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The Emergence of The Dark Trio of Shounen Anime

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The Emergence of The Dark Trio of Shounen Anime Sukuna Jujutsu Kaisen
Credit: MAPPA

The popularity of shounen anime and manga is reaching new heights with new players pushing the limits set by the classics. Moreover, the Dark Trio in question takes a grisly and dark turn, which makes it a hell lot of interesting.

Fans are calling the sinister trinity of Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku as the Dark Trio of shounen anime and manga.

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What Is the Dark Trio of Shounen?

After the anime adaptation of the much-hyped manga series Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, the Dark Trio of shounen anime becomes complete.

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku is already getting all the praise for its gritty storyline and crazy characters. But what exactly is this Dark Trio?

Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku are all produced by studio MAPPA.

And due to the similar tonality of the series, fans are calling these shows the Dark Trio of Shounen.

Debuting in 2020, Jujutsu Kaisen was the first anime series of the Dark Trio.

The series revolves around Yuji Itadori who joins an occult school and realizes that his schoolmates and teachers are sorcerers.

After getting overpowered by a demon, Yuji is forced to suppress it inside of him while protecting those around him.

Denji from Chainsaw Man Dark Trio
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Credit: MAPPA

Next up is Chainsaw Man, which is about a young impoverished man named Denji who forms a contract with a dog-like devil named Pochita.

Denji fuses his body with Pochita and gets a unique ability to transform parts of his body into chainsaws.

The last of the Dark Trio is Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, which is part of the Spring 2023 anime catalog.

This anime is about an unkillable ninja named Gabimaru the Hollow who is ordered to find an elixir that would make the shogunate immortal.

As a hollow, Gabimaru does not think twice before killing someone. Also, he is tired of his life and wants to die.

Gabimaru from Hell's Paradise
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Credit: MAPPA

But somehow, he also doesn't want to die because he hopes to reunite and lead a peaceful life with his wife.

When the shogunate announces that the person who can bring the elixir will be pardoned, he agrees to be a part of this mission.

Unfortunately, this journey is terrifying and is like a suicide mission.

Moreover, other members of this mission are ruthless criminals who are nothing but bloodthirsty beings.

How Is the Dark Trio Different From Other Shounen Series?

Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen
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Credit: MAPPA

Filled to the brim with death, gore, bloodshed, and violence, the group deserves to be called the Dark Trio of shounen.

If we compare these three anime shows with their other shounen counterparts, there are glaring differences in aesthetics, tonality, storytelling technique, and even humor has a different flavor.

Shounen series do have their fair share of beasts, monsters, and demons in shows like My Hero Academia, Naruto Shippuden, and One Piece.

But when it comes to the Dark Trio, they take it to the next level and push it down into the very depths of despair.

Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku anime
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Credit: MAPPA

The Dark Trio is getting notoriously popular amongst fans because of the inherent dark themes and fast-paced storytelling.

There are fewer fillers and the meaty part is often bloody good.

Moreover, the Dark Trio doesn’t take the generic shounen route making the plot interesting.

Also, it completely disregards the usual shounen stereotypes like the protagonist aiming to become something.


In the Dark Trio of shounen anime, the protagonists are mostly fighting for survival.

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For more articles like this, take a look at our Anime , Manga , Queries , Jujutsu Kaisen , Chainsaw Man , and Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku pages.