Every anime fan loves a good fight scene. While anime is certainly a well-rounded art form full of many unique sub-genres, some of which are completely non-violent, there’s no denying that a big part of what made anime as popular as it is is the fighting. Whether it’s larger-than-life mecha battles, martial arts battles, or intricately choreographed sword clashes, anime has given anime fans some of the greatest battles of all time.
If there’s a downside to having so many epic battles, it’s that many of the best ones get overlooked among the pack. Maybe it’s because it belongs to a newer series, or maybe it’s part of a show with too many great matches to choose from. Yet some of the greatest battles in anime are either sorely overlooked or criminally underrated.
10/10 Mob humiliates the mysterious leader of Claw
Mob vs Toichiro Suzuki (Mob Psycho 100)
Mob Psycho 100 already slept on when it comes to the fight scenes, which are some of the coolest in anime. The animation, colors, and music combine to make Mob’s battles some of the most attractive shonen battles to watch. A masterclass in that domain is Mob’s battle against Toichiro, the leader of the enigmatic esper group Claw.
Toichiro was the strongest enemy Mob had ever faced and the first to really push Mob to his limits and show the extent of his latent power. The magnitude of their fight was enough to crumble entire cities, a feat impressive enough to put Mob’s name into the conversation of shonen anime’s mightiest heroes.
9/10 Gon thinks outside the box
Gon vs Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter)
While most Hunter x hunter fans will talk about Gon’s complete annihilation of Pitou, many forget that one of Gon’s best early performances is his rematch against Hisoka. This match was so important because it showcased Gon’s growth up to that point and Hisoka’s masochistic, mentor-like relationship with Gon.
After trying everything to hit Hisoka, Gon realizes that he is completely outmatched in a direct fight. To compensate, Gon pulls off one of the most resourceful moves in all of anime tournament fighting history. After lifting a tile off the ground, he breaks it into pieces and – using a large portion of it for cover – lands his first clean strike at Hisoka.
8/10 Yuno finally recognizes Asta as her equal
Asta & Yuno vs Licht (Black Clover)
Asta and Yuno’s fight against Licht is one of the most epic in Black clover. After all they had been through, Yuno finally shows Asta respect and recognizes him for his strength, enough to consider him equal to fight by her side.
While Black clover is a popular series, it often falls just short of the “Big 3” consideration. However, battles like Asta and Yunos vs. Licht show why the show still deserves to be considered one of the very best in shonen anime.
7/10 Naruto and Sasuke grew further apart than ever
Naruto vs Sasuke (Naruto)
When we talk about the biggest matches in Narutofans often like to quote many of Shippuden’s awesome choreographed fights. However, one of the most emotionally powerful and epic battles in the franchise was actually at the end of the first one Naruto series.
Naruto and Sasuke’s meeting in The Valley of the End was a heartbreaking moment for Naruto fans everywhere. It was an uncertain ending to a rollercoaster of a series and paved the way for where Shippuden would lead off.
6/10 Yoruichi reminds Soi Fon who her master is
Yoruichi vs Soi Fon (bleach)
Everyone loves to talk about Ichigo and Aizen’s fight or Nel’s surprising transformation against Grimmjow, and while they certainly are Bleach moments worth the hype, Yoruichi’s fight against Sui Feng was one of the coolest fights in anime. First, the story behind their fight was enough to add deeper levels of emotion to each strike.
One of Soi Fon’s signature abilities allows her to place a mark of death on the enemy which, if hit in the same spot twice, instantly kills her enemy. Still, in the end, Yoruichi showed Soi Fon why she earned the title of Flash Goddess.
5/10 Tanjiro marches to his own drum
Tanjiro vs Kyogai (Demon Slayer)
One of the coolest and least talked about matches from Demon Slaughter is the battle between Tanjiro and the demon Kyogai in Tsuzumi Mansion. Kyogai has the ability to control the rooms of the Tsuzumi House by beating the drums inserted into his body.
This was also the arc that first introduced Tanjiro’s two great companions, Inosuke and Zenitsu, making it legendary in its own right. However, the final battle between Tanjiro and Kyogai is particularly exciting as Tanjiro adapts to the ever-changing spaces around him to decapitate the demon once and for all.
4/10 All Might solidifies his place in hero history
All Might vs All For One (My Hero Academia)
Most fans will undoubtedly point to Midoriya’s fight with Overhaul as the coolest fight in the game My Hero Academia, and understandably; it’s filled with incredible animation, the emotional weight behind Lemillion’s loss of quirkiness, and the wholesome duo of Midoriya and Eri.
However, one match that should always be in the conversation for best matches is All Might’s match against All For One. This is a clash of the greatest hero and villain rivalry in the world MHA, and it certainly lives up to expectations. All Might’s heroic sacrifice and victory through sheer force of will alone should put him in the running for greatest heroes of all time, anime or otherwise.
3/10 Kenshin teaches Sojiro a valuable lesson
Kenshin vs Sojiro Seta (Rurouni Kenshin)
Even though Rurouni Kenshin fans love to spotlight Kenshin’s fight with Shishio, his encounter with Sojiro was truly one of his best. Part of the fight’s greatness comes from Sojiro’s character, whose confused state of mind is at odds with the villainous life he came to know.
Sojiro is an amazing fighting genius and only second in skill to Shishio himself. Sojiro’s fighting style, which consists of jumping on one leg, has become iconic in the Rurouni Kenshin fanbase, and he is one of the most popular villains in the series. While he was raised by Shishio to know only how to kill, Sojiro is completely devastated when Kenshin defeats him and teaches him that there is another way.
2/10 Bringing a knife to a gunfight works in Kirito’s favor
Kirito vs Sterben (Sword Art Online)
The mix of guns and sword fighting in SAO 2 is a dynamic that could have been ridiculous, but the context of Gun Gale made it work perfectly. In the Gun Gale Arc of Sword art onlineone of the best fights in the series takes place between Kirito and Sterben, also known as XaXa, the mysterious assassin who was once a member of the Player Killing guild Laughing Coffin in SAO.
Sterben was complicit in countless murders with his brother, who would kill players in the real world when Sterben killed their in-game character. Sterben’s skills with a grapple completely outclassed Kirito in their one-on-one match. Nevertheless, Kirito is able to claim victory at the last second by combining both gunfire and swordsmanship in one last epic attack.
1/10 Goku’s fights constantly set the standard for anime
Goku vs Piccolo Jr. (Dragon Ball)
Goku and Piccolo Jr. his match at the end of Dragon Ball is one of the most legendary to date in anime. This match should constantly be in the top ten of all time in anime due to its influence alone. Yet it is often understandably overshadowed by Goku’s other epic encounter with Frieza below Z.
Despite the well-deserved hype that Goku’s fight with Frieza has received, his face-off with Piccolo Jr. essentially the pilot who was supposed to define the direction which Dragon Ball Z would take. While Dragon Ball Z had some of the most iconic fights in television, let alone anime, none of it would have been possible without Goku and Piccolo’s larger-than-life fight at the end of Dragon Ball.