Anime about fighting like Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Attack on Titan provide us with exhilarating combat scenarios. Anime is a sketch and computer-generated animation originating from Japan.
Anime has been around for decades, but it is only in recent years that it has reached a vast global audience. And its popularity is only increasing with each passing day.
We have seen plenty of such moments from the UFC fighter Israel Adesanya doing hand signs and posing in animal style or other athletes doing different signals in front of the camera. These experiences have also helped to increase the popularity of anime to the whole world.
Like in movies, numerous anime genres are available such as romance, thriller, horror, comedy, supernatural, and so on. One of the most popular anime genres on the long list is action.
Fighting animes generally consist of various exhilarating scenes such as flashy moves, close-hand combats, hyperkinetic movements, and massive fight scenarios, which are generally impossible to replicate in live-action films.
These features have helped in making fighting anime a go-to choice among fans. However, it's not only the fight scenes that make an anime good, as the plot, choreography, background music, and other elements also help in making them an exciting watch.
Considering all these elements, we present our pick for the 20 best anime about fighting to follow in 2023:
1. Naruto (2002)
Whenever we hear the word anime, one of the first recommendations that we hear about is Naruto. It is arguably the most popular and one of the best anime of all time.
Masashi Kishimoto wrote the manga, and the anime started premiering for the first time in 2002. It has two parts: the first is titled Naruto, which aired from 2002 to 2007. The second part, Naruto: Shippuden, premiered in 2007 before the series ended in 2017.
The anime is based on the world of ninjas who fight to protect their loved ones, village, and whatever they are interested in. They use various techniques utilizing their chakra or energy to fight, walk on water, climb the walls, run fast, and even throw fireballs from their mouths.
The plot follows the story of a young ninja Naruto Uzumaki who is an orphan in the village of Konohagakure. He has no one to say his own and is alone in the world. So, his only goal is to become the Hokage, the village leader, and gain everyone's respect and recognition.
However, the path to the top is not easy, and like every shonen anime, the main character has to win many duels, defeat multiple enemies, and protect his friends, village, and even the whole world. He trains hard to attain those objectives and levels up with time, but it is not only about fighting through.
Naruto gives different moral lessons and values, such as never giving up, always working hard, sticking by your friends, following your heart, and being right by your principles. On top of that, the gentle mix of comedy and romance makes it a must-watch.
2. One Piece (1999)
Often mentioned at the beginning of the debate for the best anime of all time, One Piece is about pirates and their pursuit of eternal wealth.
Eiichiro Oda wrote it, and the anime started premiering in 1999. It is the only anime among the fan titled big three, including Naruto and Bleach, that is still running and yet to be completed.
This animation story is based on the world of pirates who pursue their goal of becoming great pirates and obtaining the eternal wealth hidden by the late King of Pirate Gol D. Roger.
It features characters with different abilities, such as hand-to-hand combat, sword fighting, and some supernatural powers obtained by eating the Devil's fruits.
The anime's plot follows the story of a young boy named Monkey D Luffy who obtained the characteristics of rubber after eating a Devil Fruit. As an aspirant who always looked upon the pirates, Luffy's only goal is to become the next King of Pirates and obtain what lies in the sea.
But he cannot sail the ship alone, so he eventually gathers his teammates with different abilities to set sail and explores various places. In his journey, the young pirate and his crew have to fight different enemies and villains to pursue a common objective.
With unique powers, thrilling fights, deep background stories, and several moral values for the audience, the anime is a great pick to start your anime journey.
3. Dragon Ball (1986)
You must have heard the name Goku or seen someone imitating his technique Kame Hame Ha. Well, that is from the anime series Dragon Ball.
It is a Japanese anime series written by Takao Koyama. The anime started premiering its first episode in 1986 and has hundreds of episodes through its different seasons under various names, such as Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super. The last installment of the anime is Super Dragon Ball Heroes, which is still running.
Dragon Ball is a shonen anime that follows the story of a young monkey-tailed character named Son Goku. It continues with his friendship with a teenage girl named Bulma, and the two of them go on a journey to collect the legendary seven dragon balls to summon a dragon that fulfills any desire of the summoner.
On their journey, they meet different vicious characters and also participate in different tournaments where they fight and use different techniques. As the new seasons progress, we are introduced to different powerful characters. Some of them ally with Goku and team up, while others attack the earth and engage in combat with Goku and his friends.
It is an incredible series about friendship, rivalry, combat, and action with supernatural powers.
4. Bleach (2004)
Bleach follows the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, who was born with the ability to see ghosts. He becomes a Soul Reaper after a hollow attacks his family and another Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki, saves him from the attack.
Amid this, the young student gains the power of a Reaper and is tasked with saving the innocent from the troubling ghosts. However, the story takes a sharp turn when Rukia is sentenced to cessation for violating her limits.
Ichigo then assembles his friends and goes on the mission to save Rukia. The story becomes more violent as the story progresses and consists of deadly sword fights with various powers.
The anime first premiered in 2004 and continued airing for around 8 years before coming to an end in 2012. It returned in 2022 with the new part titled Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War and is still running.
Featuring different abilities such as flying, sword attacks, and healing, this show provides its audience with scintillating fight scenes with a good storyline and plot.
5. Hunter X Hunter (2011)
Hunter X Hunter is a Japanese anime series that follows the story of a young boy named Gon Freeecss. It portrays the world of hunters who travel to different places across the world to catch rare animal species, explore unknown locations, and hunt criminals.
Yoshihiro Togashi wrote the manga, which has been adapted into anime series a couple of times. The first anime originally aired in 1998 with 37 episodes, and a few other animation movies were also released in the following years. However, the 2011 anime adaption of the manga is the most popular among the fans.
The anime follows the story of Gon, who was abandoned by his father at a young age. After discovering his dad is a world-renowned hunter, the young boy sets out on his journey to become a professional hunter and find his father.
To become a hunter, Gon needs to pass the qualification round and get a license. In the exam, he meets new hunters and makes friends with a few of them, eventually traveling the world with them on the mission.
The show consists of multiple fighting scenes, including tournaments and strategic battles in the wild. Not only hand-to-hand combats, but the hunters also possess some supernatural abilities to fend off enemies with unusual powers.
With a brilliant plot and good animation, Hunter X Hunter is definitely worth watching.
6. Demon Slayer (2020)
Demon Slayer is one of the best anime series of recent years, which shows the world of demons and demon slayers tasked with the work to annihilate the devils. The first season of the anime premiered in 2019 and quickly became the talk of the anime community.
With one of the best animations in the entire anime universe and a brilliant plot to get yourself hooked throughout the series, it offers a lot of visually appealing combat scenes. After the success of the first season, the creators released a movie in 2020 and the second season from October 2021 to February 2022. The third season is scheduled for release in April 2023.
The plot follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado, whose family was annihilated, and his younger sister was turned into a demon. After finding a possibility to revert his sister into a human, Tanjiro goes on the journey to become a top-class demon slayer so that he can put an end to the demons and get his sibling back.
As a Shonen anime, it follows his journey of character development and leveling up in terms of powers as he gets the demon slayer license through the tournament and slays different demons.
Demon Slayer shows the universe of humans and demons, where the monsters use their unique powers, and demon slayers use their specialized swords with specific powers to fight them.
7. One Punch Man (2015)
As the title suggests, One Punch Man is about a character named Saitama who can finish anyone with his serious one-punch. The anime features the world of a supercontinent version of the earth where both humans and powerful monsters reside.
The monsters live beneath the earth layer and often come up to cause havoc and chaos in human society, to capture the whole of humanity. So to protect the people, human society has its leagues of heroes who defeat those monsters.
Saitama is a young man who always wanted to get strong and become a hero, but he was not always so strong. But after facing a life-threatening scenario, he committed himself to gain power. He performed a daily set of exercises containing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 10 kilometers of running.
After following the routine for over a year, he lost his hair and got bald, but also got superhuman strength, where he can finish any enemy with one punch. The plot follows his story as he gets bored with his power due to the lack of challenge.
As a show about heroes and villains, the anime has numerous fight scenes where Saitama, as well as other characters with incredible abilities and strength, fight various opponents.
One Punch Man first aired in 2015, and its second season premiered in 2019. The third season was scheduled for mid-2022, but it didn't come out. So the fans are expecting the release in early 2023.
8. Jujutsu Kaisen (2015)
Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese anime that took the world by storm when it was released in 2020. It is based on a world where human sorcerers fight curses and eliminate them so they won't trouble humans.
It is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, which Gege Akutami wrote. Since the manga release, it has become one of the best-selling manga series of all time.
The first season of the anime, with 24 episodes, was first released in 2020. It is still running, and the second season is about to be released in July 2023.
Jujutsu Kaisen follows the story of a young high school student, Yuji Itadori, who gets caught in a battle between sorcerers and curses. To eliminate the curse, he has to eat a residual finger of Ryomen Sukuna, which will make him the host of the curse once feared as the King of Curses.
But he has no other choice and takes the power and joins the organization of Jujutsu Sorcerers to collect all of Sukuna's scattered powers and eventually finish him.
With great animation and eye-catching fight scenes, the show offers some great combat scenes where the characters have unique powers of their own. On top of that, a good blend of comedy makes it fun to watch.
9. Attack On Titan (2013)
Attack on Titan is an anime that shows the fight between giant titans and humans trained to eliminate the giants. It is one of the most thrilling and violent anime out there.
Hajime Isayama wrote the manga, which has been adapted into multiple anime seasons. The manga has made records as one of the best-selling mangas of all time and has even racked up awards, including the Kodansha manga Award.
The plot follows the story of a young boy named Eren Yeager who lives inside a designed area of Shiganshina. Shiganshina is a town surrounded by massive walls from all sides to protect its people from the giant titans that roman outside.
However, random berserk of even larger titans breaks the walls and causes chaos in the town where Eren loses his family and sees the brutal end of his mother. He joins the designated squad, who work to eliminate the titans, to take revenge against the giants, only to later find out that he is a titan himself.
Gradually, the plot takes various turns and introduces multiple characters who engage themselves in the critical battle with the Titans. The show features multiple battle scenes where humans use their swords to slay the giants who rely on body strength.
It first started airing in 2013 and has three seasons in total with multiple parts in between. The third and final part of the third season is yet to premiere and is scheduled for March 2023. That will be the end of the anime show.
10. Chainsaw Man (2022)
Chainsaw Man is the most recent anime series on this list. The first season was released in 2022, and the second season is expected to premiere in late 2023, even though the dates are not official yet.
This is a brutal action genre anime based on the world of devils and devil hunters. Both reside in the normal human society where devils attack the people, and the specially formed Devil Hunters from the Public Safety organization stop the devils to protect humans.
The plot follows the story of young Denji, who is a homeless boy living with his devil pet named Pochita, which has the ability of a chainsaw. He works for another gang that assigns him the task of destroying the devils, and the boy works with his pet to destroy them.
However, Denji faces a situation where the gang betrays and attacks him leaving him with critical wounds. To survive and achieve his dream of living a good life, Denji merges with his pet devil, which gives him the ability to turn his head and limbs into chainsaws.
Eventually, he joins the Public Safety Devil Hunters organization to stop the devils and live a good life. With time, Denji trains to become stronger to face dangerous missions and get the girl of his dreams.
The anime mostly focuses on hand-to-hand combat scenes, but the characters also have unique powers of their own, which they use while fighting the villains. It has excellent animation and some epic fight scenes to enjoy.
11. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood shows the world of alchemy, where the characters use different techniques derived from the procedure to gain some supernatural powers.
The show started airing in April 2009 and ended in July 2010. It is a reprise of the 2003 anime, which the fans didn't appreciate well since its parts deviated from the manga and were not neatly adapted. However, the 2009 reprise of Fullmetal Alchemist received broad stardom and is considered one of the best anime of all time.
The plot follows the story of two brothers Edward Alphonse Elric. They are the sons of a reputed alchemist father who abandoned them when they were still children. Eventually, they also lost their mother to illness, which left them alone in the world.
So, they learned alchemy to revive their mother. But since human transmutation was a taboo for being almost impossible to function, the brother suffered a malfunction where Edward lost his left leg, and Alphonse lost his whole body.
In an attempt to bring back his brother, Edward then traded his right arm to bring back Alphonse's soul and bind it to a nearby armor suit. After such an experience, the two of them go to the town to become certified alchemists and bring back their body parts.
In their journey, they battle various hurdles and fight different superhuman characters to survive their hope of being back to a fully human body.
12. The God Of High School (2020)
The God Of High School is an anime that focuses its plot mostly on fighting and close combats. It is an anime adaption of the Korean manhwa of the same name and premiered its first season in 2020 with 13 episodes.
It is based on the world of fighting where people from different backgrounds and having expertise in different forms of fighting, including supernatural abilities, come together.
The plot follows a high school student named Mori Jin, who is a skilled fighter. His grandfather Tae-Jin taught him how to fight, but suddenly disappeared for years. Mori has been searching for his old man all the years, amid various rumors. So his only wish is to get back to his grandpa.
Eventually, he hears about a fighting tournament involving all the high school students throughout the country with the grand prize of the fulfillment of any wish, regardless of its type. Jin is intrigued by it and joins the tournament, where he meets two fighters and becomes friends with them. All of them compete in the contest and fight various opponents.
With great animation and close combats with super kinetic movements and powers, the anime is a must-watch if you are a fan of packed combat actions.
13. Hajime No Ippo (2000)
Hajime No Ippo takes fighting away from the superpower and demonic categories and brings back to one of the basic yet interesting forms, Boxing.
It is a show about one of the most watched real-life combat sports and takes place in the world, where boxing is a symbol of strength and victory.
The anime first started airing in 2000 before ending in 2002 with 76 episodes. Since then, multiple movies and seasonal versions of the show have been released.
The plot of the anime takes us to a high school student Ippo Makunouchi who is struggling in his high school life because he has no friends and is busy helping his mother run the family. Due to this, he faces numerous bullying experiences in school and is weak.
However, after a heavy beating, a professional boxer takes him to the gym for treatment, where Ippo finds himself listening to the sounds of punching. Intrigued by their fighting ability, he conveys his desire to try boxing.
The pro boxer then declares Ippo to hit ten punches in the sandbag, and after watching the hard punches, the boxer sees potential in the young boy.
This begins the story of Makunouchi, who trains hard with time to excel in the boxing ranking and rise as one of the best in the category. Along with the thrilling boxing matches and fights, the anime also shows a lot of character development, which makes it interesting to watch.
14. Samurai Champloo (2004)
Samurai Champloo is an anime series that shows the setting of Japan during the Edo Period and focuses its combats mostly on sword fights.
The 26 episodes anime series aired in 2004 and ended its premiere in 2005. Since then, the show gained popularity on an international level, where it has been dubbed and premiered in different countries. People mostly like it for the brilliant swordfight and style.
Samurai Champloo follows the story of a small town where a girl named Fuu is working as a waitress. The town's corrupt perfect's son harrases her regularly until she meets an outlaw named Mugen. She asks him to protect her in the trade of food.
Meanwhile, another new arrival in town, ronin Jin, makes an appearance and attacks the perfect's guards after seeing them abuse a peasant. Eventually, Mugen and Jin engage themselves in a fight after the outlaw thinks of the ronin as a perfect's bodyguard.
Their fight destroys the teahouse, and both are sentenced to extermination. However, Fuu saves them both and convinces them to help her in her pursuit of a samurai who smells of sunflowers after winning the coin toss.
Soon after, they embark on their journey for the search, where they meet different enemies and battle them to complete their objectives.
15. Vinland Saga (2019)
Vinland Saga takes on a tour away from the fight against demonic beats or combat sports and shows the depiction of the period of a historical battle.
The anime sets the scenario during the 11th century during the time of Dane-controlled England and shows the story of Vikings. It revolves around the story of the historic Icelandic explorer Thorfinn who is seeking revenge for the murder of his father during his trip to England.
It was Askeladd who used a dirty trick to get the better of Thorfinn's father. So the young boy's only wish is to get revenge on the man. He asks for a duel and loses it immediately but impressed with his grit, Askeladd lets him live.
Thorfinn then follows Askeladd on his journey to every corner until the latter accepts him as a member of his crew. The two of them, with their crew, then travel to various kingdoms around England to fulfill their assigned work.
Although it seems like a lot of historical information to catch up to, the anime does a brilliant job of making it easily understandable and entertaining. It mostly shows close combats with swords and knives.
Vinland Saga first premiered in 2019 before ending the first season with 24 episodes. It returned for the second season in early January 2023 and is currently airing.
16. My Hero Academia (2016)
My Hero Academia is a Japanese anime about the world of superpowers where most people are born with superpowers called quirks.
They have unique quirks of their own that give them different abilities and powers. Well, with superpowers for almost all, there are superheroes and supervillains in human society who serve their purpose.
Kohei Horikoshi is the writer of the manga, which has sold over 65 million copies making it one of the best-selling mangas. Adapting the manga, the anime was first released in 2016 and has a total of six seasons at the time.
The plot of My Hero Academia revolves around a young boy named Izuku Midoriya, who has dreamt of becoming a hero since his childhood. But he is regularly bullied by his friend Katsuki Bakugo for not having a quirk.
Most of the young hero aspirants idolize the number one hero, All Might, for his incredible strength and power, but in a turn of events, Midoriya sees the hero brutally injured. After the meet-up, All Might explains the source of his power One for All, and passes down the abilities to the young boy.
After getting the power, Izuku joins the UA High School for heroes and adapts to his new powers with rigorous training, alongside continuously fighting villains in the real world.
17. Akame Ga Kill (2014)
Akame Ga Kill is an anime that takes brutal violence to the next level and is something very uncommon from rather usual shows.
With the corrupt city falling into the dump every second, the show sets in the world where a group of warriors named Nigh Raid fight against the vast crime and manipulation. As the title suggests, there are a lot of brutal annihilations and attacks in the series.
The plot follows the story of a fighter named Tatsumi who enters the city with his two friends to collect money and send it back to poverty sicken village.
However, after a bandit attack, he gets separated from his friends and tries his hands at joining the army. But after an unsuccessful attempt, a noble family takes him as a worker.
However, after an attack by Night Raid, Tatsumi learns that the noble family were evildoers and had exterminated his other two friends. After such an experience, he joins the warriors' group to work with them in fighting against crime and corruption.
The anime aired its 24 episodes in 2014 and is already completed.
18. Seven Deadly Sins (2014)
Seven Deadly Sins is an anime that sets in the world of magic and sins, where the powers are divided into two categories: good and bad.
The Seven Deadly Sins are a band of seven knights having different powers and abilities. They are from Britannica and were disbanded ten years ago after they were framed for plotting a coup against the nation.
However, in the wake of chaos and unbalance in the state, Princess Elizabeth Liones goes on a journey to find the leader Meliodas and bring the group back together. In the turn of fortunate events, she eventually meets Meliodas and manages to bring back the seven knights together.
In this journey and the aftermath of the reforming of the Seven Deadly Knights, they face various situations where they fight using their powers against powerful mystic enemies.
It is a globally popular anime whose story was written by Nakaba Suzuki. The anime aired its first episode in 2014 and has five seasons in total. Although the latter season degrades in terms of animation quality and experience, the first few seasons are definitely worth watching.
19. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a unique experience, even within the anime community, for its art style, poses, and different factors. Its fights include psychological and spiritual manifestations, supernatural abilities, and dramatic perspectives.
The anime started airing in 1993 when it premiered the first 13 episodes. Since then, the creators have released a few films and five total seasons to date. Along with the above-mentioned factors, the show is famous for its Western pop and fashion influence.
The plot begins with the story of Jonathan Joestar, aka JoJo, and his newly adopted brother, Dio Brando. Dio entered the rich family after finding out his late father had helped JoJo's father.
After entering the house, Dio aims to bring down Jojo and establish himself in the position of the son of the family and starts degrading the actual son in various ways.
However, Dio fails in his plan, and by a twist of fate, he finds a stone mask that gives him the supernatural abilities of a vampire. With newfound powers, Dio destroys the Joseter family eventually causing Jojo to go on an adventure and explore the world while facing various situations.
20. Baki The Grappler (2001)
Baki The Grappler is an anime about fighting without any rules. It is like street fighting, where the characters fight in deadly combat with different fighters.
Its plot revolves around the young Baki Hanma, who is raised by his wealthy mother and trains hard to hone his fighting skills to one day become a great fighter like his father. He eventually gets to fight his dad after winning against many powerful fighters but gets eaten easily.
Seeing her son getting beaten ruthlessly, Baki's mother tries to save him, but the cold-hearted father doesn't let her live. Following such a tragic incident, the son goes on hard training throughout the world with only one thing on his mind: to get revenge against his father.
On the journey, Baki finds an underground fighting place where he meets and combats powerful fighters from across the world.
What makes the anime a standout is its brutality, where people are severely injured during the fight as fighters are allowed to use any underhanded techniques to win. So, if you can't watch such brutal and bloody scenarios, maybe it is not a perfect anime for you.
The anime started airing in 2001 and is yet to be completed.