Everyone seems to have a favorite shonen anime, whether it is an old classic like Dragon Ball or a recent release like My Hero Academia. Fans cannot seem to get enough of scrappy heroes overcoming the odds and winning the day. Though many great anime with these types of stories exist, some shows get even better after the first season.
These anime may have great first seasons, but once they get past the lore and world-building, their stories really take off. With characters coming into their own, and villains posing more of a threat, second seasons and beyond tend to be more exciting and action-packed. The first seasons of these shows are good, but it is the latter seasons that make them great.
10 Dr. Stone
Dr. Stone is a quasi-isekai anime where the characters are petrified, only to reawaken in a primitive future. Tasked with surviving their new world, Senku Ishigami and his friends work together to create scientific advancements that will greatly improve their chances of survival. Each new project Senku involves himself in is fascinating to watch.
Fans are even further rewarded with more elaborate schemes in subsequent seasons as Senku finds human enemies. The story is compelling because the protagonist is not the strongest character, but his kindness and intelligence speak volumes. Fans cannot wait to see the scientific adventures that await Senku and the Kingdom of Science as new episodes have recently been released.
9 Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon is a wholesome show about a city boy who attends an agricultural high school. Wanting a change of pace from his high-pressure middle school, Yuugo Hachiken works hard to learn the ways of farming and raising livestock. The first season focuses on Hachiken coming to terms with some harsh realities of the agricultural world, as well as his discovery of equestrianism.
The second season, on the other hand, shows Hachiken falling into pace with the other students. He finds particular passions in raising pigs, creating his own pizza oven, and horse riding. Although he began as a fish-put-of-water, the second season shows that he belongs with the rest of his hardworking classmates learning about farm life and enjoying the benefits of hard work.
Toradora! is an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story that follows Ryuuji Takasu and tsundere Taiga Aisaka. Though they begin their unconventional friendship as a way to get closer to their crushes, the second season reveals that there is more brewing beneath the surface of their relationship.
Toradora! is a heartwarming and hilarious tale that shows young love blossoming in the most unexpected of places. Taiga and Ryuuji are a fun pair to watch, but their chemistry truly heats up in the second season. The drama, romance, and tension are all amped up for the second part of the story, making fans fall even more in love with Toradora!'s quirky story.
7 Food Wars
Fans who love battle shonen are in for a treat with Food Wars. The show follows newcomer Soma Yukihira as he takes the culinary world by storm. His use of everyday ingredients turns the gourmet world upside down and introduces new flavors to his friends and judges.
The first season shows off Soma's talents well enough, but later episodes allow more people to shine. The dishes that the students produce become more elaborate and have deeper meanings than simply preparing food. The show becomes a touching reminder about the meaning of passion and how differences in artistic vision make life worth living.
Naruto is a now classic shonen about a group of young ninjas training to be the best shinobi they can be. This is especially true for Naruto Uzumaki, who is not only trying to prove himself to his village, but also attempting to rule it as the Hokage someday. It is a fun show that is perfect for beginners.
The following seasons, though, have a lot to offer. Not only do the characters grow and become more proficient in their crafts, but later seasons also spend time focusing on the characters' human sides. With an ever-growing threat from villains like the Akatsuki clan, Naruto does whatever it takes to create a tale worth watching.
5 My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia turns the superhero genre on its head by giving the entire human race superpowers. That is except for the protagonist Izuku Midoriya. The first season is all about Izuku's journey to get accepted into the Hero Program at a prestigious high school, while training to use a Quirk he was given by his personal hero, All Might.
However, after the second season debuts, situations heat up. There is a tournament arc, plus increasingly more sinister villains enter the show. The already existing evildoers grow stronger as well. As the anime progresses, Midoriya and his friends are truly put to the test to see if they have what it takes to be heroes.
4 Demon Slayer
Tanjiro and Nezuko Kamado become demon slayers for one sole purpose: To destroy the man who killed their family. The Kamado siblings spend the rest of their upbringing either in the care of a swordsman or fighting demons alongside their new colleagues.
Though the first season of Demon Slayer was a great way to set up the story and show some action, the better parts of the anime come in later seasons. Fans get to see Tanjiro awaken more breathing techniques and even Nezuko develops a superpower of her own. Demon Slayer is not only exciting but beautiful, with more Hashira and their breathing styles shown in brilliant display thanks to the gorgeous animation.
3 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure follows generations of the Joestar family as they come across supernatural villains. The first season focuses on Jonathan Joestar and the origins of the dastardly DIO Brando. It is a tense and climactic show, yet the first season does not have the same style as those after it.
Each new Joestar brings something new and interesting to the titular role. Jonathan was just a man betrayed by his friend. Each new JoJo has a style and personality that no fan forgets. This is a bombastic series that started rather humbly considering what the anime is like now.
2 Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan is an anime about the horrors of war and uncertainty. Seemingly the only group of humans left on the planet, the civilization behind walls Rose, Maria, and Sina are met with a frightening reality one day when their stronghold is breached by abnormal Titans. The first season is full of intense battles and heartbreaking moments as everyone either dies or loses someone important to them.
With season two, though, fans finally start to get a glimpse of what is really going on. The people of Paradis realize that not only are they not the only humans, but the Titans were once human as well. The intrigue grows with each subsequent season, making it a much more thoughtful watch than a straightforward battle shonen.
1 Assassination Classroom
Assassination Classroom is an offbeat story about a tentacled monster who purports to have destroyed the moon. He threatens that he will do the same to the Earth in one year, but wants to teach troubled middle schoolers in the meantime. Although the Japanese government is reluctant to acquiesce, they soon take his request to their advantage, creating the titular class of young assassins.
The first season focuses heavily on the students trying to kill their teacher as they were tasked to do. Subsequent seasons, however, show a new side to the tentacled teacher. Korosensei turns out to be a fantastic educator who knows what each student needs, and cares for them as if they were his own children. These sequel seasons show that monsters should not always be taken at face value.