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The 20 Best Fights Involving Anime Side Characters, Ranked

Updated September 18, 2020 24.3k votes 2.9k voters 67.9k views20 items

Not every important anime battle is decided by the protagonists. Actually, there are plenty of amazing battles that focus on side characters instead. For this article, we're defining "side character" as anyone who isn't the protagonist. So, while All Might is a pivotal character in My Hero Academia, he isn't Deku, so he counts. 

What are the best anime side character fights? Well, there's the aforementioned battle between All Might and All For One, which sees the end of All Might's career and passes the torch to his mentee. Looking for something a little more old school? There's the fight between Toguro and his former ally Genkai in Yu Yu Hakusho, which isn't just an awesome fight, it also reveals something important about the main villains' past. 

Which of these side character showdowns excited you the most? Be sure to vote them up!

  • 1

    Guy vs Madara - 'Naruto'

    After being brought back to life using a reincarnation jutsu, Madara proves almost impossible for the Shinobi Alliance to beat. That's because he's immune to all forms of ninjutsu and genjutsu. It takes a master of taijutsu, Gai, to be able to give him a genuine challenge. 

    Does the side character shine?
  • 2

    Jiraiya vs Pain - 'Naruto'

    The one who ultimately defeats Pain is the protagonist, but not before his mentor Jiraiya has a first encounter with him. This occurs while he's trying to find information about a brewing threat that turns out to be his former student. Sadly, the battle ends with Jiraiya's demise. Not only that, but his throat is crushed before he can reveal Pain's true identity to Fukusaku.

    Does the side character shine?
  • 3

    Mustang & Hawkeye vs Envy - 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'

    Roy Mustang is usually a pretty chill guy, but when he's faced with Envy, the being who destroyed his friend and colleague Maes Hughes, he basically goes feral. Unwilling to show Envy any mercy, he uses his flame alchemy to savagely roast them as they scream in agony.

    Does the side character shine?
  • 4

    Meruem vs Netero - 'Hunter x Hunter'

    Photo: Madhouse

    Netero is one of the strongest people in the Hunter x Hunter world, so it makes sense that he'd be the one to take on the Chimera King. But even Netero's strongest attacks weren't enough - he only defeated Meruem via a trump card - Poor Man's Rose, a bomb implanted in his body that was set to go off when Netero's own heart stopped. Though Meruem survives the fight, the bomb released a poison that would ultimately claim his life.

    Does the side character shine?