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The Big 3 of Anime: Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece

Updated: May 16, 2023

The Big 3 of anime refers to three iconic anime series that dominated the shonen genre in the early 2000s: Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. These three series became incredibly popular among fans around the world and helped to shape the modern anime industry. Let's take a closer look at each of these series and what made them so influential.


Naruto is the story of a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. Naruto's journey is one of self-discovery, as he learns to overcome his own insecurities and become a better ninja. Along the way, he forms strong bonds with his friends and allies and learns the value of friendship and perseverance.

Naruto's legacy can be seen in the way it influenced later Shonen anime series. Its focus on character development, world-building, and epic battles set the standard for other series to follow. Its themes of perseverance, friendship, and the power of believing in oneself continue to inspire fans around the world.


Bleach follows the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who gains the power of a Soul Reaper, a supernatural being who helps to guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Along with his friends, Ichigo battles against evil spirits and other powerful enemies, all while trying to balance his school and personal life.

Bleach is known for its unique blend of action, comedy, and supernatural elements. Its characters are complex and multifaceted, with their own unique backstories and motivations. The series also explores deeper themes such as the nature of death, the afterlife, and the importance of family.

One Piece

One Piece is the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate who sets out on a quest to find the ultimate treasure, the One Piece. Along the way, he gathers a crew of loyal friends and battles against other pirates and powerful enemies. One Piece's world-building is unparalleled, with a vast and richly detailed world full of diverse characters and unique


One Piece's legacy lies in its ability to create a sense of adventure and wonder. Its epic story arcs, well-developed characters, and intricate world-building create a rich tapestry that captures the imagination of fans around the world. Its themes of friendship, loyalty, and the pursuit of one's dreams continue to resonate with fans of all ages.


The Big 3 of anime left an indelible mark on the anime industry, shaping the shonen genre and inspiring countless other series. Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece each have their own unique strengths and themes, but they all share a common thread of epic adventure and unforgettable characters. Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the series, the Big 3 of anime are a must-watch for anyone who loves action, adventure, and compelling storytelling.

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