Are you looking for that perfect fighting anime series? Look no further! Even though defining the essence of “fighting” anime can be a bit confusing, considering that genre can encompass everything from spellcraft to martial arts, there are still some titles that are considered to be classics and the first thing that drops on your mind when you think about “epic anime fights.” This is why we curated a list of 50 best anime titles that focus solely on fighting. If you’re interested, let’s go!
Editor’s Note: This list was updated in December 2023 to include some new anime titles.
The story of ‘Gintama’ is set in an alternate-history Edo period, where Earth has been invaded by aliens known as the Amanto. Despite the samurai losing the war against the aliens, a former samurai named Gintoki Sakata manages to survive. Gintoki, along with his friends Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura, operates a business called the Yorozuya, where they take on odd jobs to make a living.
As the wildly popular V.R. game Yggdrasil approaches its final hour, Momonga, a powerful wizard and the master of the guild Ainz Ooal Gown, decides to spend the last moments in the game as the servers shut down. However, when the clock strikes midnight, Momonga realizes that he is fully conscious of his character, and even non-player characters exhibit personalities of their own. Faced with this mysterious situation, Momonga directs his loyal staff to explore and take charge of the new world, hoping to unravel the reasons behind the change and determine if others are experiencing the same phenomenon. ‘Overlord’ is an excellent fighting anime that is worth checking out.
In the downtown district of Ikebukuro in Tokyo, numerous bizarre stories and warnings circulate about unknown gangs and dangerous residents. One mythological tale, in particular, stands out—the legend of the headless “Black Rider” who rides an all-black motorbike through the city streets. Mikado Ryuugamine, longing for the thrill of city life, decides to move to Tokyo after receiving an invitation from a former friend. On his first day in the city, he witnesses the Black Rider, and as supernatural events unfold, ordinary people like him become entangled with Ikebukuro’s vibrant inhabitants in the midst of a raging tumult.
47. ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’
In 1868, Dio Brando, resentful and determined to secure the Joestar fortune, uses an Aztec stone mask to set off a chain of events that will impact generations of the Joestar family. Fifty years later, Joseph Joestar discovers his familial legacy and faces mystical beings known as The Pillar Men, unveiling a saga of thrilling adventures that spans generations in Hirohiko Araki’s ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.’
46. ‘One-Punch Man’
‘One Punch Man’ is a Japanese anime and manga series that follows the story of Saitama, an ordinary man who becomes a hero just for fun. Despite defeating his enemies with a single punch, Saitama struggles with boredom and the lack of challenging opponents in a world filled with monsters and villains.
In the Fourth Holy Grail War, the Einzbern family aims to break the cycle of violence and secure victory with the Holy Grail’s vessel. They enlist the services of the “Magus Killer” Kiritsugu Emiya, who enters the ruthless competition with personal stakes and a marriage agreement to the family’s daughter, Irisviel. As Kiritsugu confronts six other participants, including his friend Saber and the conflicted priest Kirei Kotomine, ‘Fate/Zero’ unfolds as a high-stakes battle for survival, revealing unique motivations and driving forces of each contender in the quest for the all-powerful Holy Grail.
‘Claymore’ is set in a medieval-like world plagued by monstrous creatures called Yoma, which are shape-shifting, flesh-devouring beings that disguise themselves as humans. To counter this threat, an organization creates warriors known as Claymores, half-human, half-Yoma hybrids with superhuman abilities. Clare, one such Claymore, seeks revenge against the Yoma for the death of her loved ones while navigating a society that both fears and relies on these warriors.
43. ‘Darling in the Franxx’
In a post-apocalyptic world plagued by colossal creatures called Klaxosaurs, humanity survives in fortress cities known as Plantations. Children are trained to pilot FranXX, massive mechas essential for battling Klaxosaurs. Hiro, a failed FranXX pilot, encounters the mysterious and infamous “Partner Killer,” Zero Two, and together, they embark on a journey to fight for humanity’s survival, unaware of the challenges and sacrifices that lie ahead.
42. ‘Kengan Ashura’
‘Kengan Ashura’ has a premise really similar to ‘Baki.’ The series revolves around underground gladiator-style battles between powerful corporations. In this brutal world, these corporations employ fighters, known as “Kengan fighters,” to engage in one-on-one combat to settle disputes and conflicts. The main protagonist, Tokita Ohma, enters the world of Kengan matches and strives to prove his strength and skill as he faces formidable opponents in the arena.
41. ‘The God of High School’
‘The God of High School’ is an anime and webtoon series that centers around a high school martial arts tournament called The God of High School (GOH). The tournament is organized by a mysterious organization, and participants from various high schools compete using their unique martial arts skills and supernatural abilities.
40. ‘Elfen Lied’
Lucy, a unique human known as a “Diclonius,” possesses telekinetic hands and horns. Subjected to inhumane experiments, she escapes after a brutal breakout, leaving her with a childlike personality due to a head injury. Taken in by university students Kouta and Yuka, her violent past becomes entwined with government secrecy and conspiracy, impacting the lives of those who show her compassion.
39. ‘Attack on Titan’
‘Attack on Titan’ is set in a world where humanity resides within enormous walled cities to protect themselves from the Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures that devour humans seemingly without reason. We follow Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert as they join the military to fight the Titans after their hometown is invaded and Eren’s mother is killed.
38. ‘Gurren Lagann’
In ‘Gurren Lagann’ humanity is forced to live underground due to the Earth’s surface being ruled by the tyrannical Spiral King, Lordgenome. The protagonist, Simon, discovers a mysterious drill-shaped key and a small mecha named Lagann, leading him to a chance encounter with a fiery and charismatic young man named Kamina.
37. ‘Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple’
Kenichi Shirahama is a high school student who is frequently bullied and lacks physical strength. One day, he meets a mysterious girl named Miu Furinji, who introduces him to Ryozanpaku, a dojo where several martial arts masters reside.
At Ryozanpaku, Kenichi decides to undergo intense martial arts training under the guidance of various eccentric yet highly skilled masters, each specializing in a different martial art. These masters include Hayato Furinji, Miu’s grandfather, as well as Apachai Hopachai (Muay Thai), Shigure Kosaka (weapons expert), Shio Sakaki (karate), Kensei Ma (Chinese martial arts), and Akisame Koetsuji (Jujitsu).
36. ‘Soul Eater’
‘Soul Eater’ is set in Death City, home to the prestigious Death Weapon Meister Academy, led by Shinigami, the Lord of Death. The academy’s mission is to create powerful weapons called “Death Scythes” capable of combating various supernatural threats. These weapons are unique hybrids, part human and part weapon, requiring the consumption of 99 evil souls and one witch’s soul to reach their full potential.
35. ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’
Fifteen years after The Second Impact,” the world is under siege by celestial beings known as “Angels.” Humanity’s only defense lies with NERV, an organization led by Gendou Ikari. Using giant humanoid robots called “Evangelions,” pilots like Gendou’s estranged son, Shinji Ikari, must synchronize with these mechs to protect Earth. Not only is ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ one of the best fighting anime, it’s also one the best mecha anime of all time.
34. ‘Kill la Kill’
After her father’s death, Ryuuko Matoi seeks his killer, armed with the only clue she has—the missing Scissor Blade he invented. Her quest leads her to Honnouji Academy, where the ruthless student council president, Satsuki Kiryuuin, wields immense power through special uniforms called “Goku Uniforms.” These uniforms, along with Satsuki’s Elite Four subordinates, create a formidable hierarchy within the school, setting the stage for intense power struggles and confrontations.
33. ‘Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings’
‘Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings’ is a reimagining of the events that unfolded during Japan’s Sengoku era. It follows various samurai warriors, each with unique abilities and ambitions, as they engage in epic battles to unify the war-torn land under their respective banners. The main conflict centers around the power struggle between two mighty warlords: Date Masamune, known as the “One-Eyed Dragon,” and Sanada Yukimura, a loyal and passionate warrior. As these charismatic leaders rally their forces and form alliances, they clash in large-scale battles filled with dynamic sword fights, strategic maneuvers, and supernatural abilities.
32. ‘Tenjho Tenge’
‘Tenjho Tenge’ is an anime and manga series that combines elements of martial arts, action, and romance. The story follows two high school students, Souichiro Nagi and Bob Makihara, who transfer to Toudou Academy with the goal of establishing themselves as the strongest fighters in the school. Toudou Academy is known for its intense martial arts battles and is home to several formidable martial arts groups.
31. ‘Samurai Champloo’
The story of ‘Samurai Champloo’ is set in an alternate version of Edo-era Japan and follows three unlikely companions: Mugen, Jin, and Fuu. The story begins when Fuu Kasumi, a young waitress, saves the lives of two skilled swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, during a bar brawl. However, their actions led to chaos and destruction, resulting in their arrest and a sentence of execution. Before they can be executed, Fuu intervenes and proposes a deal: she will help them escape if they agree to accompany her on a journey to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers.
30. ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’
‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ follows the high school student Yuuji Itadori, whose ordinary life takes a drastic turn when he encounters a cursed object at his Occult Club. Accidentally unlocking the seal on a cursed artifact, he unleashes a malevolent creature called Sukuna into the world. After taking in the cursed object, Yuuji becomes entangled in the dangerous and supernatural realm of curses, setting the stage for a series of intense battles and dark adventures.
29. ‘Devilman Crybaby’
‘Devilman Crybaby’ follows the story of Akira Fudo, who merges with a demon named Amon to become Devilman. The world faces a demonic threat, and Devilman must navigate the complex interplay between demons and humans, confronting moral dilemmas and the consequences of his newfound powers. The series explores themes of identity, morality, and the blurred line between good and evil in a world threatened by demonic forces.
28. ‘Fairy Tail’
In the magical realm of Fiore, where magic is a part of everyday life, various magic guilds play a central role in magical activities. Among them, Fairy Tail is known for its determination, camaraderie, and sense of family, distinguishing it as a unique and spirited guild in the magical world of Fiore.
Ichigo Kurosaki, a typical high school student, encounters a Hollow—a malevolent spirit that devours human souls—threatening his family. In a bid to protect them, he crosses paths with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper. When Rukia is injured defending Ichigo’s family, he agrees to take her powers and become a Soul Reaper himself to safeguard his loved ones from supernatural threats.
26. ‘Air Master’
‘Air Master’ follows the story of Maki Aikawa, a former gymnast who discovers her passion for street fighting after a chance encounter. As she delves into the world of street fighting, Maki encounters various opponents and honors her skills, striving to become the “Air Master.”
25. ‘Assassination Classroom’
‘Assassination Classroom’ is an anime series that revolves around an unusual and highly capable teacher, Koro-sensei. The story begins with Koro-sensei destroying a large portion of the moon and threatening to do the same to Earth within a year. However, he offers humanity a chance to save itself. The condition is that he becomes the teacher of Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the students are tasked with assassinating him before the deadline.
24. ‘Blue Exorcist’
‘Blue Exorcist’ revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager who discovers that he is the son of Satan. Determined not to succumb to his demonic heritage, Rin decides to become an exorcist and fight against his father’s realm, Gehenna. With his younger brother Yukio, Rin embarks on a journey to master exorcism and protect the human world from demonic threats.
23. ‘Sword Art Online’
‘Sword Art Online’ is set in the near future where players immerse themselves in a virtual reality MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) called Sword Art Online. The creator of the game traps players by preventing them from logging out and reveals that death in the game means death in real life. Kirito, one of the players, must navigate through the virtual world, battle monsters, and overcome various challenges to survive and eventually find a way to escape.
22. ‘One Piece’
Monkey D. Luffy, inspired by the legendary Pirate King Gol D. Roger, sets sail with his quirky but powerful crew to find the greatest treasure, One Piece. In the Grand Age of Pirates, they face thrilling adventures, dark mysteries, and formidable foes, driven by Luffy’s curiosity and the promise of unending fame and riches. The journey is a quest for the ultimate prize and the title of Pirate King.
21. ‘Hinomaru Sumo’
‘Hinomaru Sumo’ revolves around Ushio Hinomaru, a small and determined high school student with a fiery spirit. Despite his short stature, Ushio dreams of becoming a sumo wrestler and achieving the highest rank of Yokozuna. The series follows his journey as he joins Oodachi High School’s sumo club, faces various challenges, and strives to prove that size is not a limitation in the world of sumo wrestling. Along the way, Ushio forms bonds with his teammates and works hard to overcome his own limitations, aiming for greatness in the traditional Japanese sport of sumo wrestling.
‘Berserk’ is a dark fantasy anime and manga series created by Kentaro Miura. The story is centered around Guts, a lone mercenary with a tragic past. Guts wields an enormous sword called the Dragonslayer and is known for his exceptional combat skills. The tale begins with Guts as a member of the mercenary band known as the Band of the Hawk, led by the charismatic and ambitious Griffith. The series leads us into the dynamics of this group and the friendship between Guts and Griffith. However, the story takes a dark turn as Griffith’s ambitions lead to a horrifying event known as the Eclipse, where demonic entities called God Hand are summoned.
19. ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’
‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’ follows Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy whose family is slaughtered by demons, and his sister Nezuko is turned into one. Determined to avenge his family and find a cure for his sister, Tanjiro joins the Demon Slayer Corps, an organization dedicated to eradicating demons. The series chronicles Tanjiro’s journey as he battles powerful demons, seeks a way to cure Nezuko, and uncovers the mysteries of the demon-slaying world.
18. ‘Shura no Toki – Age of Chaos’
‘Shura no Toki – Age of Chaos’ is an anime set in the Edo period of Japan and revolves around the martial art of Mutsu Enmei-ryu. The story spans several generations, focusing on three main characters from the Mutsu family: Yakumo Mutsu, his son Shura, and his grandson Ryoma. The series explores their martial arts journey, the challenges they face, and their impact on the development of Mutsu Enmei-ryu throughout historical conflicts.
17. ‘Mirai Nikki’
‘Mirai Nikki’ follows Yukiteru Amano, a high school student who receives a future diary from the God of space and time, Deus Ex Machina. The diary pits him against 11 other diary owners in a battle royale to become the next God. Teaming up with the mysterious and possessive Yuno Gasai, Yukiteru navigates a deadly game filled with deception, strategy, and unexpected twists as he strives to survive and fulfill his destiny.
‘Noragami’ centers on Yato, an obscure god and self-proclaimed “Delivery God,” aiming to gain widespread worship and recognition. Facing challenges and a reluctant weapon partner, Yato’s fortunes change when a middle-schooler named Hiyori saves him from an accident but becomes a half-phantom as a consequence. Together, they embark on a journey to fulfill Yato’s goals, encountering supernatural beings and forming unlikely alliances.
15. ‘Angel Beats!’
‘Angel Beats!’ is set in the afterlife, featuring a group of deceased individuals who find themselves in a mysterious high school. Led by a girl named Yuri Nakamura, these souls form the Afterlife Battlefront to resist an enigmatic girl known as Angel, who seems to enforce the rules of the afterlife. The series explores themes of life, death, and the regrets of its characters as they navigate this limbo-like world and seek to uncover the mysteries behind their existence.
14. ‘Megalo Box’
‘Megalo Box’ is a futuristic sports anime set in a world where a new form of boxing, known as Megalo Boxing, has emerged. The story follows a young man named Junk Dog, who competes in underground Megalo Boxing matches with fixed outcomes to earn a living. However, his encounter with a mysterious man named Gansaku Nanbu and the chance to participate in the prestigious Megalonia tournament open up new opportunities for him to prove his skills and redefine his destiny.
‘Naruto’ follows the journey of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja with dreams of becoming the strongest ninja and earning the title of Hokage, the leader of his village. Naruto is an outcast in the Hidden Leaf Village due to having the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit sealed within him. Alongside his friends and teammates, Naruto faces various challenges, battles powerful enemies, and strives to bring peace to the ninja world while overcoming the hardships of his own past.
12. ‘Afro Samurai’
‘Afro Samurai’ is an anime series and manga that follows the story of Afro Samurai, a skilled and stoic swordsman on a quest for revenge. In a futuristic yet feudal Japan, Afro seeks justice for his father’s murder by the hands of Justice, the current “Number One” and possessor of the legendary headband. The series explores themes of vengeance, the consequences of violence, and the pursuit of becoming the “Number One” swordsman in a world dominated by rival warriors.
11. ‘Dragon Ball’
‘Dragon Ball’ follows the adventures of Goku, a Saiyan with incredible strength, as he embarks on a quest to collect the powerful Dragon Balls and become the strongest martial artist. Along the way, Goku forms lasting friendships, battles formidable foes, and confronts powerful villains, including the tyrant Frieza and the androids. The series spans from Goku’s early years as a child to his growth into an iconic warrior, blending martial arts, fantasy, and epic battles.
‘Katanagatari’ centers around Yasuri Shichika, a unique martial artist devoid of sword skills, and Togame, a strategist with a quest to collect twelve legendary swords called Deviant Blades. The duo embarks on a journey across various regions, encountering swordmasters and facing challenges to obtain the legendary swords. The narrative unfolds in a series of episodes, each dedicated to a specific sword and its wielder, exploring themes of betrayal, ambition, and the consequences of power.
9. ‘Hunter X Hunter’
‘Hunter x Hunter‘ follows twelve-year-old Gon Freecss as he aspires to become a Hunter, like his long-lost father. Alongside friends Leorio, Kurapika, and Killua, Gon faces the perilous Hunter Exam, leading them to confront monsters, adversaries, and the complexities of their own aspirations.
8. ‘Tomorrow’s Joe’
‘Tomorrow’s Joe,’ also known as “Ashita no Joe,” follows Joe Yabuki, a troubled young man with a penchant for getting into fights. After an encounter with boxing coach Danpei Tange, Joe discovers a talent for boxing and begins his journey in the world of professional boxing. The series follows Joe’s struggles, triumphs, and personal growth in and out of the ring as he strives to become a champion and find purpose in his tumultuous life.
7. ‘Tokyo Ghoul’
In the grim city of Tokyo, humans coexist with flesh-eating ghouls, shape-shifting predators that seamlessly blend into society. Ken Kaneki, an unsuspecting college student, is drawn into this dangerous realm after a chance encounter with the alluring Rize Kamishiro. His life takes a horrific turn as he becomes part ghoul, navigating the challenges of surviving in a world where the boundary between the two species is blurred.
6. ‘My Hero Academia’
In a world where superpowers known as “quirks” are widespread, Izuku Midoriya, born without abilities, dreams of becoming a hero. His fate takes a turn when he encounters All Might, the top hero, who passes on his unique quirk to Izuku. Now enrolled in U.A. High School, Izuku faces the challenges of hero training, alongside gifted peers, and confronts threats to discover the true essence of being a hero.
‘Yasuke’ is an anime series set in a war-torn, fantastical version of feudal Japan. The story follows Yasuke, a retired ronin and skilled samurai, who finds himself drawn back into a life of violence and intrigue when a mysterious child with unique powers becomes the target of dark forces. The series explores themes of honor, redemption, and supernatural conflict as Yasuke navigates a world filled with magic, mechs, and political intrigue.
4. ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’
‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ is a classic anime and manga series created by Yoshihiro Togashi. The story revolves around Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who unexpectedly dies while saving a child from an oncoming car. However, his selfless act catches the attention of the afterlife, and he is given a chance to return to life after passing a series of tests.
Upon his return, Yusuke is appointed as a Spirit Detective, tasked with investigating supernatural occurrences and protecting the human world from supernatural threats.
3. ‘Black Lagoon’
‘Black Lagoon’ is set in the infamous city of Roanapur in Thailand, known for its rampant crime and corruption. Rokurou Okajima, a mundane Japanese businessman, experiences a dramatic shift in his life when he is kidnapped by a mercenary group called Black Lagoon during a business trip. After being abandoned by his employer, Rokurou decides to join Black Lagoon to survive in this dangerous new world, where he must quickly adapt to a life of crime, violence, and moral ambiguity. The series explores themes of survival, morality, and the transformation of its protagonist from a businessman to a ruthless operative.
2. ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’
After a failed alchemical experiment, brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric suffer devastating consequences. In an attempt to resurrect their dead mother, Edward loses his leg, and Alphonse’s body disintegrates, prompting Edward to sacrifice his arm to bind Alphonse’s spirit to an armored suit. Assisted by their neighbor Winry, a skilled biomechanical engineer, the brothers set out on a journey to find the Philosopher’s Stone, a powerful artifact that could restore their bodies by challenging the fundamental laws of alchemy. Along the way, they become embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens the fate of the entire world.
1. ‘Baki the Grappler’
‘Baki’ revolves around the intense and brutal world of martial arts and underground fighting tournaments. The story primarily follows the protagonist, Baki Hanma, a highly skilled and ambitious young martial artist who seeks to surpass his legendary father, Yujiro Hanma, known as the strongest creature on Earth.
Have anime to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!