I thought this list would be pretty easy but then I ended up with a short list so long I couldn’t even begin to figure out where to go from there so I’ve narrowed the field. This is my choice of top 5 fight sequences that involve a blade of some description. So magic fights, gun fights, hand to hand fights, and random other weapons are being ruled out before this list even begins (though if one person in the fight is using a blade, I’ve kept it in the running even if the opponent isn’t). I’ll have to go back and do a list of fights that involve some of those at some point but that’s not today. Pretty much what I am looking for in a fight sequence is that it looks good, is entertaining, and serves some purpose in the overall story.
As always, I’d love to know what you would include on your list so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Please Note – There will be spoilers below.
Honourable mentions this week go to Angel Beats (Yurippe vs Tenshi) and Attack on Titan (pretty much any time Levi is actually fighting).
Number 5: Higurashi (Rena vs Keiichi)
For an anime about school children, Higuarshi regularly get’s quite dark. However, there aren’t all that many direct fights as the characters are more prone to acts of torture, drugging opponents, setting traps, and generally go about things in a less direct but still fairly lethal manner. That’s kind of what makes the fight between Rena and Keiichi on the rooftop of the school extraordinary. It is one of the few stand up fights of the series and is an excellent way for the first season to draw to a close. Now I’ll be the first to admit, Higurashi is not a good anime to look at. Characters are off model a lot and the animation is awkward at times. That didn’t interfere with this fight being very cool to watch as it really brought out the characters, addressed some of the ongoing questions about what was going on, and it certainly had high stakes given the situation they were in. All and all, this fight was a great mid-way point in Higurashi’s ongoing story and one I thoroughly enjoy watching.
Number 4: Sword Art Online (Kirito vs The Gleam Eyes)
As much as people like to criticise SAO, I really enjoy it and one of the fights I never get enough of is Kirito vs The Gleam Eyes. Partly its the impossible situation the characters are in. Neither Asuna nor Kirito were looking for a boss fight and it was only because the other group of morons trudged into a boss room unprepared that they get involved at all. partly its because we finally see Kirito use the dual welding skill and the sword that he had made. But a lot of the reason I like this fight is it is just fun and dramatic to watch. Okay, we know Kirito is going to win the fight from the beginning, but that does not take away from the way this sequence builds excitement and tension. Although, from a visual point of view they really do get a bit excessive with the light show at times and I’m guessing if you look at fights for actual technique this one probably won’t do much for you. Mind you, a lot of the credit has to go to the music in this scene. They really nailed it.
Number 3: Soul Eater (Maka vs Jack the Ripper)
The very first episode of Soul Eater delivers one of the best fight sequences I had ever watched (when I first saw the episode). It was the reason I fell in love with the series and Maka as a character. She’s cool, confident, and she is rocking that scythe. Anyway, if you’ve never seen this particular fight, you should check it out (it is literally all over YouTube or you know, watch the anime). Though I still love this fight, Soul Eater is full of interesting battles between characters, and some fairly interesting weapons, and really ends up being visually fascinating to watch.
Number 2: Bleach (Gin vs Hitsugaya)
Alright, you kind of had to know Bleach was showing up on this list sooner or later, and here it is. The reason for this fight over most of the others is that even though both Captains use their swords there are no bankai going on here, no over the top silly powers, just a nice simple fight between two characters, that may or may not end up involving bystanders, Gin really does fight dirty. Part of me loves this fight because Hitsugaya really has lost his cool entirely and part of me loves this fight because even though Hitsugaya has the upper hand most of the way through the fight, because he doesn’t consider that Gin will use underhanded methods, he still technically loses. It is great fun to watch and in a show filled with epic, ongoing and long winded fights, this one is short, brutal, and fairly effective (even if not quite as spectacular as some of the others).
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Number 1: DanMachi (Bell vs the Minotaur)
Given the series starts with Bell getting cornered by a Minotaur, the turning point for the story and Bell as a character is when he finally is forced to take on a Minotaur single handedly in order to buy time for others to escape. Eventually other adventurers show up but by that stage Bell is pretty committed to taking the thing down by himself and what follows is one of the best fight sequences I’ve ever seen. Tiny dagger and character against very large and strong minotaur, it literally takes everything Bell has got (speed, magic, endurance, as well as a lot of tenacity) to win the fight and it is so worth it. It is one of those moments you can’t look away from. For all the silliness that DanMachi has littered through it, it is the moments like this one that really make the show shine. This sequence is cool to watch, it has a lot of memorable moments, there’s some real tension and fear for the protagonist’s safety (though you know he’ll live there’s definitely the question of how injured they’ll let him get), and the pace is fantastic. All and all, this is a fight that I love rewatching.
So that is my top 5 fights (using blades of some description). What would you have put on your list? Looking forward to your responses.
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