Shonen anime is nearly universally loved thanks to its themes such as the power of friendship, the virtues of hard work and optimism, the awesome action scenes, the solid humor, and much more. It’s no surprise that some of the most successful and enjoyable anime series, past and present, are indeed shonen.
At times, though, shonen anime can also be frustrating to watch, and this may turn viewers off. Granted, it’s a matter of opinion on what’s frustrating and what’s not in a work of fiction. But even so, it’s tough to deny that certain shonen anime series will annoy or irritate their viewers for a variety of reasons, even if those shows have a lot of merit to them otherwise.
10 Black Clover Is Generic At First
It’s true that in more recent chapters/episodes, Black Clover has become more likable and popular as a shonen series, to the point it almost rivals shonen juggernauts like My Hero Academia and Jujutsu Kaisen. Early on, though, Black Clover can be a real headache.
For one thing, this anime’s swordsman hero, Asta, is rather loud and blunt, like Inosuke and Bakugo put together. It also doesn’t help that most of this anime’s earliest storylines feel rather generic, making Black Clover a chore to watch at times. But viewers who stick around will be rewarded later.
9 Bleach Has Substantial Filler Arcs
Bleach is a hit shonen series that clearly inspired both Jujutsu Kaisen and Black Clover, but while Bleach has many strengths, it also has some flaws that make it frustrating for modern shonen viewers. To start with, most of its seasons have non-HD visuals that look cheap and fuzzy, and that’s no fun.
Worse yet is Bleach‘s terrible habit of interrupting the real story with endless fillers, and it ruins the pacing. Fans excited to watch Ichigo fight Ulquiorra, were interrupted by 12 more episodes of a completely irrelevant storyline.
8 One Piece’s Length Is Intimidating
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is known for many things, most of all its staggering length for both the manga and the anime. That’s not a terrible thing in its own right, but for plenty of casual shonen anime fans, having over 1,000 episodes to get through is simply too much.
It’s frustrating to watch dozens of episodes and realize that mostof One Piece‘s best characters and scenes are still many episodes in the future, and not everyone has the time or patience for that. It’s frustrating that there isn’t a shorter version of this story available in some form.
7 Naruto Shares Bleach’s Filler Problem
Bleach‘s friendly rival Naruto is also an outstanding shonen anime with a lot to offer, and it’s a lot of fun to watch when the anime is at its best. But alas, Naruto also has a lot of filler, and those filler episodes, unlike Bleach‘s, rarely form their own story arcs.
Overall, it’s a real hassle for a time-strapped shonen fan to dive into Naruto, only to end up spending half the time on filler, especially in Shippuden. Watching this series is already a serious commitment, and annoying fillers just make it worse.
6 Fairy Tail Is Cheesy & Has Some Filler
On the plus side, the lengthy shonen anime Fairy Tail features some great music, a wonderfully creative magic-based combat system, and many fun romantic pairings to daydream about, but oddly enough, Fairy Tail is actually too shonen for its own good. And it has a lot off filler, too.
Fairy Tail is rarely clever or deep, even when it pretends to be. The plot is disjointed, the characters feel conventional, the drama is clunky, and the fan service is excessive and exploitative by any standard. This anime is also notorious for relying too heavily on the power of friendship. At times, it becomes horribly contrived.
5 The Seven Deadly Sins Became An Eyesore
For the most part, The Seven Deadly Sins is a fun medieval fantasy-style shonen anime, and the original manga is quite popular, too. But before long, anime fans got really frustrated with The Seven Deadly Sins‘ rapidly decreasing animation quality, to the point fans mocked it as “The Seven Deadly Frames.”
Sins is a solid show, but it’s tough to appreciate that fact with iffy animation and some questionable fan service on the side. The way Meliodas treats his attractive love interest Elizabeth is more than a little creepy, and even fixing the animation quality wouldn’t make that annoying problem go away.
4 Sword Art Online Is Clunky & Tasteless
At first, Sword Art Online feels like a cool video game adventure as an early example of the isekai genre, but not only is SAO not a true isekai anime, it’s not exactly a great anime either. Fans may quickly grow tired of the series’ repetitive nature, with Kirito saving everyone with his straightforward sword skills. Cleverness rarely enters the picture.
There are other annoying issues to contend with, too. SAO treats its female cast members rather badly, and often, too. Even Asuna’s later empowerment doesn’t really help, and Kirito’s harem feels pretty ridiculous. Soon, Kirito’s digital adventure will feel far from welcoming.
3 Hunter X Hunter Was Left Hanging
For the most part, Hunter x Hunter is an outstanding shonen anime, and during its runtime, there is actually very little frustrating content. The characters are really cool, the Nen-based combat system is solid, and the humor is appealing, too. But then the final episode arrives.
What’s frustrating is that a shonen fan cannot finish Hunter x Hunter‘s story at their own pace, simply because the story itself is not finished. It’s a frustrating, awkward feeling to watch this show knowing that it will eventually be cut short like that.
2 D.Gray-Man Shares Hunter X Hunter’s Problem
Author Katsura Hoshino’s D.Gray-Man was launched in 2004 as a solid shonen manga adventure, but after all this time, it’s still not finished. The author had to take many breaks due to health concerns and other issues, meaning the manga, and its anime, are still not finished.
This makes the D.Gray-Man anime frustrating to watch for almost exactly the same reasons as Hunter x Hunter. It’s a good watch, but the mood is soured by knowing that the adventure will come to an abrupt halt at some point, like it or not.
1 Platinum End Does Many Things Wrong
Platinum End is by the same creators as Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. However, this is no Death Note 2. Instead, Platinum End begins with some intriguing ideas and them fumbles with them in disappointing, frustrating, and even disturbing ways.
For one thing, the pacifistic hero Mirai Kakehashi is boring and highly passive, meaning he rarely drives the plot forward in any way. It’s a pain watching an anime centered around such a character, and besides that, Platinum End may bother some viewers with its awkward and juvenile handling of some dark themes. Put more casually, the anime tried to be deep and edgy, but failed.
NEXT: 10 Shonen Anime That Were Better Than Expected