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The 16 Best Fight Choreography In Anime, Ranked

Updated August 19, 2020 18.7k votes 3.5k voters 90k views16 items

One of the most important elements in a great anime fight scene is the choreography: that is, the sequence of movements chosen for the characters and objects involved in the fight. Choreography can make or break the quality of a fight scene: if it isn't well done, it can look choppy, dull, or like the characters are just standing in one spot grunting for 20 episodes in a row - looking at you DBZ. 

The best fight choreography in anime can be seen in older shows like Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop, as well as newer series like Mob Psycho 100 and Demon Slayer. These shows offer breathtaking viewing experiences that combine epic moments with tiny details that most creators wouldn't think of.

Which series are you the most impressed by?

  • 1

    Samurai Champloo

    Photo: Manglobe

    One of the things that makes Samurai Champloo such a memorable series for so many viewers is its incredible fight choreography. Mugen and Jin are supposed to be master swordsmen who have distinct fighting styles that match their personalities. While Mugen's style resembles an anime-boosted version of Capoeira, Jin favors more traditional samurai moves. Their fighting styles are consistently and elegantly rendered, serving as a vehicle to establish who they are in addition to just being straight up thrilling.  

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  • Photo: Sunrise

    Cowboy Bebop is a legendary series for good reason: from its finely developed characters to its epic soundtrack, it's just plain great. Among the many things that are excellent about this series is the fight choreography that makes conflicts between the Bebop Crew and their various opponents all the more exciting. The choreography stands out even more in the movie, where you can watch Vincent and Spike struggle to stay on their feet as they slug each other in the face. It looks more like a real fight than most of what can be found in anime, which is part of what makes it so exciting. 

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  • Photo: Bones

    Whether it's an alchemy showdown or a straight up fist fight, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood impresses its audience with its amazing choreography. While every fight scene has something to recommend it, the most stunning feat in the show's history was the final showdown between Father and literally everyone else. These animators managed to juggle the actions of countless characters, all of whom were using different fighting methods, in an epic throw down that ended with Ed and Father punching each other in the face. Most anime studios wouldn't be able to keep that many balls in the air at once, but hey, that's Studio Bones for you.

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  • 4

    Demon Slayer

    Photo: ufotable

    As soon as it was announced that Demon Slayer would be animated by the legendary ufotable, it was clear that the fight scenes would be worth getting hyped about. The series, which focuses on a boy named Tanjiro's journey to turn his demon sister human again, features some truly breathtaking fight scenes. One of the cool things about the series is how much Tanjiro improves over time. During his training phase, he stumbles and moves slowly, but by the time he's up against Rui in one of the series' best fights, he's quick on his feet and handy with a blade. 

    Is this choreography great?