Shonen anime that was originally bombed but became cult classics

Not everyone grew up with it Dragon Ball Z, Narutoor One pieceOutside of the older generations, however, it’s difficult to find those who missed out. This Shinen anime Classics are everywhere, to the point where even those who have thoroughly underinvested can know about them through osmosis. dragon ball did the Shy Muscle Bros. Naruto has the ninja with the really bright orange pants to help him be stealthy. One piece has broken new ground in the rap genre.

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Still, there are some lesser-known gems that go with it. Kinnikuman got only one toy line outside of Japan and paved the way for its better known successor, Ultimate Muscle. Jojo’s bizarre adventure took 25 years to transcend its native land to become more than “that weird Capcom game OVA”. Then there are these amazing shonen anime series that didn’t set the world on fire, but sparked a spark among fans that still burns.


5 Berserker ’97 was rough and cut down

vocation berserk A ‘Shonen’ series is like a phone call Lord of the rings a fairy tale. Guts’ backstory alone as part of the Band of the Hawk (the “Golden Age” arc) is far more expansive than the average superhero or fantasy show. However, the 1997 TV series adaptation was a much toned down affair compared to the manga. Key characters and plot points have been trimmed or cut out to save time or improve ratings. Animation is also fairly limited, which the show sidesteps with dramatic stills and watercolor imagery.

Although its violent and sexual content has been lightened, it’s still a chilling show, which is perhaps why it remained a one-season wonder. It’s also still moving, captivating and shocking. Susumu Hirakawa’s score is particularly soulful and fits the series so well that he would add something to it later berserk adjustments. However, these later works were more mixed with the So-So Golden Age trilogy Movies and the notoriously choppy CG shows of 2016-2017. So far to see berserk animated, and despite its shortcomings, the 1997 series remains at the top of the list.

4 Kuroko’s basketball wasn’t a slam dunk

An easy way to be overlooked is to be even vaguely close to a much larger series. Kuroko’s basketball is a familiar story to anyone interested in sports literature. Seirin High School students want to be Japan’s top school basketball team, especially when they have top player Taiga Kagami on the team. Not to mention the title character, Tetsuya Kuroko, who took his middle school to the top as part of her “Generation of Miracles.”

It was received fairly positively, and the show lasted 75 episodes, won 4 movies, and a light novel series. So it didn’t necessarily bomb. However, it was overshadowed by the better-known basketball anime slam dunk. His manga was voted the best manga of all time at the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006, and it’s still faring badly Demon Hunter and One piece in polls today. Kuroko’s basketball is still fun and features an anime version of the sport as slam dunkThe realism. It’s just that sometimes being second best isn’t enough.

3 Outlaw Star Lived in the shadow of Bebop

Speaking of second best, outlaw star followed Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking on odd jobs across the universe. Since then, thanks to faster-than-light technology, humans have spread throughout the universe, so there is always something to do at one point or another. Things take a turn when they snag a ship, the eponymous Outlaw Star, and continue on its quest to discover the galactic ley line: a source of great treasure, knowledge, and power. The show received two light novels and a spin-off called angel left.

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A watered-down version of it was known to have been running on Toonami and Adult Swim at the time. Then, around the same time, those blocks aired another Space Western with a similar “odd jobs” premise. It was called Cowboy Bebop. The two shows are only superficially similar since outlaw star was more of a lively sci-fi romp compared to the moodier, more dramatic bebop. Quiet, bebop was more unique in style and typeface and has thus prevailed star. Quiet, star found love in Starwind itself thanks to its lighter tone and charming protagonist.

2 The Shaman King stumbled twice

It’s one thing to lay alongside bigger shows and another to do it twice. Shaman King was about Yoh Asakura who aimed to win the Shaman Battle Tournament, channel the power of the Great Spirit, become the titular king, and reshape the world. It received a 52-episode anime adaptation in 2001, shown on Foxbox, where it gained some fans, though not enough to really catch on. It was an odd fit next Sonic X and Kirby: Right back at Ya!

Then the show came back in 2021. She re-adapted the manga into a new series of 52 episodes and ran until April 2022, with an international version available on Netflix. This time it was more accurate to the manga, although fans and critics felt the storytelling was better in the 2001 series. From slats next to Narutoto bleach next to Boruto, poor Yoh can’t take a break. Quiet, Shaman King has its fans, and they were enough to give the series an upcoming 2021 sequel. Maybe Yoh’s still having his day after all.

1 Knights of the Zodiac found love elsewhere

Better known in Japan as Holy Seiyathe franchise was a huge success in its home country and has received in Shonen jump back in 1986. Seiya’s adventures with the Bronze Saints received a 114-episode anime, a 31-episode OVA, a sequel, several films, and spin-off comics. However, this fame never reached the United States. DIC, ADV Films, New Video, and Netflix have brought the original anime over in various forms throughout its 36+ year history, and none of them have really caught on in English. That didn’t mean his success stopped at Japan’s shores, however.

The show reached Spain and Latin America and became a huge hit. It stood next to shows like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon as an anime staple in those countries and even surpassed it in others. Why was it so well received? It helped that the show wasn’t as censored or awkwardly edited as its English-language equivalent. The Spanish and Portuguese dubbings were also considered high quality, with the late Mexican actor Jesús Barrera being particularly well remembered. While it’s a cult hit at best among English speakers, it’s legendary among Spaniards, Mexicans, Brazilians and more.

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TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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