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The 15 Greatest Anime Rematches of All Time, Ranked

January 26, 2021 1.4k votes 311 voters 11.4k views15 items

Sometimes, the best fight an anime has to offer isn't the first battle, but the rematch that comes after.

During the first fight, the hero might not be strong enough to stand up to their enemy, but during the rematch they get the chance to show what they're made of - that's what happens to Luffy when he fights Crocodile in One Piece. It's only during their third fight that he figures out a strategy that will work. Or maybe the first fight is emotionally shallow, but the rematch gives the combatants a chance to vent their true emotions, like when Bakugo and Midoriya have an unsanctioned battle that lets both of them let out all the pain, resentment and guilt they've been bottling up. Whatever the rematch's nature, the really good ones are some of the best things about their respective series. 

Which of these would you say are among the best anime rematches? Be sure vote up your favorites!

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  • 1

    Naruto vs Sasuke - Naruto Shippuden

    Some rematches follow a lackluster fight, but Sasuke and Naruto's final fight at the Valley of the End was a mirror to an equally incredible battle that occurred at the same place years before. During their first major skirmish, Naruto was desperately trying to persuade Sasuke to stay in the village.

    Their rematch took place after they'd joined forces to defeat Kaguya. After showing off some of their most powerful moves and blowing each other's arms off, the two are too exhausted to continue fighting. But though both are in rough shape, Naruto is the winner. Why? Because his 'Will of Fire' philosophy has won out over Sasuke's 'Curse of Hatred.' 

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  • 2

    Goku vs Vegeta - Dragon Ball Z

    Enraged from multiple wounds to his pride caused by Goku, Vegeta goes all out in this long-awaited rematch. Using his Majin form, he's able to land plenty of hits against Goku - although Goku could have transformed into his Super Saiyan 3 form and chose to hold back.

    There are some deep emotional revelations during this fight, and it doesn't have an ultimate winner - what's important here isn't the outcome, but the connection between the two warriors, and their development over time. 

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  • 3

    Ichigo vs Grimmjow - Bleach

    Ichigo spent ages mastering his bankai, but during his rematch against 

    Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez of the Espada, he realizes that he'll have to step it up a notch if he wants to win. This means embracing the Hollow powers hidden inside of him. Meanwhile, the Arrancar shows off his own strength as a Hollow-Shinigami Hybrid by rushing forth with his Resurrección. It's not an easy fight, but Ichigo is eventually able to defeat Grimmjow with some fancy swordplay. 

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  • 4

    Bakugo vs Midoriya - My Hero Academia

    The first time Bakugo and Midoriya fight, Midoriya is trying to prove his own heroism, while Bakugo is trying to prove that he's better than Midoriya. But when they have their rematch, both of them are in a very different place. 

    Both of them have been making strides in the hero world, and Bakugo has realized that Midoriya might be going somewhere far beyond him. His own feelings of inadequacy, combined with a burning desire to have his suspicions about where Midoriya's powers came from confirmed, compel him to start a fight with Midoriya.

    Midoriya tries to deescalate, not wanting to fight the person he admires more in the world, but he ultimately accepts because he knows it's the only way for Bakugo to resolve his feelings.

    The fight technically ends with a win for Bakugo, but the real resolution is that both aired their feelings, to each other and to All Might, whose injuries and retirement Bakugo feels responsible for. 

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