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What makes a good anime fight scene?

In between loud power up screaming matches, talking about backstories, and new moves that no one has seen before, anime fight scenes are very memorable to me. Sometimes they feature very tough characters, favorite combinations of heroes and villains fighting one another, or are just plain interesting to watch.

Like in all forms of media, there are certain aspects that make some fights different than the others, and while not every single fight needs to have these parts to be good or memorable, it can help the fight stick in the watcher’s mind long after the actual fight has ended.

Know the stakes

If the hero loses, his planet is destroyed, the soul of a loved one is lost forever, or his enemies rise up and get to take over the world. Once I know what the consequences of the bad guy’s victory is, then I feel even worse when the hero and his allies are beaten and bloodied on the ground.

Knowing the specific stakes awaiting the hero if the fight is lost, ensures that every villain power up, super move or transformation that knocks the heroes about like ragdolls is a nail-biter that sees the villain come one step closer to winning it all and achieving those stakes.

Have characters who don’t fight, fight well

Some of my favorite moments in anime are when a character who has been standing in the background and is either a silent mass of mystery or is the goofy comic relief gets to stand up and fight. Especially if the main heroes are beaten and disposed of, or are otherwise unavailable.

By showing fans the power within characters who don’t normally take the field of battle, it can revamp interest in the plot. Especially if the second stringer can hold their own because having a character be a complete and utter lack of a challenge just lets the whole fight down.

Fluid animation

Viewers should know what’s going on in a fight, so unless the characters in the anime are super speedsters and are flashing around at the speed of light, every punch, kick, and power attack should be able to be seen and registered in the viewer’s mind.

Fights are far more interesting when the animation is as smooth as it can be and leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to big battles. So every broken bone, blast of energy, and punch to the stomach should be wide and in color for our minds to enjoy!

Whether the anime features giant robots fighting aliens, sword duels, or magic fighting magic, having high stakes and visually stunning battles between old and new characters can make all the difference in the world.

I love anime battles that do this well, showing the beat downs and battles for the heroes only to have the second stringers pick up the torch and charge into battle against invincible seeming foes is a moment that will make me cheer every time. As long as everyone lives of course.