Shounen anime are directed at the younger male audience, usually teenagers. The main characters are generally around that same age group, struggling through their own trials to become something great later on in life. Naruto was a particularly impactful series because much of its audience grew up alongside Naruto, as he struggled along with his dream to become Hokage. So, what other shows this season could possibly have that same shounen draw? We here at Honey’s Anime have two different options for you!
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct. 2002 – Feb. 2007
Naruto is a young orphan, who has been shunned by his entire village of Konohagakure because of the demon sealed inside him. Naruto struggles to gain respect from his fellow shinobi and the rest of the villagers. Yet he continues to dream that one day, he could become the Hokage of his village! Thanks to his resilience and determination to never give up, Naruto begins to win people over one by one. This hyperactive knucklehead of a ninja might just very well achieve his dream – if he can grow up a bit first!
Liked Naruto? Watch Black Clover!
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct. 2017 – Sep. 2018
Three Major Similarities Between Naruto and Black Clover
1. Friendly Rivalry Between Main Characters
A big part of what pushes Naruto forward in his quest to become Hokage is his rival/teammate/friend, Sasuke Uchiha. While Naruto is overly friendly and somewhat foolish, Sasuke is a brooding, mysterious and talented shinobi. Yet despite their opposite personalities, Naruto quickly realizes that Sasuke is the same as he is – an orphan downtrodden by the people around them. After being part of Team 7 together for a while, the two develop a friendship, although they still fight and argue with one another. And when Sasuke leaves for an extended amount of time, Naruto does whatever he can to find his friend and bring him back to Konoha.
Asta also has a rival/friend in his fellow orphan Yuno – and the parallels don’t stop there! Like Naruto, Asta also has a very outgoing, loud and determined personality. And like Sasuke, Yuno is quiet, mysterious, and quite gifted with magic. The two boys from Black Clover even look similar to their counterparts from Naruto! Most importantly, Asta and Yuno have friendship and respect for one another, despite their differences in strength and disposition. No matter how much they might be competing with one another to become Wizard King, Asta and Yuno will always have each other’s back in the end.
2. The Journey Starts at Pathetic
Everyone looks down on Naruto not only for the Nine-Tailed demon inside of him, but also because he begins his journey as an absolutely terrible ninja. He can’t even make a simple Shadow Clone without messing it up! Yet, as Naruto learns and trains more, he grows more powerful. The same is true of Asta, who begins his journey with no magic at all and no hope of ever obtaining a grimoire of his own. Fortunately, Asta does receive his own grimoire, and as he continues to train with it, he grows stronger! Naruto and Asta also share an interesting basis for their strength, as they both draw power from unusual demonic forces. Naruto is able to use Kyuubi’s power to help him in battle, while Asta’s five-clover grimoire is rumored to harness the power of a demon.
3. Never Give Up!
Asta has always been looked down on, due to his poor social status and his inability to use any sort of magic. Yet, despite the world telling him that he is worth nothing, Asta has never given up, fighting with every step to make his own way in life. In this manner, he earns the respect of a few around him, beginning with his friend/rival Yuno. Even with his village and other onlookers doubting him, Asta always says that he is not done yet and fights twice as hard to get to where others are. Although Asta can be loud and obnoxious at times, he is able to strive toward his goal in his own way, making progress little by little due to his determination.
Naruto is the exact same way in his approach to achieving his dreams, in that he never gives up, no matter how hard it gets. From the very first episode, we can see Naruto struggling against the hatred of those around him. Yet, despite this, he keeps training, never being ashamed to tell everyone around him that he will one day become the Hokage!
Liked Naruto? Watch UQ Holder!: Mahou Sensei Negima! 2
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2017
Touta Konoe has lived a relatively quiet life in the tiny village where he grew up, far away from the troubles of the world. Yet, everywhere else, there have been massive changes since magic was discovered. Touta is unaware of these drastic changes, focusing on his day-to-day life with his good friends and his magic-wielding teacher. But as in all cases, the peace of solitude cannot last. Events unfold, and Touta must set out on an adventure unlike any other!
Three Major Similarities Between Naruto and UQ Holder!: Mahou Sensei Negima! 2
1. Main Character Growth
Touta is a main character who starts out at the bottom rung of strength, although he is quite smart and aggressive in battling. After his powers awaken and he begins to go through different trials, Touta gradually becomes stronger. We start to discover the truth about what Touta really is as the anime goes on, and that explanation leads to further understanding about how he is able to improve his fighting skills so much. Touta’s strength stems from a change he must undergo in order to survive, which will change his life and force him on his adventures. He will learn more about himself as his journey with his friends goes on, which strengthens him further.
Naruto’s character growth is quite similar to Touta, though he doesn’t have quite as much intelligence in combat. Naruto will grow stronger as he discovers more about himself and the Nine-Tailed fox demon that resides inside of him. Kyuubi gives Naruto a lot of advantages in battle, which helps him improve further. Like Touta, the more that Naruto learns about himself and his unique situation, the more he can learn from it. Both characters exemplify growth over time, although Touta has significantly fewer episodes to do so!
2. Mystical Forces Lie Behind Ordinary Life
In both Naruto and UQ Holder!, the main characters are gifted with extraordinary abilities, due to an unusual mystical force that is tied to them from the past. Naruto has the Nine-Tailed demon, which was sealed within him when he was just a baby. Touta was changed into a vampire after a fight leaves him dying, while he still holds a few other secrets about his identity. Both shows also focus quite a bit on the idea that people who are different, or given otherworldly strength, don’t always have to be the villain.
3. Used and Abused To Cause Strife
When Touta is given a bracelet by his teacher Tachibana, he thinks nothing of it. He doesn’t realize the danger in giving the gift to his teacher/caretaker Yukihime, and is outright tricked into helping Tachibana try to obtain Yukihime’s bounty. Touta does not realize his own past, or his own strength, and has been used by others as a scientific experiment early on in his life. This incident with Tachibana at the beginning of UQ Holder! is only one taste of the abuse that Touta has suffered so that others can get what they want.
Naruto has also suffered due to decisions that others made in his past, namely when it was decided that he would be the source of life to seal Kyuubi away. And because he doesn’t realize his own strength or the true reason why everyone hates him, he is tricked into stealing an important scroll at the very beginning of the series. Naruto will continue to suffer at the hands of those who wish to use the demon inside him, especially when the Akatsuki start to hunt him and the other Jinchuuriki down. Naruto and Touta may draw incredible strength from their powers, but they are also abused by others who wish to use those powers for their own gain.
Are you currently watching any of these shows this season? What is your favorite shounen anime? Let us know what you think in the comments below! And as always, stay tuned to Honey’s Anime for more suggestions on great new series!