8 Shows Like American Born Chinese You Need To Watch
Those who love a fantasy adventure story should be able to find joy in Disney+’s American Born Chinese series, which follows the story of a Chinese boy born and raised in America. However, while Jin Wang wants to be a normal teenager in America, he ends up getting sucked into a fierce and insane war between the Chinese gods after he meets Wei-Cheng, the son of the legendary Monkey King Sun Wukong.
While it might be easy to go through all eight episodes of American Born Chinese, there are those out there who are still looking to scratch that fantasy adventure itch as we await confirmation of whether or not there will be a second season of this new series. So, with that, let’s take a look at some shows that are similar to American Born Chinese.
8. Shadow and Bone (2021 – Present)
IMDB Score: 7.6
What is it about: Shadow and Bone is based on the novels written by Leigh Bardugo and is set in a fantasy world where people with magical powers exist but are persecuted for their abilities. In this regard, these sorcerers, called Grisha, use their control over the elements to try to end the persecution against them. And they believe that Alina Starkov, the legend of the Sun Summoner, could be the key to restoring peace to the world.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Aside from the fact that Shadow and Bone is helmed by an actress of Asian descent, it is similar to American Born Chinese in that they both follow characters in a coming-of-age story that sees them grow and mature as they learn more about their own powers and abilities. This means that they are both aimed at younger audiences who want to see themselves in the characters’ shoes.
7. I’m Not Okay With This (2020)
IMDB Score: 7.5
What is it about: The story of I’m Not Okay With This is unique because the series follows the journey of a teenage girl who regrets having superpowers despite the fact that most teens just want to have powers. In this regard, I learned that she can manifest her anger in telekinetic abilities that are difficult to control. And the fact that she was still growing up and learning more about herself made it very difficult to manage her powers.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Like American Born Chinese, I’m Not Okay With This follows the story of a teenager who is still learning more about what it was like to be a teenager. Of course, the characters in both stories end up falling into something beyond their own capabilities to begin with. And each of the characters discover that they are in control of their own emotions and destiny.
6- Willow (2022)
IMDB Score: 5.6
What is it about: The Willow series is the successor to the beloved Willow movie released at the end of the 80’s. It allows us to see a new group of heroes continue the journey left by the characters of the original Willow series. As such, it allows us to see the next generation of young heroes still learning more about themselves as they try to figure out how to prevent a great evil from plunging the entire world back into darkness.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Of course, like American Born Chinese, Willow focuses on the journey of young characters with powers and abilities they’re still trying to learn. They’re on an adventure that will test their resolve and dedication to themselves and each other, just as American Born Chinese follows the story of teenage boys looking to stop a divine war that could endanger the entire world.
5. Avatar: The Legend of Aang (2005-2008)
IMDB Score: 9.3
What is it about: Often called the GOAT of animated TV shows, Avatar: The Legend of Aang follows the journey of a young Airbender who is actually the Avatar, the only person who can bend all four elements and unite the entire world. However, the fate of the entire world rests on his shoulders because now Aang must speed up his training and learn how to bend all four elements in time to prevent the fearsome Fire Nation from plunging the world into war and chaos.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: While it may be set in a fantasy world, Avatar: The Legend of Aang is more like American Born Chinese due to the fact that they both follow the stories of characters who carry the fate of the entire world on their shoulders despite their young age. We are. Of course, let’s not forget that Avatar is actually inspired by Asian culture, just as American Born Chinese prides itself on being Asian inclusive.
4- Hockey (2021)
IMDB Score: 7.5
What is it about: Hawkeye is a follow-up story of Clint Barton of the Avengers as he embarks on a new journey as a former Avenger who now wants to focus more on his family. However, he’s caught in a big fail trap in New York where he must now inadvertently assume the role of mentor to a young archer he grew up idolizing. In a sense, the Hawkeye series is like passing the torch from one sniper to another.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Although Hawkeye focuses a lot on the elderly Clint Barton, let’s not forget that Kate Bishop is also involved in the series as she is a young girl trying to find her way in the world while searching for her own. As such, it is similar to American Born Chinese in the sense that a young heroine tries to follow her own path in life while the older hero acts as a mentor.
3. Cobra Kai (2018-present)
IMDB Score: 8.5
What is it about: Cobra Kai takes place in the same universe as the original Karate Kid movie series, and takes place 34 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Championship. In this regard, Johnny Lawrence tries to redeem himself by reopening the Cobra Kai dojo. This reignited his rivalry with Daniel LaRusso, who was the same person who defeated him over three decades ago.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Although Cobra Kai follows the older characters we met in the original Karate Kid movies, it also focuses on the journey of younger characters who were made to carry the torch for the entire franchise. As such, it is similar to American Born Chinese in the sense that the younger characters are now trying to learn more about themselves in a martial arts-focused world.
2. The Umbrella Academy (2019 – present)
IMDB score: 7.9
What is it about: The Umbrella Academy follows a group of misfit siblings who are adopted by the same person due to their supernatural abilities. They grew up as superheroes who were forced to become perfect by their overbearing adoptive father, but who ended up moving away upon reaching adulthood. But the death of their adoptive father forces the group to reunite as they try to solve unresolved issues that date back to their childhood years.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Although The Umbrella Academy focuses on adult characters, it is similar to American Born Chinese due to how they both have supernatural themes. Of course, the characters in The Umbrella Academy are still in the middle of learning more about themselves despite the fact that they’re already adults. This is why this series is not much different from American Born Chinese.
1 – Ms. Marvel (2022)
IMDB Score: 6.2
What is it about: Ms. Marvel follows the story of a comic book geek and Avengers fan named Kamala Khan, who wants to become a superhero and follow in the footsteps of her favorite Avenger, Captain Marvel. An old family heirloom ends up in her possession when she discovers she has superpowers. As such, Kamala needs to find a way to use her superpowers to prevent a catastrophic event.
Why is it similar to the Chinese born in America: Both Ms. Marvel and American Born Chinese follow the main characters who are part of an ethnic minority group. Of course, the characters in both series are also teenagers trying to live a normal life in America but end up falling into something that endangers the fate of the entire world. That’s why they need to be more than themselves while discovering the hero in them to save the entire world.