Sequel to Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Super is one of the top fighting shounen anime series out there. With its long-running reputation that’s been growing since its previous series, it’s always had a loyal fanbase and immense success following it wherever it goes. The series is certainly long and, if you’ve finished one, you’d have no problem continuing with its various spinoffs.
But, rather than going in and watching the same thing, there’s a variety of anime like Dragon Ball Z and many are equally as good if not more. Anime series that are about epic battles, long journeys, friendship, and getting stronger is what the shounen brand is usually all about. Here are the top 10 anime series like Dragon Ball Super that you should watch.
My Hero Academia
Dragon Ball Z is all about heroes using their awesome martial arts and ki abilities to protect the world from villains. The Z Fighters have their own costumes, just as the villains do. With costumed heroes and villains using superpowers, DBZ is basically just one big superhero drama. By far the most popular superhero anime is My Hero Academia. The villains are perfectly over-the-top, the fight scenes are out of this world, and the hair has plenty of spiky tips. While it is quite distinctly its own thing and has a quirky approach to superpowers, MHA is something most Dragon Ball Z fans will love.
Jojo’s Bizzare Adventures
Whatever else can be said about it, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has certainly earned the word ‘Bizzare’ in its name. But that is one reason it works so well. Its characters, fight scenes, and art is all wonderfully eclectic, and it remains thoroughly original.
No anime will ever do martial arts ki attacks quite like Dragon Ball Z, so Jojo’s goes in a different direction. Using psychic and spiritual manifestations in the battle sequences, it creates the same sort of superpowered action that fans will love, but in an all-new way.
The most popular and well-reputed entry on this list, Naruto is the story of the titular ninja hero who has the spirit of the legendary Nine-Tailed Fox sealed away within him. While on the surface it seems quite different from Dragon Ball Z, both anime have a number of elements in common, including epic action scenes, visually stunning energy attacks, and spiky-haired protagonists who dress in orange and never stop eating.
Beyond the martial arts fantasy, what makes Naruto such a great series is that its protagonist is earnest, a little naive, and determined to overcome great obstacles–all qualities he has in common with Son Goku.
Bleach follows the character Ichigo Kurosaki, a boy who has the powers of a Soul Reaper, which he gains after meeting the Shinigami woman Rukia Kuchiki. Throughout the show, the two hunt malevolent spirits called Hollows. As will soon become apparent, this series has a lot in common with the final entry on the list. With supernatural monsters and characters who gain the fantastic powers necessary to defeat them, Bleach has a maturity to it that doesn’t feel the need to dwell in grimdark misery, allowing it to simultaneously be fun and serious in its narrative. There is also a reverence for the dead. A thing that is rare among anime with plots centered on fighting spirits with magic weapons.
It is rare that a series can simultaneously balance contemporary perspectives with stories set in the distant past, but this shonen anime does it masterfully! Set in the Warring States Period of Japan, the show follows the high school girl Kagome Higurashi who traveled back in time, where she encountered the half-demon Inuyasha. Most of the series follows the two traveling across the demon-filled lands of feudal Japan as they hunt shards of a shattered mystic gemstone.
The mix of action, fantasy, horror, and romance offers something for everyone. However, it is the hunt for shards of a mystic artifact that will feel most familiar to anime fans whose favorite show involves the search for seven Dragon Balls.
There were two major anime that dominated the 90s: Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. Some people have simplified these by suggesting that one series is for boys and the other is for girls, and on a superficial level there is some truth to this, but at a deeper look it’s clear both shows are excellent and have a universal appeal.
As the most famous magical girls anime of all time (and one of the first animated shows to feature a large cast of LGBTQ+ characters), Sailor Moon is historically significant. More importantly here, the show’s story, action, and humor all will resonate with fans of Dragon Ball Z.
This fantasy series is about a group of pirates hunting the legendary ‘One Piece’ treasure stars protagonist Monkey Luffy. Luffy is a man capable of stretching his body in a manner similar to Marvel’s Reed Richards. This high seas fantasy adventure is just plain fun and has some of the most imaginative characters in anime. Invoking the creativity of older shows that did not feel so compelled to limit the magic of their stories by imposing realism onto them.
Sailing with his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy is determined to become King of the Pirates. Another series centered on a classic quest plot, it’s the larger-than-life action and fun fantasy setting that will keep fans coming back.
One-Punch Man is both the spiritual successor and antithesis of Dragon Ball Z. The protagonist of this show, Saitama, is the strongest person on Earth. As such, he is bored out of his bald skull with the lack of worthy opponents he can face. The series takes as much inspiration from American superhero stories as from classic anime. Its characters are paralyzed between their driving pathos and a deep sense of ennui.
In a couple of noteworthy scenes, One-Punch Man parodies DBZ, giving a nod to its spiritual successor. There is no shortage of action here, but the greatest battles of the series are the characters’ complicated psychological struggles.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Similar to Bleach in many respects, the final entry on this list is the 90s classic Yu Yu Hakusho. The protagonist, Yusuke Urameshi, is a high school delinquent who is killed when he saves a child from oncoming traffic. He is given a second shot at life by a woman claiming to be a Grim Reaper.
Yusuke becomes an underworld detective, fighting demons and other evil spirits. With martial arts tournaments, mystical power attacks, and former enemies growing to become close allies, this anime has a lot for Dragon Ball Z fans to love. In fact, Yu Yu Hakusho hits every story beat needed to make a great series.
Hunter X Hunter
Everyone loves characters that are hopelessly optimistic and run headfirst into danger; that’s what makes Goku such a wonderful character in the first place. Hunter x Hunter has much of the same kind of fearlessness that we see in Gon. Gon is determined to be a hunter; a deadly profession that requires him to take an extremely difficult exam with a low success rate. But, he’s on a mission to find his lost father and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. This is a must-watch for Dragon Ball Super fans.