Anime is a master in producing great fights, more so than any other medium anime fully explores its unrealistic medium to the fullest by pushing the limits of reality. From simply hand-to-hand combat fight sequences up to giant robots throwing galaxies around, anime does not fail to cover all the bases that can occur in battles. This list is my ranking of my favourite fights in anime, they are based on a number of different contributing factors such as, but not limited to: the relationship of the two or more combatants, choreography of the fight, animation and fluidity, and just the general enjoyment of it all. I feel like these are some of the most important aspects in a great fight if not the most important, I haven’t watched every anime, so some amazing fights might be missing because I haven’t seen the series yet.
Rock Lee vs. Gaara (Naruto)
This was a very emotional fight, and if the relationship was the only basis behind this list, it would definitely score high. This was not only an emotionally gripping fight, but it was a great choreographed fight. Seeing Lee’s speed go against Gaara’s sand barrier was a good counter balance to each of their individual powers. It was one of the best fights in the Naruto franchise, and one of my favourites.
Kirei vs. Kiritsugu
This was my second favourite fight in Fate/Zero, it was built up from the beginning. Being that Fate/Zero is a show that I hold up in high regard, and it containing multiple fights that could easily be put into this list if it was extended, saying that this was my second favourite in the series is speaking volumes on how great it was.
Gon vs. Pitou
HunterxHunter (2011) contains in my opinion the best selection of fights in anime period, they are all diverse and different from each other but at the same time being interesting and engaging. From the relationships shared, to the animation of it and choreography, everything from this battle just fits so well together. This fight failed to make my list because it wasn’t a fight in the truest sense of it; with two people of somewhat equal power levels battling each other with both sides having a chance of winning. Gon vs Pitou was a beat down, it was one person pounding the hell out the other. This fights scores so high in every category that I considered when making this list, and it would easily be in my Top 3, but it wasn’t a fight in my opinion and that is the only thing holding it back.
Obito vs. Kakashi
This is the fight that in my opinion beats out Rock Lee vs. Gaara along with every other fight in the Naruto franchise. The emotion in this fight was amazing, seeing Obito come back as the leader of the Akatsuki and facing off against his former friend and teammate was some of the best writing Naruto has every had. The tension behind the fight was indescribable, seeing them both share the same pair of eyes: The Mangekyou Sharingan that was unlocked by the death of their mutual friend, teammate and the women of Obito’s dreams: Rin. The relationship behind both of them isn’t even the best thing about the fight to me; the choreography of the fight was the best thing of it all. Seeing Naruto return to its roots of simply hand-to-hand combat mixed in with some simply jutsu was a great refresher to the power scaling issue it had been suffering with after Pain’s death. Obito and Kakashi’s fight in the mangekyou’s alternative dimension inter spliced with the flashback sequences from their past showing that although they grew up, they really hadn’t changed at all since the both fights were almost exactly the same. This fight was simplicity done right, and that’s why it earns the number 5 spot.
Saber vs. Berserker (Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works)
This fight was a spectacle to witness, the Fate franchise is already know for it’s amazing fight scene and Unlimited Blade Works shows everyone why, with most of their fights being the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Saber vs. Berserk although not sharing much of a relationship, it excels in every other aspect of it. The spacial awareness of the director to perfectly choreograph this fight is remarkable, this fight feels amazing and looks even better. Archer involvement and revealing his “ultimate move” to destroy Berserker only for him to come back to life was perfection in anime form. There is very little I can say about this fight, it must just be experienced to fully understand it’s position at number 4.
Netero vs. Meruem (HunterxHunter)
When talking about HunterxHunter and its great fights, this is the one that is almost always brought up and for good reason. The whole Chimera Ants arc of HunterxHunter is what solidified the series for me as one of the greatest things in anime. This was the ultimate climax for the whole series, this fight was amazing, despite not even featuring any of the main characters of the series. This fight had everything: Great convictions behind each combatant, great choreography, great animation, intelligent strategy (which is rarity in anime fights). The Chimera Ants arc featured a lot of amazing fights and moments, but this fight reigns king above them all.
Gilgamesh vs. Berserker (Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works)
This is the best fight in my opinion in the whole Fate franchise. It might not be most people’s favourite, but this has everything that I value in a fight. Gilgamesh having been the strongest servant in Fate/Zero, epic return to fight the new strongest servant Berserker, seeing Gilgamesh using up every tool in his “Gates of Babylon” against Berserkers “Twelve Labours of Heracles” encapsulated the phase of “The unstoppable force, meets the immovable object”. Two incredible combatants going at it with their full might, showing off their physical prowess was stunning. This fight is marvellous in ways I can’t even describe.
Kurapika vs. Uvogin (HunterxHunter)
This beats all of the rest easily, this by a good margin is my favourite and in my opinion the best fight in anime. This had nothing that I can’t fault it for, Kurapika vs. Uvo had everything I wanted in a fight. After teasing Kurapika’s powers for so long, whilst also building up Uvo as this indestructible being that nothing could even touch him. This admittedly did evolve into a beat down at the end of the fight, but for most of the fight both combatants at least in the audiences eyes had an equal chance of success. Kurapika was my favourite character in the series and this is why, seeing his scarlet eyes so powerful and go up against Uvo’s indestructible body was shocking to see. No one every thought that highly of Kurapika, most even favoured Uvo to win this fight hands down, but Kurapika’s levelheadedness and calm persona had viewers wondering what tricks he had up his sleeves, and they did not leave disappointed.
And those are my Top 5 favourite fights in anime, this list could easily change at anytime if I rematch a certain show or I just discover new and better fights. This is my opinion, so my list will be different from almost everyone else. I tried to limit this list to 1 fight per series, but once I started thinking of it some series are just superior in creating incredible battles.