Ben 10 is an uber popular cartoon series released in 2005, about a 10-year-old boy called Ben Tennyson who can transform into aliens, replete with superpowers.
He does this through an alien wristwatch called the Omnitrix, that modifies his genetic code to turn him into 10 different alien “heroes”.
Ben 10 is not anime. It’s an American animated series produced by Cartoon Network Studios. It follows Western comic book tropes unlike Japanese manga, although it is influenced by anime, like in the case of the Avatar franchise and Teen Titans.
Cartoons usually follow an episodic format – each episode often being a one-shot or standalone story. Ben 10 is one of the few cartoons that plays on deeper themes, and shows character development and plot continuity.
If you’re looking for anime that is similar to Ben 10, here’s a list for you – in no particular order.
1My Hero Academia
MHA is probably as close of an anime equivalent to Ben 10 as possible in terms of popularity, target audience, and plotline.
The series is set in a world where superpowers, called Quirks, are a common occurrence. However, the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, is born without a quirk, and is denied his dream to save the people from evil.
The Quirk phenomenon in MHA is unique to every user, and so is the Omnitrix. The Academia in MHA also bears similarity with the Plumbers’ Academy in Ben 10, that trains its members to fight against “extraterrestrial, extrasensory, extraordinary” forces.
There are also many fans that like to compare MHA’s All for One and Ben 10 with Alien Force in terms of strength and abilities.
2Dragon Ball Franchise
You know Ben 10 is crazy strong when people compare him to Goku from DBZ. Alien X in Ben 10 is probably one of the most powerful characters ever, and fans say he could solo everyone from DBZ.
I’m not going to agree or disagree with this, but what I will say is that if you’re a fan of Ben 10 because of the kickass power in the series, you should definitely check out the DB franchise.
A lot of millennials grew up with DB, just like a lot of Gen Z grew up with Ben 10. DB has 807 episodes that cover Goku’s journey, so better get on it, if you want that Super Saiyan action. Trust me, a series like DB never gets old.
Not a lot of people have heard of Parasyte but it’s as similar to Ben 10 as it gets, only a little more adult. Parasyte is a sci-fi horror anime based on the manga written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki.
It’s about Shinichi Izumi, a teenage boy who gets bitten by an alien parasite on his right hand. Host to this new tenant, he has to learn to navigate a new world of humans and shapeshifting, man-eating alien monsters.
I mean, I’d much rather grab a wristwatch if I wanted to turn into an alien, than be devoured by a parasite. But Parasyte is still a great piece of anime if you’re into creepy stuff.
Heroman is another hidden gem – wait till you hear who created it. Marvel’s very own Stan Lee! He collaborated with Japan’s Bone’s inc to give life to this 26-episode mini-series, referring to the protagonist as “a new hero for the 21st century”.
Heroman features tech and aliens, just like Ben 10. The protagonist Joey inadvertently, in a very Frankenstein way, causes his toy robot to come to life when a bolt of strange lightning strikes it.
It’s similar to Ben 10 in that it is set in America, and has a cast of adolescents who fight against superpowered alien invaders with their various abilities.
You should watch Heroman if you’re a Marvel fan too – it has a gauntlet like in the Avengers, an augmented robot like in Iron Man, and design choices based on the 1978 tokusatsu Spider Man.
5Neon Genesis Evangelion
Evangelion is possibly one of the most influential anime from the 1990s and was way ahead of its time when it debuted.. It’s about a teenage boy, Shinji Ikari, who is recruited by his dad to battle Angels, who are actually giant monster “humans” covered in heavy metal plates to hide their true forms.
Evangelion is a mecha anime, which means it features robots and all sorts of high technology. Although it doesn’t have aliens like in Ben 10, it does have humans that transform into something more than their actual forms to fight.
The mecha Angels in a futuristic Tokyo make for some great scenes but the anime is more than just that. Shinji is forced to face some psychological, existential, and religious question, and take responsibility of his emotions and his own life, as well as that of others.
6One Punch Man
Probably one of the most popular anime across the world, OPM is one of my absolute faves. Some people consider it a gag anime because it subverts shonen tropes by pointing them out. But it’s so much more than that.
Saitama, the protagonist from OPM, is quite simply – invincible. He can beat any villain – alien, monster, robot, human – with one single punch. He defies all logic, all magic – he is above it all.
In forums, you’ll see a lot of fans asking who would win in a fight between Ben 10 and Saitama. Honestly, Saitama could destroy Alien X, Way-Big, and Ben in XLR8, with just a punch.
OPM has amazing aliens and monster that fans of Ben 10 would definitely enjoy. It’s also light-hearted like Ben 10, with deeper elements embedded in the storyline.
Black Clover too features an underdog story like in MHA and to some extent, Ben 10. Like MHA’s Midoriya, BC’s Asta is born without any magical abilities.
He rises to become one of the strongest characters in the series, battling the most powerful Devil – the King of Hell aka Lucifero. I can totally imagine my boy Asta trying to take on the Omnitrix from Ben 10.
In Ben 10, you also have Gwen, who is Ben’s cousin, who has some pretty cool mana manipulation and magic powers. She’d fit right in the Black Clover universe where several characters can control energy and use the grimoires to fire spells.
BC is one of the best shonen out there, but was cancelled after 4 seasons, despite the manga going strong. But you still have 4 whole seasons of awesomeness to watch, so go for it!
8Knights of Sidonia
Space battles! Mecha war! Aliens! Knights of Sidonia is right up your alley if you like Ben 10. It’s about Nagate Tanikaze who rises up to save the world from alien attack. The world, is actually Sidonia, which is actually a gigantic interstellar spaceship – the remnants of humanity that protects the last of humankind.
It shows advanced biological tech that can genetically alter or manipulate the human population, much like Ben’s Omnitrix. The Sidonian people can photosynthesize, extract memories, and accelerate their training.
So, here’s an anime that has different types of humans with supernatural abilities, alien warfare, and sweeping intergalactic plotlines. Ben 10 lovers, this one’s definitely for you.
9This Boy Can Fight Aliens!
This one has it all in the name. The world is suddenly invaded by aliens and it’s up to the Special Counter Aliens Task Force to defend mankind. Kakashi, humanity’s only hope, is the only one with the power to defeat the extraterrestrials.
But the anime is much more than just a kid fighting aliens. It shows some great character development, and despite being the single potential hero of mankind, Kakashi is faced with fear and psychological bewilderment, and is compelled to question life itself in order to save it.
Our guy Benjamin Tennyson is also more than he appears on the surface. Although he has the gift to make the right choices at the right moments, he does have negative traits like cockiness, impulsiveness, and immaturity that add dimension to his character.
World Trigger is quite underrated as an anime and a lot of fans drop it after the first few episodes, despite it being quite interesting.
It also features aliens like most other anime on this list, but it stands out in that it is extremely well thought up, with no unnecessary power-ups and a dedication to real-life military operations.
World Trigger’s Border Security is similar to Ben 10’s Plumbers, where agents and operatives train to battle Neighbors or aliens that seek to enter Earth’s territory.
The Triggers in World Trigger are powered by Trion and are used by Border Security to combat aliens.
There is also a Black Trigger that is the strongest weapon in the World Trigger universe that only works with the self-sacrifice of a person with high trion. This is similar to the Ascalon weapon in Ben 10, capable of destroying entire planets.
Chuuta Kokonose, much like Ben, finds himself fighting alongside his allies, against dangerous alien beings.
The anime is all about Chuuta’s misadventures and follows the mystery about the voice in his head. It has a surprisingly similar concept to Ben 10, with the protagonist and supporting characters following in the same vein as Ben, Gwen and the Alien Force.
12That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime/Tensura
The show is as weird as you’d think going by the name. Not a lot of people would put Tensura and Ben 10 in the same list but hear me out.
Tensura is about a middle-aged man who is stuck in a boring job and is basically tired of his mundane existence. One day, he’s killed by a robber. When he wakes up, he finds that he has turned into a slime monster and he has to acclimatize with his new existence. He befriends a dragon, devours it, and takes on its abilities.
Ben too transforms into aliens, though he doesn’t go around feasting on anything and everything he finds.
Ben 10 also features something called the Slimebiotes – sapient genetometaphomorphic species that came before all other DNA based life forms. It’s fun to think of Satoru Mikami in his slime form in this world.
This shonen is perhaps one of the biggest hits in the recent year. It has occult, sorcerers and curses – and a protagonist that becomes a host to a powerful curse called Ryomen Sukuna by swallowing a rotten finger.
There are also cursed spirits in Jujutsu Kaisen that can reshape the soul of any human. The animation is amazing and the on-screen battles are also something to applaud.
So, for Ben 10 fans looking for superpowered humans like Ben who can take on aliens, the sorcerers of JJK will surely impress you.
14Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 is a refreshing take on shonen, and like One Punch Man, it takes on an ironic humor that shows the audience that protagonists don’t always have to be epic.
The main character, Mob, tries to distance himself from his inherent psychic powers and tries to live a normal life. But he finds himself in positions where he is absolutely forced to use his abilities.
Mob himself is quite overpowered like Saitama from OPM, but unlike him – and more like Ben – he still has room to grow physically and mentally.
When Mob hits extreme emotions, all his powers are let lose, much like when we see Ben rage against the bad guys when they try to hurt someone he loves.
15Welcome to Demon School!
This shonen too lifts out the everyday to put a fantastical twist to it. Iruma Suzuki is bought by a demon called Sullivan who adopts him and sends him to demon school. He has to conceal his human identity and tries to make it as a demon amongst otherworldly creatures.
In this way, it differs from Ben 10, where the aliens are well, alien. In Welcome to Demon School! it’s the humans that are alienized.
While an anime version of Ben 10 seems exciting (imagine the aliens!), Ben 10 is after all, an American show. But there are plenty of anime with aliens, superpowers, magic, and sci-fi, so if you love Ben 10 you will definitely love the shows I’ve listed above.