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The 16 Greatest Final Fights In Anime History

Updated June 16, 2021 44.0k votes 13.4k voters 310.2k views16 items

List RulesVote up the most intense, mindblowing final battles in anime history.

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.

  • Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha sported a rivalry since the very beginning, a rivalry that suggested to viewers the series wouldn't end without a serious showdown between the two powerhouse ninjas.

    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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • Most final battles occur between rivals who faced off at least once or twice in the past. Kiritsugu Emiya and Kirei Kotomine never meet before their final battle, but they definitely consider each other formidable foes. While most of the fights in Fate/Zero involve supernatural abilities, this one is a magic-free conflict between two men in a concrete basement, where guns, swords, and fists are the weapons of choice.

    The stark backdrop puts the spotlight on the dueling pair, and the dramatic camera angles and wide movements make it nearly impossible to look away.

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