The Shonen anime is best known to almost everyone for its larger-than-life fights and characters who clearly embody good and evil, but there is much more to the demographic than these. That said, there is much more to shonen anime than just superpowers and determination.
Some of the more energetic and epic scaled shonen anime also make time for genuine emotions, while others are romantic stories that were gift-wrapped with shonen anime embellishments. As a result, these anime have more substance than first impressions may suggest.
10 Sword Art Online turned into a family drama
Sword art online It begins as a survival story set in a video game, where Kirito and many other players are trapped in the game of the same name. Despite that, the anime puts more focus on Kirito and Asuna’s relationship, so much so that the anime is more of a romantic isekai than anything else. Unfortunately, their love was more damaging than emotionally satisfying.
Most of the time, the relationship got in the way of more interesting things and emotional risks. Examples include: ALfheim Online’s fairy king Oberon kidnaps Asuna for a predictable ending of saving the princess, and Kirito and Asuna stop Season 1 to start a family with Yui. Kirito and Asuna’s romance is still Sword art online core, but not always for the better.
9 Darling in the Franxx puts a relationship at the center of their universe
Darling in the franxx it’s primarily a post-apocalyptic mecha anime, but love is what really drives its story. In a very literal sense, love is the center of Darling in the franxx universe. This is not only due to the affection and sexual tension felt between the teenage pilots of Squad 13, but to the romance of Hiro and Zero Two, which is too pure for a sinful and war-torn Earth.
In fact, it is so pure that it can only flourish in the infinity of space, where they become a single being to end the threat of the VIRM forever. Even death cannot stop love, as Hiro and Zero Two are reincarnated 1,000 years later to restart their war-free romance. Darling in the franxx it’s actually more about how the power of love can change life, the universe, and everything.
8 Gundam SEED is a love story with Robot Wars
Romance has always been a part of Gundam mobile suit, but it is never the priority. This changed in Gundam Seed, which is more of a story about how love can survive on a battlefield than a commentary on the horrors of mechanized warfare. The main couples are Kira / Lacus and Athrun / Cagalli, although it is the former that has the most prominence and / or notoriety.
The love of Kira and Lacus was shown as something of such beauty that it attracted viewers or annoyed them; there is no middle ground. The sequel Gundam SEED destination doubled in this, where they are already a couple. Freed from the challenges of courtship, Kira and Lacus only existed in the anime to end the very concept of war loving each other so much.
7 Beastars combines film noir with high school love
Thanks to her violence and focus on multiple flourishing love lives, Beastars it is often mistaken for a seinen romance. Actually, Beastars is a shonen story that became the flagship title of his magazine. In a world of anthropomorphic animals, the clumsy wolf Legoshi battles his carnivorous side in order to hunt down the love of his life: the dwarf rabbit Haru.
That said, Legoshi and Haru’s relationship constantly fades into the background. In Season 2, Legoshi’s anguish stems from the fact that he can’t make time for Haru due to his black market commitments, among other things. Still, their growing love and cross-species implications remain at the emotional core of Beastars.
6 Future Diary has a bloody romance
As the progenitor of modern death game anime, Future Diary it is the last place one would hope to find humanity and compassion. And yet these are the ones that form your emotional core. For reasons explained at the end of the anime, Yuno has an insane romantic obsession with the modest Yuki, and kills whoever stands in the way of her love.
As the fight for divinity intensifies, Yuki and Yuno’s love only grows stronger, even if it started with murder. More time is spent on their growing love than on progressing the game, which is actually more of a hindrance to Yuno’s romantic aspirations. Their love is so great that it transcends parallel worlds, as Yuki and Yuno finally make it official in a new reality of their creation.
5 Ranma ½ establishes romantic comedy anime formula
Ranma ½ is the undisputed progenitor of modern rom-com anime, especially those of the harem variety. When Ranma isn’t kicking someone’s face or training, he’s either engaging in gender-bending shenanigans thanks to a hot spring magic spell, or he’s trying to avoid another romantic confession from another rival who fell in love with his female form.
The anime outperformed the manga, forcing the animators to create filler arcs that were almost always romantic comedy events. This eventually overshadowed Ranma’s quest to become a top martial artist, while also redefining anime. Not surprisingly, fans remember Ranma ½ more for Ranma and Akane’s antics than kung-fu.
4 InuYasha is a romantic fantasy that travels through time
On paper, InuYasha is a sprawling adventure set in a magical version of feudal Japan. That said, InuYasha and Naraku’s never-ending rivalry does little to hide the anime’s romantic leanings. The real crux of the anime is based on the adventurer group’s main shipments, namely InuYasha / Kagome and Miroku / Sango.
Each couple’s relationship status garnered more investment from fans than searching for the jewel shards and whatever Sesshomaru was actually up to. Truth be told, Kagome and InuYasha finally kiss in the second (possibly) non-canon movie – The castle beyond the looking glass – He had a stronger reaction than that of InuYasha and his friends when finally defeating the immovable Gang of Seven.
3 Monthly Nozaki-Kun for Girls Transcends Shonen and Shojo Conventions
Nozaki-Kun Girls’ Monthly is a parodic celebration of romantic comedies, which makes determining its demographics more challenging than expected. Despite becoming one of the most defining anime romances in recent memory, Chiyo’s quest for the incredibly dense mangaka Nozaki is officially classed as a shonen title.
While he parodies the shojo manga and how it is made, Nozaki-Kun Girls’ Monthly it’s practically a misplaced shojo title. Focal relationships are still taken seriously, even if the cast satirizes the clichés and stereotypes of genre characters. This slight confusion is not a detriment at all, as it just shows how much both sexes love Chiyo and Nozaki’s nonsense.
two A silent voice takes the long road to love and reconciliation
Despite his seinen-level themes that include conquering years of self-loathing and suicidal tendencies, A silent voice is a shonen drama about the hardships of high school life intended for a teenage audience. At the center of it all is the growing romance between the reforming bully Shoya and Shoko, the hearing-impaired girl he used to torment.
Throughout the film, Shoya struggles to forgive himself. Befriending Shoko, earning her trust, and ultimately forgiveness and affection are his way of reconciling with his horrible past, but it’s not an easy path to take. Unlike the previous examples here, A silent voice assuming love is more cathartic and mature than just a young love or a happy crush.
1 The flowers of evil is a kind of twisted love
As strange as it may sound The flowers of Evil is a shonen title (very dark) that technically counts as a romance, albeit of the subversive kind. Where nearly all shonen love stories are healthy regardless of the characters’ backstories, Takao, Sawa, and Nanako’s love triangle is defined by lies, perversion, and ulterior motives.
The flowers of Evil it’s a school romance taken to its darkest corners. Beneath the anime’s nihilistic tirades about society’s indifference to youth and a pervasive darkness is a strange emotional sincerity, where Takao and Sawa connect by enjoying taboos. It may be a twisted romance, but it’s a romance nonetheless.
NEXT: 10 Shojo Anime That Have Nothing To Do With Romance
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