In case you’ve had your head under a rock for the last decade or so, superheroes are kind of a big deal right now. Yes, superheroes have always held a prominent place within popular culture but lately, they are everywhere you look and that includes within the world of anime!
One such manga turned anime that you might have heard of that deals with the superhero genre is My Hero Academia. Already up to its fifth television season (with a couple of movies just for good measure), My Hero Academia has been wowing audiences and capturing imaginations ever since the first season began airing in April 2016.
Based on a shonen manga, the series follows a young man named Izuku Midoriya who, despite living in a world filled with superpowered individuals, was born without any kind of ability or quirk. That doesn’t stop him from idolizing the number one hero, All Might, however. One day by chance, All Might witnesses the quirkless Izuku rush into a fight with a villain in order to save his friend Bakugo. This act touches All Might who shares a secret with him… he was born without a power as well and actually had his quirk passed onto him by someone else and now he’s going to bequeath it onto Izuku.
Finally blessed with the power known as One For All, Izuku enters the special UA Academy in order to train to become a professional hero just like his idol, but he’ll have many challenges and obstacles he’ll have to overcome first.
Perhaps My Hero Academia isn’t enough for you though, and you need more superhero action. Read on to find more series that will be right in your wheelhouse!
When I think of anime and superheroes together, this is the first series that pops into my mind. An original series from studio Sunrise which aired in 2011, this is a realistic take on the idea of superheroes in society with their need to take on sponsors and compete on a reality television show.
More than that, however, this is a realistic look at the human condition of growing older and realizing that you’re no longer the young hotshot you used to be. Will you accept this gracefully or will you fight it to the bitter end? That’s the choice that the main character, Wild Tiger, must make throughout the run of the series.
Samurai Flamenco is one of those shows that starts one way and by the halfway mark has transformed into another show entirely to where the initial premise is completely unrecognizable.
In this 2013 noitaminA series, the main character is a highly successful male model who worships heroes to the point where, as an adult, he decides to begin a double life as a model during the day and Samurai Flamenco at night. Unfortunately, his first night on the job goes poorly, and he has to be saved by a passing police officer who is dealing with a girlfriend who texts him constantly. This starts a bizarre partnership that will take the two of them in unexpected directions.
One of the most popular shonen superhero titles at the moment, One Punch Man is another story about an average guy who decides one day to become a superhero just for fun (as we all do from time to time) and so he starts an intense training regime. After a couple of years, however, he finds he can now defeat any enemy with only a single punch which bores him and leaves him feeling disillusioned. Will he ever be able to find a worthy adversary?
From studio Madhouse, One Punch Man initially aired in 2015 with a second season airing soon afterward in 2016. The reception to the anime has generally been positive, though the second season was also widely panned because a change in production studios meant a drop in animation quality.
While the stars of Hunter x Hunter aren’t exactly superheroes, they might as well be with how ridiculously powerful they all are, and yet no matter what happens, they always seem to find a way to get more powerful as the series progresses. Funny how that happens.
Airing for 148 episodes from 2011 to 2014, this is another series from Madhouse that managed to find its audience pretty much right away thanks to its pedigree. Originally a manga, this series actually first launched back in March 1998, but over the years has become not entirely affectionately known as “Hiatus x Hiatus” due to how often the author goes on breaks between chapters.
Another shonen series that isn’t quite superheroic but still follows the formula for creating a hit series with fans around the world. While it’s not quite as popular as its big brother Naruto, it’s still managed to find an audience around the world which is never an easy feat to pull off.
In this series, the two main characters are orphans in a fantasy world where magic means everything. Unfortunately, one of these characters (Asta) was born with no magical talent whatsoever. That’s not stopping him from working hard alongside his rival, Yuno, to achieve his dream of becoming the wizard king!
Supernatural firefighters! Hey! Public health and safety officials are totally superheroes!
One of the newer entries on this list, Fire Force, is the 2019 shonen action series about firefighters who put out supernatural fires which are causing people to spontaneously combust! This is no problem for this elite fighting force, however! Animated by David Production, this action series packs a real punch!
Another series about supernatural teenagers with amazing powers, this 2008 series from studio Bones features teenagers at the Shinigami Weapon Meister University who are all attempting to capture darkened souls in order to turn their weapon/partner into an all-powerful Death Scythe.
This series captured the imaginations of a large swath of an anime generation in one fell swoop. I mean seriously, when this series was airing I was attending an anime club (kids, ask your parents) and the president of that club was practically begging me to watch this series with him.
This is the series that is unlike any other on this list but deserves to be here all the same as this series isn’t really about superheroes but normal teenagers who happen to have superpowers that will eventually disappear. One teenager who is using his power in order to live life to the fullest is Yuu Otosaka. One day, however, he is confronted by a girl at his school named Nao who wants him to use his power to help other teenagers.
While the final episode of this series leaves something to be desired, the journey to get there is a solid one filled with a lot of strong emotional story beats. If you skipped this P.A. Works series when it aired in the summer of 2015, it’s worth going back to check this one out.
Running for 52 episodes from fall 2001 to 2002, Cyborg 009 is the outlier on this list as the characters in this series weren’t born with their powers but were kidnapped and experimented on by a mad scientist backed by an evil organization. Having escaped from captivity, these nine people must band together to use their powers to defeat the evil organization that did this to them before they can do it to anyone else!
Did you know that Stan Lee is a bonafide anime character?
In this series, the main character is a kid named Joey Jones (Yeah, I know… just ignore it) who keeps getting made fun of by the rich kids at his school until one day when a bolt of lightning turns a toy that he found in the trash into a hulking behemoth that he can use to defeat enemies who threaten his hometown.
And there you have it, ten series that are similar to My Hero Academia that you can watch right now to get your superpower fix! Do you have any suggestions that we missed?