Dragon Ball Z is one of the best fighting shounen anime series out there. With its long-running reputation that’s been growing since its previous series, it’s always had a loyal fandom and huge success following it wherever it goes. The series is certainly long and, if you’ve finished one, you’d have no problem continuing with its various spinoffs.
But, rather than going in and watching the same thing, there’s a variety of anime like Dragon Ball Z and many are just as good. Anime series that are about epic battles, long journeys, friendship, and getting stronger is what the shounen brand is usually all about. So, we’ve found some of the top anime similar to Dragon Ball Z! Here are 12 you should consider watching.
- The Seven Deadly Sins
We love that Dragon Ball Z is a fighting shounen that still has great characters. If you’re looking for something that has more diversity among the personalities as well as a blend of both battle and character-driven plot, you should take a look at The Seven Deadly Sins. Elizabeth is a young princess looking to save her land by engaging the fabled Seven Deadly Sins and she’s finally found one named Meliodas. Together, they travel on a journey to get the group back together and help her save her kingdom.
2. One Piece
If you’re ready for a long haul, which you should be if you’re caught up on anything from the Dragon Ball series, you should make One Piece your next big adventure! Another classic shounen that features a fun-loving lead and plenty of comedy, it’s one of the longest anime and manga series out there. Follow Monkey D. Luffy as he journeys with his crew to become the King of the Pirates! There are plenty of amazing fight scenes, well-thought-out arcs, and incredible character development.
3. One Punch Man
There are three important things to know about Dragon Ball Z: everyone has huge muscles, they all possess incredible powers, and the fights are insane. Most people who watch this shounen enjoy it because of those exact reasons, so if you’d like another popular show within the same context, then One Punch Man is your best bet. Much like what the name suggests,, Saitama has been training to be a hero for years to the point that he’s not only lost his hair but has also become incredibly powerful. The show consists of exciting battles with a little bit of comedy sewn in!
If you loved Dragon Ball Z, you’re going to love Naruto. The show features a loud, exuberant lead that loves to get in trouble, so you’ll probably see some similar traits between Naruto and Goku. And if that weren’t enough, there are plenty of amazing fight scenes, as is part of the appeal to the shounen series. Naruto is the host of the horrific Nine Tails beast; his entire village seems to look down on him because of it. But he’s determined to be the best ninja he can be! If you love a tale of trial and endurance, this is definitely for you.
5. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Everyone loves characters that are hopelessly optimistic and run headfirst into danger; that’s what makes Goku such a wonderful character in the first place. Hunter x Hunter has much of the same kind of fearlessness that we see in Gon. Gon is determined to be a hunter; a deadly profession that requires him to take an extremely difficult exam with a low success rate. But, he’s on a mission to find his lost father and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
6. Mobile Fighter G Gundam
Old school anime is always the best and, if you’re looking for something that’s a little older and has the same kind of vibes as Dragon Ball Z, you should consider watching Mobile Fighter G Gundam. With a little more futuristic vibes than Dragon Ball Z, this Gundam series takes place in the space colonies that orbit Earth. Domon Kashuu has been chosen to represent his nation in a tournament that takes place every four years to determine who will have dominance over all the other colonies. However, his motivations are not to become famous and victorious but rather to find his brother who’s been blamed for the death of his parents.
7. Kill la Kill
Dragon Ball Z is all about the epic fight scenes and the knowledge that you can beat your opponent if you try hard enough; being pushed to your absolute limits is a must. This same kind of adversity is found in Kill la Kill, which also proved to be widely popular. Ryuuko Matoi’s father was murdered and the only lead she has is the half of the scissor blade he created. She arrives at Honnouji Academy, ready to get some answers and perhaps even revenge. While the storylines are very different, there’s still a supernatural element to both and the fight scenes are both very good.
8. Dragon Warrior: Legend of the Hero Abel
A classic 90s anime that was based on the game Dragon Quest III, Dragon Warrior is the same art style and general type of shounen that Dragon Ball Z was. The show is similar to the original game’s storyline but with a few minor changes. Tialah has been gifted the Red Stone but is soon kidnapped by the evil Baramos, who is hoping to use the stone to grant him eternal life by resurrecting The Great Dragon. Abel has sworn to save her and is gifted the Blue Stone, which can seal the Dragon.
9. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Ridiculously sized muscles are kind of iconic for Dragon Ball Z, but there are even bigger muscles out there in the world of anime. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more humorous but still holds the same kind of fighting style, and yes, even bigger muscle size, check out Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. When Jojo’s adoptive brother Dio decides he wants to claim the Joestar house for his own, the two become enemies that triggers a chain of events throughout the entire series. Between the supernatural elements, consistent fighting, and insane strength, you’ll definitely find this show entertaining!
10. Yu Yu Hakusho
If you liked anything from the original Dragon Ball series to Dragon Ball Z, you’re going to love Yu Yu Hakusho. Both have supernatural elements and are classic shounen series. Yusuke is a young man that’s died well before his time. He receives a second chance at life, but only if he becomes a detective for the spirit world.
11. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is certainly a well-known shounen series that appeals to most fans. If you like fantasy-genre anime, action, or even a little bit of romance here and there, it’s one you should consider adding to your watch list. Much like Dragon Ball Z, this show has well-developed characters and interesting power systems that make the fights worth watching. Lucy is a Celestial Spirit Mage hoping to join the legendary Fairy Tail guild. By chance, she meets Natsu, a fellow magic user that’s a little too rollicking for his own good.
A classic shounen anime that everyone has at least heard about, Bleach is the next trek into anime you should start after making your way through Dragon Ball Z. While the two are distinguished in terms of art and story, they’re both extremely satisfying to watch in terms of fighting and their entertaining villains. The story in Bleach follows a young man named Ichigo Kurosaki who finds himself becoming a substitute for a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. The plot thickens as more characters come into play, but it’s definitely a staple anime worth your time.