For a lot of young anime fans in the early 2000s, Naruto was the second coming of Dragon Ball Z. Just as the latter cemented itself as THE action anime series of the 90s, Naruto positioned itself as an exciting new evolution of the genre. The story of a young ninja outcast that possessed the powerful spirit of a demon fox was captivating in its own right, but the imaginative ninja world that Naruto lived in is what really sold the series.
All the magical ninjutsu moves performed by a large cast of compelling characters are what made Naruto stand out from the crowd. It's no wonder that even after the series came to an end in 2014, it continues to live on in new movies, games, and TV series (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations). If you just jumped in on Naruto and want to find more of the same, here are 10 fantastic anime to consider.
10 One Piece
As one of the top three pillars in the Shonen Jump lineup, One Piece was an inevitable recommendation for fans of Naruto. In lieu of magical ninjas, the fantastical world of One Piece is inhabited by cut-throat pirates that are demonically enhanced by powers of the Devil Fruit.
Monkey D. Luffy, a "rubber-man" that can stretch his body at will, is on a quest to become the King of the Pirates. The only way he can achieve this goal is to assemble a pirate crew of his own to search for the elusive treasure known as One Piece.
9 My Hero Academia
In the eyes of many anime viewers, My Hero Academia is considered the Naruto of the 2010s. In contrast to the rumbustious Naruto Uzumaki, Izuku "Deku" Midoriya of My Hero Academia is a timid young boy who always wanted to become a superhero in a world of superheroes.
Unfortunately for Deku, he's among the minority of people who were born without superpowers. This all changes, however, as a fateful encounter with his childhood icon, All Might, leads to Deku becoming his spiritual successor and enlisting in a school for superheroes.
Similar to Naruto and One Piece, Bleach was considered one of the top Shonen Jump series of its time. While the former series took place in fantastical, yet, periodic worlds, Bleach is set in modern-day Japan where 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki must defend the real world from the spiritual world.
To save the lives of his young sisters from a demonic monster known as a Hollow, Ichigo inherits the incredible powers of a defeated Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. After taking over the role of Soul Reaper from Rukia, Ichigo and his fellow high school friends soon find themselves entangled in a dangerous political plot at the hierarchy of the Soul Society.
7 Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter shares many similarities with Naruto. Just as the ninja profession was idolized and commercialized in Naruto, the hunter class in Hunter x Hunter is seen as a dangerous, yet, respected gig.
Gon Freecss shares Naruto's isolated background, as his motivation throughout the series is to become a hunter like his legendary hunter father who vanished from his life. However, while Naruto was rowdy and rude, Gon is more cheerful and optimistic during his quest to find his lost father.
6 Dragon Ball Z
As mentioned in the opening, Dragon Ball Z and Naruto are cut from the same cloth. Both series redefined the action genre of their era, but Dragon Ball Z laid most of the groundwork that Naruto and other anime series would build upon for years to come.
The surreal sci-fi stories of Dragon Ball Z allowed for martial artist Goku and friends to engage in larger-than-life battles with intergalactic foes, such as squaring off against alien invaders who vowed to destroy Earth after wishing for immortality from the magical set of Dragon Balls.
5 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
For an anime series that's more dramatic and daring than Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist is the way to go. Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers who - during their childhood - performed forbidden alchemy in a failed attempt to resurrect their dead mother and paid dearly for it.
Ed lost his left leg and right arm, while his brother Al had his soul infused into a suit of armor after losing his human body. Now, operating as State Alchemists, the Elric brothers are on a search for the fabled Philosopher's Stone, which holds the key to returning their damaged bodies to their original state.
4 Yu Yu Hakusho
Much like Naruto in his self-titled series, 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi in Yu Yu Hakusho was a loud-mouth delinquent until one fateful day changed his life forever. After unexpectedly sacrificing himself to save the life of a young boy, Yusuke was given another chance at life by the infant ruler of the Spirit World.
Yusuke was reborn as a Spirit Detective; solving supernatural mysteries and taking on demonic foes with the help of the bubbly grim reaper, Botan, and his friend/rival Kazuma Kuwabara.
If you're looking for another anime that features a half-demon protagonist that lives in a fantasized interpretation of ancient Japan, then give Inuyasha a try. Inuyasha is about a 15-year-old girl named Kagome Higurashi, who is transported from modern-day life to the Sengoku period of Japan by a ferocious demon who's after the wish-granting Shikon Jewel that lies inside her.
In an effort to save her life, Kagome resurrects a powerful half-demon named Inuyasha to defeat the monster that's after her. Amidst the chaos, the Shikon Jewel is shattered in pieces and scattered across the land. It's now up to Kagome and Inuyasha to retrieve the pieces of the Shikon Jewel before they fall into the wrong hands.
2 Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is another anime action series that's similar to Naruto. Set in the fantasy land of Fiore, a powerful fire mage named Natsu Dragneel of the Fairy Tail guild is on the search for his adoptive father, the dragon Igneel.
He befriends a novice celestial mage named Lucy Heartfilia, who is on a quest to find the celestial gate keys. The two - along with Natu's feline partner Happy - go on exciting adventures together with fellow members of the Fairy Tail magic guild.
1 Soul Eater
Similar to Naruto and My Hero Academia, Soul Eater is an anime series about a cast of powerful youths that are learning to control their powers at school. What makes Soul Eater different, however, is its supernatural setting and stylized designs that make the ghoulish world of Death City look like an anime rendition The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The series revolves around Maka Albarn, an intellectual soul-reaper-in-training, and her living weapon Soul Eater Evans, a punk kid that can transform into a Demon Scythe. The two work together as they try to pass the class by consuming 99 evil beings and one witch's soul.