Want some anime like Dragonball Z? Arguably the most iconic Shonen anime of all time, Dragonball Z has been a cultural juggernaut since the late 80s when it was first released. It follows the cast as they try to defend Earth against the remaining members of the Saiyans, who are on a mission to conquer the frontier worlds. It has a lot of fast-paced action, a solid cast of characters, and almost unbeatable odds.
However, this wouldn’t be the only anime to explore these themes. In fact, the Shonen genre exploded in popularity during the 90s and brought with it a load of big titles. In fact, this style of anime is still one of the biggest and most popular today. Whether it’s the fights, the action sequences, or even the meme potential, there will be something in this list for you.
Elsewhere, check out our picks of the best anime like Demon Slayer for even more Shonen picks. We've also got a look at the best romance anime, as well as the best short anime you can binge in a weekend!
Here is the best anime like Dragonball Z
- One Punch Man
- Soul Eater
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Yu Yu Hakusho
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- Jujutsu Kaisen
- Tokyo Revengers
One Punch Man
One Punch Man is the story of Saitama, a superhero who is so strong that he can defeat any enemy with just one punch. This premise seems to write out any prospect of a challenge. After all, how can there be any tension when we know how overpowered he is?
- Read more: One Punch Man: The Strongest tier list
Unfortunately, the Hero Association doesn’t recognise his power and puts him in the C-Rank, while his newbie apprentice, Genos, gets placed in S-Rank. The city soon gets attacked, and Saitama must choose which of the fights to take on. The action and fight sequences are excellent, and the witty sense of humour will keep you entertained throughout.
The premise of Soul Eater is simple. In order to graduate, the students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy must collect the souls of 99 evil humans, and one witch, in that order, or start over again. Some of the students can turn into weapons, and other students can wield them to use in battle.
- Freebie alert: Our Soul Eater Resonance codes guide
If they can manage to collect all of the souls, then these weapons will turn into Death Scythes, and become unbelievably powerful. It’s full of dark comedy that is right at home with its darker, gothic art style. There are absurdly scaled fights with high stakes and plenty of action.
Seven Deadly Sins
Elizabeth is the third princess of the Kingdom of Liones, a nation that has seen conflict and strife over who is the rightful ruler of the people. A rumour, which began years ago, says the Holy Knights defeated a group of traitors who set out to overthrow the ruler of Liones. This group became known as the Seven Deadly Sins.
- Read more: Deadly Sins Retribution codes
Ten years later, when the Holy Knights themselves forcefully take over the kingdom, Elizabeth sets out to try and find the Seven Deadly Sins so she can win back her place as ruler. Fans of Dragonball Z will enjoy the impossible odds and fighting for justice that this series brings, as well as the fun adventure fantasy setting.
Ichigo Kurosaki is pulled into the world of the Soul Reapers one day, when he is given the power to slay Hollow Demons after accidentally getting involved in a battle between the two. However, it’s not only the ever-escalating threat of the Hollows that he has to deal with, because the Soul Society is rife with infighting and conspiracy. Ichigo and his friends have to carefully navigate this new world in order to save it.
The fights are well-balanced and expertly choreographed, and the dynamics between the Soul Reapers are just as memorable as the overarching plot. They’re fully-formed characters that will fight Ichigo for the spotlight constantly. Just a word of advice: skip the Bount Arc when it comes up. You’ll be a lot better off for it.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Following an altruistic act of pushing a child out of the way of a speeding car, Yusuke Urameshi finds himself before the Prince of the Afterlife. After passing a series of tests, Koenema decides to hire Yusuke as an Underworld Detective instead. Rather than simply passing on, he is to investigate cases involving demons and make them pay for their crimes.
Dealing with the occult through martial arts in an interesting premise that will be difficult to find elsewhere, Yu Yu Hakusho received widespread acclaim in Western media. In fact, it even won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 1993, which has seen recent winners such as Chainsaw Man and Mob Psycho 100.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Perhaps one of the most meme-worthy shows to come out in a long time, JoJo is a Shonen powerhouse that has more to it than meets the eye. Yes, it’s goofy. Yes, the plot becomes so convoluted that it’s impossible to summarise in one paragraph, but that is the beauty of it. It’s fun, interesting to watch, and laugh-out-loud funny, whether it means to be or not.
It does balance this absurdity against well-animated action sequences, however. The stakes are never forgotten, and the fights in it are paced to perfection. In the later seasons, we’re introduced to Stand Users, who bring more drama into it than ever.
This story follows the adventures of a likeable highschooler called Yuji Itadori. He finds himself in the world of the Jujutsu Sorcerers after accidentally ingesting part of a powerful Curse called Sukuna. After being put under the care of Saturo Gojo, he is tasked with hunting down the Curses with other Demon Slayers in order to protect humanity.
The fight scenes in this series are famous in the anime community for being top quality, in both animation and choreography. The supporting cast doesn’t get lost in the background, and if you want to try it out without committing to a full series, the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 film was released recently that encompasses the feeling of the core series perfectly.
Tokyo Revengers is a fascinating story about time travel and its consequences. After being pushed in front of a train and finding himself teleported 12 years into the past, Takemichi Hanagaki hunts down his ex-girlfriend's younger brother to warn him of their upcoming murder. He is then brought back into the present, where he discovers the consequences of this action. Takemichi is then tasked with the difficult burden of trying to steer the present in the best direction possible by going back and dealing with the past.
However, that’s not all there is to Tokyo Revengers. It deals mainly with gangs and violence, and the pressures of masculinity that are forced on young men. The plot is altered most by the fights and murders that the various gangs commit, and Takemichi has to decide which of the threats he can actually take on.