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The 21 Craziest Anime Wars of All Time

Updated September 30, 2020 41.5k votes 9.8k voters 170.6k views21 items

List RulesVote up your favorite anime with the craziest wars.

War never changes. Be it from the rush of adrenaline any spectacular explosion instills or the shocking revelations disclosed during moments of drama and political intrigue, war never loses its appeal either. In fact, it serves as a despicable part of our selves, making viewers want more despite knowing that calamity and chaos only begets more suffering. For as long as this planet has scarce resources, different people, and conflicting ideals, there will always be war. Indeed, whether it be an all-out conflict or a battle against time itself, war is inevitable.

Humanity can change for the better, however, as long as it wants to. It can learn from the mistakes of the past and be better prepared to handle varying degrees of views in the future. Peace is very possible as long as we keep pushing towards it, relentless in our goal to stop hate and bring about an end to suffering.

The following list of wars in anime serve as a reminder of the brutality of conflict and the plight it brings. Though entertaining in their own right, each reminds audiences not only of the dangers and tragedy of war, but of how to best avoid it in our own world.

  • 1

    Ishval Civil War – 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'

    Like many anime on this list, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Ishval Civil War finds its basis in the real world and even serves as a stark reminder of conflict occurring today. Setting the stage for what would come later on in the series, the war starts after an Amestrian soldier "accidentally" shoots and kills an Ishvalan child, bringing about massive protests from the Ishvalan people who had been relegated to an outlying territory of Amestris by direct order from the central government.

    It's later revealed that the war's massive bloodshed was necessary for inciting the Nationwide Transmutation Circle, playing into the hands of Father and his lust for global domination. The anime questions each character's role in the battle, as every man and woman feels some regret for the actions he or she had to undertake. The Ishval Civil War is brutal, maddening, and above all else, sad because it perfectly encapsulates how pointless war really is.

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  • 2

    Britannia Vs. The World – 'Code Geass'

    In Code Geass, the Holy Britannian Empire rules over most of the world. In 2010, the monarchy overpowered Japanese forces and conquered the country with their newly-developed robotic weapons in less than a month. These mechas, known as Knightmare Frames, play a pivotal role in the empire's reign and later on are used against the very nation that invented them by Britannia's own prince Lelouch.

    Born out of a personal crusade regarding his father's mistreatment of his mother and sister, Lelouch vows to take over the empire by any means possible. Using his newly acquired skill called the Geass, which allows him to order anyone to perform a specific action he commands, the prince brings about an all-out war between Britannia, Japan's resistance fighters, and the entire world – resulting in a satisfying albeit bittersweet conclusion that will keep viewers on the edge of their seat.

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  • 3

    Humanity Vs. Titans - 'Attack on Titan'

    Photo: Wit Studio

    In case you've been living under a rock (or perhaps behind a wall) for the past couple of years, one of the most popular ongoing anime wars in the medium as of late is that of humanity against the Titans – a giant humanoid race that devours people indiscriminately and without remorse. Thought to have emerged over a century ago, Titans have nearly driven humanity to extinction.

    Though lowly humans have a few tricks up their sleeve (mainly in the form of the 3D maneuver gear), this ongoing conflict in Attack on Titan leaves viewers with a sense of hopelessness and dread. Add to the pile shocking betrayals and revelations of the past and the show makes for an interesting take on the psychology of war and how it affects those who battle in it.

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  • 4

    The Holy Grail War – 'Fate' Series

    Photo: Ufotable

    The Holy Grail War is a battle royale in the Fate series for the Holy Grail through intense battles of might and magic. Whoever owns the grail is granted any wish they desire, making it quite a prestigious accomplishment should anyone be able to obtain it.

    Participants of the Holy Grail Wars in the past, present, and future consist of magi who summon various historical figures to do their bidding. These Servants make for quite the spectacle, as the conflicts they bring about with each other serve as a testament to the emotions they've harbored for centuries, as well as make a case for why they are so well-remembered to this day.

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