Weekly Shounen Jump. The stuff that a lot of us grew up on and also what got us into anime. Within this wonderful, action packed, hype-fuelled genre are some incredible characters. Some of which you may even consider as being the best boy? I’m going to list off 5 of my favourite boys from Shounen Jump and why I like them so much.
Gojo Satoru – Jujutsu Kaisen
So this is a newer one for me, but good god I absolutely adore this character. Gojo Satoru is the teacher/sensei to our main cast of characters in Jujutsu Kaisen and the reason that our main protagonist, Itadori Yuuji, is still alive. Satoru is an extremely laid back character when with his friends or students, but can become extremely hostile in the presence of those he doesn’t trust.
Satoru is also incredibly strong, so much so that he refers to himself as being the strongest sorcerer. He briefly mentions how easy it would be to kill all the higher ups within Jujutsu technical college. Satoru made sparring with Sukuna look like child’s play and even said that he could defeat the King of Curses easily. The man wears a damn blindfold all the time and still manages to absolutely annihilate people.
What’s really great about Satoru though is his reasoning behind becoming a teacher at Jujutsu Tech. He realises that the higher ups are corrupt and this is what makes him consider killing them. However he also realises that nothing would change should he do that, and that some more corrupt people will just take their place. Instead he began to teach, so that he can bring these kids up and then he can pass on what’s important to them. He’s a great sensei character.
Shikamaru Nara – Naruto
The boy who is jealous of clouds and a god at shogi, Shikamaru Nara is an absolute favourite of mine and is most definitely one of the best boys. Shikamaru was a member of Team 10 from the original series alongside Choji and Ino. I remember not thinking too much of Shikamaru until his fight against Temari in the Chuunin exams. This is where he genius began to take centre stage and his fighting style became something incredibly cool and unique.
Shikamaru fights with his signature shadow jutsu, which allows him to manipulate his shadow in various different ways. Shadow imitation allows him to force his opponent to freeze and imitate his own movements, shadow strangle allows his shadow to slowly choke the opponent, and shadow pierce allows Shikamaru’s shadow to take physical form and stab through his opponents or hold them down. It may not be the flashiest of fighting styles, but in combination with Shikamaru’s intelligence it becomes an amazing combination.
After Shikamaru’s sensei is killed at the hands of the Akatsuki’s religious maniac, Hidan, Shikamaru plots for revenge. This is definitely not something you would expect from a character like Shikamaru, so seeing this was something truly special. Hidan is quite literally, thanks to the god he worships, unkillable. So, how does Shikamaru plan to get revenge against an enemy he can’t kill? He sets up a ton of elaborate traps throughout the forest, lures Hidan in, blows him up into a thousand pieces and buries him alive. Such a badass.
Joseph Joestar – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency
Where to even begin when it comes to the man, the myth, the legend that is Joseph Joestar. As of writing this, I am currently part way through Stardust Crusaders which centres around Jotaro. While Jotaro is a good character whose aloof(but secretly caring) nature I really enjoy, there is something absolutely wonderful about Joseph.
He is a very funny-loving and easygoing guy who is definitely confident in his own abilities, yet he still understands fear which results in some really interesting character interactions and responses that you wouldn’t expect after being used to Jonathan. Joseph is a very cocky character and tends to believe he has everything all figured out, so when something doesn’t go all according to keikaku(keikaku means plan by the way) he freaks out, resulting in some of my favourite comedy bits from the series.
Joseph will constantly surprise you and I feel like Araki must have had a ton of fun when he was originally writing this character. Who else would have ever given a man a pair of clackers as a weapon to fight against 3 absurdly powerful super-vampires that were the Pillarmen. As of right now, Joseph is my absolute favorite Jojo and goddam his theme, Overdrive, is amazing!
All Might – My Hero Academia
All Might, or Toshinori Yagi, absolutely had to be included on this list. Similarly to Gojo Satoru I am a sucker for a good sensei/student dynamic, especially one as intimate as the relationship between All Might and Deku. Both were originally quirkless kids who truly embodied the essence of a hero and despite not being willing at first, All Might was reminded of this after witnessing Deku’s heroism.
All Might might be one of the best when it comes to the sensei characters. He is literally the pillar of hope and number 1 hero, an educator passing on the important lessons of what it means to be a hero all while personally training Deku as his successor and to top it all off, he is truly reliable… Until his powers had fully left him. Even though he has all these achievements and experience, All Might is still learning how to be a teacher. He makes mistakes and owns up to them, for example when he fails to notice the guilt that had been weighing down on Bakugo’s shoulders after the fight with the League of Villains and All For One.
Finally, I still strongly believe that, as of right now in the anime, the fight between All Might and All For One is the peak of MHA. That entire fight had so much raw emotion in it that affected not only UA and it’s students, but the entire heroic hierarchy in Japan.
Monkey D. Luffy – One Piece
Here he is. The number 1 best boy of Shounen Jump, in my opinion of course, is the Captain of the Strawhat Pirates. Monkey D Luffy. Luffy ticks so many boxes it’s incredible: he’s that dumb food-focused Shounen protagonist, driven and motivated hero, nakama-loving(minus the asspulls) captain that over the last 20 years we have to come to know and love.
Why do I think he is number 1? While having traits of a character similar to Goku such as food-focused and always keen to train and fight, these aren’t the only elements of his character. Luffy’s goal is always at the front of his mind and his reasons for fighting are because these opponents stand in his way of reaching that goal. Even though he’s a pirate, he isn’t an evil person and he will stand up and protect those he believes are good. Luffy doesn’t care for a person’s past, but who they are now. Luffy literally declares war on the entire world for a friend who, until now, had backstabbed every “ally” she ever had. Why? Because he believes in her and accepts her for who she is. He summons up courage and acceptance of oneself with all of the character he meets.
Despite claiming he isn’t a hero, Luffy is a pretty heroic guy. He himself says it best:
“Hero? No! We’re pirates! I love heroes, but I don’t wanna be one! Do you know what heroes are? Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it, but heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat” – Monkey D Luffy.
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