Top 15 Shonen Series Created by Female Authors (2023)

Shonen anime can vary in quality, but some of the finest works emerge from female creators like Hiromu Arakawa, known for her work on Fullmetal Alchemist.


Targeting a male audience in middle and high school, shonen manga and anime primarily come from male authors. Nonetheless, both classic and contemporary titles written by women have made their mark. These works uphold traditional shonen elements such as the "chosen one" narrative, tsundere love interests, high-fantasy adventures, and intense battles.

Readers of shonen who anticipate themes like camaraderie, bravery in the face of adversity, and the ethical use of power will find their expectations met. While these familiar tropes and themes remain popular among enthusiasts, female writers often push boundaries, infuse unique genre experimentation, and imbue their stories with profound depth.

15. The Case Study Of Vanitas

Creator: Jun Mochizuki

The Case Study Of Vanitas

While vampires often find their place in shojo romance and seinen horror, Jun Mochizuki's "The Case Study of Vanitas" offers a fresh take by infusing them with the shonen essence. Set in a steampunk-inspired world, the series follows protagonist Vanitas, who bears a resemblance to the beloved detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Although romance is present, it yields to the prominence of the grimoire-based magic system and the layers of vampiric intrigue. Despite its merits, the first season merits more recognition, and one can hope that the second season will garner greater attention. Worth noting is Mochizuki's authorship of another notable shonen work titled "Pandora Hearts."

14. Blue Exorcist

Creator: Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist

Kazue Kato's creation, "Blue Exorcist," unfolds in a realm divided between demons and humans. Within this world, a standout feature emerges: sentient locations, a captivating trope seen across supernatural anime. Notably, the Gehenna Gateway serves as a prime example—an eerie yet captivating entity capable of flight, reminiscent of Howl's Moving Castle.

Despite catering to a more mature shonen audience with its darker tone, the world of Blue Exorcist maintains a strategic touch of humor to alleviate tension. Amidst the high-stakes, action-driven narrative, suspense remains unrelenting.

13. D.Gray-man

Creator: Katsura Hoshino


"D.Gray-man" navigates the boundary between shonen and seinen anime by delving into violent and supernatural elements that might unsettle younger viewers. Set in an alternate 19th century with historical undertones, the series engages with weighty themes rooted in the Christian Old Testament.

Amidst these thought-provoking and dark themes, a familiar "monster-of-the-week" villain pattern emerges, catering to shonen enthusiasts. Notably, the series shines through its characters' rich emotional spectrum. While emotionally intricate characters aren't a typical hallmark of shonen anime, creator Katsura Hoshino ventures into this territory while crafting a distinctive and intense world.

12. Reborn!

Creator: Akira Amano


"Reborn!" stands as an underappreciated gem, and fans still hold out hope for more content, even though the future remains uncertain. Fortunately, with its 42-volume shonen manga, 203 adapted episodes, and five light novels, there's a plethora of media to explore.

In this series, the Dying Will Bullet grants the deceased a fresh start, endowed with the resolve and capability to fulfill their unfinished business. While mafia-themed anime already captivate audiences, "Reborn!" takes it a step further by integrating a distinct magic system. Tsuna, initially a conventional and somewhat clumsy shonen protagonist, undergoes a remarkable transformation as he experiences rebirth.

11. Black Butler

Creator: Yana Toboso

Black Butler

"Black Butler" emerges as a fantasy historical anime with a captivating dark undertone. While demons are a recurring presence in anime, Yana Toboso's creation introduces one of the most distinctive demon characters: Sebastian Michaelis.

Sebastian Michaelis, a morally ambiguous figure, holds a unique charm that fans find irresistible. Equally, Ciel Phantomhive, with his intricate moral makeup, adds to the series' complexity. On the surface, neither character possesses qualities that warrant sympathy or likability, yet they continue to captivate the audience. The temptation to categorize characters as purely good or bad is ever-present, but "Black Butler" defies this norm by offering truly multifaceted characters, thereby elevating the series to the status of an enduring masterpiece.

10. Horimiya

Creator: Hiroki Adachi


Hiroki Adachi's creation, "Horimiya," stands as a unique shonen series that intricately explores relationships within a modern backdrop. Notably, the series prominently features a romance plot, a facet often relegated to a subplot in shonen anime.

Enthusiasts of the "opposites attract" and "friends-to-lovers" narrative motifs in romance will discover Horimiya to be an engaging choice. The romance depicted within is both genuine and heartwarming. While the narrative departure from typical shonen themes might raise eyebrows, the series still captures the journey of a young male protagonist's growth, navigating conflicts and interpersonal dynamics.

9. Noragami

Creator: Adachitoka


In "Noragami," we encounter a shonen protagonist who embodies both the familiar and intricate traits of the demographic. Yato, an endearing and lighthearted hero, was once a god of calamity, now piecing his life together. He defies the stereotype of a one-dimensional action hero, possessing a multifaceted backstory that gives depth to his humor and imperfections.

The beauty of "Noragami" lies in its ability to infuse compassion into fantastical gods, rendering them relatable and human. The series achieves this through skillfully crafted characters, which form the bedrock of the narrative, maintaining equilibrium between dramatic moments, visually stunning animation, and Adachitoka's astute storytelling. While adhering to the shonen formula, the story leans more towards being plot-driven rather than character-driven.

8. To Your Eternity

Creator: Yoshitoki Oima

To Your Eternity

Yoshitoki Oima's "To Your Eternity," serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine, continues its ongoing journey within the pages of Kodansha's manga. Notably, Oima's portfolio includes the award-winning "A Silent Voice," a shonen work that resonates with numerous shojo-like qualities.

True to its title, "To Your Eternity" delves into themes encompassing mortality, immortality, and the essence of human existence. Infused with profound emotion, the series—inspired by Oima's personal experiences of loss—intertwines its heartfelt narrative with gripping action and external conflicts. The journey of Fushi, a shape-shifting being, as it navigates human experiences proves both distinctive and deeply moving.

7. The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent

Creator: Yuka Tachiban

The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent

While "The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent" doesn't shy away from engaging battle sequences, it cleverly maintains its serene slice-of-life essence. Protagonist Sei, a multifaceted character, along with the entire ensemble, boasts intricacy, and the series dedicates ample time to their growth. Remarkably, the presence of romance doesn't overshadow the external conflicts driving the plot.

"The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent" seamlessly navigates the borderlines of genres and demographics. The original light novel by Yuka Tachibana caters to a male demographic, whereas the manga finds its place in the shojo category. Correspondingly, the anime adaptation finds favor among a diverse viewership.

6. The Ancient Magus' Bride

Creator: Kore Yamazaki

The Ancient Magus' Bride

The majority of shonen manga and light novels showcase male protagonists, yet "The Ancient Magus' Bride" defies this norm with its dual protagonists—a male humanoid mage named Elias and a human girl named Chise. As a newcomer to Elias' realm of magical exploration, Chise adeptly embraces her own inherent talents, making her a capable student.

Manga author and artist Kore Yamazaki seamlessly melds paranormal fantasy with facets of slice-of-life and romance in this series. The harmonious fusion of these subgenres results in a captivatingly peculiar fairy tale, enriched by an array of distinctive characters and enchanting magic.

5. Blood-C

Creator: CLAMP


CLAMP, an exclusively female manga author and artist collective, gave rise to "Blood-C" in 2011. This vampire-themed shonen, centered around shrine maiden Saya Kisaragi, garnered substantial popularity and evolved into a comprehensive franchise. Despite its emphasis on romance, the creators didn't shy away from embracing elements of bloodshed and brutality within "Blood-C."

Guided by Nanase Ohkawa, CLAMP's head writer, the group, established in the '80s, has expanded to encompass several artists. Interestingly, the collective's origins trace back to self-published fanfiction, underscoring the considerable value and creative contributions that fanfic writers bring to the creative sphere.

4. XxxHolic

Creator: CLAMP


"XxxHolic" emerges as another creation from the CLAMP collective of female mangaka. Positioned towards the older spectrum of the demographic, the shonen offers an immersive experience. The series is a celebration of atmospheric storytelling, with its focus on evoking feelings rather than following an intricate plot, and such works deserve recognition in their own right.

Drawing heavily from Japanese folklore and incorporating beloved horror motifs like mismanaged wishes, this paranormal shonen resonates strongly. The series is enriched by its gothic aesthetic and ghost-infused narratives, standing as its most robust aspects. "XxxHolic" is a rare gem, skillfully intertwining slice-of-life elements with enigmatic ghostly mysteries, all wrapped in a melancholic yet gentle demeanor.

3. Dorohedoro

Creator: Q Hayashida


"Dorohedoro," created by Q Hayashida, finds publication in both shonen and seinen genres, straddling the line between the two. The series seamlessly blends elements of dark fantasy magic with the intricate dynamics of organized crime. The magic system itself is a labyrinthine construct, complete with a nightmarish hierarchy and homunculi transformed into bloodthirsty entities by sorcerers.

At the heart of "Dorohedoro" is its protagonist, Caiman, driven by an intense desire to seek retribution against all sorcerers and discover the one responsible for cursing him into a half-reptilian form. The series captures the audience's attention with its combination of visceral gore, intricately designed world, and a layer of dark humor. Notably, it's a feat to harmonize slapstick comedy with the level of violence characteristic of seinen works, and Hayashida navigates this balancing act with finesse.

2. Inuyasha

Creator: Rumiko Takahashi


Rumiko Takahashi unquestionably holds the title of the reigning queen in the realm of shonen anime, and "Inuyasha" stands as one of the brightest gems in her illustrious career. Amidst several successful shonen works she's crafted, the narrative of Kagome's journey through a well, transporting her into a fantastical feudal world, remains an enduring and timeless tale.

The series shines most brilliantly in the realm of romance. The gradual development of the relationship between Kagome and the yokai Inuyasha captivates viewers across every season and OVA, although romance is just one facet of the series' remarkable qualities. The presence of Naraku and his incarnations as formidable—and occasionally spine-chilling—antagonists, along with Sesshomaru's status as one of anime's most cherished anti-heroes, further contribute to the series' excellence.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist

Creator: Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist

"Fullmetal Alchemist" stands as one of the most cherished and timeless anime series in history. Themes exploring notions of family, loss, and the toll of wielding magic resonate deeply with fans. At its heart lies the unbreakable bond between the two sibling protagonists. Their ill-fated endeavor to resurrect their mother through alchemy sets off a chain of catastrophic events.

In a quest to restore his brother Alphonse's physical form, Edward Elric embarks on a journey to acquire the philosopher's stone. The allure of "Fullmetal Alchemist" is further enhanced by its expansive ensemble cast, comprising both flawed yet intricate heroes and equally intricate, memorable villains. This rich tapestry of characters contributes significantly to the series' enduring status as a shonen classic.

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