Dragon Ball is a manga by Akira Toriyama loosely based on the story Sun Wukong, a character from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. It was published from 1984 to 1995 and collected 42 volumes The anime adaptation is divided into two distinct parts: Dragon Ball focuses on the youth of Son Goku, while Dragon Ball Z chronicles his adventures when he reaches adulthood. With more than 300 million copies sold, it is one of the best-selling manga worldwide.
Dragon Ball became a massive hit around the world and to honor its legacy, here is a list of the best anime series like Dragon Ball that every fan needs to see. The list is going to include a total of 20 different titles which resemble the Dragon Ball anime in one way or the other.
Original Run: October 3, 2002 – March 23, 2017
Number of Episodes: 720
The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around the age of twelve. Orphan dunce and great prankster, he does all possible stupid things to get noticed. His dream: to become the best Hokage in order to be recognized by the inhabitants of his village. Indeed, the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within him has fueled the fear and contempt of the other villagers, who, over time, no longer differentiate between Kyūbi and Naruto.
Despite this, Naruto trains hard in order to become genin, the first level among ninjas. After failing the genin exam 3 times, he finally manages to receive his Konoha forehead protector. He is then included in a team of three ninja apprentices, with Sakura Haruno and the talented Sasuke Uchiha who wants to avenge the people dear to him, by killing his brother Itachi Uchiha.
Shortly after, they meet their jōnin (upper-class ninja), the one who will take care of their training: the mysterious Kakashi Hatake. At first feared and despised by his peers, Naruto will gradually rise in power and gain the respect and affection of the villagers’ thanks, in particular, to the battles he will win against the most powerful enemies of Konoha.
2. One Piece
Original Run: October 20, 1999 – present
Number of Episodes: 1011
Twenty-two years after Gol D. Roger’s execution, the interest in the One Piece treasure is waning. Many have given up on it, some even wonder if it really exists. Although pirates are still a threat to the locals, the Navy has become more effective in countering their attacks on all four seas: East Blue, North Blue, West Blue, and South Blue.
However, this change did not deter Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy, from wanting to become the successor to the legendary Roger. He will thus set off on an adventure, giving himself the first objective of creating a crew in order to reach the Grand Line sea, where the fever of the “great wave of piracy” continues to rage, and where many big names in the piracy are in pursuit of the One Piece, supposed to be on the last island of this great sea, Laugh Tale.
Original Run: October 5, 2004 – present
Number of Episodes: 366
The 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki has had the ability to see ghosts since childhood. One day he meets the shinigami Rukia Kuchiki who is hunting a hollow. Seriously injured during the fight, she is forced to transfer her powers to Ichigo to defeat the hollow in her stead. Until Rukia recovers, Ichigo must now do the work of a shinigami.
Rukia enrolls at Ichigo’s school and moves into his closet. Over time, the two become friends. Since Rukia Kuchiki has exceeded her stay in the human world, Rukia is forcibly returned to Soul Society by her stepbrother, the commander of the 6th Division of the Gotei 13, Byakuya Kuchiki, and his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, where all deceased souls, including the Shinigami reside.
Due to transferring her Shinigami powers to a human, which is a serious offense, she is sentenced to have her soul wiped out. Desperate to save Rukia, Ichigo allows himself to be trained by Kisuke Urahara, who runs a business that sells products for spiritual beings and is an exceptionally battle-hardened former commander of the 12th Division.
So, together with his friends and schoolmates Yasutora “Chad” Sado and Orihime Inoue, who also have special powers, and the Quincy Uryū Ishida, he sets out for Soul Society, where trying to save Rukia leads to confrontations with powerful Shinigami.
In the process, a plot planned by three captains of the Gotei 13 is uncovered that could have serious consequences, not only for Soul Society, but also for this world, whereby Karakura, the hometown of the main characters, is explicitly targeted by the conspiracy.
4. Jujutsu Kaisen
Original Run: October 3, 2020 – March 27, 2021
Number of Episodes: 24
The plot of Jujutsu Kaisen takes place in a world where plagues are created from the negative emotions of Humans. Thus, to protect places with a high concentration of these emotions such as schools or hospitals, these infrastructures have a relic, receptacle of a plague, because we can only fight against plagues with a more powerful plague.
These are invisible to human eyes except for a handful of people, for example, exorcists. The exorcist’s job is to eliminate the plagues and thus protect the people from them, but this is not without risks, because these plagues can be more or less powerful.
5. Demon Slayer
Original Run: April 6, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 44
In Taishō-era Japan, Tanjirō Kamado is the first child of a family of coal merchants whose father has died: to support the family, he sells charcoal in the village below the Mountain. Despite the difficulties of life, they manage to find little happiness in their daily lives. One day, due to rumors circulating about a man-eating demon hanging around after dark, he is forced to spend the night with a Good Samaritan in the village.
Only, everything changes on his return when he detects, thanks to his keen sense of smell, a strong smell of blood: he rushes home and finds his family massacred.
Nezuko, one of his little sisters, is the only survivor although unconscious, and Tanjirō, therefore, takes her with him, to try to bring her to a doctor who could perhaps save her: she however regains consciousness on the way and, having become a demon herself, attacks her brother but still ends up showing signs of human emotions and thoughts.
6. My Hero Academia
Original Run: April 3, 2016 – present
Number of Episodes: 113 (+ 5 OVA)
In a world where 80% of the world’s population has superpowers, here called “Quirks”, we follow the adventures of Izuku Midoriya, one of the few humans without Quirks. Despite this, Izuku still dreams of joining the super-heroic branch of the great Yuei academy and one day becoming one of the greatest heroes of his time.
One day, Izuku had the chance to meet his lifelong idol, All Might, the number 1 superhero. This one will bequeath to Izuku his Quirk, the One For All.
7. Hunter × Hunter
Original Release: October 16, 1999 – March 31, 2001 / October 2, 2011 – September 24, 2014
Number of Episodes: 62 / 148
Gon Freecss is twelve years old, and dreams of becoming a hunter. Hunters are elite citizens authorized to do almost anything they wish on simple presentation of their membership card: they can thus acquire free of charge any object for sale on the funds of the association; requisition all vehicles, accommodation, and tools for their work; and are de facto entitled to exercise all trades in the world, being able to become bounty hunters, chefs, archaeologists, zoologists, vigilantes or consultants in various fields as well.
His father, Ging Freecss, whom he does not know directly, is considered one of the greatest hunters of his time. It is also to find him that Gon wants to become a hunter.
8. Black Clover
Original Run: October 3, 2017 – March 30, 2021
Number of Episodes: 170
Black Clover follows Asta, a determined young boy who lives with his childhood friend, Yuno, in an orphanage in Clover Kingdom. From a young age, Asta’s ambition was to become the most powerful magician in the kingdom, “Emperor-Mage”, which also inspired Yuno to want the same.
But unfortunately, Asta was born without any magical talent, while Yuno has spectacular predispositions. Asta and Yuno both vow to fight for the title of Emperor Mage. As their paths separate on the Knight-Mage route, their goal is still the same: to become the next Emperor-Mage.
9. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Original Run: April 5, 2009 – July 4, 2010
Number of Episodes: 64 (+ 4 OVA)
In the country of Amestris, a country where alchemy is elevated to the rank of universal science, two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, travel the country in search of the legendary philosopher’s stone. Their father left them and their mother, Trisha Elric, died a few years later of an illness, leaving her two young children behind.
Sometime later, the two brothers try to bring her back thanks to alchemy, defying the law which formally prohibits human transmutation. They will pay a heavy price. Edward, the eldest, will lose his left leg, his little brother his whole body. Ed will sacrifice his right arm by sealing the soul of his little brother Alphonse in armor.
Edward decides to enlist in the army at the age of 12 as a State Alchemist, passes the exam with flying colors, and obtains his alchemist name: Fullmetal. Helped by Edward’s state alchemist status, the two brothers will seek, at the risk of their lives, the stone that will give them back what they have lost, but the secret of the philosopher’s stone is well kept.
10. Fairy Tail
Original Run: October 12, 2009 – September 29, 2019
Number of Episodes: 328
The story focuses mainly on the missions carried out by one of the teams of the Fairy Tail guild, composed of Natsu Dragnir (fire dragon hunter), Lucy Heartfilia (constellationist), and Happy (an Exceed, blue cat that can be done appear wings, fly and speak), who will soon be joined by Erza Scarlett (knight mage) and Gray Fullbuster (Ice mage and later Ice demon hunter), two other members of the famous guild.
They are joined on the adventure by Carla (an Exceed white cat, like Happy), Wendy (Heavenly Dragon Slayer), and many more.
11. YūYū Hakusho
Original run: October 10, 1992 – December 17, 1994
Number of episodes: 112
Fourteen-year-old Yusuke Urameshi is the perfect thug: brawler and rebel. Yet one day he dies saving a little boy from an accident, but this child would have miraculously survived even if Yusuke hadn’t intervened. Not foreseen by the authorities of the kingdom of the dead, his sacrifice poses a problem.
This is why he is offered to come back to life, after having succeeded in proving that he is worthy of it. He then becomes a detective of the spirit world without knowing it, and is endowed with powers that will help him in his various tasks, both in the human world and in that of the spirits.
Helped by Botan, the “ferryman of souls” who settled her case at the time of her “death”, of her friend Kuwabara, and under the direction of Enma junior, the son of the Dark King in charge of the examination of souls, he is tasked with finding three demons (Goki, Hiei, and Kurama) who have stolen three relics from the world of darkness: the sword of darkness, a mirror and the ball of Gaki.
12. One-Punch Man
Original Release: October 5, 2015 – July 2, 2019
Number of Episodes: 24 + 12 OVA
Saitama is an unemployed, depressed young man with no deep purpose in his life. One day, he meets a crab man who is looking for a young boy “with a chin slit like an ass” in his words. Saitama ends up meeting this young boy and decides to save him from the crab man, whom he manages to beat with difficulty.
From then on, Saitama decides to become a superhero and trains for three years very seriously: 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and 10 km of running every day and there are no heating or air conditioning conditions. At the end of his training, “so intense that he loses his hair”, he notices that he has become so strong that he now manages to beat all his opponents with one punch.
His disproportionate strength is a source of problems for him, since he cannot find opponents of his size and is bored in his job as a hero because the fights no longer give him any sensation or adrenaline.
13. Sailor Moon
Original Run: March 7, 1992 – February 8, 1997
Usagi Tsukino is a normal fourteen-year-old, little inclined to study and sports, a little careless and a crybaby. Her life changes when she one day saves a black kitten from a group of kids. That same evening, the cat introduces herself to her as she enters from her bedroom window, tells her name is Luna, and gives her a pin.
This item gives Usagi the power to transform into Sailor Moon, the warrior of love and justice, dressed in a sailor suit and protected by the Moon. Her task, explains the cat, will be to defend the inhabitants of the Earth from the continuous attacks of the Dark Kingdom, as well as to find her companions to track down the mysterious Princess of the Moon.
The girl will be joined, one by one, by the shy and studious Ami Mizuno, who transforms into Sailor Mercury, the surly priestess Rei Hino, aka Sailor Mars, the strong and lonely Makoto Kino, who becomes Sailor Jupiter, and the sweet and beautiful Minako Aino , i.e. Sailor Venus. To help the Sailor warriors will also be added the mysterious hero in a tuxedo, Tuxedo Kamen under whose mask is hiding Mamoru Chiba, a boy with whom Usagi will fall in love.
14. Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic
Original Run: October 7, 2012 – March 30, 2014
This is the story of “Aladdin and Alibaba”. Aladdin has a djinn friend named “Ugo” who is locked in a flute. He meets “Ali Baba”, and they both decide to go on an adventure. They explore labyrinths populated by monsters and enigmas in search of precious enchanted caskets. They meet many people such as Morgiana, a young and mysterious girl, slave of a young lord, and will become a powerful trio.
15. Tenchi Universe
Original Run: April 2, 1995 – September 24, 1995
Tenchi Masaki may seem like a normal 17-year-old living in the Japanese countryside, as he still doesn’t know what awaits him in the future. When the space pirate Ryoko, pursued by two agents of the intergalactic police, ends up crashing her spaceship in the property of the temple of Tenchi’s grandfather, the boy is sucked into an adventure, which will take him into orbit in deep space and beyond.
16. Outlaw Star
Original Run: January 8, 1998 – June 25, 1998
In the future Towards Stars era, many solar systems were opened to space traffic. Among the nomadic populations, there is a small part of them who have dedicated themselves to bounty hunting, or the capture of criminals in exchange for lavish payments. Gene Starwind and little James “Jim” Hawking are two bounty hunters and are hired to protect captain Hilda, who has an android.
Melfina is the only one being able to fly a space ship called “XGP-15A II”, later nicknamed “Outlaw Star”, in which the terrible Kei Pirates are also interested. After Hilda’s death, the two space hunters and Melfina will also be joined by catgirl Aisha Clanclan and “Twilight” Suzuka, a murderous samurai.
17. Sword Art Online
Original Run: July 8, 2012 – September 20, 2020
Number of Episodes: 96
The story of Sword Art Online takes place in the year 2022, when a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing video game – VRMMORPG, for its acronym in English (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) – called “Sword Art Online” has just been released.
There, players can control their avatars just as they would their real bodies through the NerveGear, a virtual reality headset capable of stimulating their five senses through their brains. However, players find that they cannot get out of the game.
Original Run: October 7, 1997 – March 31, 1998 / 1 July 2016 – 23 June 2017
Number of Episodes: 25 / 24
Berserk tells the story of the meeting of Guts and Griffith, leader of the Falcon Troop, a band of mercenaries in the pay of the kingdom of Midland. From this meeting will be born an ambiguous friendship, but nevertheless efficient: the presence of Guts, warrior with the disproportionate sword, will quickly prove essential to the ambition of the young Griffith, swashbuckler and outstanding tactician.
The anime is thus the account of the rise and fall of the Falcon Troop, and of the relation between Guts and Griffith, particularly complex, between the relation of interest (Griffith uses the force of Guts), mutual respect ( both see each other as soldiers), and deep affection (each inexplicably needs the other’s presence).
19. The Seven Deadly Sins
Original Run: October 5, 2014 – June 23, 2021
Number of Episodes: 120 + 3 OVA
Liones, Kingdom of Britannia. The Grand Master of the Sacred Knights Zaratras was brutally murdered, and the culprits would be an order of legendary knights numbering seven in the service of the king who wanted to overthrow the throne.
Ten years later, a young girl named Elizabeth Liones goes in search of those mysterious knights who once were the pride of Liones: the Seven Deadly Sins, a group of seven great criminals chosen by the king himself, to foil a schemed plot by the sacred knights against royalty. It was then that she ran aground at the Boar Hat, a tavern owned by a little boy with his pig Hawk.
Original run: October 16, 2000 – September 13, 2004 / October 3, 2009 – March 29, 2010
Number of episodes: 167 + 26
Japan, at the time of countries at war, was known as Sengoku (before 1600). In these times, humans live alongside “Youkai” or “Mononoke” (also called “demons” or “monsters” or “spirits”). These have different powers and appearances and are very varied; however, most share the same thing in common: the envy of human flesh.
This is why they regularly attack the villages and why the humans are all afraid that one of them will attack theirs. Inu-Yasha is a hanyō, that is to say, a being half-demon, half-human.
One day, he attacks the village protecting the pearl of Shikon, then steals it and runs away. The Pearl of Shikon (her real name is Shikon No Tama) would possess unimaginable powers, including greatly increasing the powers of the demon who possesses it. Inu-Yasha, meanwhile, wants to use this power to transform into a full-fledged demon.