Anime Underground

The 12 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time  

Anna Lindwasser
945 votes 214 voters 2.6k views 12 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 Discipleconsists almost entirely of a prolonged training arc. In other shows, like Naruto and Yu Yu Hakushothese 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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Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 12 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
Photo:  Toei Animation

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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Kenichi: The Mightiest Discipl... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 12 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
Photo:  TMS Entertainment

Most anime are divided into training arcs and competition or battle arcs. In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, the training is the whole point. To combat a variety of challenges from bullies and gang members - and to protect a cute girl named Miu - Kenichi must go from wimpy nerd to master of his own style of martial arts. To create this style, he'll have to endure a torturous regimen of training that leaves him utterly exhausted, but capable of defeating even the most dangerous opponents.

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Assassination Classroom is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 12 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
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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The Promised Neverland is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 12 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
Photo: CloverWorks

The first season of The Promised Neverland can be looked at as a training arc, if a nontraditional one. In order to escape from Grace Field House - an orphanage that's secretly feeding its residents to a race of powerful demons - the children must prepare themselves physically and mentally. As Emma, Norman, and Ray try to determine the best strategy for escape, they're conditioning their bodies and leading the younger children in drills that lend them the speed and stamina needed to make a run for it. Because the consequences for failure are so dire, it's hard not to get invested in their training exercises, even if most of them just involve elaborate games of tag.

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