Self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds for a cause or to protect loved ones is still one of the most inspiring actions people can take. Records from history as detail famous last stands as Thermopylae, Saragarhi and Myeongnyang continue to captivate people to this day.
Anime has a good deal of famous and epic recent stands. Whether they were in vain or successful, these characters decided to give it their all and fight to the end despite being in excess and in the minority, and sometimes giving their lives in the process. A warning that there will be significant spoilers, so readers are advised to proceed with caution.
7 Invasion of Pieta (Claymore)
In a dark fantasy and medieval world under constant attack by monsters known as Yoma, female war witches known as Claymores are the only ones who can resist these creatures.
In the Northern Arc during the invasion of Pieta, Claymores takes his stand against the awakened beings, formerly Claymores who have given in to their carnal desires and who are incredibly strong. As the battle rages, the Claymores are slowly torn apart as most of their leaders are picked out one by one. Despite being outcompeted, Claymores continues to fight and develop tactics to try to overcome their odds. Fortunately, all this was not in vain when the main character, Clare, finally turns the table towards the awake.
6 Asuka Vs Eva Units (The End Of Evangelion)
One of the more recognizable Tsundere characters of the last couple of decades, no one wants to go on Asuka’s bad side. When a whole horde of EVA units come down to exterminate the NERV plant and those within it, Asuka alone comes to the rescue.
Despite a brave and effective defense, viewers know that the numbers are stacked against her. Asuka refuses to give up even though her EVA unit has been torn to shreds, pushing herself to the limit in a desperate attempt to take down more enemies. However, the results are not pretty as she is impaled repeatedly.
5 Kamina vs Thymilph (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
In an attempt to conquer the mobile fortress belonging to the divine general Thymilph, Team Gurren Lagan and their allies go all in to take down the Beastman Empire that rules the surface. The fight goes wrong when Thymilph not only stabs Kamina in the chest, but also shoots a beam weapon through him, injuring the guy fatally.
In a final epic move, Kamina uses the last forces to combine with Simon to form Gurren Lagann again and deliver the signature “Giga Drill Break”, which is not only fantastic to watch, but destroys the general. Kamina delivers a few last wise words to Simon about believing in himself and dies shortly afterwards in his cockpit.
4 Whitebeard Vs The Blackbeard Pirates And The Marines (One Piece)
Whitebeard was one of the most masculine characters to adorn the anime screens, and was considered the strongest man in the world in One Piece franchise. Tragically unable to save Ace during a fight against the world government, Whitebeard gathers for a final fight against the government’s naval forces and his former turncoat crew member, Blackbeard.
Having destroyed much of Marineford and given some wise words to Blackbeard, about why it is never a good idea to betray people. Whitebeard succumbs to his wounds (267 sword wounds, 152 gunshot wounds and 46 cannonballs) and dies standing. What a legend.
3 All Might Vs All For One (My Hero Academia)
Two opposing giants with everything at stake. Despite the fact that both have passed their best age, All Might and All For One are far from powerless. While both their followers and the audience see the ultimate showdown unfold, the two sides give everything they have against each other.
Although he is almost out of juice and under All For One’s constant tangle of various quirks, All Might gathers his last strength to overcome the odds. With the help of public support and his mentor’s words, he manages to triumph over All For One, delivering one of the most epic battles in anime history in the process.
2 Spike’s One Man Assault (Cowboy Bebop)
Sometimes the best defense means an all-out offensive. Trapped between two realities and feeling the loss of his only love, Julia, the bounty hunter known as Spike takes the fight against Vicious and his crime syndicate to end it all.
Despite having the upper hand all the way and getting to Vicious (while losing their friend Shin in the process), they give it their all and exchange deadly blows with each other. Despite walking out of the ruins with several enemies watching, Spike is apparently happy with the outcome of everything as credits begin to roll.
1 Erwin’s latest accusation (Attack On Titan)
Known for his desire to discover the outside world and inspired by his father’s ideals, Erwin became a great captain despite never caring about anyone and was willing to let others die for the greater good.
Erwin accepts that his last wish will not come true, and makes one last desperate gamble to storm the Beast Titan. Erwin awakens the scout recruits and trusts Levi with his skills, and leads his doomed regiment into battle. Although he survives the attack and the scout regiment achieves a Pyrrhic victory, Erwin succumbs to the wounds after Armin is chosen to be the next colossal titan.
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