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The Shounen anime genre has been one of the most popular genres in anime for decades. Anime that fall under this genre are typically targeted at teenage boys and encompass a wide range of tropes. Shounen anime are generally action-packed and unopposed to violence, though some tend to go a bit overboard in that regard.
Due to recurring combat scenes in Shounen anime, many of them have incredibly high budgets that allow them to create spectacular fight scenes. Usually, the monetary investment made by an anime studio into creating each episode is dependent on the prevalence of action in the same. For example, a relaxed beach episode will not cost as much as an episode with epic fights during the tournament arc of the anime. The costs average out in the end, but it still takes an immense amount of money to produce successful Shounen anime.
Note: This list contains spoilers for each series listed.
10 Shounen anime series that were the costliest to produce
1) Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Super is the latest sequel in the Dragon Ball franchise. Although the anime is over, the manga is still airing. New arcs continue to be added to the story and many fans hold on to hope that the anime will resume someday.
As a Dragon Ball anime, Dragon Ball Super is understandably filled with action and combat. So, each episode is expensive to produce, averaging about $150,000 to $160,000. The episodes with the most action-packed scenes are the costliest to animate.
2) One Piece
One Piece is one of the longest-running Shounen anime and manga of all time. Ever since its inception in the late 1990s, the series has consistently improved its quality of art and animation. Fans who have been around since the beginning continue to be impressed by One Piece‘s current visuals and often state that the anime must have a large budget devoted to it.
Due to the show being a Toei Animation production and enjoying massive success over the past 20 years, it makes sense that a lot of money is being put towards creating the show. According to Anime News Network, each episode costs about 10 million Yen, or $90,000. This may not be much compared to other Shounen anime series, but $90,000 across over 1,000 episodes adds up really quickly.
3) Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is known as one of the most iconic new generation Shounen anime. The gory visuals and frequent deaths offer a stark contrast to the usual bloodless deaths in the average Shounen anime. The story is also more complex than most other Shounen series out there with various twists and turns.
Each episode, especially ones belonging to the most recent seasons, boasts impressive art and animation, with the incredibly smooth action sequences being the cherry on top. Each episode costs around $150,000 to $160,000 to produce, unsurprisingly.
4) Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen happens to be one of the most well-known and beloved new generation Shounen anime. The series took the anime community by storm with its interesting storylines, stellar visuals, and amazing characters. Many fans even like to joke that Satoru Gojo’s eyes, the Six Eyes, take up most of Jujutsu Kaisen’s animation budget.
Jujutsu Kaisen is being adapted by MAPPA, so it is no surprise that every episode appears flawless. MAPPA has a solid reputation in the industry, and they devote $150,000 approximately for every episode of the show. Jujutsu Kaisen looks spectacular, and the costly CG animation only cements its place as one of the most visually appealing Shounen anime.
5) Black Clover
Black Clover revolves around Asta and Yuno, two orphans with sky-reaching dreams. Although fans were initially annoyed by Asta’s yelling and high-pitched voice, everyone quickly fell in love with the character after seeing his efforts and dedication towards becoming the Wizard King. As the show depicts the pair’s adventures, we see epic fights and impressive character designs.
The budget for Black Clover is around $140,000 per episode. Each spell that a character casts using their grimoire is visually stunning and easily costs a lot of money to animate. Spirit Magic also costs more to animate than regular spells
6) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is, as the name indicates, incredibly bizarre. Each episode has a strange twist that keeps fans on the edge of their seat. Moreover, the power system, Stands, features unpredictable abilities that only certain people can achieve. With the power of Stands and the strange nature of the anime, the fight scenes are usually wild and abstract.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is pretty expensive, averaging about $120,000 per episode. Unique and elaborate fight scenes along with character and Stand designs contribute to making this series one of the most expensive Shounen anime of all time.
7) My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is currently one of the most popular anime in the world, ranking #6 in popularity on MyAnimeList. The various quirks and city-wide fight scenes can easily rack up costs during production. For example, the Todoroki Family‘s fire quirks definitely cost a lot of money to animate during fight scenes because of the enormous area they cover and the uncontrollable nature of the flames.
Each episode of My Hero Academia averages around $110,000 for Studio Bones to produce. This seems to be pretty average amongst the other series on this list, but it is definitely one of the most expensive Shounen anime out there.
8) Naruto Shippuden
Naruto Shippuden is the sequel to one of the most iconic and beloved anime of all time. With that in mind, everyone’s expectations ran very high. Ignoring the unnecessary number of filler episodes in Shippuden, one can easily accept that series rose to the occasion and executed the Naruto manga perfectly. It made sure to follow the manga storyline to a T, while giving the audience incredible fight scenes.
The amazing transformations and visually-flawless attacks were possible due to Studio Pierrot spending quite a large amount of money when creating Naruto Shippuden. They most likely spent around $90,000 to $100,000 per episode, but the success of the series ensured that they got their money’s worth.
9) Demon Slayer
Like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer took the Shounen anime community by storm when it first aired. What stood out most to everyone who watched Demon Slayer was the sleek animation and unique art style. The way the show visually represents each breathing style through a Demon Slayer‘s attack is quite possibly one of the highest quality artistic productions in anime.
Although fans of Demon Slayer often say that Ufotable has no budget for the anime and goes with the flow instead, the anime studio typically spends around $80,000 per episode. This figure is quite low compared to the others on this list, but it makes sense considering Ufotable also produces the Fate series.