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Why was your favourite shounen good?

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The more shounen I read, the less I understand why it's good. For some I can see why it worked, for example early Bleach nailed the pacing, world building, humour, and character stuff but if I take instead something like early Yu-Gi-Oh, I'm pretty clueless - I really don't have much beyond "it's fucking badass". What does /a/ think? What made your favourite shounen good?
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Fuck me, I've read one more volume of YGO and I still can't do better than "it's badass".
Battle shounen isn't supposed to be smart os anything. If the action is good setted and the characters are likable, that's all.
Shounen is usually mindless fun and I can't take any anime seriously so it's what I resort to most of the time. If an anime takes itself too seriously I can't enjoy it.
One Piece - basically "if Dragon Ball was consistent"
pre-timeskip Naruto - good focus on side characters and world building, pretty creative battle system (before it went belly up)
HxH - Heaven Arena, York Shin, and Chimera ant are the only good arcs but damn are they good
FMA - didn't even know this was a battle shounen, no powerlevels, no tournament arcs, no power of friendship, just politics and (magic) science
Gash Bell - only the Faudo arc I liked but once again, damn was that a good arc
Jojo/Pokespec - several series if you don't like one you'll like the other
Kenshin - The more I think about this series and why the MC doesn't kill the more I end up respecting it, It's a love letter to the Meiji era
Dragon Ball - Most of the things bad about it also happen to be the things good about it desu
I can't tell if you're a young fool or an old man in need of escapism.
cool character designs
creative powers, or common powers used in a creative way
fights are well-choreographed, and drawn to by dynamic with strong impact
lack of obvious plot holes
consistent characterization
sincere emotional investment

That's what I'm looking for in a battle manga. I've found it in Kongoh Banchou, HSDK (until the final arc), pre-timeskip Naruto, pre-Hueco Mundo Bleach, One Piece, Gash Bell, HxH, FMA, Nanatsu no Taizai, Grappler Baki, Kengan Asura, Soul Eater, Toriko (up through Ice Hell), and Mx0.

I'm not saying each one of these nails ALL those criteria, but they hit enough to be worth reading. A good battle manga has much in common with a good kung-fu movie, it's the same sort of enjoyment for me.
Genuinely seems legit, but what about the pacing?
>fights are well-choreographed,
What does this mean?
OP here. I took a shot at explaining why YGO is good.

"I can't speak too well for the early parts because they pretty were hit and miss, but I can speak for the DK arc and as far as I can tell everything good about the DK arc also applies to the good parts of the early bits of the manga, so it's not an issue. Anyway, here's some reasons:

1) The Battles - The DK arc keeps the duels interesting by making them play out like RPG scenarios, which vary greatly based on the opponent and where the game is played. For example, Haga/Wevil's duel in the forest focuses on the power-ups gained from dueling in the new terrain, while the labyrinth tag duel is focused on the mechanics of the labyrinth, and Kabia's duel disk are almost an entirely new game. The same can almost be said for the individual turns of each duel - the reader doesn't really know what the cards do, but in each duel we know enough to know how bad a situation the good guys are in and the entertainment comes from watching this challenge overcome in ways that we didn't expect.

2) The characters - They're simply done well. I don't know enough about writing to say why that is, but to put it bluntly the character are strong, consistent, and entertaining.

3) The world building and storyline - One thing that the manga has over the anime is that the story simply makes sense, but putting that aside for the moment and speaking in terms of the manga only, the manga does a really good job of building hype and keeping you invested in the story. In the short term you've got Peagusus, who the DK arc spends most of its time hyping up (e.g. the video tape duel, the badass Keith flashback, and the lengths that Kabia is going to in order to beat him) and in the long term you've got the mystery of the millennium items. On a related note, one thing that the story really has going for it is that everything is connected in some way and consequentially very little is wasted (e.g look no further than what got Kabia in this arc)."
is JoJo even classified as shonen?

if not boku no hero academia, because all the characters grow mentally and physically, with the exception of a few like eraser
JoJo is definitely shonen.
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