et me start off by saying all of the anime on this list are worth checking out if you're a fan of the action-adventure genre in anime. Each entry on this list has its own strengths and weaknesses. Based on your own personal preferences for what you want out of a show, the order of this list may be different. This list was constructed with careful consideration of all the aspects of the shows in question and ordered based on the overall quality of the animation, the art style, the story, the characters, and of course the fight scenes. With all that said, we here at Adultist hope you enjoy our picks for the top 10 best fighting anime.
Number 5: My Hero Academia
At the number 5 spot we have the My Hero Academia. Written and drawn by mangaka Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia follows the journey of young Izuku Midoriya to become the greatest hero of all time. The series is currently in its 6th season, and has proven to be one of the most popular anime on television.
The series earns its number 5 slot by providing us with some absolutely stellar fight scenes between its 113 episodes and 3 movies. All of the fights are animated beautifully with plenty of color and effects to energize the power of each combatant's quirk. Speaking of quirks, that is the power system in this show. Most characters in the show possess some kind of uncanny ability that is known as a quirk. Characters use their quirks to either become heroes or villains. This makes for really interesting fights since characters have to figure out ways to win fights using the tools available to them in their kit.
The show is not without its issues, hence why it’s in the number 5 slot. The story may come off as kind of generic for some long-time anime watchers. Featuring a main character whose goal is to become the #1 greatest blank. It has been done before, a few times in fact. That isn’t to say Izuku only has that one character trait, he is actually quite different from most shonen protagonists, so that helps a lot.
The story of the show may also come off as a bit slow for some viewers. It’s not bad but it also isn’t really doing anything crazy in the story department, with maybe one or two exceptions. The show is still relatively young and ongoing so we will have to see how the story develops as time goes on. The characters are another issue people may have with this show. To be clear, we mean the overabundance of characters who don’t really get much screen time. Izuku’s class has 20 students in it, and despite us being 6 seasons into the story many of the students in that class have yet to have a memorable fight of their own. This is very much the Izuku, Bakugo, and Todoroki show.
Number 4: Dragon Ball Z
The number 4 slot likely needs no introduction, it’s Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z. Clocking in at 291 episodes, Z is one of the most iconic anime series of all time. Its effect on eastern and western culture can still be seen to this day. The series popularized the battle shonen genre and made transformations commonplace in action-adventure manga.
But how are the fights? The fights in this show are some of the best you will see in the 90s anime style. Highspeed fights, beam clashes, and a whole lot of screaming. The fight choreography in this show really is something else even if fights tend to drag on for many episodes at a time. Some of the most notable fights in the series are:
- Goku vs. Vegeta
- Goku vs. Frieza
- Trunks vs. Frieza and King Cold
- Vegeta vs. Android 19
- Gohan vs. Cell
- Gohan vs. Buu
- Vegeto vs. Buuhan
Some people may be surprised to see Dragon Ball Z not make the top three, and if you grew up watching the show we can definitely understand why you’d feel that way. But in truth, Z has some issues that hold it back from a top 3 spot. The show has a lot of filler and as mentioned before the fights can really drag at times. Most of these issues are fixed in the Dragon Ball Kai rerelease of the series but that rerelease comes with its own problems as well. There is also the simple fact that the quality of animation has gotten a lot better over the years since Z was released.
This isn’t a knock against the animation of Z, it looks great for the time period it was made in and the choreography of the fights are still top-notch. But compare the effects and spectacle of a fight from Z to some of the fights from the shows we have in the top 3, and they just don’t really compare. Respect for the OG but the next three shows beat it out every so slightly.
Number 3: Naruto/ Naruto Shippuden
This is another show that may not need any introduction. The number 3 spot goes to Naruto and its second half Naruto Shippuden. Written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto is the story of a young ninja named Naruto and his journey to become the most respected person in his village, the Hokage.
This show is the equivalent of Dragon Ball Z to a whole new generation. While it didn’t quite make a cultural impact as big as Dragon Ball, Naruto definitely made some waves. Its fan base is strong and references to the show can be seen all over western pop culture. But once again, how are the fights?
Naruto and Naruto Shippuden feature some of the greatest fight scenes in anime history. We aren't just talking about fights with supernatural powers and spectacle, it also has genuine hand-to-hand, feet-to-feet boxing. Couple that with one of the most interesting and expansive power systems in all of anime and you have a show that can’t be touched by any of its contemporaries. Some of the most notable fights in this series are:
- Naruto and Sasuke vs. Haku
- Rock Lee vs. Gara
- Naruto vs. Neji
- Sasuke vs. Gara
- Naruto vs. Gara
- Naruto vs. Sasuke (both rooftop and Valley of the End)
- Naruto vs. Pain
- Madara vs the entire shinobi alliance
- Madara vs. Guy
The list could honestly go on. So why is it only at number three? Well, despite the quality of the fights in this show its pacing leaves much to be desired. This is only really a major issue in Shippuden but its effect can also be felt here and there in Part 1. Other than that the show is top-tier, but the other two on the list avoid the pitfalls of their predecessors and feature some of the best-looking fight scenes in all of anime.
Number 2: Jujitsu Kaisen
If you believe this show is number one we wouldn’t really have much to say to disagree with that. Written and drawn by Gege Akutami, Jujitsu Kaisen hits hard at the number 2 spot. The story revolves around Yuji Itadori and his friends that work as sorcerers who deal with evil curses that threaten the world.
If you want high-quality, fast-paced, action-filled fights look no further than Jujitsu Kaisen. In this show, characters use curse energy to grant them simple but unique powers. The curse creatures they fight throughout the show also have interesting curse abilities and designs. Fights in this show never feel like they are dragging out since each fight feels like a genuine fight for survival. The fight choreography and clean visuals place this show on another level than the shows that came before it.
The show's story is also excellently paced, you never feel like arcs are dragging or that any one scene sticks around too long. The story and characters are all top-notch and feel fleshed out. This is all from a show that currently only has 24 episodes. Its low episode count makes it a great show to jump into for a binging session, and trust us when we say you won’t regret it. Not much more to say, the show is pretty close to being perfect, so what could possibly beat it out of the number on spot?
Number 1: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
The number 1 spot goes to Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Blending elements of action, adventure, drama, horror, and comedy with absolutely gorgeous visuals and animation, Demon Slayer is a show that is truly unmatched in this day and age. The story follows Tanjiro, his sister, and his friends on their quest to destroy the father of all demons.
The visuals in this show’s fight scenes are truly what pushed it over the edge on this list. The visuals that accompany each character's technique pays homage to traditional Japanese art, couple that with studio Ufotable’s incredible blend of both traditional hand-drawn animation and CGI and you have an anime that knocks all other out of the park in terms of its visuals. It’s not just the colors and art that make this anime a cut above the rest, the fights themselves are high-energy, blood-pumping, demon-slaying action. The story isn’t afraid of its darker, more dramatic themes and really makes you feel for the characters living in this world.
As mentioned before in the number 2 slot, these two shows can both be considered number 1. Some people may find some of the comedy in Demon Slayer to not really be up their alley, on top of that most fights in this show are sword fights against demons. If you're looking for more hands-on fist-to-fist action you may enjoy Jujitsu Kaisen a bit more. But considering the animation, story, and references to Japanese art and culture spread all throughout this show, we feel it is most deserving of the number on spot.
Do you agree with this list? Feel free to leave your own list down in the comments!