Top 5 Adrenaline Pumping 80s Shounen

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There’s nothing like a good shounen series, and no one knows that better than Static Peach. I still get Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the mail from Shounen Jump!

If you’re new to retro anime, or even a long time fan, you’re going to love this list of 5 adrenaline pumping shonen anime from the 1980s! Find something new or remember some old favorites.

And remember—this list is just my opinion. I chose these shows myself, based on my own research. But there are so many more worth mentioning! Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite 80’s shounen anime.

Now let’s get started.


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Giant robot aliens, lots of fighting, and you can collect them all? What’s not to love?

Almost everyone is familiar with The Transformers franchise. Director Michael Bay, brought the series back into the spotlight with his recent motion picture reboot.

But in the 1980s, this show was something else. The series was based off an American toy line based off a Japanese toy line known as Diaclone. The series was produced by American companies and animated by studio giants Toei and later AKOM.

This franchise is well known as an icon of the 80s, and I had to include it on my list.

City Hunter

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This series was popularized by Weekly Shounen Jump back in 1985. City Hunter was written by Tsukasa Hojo and published by Shueisha.

The story follows hot shot Ryo Saeba, a private detective, known for working with his partner, Hideyuki Makimura. Now I don’t want to spoil anything big here, you’ll just have to watch the show.

The characters are really fun to watch together and often find themselves in very interesting predicaments. It’s safe to say this action comedy is definitely a must watch for any retro shounen fan.


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Because this list needed MORE mecha! This franchise was first written by Headgear and illustrated by Masami Yuki in 1988. The manga was soon picked up for an anime release by Sunrise the next year.

Patlabor is a retro anime classic. There are a few OVA’s with alternate timelines than the TV series. Which can be a good thing if you’re looking for more Patlabor when you’ve run out.

The franchise is typically held in very high regard by the anime community as a must watch action/dramedy of the 1980’s. It’s well known for both it’s writing and artwork—often recognizable for it’s retro aesthetic.

If you’re looking for a shounen series with a little bit of everything—this is the show for you.

Dragon Ball

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If you’ve been to this channel before—you knew this was coming. Akira Toriyama created this incredible series back in 1984.

The series was quickly picked up for animation by Toei where it still continues to thrive today in the form of sequel series Dragon Ball Super.

The show follows the crazy adventures of Goku, a real alien on Earth. Goku comes with super strength and other amazing abilities!

Fist Of The North Star

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Fist of the North Star was written by author Buronson in 1983. The original manga was illustrated by Tetsuo Hara and featured a release in Weekly Shounen Jump. The anime was soon picked up and published by Shueisha.

This series is often regarded as an influential, and responsible for inspiring many creators in the decades since it’s release.

The show takes place in a post apocalyptic society, trying to take hold. There are gangs, violence, hunger, starvation, and most importantly compassion and love. No one knows that better than our hero Kenshiro.

If you’ve never seen this show before, it’s time you sat down to check it out.

I hope you enjoyed this list and found something new! Or at the very least, remembered something you hadn’t seen in a while. If you’re into retro anime facts, lists, and history, be sure to check back for new articles every week.

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