With the success of animated series for both Batman and Superman, DC Comics and Warner Brothers worked together to update the Justice League for the 21st century. The result was the 2001-2003 Justice League cartoon followed by Justice League Unlimited. Both aired on Cartoon Network.
Its combination of action, humor, and teamwork isn’t just for fans of the American superhero genre. It’s also for those interested in shonen anime. This sub-genre of animated shows focuses on the same themes for young male adolescents.
10 My Hero Academia Is the Most Logical Choice
Where the first Justice League focuses on the core team, Unlimited brings in nearly all the superheroes in the DCAU. Additionally, it’s a training ground for some of the younger heroes who are asked to join. This theme fits nicely with that of My Hero Academia.
One of the most popular shonen of the 21st century focuses on Izuku Midoriya, a young man who doesn’t have a metahuman power called a Quirk. Despite this, he gains the admiration of All Might, a Superman-like hero, after he rescues a classmate. From there, he’s inducted into U.A. High School to begin his education in superheroics.
9 Dragon Ball Z Features Teamwork
Justice League is about teamwork. Regardless if it’s in small groups or the entire membership, one is backed up by another. No one is left behind.
It’s the same in Dragon Ball Z. In this sequel series to the original Dragon Ball, Goku is now an adult with a son named Gohan. Along with his friends and allies, they battle aliens like Vegeta and supernatural beings. All in the course of leaving no one in harm’s way.
8 Voltron: The Legendary Defender Is All About Heroism
Netflix’s Voltron: The Legendary Defender has plenty of shonen elements to it. It’s also similar to the themes of Justice League. In other words, the series fits into several categories.
Voltron is all about teamwork. After all, if the group doesn’t work together, they can’t form the giant, galaxy-saving robot. So, despite their differences outside of the Lions, they need to pull together to battle the greater forces of evil.
7 Fire Force Are Fighters Against Evil
In Justice League, evil is found in many places. It can be in the open through creatures like Darkseid. Or, it can be hidden in individuals like Lex Luthor. However, when it rears its ugly head, the League is there to extinguish it.
The team of firefighters in Fire Force literally extinguish evil. They live in a dystopian society where people called Infernals spontaneously burst into flame. It’s the job of Company Eight to block them from hurting others as well as protecting the rest of society from the next generation of these creatures called Demons.
6 Soul Eater Is The Darker Side of Justice League
Justice League has moments of darkness. Particularly in the first season of United when an underlying group attempts to discredit the team. Fans of these episodes would enjoy the moodier themes of Soul Eater.
Instead of a group comprised of people with superpowers, the individuals with unique abilities transform into powerful weapons. These are handled by their meisters. Together, some of the heroes of Soul Eater are unstoppable.
5 Fairy Tail Has A Vast Cast Like Justice League Unlimited
Fans enjoyed Justice League Unlimited because of the enormous cast of characters. On top of the founding members, team members came from the International version of the team, the Outsiders, and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Those who like this Justice League iteration would also enjoy Fairy Tail.
Instead of superhero teams, the characters of this shonen anime are members of wizarding guilds. It starts with Natsu Dragneel, who has the powers of a dragon, and Lucy Heartfilia, a celestial wizard. Eventually, they form a team with a flying cat, an ice wizard, and a knight with magical armor. As Fairy Tail continued, the cast of good and bad wizards continued to increase.
4 Pokemon Features Its Own Rogues Gallery
Pokemon is a unique shonen anime. First, the combined series has run for over two decades. Second, during this time, the show has developed its share of regular villains. In turn, Ash Ketchum and his friends continually face a familiar rogues gallery.
The same is said for the heroes of Justice League. Individually, they have their own rogues galleries. Together, they tend to face the same evildoers in the form of Luthor, Brainiac, and Darkseid.
3 The Seven Deadly Sins Delves Into Wonder Woman-Like Mythologies
The American superhero genre has delved heavily into mythology. Heroes like Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Thor regularly enter this world. Therefore, fans of the Amazonian Princess and the Big Red Cheese would enjoy The Seven Deadly Sins.
The main protagonist is Meliodas, a seemingly young man who once captained a group of knights called the Deadly Sins. In reality, he’s a 3,000-year-old demon that starts a Holy War. Like Justice League Unlimited, this anime has dozens of cast members.
2 Naruto Is About Fighting For Justice No Matter Your Power
There’s an underdog element to Justice League. Despite their enormous power, there’s an underlying mistrust among the public. Thus, they need to do their job without seeming to look like they want to take over. In other words, they don’t want to become the Justice Lords.
Naruto has this underdog feeling as well. The shonen anime features a character who is scorned by his village because he is the holder of Nine-Tails, a powerful fox that originally attacked his village. He maintains hold of this evil while simultaneously showing the village’s population that he’s a good person who wants to protect them.
1 Yu Yu Hakusho Is Heroes Duking It Out With Villains
The oldest shonen anime on this list, Yu Yu Hakusho is the one most similar to Justice League. It’s about a team of heroes who battle evildoers to retrieve needed artifacts. The main character, Yusuke, was a delinquent who, in a burst of altruism, sacrifices himself to save another.
That’s what the League does regularly. They end up sacrificing themselves to save innocents. Flash did this in Unlimited when he became the Speed Force to destroy a Luthor-Brianaic hybrid.
NEXT: 5 Key Differences Between Shonen & Seinen Anime (& 5 Similarities)
10 Fan-Favorite Anime Characters Who Were Killed Off Way Too Soon
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