The only thing better than great anime fight scene is an epic anime fight scene!
The world of anime has featured some of the best fight scenes in the realm of entertainment – I think we can all agree on that, right? Right. The natural next step is to list the 10 most epic fights I’ve seen in anime.
There will be some violent content featured (because, you know, fighting) and there could also be spoilers ahead as I’m going to talk about these scenes – just a bit. You’ve been warned.
Number 10: Spike Spiegel vs. Elektra Ovilo – Cowboy Bebop: the Movie
I have to be honest, I couldn’t really get into Cowboy Bebop; I liked it but it was a little too… fun and silly – for lack of a better word. Thankfully, I did give the series a chance and it did get better; the fun and silliness were still a huge thing but they were a welcome reprieve from the darker stuff – particularly towards the end of the series.
In regard to the movie, I struggled to get through it and, to be honest, I can’t really remember much of it. Still, this fight between Spike and the bad guy’s ex-girlfriend (I think that’s who she is anyways) is a pretty cool one.
To give some context, Spike has infiltrated a pharmaceutical company as a janitor and gets caught – resulting in this fight and a lot of really corny dialogue.
I love Spike’s nonchalant behaviour in this clip. He has a freaking gun in his face and is just like: “Hey, let’s go out”. And the way he uses the broom as a weapon and makes his escape is just brilliant.
It’s kind of a shame that I can’t remember much out of this film – maybe it’s time to watch it again.
Number 9: Guts vs. Bazuso – Berserk
I loved this scene because of just how the others react to Guts’ arrival and how he beats this brazenly overconfident knight by ostensibly cutting him in half.
Now, generally I prefer being able to see the whole fight and not have the fight freeze into what I think is a watercolour painting – that did kind of ruin it for me. But I did finish the series, and while the whole watercolour painting thing is annoying there are plenty of fights to make up for it.
Number 8: Eve vs. Leon – Black Cat
Our number 8 epic anime fight scene spot is a battle between science and magic.
If you’ve seen the anime or read the manga then these two characters don’t really need introduction, but for those who haven’t done either, here’s a cliffnote summary: Eve is a bioweapon whose body is full of nano-machines and Leon is a kid who drank some sort of mystical potion to give himself special abilities. Eve works as a sidekick to sweepers (bounty hunters) Sven and Train and Leon works for a terrorist group called the Apostles of the Stars.
Towards the midway point in the anime these two characters meet up and the heat of a raid on the Apostles compound and engage in a heated battle.
I love this fight because it shows two very different combatants and their skillsets. Eve is by far the superior fighter, using tactics and strategy and manipulating the nanotech in her body to take on whatever forms she needs to fight, while conserving energy and staying two steps ahead of her opponent.
Leon is… an idiot. I don’t know what else to call him. He fights with the entirety of his strength, throwing all his energy into his attacks and focusing on killing/destroying Eve. It’s a battle of brain over brawn and that’s what makes this such a cool scene to watch.
Number 7: Goku vs. Frieza – Dragon Ball Z
Okay, I had to include this one somewhere on this list; how could I not include one of the longest fights in anime history?
Taking place during the Frieza Saga (season 3) of Dragon Ball Z, this battle between series protagonist Goku and the villainous Frieza spanned a good 20 episodes, making it the longest battle in the series with the two characters taunting each other and screaming and so forth between exchanging blows.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip of the full fight from the original Dragon Ball Z run but I was able to find a partial clip from the re-mastered Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F (apparently it’s a movie special sigh I’m really out of touch) .
Now, personally I sort of prefer the Dragon Ball Z version – I just think that the transformation scene for Goku is cooler and more dramatic. This version isn’t bad but the section where Goku goes super saiyan sounds more like he’s seriously constipated and less like an enraged fighter; the voice acting doesn’t really help either.
Still, the fight is well shot and well-acted. It’s also one of the very first things I saw when I started watching the original Dragon Ball Z series and it blew my mind.
Number 6: Eren vs. Annie – Attack on Titan
So, coming in at number 6 is something that’s a bit more recent. I first saw Attack on Titan two or three years back and at the time I wasn’t too keen on the idea of ‘giant naked people destroying villages’ – I’m not kidding about that summary either, that was how one person described it to me. It just seemed silly to me.
Still, I was bored and needed something to watch; the hype at this point was starting to irritate me and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
At first I wasn’t quite sold – I’d seen way too many whiny ‘heroes’ get undeserved praise. But I stuck with the series and it yielded one of the best fights I’ve seen in an anime since Alucard and Anderson duked it out in the finale of Hellsing Ultimate.
I love the way the two titans fight so differently in this clip. Annie seems like the more experienced fighter both in and out of titan form, while Eren is just getting used to the whole titan business.
Number 5: D’Eon/Lia de Beaumont vs. Vorontsov – Le Chevalier D’Eon
This was one fight that the series had been building up to from the start of the series and personally I think that it was very well done. In his quest to uncover the identity of his sister’s killer, D’Eon de Beaumont and his companions make their way into Russia and aid in a coup d’état to ensure that the country has a stable ruler (I guess, it’s never really explained as far as I recall).
Vorontsov was mentioned early on as a suspect in a series of grisly murders in Paris and this fight from episode 12 was one that I’d been anxiously waiting for; D’Eon was finally going to confront the man behind the crimes!
Now, of course that wasn’t quite the case. The Russian knight’s involvement was a bit more… complicated than that. But the fight is still really cool.
Number 4: Moka Akashiya vs. Kurumu Kurono – Rosario + Vampire (S1)
This is an odd entry, isn’t it? I mean we’ve got all these violent confrontations between aliens, knights, augmented children and so on and now suddenly we get a comedy series – really? Yes, really.
This fight is a bit odd because I just can’t take it that seriously. The main character has two beautiful women after him; I mean really, how bad could it…
Ah, you know what, never mind.
Okay, all jokes aside this is a pretty good fight and Rosario + Vampire doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
Number 3: Kanbei vs. Kyuzo – Samurai 7
By far one of my favourite fights in the entire run of Samurai 7 has to be this one:
If you’re into old films, then you might be interested to know Samurai 7 is an anime adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and follows the story of the 1954 film quite closely – or at least, as closely as a steam punk samurai adventure can.
Now, I won’t talk about the plot because otherwise we’ll be here all day, but I am going to talk about this fight.
Taking place in the city, while the villagers seek the aid of Samurai to protect their homes from bandits, we find that a particular samurai has followed two characters back to the first samurai. The two start circling and the music builds and builds as the two swordsmen size each other up before engaging their deadly dance.
Can we all agree that picking a fight with either of these guys would be a very bad idea?
Number 02: D vs. Meier Link – Vampire Hunter D; Bloodlust
Another, slightly more obscure swordfight marks our runner up, and it’s the final showdown between the eponymous D and the Count Meier Link.
Now, I said this was slightly more obscure than the other entries on this list because both this film and the original Vampire Hunter D are rather… unknown. Most of the hardcore anime fans I’ve talked to over the years have never even heard of Vampire Hunter D, either in the two films or the original book series.
Okay, so what’s happening here? D has been chasing Meier Link for the whole of the film’s 90 minute run time in an effort to retrieve a woman the count had allegedly kidnapped. When the two meet up at the end of the film the duel that follows some brief dialogue is well shot and well-acted.
To be honest, the whole film is really well done, but of all the fights in the entire runtime this is the one that really resonated with me. No, I’m not a vampire count lusting after some pretty human gal, but I understand how opposing viewpoints can often lead to arguments and arguments have a tendency to get… well …a little rough sometimes.
That’s what’s going on here, more than anything else. It’s two men with opposing viewpoints seemingly unable or unwilling to reach a peaceful resolution coming to blows.
The best part is that if you haven’t seen the film, the clip ends perfectly, so if you want to know the full conclusion of the fight – you’ll have to see it for yourself.
Honorable Mention: Sosuke vs. Karate Triplets – Full Metal Panic
Do I even need to explain this? This fight – if you can even call it that – is just so ridiculous that I just had to put it here somewhere.
Number 1: Nanashi (Nameless) vs. the Foreigner – Sword of the Stranger
Drumroll and fanfare
Our number 1 pick comes out of Sword of the Stranger, a 2007 historical action drama piece that is so full of good fights that picking just one was almost impossible. I saw the film once a few years back and the story is a bit vague, but this fight has stuck with me for one simple reason: Nanashi’s determination.
The story of a young boy being chased by a group of Ming dynasty for unknown reasons might seem a bit weak. And yeah, there are problems. But this fight more than makes up for them in my opinion.
The Ming swordsman offers Nanashi something which I’m guessing is a painkiller of some sort and Nanashi basically responds: “Pain makes me feel more alive.”
Seriously, this has got to be one of the best lines preceding a fight that I’ve heard in years and the following duel is nothing short of epic. Much like D and Meier Link’s final confrontation, this epic anime fight scene follows two men from different backgrounds of different ideologies as they come to blows.
Final Thoughts: There are too many titles to choose 10 anime fight scenes from
So, that’s the epic anime fight scenes list and wow that was intense – I need something funny to offset the seriousness. These are just 10 of my favourites, but I know there are a number of fights that I missed/didn’t include.
So with that in mind, what did you guys think? Which of these amazing anime fights were your favourites? Better yet, have you seen any/all of these films/series or did I give you something new to watch? Hit me up on twitter and let me know all that stuff.