War never changes. Be it from the rush of adrenaline any spectacular explosion instills or the shocking revelations disclosed during moments of drama and political intrigue, war never loses its appeal either. In fact, it serves as a despicable part of our selves, making viewers want more despite knowing that calamity and chaos only begets more suffering. For as long as this planet has scarce resources, different people, and conflicting ideals, there will always be war. Indeed, whether it be an all-out conflict or a battle against time itself, war is inevitable.
Humanity can change for the better, however, as long as it wants to. It can learn from the mistakes of the past and be better prepared to handle varying degrees of views in the future. Peace is very possible as long as we keep pushing towards it, relentless in our goal to stop hate and bring about an end to suffering.
The following list of wars in anime serve as a reminder of the brutality of conflict and the plight it brings. Though entertaining in their own right, each reminds audiences not only of the dangers and tragedy of war, but of how to best avoid it in our own world.
Ishval Civil War – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Like many anime on this list, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Ishval Civil War finds its basis in the real world and even serves as a stark reminder of conflict occurring today. Setting the stage for what would come later on in the series, the war starts after an Amestrian soldier "accidentally" shoots and kills an Ishvalan child, bringing about massive protests from the Ishvalan people who had been relegated to an outlying territory of Amestris by direct order from the central government.
It's later revealed that the war's massive bloodshed was necessary for inciting the Nationwide Transmutation Circle, playing into the hands of Father and his lust for global domination. The anime questions each character's role in the battle, as every man and woman feels some regret for the actions he or she had to undertake. The Ishval Civil War is brutal, maddening, and above all else, sad because it perfectly encapsulates how pointless war really is.
The Fourth Great Ninja War – Naruto Shippuden
Otherwise known as The Fourth Great Shinobi War, this conflict served as the climactic showdown between the Allied Shinobi Forces and Akatsuki, whose menacing presence could be felt throughout Naruto Shippuden. Lasting for only two days, the war takes well over 100 episodes to view in its entirety, as both sides are seen making their preparations from varying degrees of perspective.
It's a marvel to behold considering how fan-favorite villains are resurrected by the Akatsuki, including those ninjas belonging to the Mist Village. Each member of the cloak-wearing criminal organization is given his chance to shine too, making it obvious why so many Naruto fans continue to idolize the Akatsuki even to this day.
The Arrancar War – Bleach
The Arrancar War is the first time Bleach fans witness the Shinigami's Soul Society fight against complete Arrancar – Hollows that have removed their masks to gain Shinigami-like abilities. What starts as a simple reconnaissance mission to gauge the power level of Ichigo Kurosaki quickly erupts into a chaotic battle (and an eventual war), as the fate of Karakura Town is threatened by the erratic whim of one of these Arrancar forces. The foes are so powerful that they force Ichigo to develop as a character, learning how to wrestle with his inner Hollow lest the enemy gets the upper hand.
This conflict culminates in a massive battle between the Soul Society's most powerful Shinigami (along with Ichigo), and the strongest Arrancar in the series, the Espadas – led by former captain Sōsuke Aizen.
Britannia Vs. The World – Code Geass
In Code Geass, the Holy Britannian Empire rules over most of the world. In 2010, the monarchy overpowered Japanese forces and conquered the country with their newly-developed robotic weapons in less than a month. These mechas, known as Knightmare Frames, play a pivotal role in the empire's reign and later on are used against the very nation that invented them by Britannia's own prince Lelouch.
Born out of a personal crusade regarding his father's mistreatment of his mother and sister, Lelouch vows to take over the empire by any means possible. Using his newly acquired skill called the Geass, which allows him to order anyone to perform a specific action he commands, the prince brings about an all-out war between Britannia, Japan's resistance fighters, and the entire world – resulting in a satisfying albeit bittersweet conclusion that will keep viewers on the edge of their seat.