The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (10 – 1)

10. Mob vs Suzuki

Mob attempts to talk things out with Suzuki. He’s not interested. Threaten, he attacks Mob. Suzuki almost kills Dimple, and tries to incinerate Reigen. Finally, disgusted, Mob enters 100 % rage. Mob levitates the Culture Tower into the sky. To keep up with Mob’s power, Suzuki slowly increases his Power Output. Mob goes through multiple emotion at 100% from, Ecstasy, Shame and Compassion. He constantly tries to reason with Suzuki. He fails. Suzuki increases his Power Output to 80%. Mob reaches 100% Resignation, realizing that he can’t get through to Suzuki.

Mob starts to mangle Suzuki’s body, forcing the later to reach 100 % Power Output. His body increases in size and his head becomes inflamed. He overpowers Mob with his new strength. However, the amount of power Suzuki uses backfires on him. His body begins to self-destruct. Despite Mob trying to save him, Suzuki explodes.


9. Meliodas vs The Ten Commandments

Meliodas is the “Sin of Wrath” of the Seven Deadly Sins, faces off against the Ten Commandments. I’ve heard about the manga Seven Deadly Sins and seen it promoted on Netflix, but I haven’t really decided to pick it up. This fight changed that. The title character Meliodas fights all ten of the commandments. Derieri, Drole, Estarossa, Fraudrin, Gloxinia, Grayroad, Melascula, Monspeet, Zeldris.

Meliodas first fights Drole and Gloxinia. They put up a good fight, but Meliodas takes the upper hand. However, the other Commandments arrive and dynamics of the fight change. Meliodas is ganged up on and is ultimately he is killed by Estarossa.


8. Tanjiro & Nezuko vs Rui

Tanjiro manages to escape terrible damage from Rui’s thread, only getting a scarred on the face. Tanjiro is finally cornered by Rui’s web of threads, Nezuko jumps out of the box. She saves Tanjiro, but is severely wounded. Rui finally reveals that he’s the member of the Twelve Moons. He tethers Nezuko in his threads, cutting into her limbs as punishment. She falls to sleep in order to heal herself. Meanwhile, Tanjiro uses the Final Form of his Water Style. He’s able to cut the threads now and creates a water dragon. Realizing the threat that Tanjiro possess, Rui uses his Blood Art to strengthen his threads.

Tanjiro transforms his water dragon into a fire one. He now able to cut the more enhanced threads. Tanjiro moves closer to Rui, who finally moves into striking range. He accepts that he will likely die from their encounter. Nezuko is awakened by a vision of her mother asking her to save her brother. Nezuko uses her Blood Art: Blood Ignite, burning the blood on the threads. The fire travels along the threads, destroying the webs that Rui created. As Tanjiro says that “the bond between he and Nezuko can’t be severed,” his sword with Nezuko blood on it severs Rui’s head.


7. All Might vs All For One

The finally fight of this list is the epic battle between old enemies, All Might and All for One. My Hero Academia featured many battles that could have ended up on this list but this one had no equal. When the League of Villains kidnap, Katsuki Bakugo, All Might is tasked with finding the taken student. During his rescue attempt he encounters his former nemesis. Backing the future of villainy, All for One aims to help them escape capture. He easily defeats the other top ten heroes, forcing All Might to engage.

All Might is still weaken from their previous battle that left him with permanent damage. Still their fight is able to create massive shock-waves, destroying the surrounding area. All Might even reverts to his skinny form, revealing to the world that he’s not as he once was. Encouraged to fight for the future heroes, All Might gathers what remains of his dwindling strength and hits All for One with a devastatingly powerful move, United States of Smash.


6. Luffy vs Katakuri

Monkey D. Luffy and Charlotte Katakuri face off during the Whole Cake Island Arc in the Mirror World. This fight was a long one and largely saw Katakuri dominate Luffy. This is why the result of the match, Luffy’s win feels strange and unnecessary. One of One Piece’s most distinguish qualities is that the “main character” in this case Luffy doesn’t have to always win. Even in a later “fight” against Kiado, Luffy is easily defeated. So why did he win this fight?

Some fans wrongly suggested that this was typical plot armor, it wasn’t. However, I agree Luffy should have taken the lost on this. Regardless, we see Luffy reach another level as he introduces us to another form, Gear Fourth: Snakeman. The fight might be too repetitive and the victory was the wrong one. Regardless, it’s worth your time.


5. Netero vs Meruem

The Chimera Ant King (Meruem) and Hunter Chairman (Netero) battle underground. As Meruem counters the hands of 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva. As Netero hits Meruem with one of his hands, the Ant King simply gets up and attacks again. This “game” continues as Meruem looks for a slight opening. While, Meruem marvels at the abilities the Netero, he eventually finds that opening, tearing off Netero’s right leg.

Undeterred, Netero continues to attack. This time he loses his left arm. Netero simply prays with his one hand. The 100-type Guanyin Bodhisattva appears behind Meruem as he uses his “zero hand.” After the attack, the underground tomb is destroyed and Netero ages. Meruem is somewhat damaged, but not nearly enough to die. Netero, however, is near death. He sticks two fingers in his chest, activating a nuclear bomb.


4. Midoriya vs Todoroki

The much anticipated battle between Izuku and Shoto begins in episode 10 of Boku no Hero Academia. Titled, Shoto Todoroki: Origin, this episode was wall to wall action and the animation was spectacular. Shoto quickly attacks Izuku with his Half-Cold, Half-Hot quirk, creating pillars of ice, Izuku counters with One for All, using his middle finger. He creates a powerful gust of wind, destroying the ice and breaking his middle finger.

They repeat this pattern several times, then Shoto uses his ice to get closer to Izuku. Engaging in close combat, Shoto gains the upper hand, trapping the foot of Izuku. Left with no choice, Izuku uses his quirk with his entire fist, knocking Shoto backwards. Shoto attacks again, but Izuku destroys the ice once again. He then criticizes Izuku for using only half his powers. Enraged, Shoto runs toward Izuku, but the negative effects of his quirk has caused his body some frostbite. He’s slower and Izuku manages to hit him directly in the stomach.

Izuku continues to challenge Shoto’s resistance to using his fire ability. Shoto flashes back to his traumatic childhood. He recalls being abused and isolated from his siblings and how he came to hate his father. Izuku tells Shoto that, “his fire power belongs to him and only him.” Shoto finally activates his fire powers, his father Endeavor is delighted, both Shoto and Izuku gear up for their clash. Shoto uses a massive wave of ice, while Izuku use his quirk on his leg. Cementoss attempts to intervene to protect them from their attacks. Shoto shots his fire and Izuku causes a powerful shock-wave. As the smoke clears, Izuku has been knocked out of bound, giving Shoto the win.


3. Jiraiya vs Pain

The Six Paths of Pain arrives
The Six Paths of Pain arrives

Jiraiya attempts to invade the hidden village of rain without detection. However, he fails and finds that the intruder is Jiraiya. Pain is mysterious character, who he is and what his powers are unknown. Pain changes bodies to feature a longer haired body. Pain summons a crab like creature that uses a bubble, Jiraiya uses a ” Raging Lion’s Mane Technique” and tangles the crab in his hair. The summon disappears and Jiraiya then uses his hair on Pain, who uses substitution jutsu.

Jiraiya summons a toad as Pain summons a chameleon. Jiraiya decides he’s “I’m going into sennin mode”, Pain hides in the mouth of the chameleon which turns invisible. Jiraiya counters with a barrier detection jutsu, Pain response by summoning a Cerberus like animal. Pain continues to use animal summons to conceal his location. Jiraiya wonders why he hasn’t use a technique other than summons. Jiraiya releases his summon and emerges transformed with two toads on his shoulders. The female toad uses her tongue to sniff out the chameleon, and uses acid to kill it.

Pain summons two other humans to the battlefield, each with their own set of Rinnegan eyes. Confused Jiraiya aims to discover the secret to Pains power. One of the Pains attacks Jiraiya and he uses his Frog Karate to counter. He then uses his “Hermit Art: Deep Fryer”, but another Pain absorbs this jutsu. Jiraiya decides to try close combat, he attacks with a massive Rasengan. The Rasengan is also absorbed, a smoke bomb is used to give cover and Jiraiya attempts to attack Pain from behind.

He fails to land a direct hit, he uses a frog summon as an distraction and uses his “Hermit Art: Hair Needle Barrage”. It’s his fast attack and Pain still manages to counter it, with a summon. Jiraiya realizes somethings up and retreats to come up with a plan. Jiraiya concludes that the eyes of the Pains are linked. He and the frogs determine they need to use genjutsu. The genjutsu has it’s effect and Jiraiya kills the three Pains. However, another Pain shows you, he attacks Jiraiya ripping of his arm.

Confused again as all the previously dead Pain are alive. He now has six adversaries to contend with, “The six paths of Pain”. Jiraiya kills one of the Pains and manage to seek refuge inside another toad. Instead of escaping he decides to confront Pain one last time. He realizes that all the Pains are shinobi he’s fought before. At this point Pain crushes Jiraiya’s throat and all six Pains stabs him. Jiraiya uses his last moments leave a message on the back of one of the toads before he drowns.


2. Gohan vs Cell

Gohan damages Cell

Goku tells Cell that his son Gohan is a better match for him, at first everyone is skeptical. Gohan powers up stunning everyone with his power level. However, his inexperience and fear of his power leaves him at Cell’s mercy. Cell decides to push Gohan to the limit by hurting his friends with Cell Jr’s.The brutalizing of Gohan’s friends doesn’t push Gohan to his limit, but Android 16 gives Gohan a speech about the meaning of life. When Cell crushes Android 16’s head killing him Gohan finally snaps, unleashing his hidden powers.

After this power boost Gohan strength and speed increases tremendously, he quickly destroy’s the Cell Jr’s. Cell and Gohan begin their fight and it appears that Gohan isn’t even trying, he becomes rather cocky. Cell powers up one more time but it doesn’t matter, Gohan is still stronger. He delivers two devastating punches on Cell, knock him to his knees. Cell becomes enraged at being dominated by a child, Cell uses a series of the Z fighters attacks. He concludes with a massive Kamehameha aim at destroying the earth, Gohan simply reflects it with his own. Cell is damaged by Gohan’s Kamehameha, but Cell heals himself.

Cell increases his size and loses his speed in the process. Gohan continues to damage Cell, resulting in him regurgitating Android 18 and transform back. Cell having lost his power becomes afraid of Gohan and decides to self destruct, Goku uses his instant transition to transport Cell and save the earth. Cell explodes killing Goku, he returns however shooting Trunks through the chest. Vegeta becomes enraged at what Cell did to Trunks, attacking him. Cell is unharmed and try’s to kill Vegeta, who is saved by Gohan. Cell aims to end this fight with a clash of Kamehameha with Gohan. Gohan struggles to get the lead in the conflict, the remaining Z fighters try to help but are useless. However, Vegeta proves to be powerful enough to at least distracting Cell. Gohan takes advantage with one final push, destroying Cell and saving the Earth.


1. White beard Pirates vs Marines

Whitebeard dies

The White beard Pirates with “43 allied crews”, waged a war against over 100,000 Marines and five Shichibukai. Luffy and several criminals from Impel Down show up to save Ace. Many of White Beards crew and allies are killed and injured. Whitebeard is severely injured and later dies at the hands of Black beard’s crew. Luffy takes center stage as he makes his way thorough the Marines and manages to save Ace.

However, the joy is short lived as Akainu kills Ace and severely damages Luffy, who is devastated mentally. Black beard manages to steal White beard devil fruit ability. The war is ceased by Shanks and his crew. There’s more to this battle but this war represents a major change in the series, the death of White beard, Ace and the theft of the White beards devil fruit. Black beard ascends to level of Youkon, and his crew terrorizes the seas.

Check Out The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (20 – 11)

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The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (40 – 31)

40. Mob vs Mogami

Mogami is a powerful evil spirit that was once an famous esper considered to be ” The Greatest Psychic of the 20th Century.” In a attempt to save his mother from dying he became an assassin to pay for her bills. During the “Keiji Mogami Arc,” he encounters Mob. Possessing the spoiled child of a rich businessman Masashi Asagiri, Mogami is exposed by Reigen. He attacks the hundreds of espers that Masashi’s father hires. To try to exorcise Mogami from Matsuo’s body Mob uses astral projection to enter her mind. While her, Mob and Mogami have a psychic battle. Mob gets the better of him here. However, he manages to turn the tables on Mob. Placing him in an alternate world.

Mob spends six months in the mindscape that Mogami traps him in. However, Mogami doesn’t like how Mob responds. He becomes enraged, attacking Mob with the spirits that he’s collected over the years. Mob reaches 100% courage, destroying the fabric of the mindscape. Mob defeats Mogami with a powerful blasts. Destroyed, Mogami’s evil spirits gang up on Mob, overwhelming him. Mob awakens his ???% mode and Mob completely erases the mindscape world. The battle could be a bit confusing, but it was a marvelously animated battle. It was an colorful and amazing scene that’s typical of the series.


39. Zenitsu vs Brother

Zenitsu Agatsuma, is the cowardly member of the Demon Slayers Corps and Older Brother Spider Demon, is a spider demon with a human head and spider body. They battle on the Natagumo Mountain. In what is typical for Zenitsu he’s petrified of the spiders that swarm him. He runs up a tree to escape them. Poisoned, he’s in danger of becoming a spider human hybrid. He panics as his hair begins to fall out and passes out. Unconscious, Zenitsu goes into a trance. Using Thunder Breathing, he attacks Brother. The demon counters with “poison sputum,” poison shaped like a web. Zenitsu dodges the attack in mid-air.

The demon spiders surround Zenitsu. He finally enters his Thunderclap and Flash stance. It’s revealed that Zenitsu “only” has one technique. However, he has mastered this singular move. His electric aura explodes, destroying the surrounding spiders. Zenitsu strikes Brother with the speed and strength of a lighting bolt killing the demon.


38. All Might vs Nomu

All Might attacks Nomu with a barrage of fists. Designed to handle All Might’s power, Nomu isn’t phased. To damage the monster, All Might musts go beyond his normal level of power. Surpassing his limits, he and Nomu trade blows. With each hit (at incredible speed) they create shock-waves. Nomu is overwhelmed by All Might’s power. All Might defeats Nomu with a powerful Plus Ultra punch.


37. Levi vs Kenny

The initial battle between Levi and Kenny is more of an aerial assault. During the Uprising Arc, Kenny hires the Reeves Company to try and kidnap Eren and Historia. Kenny attacks Levi and Nifa, killing the later. Levi manages to avoid getting hit. Kenny is armed with ODM gear and two guns. Levi escapes, giving way to an amazing chase scene leaving Levi trapped in a tavern. However, he’s able to escape, despite the presence of Kenny’s squad.


36. Father vs Everyone

Some of my favorite kinds of battles is one vs many. Often this is the big bad verses all the heroes, however, sometimes it’s the reverse. In this case it’s the former. The Briggs Fortress soldiers, allies of Edward, join forces as they take on Father. Trying to exhaust his stone supply, they combine there attack efforts. However, Father’s barrier is too strong. When he lowers that barrier to attempt to absorb Greed’s stone, Edward, Armstrong and Izumi attack. Father loses control of his power, causing a massive explosion. Edward is now pinned to a bolder and his auto-mail right arm. With Edward in danger, Al convinces May to help him transmute his soul for Edward’s right arm. Enraged, Edward goes on a rampage delivering powerful blows against Father.


35. Gurren Lagann vs the Anti – Spirals

The Battle between the Gurren Lagann and Anti-Spiral is rather long. It features many transformations of Gurren Lagann as the mecha increases in size. The battle also has a great deal of symbolism, centered on human ascension. The Anti-Spirals hate the human race, and attempt to exterminate humans. The Anti- Spirals are beings that have abandoned spiral power, and stunted their own evolution. They are a collective unconscious that are attempting to avert a ” hypothetical event” called the ” Spiral Nemesis”. Gurren grows in its size at its final form, “Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” reaches 52.8 billion light years in height. I feel it’s better to simply watch the battle than read my description of. Hope you enjoy watching it as I had.


34. Midoriya, Iida and Todoroki vs Stain

Izuku arrives to save Iida. Immobilized, Tenya is helpless and can’t help. Seeing the situation, Izuku springs into action. Activating One for All Full Cowl, Izuku attacks. He manages to slip through Stains legs, avoiding his katana. Slashing at him, Izuku dodges and uses 5% Detroit Smash. The hit connects. Stain manages to activate his Quirk, paralyzing Midoriya like Tenya. Now also helpless, Midoriya and Iida are rescued by Shoto. What follows is an action pack and exciting battle between the new heroes and Stain. They work together to defeat Stain, rescuing another fallen hero.


33. Levi vs The Beast Titan

At this point it’s clear that Levi is the best fighter in Attack on Titan. After the sacrifice of his fellow Scouts, and enraged Levi dominates the Beast Titan. With quick and powerful strikes, Levi manages to incapacitate the Beast Titan. He rips Zeke from it’s nape, however, Zeke is rescued by the Cart Titan.


32. Julius vs Licht

The fight between Julius Novachrono vs Patolli occurs over the city in the Royal Capital. The battle is a high flying spectacle. With the Wizard King using his time magic, while dodging the light attacks from Licht. They destroy the surrounding buildings during the conflict. Licht intimidated by the Kings Power, resorts to attacking innocent civilians. King Julius stops the spell, but is unable to avoid Licht’s sword.


31. Madara vs The 5 Kages

The Five Hokage join forces and prepare to battle Madara
The Five Hokage join forces and prepare to battle Madara

The Kages begin with Tsunade healing Gaara and Onoki, while Mei and A go on the offense. Mei uses ” Lava Release: Melting Apparition Technique”, and A uses his ” Lightning Oppression Horizontal Chop”. Madara uses his Susanoo to attack, but Gaara and Onoki use their defenses to stop the attack. Mei uses “Water Mist Technique” to hide the advance of A and Onoki. Onoki and A uses ” Super Aggravated Rock Technique” cracking the ribs of Susanoo. Madara uses Wood Nature Technique to destroy Onoki golem. Onoki response with his “Dust Element: Atomic Detachment”. Tsunade sites her 4 rules for a medic ninja, releasing her ” Byakuguo”. She attacks with a punch fracturing the ribs of Susanoo, then Madara uses “Katon Wildfire Extermination”. Mei counters with ” Suiton Waterspout ” and “Suiton Dragon Flood”, Weighting Rocks: Lightning Horizontal Chiyo Storm is used by A ans Onoki and Tsunade delivers another kick.

Tsunade damages Madara further knocking him to the ground, and Gaara attempts to seal him. Tsunade is then pierced through the stomach with Susanoo’s blade. Tsunade breaks the blade and hurls it at Madara, Onoki use his Duck Element to try to kill Madara, but it fails. Madara uses Wood Clones to “balance” the battle, 5 clones for each Kage. The Kages have a hard time fighting the now Susanoo activated clones. The Kages take one last stand, a use a collective attack. Madara isn’t harmed but his clones are destroyed, he activates his “Perfect Susanoo”. Madara uses Susanoo to cut the tops of several mountains showing his power. Edo Tensei is ended but Madara releases it. Madara thoroughly defeats the Kages, leaving them near death and Tsunade cut in half.

Check Out The Top 100 Anime and Manga Battles of All Time (50 – 41)

Top 20 Anime from the 2010's (Part 4)

5. Mob Psycho 100 (2016)

Studio: Bones | MAL. 8.51 | Genre: Slice of Life

The first episode of Mob Psycho 100 hits you with a torrent of fluid action and vibrant colors. The art style strongly resembles that of it’s creator ONE. Like most of the anime on this list the action itself is worthy of praise, but it’s the characters that shine. Our main protagonist is Shigeo Kageyama (Mob). Quiet and reserved, Mob is mostly ordinary except for is ESP abilities. Under the guide (or manipulation) of his boss Reigen, Mob is trying to learn to control his emotions. He’s in constant fear of his powers, while lacking the control necessary to prevent exploding. Mob Psycho 100 features interesting characters like Reigen. The con man that uses Mob for profit. What could have been a one note character, becomes a more sophisticated one. Is he evil? Does he really have Mob’s best interest at heart? Mob Psycho 100 is a stand out series. It has it all, unique visuals, action, animation, humor and interesting characters.

Check Out My Review of Mob Psycho 100 Episode 1


4. Made in Abyss (2017)

Studio: Kinema Citrus | MAL: 8.83 | Genre: Dark Fantasy

When I first started watching Made in Abyss, I though this should be a fun series. The art style lulls you into a false sense of security. It’s very much intentional. Made in Abyss is a visual marvel, particularly the detailed environments. The initial tone of the series is betrayed by the events depicted. The adorable children are orphans. Not yet jaded or still ignorant of the horrors this world offers, they are excited to explore. That world is the Abyss. A massive chasm that reaches down into the Earth. Each layer getting more and more harrowing the further you go down. Individuals known as “Divers” fearlessly head into it, hoping to discover and understand the secrets of the Abyss. Our main character Riko and her friends will aim to follow in her mother legendary footsteps, it will cost her.

Check Out My Review of Made in Abyss Episode 1


3. One Punch Man (2015)

Studio: Madhouse | MAL. 8.68 | Genre: Parody

One Punch Man is the first series from ONE. It is his second anime/manga series in my top five. Based on a 2009 web comic of the same name, One Punch Man, is a parody series of shonen superheros. One Punch Man makes fun of the over dramatic stories and the inevitable result (the hero winning) of shonen series. Saitama is an unemployed part time superhero that has somehow become so powerful that he often defeats monsters with , well on punch. Saitama and other heroes battle against mutants, cyborgs, ninja’s, aliens, martial arts, kaiju and many other creatures that seem to get larger and larger. If Saitama is a calm and cool type, his “student” Genos is the straight man. Genos unlike his master is constantly getting stronger, learning from each battle and hoping to learn the secret of Saitama’s power. Despite being a cyborg he feels the most human when compared to the godly power of Saitama. The second season was disappointing compared to the near flawless masterpiece of the first, but One Punch Man still ranks highly regardless.

Check Out My Review of One Punch Man Episode 1


2. Attack on Titan (2013)

Studio: Wit Studio | MAL: 8.47 | Genre: Dark Fantasy

Attack on Titan is a stand out anime series. The tone is similar to that of Made in Abyss and The Promised Neverland. However, unlike those series, AOT started with this dire tone. Centuries ago, mankind was nearing extinction by mysterious giant humanoid creatures called Titans. To increase their likelihood of survival humanity retreated behind massive walls. For a century humanity was safe until their piece was destroyed by the Colossal Titan. Eren Yeager witnesses the death of his mother at the hands of one of those Titan, resulting in his vow to exterminate the Titans. Eren along with friends Armin and Mikasa join the Survey Corps. The war against the Titans are brutal, with the Corps consistently taking heavy casualties. As the characters struggle for humanity’s survival they suffer heartbreak, betrayal and pain, along with joy, laughter and friendship. AOT is a dark series that can be intense, but if you can stomach the hardships depicted in the series you will be rewarded.

Check Out My Review of Attack on Titan


1. Hunter X Hunter (2011)

Studio: Madhouse | MAL: 9.10 | Genre: Fantasy

Nobody is more surprised than me that Hunter X Hunter top’s my list of the top anime of the decade. I deliberately avoided the series assuming that it was merely a mediocre shonen series. I think that the manga is terrible. Like most shonen, the action is important to the series. It was watching an out of context fight seen from the series, that convinced me to give the show a chance. I was glad I did. On the surface, Hunter X Hunter is no different from other shonen series. Gon is your typical, dumb hero. However, he’s more selfish than originally let on. It’s this selfishness that results in Gon willingness to allow an innocent girl to die for his own revenge. The final arc, the “chimera arc,” is among the best and darkest arc in anime history. Hunter X Hunter is a series that is often underestimated, but with its variety of characters, complex fighting system and narrator, Hunter X Hunter is a series that must be witnessed.

If you enjoyed this list try Bandit Secret’s Top 100 Anime of the Decade

My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 13 Boss Fight ~The Final Light~

Mob enjoying the fight

I have mixed feels regarding this episode. The animation was spectacular as always, but I feel that it may have been too dramatic. Mob Psycho 100 has always had battles that could be said as to be highly dynamic. In this episode something felt off. The end result was always expected, Mob “wins.” As Suzuki got stronger and stronger I always assumed that Mob would surpass him. The main issue is when there’s no limits on the powers of some psychics, there’s no sense of urgency in battle. Basically, they become spectacles of amazing animation and the outcome isn’t in doubt.

Suzuki at 100 % output

As I previously mention the animation was “dramatic and dynamic.” While this was visually pleasing I was unsure whether it was actually happening. For example, when Suzuki gains the upper hand, Mob begins twisting his arm, then the rest of his body. It was such a weird moment that I wasn’t sure if it was actually happening. You could argue that Mob Psycho 100 isn’t about the battle between psychics, it’s about the conflict with Mob. If the battles are just window dressing and the MORE important aspect of the show is Mob’s growth as a person.

Suzuki is arrested

That is the clearly the most important theme of this season, Mob’s growth. He’s always been powerful, but he hasn’t always been confident. Throughout this season Mob has become a more mature young man. Becoming more assertive, he’s been able to both make decisions for himself and be more critical of others. He did this without removing his compassion for others. Mob became a more complete person. Overall, this season had some downsides, the Claw arc was rushed in my opinion. No news on a season 3, but I’m looking forward to how Mob continues to grow.