A story arc focused on shounen anime’s rivalry and clashes would be a first for the genre.
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You can find comedy, sports, and romance series under the “shounen” subgenre; yet if you’re honest with yourself, the first thing that comes to mind is epic battles. It doesn’t matter if it’s one versus. one or one vs. all, anime fans love to watch the shounen genre’s renowned tournament arcs, when fists and superpowers meet.
The “Tournament Arc” allows for all of the things that make shounen stories so popular: battles, rivalries, friendships, and personal growth. There are some of the best shounen stories because of this structure, which is generally acknowledged but highly adaptable.
1. Battle City (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Yu-Gi-OhBattle !’s City Arc may not be a traditional tournament, yet it is one of the most essential tournament arc experiences. The race to obtain enough key cards is a city-wide battle royale in which duelists of various styles and backgrounds compete against one another.
To make Duel Monsters more than just a card game for kids, the arc builds on the original’s competitive element with even more mystical cards and even wild death traps. Several new and intriguing foes are facing off against some of Yu-Gi-Ohmost !’s recognizable characters as they battle for the fate of the universe.
2. Varia Arc (Katekyo Hitman Reborn!)
Many people overlook Katekyo Hitman Reborn! as a shounen suggestion since it began as a humor manga and its plot has shifted between several gimmicks ever since it first became a typical war story. Varia Arc is the best illustration of how beneficial KHR can be for people who are ready to put in the effort.
In order to defend his position as Vongola Family leader, Tsuna must gather all of his pals and turn them into fierce gangsters to combat the Vongola Family’s own assassins in a tournament-style contest. The Varia Arc kept Katekyo Hitman Reborn! fresh by putting some of anime’s most bizarre powers to the test.
3. Hunter Exams (Hunter X Hunter)
Hunter x Hunter’s first arc features a steep learning curve that will make it difficult for even the brightest of students to pass with flying colors. In addition to being an action-packed showcase, the Hunter Exam Arc serves as a basis for the series’ world-building.
In addition to establishing the characters’ friendship, Hunter x Hunter also introduces the story’s fantasy elements, noteworthy characters, and the series’ villains. With its emphasis on skill rather than brute strength, the Hunter Exam lives up to its name as a true test of a “Hunter.” It demonstrates the show’s ability to think strategically and psychologically through a variety of difficult mental tasks.
4. Sports Festival (My Hero Academia)
This year’s Sports Festival in My Hero Academia was like adding a jet fuel to an already blazing drama. Fans of anime and Japanese culture should be familiar with the concept of sports festivals, but this one uses superhero superpowers, as if children were competing in the Olympics against Spider-Man and the Hulk.
Rewatchable episodes of My Hero Academia, this arc showcased the student body of U.A. in all its glory, from their unique talents to the worst of their flaws. That wasn’t the only reason Midoriya Izuku was shown to be a hero of the highest kind.
5. The Royal Knights Selection (Black Clover)
Shonen Jump’s most popular fight series, Black Clover, has been around for decades, even before My Hero Academia. In telling its story, the author does not want to alter the course of history in any way. Shounen stories are known for their ferocity and intensity, and this novel is no exception.
When competing in the Royal Knights Selection Arc, teams must work together to defend their castles and remain the last ones standing in a huge battle royale. As a single anime character rises beyond hurdles, especially an underdog like Asta, it’s a whole new experience to watch people grow and unite for a similar purpose.
6. Owee Arc (Gintama)
It’s not necessary to turn every tournament arc into a conflict or even a meaningful drama. When all anime characters want is a little motivation, what could be better than a video game console that isn’t a knockoff of Nintendo’s popular Wii system? Odd Jobs and the Shinsengumi have limited, if any, direct contact in a competitive situation thanks to Gintama’s Owee Arcis.
It’s not uncommon for these two sets of samurai to engage in one-on-one battles, but in this arc, they must outplay each other in a series of video game parodies in order to win a new video game system.
7. Grand Magic Games (Fairy Tail)
The Grand Magic Games Arc of Fairy Tail has everything fans have come to expect from the series and the shounen genre as a whole. Fairy Tail’s fights and contests do an excellent job of supporting varied difficulties and mini-character arcs, despite the rushed nature of the lead-up.
Elfman and Laxxus, for example, are given a chance to shine and become characters that could potentially challenge Natsu in their own right. Each and every Fairy Tail character has an opportunity to indicate how excited they are about the game’s title, “Hype.”
8. 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament (Dragon Ball)
It’s not the first time that Dragon Ball has included a memorable tournament arc; the most recent was a multi-planet, multi-dimensional showcase of Dragon Ball’s most formidable combatants. But the series’ early fights have a particular enchantment and intensity that just makes them remarkable, especially in the series’ 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament.
The culmination of Son Goku’s training was put to the test against his deadliest opponent, King Piccolo’s, heir, Piccolo, Jr. in this last arc of the original anime. Just taking a step back and appreciating how far we’ve gone as a series is illuminating.
9. Chunin Exams (Naruto)
Naruto’s Chunin Exams arc was a defining moment for many viewers. It effectively demonstrated how diverse and distinct this series’ cultures and magic system are, and it drew viewers into the hardships and personalities of numerous side characters. The written portion of the test was enough to make taking a test enjoyable. ‘
It then hints at villains and rivalries, while also showing off the fantastic fight scenes that will be rewatched on YouTube for years. You should see this arc at least to see Rock Lee’s scene.
10. Dark Tournament (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Yu Yu Hakusho, one of shounen’s most influential and pioneering creators, helped establish the genre as something other than a showcase for chiseled male physiques (though it does feature Younger Togoro, one of the most muscular villains ever seen in anime). The Dark Tournament arc is a major and influential story arc in the franchise.
Everybody is gearing up for a fight that will test their wills and their strength against Yusuke Urameshi’s toughest foe yet. There aren’t only bare hands in this room. More than its action, the Dark Tournament Arc is renowned for its use of the stoic histories of its principal characters to produce emotionally riveting battles.