By Sean Aitchison
Have you ever had a watch list full of new shows to check out? Have you ever completely ignored said watch list in order to rewatch a show you’ve already seen at least three times? Hey, I get it—sometimes the allure of a show you already love is more appealing than starting a new series!
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No judgment here. Rewatching your favorite shounen anime is a great way to find new things to love, share the series with someone who hasn’t seen it, or catch things you missed in previous watch-throughs! It’s the gift that keeps on giving, especially as the protagonists power up.
Taking into account things like length, unique elements, hidden details and overall quality, here are the five most rewatchable anime in Funimation’s shounen catalog!
My Hero Academia
Let’s start with a modern classic, My Hero Academia! A fusion of shounen storytelling and Western superhero mythology, My Hero Academia tells the story of Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, a kid who wants nothing more than to become the world’s greatest superhero.
In a world where 80% of people have a Quirk, the superpowers that allow heroes to protect others and fight villains, Deku does not. However, when Japan’s top protector and Deku’s personal hero, All Might, chooses him as his successor, Deku’s dream to become a hero can finally be realized.
Almost instantly, My Hero Academia was a hit amongst international audiences, and with good reason; the series is a powerful combination of what makes superheroes and shounen stories great. As for what makes it incredibly rewatchable, there are several reasons, the first of which being the obvious: it’s just so dang good!
Additionally, rewatching the series is a great way to see just how far Deku has come since the first episodes—he still struggles sometimes, but he has come into his own and is well on his way to becoming the next #1 Hero!
Plus, watching the series from the beginning makes for a great way to pass the time until a new season comes along!
Yu Yu Hakusho
Next up is a blast from the past, Yu Yu Hakusho. This classic shounen anime lives in the nostalgic hearts of Toonami fans everywhere. The series follows Yusuke Urameshi, a delinquent who dies and is tasked with becoming a Spirit Detective, solving problems involving the human and spirit worlds colliding.
Though this series is shorter than most mainstream shounen, it still hits all of the right battle-heavy beats and has an awesome occult theme that keeps you interested from beginning to end. Heck, it’s the shorter episode count that actually makes the series so easy to binge and rewatch!
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Capping off at only 112 episodes, Yu Yu Hakusho is an easier watch. Plus, rewatching it means you get to see the escalation from supernatural mystery to full-on battle anime, a transition that has lots of great twists and turns along the way.
Simply put, Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the best classic series to rewatch—in fact, I recommend throwing it on any time you’re in the mood for some shounen!
Dragon Ball Z
It’s hard to describe just how impactful the Dragon Ball series is. It solidified the shounen genre for many, and established a sweeping precedence for tropes and archetypes across the entire medium.
And Dragon Ball Z stands as one of the most influential and impactful pieces of media in anime history. Part of its rewatchability is due to this—seeing where some of your favorite shounen traditions found their footing and experiencing some of the greatest action sequences ever!
Another reason why Dragon Ball Z is so rewatchable is because it’s so iconic—everything from Goku’s first fight with Vegeta to the first Super Saiyan transformation are pillars in almost every anime fan’s memories, and rewatching these powerfully iconic moments make for some hefty endorphin rushes.
Next up, we have Soul Eater, one of the most unique shounen series of the last 15 years. Soul Eater follows Maka Albarn, a Meister, and her Weapon, Soul “Eater” Evans, as they navigate a unique curriculum and constant supernatural threats.
Soul Eater never feels too stereotypically shounen, and that’s what makes it so good—it’s still battle-oriented, but there’s an overlay of Halloween creatures and lots of unique battle systems that make the show just ooze style.
Strangely enough, what makes Soul Eater so rewatchable is the very thing that disappointed many fans—the adaptation’s abrupt end. The anime only adapted part of the manga, but the arcs it was able to depict are some of the best parts of the manga, and the anime ends on a pretty strong original story.
The overall short length of the series makes it easy to throw on and get through in just a few weeks. Add to this its unique premise, fun characters and well-thought-out battles, and Soul Eater stands as a highly rewatchable shounen anime.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
The anime tells the story of Tanjiro Kamado, who becomes a demon-slaying samurai after his parents are killed by demons and his sister becomes one herself. The premise is simple, but the smooth integration of shounen storytelling and tragic yet hilarious characters are what make it such a breakout hit.
The series has yet to fully adapt the manga—which ended recently—so it remains to be seen just how long the series will be, episode-wise. But with a strong first season that already feels infinitely rewatchable and a film on the way, this is one worth tossing on the TV just to experience its animated beauty.
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