There are a lot of TV shows out there, and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been more significant. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? We’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, most fabulous, and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to the best anime fight scenes. From epic one-on-one bouts to team-based efforts, a slew of fights here will whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below, and we’ll add them when we can!
All Might Vs. All For One (My Hero Academia)
My Hero Academia had a lot of build-up leading into All Might’s inevitable bout with All For One. Not only was this fight impeccable visually, but it carried a lot of weight. All For One had been responsible for All Might’s previous master, Nana’s death, and had been leading her grandson Shigaraki astray ever since.
All Might had a score to settle with All For One. The fight itself boasted a lot of emotional dialogue and led to All Might officially retiring as the world’s number-one hero. Visually, the episodes featuring this bout were handled well and provided viewers with brutal visuals and adrenaline-pumping animation.
It’s a fight that’s regarded as one of the best in the series and one that’ll stand the test of time.
Saitama Vs. Boros (One Punch Man)
For a series about a man who can defeat any opponent with one punch, it had lots to be desired. Not only was Boros the first enemy that could withstand Saitama’s attack, but he provided fans with a thrilling otherworldly bout that they’ll never forget.
Although Saitama didn’t take the fight too seriously, fans enjoyed watching him enjoy the thrill of battle. One Punch Man revolved around Saitama’s search for a worthy challenge. Boros gave him the fight he’s been clamoring for, and audiences felt happy that Saitama found his match.
It not only opened the possibility for more fighters to push Saitama to his limits, but it motivated Saitama to put effort into a fight. Granted, some battles in the future may outshine Saitama’s bout with Boros, but this one managed to strike a core with many viewers.
Team Gurren Vs. The Anti-Spiral (Gurren Lagann)
Gurren Lagann was an immaculate thrill ride from start to finish. It needed an adrenaline-pumping final act that would meet and exceed fans’ expectations. The Team Gurren Vs. The Anti-Spiral bout is a fight that clearly defines what this show hoped to accomplish.
The fight is hyper-stylized and full of absurdities and mind-numbing concepts. You have everything from characters throwing galaxies at each other to an engrossing fistfight between its protagonist Simon and his Anti-Spiral enemy.
This fight fully captured the joy people have for the Mecha genre. From his love for his friend Kamina to the help of the enemies and friends they met along the way, Simon’s aimed to give the Anti-Spiral a fight that would pierce the cosmos.
Takamura Vs. Bryan Hawk (Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger)
For a boxing match between two heavyweight adversaries, this one provides enough realism to warrant everyone’s attention. It’s one of the longest fights in anime history and spans more than an hour. However, the fight features enough suspense and curiosity to hold viewers over.
This is a consistently exhilarating bout from beginning to end. Takamura’s character had received great development and characterization up to this point to evoke feelings of hope for his in-world and real-life fanbase. From Bryan Hawk’s cocky attitude to Takamura’s drive for victory, it’s a fight full of endless emotions.
At the same time, Bryan Hawk and Takamura went into this fight with strategy in mind. It was a fight that highlighted the importance of practice, understanding the basics, and adapting to new situations. This was an epic showcase of raw strength, and well-executed reaction times, and provided enough blood and sweat to get a cheer out of fans.
Naruto Vs. Sasuke (Naruto Shippuden)
Naruto’s competition with Sasuke is one of Shonen Jump’s best rivalries. Since Sasuke left the village in Part I, Naruto vowed to bring him back, no matter the cost. While Naruto encounters and clashes with Sasuke numerous times in Shippuden, their final fight holds the most memorability and excitement.
At this time, Naruto and Sasuke had received power from the Sage of Six Paths which granted them immense strength and ability. While these two utilize those gifted powers in battle, they resort to the classic hand-to-hand combat and cunning tactics shown in their major fight during Part I’s Sasuke Recovery Mission story arc.
The final moments of the fight held the most weight and impact. From Sasuke’s cold-hearted Chidori to Naruto’s lightened Rasengan, their clash shook the boundaries of the Shinobi World and fans at their core. Thankfully, the result led to a conclusion that warmed everyone’s hearts and reunited Naruto and Sasuke as friends.
Goku Vs. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
Picking just one fight from Dragon Ball Z’s stacked number of bouts is no easy feat, and this title could so easily have gone to Cell VS Gohan too, with the incredible goosebump-inducing moment of our little Saiyan ascending to Super Saiyan 2.
However, the long fight with Frieza is full of emotion and arguably more so than that involving Cell. After a long back and forth with the evil foe, Frieza kills Goku’s best friend Krillin, setting off a chain reaction of events that changed the face of the anime forever. For 3 long seasons, the fabled Super Saiyan had been teased and here, we saw it in all its glory.
With the fate of the entire world(s) hanging in the balance, Goku and Frieza’s world-shattering fight deserves a place on this list!
Spike Spiegel Vs. Vicious (Cowboy Bebop)
Cowboy Bebop is a jazzy sci-fi adventure anime with a lot of charm. This is one of those anime that gradually unravels the backstories of its cast as they tackle numerous missions and explore countless environments. Another aspect that gravitated fans toward this work would be its protagonist, Spike Spiegel’s fancy footwork.
As a bounty hunter, it’s best to prepare for trouble. However, gunfights can get dull and repetitive fast. Thankfully, Spike’s well-choreographed movements spice things up. The animation looks fluid during these scenes and will leave viewers satisfied. While most of Spike’s squabbles are fun to watch, his bout with his adversary Vicious holds merit.
For many people, it hurts to see friends throw punches at each other. Spike and Vicious’s fight carries immense weight as both characters used to be close allies in a crime syndicate. This fight was fueled by a sordid love triangle involving Vicious, Spike, and a girl named Julia. Seeing Julia die in Vicious’ men’s hands lights a fire for vengeance in Spike.
The fight itself contains an epic clash between a gun versus a sword. While their bout is shorter than most, the lead-up to this fateful fight helps viewers understand its significance to the narrative. With an ending that’ll leave many fans heartbroken, Spike vs. Vicious is a roller coaster of emotions worth anticipating.
Jotaro Vs. Dio (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)
Another fight that benefits from the series’ clever build-up, is Jotaro vs Dio in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. The overarching plot of Stardust Crusaders involved our gang of heroic and masculine gentlemen heading to Egypt to finish off the Joestar family’s greatest enemy, Dio Brando.
While there were many parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure that provided unique and exhilarating fights before and after Stardust Crusaders, Dio’s fight with Jotaro is one of its more memorable and heavier ones. Dio’s made the Joestar family’s lives a nightmare.
He not only stole Jotaro’s ancestor Jonathan Joestar’s body but is solely responsible for his mother’s poor condition in Stardust Crusaders. That said, the fight itself spans multiple episodes. There are some chase sequences and banter shared between both men.
The abilities they utilize are otherworldly, and both men aren’t afraid to make the other suffer. While this fight can be enjoyed without context, it holds more value for those that go into it with some knowledge about the anime and its cast.
Mugen and Jin Vs. Kagetoki and Toube (Samurai Champloo)
Samurai Champloo is the Cowboy Bebop of samurai anime. It’s a series that blends hip-hop with sword-fighting in phenomenal and satisfying ways. Our protagonists Mugen and Jin have different ideals but are honorable warriors who’ll do anything to protect the innocent.
Enter Mugen and Jin’s fight with elite samurai Kagetoki and Toube. Keep in mind, this isn’t a team fight. These gentleman fight in one vs one combat. However, the two fights intertwine with each other enough to warrant it being on this list. Mugen and Jin get separated into distinct groups and must kill these samurai before they end their lives.
This results in Mugen and Jin tapping into their latent abilities. These fights will shock most viewers with how well-animated they are. Seeing Mugen’s break-dancing swordsman technique and dodging projectiles at insane speeds will energize many action lovers. While Jin doesn’t show fans anything unique with his fighting style, he gives Toube, a swordsman with heavy experience, the time of his life.
If you’re looking for two semi-realistic fights that will get you adrenaline-pumping, check out these exhilarating duels.
Eren Vs. The War-Hammer & Jaw Titan (Attack On Titan)
Eren has fought many foes in Attack On Titan and many of his bouts left quite an impression on fans. From his first fight with Annie in season one to his later bout against Reiner in season three, Eren’s shown time and again why he’s not one worth underestimating.
However, one of Eren’s best fights would be when he tackled the Warhammer Titan in Season 4. Keep in mind, this was the season where Studio Mappa took over for Wit Studio, the ones responsible for animating the first three seasons and the OVA specials.
This meant fans had to look forward to a new art and animation style that’d look different from the other seasons’ story and studio-wise. Although many fans were skeptical about Mappa’s handling of Attack On Titan, the studio crafted a breathtaking and mesmerizing bout that trigger its audience’s distinct emotions.
While the CGI models for the Titans looked slightly jarring, Eren’s savagery toward these Titans was on a whole new level. Hearing the Jaw Titan beg for mercy as Eren squeezes away at his head was painful for every anime fan, regardless if they’re accustomed to gory material. If you’re looking for a fight that’ll leave an imprint on your mind, check out Eren’s bout with these two individuals.
Meruem Vs Netero (Hunter X Hunter 2011)
Hunter X Hunter is known for having stellar world-building, well-developed characters, and epic fights. The hunters in this world vary in strength, ideals, and experience. While each story arc of Hunter X Hunter has something grand to offer viewers, the Chimera Ant arc is arguably one of its high points.
This arc gave fans shocking developments, beautiful battles, and fun mind games and tactics. While Hunter X Hunter offers many brutal and heartbreaking moments scattered throughout this arc, none compare to the epicness that was Hunter Association 12th Chairman Isaac Netero’s fight with the Chimera Ant King, Meruem.
This fight evokes the same feeling one would receive seeing two highly skilled gladiators duel in an arena. Meruem lacks experience but has immense power. Netero is an old-timer but with vast experience. Fans will admire watching these fighters clash with their unique supernatural abilities and clever tactics.
Although the fight doesn’t span many episodes, it leaves off a satisfying explosive finale. If you’re looking for a bout with stellar hand-to-hand combat and superpowers, check out Meruem and Netero’s fight.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime fight scenes throughout the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!