Anime Underground

The 13 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated January 21, 2020 7.6k votes 2.2k voters 44.2k views 13 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 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.

Hunter X Hunter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 13 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
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. 

Is this a good training arc?
Naruto is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
Photo:  Studio Pierrot

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.

Is this a good training arc?
My Hero Academia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 13 Best Anime Training Arcs of All Time
Photo:  Studio Bones

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. 

Is this a good training arc?
Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 13 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.

Is this a good training arc?