Shounen anime have always been known for their intense and exciting battles, but sometimes the most impressive fights in these series occur between side characters and villains. These fights provided a great opportunity for the secondary character to shine and often significantly impacted the series as a whole. This list is dedicated to the 10 best supporting character shounen anime fights.
Here are the 10 most iconic supporting character fight
Each Shounen anime has its own memorable moments, but some of the best moments happen when the supporting cast comes into the spotlight. They may not have been the most complex or interesting characters in their own right, but when they got into a fight, the crowd came together to watch them go at it. So, which shounen anime have the best supporting character fights of all time? Read and find out!
10. Kenpachi VS Nnoitra (Bleach)
Kenpachi has always struck me as a commanding captain. His struggle with Ichigo, as well as his psychotic bloodlust, make him famous. The problem with that type of character is that it eventually stops receiving adequate development and becomes one note with a lack of characterization.
Now that’s not exactly the case for Kenpachi and while he’s got many moments that show his background and character, one of the most iconic ones at least in the anime comes in the form of battle. Kenpachi appears to be one of those characters who, unless confronted with the protagonist or primary enemy, has plot armor.
So, seeing Kenpachi struggle in this battle against the Espada is a breath of new air. Even if literally switching to swinging with two hands feels so simple, it’s an appropriate approach to introduce more of his past and indicates that he’s got more tricks up his sleeve.
Still, this is the best supporting character Kenpachi fight we’ve seen thus far.
09. Katsura VS Shokaku (Gintama)
An anime with some of the most powerful secondary characters. It’s only fitting for one of the best shounen animes out there. I have a lot of options, but I think it’s about time we gave Katsura some attention.
What a ride for Katsura, but if you need proof that he’s a badass, go no farther than his duel against Shokaku. For me, this is Katsura’s biggest highlight throughout the series. With him back to his inventive and badass battle ways.
The ending is also a fantastic combination of serious and humorous, with the fight being settled by a headbutt of all things. However, the battle has already been decided.
This supporting character fight, like Kenpachi’s, establishes Katsura as a combatant and adds richness to him as a character. These types of fights are the best, and after this one, I’ve grown to enjoy and respect Katsura a lot more.
08. Zoro VS Killer (One Piece)
Which one-piece side character is your favorite? As far as I know, many One Piece lovers are obsessed with Zoro. How can they become bored of him being one of Luffy’s squad’s coolest members? That has a lot to do with how he obtains the best-looking supporting character fights and the most amazing techniques, and this fight with Killer was one to remember.
The battle does a wonderful job of displaying his resourcefulness as a fighter, as well as his bloodlust and thirst for fighting intensity, all while providing us with amazing new One Piece animation. We were dragged deep into this debate because of the way things were presented.
One Piece, like Gintama before it, has a habit of being comedic or cartoony before kicking into high gear and delivering us fights with the presentation you’d expect from a UFO Table show or something. Zoro still has a lot of great fights, but this one will suffice for the list.
07. Lancer VS Assassin (Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel)
UFO Table productions have long been known for their high-quality animation and epic music direction. When you give them the budget of a theatrical play, you get crazy supporting character fights like this one.
I’ve often discussed other heaven’s emotions fights, such as the Rider vs. Saber fight in the third film, so I figured it was time to give Lancer his due. After all, I believe he is a vastly underappreciated figure due to the memes and constant death.
He still dies in this one, but he does so with more vigor than we’ve seen before. During the wild chase, Lancer throws everything he has at the assassin, and in a typical battle, Lancer would have easily won.
Unfortunately, he is Lancer, and he is up against one of the opposing side’s driving powers, so we know how that goes. Still, his performance, combined with UFO Table’s great job in producing this fight for us to enjoy, won this moment a spot on my list.
06. Vacta VS Bercouli (Sword Art Online: Alicization)
In isekai titles, the main hero is frequently the center of attention. This is proven in a big section of SAO. That is most clear in the climax of War of Underworld.
However, we do get to witness the integrity knights pull their weight in the same arc, with the most memorable being their captain Bercouli. It’s leader to leader as Bercouli battles dark ruler Vacta in what many consider to be the high point of War of Underworld Part 2.
He is vastly outmatched, yet he can defeat the dark emperor himself by displaying the full force of his super-broken sword. The significant improvement in art and animation quality fueled this fight.
SAO is a master of presentation, and the War of Underworld battles are no exception, with this being the most stunning example.
05. Doppio VS Risotto (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)
This one is a doozy. Jojo is notorious for its truly violent fights, and even the side characters get in on the action. Don’t you want to know what happens when you combine some of the side characters’ abilities? Metallica and King Crimson are represented here by Risotto and Doppio, respectively.
The interesting thing about this supporting character fight is that, despite King Crimson’s intimidating reputation, Doppio plays the underdog for the majority of the time.
Although it is only a small segment of King Crimson, the battle between Risotto’s iron manipulation and one of the most fearsome stances is breathtaking. Aerosmith’s third stand ends up being the deciding point in a battle that was clearly going in Risotto’s favor.
Finally, it’s more of what you’d expect from a Jojo fight. There’s a lot going on, and the anime team was having the time of their life hamming it up.
04. King Bradley VS Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Scar has always been a mystery, a fascinating rival character to watch and one that never fails to make an impression. That’s why having him facing up against the most powerful homunculus never seemed strange to me.
Scar had to fight hard for the win against King Bradley, pulling out all the stops, and even then, was it enough? We’ve got a number of good exchanges, with one of the more memorable sections being Scar utilizing alchemy to reconstruct matter, breaching his own code as an Ishvalan.
Scar has gone through some significant character development throughout the series, and this incredible fight feels like Scar’s final hurrah as a fighter. He enjoyed his last hurrah in the most glorious way possible, by defeating Wrath himself.
03. Rengoku VS Akaza (Demon Slayer)
We just knew him for a brief time. Rengoku certainly made the most of it by providing us with a memorable mentor character. He began the train arc as a mystery, and while he appears to be pretty friendly and cheery, it isn’t until later that we learn how fantastic he can be.
An amazing ending to a film in which two top fighters battle blows so fiercely that no one else can keep up. People have come to adore Demon Slayer 4 and more because of the magnificent animation and music.
Despite all, Rengoku is still unable to defeat Akaza; there is still triumph in defeat, as well as moral wins. Tanjiro, and I’m sure many of us, felt the same way.
Demon Slayer does a wonderful job of creating likable characters in a small amount of space. Rengoku ends up being proof of it, thanks to his cool, welcoming personality and this visually amazing duel.
02. Kakashi VS Obito (Naruto Shippuden)
This feels like the culmination of a long-running feud, similar to Naruto and Sasuke’s entwined story. In terms of buildup and legacy, it hardly has enough screen time to compete with the latter, but I knew from the minute their flashback was revealed that the two would find themselves at odds in combat.
I didn’t fully dismiss Obito’s supposed demise, and thank goodness I was correct because this supporting character fight is wild. We’ve witnessed Obito’s strength as Toby being the cause for many significant moments in the series’ history, so seeing him finally tearing out the Toby disguise and settling things with Kakashi once and for all was a big deal.
The fact that this is Kakashi’s most critical battle in the entire series also helps the fight. Despite not having as much on-screen history as the top Naruto fights, the actual combat made up for it as we were treated to two blitzing their way in an attempt to work around each other’s abilities.
01. Netero VS Meruem (Hunter X Hunter)
Finally, the best supporting character fight is Netero vs. Meruem. This is a fight that many people remember from Hunter X Hunter, but is it a hot take to claim that from a pure fight aspect, the show has a lot of other prospects to capture the crown? No.
This is not a view of the fight itself, but there are other stunning clashes in this superb shounen title. Why is it ranked first, and why did I include it on this list? Because of its thematic richness. Meruem hardly fights back, and as a battle, it feels very anticlimactic given the people involved, but I suppose that’s the beauty of it.
It’s what gave the fight a unique vibe. Something Hunter X Hunter excels at due to its track record of subverting shounen cliches. It also does an excellent job of developing Netero’s character by giving him a dimension such as wanting to battle formidable opponents or dying in a blaze of glory.
The combat itself, like the majority of the remake of Hunter X Hunter, is visually stunning. Still, I believe that the best battles are those with emotional stakes that help flesh out characters, and this is one of the best instances out there, making it my number one supporting character fight in shounen anime.
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Do you agree with our list of the 10 most iconic supporting character fight? Tell us your favorite fight in the comment below.