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The 15 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time

Updated November 25, 2020 17.2k votes 3.8k voters 82.1k views15 items

Training arcs aren't necessarily everyone's favorite part of an anime - but they don't have to be boring. In fact, there are some great ones out there. Let's take a look at some of the best anime training arcs that have appeared so far.

Some anime, like Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, consists almost entirely of a prolonged training arc. In other shows, like Naruto and Yu Yu Hakusho, these arcs crop up briefly and often intersect with the conflict the characters are preparing for. Some training arcs focus on getting strong enough to take on a particular enemy - that's Goku and Gohan's goal when they train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. In other cases, as in Yowamushi Pedal and Free!, the characters are trying to prepare for a sporting event.

Which of these anime training arcs did you enjoy the most? Let your voice be heard, and vote up your favorites.

  • Photo: Madhouse

    When Gon and Killua enter Greed Island, they aren't exactly well-prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. Frustrated by their incompetence, Biscuit Kreuger, also known by her cutesy nickname Bisky, offers to help them. They're reluctant at first since they already have a teacher and she doesn't exactly look intimidating - but Biscuit quickly proves her worth as a teacher. She puts them through a brutal training regimen that involves physical strength, Nen training, and more - even forcing them to sleep while trying to magically prevent a rock from crushing them. With Biscuit's harsh techniques and tough love, the two are able to make meaningful progress toward clearing the game. 

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  • As a sprawling shonen epic that starts with totally inexperienced characters who become masters of their craft, Naruto is naturally rife with training arcs. While all of them have something to recommend them, one stands out in particular. During the Sage Training arc, Naruto learns how to use Sage Mode from his mentor from the toad sages at Mount Myōboku. The technique itself, which allows the user to pull in energy from the natural world and use it as an offensive weapon, is awesome enough. But what really stands out about this arc isn't the awesome techniques that Naruto picks up - it's the character development that the arc allows for. Before learning Sage Mode, Naruto was never able to sit still or learn anything that took intense, prolonged concentration. With the help of his mentor, he manages to make that leap.

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    The Straw Hats Train For Two Years In 'One Piece'

    Photo: Toei

    One Piece is one of the few shonen anime that doesn't focus on training arcs. Yet it's worth mentioning the one they do have. After the dramatic aftermath of the Marineford Arc, the Straw Hats each go their separate ways to train and improve themsleves for two years. Luffy works on mastering his Haki with Rayleigh while the others embark on their own personal journeys to become stronger. Althought it was sad to see the crew separate temporarily, the ending scene where Luffy leaves his signature straw hat on the rock while the song "We Are!" plays is a touching moment that'll get you in the feels. 

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  • Photo: Sunrise

    The Dark Tournament Saga is focused mostly on the titular competition, but it also involves some major training moments. That's because Yusuke and the rest of his team didn't enter the tournament after carefully conditioning themselves to meet its challenges - they're basically roped into it against their will. In order to prepare, Yusuke trains under his mentor Genkai. Meanwhile, Hiei and Kurama, who are both powerful demons, train Kuwabara so that he'll be able to stand up against demons of similar caliber. This arc not only shows what challenges Team Urameshi will have to overcome during the tournament, it also depicts the growing bonds between its members. 

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