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20 Shonen Anime Moments That Are Burned Into Our Brains

May 18, 2021 2.9k votes 350 voters 4.4k views20 items

When you think about your favorite shonen anime, there are probably some moments that stand out among the rest. Those are the moments that you either use to get your friends hyped about watching the series, or go out of your way to make sure they don't find out about, because they're huge spoilers.

Some are emotionally devastating, like the Hunter x Hunter scene where Meruem and Komugi show the true extent of their friendship in the most tragic way possible. Others are badass, like when All Might wastes a Nomu at U.S.J. in My Hero Academia. Whatever the vibe, they stay in fans' minds long after they've finished watching. 

These are some of the shonen anime moments that are burned into our brains - which ones are burned into yours? 

  • 5

    Class 3-E Says Goodbye - Assassination Classroom 

    Photo: Lerche

    Who would have thought that an anime about a tentacle monster teaching the art of assassination could be so sad? After growing attached to the mentor who taught them to be their best selves, and learning that he bears them no ill will whatsoever but they still have to take him out for the good of humanity, Class 3-E is devastated. In their final moments with Koro-sensei, they say their goodbyes, express what he means to them, and then finally do the thing he's been teaching them to do all along - assassinate their teacher. 

    Burned into your brain?
  • 6

    Tanjiro Unleashes The Hinokami Dance - Demon Slayer

    Photo: ufotable

    The fight against Rui is a tough one, both because it parallels a toxic false familial relationship with the tight brother-sister bond between Tanjiro and Nezuko, and because Rui is one of the strongest opponents that the du has faced so far. But during the fight, not only is Tanjiro able to unleash the Hinokami Dance, a technique his father taught him, he also fights with his sister, who has been mostly inactive throughout the show. 

    Burned into your brain?
  • 7

    Aizen Betrays Soul Society - Bleach

    At this point, even anime fans who have never seen Bleach know that Sousuke Aizen betrayed Soul Society. But while it may be old news, the reason it's so well-known is that it blew people away. He reveals that behind the scenes, he's been quietly manipulating Soul Society, and is about to unleash one of the biggest betrayals of all time. It's hard to say exactly which part of the betrayal was the best one, but the moment where he smiles and says "it's time" before a hole full of Gillian-class Menos opens up in the sky stands out. 

    Burned into your brain?
  • 8

    Light Defeats L - Death Note

    Photo: Madhouse

    A little over halfway through the series, Light Yagami puts an end to L's investigation by tricking Rem into writing his name down in her notebook. Any time a major character passes, it's impactful, but this scene came on the heels of some beautifully rendered details about L's past, and a touching final moment between the two rivals that made it all the more meaningful. 

    Burned into your brain?