There are some moments in movies, TV shows, movies and books where the only appropriate reaction is to sit stunned. Either amazed by the beauty, audacity, shock factor, or sheer amazingness of what you’ve just witnessed/read. These are my top 5 moments in anime that have left me breathless and stuck with me long after the anime has ended.
What are your top 5 moments in anime?
Definitely a spoiler warning in effect from this point onward.
No. 5 – Ichigo’s first Bankai (Bleach)
While there are any number of truly epic moments throughout Bleach’s 366 episode run that could have qualified for this list (particularly as I watched Bleach when my access to anime was pretty limited and so scenes that others might find pretty ordinary seemed truly amazing and stuck with me) Ichigo’s first time using his bankai against Rukia’s brother Byakuya was a truly show-stopping one.
Prior to this point, Ichigo’s sword was really big and not much else. Even his special move was really just making a really large swipe at something which left some very cool impressions on convenient rocky mountains but compared to the plethora of interesting swords in the show, his left very little impression.
Therefore, Ichigo managing to unlock a new form for his sword after some gruelling and very truncated training in order to achieve the feat in time to save Rukia, is one of those moments that really just made sure I was glued to the screen as the battle played out.
No. 4 – The Colossal Titan Appears (Attack on Titan)
Another anime where any number of scenes and sequences could have made the list. Attack on Titan played on shock factor and delivered a number of truly gruelling and cruel moments for the cast of characters as well as some very cool moments such as literally every time Levi actually gets to fight. And yet, none of them ever topped the scene in the first episode where the Colossal Titan appears.
This is just such a well paced sequence where we know what is coming and yet the sheer immensity of the threat and helplessness of the characters just brings everything to a halt. It wasn’t just the characters whose lives were inevitably changed by the events here. Viewers were also left staring in awe and a little fear as this menacing figure appeared over the walls.
Its one of those moments in anime where even if you saw the promotional images before hand and kind of knew what was coming, it was still pretty amazing to see unfold.
No. 3 – Yuri and Victor Kiss (Yuri on Ice)
Okay, I’m more surprised this one didn’t end up higher up the list.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time or if you were on Twitter during 2016, you will know that this moment didn’t just leave some viewers breathless it literally blew up online. Whether it was the argument about whether it was a kiss or not or just people happy to see their ship sail, episode 7 of Yuri on Ice was a game-changer and one of those extraordinary moments in anime that you never quite forgot.
While it is easy for an epic fight sequence to be a spectacle and grab your attention, there’s something special about a character moment, a personal celebration, that manages the same feat. As much as watching Yuri perform his routine and execute an amazing move toward the end of his performance was spectacular, the moments that follow are far more meaningful and will stick with the viewer long after the season comes to a close.
No. 2 Roy Destroys Envy (Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood)
Again, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is full of epic battles and emotional moments that more or less take your breath away. However, Roy’s cold and ruthless revenge against Envy still stands as one of the best moments in anime I’ve ever witnessed.
It isn’t just that Roy is saving Hawkeye in this sequence. Nor is it simply that his use of fire is a visual spectacle to behold. Even knowing that Envy is the character that was responsible for the death of Maes Hughes isn’t the reason this scene remains one of the best anime moments ever.
No, what sells this scene is Roy himself. Usually playing a bit of a fool or a competent leader, depending on the requirement of the moment, in this scene we see Roy as the devastated friend face to face with that friend’s killer. If looks could kill, the look in Roy’s eyes as he faces of against Envy would have been enough before he ever used alchemy.
While I’m not big on an eye for an eye, there’s something just utterly compelling about this scene and it may very well have been my number one pick if I’d written this list back when I first started the blog.
No. 1 – Your Turn (My Hero Academia)
While I’ve made no secret of the fact that I kind of grew weary of My Hero Academia and am now taking a break from the newer seasons, there was definitely a moment in season 3 of the superhero tale that truly grabbed my attention. And it was the moment All Might publicly passed the torch to Midoriya, even if the public didn’t quite know to whom All Might’s gesture was directed.
Again, it is odd that it wasn’t the epic battle that lead to this moment as All Might was battered and eventually unable to hold onto his hero form. It is the character moment where he has made his choice and Midoriya’s (and the audience’s) understanding of what this really means.
As far as moments in anime go, this one is one that can truly be appreciated even by non-anime fans. It isn’t a visual spectacle or a colourful explosions across the screen. Instead it is a deeply personal moment playing out on a very public stage and one that has far reaching consequences for the society in the story and the characters at the heart of it.
These were my top 5 moments in anime that left me breathless but I’d love to know which moments in anime you would have picked. Be sure to leave me a comment below.
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