Shounen anime, and today I bring you just that. We will be looking at Best Shounen Anime to watch right now, which is similar to Black Clover. So, I have handpicked some of the best Shounen anime out there, popular ones along with some hidden gems that you need to check out right now if you thought Black Clover was good!
Main Similarity: Kind Hearts and No Social Status
I kick-off my list with Noragami because it’s a lovely yet very underrated anime, considering it’s a Shounen anime. And as you know Black Clover is essentially a mixture of the best aspects of all Shounen anime with its unique charm. Noragami is rather unusual as it takes the concept of Gods and the supernatural, and places it in a Shonen environment. I know, it has been done before, but Noragami has a new take on it.
Our main character Yato is technically a god, but it’s nothing like anything you are imagining, as my man is broke. Thus, he is on a quest to obtain fame and fortune by granting the wishes of humans. Hustling along his path to fame, he meets Hiyori Iki, a seemingly random schoolgirl. Hiyori notices Yato in danger (not really, because he is a god) and pushes him out of the way of a speeding bus.
In short, she should have died but this is an anime world, so she gets the ability to leave her body as a soul instead.
16Little Witch Academia
Main Similarity: Magic and Learning
Think of this anime as a more ‘gentler’ take on Black Clover because, yes we have magic, yes we have problems. But instead of a loudmouth brute like Asta we have Akko, a female lead in a Shounen type anime.
She is a cute anime girl who looks so freaking adorable mostly due to its cartoony, colorful art style that pleases your eyes. As the name suggests Little Witch Academia is about these girls going to this prestigious Luna Nova Magical Academy, trying to become badass witches. Akko, struggles at first, but her life changes as she discovers this ancient immensely powerful magic item named shinny rod, left behind by a famous witch named Chariot, who is also Akko’s idol. The anime follows our MC with her two best friends Lotte and Sucy going on magic field adventures, kind of like Harry Potter with cute anime girls on every corner.
15UQ Holder! (2017)
Main Similarity: Magic = Normal and Protagonist = not Normal
Touta Konoe is a twelve-year-old lad who has spent the entirety of his life in a village. He has aspirations to one day go to a gigantic tower that goes to space that exists in the capital. Yukihime, his guardian says: “There is a dangerous world out there, and if you want to go there you will have to go through me” and thus our protagonist is trying his very best to somehow defeat her to finally fulfill his wish.
One day a bounty hunter comes along to claim the prize on Yukihime’s head. In a frantic endeavor to spare the lives of his guardian and buddies, Touta follows to Yukihime’s guidance to drink her blood, transforming him into an immortal being fit for vanquishing the Bounty tracker. Yukihime unearths herself to be Evangeline Athanasia Katherine McDowell, a centuries-old vampire, with her real identity being currently revealed to the world. She and our main guy escape to the capital embarking on a grand adventure that will turn their worlds upside down!
14Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Main Similarity: Magic and Alternative Fantasy
Are you guys tired of the same old fantasy setting in every show?
I mean I love real-life myths and legends but there is a specific set of them that are way too overplayed. You can find Greek mythology references in many shows, and in Anime, you will find frequent references to Japanese and Chinese myths like Nine Tailed Fox or the Monkey King.
But can you even remember the last show that tried to embrace the middle eastern myths like Arabian nights with Jinns/gennies and stuff? I can’t remember a single one from outside Disney, and to be fair Disney owns a lot. But the last time I saw this setting outside of children’s cartoons, was maybe when playing Assassin’s Creed or Prince of Persia. So, if you are looking for something fresh, something pretty unique then do check out Magi. It is a great show to watch and it has an equally good spin-off named Magi: Adventure of Sinbad because Sinbad is like one of the best characters in all of the anime in my opinion.
Main Similarity: Giant Swords and Bulky MCs
Berserk is much, much darker than black clover more than Tokyo Ghoul even, thus it is advised only to a much more mature audience. By that, I don’t necessarily mean the nudity or intensity of expected scene like in ecchi anime, what I mean is it gets graphic, gory and, gruesome real fast.
So if you want to see something more light hearted with comedy, definitely try other entries on the list, but if you are a Black Clover fan that is not afraid to venture in the dark then go for it. The story is pretty sick, and our main character Guts is among the top 10 most badass anime characters ever. He has a huge sword, that he uses to obliterate anything thing that is unfortunate enough to mess with him.
12Ao no Exorcist (2011)
Main Similarity: Demons and Evil
The show is also known as Blue exorcist and it consists of two worlds joined as one, like a mirror dimension. In one world humans exist and this side is called Assiah. The other one is known as Gehenna, which we might call The Hell, as Demons rule there. Normally, trespassing to the other side is considered impossible but the demons can get into the human world via possessing whatever they can get their evil hands on.
The god of demon can’t get to the other side because nothing can contain or handle his immense power, he might ring some bells as he is literally THE SATAN. He wants to come over to the other side to fulfill his evil intentions, so he seduces a human girl and creates Rin who is our main character. Oh! you thought Asta having some demonic powers was cool? Here we have Rin who is literally the son of Satan! And being that he is the perfect vessel to possess in order to crossover, yet this also means that Rin is the only person who has the power to defeat him. Since Satan is like the strongest creature in this world, who is many leagues above even the strongest of good guys.
11Soul Eater (2008)
Main Similarity: Comedy and Supernatural is natural
Soul Eater was possibly one of the biggest anime to come out in the late 2000s, as both the manga and its anime adaptation being the hottest things to come out. Studio Bone was at work for the anime, and they managed to create some very appealing character designs and the whole series has a pretty aesthetically pleasing, unique art style.
The series is set in a world similar to ours, but magic and witches are a fairly common phenomenon. In this world, some people are born with the skill to transmute into a powerful weapon and are wielded by Meisters, who are trained to battle against the evil of this world. They train in pairs at Death City’s Death Weapon Meister Academy, run by Lord of Death himself. The peak of acknowledgment for a Meister and their weapon reached when they manage to rank up their weapon to a ‘Death Scythe’. To make it happen they would have to consume the souls of 99 corrupted people and one of a Witch, hence the name Soul eater.
Main Similarity: Hated by World and Loved by some
Our protagonist, Seth lives in a world where people are endangered by monsters known as the Nemesis. They fall from the sky seemingly randomly with no notice, and even touching a Nemesis mostly results in death. Those who do live are cursed with diverse mutations, on the other hand, they are gifted with an ability to use Fantasia: think of it as mana. These cursed or gifted people are known as sorcerers and Our main guy Seth is one of the sorcerers.
Normal people view these sorcerers as evil incarnates, and Seth wants to save these same people from the Nemesis in the hope of one day squash this beef between them and sorcerers. To do this he wants to reach a rumored place named Radiant, where all these monsters originate from.
The most commendable thing about the show its daring attitude when it comes to tackling themes that are quite relevant today. These subjects of discrimination, prejudice, and herd mentality are present in many anime shows, but Radiant dives on a deeper level. While never getting too dark or gory, as it is targeted toward audiences in their early teens and the show never feels too preachy i.e. it does not appear as “look at us we are so upstanding for highlighting these issues” like countless recent TV shows and movies do.
9Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)
Main Similarity: Short MC and Rebellion
Our MC’s Simon and Kamina spent their whole lives in a dark underground village, not knowing that surface even exists or not. Kamina is an adventure hungry badass striving to be infamous, while Simon is the complete opposite. One day while digging, a strange object catches Simon’s eyes and turns out it’s the ignition key to a prehistoric machine, which the duo names Lagann. Simon and Kamina defend against an attack from the outside with the help of a fiery redhead using an enormous gun, named Yoko, who resides on the surface.
After the battle, the sky is now clearly visible, which motivates Simon and Kamina to set off on an adventure with Yoko to explore the surface. Although they face some challenges and setbacks, the trio heroically fights new antagonists together with other survivors to repossess the surface, while slowly solving a galaxy-sized mystery!
8Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
Main Similarity: Important and OP side characters
Two young brothers live in a world where alchemy (by the way alchemy is the ability to transmute and ) has replaced science, the time period and setting remind of the pre-world war two era. The boys are fatherless as their dad has pulled a ‘son I will be going to the supermarket’ on them. Yet, it not that bad when considering most other Shounen main characters’ parents are almost always. The siblings, Ed and Al Elric have a keen interest in alchemy and are happy to stay in an old-fashioned, scenic country home with their mother.
But as you know there is no anime back story that is filled with sunshine and rainbows, so suddenly their mom dies. On top of that, the sad part is, dad hasn’t bothered to come back yet. Orphaned, feeling alone the naïve young brothers decide to revive their mother using alchemy. And as we anime fans already know, playing God has not worked out for anyone as if yet, except maybe Orochimaru as my dude is still alive and kicking. Coming back, during the ritual to revive their mother bad things happen, and younger brother’s whole body while older brother’s limbs are taken away. So the story follows them as they go to the city on the quest to regain what they have lost.
7Nanatsu no Taizai (2014)
Main Similarity: Demonic MC and OP Demons
The Seven Deadly Sins is a group of highly-dangerous criminals, well-renowned for their attempt to overthrow the Kingdom of Liones. The Holy Knights have managed to scatter them, but year after year, the Holy Knights are still on the move to capture them. Years later, a princess of the kingdom, Elizabeth, escapes looking for the Seven Deadly Sins. Privy to the fact that it’s the Holy Knights who are the real threat to the kingdom and the world, Elizabeth risks her life to find the Sins no matter what, as they are the only ones with the power that can match the corrupted Holy Knights of the Kingdom.
6Boku no Hero Academia (2017)
Main Similarity: Talented World and Powerless MC
One of the greatest Shonen of this very generation without a doubt, and a show which every Black Clover fan should check out if they haven’t already. Similar to Asta the protagonist of My hero, Deku is born powerless in this world where everybody has some supernatural powers. In this case, it’s not magic, but everyone has these unique superpowers named Quirks that you are either born with or not. Despite being Quirkless Deku wants to the best hero in the world that helps others, and his wish is fulfilled when he has a fateful encounter with the world’s number one hero and the symbol of hope All Might. After a heroic showing by Deku, he is chosen by All Might to inherit his Quirk (Quirk inheriting is not usually possible though).
And finally, he enrolls in the most prestigious Hero High School named UA High. And we follow him, as well his whole class as they journey through finding the meaning and power it takes to be a professional Hero. The anime has great side characters, awesome villain, extreme through world building, as well as the greatest fight scenes you will ever see.
Main Similarity: Swords and Slashing
Bleach is considered as the big three of anime like it is one of the most popular Shonen of all time. The show has all the popular Shounen troops, our main character Ichigo keeps breaking those limits to beat the next big bad guy. But don’t take it in the wrong way, I mean the series does a great job of hyping up the villains, and they are not just bulky bad dudes they are written nicely as well.
What I like the most about bleach is that it has really great training arcs, the show is very creative when giving power-ups to a wide range of characters. By Training arcs I mean the part of the story where our main gang gets outclassed badly, so naturally they go back to the drawing board to figure out new hacks, or just finding ways to increase their power. By training on their own or maybe under some old sage dudes or some unique group, and the show does not shy away from getting into the specifics of what makes these characters stronger now, instead of just a simple training time skip.
4Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Main Similarity: Leaving town and Achieving Greatness
Hands down the greatest show you will ever watch, period! I have to admit, I have a lot of nostalgia bias for Shounen anime that I used to watch back in the day. But I have finished Hunter X Hunter only a couple of months back, although it was not part of my childhood I can appreciate it even as a fully functioning semi-adult.
The biggest compliment I can give this show is that it is extremely out of the box, at least when it comes to Shonen anime. I respect the hell out of the mangaka(author) Yoshihiro Togashi, who is on my top 5 Mangakas of all time as he does not fail in producing the freshest things I have ever seen in Shounen.
Main Similarity: Leaving home and Adventuring
One piece is one of the longest-running shows ever, in fact, it is the most popular anime of all time without a doubt. But don’t ever mistake it for something that only normies like, because it is actually pretty good for even the most hardcore of anime fans.
There is a reason for these heights of popularity as it’s extremely well written and has literally the most detailed world-building in all of anime. By world-building I mean creating a fictional world as complex as designing an entirely new and unique location with exotic creatures, societies, religions, and governments. The lore is as detailed as it can get, and power systems are defined with fine edges. The thing I love the most about one piece is that the world keeps on going on, whether our main characters are involved or not, in other words tremendously major events occur behind the scenes.
Main Similarity: Friends and Rivalries
If you haven’t watch Naruto, then I would say just go and watch it? It’s is one of the biggest anime of the last generation and internationally it was more popular than the granddaddy One Piece on some occasions. Most fans outside of Japan have started watching because of either Naruto or Dragon ball Z.
Actually, Black Clover is heavily inspired by Naruto, and I mean HEAVILY! So, if you think Black Clover is the best thing you have ever watched then get ready to be converted into a Narutotard. Still not convinced, is it the outdated animation style that is holding you back? Numbers don’t lie guys, just check out a few of the starting episode and I guarantee you will get hooked for sure. Still not convinced? Well, Naruto has heavily impacted the anime culture and if you don’t want to feel left out, unable to understand the memes then you have to see it, honestly guys just do it for the Memes.
Main Similarity: Wizards and Squads
Hands down the best anime to watch if you are a big black clover fan, trust me on this one. I know guys, Fairy Tail is not the most critically acclaimed anime out there. And no, I am not claiming it’s the best anime ever but it has everything that a black clover fan would absolutely love. The comedy is better than most Shounen anime out there, as the comedy is more consistently spread throughout the show.
If you don’t know, Fairy Tail is an anime about magic, magicians, and magic guilds. The best thing about this anime is not the story of the main character, which can be either Lucy or Natsu. Instead, it’s more like a tale of the guild named Fairy Tail, a guild that sticks together while being faced against all the hardships in the world. This would remind you of the Clover Kingdom’s Magic Knight Squads since it’s probably inspired by Fairy Tail to a certain degree.