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The 15 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time

Updated November 25, 2020 17.2k votes 3.8k voters 82k 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.

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  • Photo: ufotable

    In order to prepare for the Demon Slayer Corps' Final Selection test, Tanjiro spends two years in the mountains with his new teacher, Urokodaki. Urokodaki teaches him the Water Style swordsmanship for a year before leaving him on his own to train. He claims that there is nothing more to teach him, and that his final task is to slice a big boulder. If Tanjiro succeeds, he will be ready for the Final Selection. 

    With the help of Urokodaki's former students, Sabito and Makomo, Tanjiro improves his techniques and manages to cut down the boulder. It's only after his training that he realizes Sabito and Makomo are actually dead, and it was their spirits who appeared before him. Although it's a short arc, it manages to pack an emotional punch with Tanjiro avenging Sabito and Makomo's deaths during the Final Selection. 

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  • Photo: Lerche

    Assassination Classroom is one of those shows that's almost exclusively composed of a gigantic training arc. After a tentacle monster claims he destroyed the Moon and will soon destroy the Earth, humankind wants desperately to stop him. Because he's composed of anti-matter and can move at Mach 10, this is much easier said than done. The tentacle monster has a condition - he'll give the military a chance to defeat him if he's also allowed to train a particular middle school class in the fine art of assassination.

    Over the course of the next few months, this tentacle monster, who gains the name Koro-sensei, teaches his students all the physical fitness and strategy they need to take him down - while also giving them a genuinely good middle school education. Sure, some of them become fighting machines, but more importantly, they gain confidence in themselves and form lasting bonds with one another - and with Koro-sensei. Will their training be enough to achieve their goal?

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  • My Hero Academia is a series that focuses on a group of kids training to be superheroes, so naturally, there are quite a few training arcs that make up the series. While all of them have something to recommend them, one of the most interesting training arcs is the one where the members of class 1-A and 1-B team with up professional heroes for internships. Most of the arc is focused on Izuku Midoriya's experience working under Gran Torino, All Might's former mentor. Gran Torino appears to be a senile old man with nothing to teach, but he ends up being instrumental in Izuku's quest to find a way to control his powers more effectively. He's able to test out his new abilities when Nomu attacks the city. 

    The arc also gives viewers insight into the other heroes internships. Sometimes these are funny - like when Best Jeanist gives Katsuki a makeover - but others are upsetting, like when Tenya uses the intership as an excuse to track down Stain and avenge his brother. 

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  • In order to prepare themselves to take on Cell, Goku and Gohan enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. There, they lift weights, fight, and otherwise condition their bodies under gravity that's ten times as strong as what they're used to on Earth. Not only is the work intense, it's also prolonged. A year inside the Hyperbolic Time Chamber is the same as a day outside of it, which means that one can achieve a year's worth of training in a single day - but it also means that they have to train for a year. During that time, Gohan achieves his Super Saiyan form for the first time, while Goku perfects his control over his own.

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