While there are many anime series out there based on western superhero culture, it can be difficult to differentiate between western-inspired superheroes and Japanese superheroes. After all, isn’t Naruto technically a superhero? But he generally isn’t put in the same classification as people like Saitama. However, while there is some distinction between what technically classifies as a series about superheroes, there is no doubt that when you see a hero, you know it.
One Punch Man
There are a lot of strong superheroes out there, but Saitama of One Punch Man is apparent a cut above the rest. He trained so hard that his hair fell out and the result was that he can take down anyone with one punch. Unfortunately, beating people with one punch is super boring and it cause Saitama to go through a bit of a crisis since he no longer wanted to be a hero if it was going to be boring.
Tiger and Bunny
You know what they say, you can turn anything into a business. In Tiger and Bunny, being a superhero has been turned into one thanks to Hero TV and sponsorship. This means the more popular you are, the more you make. However, this series also combines super hero media with a buddy cop movie by combining a wild dog hero with a straight-laced by-the-books type newbie.
My Hero Academia
What would happen if having a superpower was the everyday norm? That is the premise behind My Hero Academia. People suddenly started developing super powers, and while some used them for evil, superheroes also rose up. For Midoriya Izuku, he also wanted to be a hero, until he discovered he was one of the rare people that won’t develop a superpower. However, when he meets his all time favorite superhero All Might, his fate starts to change.
There are a lot of super humans in anime good enough to be considered a superhero, but Samurai Flamenco is one of the more rare stories that focuses on a guy that wants to be a hero, but has absolutely no superpowers. This male model-by-day, vigilante-by-night character tries his best to be a hero to varying degree. The show overall is a great comedy and has a lot of a fun references to other Japanese hero media in it.
Dragon Ball Z
Before today’s One Punch Mans and My Hero Academics, when you thought of superheroes in anime, you thought of the Z crew from Dragon Ball Z. Consisting of powerful humans trained in martial arts and even more power space aliens that make the humans look puny by comparison, they defend the planet from evil that usually seeks to destroy it. When you think about it, there is not much more to DBZ other than good fighting evil, so it is proof that the pure premise still works to create an enjoyable show.
In the alternative world of Concrete Revolutio, things that were once thought not to exist – like ghosts, aliens, and cyborgs – have inhabited earth. However, they are kept a secret from the populace so as to not cause a panic. Since only super humans can stand up to other super beings, those of the Superhuman Bureau are tasked with making sure things don’t get out of hand by detaining or destroying creatures that act out.
Heroman is actually a collaboration between Japanese animators and legendary Stan Lee, and yes, he does make an animated cameo. The plot follows a kid in the United States that dreams about owning a robot called a Heybo, but they are too expensive. One day, he happens upon a Heybo that has been hit by a car and takes it home. After some superhero origin story magic, the Heybo he named Heroman awakens to become something heroic.
As a reboot of the Casshern series, there are some throwbacks to the original in Sins, but mostly it is a good standalone series that people can watch even without knowledge of the previous ones. Unlike other superhero anime series that take more of a light stance, Casshern is more dark like Batman but with a big old dose of amnesia for plot.
While there are other Gatchaman series, when it comes to the attractiveness of plot and animation, Crowds is probably the best spot to start watching. You don’t need much information on Gatchaman going in, and it does a great job of explaining things. Unlike other Gatchaman series where there is only one legendary protector, in this series, there are many, which comes with its own set of challenges.
Gonna Be the Twin Tail
There is always a certain amount a parody in many superhero series, but when it comes to Gonna Be The Twin Tail, it is almost all parody, all the time. Basically it is about a guy obsessed with twin tails who meets a mysterious girl who fights monsters from outer space. She enlists his help by granting him a set of twin tails of his own to fight back. It is essentially Power Ranger with twin tails, a simplieied premise that, in itself, sounds awesome.
Do you have any more anime recommendations for series featuring super heroes? Then let us know in the comments section below.