The world of anime is an oasis for martial artists, the fact that it has so little respect for the laws of physics makes the martial arts only more and more enjoyable, and we, the supporters of anime, are more than happy whenever a new martial arts anime comes out, they are just mesmerizing to witness, in fact, some of us may even have the martial arts animes as their favorite type of animes. Altho, it is fairly difficult to come across a martial arts anime that would leave your jaw dropped, we walked the extra mile I the pursuit of doing just that, making a list of some of the most timeless and well done martial arts animes there is, hoping that you discover a hidden gem that would make your weekend a little more vibrant. And without further ado.
Here are the best martial arts anime we’ve always admired.
Reverse Blade Katana
This anime will for sure provide you with the best Karate scenes of all time, it has entered history from its broadest door, and when you will watch it, you’ll get to know why.
We will get to see Kenshin while he skillfully uses his reversed blade katana to beat up enemies and provide us with some amazing fight scenes, altho, Kenshin’s fight style is a little unusual, it for sure is a great watch.
Sword of Stranger
If you combine beautiful cinematography, beautiful fight scenes, and a great storyline, you will have Sword Of Stranger.
It is one of the all-time greats and for a solid reason too, this anime is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates martial arts.
This award-winning anime is very well-paced, with no extra useless factors, with a smooth set of sword fight scenes and some clever plots along the way, this anime might as well be a perfect anime. Well, it’s a bummer that our MC samurai has made an oath to never use his sword… but things do change, and it might not be much of a bummer after all.
This is kind of embarrassing, but I thought that Katanagatari was from the Monogatari franchise of Shaft.
It was made by White Fox, for one. Secondly, there is no head tilts to be found.
Katanagatari is pretty much a combat anime for sure, a sword combat anime to be more precise. But what’s breathtaking about this anime, is that our main guy Shichika Yasur, uses a combat technique in his fights, one where his own body is the weapon, and trust me… it can be beautiful to watch.
And yes, Shichika Yasur is both a weapon and a wielder. And plus, just like a combination of western and Japanese styles, it dies to have a distinct flavor to it.
Seirei no Moribito
Seirei no Moribito is adapted from a book. And that can mean only one thing, that this anime would be excellent by all means.
This anime is relatively short, composed only of 26 episodes, but it does have its fair share of great martial art content, containing some visually stunning combat scenes that focus more on weapons. Looking a bit like the old nun from howl’s moving castle, Balsa Yonsa is one of the most intimidating female characters in all anime, and we will get to follow her and her good friend spear.
Kenichi: The strongest disciple, even better than Ranma 1⁄2, is my best manga work. As an anime, I prefer the latter, but when it comes to real martial arts, Kenichi has more to offer.
You’ll follow Kenichi from a weakling to a mighty teenage warrior in over 50 episodes.
During his intensive dojo classes, you can follow him to learn everything from Muay Thai to Chinese martial arts.
It has the potential to inspire younger audiences to try martial arts. So worth a try.
Baki the Grappler
Granted, I was initially disappointed with the way the character appeared in Bucky.
All those muscular warriors with slack eyes are like that. I appreciate the detailed muscles, but it’s a little creepy.
Baki the Grappler is an anime beast. It’s about being the best fighter in the world and Bucky isn’t bowing his head to anyone.
It feels like Bucky has lost almost every fight. Each new opponent looks stronger than the previous one.
However, Bucky the Fighter tells us that despite having brains, muscles are nothing. After ll, this show had made itself amongst the greats, so it has to be worth a watch.
Fist of the North Star
My list includes some old anime that you may have noticed. But it’s a testament to the achievements of titles like Fist of the North Star. It turns out to be one of the best martial arts anime.
Also, I can’t ignore the aesthetic appeal of old anime. Released in 1984, this Toei animation classic presents audiences with a post-apocalyptic landscape. However, there is no denying that it is an excellent karate anime.
The protagonist Kenshiro is the master of Beidou Shenquan, a fictional martial arts style from ancient China. Think of it as the Negi of Naruto when he performs his soft boxing hit critical point taijutsu.
I just said that the Basilisk is an adult Naruto, but that doesn’t mean the latter is evil, quite the opposite.
Naruto has won one of the “Big Three” shounen anime alongside One Piece and Bleach.
The main story is complete, but that doesn’t negate its accomplishment (after a seemingly endless storyline).
As the gateway to anime and martial arts anime, Naruto still exists.
Li Lok stands for Taekwondo, while Neji has a fighting style called Pak Wa Chang, a symbol of Chinese martial arts.
Of course, Naruto also has a lot of boxing and jiu-jitsu, just like Dragon Ball, so there’s enough here for everyone.
Beautiful Naruto stuff:
In 2018, forget about the sequel Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou. Basilisk: There was no need for Kouga Ninpou Chou’s sequel, which blatantly ignored what made the first so remarkable.
The first series felt realistic, even if its warriors had special abilities; it was like Naruto for grownups. The opening episode was fantastic, establishing the tone for the rest of the series: two tribes fighting to the death.
Basilisk is a battle royale done correctly, with plenty of exciting and heart-wrenching moments.
You never know how each death will unfold, and the effectiveness with which they might be used is very amazing.
Shigurui is abrasive, and that is an understatement.
Elfen Lied and Higurashi’s When They Weep can’t compare to the complete and even beautiful warfare of this 2009 series.
The story is straightforward. You follow two guys as they participate in a tournament where actual weapons are utilized instead of wooden swords. One has only one weapon, while the other is a blind samurai.
Despite the presence of sword fights, the style is not for everyone. Let’s just say it takes a more “artistic” route than the standard fast-action moments.
It’s more of a gradual burn, with sights of decapitation and gut-spilling scenes that stick with you.
Street Fighter II
This list would be incomplete without Ryuu, Chun-li, Guile, and the rest of the iconic Street Fighter characters.
Ryu and Ken Masters are martial artists in every sense of the word. And this adaption is the closest we’ve come to the arcade game’s hype-inducing bouts.
Fighting styles in Street Fighter II V range from Muay Thai and kickboxing to Shotokan karate and ninjutsu. Two Roman numerals, to be precise.
These lads will never get bored of seeing them compete against each other.
Kimetsu no Yaiba
Nobody could have predicted how well-known Kimetsu no Yaiba would become. It inspired memes and contributed to a boom in item sales of Zenitsu, Tanjiro, and (most notably) Nezuko as the clear best anime of 2019.
Apart from its emotionally fascinating tale and charming cast of characters, Kimetsu no Yaiba demonstrated why Ufotable is still a top-tier studio: it understands how to make top-notch action sequences.
The acclaimed series puts the heroes against a plethora of demons, each with their unique set of abilities and flaws. Sword fights are a big part of this show, just like they are in Afro Samurai.
However, it also leads to an entire variety of sword-fighting methods known as breath styles, which are a visual treat.
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Juubee Ninpuuchou is the first film on this list. This Madhouse production, which debuted in 1993, is set in feudal Japan and follows Jubei, a swordsman.
He doesn’t have time for all of this political wrangling, and he also has to deal with a swarm of magical ninjas.
It’s similar to Shigurui in that it’s unsuitable for youngsters, but it contains a lot less gore.
Dragon Ball Z
If you thought Ranma 12 was ancient, check out Dragon Ball from 1986. Along with Pokemon, the series is unquestionably one of the most well-known anime series of all time, serving as the forefather of shounen and super-powered MCs.
You get a tale with crazy bouts from Dragon Ball through Dragon Ball Z and DragonBall Kai. Eventually, the story revolves around explosions and electrical attacks. Even yet, there are still remnants of martial arts along the way.
There are seven martial arts schools in the franchise, as well as the World Martial Arts Competition. Goku, on the other hand, excels at boxing and kickboxing thanks to his taekwondo-inspired kicking technique.
The comic classic Ranma 12 stands in stark contrast to Afro Samurai’s murder and bloodshed.
It’s the first comedic romance of its kind. Consider it a slice of life: After its publication in 1981, Ranma 12 centers on the lives of Ranma Saotome and Akane, and they are both involved.
It’s a great show with 161 marathon episodes for you to enjoy.
Along the way, they encounter people like Ryouga and Shampoo, the latter of whom is from China and is a member of the Joketsuzoku, a group of people who are trained in body manipulation and pressure point assaults.
Darker than Black
Darker Than Black is a hugely popular anime that first aired in the spring of 2007. The anime is a sci-fi thriller set in a setting that appears to be virtually the future. The events of the plot mostly focus on Hei, the series’ main character.
He is an electrical contractor with the ability to manage power. However, unlike most anime characters who rely primarily on their superpowers, Hei is quite skilled in martial arts.
It’s quite OK if you’ve never heard of Yawara. Although it received a high rating in Japan (versus my next inclusion on this list), it did not fare as well elsewhere.
But it’s still a terrific anime to watch! Yawara portrays the title character, who is essentially a Judo master.
She doesn’t want to exist as one. Yawara desires a regular existence in which she can exhibit her femininity and just be with a man.
Unfortunately for her, Yawara regularly encounters problems in her daily existence that require her to employ her hidden abilities.
Tiger Mask W
Many people today believe that martial arts are an Eastern phrase and that boxing and wrestling are more popular in the West.
Modern martial arts, on the other hand, are frequently referred to as “folk wrestling.” And Tiger Mask W is all about wrestling hijinks.
If you thought WWE was true sports entertainment, wait till you see the twists and turns here. This high-flying action is laced with just the right amount of mockery.
To get a quick sample, watch the bout between Tiger Mask and The Seventh, who uses suplexes, chops, and powerbombs. This is one of the greatest martial arts animes to add to your collection
The protagonist of Cowboy Bebop is nice, easygoing, and laid-back, yet he possesses some incredible powers that he isn’t afraid to employ. He is skilled in weaponry (such as his own Jericho 941, Ruger P85, and even other firearms and explosives), martial arts, and hand-to-hand fighting as a result of his previous involvement with the Red Dragon.
Have you ever gone to a store to purchase the last pre-made inexpensive meal, only to be booted out by a gang of hungry teens in a frantic attempt for cheap food? Oh, well, that’s the way things are. In the anime adaptation of the light novel series Ben-To, you Satou on a fateful day. He quickly learns that pre-packaged lunch boxes, known as “Bentos,” are highly respected.
This martial arts anime is an all-around delightful, strong fan service that takes place in a world where supermarket brawls have evolved into a kind of warrior culture over inexpensive Bentos.
The seasoned fighters are referred to as “Wolves,” while the weaklings are referred to as “Dogs,” and there are regulations governing appropriate morality among them, such as no one having more than one dog.
Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi (History’s Best Disciple Kenichi) is a superb martial arts anime based on a manga that ran for around 12 years.
In summary, before meeting Miu, a classmate who resides in the Ryouzanpaku dojo, Kenichi is a student who is often tormented.
Kenichi is always fighting foes that have dedicated themselves to training a distinct form of martial arts, with a lot of comedy interspersed between the encounters.
Even his opponents strengthen and ally with him during the course of the series, helping to develop something definite in his combination-style of defense of Karate, Muay Thai, Ju-Jitsu, Chinese Martial Arts, and Weapons.
I won’t blame you if you assumed it was Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress due to the presence of the MC and its assortment of blades and weapons. Kurozuka, on the other hand, was released eight years ago, and instead of zombies, she has vampires.
Kurozuka, unlike most of the entries here, is not based on a manga.
It’s an adaptation of Baku Yumemakura’s book. As a result, it spans the Heian period through Japan’s dismal future.
Martial arts isn’t particularly popular in this country, yet it appears in all of the major action sequences.
This is exactly what I’m looking for. You’re undoubtedly asking why Afro Samurai is included in the voice cast, especially when Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Perlman are also collaborating.
Yes, it’s still anime, and it’s one of the slickest out there. Afro Samurai is brutal, unforgivable, and overflowing with style.
This applies to the Afro Samurai: Resurrection series as well as the film sequel. Afro Samurai is saturated in neon colors, hip-hop, and over-the-top sword combat. I couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s all about style over substance here. This is why it appears at the beginning of my list.
We’d love to hear your opinions on the finest martial arts anime and which one improved your day. Some anime is true to life.