From the Bride vs. Bill to Link vs. Ganondorf, an epic final battle brings a storyline to an explosive and worthwhile conclusion, and anime final battles get just as gripping as any Hollywood scuffle or video game brawl. When staged correctly, the greatest anime final battles display the finest things the series offers – the crispest animation, the most dramatic dialogue, and the perfect atmosphere. The characters, who each honed their skills and prepared over the course of multiple episodes, now get the chance to show off their maximum capabilities.
Some anime battles play out as thrilling, large-scale conflicts, such as the epic space fight in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, where actual galaxies are used as weapons. Some conflicts take darker, moodier tones; the unsettling endings of Psycho Pass and Devilman Crybaby stand as excellent, if upsetting, examples. An especially great final anime battle might include a 2 vs. 1 anime fight, letting all your favorite characters a moment in the grand finale. However they play out, the best final anime battles offer all the suspense and action you want in a conflict.
The animation and choreography combine to form fight-scene magic. In long-running anime like Naruto, this can feel hit-or-miss, yet Sudio Pierrot put forth some of their finest efforts here. Viewers watch Sasuke and Naruto defend their differing worldviews while still showing a level of respect. The battle continues even after their incredible powers burn out, devolving into an exhausted fist fight atypical of Naurto's usual flashy choreography. In short, it gives the fans what they waited for as well as some surprises they never expected either.
Father comes across as a formidable villain, but at heart, he exists as a sad, pathetic, selfish imitation of man who amassed a terrifying amount of power beyond his ability to control. Incapable of caring for anyone but himself, Father even abuses his homunculi creations, whose existences are meant to take him to godhood. For this reason, it feels supremely satisfying to watch him lose his grip on everything he set into motion.
Although alchemy is involved in the fight, Edward Elric ultimately defeats Father with his bare hands. Edward relies on his humanity to defeat an enemy who tried to surpass the confines of earthly existence – exactly what Ed does when he tries to resurrect his mother. More than anything, this fight reaffirms the power of human resilience.
In one of the most iconic final battles in anime history, Spike Spiegel and his long-time rival, Vicious, duke it out with a pistol and a sword. The two originally hail from the same crime syndicate, one which Spike abandoned and Vicious now rules with an iron fist. The fight scene works because of, rather than in spite of, its feelings of a desolate conclusion. For most of Cowboy Bebop, Spike tries to outrun his past, but through this battle with Vicious, he must confront it. Fighting Vicious and acknowledging their time together in the Red Dragon Syndicate allow Spike to finally free himself of his sordid past.
When it comes to fight scenes, Dragon Ball Z offers some of the very best, meaning the final battle between Goku and Kid Buu was destined for greatness from the beginning. Kid Buu ranks among the most powerful foes Goku and friends ever face; with no particular goal in mind, Buus simply exists as a vessel of chaos and destruction. Goku can't take him on alone, needing help from Vegeta and Mr. Satan to finish him. After much struggle, they utterly destroy Kid Buu using a massive spirit bomb, making Kid Buu one of the only villains Goku actually kills. The battle caps off with Goku and Vegeta acknowledging they actually make a good team – a poignant end for two former enemies.