Anime isn’t necessarily the same anymore. New shows are being released every year at a much faster rate than when Naruto or One Piece were released.
However, few anime last as long as Naruto did, with as many returning viewers. Even with some of Boruto’s disappointments, older fans reluctantly did watch it for a long time before eventually giving up, and returning to the classics like One Piece.
An upset in the Big 3 is probably unlikely because there are few manga that are excellent enough to retain their audiences. And fewer manga amongst them consistently maintains their quality, or in some cases, their production (Hunter X Hunter, we are looking at you).
If an upset were to happen, I would expect it to be one of the famous shounen anime ongoing right now. My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, and Jujutsu Kaisen might be the “modern” Big 3, even with Bleach’s much-awaited return as the Thousand Year Blood War looms on the horizon.
The Anime That Won't be Beaten
Even with scheduling issues, plot inconsistency, and filler-the issues that plague every anime since the 20th century, One Piece remains the best in what Shounen has to offer. This article is not a One Piece review, but the anime inadvertently occupies entire paragraphs in any article on Shounen-old or modern.
What would it take
Consistency is the name of the game- any anime or manga that wants to make a mark in the modern anime community will have to step up its consistency game.
An anime with 30+ seasons, a great animation studio (see MAPPA or Trigger) to match Naruto's fight animations, consistent plot lines strong enough to match One Piece filler, and an excellent, vibrant cast of enemies like Bleach- all these would be necessary for a single anime to beat out any of the Big 3.
Are there any anime or manga that you think can upset the Big 3? Let us know in the comments below!