Top 30 Best Anime Fight Scenes Of All Time (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Myself and many friends were introduced to anime with classic shounen titles like Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files, Dragon Ball Z, and Rurouni Kenshin.
In other words, we were first enthralled by the medium because of all the epic fights with everything from swords and rifles to energy blasts.
Many years have passed since then (actually, two decades) and anime has given fans tons of great fights.
I haven’t seen all the action-packed confrontations, and there’s always more come. But I’m certain that these fight scenes ranked here will never fail to impress.
And fair warning: Spoilers ahead.
30. Ichigo vs Ulquiorra
This hasn’t aged as well as other entries, but I remember being a kid and being hyped after school to see this multi-episode battle.
Ulquiorra was in control most of the time and Ichigo was seemingly out of options — except Bleach is a traditional shounen.
So Ichigo gets a surprise new form, one with a devastating Cero that leaves Ulquiorra (and viewers) in disbelief.
I still find it amusing when they get huge holes in their chest and just heal back. But on a serious note, I commend the epic strings, organs, and choruses, and how this wasn’t a full victory or lost for either side.
Ichigo won against Ulquiorra, but he felt it was unfair — and he hurt Uryu. Similarly, Ulquiorra lost. But he understood a little more about humanity before disappearing from existence.
29. Kaneki vs Jason
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul never got the adaptation it deserved (especially if you’ve seen Tokyo Ghoul √A and Tokyo Ghoul:re). But Season 1 had a noteworthy finale with this epic fight.
This was essentially the timid and confused Kaneki’s awakening, his coming to terms with being a ghoul.
He never expected to be a powerful monster after a date with Rize, but all he can do is move forward — and Jason got to witness Kaneki’s frightening ferocity firsthand.
Kaneki had to witness people scream in pain and die right in front of him, with Jason making him choose which one he kills first. I remember the demented piano keys illustrating the insanity.
But Kaneki gets his revenge on Jason, and combined with the amazing hit track that is Ling Tosite Sigure’s “unravel” (the OP of Tokyo Ghoul), one can’t help but be entertained with him overwhelming Jason in his own sickening ways.
28. Shirou vs Gilgamesh
Anime: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
The background music here isn’t anything close to amazing, but the animation and the outcome are already highly satisfying — and you don’t even need to know the full context to appreciate this scene.
Just from this fight, one can sense the dominance and pride of Gilgamesh and the wit and perseverance of Shirou.
Sure, Gilgamesh has a thousand Noble Phantasms he can summon right out of nowhere. But he hasn’t spent the time as other warriors in mastering even just one weapon (well, he sees himself as a king rather than a warrior).
I love that despite Shirou surprising him with his strong attacks, Gilgamesh was still apprehensive at the thought of using his ultimate weapon Ea, the Sword of Rupture.
That arrogance proved costly. Especially with what happened afterwards (hello, Archer).
27. Edward vs Greed
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Greed is a cool guy.
Sure, he’s also quite narcissistic and craves the money and women (and everything else). But he’s got the charisma.
Yet overconfidence and underestimating your opponent can be disastrous. And that’s what Greed had to learn the hard way against Edward.
Edward was badly injured. Greed was an impenetrable, walking fortress.
Still, the MC utilized what little bit of information he had and eventually turned the tide.
Izumi Curtis and King Bradley soon came around to further pulverize Greed, but this fight shows that you can’t win a physical duel with might (or a seemingly impenetrable full-body skin) alone — you need the mental fortitude as well to maintain or gain the advantage, no matter how hopeless the situation seems.
26. Takamura Mamoru vs Bryan Hawk
Anime: Hajime no Ippo
This is one of the longest fights in anime — but it’s also one of the best. Despite lasting for more than an hour (well, it is a boxing match) this was consistently exhilarating.
Here, Madhouse once again proved they’ve got some of the finest animators in the industry.
Bryan Hawk looked terrifyingly buff and his antics irritated not only the crowd but viewers as well. The studio perfectly captured his confidence and odd boxing style, especially with his first surprise uppercut.
Likewise, you could feel every massive punch.
You knew why Takamura and Bryan Hawk had to catch their breath and revise their strategies.
Moreover, this heart-stopping exchange of fists highlighted the value of practice, knowing the basics, and learning to quickly adapt to new situations.
This was a glorious, brutal showcase of brute power, insane speed, and incredible reaction times, doused with the right amount of blood, sweat, and crowd cheers and jeers.
25. Gohan vs Cell
Anime: Dragon Ball Z
The Dragon Ball franchise is infamous for its long fights — and I’m not referring to 10-minute squabbles.
Now this fight between Gohan and Cell lasted for six or so episodes. It’s a feature-length action film made for TV.
But you know what?
I like this fight more than I did many years ago.
It’s a defining moment in Dragon Ball Z.
The sprawling battle contains deaths (including that of a main character) and destruction (one move literally destroyed an entire planet), characterized by the classic background music and fighting sounds distinct to the series.
Seriously, this fight had better animation and editing (and was easier to follow) than a ton of newer anime shows.
But more importantly, this fight led Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta towards reevaluating their behavior, particularly with how Goku and Vegeta are as fathers to Gohan and Trunks, respectively — and Piccolo really shined here as one of the most admirable characters.
24. Naruto and Sasuke vs Momoshiki
Two slightly different versions of this epic fight exist, and I personally think they’re both worth watching.
The fight in EP 65 of Boruto and the movie should easily satisfy long-time fans and casual viewers, but manga readers may prefer the episode version because Momoshiki’s design there is more similar to the one in the manga.
Either way, the clash effectively showcases many things:
The sheer power of Momoshiki (easily beating multiple kage in just a minute), the beautiful tandem of Naruto and Sasuke (that nine-tailed fox with Sasuke’s Susanoo is awesome), and the emotional core of the franchise.
23. Izuku Midoriya vs Shoto Todoroki
Anime: My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia has a lot of heart — and this duel between Deku and Todoroki made me cheer for both guys.
Midoriya wants to win and be a hero of justice like All Might. Likewise, he wants to be taken seriously.
On the other hand, you have Todoroki who’s already quite terrifying with half his powers (ice) alone, initially choosing not to unleash his full potential on Deku.
Yet Deku pushed Todoroki with his speech:
Todoroki realized that if he wants to be the best and become a hero, he has to embrace his full potential (i.e. use his fire quirk).
Sure, he got the quirk from his father whom he understandably detests, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be just like him.
Also, the fight itself is brutal. So much so that others had to intervene and reduce the damage of their final hits against each other.
22. Gintoki vs Nizou
Anime: Gintama: Benizakura Arc – A New Retelling
Is it really surprising that Gintama is here?
For fans of the acclaimed series, they know exactly why Gintoki vs Nizou (and the Benizakura Arc overall) deserves recognition. You can watch EP 58 to 61, but the quality in the movie version is far superior.
Simply put, this arc took Gintama to another level, going beyond its constant hilarity and randomness to offer high-caliber sword fights (I’ve watched the rooftop scene many times) and compelling drama.
There’s a certain iconic moment where Gintoki seems to have the chance to decapitate Nizou, but he doesn’t — and that just adds to the inherently good-natured attribute of the beloved nose-picking MC.
21. Kakashi vs Obito
Anime: Naruto: Shippuden
A sizable portion of the Naruto fanbase will argue this was better than the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke — and I was previously on the same boat.
But after many viewings, I feel that this emotional & intimate fight between Kakashi and Obito paved the way for Studio Pierrot to assess what worked, and what needed improvement in animating the most special fights in the franchise.
I wish some scenes didn’t have any music at all (although the strings were gorgeous) just to further heighten how personal this fight was. But this still made me shed a tear or two.
And for a guy whose full face will probably never be seen by the fandom, Kakashi showed a lot of emotion in this fight. Rest in peace, Rin Nohara.
20. All Might vs Nomu
Anime: My Hero Academia
Even if you don’t remember everything that happened in Episode 12, every knows about this exhilarating fight between All Might and the shock-absorbing Nomu.
I mean, this is the kind of fight that inspires kids to be on the side of justice. To find heroes who’ll inspire them and be heroes themselves in the future.
When Deku and the rest were watching All Might go beyond 100 percent of his… well, might, it felt like I was with them. Characters and viewers alike witnessed a fiesta of punches so strong their shockwaves prevented others from interfering.
Fans keep coming back to this fight. And I think I’m not alone when I say that All Might should be super proud, even if he had to do 300 punches instead of five.
19. Netero vs Meruem
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
You could say this was essentially an epic version of an old man trying to slap a persistent insect with his bare hands, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
On one hand, you had the equally feared and admired Chairman Netero, who was anything but fragile. Then there was the King of Ants seeking to know his name and deal with Netero diplomatically.
Meruem was cunning and analyzed Netero’s moves, and he managed to cut his leg, arm, and force him to use his last-resort option, Poor Man Rose.
Still, Netero’s defeat wasn’t in vain. He lost the battle, but the succeeding events proved he won the war.
18. Goblin Fight
Anime: Grimgar of Fantasy of Ash
Out of all the fights on my list, this is perhaps the one with the least spectacle and sakuga animation — because that’s not its focus.
I included the goblin fight from EP 02 because of its different take on isekai.
Instead of making the MCs immediately overpowered in their new strange fantasy world, the young group here are undoubtedly anxious and inexperienced in combat.
In this goblin encounter, they realize that it’s not a mere game:
Their movement and attack speed will depend on their weapon, they can actually miss their attacks, and that the monsters they slay aren’t always going to be dumb, inherently evil creatures.
Sometimes it’s just a goblin that simply wants to survive no matter what — and it’s the same for people.
When you’re actually the one trying to kill (and not get killed), then killing suddenly doesn’t seem so easy or glorious.
Hitting bone and muscle, seeing copious amounts of blood, and taking the life of another isn’t a walk in the park. And it shouldn’t feel like it.
17. Luffy vs Lucci
Anime: One Piece
I know this isn’t the absolute truth, but I’ll always stand by Luffy vs Rob Lucci as my favorite fight yet in the entire series.
One Piece itself is unique among all other shounen titles for its masterful worldbuilding, effective mix of comedy (especially physical comedy) with bombastic action, and its visual style.
Lucci forced Luffy to his limits.
The MC utilized his rubber abilities as much as he could (and it’s hilarious seeing him with a gigantic arm, leg, and when he became a big ball), but that wasn’t enough.
Luffy had it in him to bring down Lucci using Gomu Gomu no Jet Gatling, but he needed his dear friends (especially the tsundere-esque Usopp) for motivation, that if he beat Lucci, they could all finally go back together.
Lastly, it’s funny how easily frustrated Lucci got when Luffy poked his leopard nose and Ussop called him a worthless kitten.
16. Kenshin vs Shishio
Anime: Rurouni Kenshin
The local TV network probably showed this anime’s Kyoto Arc many times when I was a kid, and I’m glad they did.
I recommend all duels in the arc, but Rurouni vs Kenshin takes the cake. After all, this was the boss fight.
These two guys were highly skilled (and notorious) sword fighters who slaughtered many people, but the MC and the main villain of Kyoto Arc have taken different paths since their early years of murder. Kenshin yearns for peace and redemption while Shishio is hungry for power and chaos.
Still, this wasn’t just about the losing or winning:
It was also about Kenshin reaping the fruits of his journey to redemption.
He was no longer alone and feared by all. He had good friends ready to support and fight by his side and make daily memories together.
He wouldn’t have survived (and eventually won) if Sanosuke, Aoshi, and Saito weren’t in the same area to take on Shishio while he was down and out.
Similarly, the thought of going back to Tokyo with Kaoru and the rest of the gang made him snap out of his dire situation to land the Kuzuryusen on Shishio.
Not everyone will forgive Kenshin for his grave sins. But there’s also no harm in making amends and changing for the better.
15. Balsa vs Hunters
Anime: Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit
This is a quick fight early in the series, but I’ve never seen anything like it:
A spear-wielding female MC takes on four hunters specializing in different weapons at once in a paddy field leading to a forest — on a night where the moonlight shines bright and the sky is reflected on the shallow waters.
The music was thrilling, sound design was on-point, voice actors did tremendously well, and the action never felt monotonous.
It’s a confrontation with no magic whatsoever. Just good old sharp weaponry and close combat skills — and it’s so good.
14. Rock Lee vs Gaara
I can’t fully recall the matches during the chunin exams, but this fight remains to be one of Naruto’s best ever moments. This could’ve been the season finale and I wouldn’t have complained.
Rock Lee was this thick-browed dude who wasn’t talented in either ninjutsu or genjutsu.
On the flip side, with the help of Might Guy, he was a prodigy in taijutsu — and Gaara and the rest were unprepared to see Lee take off his impossibly dense weights and amplify his already impressive agility.
To this day I think Lee’s consecutive kicks, sending Gaara up the air, and then finishing with a Front Lotus (this was like Undertaker in WWE but from five floors high) never fails to amp me up.
But this wasn’t all about Lee.
Yes, Lee opened many of his Eight Gates and delivered the Hidden Lotus. But the fight also gave viewers a peek into Might Guy’s caring side and established Gaara as a menacing young character.
13. Eren vs Armored Titan
Anime: Attack on Titan
I’ve seen the entire Season 2 of Shingeki no Kyojin twice, but I’ve replayed this scene more than that.
The episode preceding this had the biggest reveal of the season. And this fight brought back memories of old shows like Ultraman.
Trees got wiped out as Eren and Reiner duked it out, and then you see the former use mixed martial arts to counter the latter’s brawn and extreme durability.
I read that the author Hajime Isayama took inspiration from several mixed martial artists such as Yushin Okami, Alistair Overeem, and even WWE superstar Brock Lesnar for the titan forms of Eren and Reiner, and this is the phenomenal product.
And if the colossal MMA fight wasn’t enough, the fight includes sakuga animation featuring Misaka and a terrifying moment when the Colossal Titan falls, allowing Reiner and Bertholdt to escape with Eren.
12. Homura vs Mami
Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part III: Rebellion
Kyouko Sakura versus Sayaka Miki in the series was well-executed. But this all-out gunfight between Homura and Mami in the movie is like how John Wick would go if he was a magical girl.
Mami didn’t have much screen time in the series.
But Rebellion gave fans a peek into her real potential.
You’d think Homura would easily win with her temporal abilities and years of experience (across different timelines, I should add), but Mami could see right through her.
Shaft handled this scene with flying colors from the creepy & artsy background, to how the bullets hit their targets all at the same time, putting the entire place into ruin.
11. Levi vs Kenny Squad
Anime: Attack on Titan
As a non-manga reader, I still had a feeling Season 3 was going to start with a bang like in S1 and S2. But I didn’t expect it would literally involve guns courtesy of Kenny and his squad.
This encounter lasted more or less five minutes.
But the fast-paced, high-flying action here capably beats entire arcs of other action-heavy titles.
From this fight alone, you know that Wit Studio gave their all.
Multiple gun-toting individuals were chasing Levi in Trost District, and he had to act fast with nothing but his 3DMG and quick thinking skills.
You could sense the rush and panic just by watching the pursuit, and this fight further cemented Captain Levi as a top-tier protagonist (and one of anime’s best guys ever).
10. Naruto vs Sasuke
Anime: Naruto: Shippuden
This was the moment all Naruto fans were waiting for since they first read the manga or saw the first episode back in 2002 (or 2005 for the English air date) — and it was all worth it.
I love how the fight began and how most scenes didn’t have background music:
It was just Naruto and Sasuke giving it their all from start to finish. And when it did have music, it was exactly what was needed to elevate hype and drama.
I have no major qualms about this final battle and only have tons of praise.
Fans have slogged through fillers and sketchy animation for years, but the studio outdid themselves this time.
Studio Pierrot delivered with jaw-dropping, tear-inducing (for long-time fans, at least) action sequences.
Whether it was Naruto and Sasuke punching and kicking each other hard, or Naruto’s Tailed Beast Mode and Sasuke’s Susanoo changing the landscape, the animators handled intimate and big fights with grace.
This is everything fans have always wanted and more — and one can’t help but imagine how Shippuden would have been if the quality was like this throughout.
9. Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann vs Anti-Spirals
Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
It’s easy to see this as a standard mecha fight.
But this scene literally involves entire galaxies thrown to each other as if they were mere snowballs.
You’re not looking at extra-large drills from the hardware store.
When Kamina says that his drill creates the heavens, he means it. The Giga Drill Break and the opposing Anti-Spiral Giga Drill Break are unfathomably large for humans to fully comprehend.
But even if you don’t know what’s happening, this is a testament to Gainax and their passion for mecha. It’s hype-inducing, colorful, and inspiring, telling viewers to never settle, exceed one’s limits, and just do it.
8. Mob vs Koyama
Anime: Mob Psycho 100
ONE has two unique manga projects that both offer spectacular action: Mob Psycho 100 and One Punch Man.
Somehow, these titles got superb anime adaptations — and now I have entries from both series on this list.
As one of the highlights of Season 1 (and Season 2 was even better), Mob vs Koyama gave Studio Bones quality material to showcase their mastery of sound design, editing, and animation.
Its seemingly amateurish and rough look eventually gives Mob Psycho 100 its unmistakable identity, and this scene had punches that did look painful, screams that were indeed filled with anguish, and an angry Mob (get it?) at 100 percent.
It’s beautiful in its own gritty, chaotic way.
7. Ryuko vs Satsuki – First Kamui Fight
Anime: Kill la Kill
Ryuko and Satsuki go against each other more than a few times. But it’s their first kamui fight that I love most.
It literally starts with Ryuko feeling something bad was going to occur — then Studio Trigger starts their distinct combo of animation and music (Kill la Kill has the blessing of legendary composer Hiroyuki Sawano).
The first shot of Satsuki on top watching over Ryuko and Mako is a simple way of showing how she’s a force to be reckoned with.
I love the unusual magic girl-esque transformation, the crazy visual angles (especially during their melee fight at one of the corridors), all the similar-looking students being thrown to the air, Ryuko’s ridiculously long scissor weapon, and how Mako gave an intermission to put the ecchi into context and inspire Ryuko.
This is unapologetically stylish, ambitious, fun, and oozing with coolness, ending with the classic preview of the MC’s many foes.
Kill la Kill uses the “don’t lose your way” song “My Body is Dry” a lot… but this is the fight I’ll associate it with the most.
6. Saitama vs Boros
Anime: One Punch Man
Madhouse did not disappoint with the first season adaptation of One Punch Man.
They did so well that the series became an instant global phenomenon.
Unsurprisingly, this is my favorite Saitama fight.
There he was, with his relaxed pace of walking and talking, while Boros revels in how many planets he’s destroyed as he sought a worthy opponent.
Yet Saitama was no mere worthy opponent:
In reality, he was leagues above Boros in terms of power level. Boros never had a chance — and Saitama didn’t even need Boros-tier healing and regeneration, or use all his strength.
The theme song made it much cooler, the animation was fluid (I love when the high-speed chases looked like rays and blobs of light), and the backgrounds are detailed.
Also, Saitama’s iconic “OK” face is here.
5. Sakurashin Police Force vs Rokkaku
Anime: Yozakura Quartet: Tsuki ni Naku
I love this eight-minute scene.
Sure, I could’ve said this was a fight between Shidou Mizuki and Rokkaku, but that’s a huge disservice to the other characters that were in this as well.
Seriously, Tokui, Takao Takemura, V Juli F, V Lila F, and Nadeshiko Matsudaira upped the coolness factor by tenfold.
Tatsunoko Production delivered crisp sound design, engaging music, and clean action sequences. It was refreshing seeing close combat from an overhead or elevated shot.
Yozakura Quartet has plenty of stylish fight scenes. And I hope this scene encourages more people to see the series.
4. No Name vs Luo-Lang
Anime: Sword of the Stranger
If you ask someone about their favorite fight scene in anime, they’d likely mention Nanashi vs Luo-Lang from the beloved Sword of the Stranger film.
Lasting for more or less four minutes, this doesn’t rely on flashbacks, fillers, and long speeches from the villain (or MC) — it’s purely a clashing of swords in cold, snowy weather.
And this movie takes advantage of the setting.
The two must control their movement to avoid slipping (or worse, falling from the wooden structure) and have to adapt to weakened visibility because of the wind and snow.
It’s a well-choreographed fight, and I appreciate the shaky camerawork, which fits the intensity being captured under the lens (I know it’s anime and there are no real cameras, but you get what I mean).
3. Spike vs Vincent
Anime: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Is it blasphemous to put this right above No Name versus Luo-Lang? I hope not.
And if it is, you can’t exactly blame me.
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is an amazing film by a team featuring the legendary duo of director Shinichiro Watanabe and composer Yoko Kanno.
If Sword of the Stranger had the best realistic sword fight, this had the best realistic hand-to-hand duel (yes, I know they used guns, but only briefly at the start)) — and the backdrop is a feast for the eyes.
You had Spike and Vincent trading punches and kicks (and Spike’s kicks were beautiful) while on a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Below them were throngs of people celebrating Halloween with a parade, balloons all going up the sky.
Everything here was beautiful, from the setting to the fight choreography, cinematography, and the music and the characters themselves.
Vincent could’ve killed Spike, but he didn’t.
Spike could’ve persuaded Vincent not to pull the trigger and release the virus amongst the crowd, but he didn’t. He claimed he was merely a bounty hunter, not a hero.
And the beauty of this fight is that neither won against each other: It was Elektra who ended Vincent and saved Spike from his demise.
2. Araragi vs Kiss-shot
Anime: Kizumonogatari Part 3
The Monogatari franchise is rife with eccentric/compelling characters and visuals, all thanks to Nisio Isin and Shaft, respectively.
In Kizumonogatari Part 3, I witnessed the clash between Araragi and Kiss-shot, and its entirety is forever ingrained in my mind.
I know all entries on this list are creative and entertaining.
But no fight is as unorthodox as this:
It’s funny and silly yet brutal and horrific. The high number of beheadings, limb-tearing, and blood spurts in a short time feels senseless — but it’s not.
This is an ultimately unique confrontation with no weak spot in its execution from start to end. An instant classic that won’t have problems remaining recognizable for the rest of modern anime.
1. Asuka vs Eva Series
Anime: The End of Evangelion
Before I wrote about the top five, I thought of putting Kizumonogatari at the top, and this in second place.
But I watched this scene again — and I realized this was the right choice.
Great fight scenes in anime can make you feel different things: happiness, excitement, anger, and sorrow, to name a few.
Asuka versus the Eva Series units (and military units from the JSDF) makes me feel all sorts of emotions to a higher degree:
I feel elated when she finds the courage to fight back and feel invincible, reminding herself that her mom is protecting her. When she takes on the Eva Series units, I’m in awe at all the mayhem.
And when Asuka sees the Spear of Longinus, I feel terrified. Despair and dread fill my mind when the Eva Series units brutalize EVA-02 — and the same goes for when I hear Asuka repeatedly say she’ll kill them, a parallel to her saying earlier before the fight that she didn’t want to die.
A graceful piece of classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach played during EVA-02’s final act, but the film was drenched in rage, misery, and bloodshed.
It felt like witnessing the end of days, the apocalypse, humanity’s last-ditch effort to salvation, revealed in the most beautiful manner possible, thanks to Gainax and visionary director Hideaki Anno.
This fight has been used over and over for AMVs. But its impact has never waned, even after more than twenty years since the release of The End of Evangelion.