21+ EPIC Martial Arts Anime that Kick Butt [HQ Images]

top-10-martial-arts-anime

Martial Arts are awesome. Now I’m probably biased as a Martial Artist, but let’s be honest, everyone loves a good martial arts showdown, it’s why MMA is so popular and why so many protagonists (who have the best quotes btw) are martial artists in their own right.

For this list, we’re going to focus on anime that are more realistic, with a strong emphasis on more accurate technique and styles. So, let’s see the top 10 animes that really get into the gritty world of hand to hand fighting and martial arts.

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23. Burning Kabaddi

12. Burning Kabaddi Burning Kadabbi is a new anime show released on the 3rd of April. Just one episode is out till now, and for those who didn’t read the manga, the expectations for this series are a little vague. Combining humor and intense action, the first episode showed a lot of promise. I’m putting it in the last position for now for two reasons. Well, as I said before, one episode is not enough to decide if this anime will be good or not. The other reason is that it’s not entirely a show based on martial arts. So, let me explain the rules of Kabaddi to prove that it deserves its place in that category. Putting it simply, Kabaddi is a game of tag. The raider has to touch one of the defenders in their side of the court without being tagged afterward when returning to his own side. The game allows tackles to take down the Raider like in wrestling. Evasive maneuvers are essential for the defenders to escape from the touch of the raider. Footwork, Mind-Body Coordination, and game strategies are, like in boxing, the most important elements of the game. Punches are allowed although they are not recommended because your reach decreases, and kicks as well. Every component of Martial Arts are present in Kabaddi. Now for the story itself, the main character is First-year high schooler Tatsuya Yoigoshi. A Soccer prodigy in Middle School abandoned everything related to sports because of the disgusting atmosphere surrounding him. In high school, he was invited to join the Kabaddi team and after being dragged and blackmail into participating just once to the team practice he starts to shows some interest in the game. In a nutshell, from what we have seen so far, the anime should be worth watching. More updates on Burning Kabaddi will follow as soon as the series starts to develop a little more.

Burning Kadabbi is a new anime show released on the 3rd of April.

Just one episode is out till now, and for those who didn’t read the manga, the expectations for this series are a little vague. Combining humor and intense action, the first episode showed a lot of promise.

I’m putting it in the last position for now for two reasons. Well, as I said before, one episode is not enough to decide if this anime will be good or not.

The other reason is that it’s not entirely a show based on martial arts. So, let me explain the rules of Kabaddi to prove that it deserves its place in that category. Putting it simply, Kabaddi is a game of tag.

The raider has to touch one of the defenders in their side of the court without being tagged afterward when returning to his own side. The game allows tackles to take down the Raider like in wrestling. Evasive maneuvers are essential for the defenders to escape from the touch of the raider. Footwork, Mind-Body Coordination, and game strategies are, like in boxing, the most important elements of the game.

Storyline:

Punches are allowed although they are not recommended because your reach decreases, and kicks as well. Every component of Martial Arts are present in Kabaddi.

Now for the story itself, the main character is First-year high schooler Tatsuya Yoigoshi. A Soccer prodigy in Middle School abandoned everything related to sports because of the disgusting atmosphere surrounding him.

In high school, he was invited to join the Kabaddi team and after being dragged and blackmail into participating just once to the team practice he starts to shows some interest in the game.

In a nutshell, from what we have seen so far, the anime should be worth watching. More updates on Burning Kabaddi will follow as soon as the series starts to develop a little more.

22. Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

11. Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings Sengoku Basara is a series that set a place at the end of the Sengoku Period in Japan. A lot of its characters are based and named after true historical figures. At the time, Japan is divided under the rule of multiple Warlords. One of them, Oda Nobunaga, AKA the “Demon King” set in motion a plan to conquer all of Japan. To stop his ascension, two rival Warlords, Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, put aside their hatred for each over to form an alliance. The main protagonist however is none other than Masamune’s strategist and personal bodyguard Kojūrō, a master wielder of katana and wakizashi. His extraordinary battle skills, his gracious yet deadly techniques, the refinement of every single one of his moves during fights, landed him the title of "The Right Eye of the Dragon". Having an immense burn to shoulder because of his formidable talent in martial arts and battle strategy, Kojūrō always has to find a way to exceed his limits to be able to break all the walls that are emerging on his path. For every fan of medieval series, this is a must-watch. For every fan of hard work and determination, don’t miss out. Sengoku Basara combines the intensity and excitement of battles while reminding us of the difficult times that Japan went through in that era.

Sengoku Basara is a series that set a place at the end of the Sengoku Period in Japan. A lot of its characters are based and named after true historical figures.

At the time, Japan is divided under the rule of multiple Warlords. One of them, Oda Nobunaga, AKA the “Demon King” set in motion a plan to conquer all of Japan. To stop his ascension, two rival Warlords, Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, put aside their hatred for each over to form an alliance.

The main protagonist however is none other than Masamune’s strategist and personal bodyguard Kojūrō, a master wielder of katana and wakizashi. His extraordinary battle skills, his gracious yet deadly techniques, the refinement of every single one of his moves during fights, landed him the title of “The Right Eye of the Dragon”.

Storyline:

Having an immense burn to shoulder because of his formidable talent in martial arts and battle strategy, Kojūrō always has to find a way to exceed his limits to be able to break all the walls that are emerging on his path.

For every fan of medieval series, this is a must-watch. For every fan of hard work and determination, don’t miss out.

Sengoku Basara combines the intensity and excitement of battles while reminding us of the difficult times that Japan went through in that era.

21. Ranma ½

10. Ranma ½ Ranma ½ is a classic. A comedy anime based on the love that the characters have for Martial Arts. The main character is Ranma, a Kenpo Martial Artist fighter who has one goal in mind, becoming the best. His skills are already top-notch and his name is well known in the Martial Arts world. But to reach even higher levels of mastery and strength, he decides to travel with his father to a place named The Springs of Jusenkyo. Little did they know that those springs are cursed. If you fall in one of those springs you will take the physical form of whatever entity drowned in it. Luckily for them, they can revert back to their original form when exposed to hot water but if in contact with cold water they transform back. Ranma's father, Genma, fell in the spring where a Panda drowned and Ranma fell in the spring where a girl died. This is where all the trouble begins. Wanting to keep this humiliating incident a secret, Ranma tries to find a way the break the curse that is ruining his life and stopping him from achieving his ultimate goal. Back home assuming two identities has been nothing more than exhausting. And being forced to go to school in that condition didn’t help. In the course of the series, we will accompany Ranma in his struggles to keep the life of both his identities aside from each other while continuing to train and participate in Martial Arts tournaments while hoping nothing happens on stage. Every character in the series has different goals different personalities and practice a different type of Martial Arts but one thing that connects them all is their competitiveness and their desire to rise to the top. You will grow to get attached to every single one of those completely unique characters. Although the series is a bit long, it will completely be worth your while if you are into comedy anime.

Ranma ½ is a classic. A comedy anime based on the love that the characters have for Martial Arts. The main character is Ranma, a Kenpo Martial Artist fighter who has one goal in mind, becoming the best.

His skills are already top-notch and his name is well known in the Martial Arts world. But to reach even higher levels of mastery and strength, he decides to travel with his father to a place named The Springs of Jusenkyo. Little did they know that those springs are cursed. If you fall in one of those springs you will take the physical form of whatever entity drowned in it. Luckily for them, they can revert back to their original form when exposed to hot water but if in contact with cold water they transform back.

Ranma’s father, Genma, fell in the spring where a Panda drowned and Ranma fell in the spring where a girl died. This is where all the trouble begins. Wanting to keep this humiliating incident a secret, Ranma tries to find a way the break the curse that is ruining his life and stopping him from achieving his ultimate goal.

Back home assuming two identities has been nothing more than exhausting. And being forced to go to school in that condition didn’t help.

In the course of the series, we will accompany Ranma in his struggles to keep the life of both his identities aside from each other while continuing to train and participate in Martial Arts tournaments while hoping nothing happens on stage.

Every character in the series has different goals different personalities and practice a different type of Martial Arts but one thing that connects them all is their competitiveness and their desire to rise to the top.

You will grow to get attached to every single one of those completely unique characters. Although the series is a bit long, it will completely be worth your while if you are into comedy anime.

Storyline:

Ranma ½ is a classic. A comedy anime based on the love that the characters have for Martial Arts. The main character is Ranma, a Kenpo Martial Artist fighter who has one goal in mind, becoming the best.

His skills are already top-notch and his name is well known in the Martial Arts world. But to reach even higher levels of mastery and strength, he decides to travel with his father to a place named The Springs of Jusenkyo. Little did they know that those springs are cursed. If you fall in one of those springs you will take the physical form of whatever entity drowned in it. Luckily for them, they can revert back to their original form when exposed to hot water but if in contact with cold water they transform back.

Ranma’s father, Genma, fell in the spring where a Panda drowned and Ranma fell in the spring where a girl died. This is where all the trouble begins. Wanting to keep this humiliating incident a secret, Ranma tries to find a way the break the curse that is ruining his life and stopping him from achieving his ultimate goal. Back home assuming two identities has been nothing more than exhausting. And being forced to go to school in that condition didn’t help.

In the course of the series, we will accompany Ranma in his struggles to keep the life of both his identities aside from each other while continuing to train and participate in Martial Arts tournaments while hoping nothing happens on stage. Every character in the series has different goals different personalities and practice a different type of Martial Arts but one thing that connects them all is their competitiveness and their desire to rise to the top.

You will grow to get attached to every single one of those completely unique characters. Although the series is a bit long, it will completely be worth your while if you are into comedy anime.

20. Blade of the immortal

9. Blade of the immortal The “Hundred Man Killer”, the name itself is enough to send shivers down your spine. This is the name of Manji, a demon among man, ruthless murder of more than a hundred innocent persons. But what is even more frightening about him is the fact that he is immortal. He gained this ability after a noun placed a bloodworm capable of healing all injuries inside his body. But an immortal life turns out to be more of a curse than a gift. As the plan of the noun was unfolding nicely, she gave him a condition upon relieving him from his burden. Manji must repent. Not only must he repent by his deeds by killing a hundred evil man but he must truly repent in his heart and regret his actions. Forced to follow the nouns rule, he sets out on a journey of atonement. During his travels, he gets attached to a girl named Rin. Having now someone to protect, and starting to face foes stronger and stronger. He starts training again to polish his sword skills to gain the necessary power to protect the one he cares about.

The “Hundred Man Killer”, the name itself is enough to send shivers down your spine. This is the name of Manji, a demon among man, ruthless murder of more than a hundred innocent persons.

But what is even more frightening about him is the fact that he is immortal. He gained this ability after a noun placed a bloodworm capable of healing all injuries inside his body. But an immortal life turns out to be more of a curse than a gift.

Storyline

As the plan of the noun was unfolding nicely, she gave him a condition upon relieving him from his burden. Manji must repent. Not only must he repent by his deeds by killing a hundred evil man but he must truly repent in his heart and regret his actions.

Forced to follow the rules of evil, he sets out on a journey of atonement. During his travels, he gets attached to a girl named Rin. Having now someone to protect, and starting to face foes stronger and stronger. He starts training again to polish his sword skills to gain the necessary power to protect the one he cares about.

19. Beelzebub

Beelzebub Now here is an interesting one that is very rarely mentioned. Beelzebub is very unique anime that will not appeal to everyone. The storyline is based on Oga Tatsumi. A delinquent feared by all the students who had the misfortune to cross his path. He loves violence, never thinks twice before attacking someone, and doesn’t care about the consequences. In conclusion, he is a pure brute that only thinks with his fists. While taking a stroll down the river, he encounters a baby which is actually the Demon King, Beel, who was sent to destroy the earth. Beel gets attached to the human who has emitting pure strength and malice. Now stuck with a baby on his shoulder (literally) the only way for Oga to get rid of him is to find someone stronger than he is. Not an easy task I can assure you. In the whole series, the fighting is completely freestyle. Each character has his own unique way to defeat his adversary. The only none fictive type of Martial Arts that will be used will be the Shingetsu Style practiced by Kounieda. Pretty funny in its own way, and full of unexpected even, if you let go of the fact that the techniques were invented by the author, I can guarantee that this show will not bore you for a second.

Now here is an interesting one that is very rarely mentioned. Beelzebub is very unique anime that will not appeal to everyone. The storyline is based on Oga Tatsumi. A delinquent feared by all the students who had the misfortune to cross his path. He loves violence, never thinks twice before attacking someone, and doesn’t care about the consequences. In conclusion, he is a pure brute that only thinks with his fists.

Storyline:

While taking a stroll down the river, he encounters a baby which is actually the Demon King, Beel, who was sent to destroy the earth. Beel gets attached to the human who has emitting pure strength and malice. Now stuck with a baby on his shoulder (literally) the only way for Oga to get rid of him is to find someone stronger than he is. Not an easy task I can assure you.

In the whole series, the fighting is completely freestyle. Each character has his own unique way to defeat his adversary. The only none fictive type of Martial Arts that will be used will be the Shingetsu Style practiced by Kounieda.

Pretty funny in its own way, and full of unexpected even, if you let go of the fact that the techniques were invented by the author, I can guarantee that this show will not bore you for a second.

18. Rurouni Kenshin

7. Rurouni Kenshin The author of this anime, based the main character, Himura Kenshin, on a real-life murder named Gensai. Like the historical figure he was based on, Kenshin was a merciless killer, undefeated till now on the battlefield. He suddenly disappeared when the Japanese Revolution began. Disgusted by himself and regretting ever shedding the blood of any human being, he started feeling the urge to atone for his crimes by protecting those who cannot protect themselves and never taking another life even if it’s a good or an evil one. Kenshin was a master in the Hiten Kenjutsu style from the rather old era that was created so that a single samurai can obliterate multiple ones in one go! Sounds exciting, right? Although it turns into a bit of a romantic love story, it will also show us how Kenshin tries to pass down his fighting style to his pupil to keep this beautiful technique alive. And the struggles he will face while defending his friends while making sure he doesn’t kill anyone in the process.

The author of this anime, based the main character, Himura Kenshin, on a real-life murder named Gensai.

Like the historical figure he was based on, Kenshin was a merciless killer, undefeated till now on the battlefield. He suddenly disappeared when the Japanese Revolution began. Disgusted by himself and regretting ever shedding the blood of any human being, he started feeling the urge to atone for his crimes by protecting those who cannot protect themselves and never taking another life even if it’s a good or an evil one.

Storyline:

Kenshin was a master in the Hiten Kenjutsu style from the rather old era that was created so that a single samurai can obliterate multiple ones in one go! Sounds exciting, right?

Although it turns into a bit of a romantic love story, it will also show us how Kenshin tries to pass down his fighting style to his pupil to keep this beautiful technique alive. And the struggles he will face while defending his friends while making sure he doesn’t kill anyone in the process.

17. Hinomaruzumou

6. Hinomaruzumou Ushio Hinomaru, a two-year consecutive sumo champion in elementary school, that became the vice-caption of the sumo club in high school, wants to attain the title “Yokozuna”, the title given to the world number one sumo wrestler. When finally making his debut on the professional scene, he takes the ring name” Onimaru Kunitsuna”. Considered a National Treasure despite his height. He shows a 'demon-like strength when faced with opponents much larger and taller than him without a problem, by using his resistance and attack power to his advantage. He favors throwing techniques and can sometimes take inspiration from the karate world to keep his enemies at striking distance. Hinomaruzumou is one of the most anticipated sports anime of the season, and for good reason. It combines incredible action with creative art that generates the best fighting scenes in the anime world. The entire series tries to follow the rules and the techniques of the real world. Every character stands out in a specific way and deserves his place in the competition which makes them very difficult obstacles for our young fighter. And what the series is really trying to convey to us through them is that being a champion isn’t always by winning. Being a true champion is determined by hard work, perseverance, mental strength, and most importantly the ability to learn from failure. Never give up, always get back on your feet, one defeat is just the stepping stone for the success that will come next. If you are in a difficult period in your life, watching this anime will give you the will to keep fighting through every challenge that life throws at you. It certainly did work for me.

Ushio Hinomaru, a two-year consecutive sumo champion in elementary school, that became the vice-caption of the sumo club in high school, wants to attain the title “Yokozuna”, the title given to the world number one sumo wrestler. When finally making his debut on the professional scene, he takes the ring name” Onimaru Kunitsuna”. Considered a National Treasure despite his height.

He shows a ‘demon-like strength when faced with opponents much larger and taller than him without a problem, by using his resistance and attack power to his advantage. He favors throwing techniques and can sometimes take inspiration from the karate world to keep his enemies at striking distance.

Storyline:

Hinomaruzumou is one of the most anticipated sports anime of the season, and for good reason. It combines incredible action with creative art that generates the best fighting scenes in the anime world.

The entire series tries to follow the rules and the techniques of the real world. Every character stands out in a specific way and deserves his place in the competition which makes them very difficult obstacles for our young fighter.

And what the series is really trying to convey to us through them is that being a champion isn’t always by winning.

Being a true champion is determined by hard work, perseverance, mental strength, and most importantly the ability to learn from failure. Never give up, always get back on your feet, one defeat is just the stepping stone for the success that will come next.

If you are in a difficult period in your life, watching this anime will give you the will to keep fighting through every challenge that life throws at you. It certainly did work for me.

16. Katanagatari

5. Katanagatari “Kyotouryuu” an ancient sword technique that transforms your own body into a blade. Only one person is known to practice this sword fighting style, Shichika Yasuri, a hermit that decided to live in exile with his sister until Togame barges into their lives. Togame is searching for the twelve legendary “Deviant Blades”. Each blade is graded by a “chosen one”, fierce adversaries that trained all their lives to deserve the honor the wield one of those blades. The only one powerful enough to stand a chance against those guardians would be Shichika. Togame requests his help to help him in his quest and Shichika unexpectedly accepts. This anime offers a very distinctive art style that emphasizes bright and powerful colors. Completely different from what we are used to watching, this anime will require some adaptation from our part to appreciate the intriguing story that is about to unfold.

“Kyotouryuu,” an ancient sword technique that transforms your own body into a blade. Only one person is known to practice this sword fighting style, Shichika Yasuri, a hermit that decided to live in exile with his sister until Togame barges into their lives.

Storyline:

Togame is searching for the twelve legendary “Deviant Blades”. Each blade is graded by a “chosen one”, fierce adversaries that trained all their lives to deserve the honor the wield one of those blades.

The only one powerful enough to stand a chance against those guardians would be Shichika. Togame requests his help to help him in his quest and Shichika unexpectedly accepts.

This anime offers a very distinctive art style that emphasizes bright and powerful colors.

Completely different from what we are used to watching, this anime will require some adaptation from our part to appreciate the intriguing story that is about to unfold.

15. One Punch Man

4. One Punch Man If you like overpowered MC, you will fall in love with One Puch man. The story follows the adventures of Saitama, a superhero that defeats all his adversaries with a single punch. The problem in that scenario is that every fight becomes dull and boring, so our hero sets on a journey to find a worthy opponent. But Saitama wasn’t always this strong. He started off as a weak man that wanted to change. He, therefore, created a daily routine consisting of 100 daily push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, plus 10 km daily running. Through his unbelievable determination and perseverance, he achieved to attain a level of superhuman strength. This series is trying to convey a deep message. The message is that if you want a change in your life, take the matter into your own hand, and work. Work hard towards your goals.

If you like an overpowered MC, you will fall in love with One Puch man. The story follows the adventures of Saitama, a superhero that defeats all his adversaries with a single punch.

The problem in that scenario is that every fight becomes dull and boring, so our hero sets on a journey to find a worthy opponent.

Storyline:

Saitama wasn’t always this strong. He started off as a weak man that wanted to change. He, therefore, created a daily routine consisting of 100 daily push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, plus 10 km daily running. Through his unbelievable determination and perseverance, he achieved to attain a level of superhuman strength.

This series is trying to convey a deep message. The message is that if you want a change in your life, take the matter into your own hand, and work. Work hard towards your goals.

Your hard work matters and it will pay off in a way or another. This inspirational anime will show you that we can attain any heights if we put our minds to it.

14. Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho This anime is probably the oldest in this ranking. An anime are so well written that it stayed super popular till now. It tells the story of Yusuke Uramechi, a teenager that died struck by a car while trying to save a child’s life. He was brought back to life as a spirit detective and this is where the adventure begins. The story is a lot more interesting than it might look on paper. But if I give you any more details they will be major spoilers. But on deck, we have one major tournament that you will never forget, unexpected character developments, and an unbelievable revelation that will change the whole course of the show.

This anime is probably the oldest in this ranking. An anime are so well written that it stayed super popular till now. It tells the story of Yusuke Uramechi, a teenager that died struck by a car while trying to save a child’s life.

He was brought back to life as a spirit detective and this is where the adventure begins.

Storyline:

The story is a lot more interesting than it might look on paper. But if I give you any more details they will be major spoilers.

But on deck, we have one major tournament that you will never forget, unexpected character developments, and an unbelievable revelation that will change the whole course of the show.

13. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter Hunter X Hunter is also a classic. The story focuses on Gon, a 12 years old “gaki” that’s searching for his father. And the only clue he has is the fact that he was a Hunter. Deciding to follow in his footsteps, he starts by taking the Hunter exam and ends up meets a lot of different people wielding different abilities. To be able to pass the exam, physical ability, intelligence, integrity, refined techniques, and a strong mental are needed. The story doesn’t even end here, the next step is to learn how to use an ability called “NEN”. A special powers and heighten physical abilities. A necessary technique that will prove your worth as a Hunter. We will follow the adventures of Gon and his friend Killua as they learn how to use this strange power and how to master it. It’s an extraordinary anime that you will try to teach you different morals at each stage of every character development.

Hunter X Hunter is also a classic. The story focuses on Gon, a 12 years old “gaki” that’s searching for his father. And the only clue he has is the fact that he was a Hunter.

Storyline:

Deciding to follow in his footsteps, he starts by taking the Hunter exam and ends up meets a lot of different people wielding different abilities.

To be able to pass the exam, physical ability, intelligence, integrity, refined techniques, and a strong mental are needed.

The story doesn’t even end here, the next step is to learn how to use an ability called “NEN”. A special powers and heighten physical abilities. A necessary technique that will prove your worth as a Hunter.

We will follow the adventures of Gon and his friend Killua as they learn how to use this strange power and how to master it.

It’s an extraordinary anime that you will try to teach you different morals at each stage of every character development.

12. Naruto

1. Naruto First place goes without saying to Naruto. The story of our young ninjutsu user that dreams to become the Hokage. It’s the most popular and the most-watched anime till now. Every anime fan must have seen at least some episodes or know the story so I will not go into more details. But for those who abandoned the thought of watching it because of how long it is. Think again, do not miss out on this masterpiece. Every episode is worth watching and teaches you different morals. There is the reason why it is considered the number 1 anime show till now.

First place goes without saying to Naruto. The story of our young ninjutsu user that dreams to become the Hokage. It’s the most popular and the most-watched anime till now.

Every anime fan must have seen at least some episodes or know the story so I will not go into more details. But for those who abandoned the thought of watching it because of how long it is.

Think again, do not miss out on this masterpiece. Every episode is worth watching and teaches you different morals. There is the reason why it is considered the number 1 anime show till now.

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11. Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball Banner

Ok, I’m getting this one out of the way early, but hear me out. While Dragon Ball Z and Super are more about the flashy energy attacks and screaming, the original Dragon Ball series had a much larger focus on the martial arts. The series was based on the classic Journey to the West and done in the style of an old school Kung Fu movie, with over the top villains and techniques.

This show is a lot of peoples first show on their anime journey, including mine and it’s got great hand to hand (for the most part) martial arts combat.

10. Sword of the Stranger

Sword Of The Stranger Wallpaper

This one is also cheating a little bit, but that’s because it’s a movie and not a series. Sword of the Stranger isn’t too well known, but if you have to see one part of it, it has to be the final fight scene. That scene might just be the best swordfight in all of anime. Beautifully drawn and choreographed with not only an interesting dynamic between the two combatants but their swords as well.

The two fighters are from Japan and China respectively, so we get a unique battle between a Katana and a Kung Fu sword. It’s a unique dynamic you’d be hardpressed to find anywhere else and makes this movie something you must check out.

9. Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai Title Card

Afro Samurai is a cult classic among anime fans and it fits perfectly into that archetype. Afro Samurai is a niche anime with a unique style of not only art work, but also humor and writing.

In terms of its combat, Afro Samurai has a ton of variation. The show starts off with the classic “one guy absolutely dominates a group of amateurs who don’t know any better” fight and it’s smart enough to not just keep doing that like lesser shows.

The way that Afro Samurai keeps people excited to watch is by changing up the styles in which people are fighting. Afro sticks to his samurai style with his Katana, obviously but he faces off against a ton of other styles, like ninjas and fencers. This variation keeps the show exciting and shows off a ton of different martial art styles for the watchers to enjoy.

8. Fist of the North Star

Kenshiro Headshot

And for this entry, we have our first real bruce lee rip off character. Fist of the North Star is a classic anime from the late 80s and is one of the most memed animes on the entire internet and that’s saying something.

While by today’s standards the action in Fist of the North Star isn’t anywhere near the best, it was great for its time. True to any Bruce Lee inspired character, Kenshiro sports the dragons hair and even copies some of his fighting style and mannerisms, most importantly the watas that Bruce Lee was famous for screaming.

The fights in the show aren’t the best in all honesty but it has a lot to do with how strong Kenshiro actually is, I mean he can punch down buildings and if he touches you once, you explode. The show still manages to get some good fights and still shows off a good amount of technique, with getting way too crazy.

7. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

Kenichi Banner

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is probably the anime that focuses the most on training in multiple different styles of martial arts. The show also invokes heavy Karate Kid vibes with Kenichi starting off as a small 90 pound weakling at the beginning and then going on to become strong and a badass in his own rite.

Like mentioned early the show from the very beginning shows of a wide variety of styles, with Kenichi being trained by masters of Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Karate and weapons forms. We really get to see Kenichi’s progression in the series, not only in his martial arts skills but also in his physique and mentality, which both become noticeably stronger and more powerful, which is a common journey for martial artists.

6. Megalo box

Gearless Joe Side Profile

Yes, Boxing is a martial art and get used to it because you are going to be seeing it a few more times on this very list. Megalo Box was a surprise to me when I first saw it because at the time I really couldn’t understand the main concept of it but after giving it a chance I was happy I did.

In terms of its accuracy to the sweet science that is boxing, the author obviously took some liberties, first and foremost the augmentations that most fighters use going into their matches. these augmentations are used to increase fighters strength, endurance and agility and almost every boxer uses these, except for the main protagonist “Gearless Joe”

While these augmentations do put our hero at a disadvantage, they don’t actually change the way that people fight all too much. The Boxing in the show is very similar to what you would see in real life, with proper jabs and hooks and the strategies real fighters would use.

Overall this perfect underdog story is a great watch for any action anime fan or boxer and if you love the 90s anime aesthetic this is definitely something to checkout.

5. Baki

Baki season 3 character wallpaper

After a near 18 year-long hiatus, Netflix brought us the third season of Baki: The Grappler, simply title Baki. The show is an extreme and over the top martial arts anime that is just oozing with testosterone and fighting energy.

The Manga that the show is based on is written by Keisuke Itagaki, who was a member of the Japanese military and an amateur boxer, as well as a practitioner of Shorinji Kempo. Itagaki has a deep love of fighting and combat and it shows in his work on Baki.

The show features a ton of different martial arts styles, some real and some made for the show that are based on real styles, like Shin Shin Kai Karate being based on Kyokushin Karate. The show features really interesting and creative fight scenes, some are hand to hand, some include weapons and some are sport style bouts like judo sparring, this way the fights are never stale.

4. Levius

Levius Poster

Levius has a very similar premise to Megalo Box, but I believe that overall Levius is a better anime and a better representation of the sport of boxing as well. First off, the metal arms don’t really change the way they fight too much, for the most part, the boxing is pretty similar to the real thing. The only real change to actual boxing is the set limit of steam that the fighters have in their arms, that function kind of like stamina bars in a way.

The boxing is as accurate as one can get with the setting the Levius provides. The show doesn’t stray too far from actual boxing techniques aside from the occasional spin hooks and the addition of armor to the combatants, most of the techniques are accurate, albeit pretty stylized and exaggerated for effect.

While the art style can make the fights look stylized, they are still accurate but the most accurate part of Levius is the training, where they show the titular character doing roadwork, hitting pads and heavy bags and sparring, all important parts of a boxers training.

3. The God Of High School

God of High School, Martial Arts Anime, Jin Vs Daewi

The God of High School anime seemingly came out of nowhere being a part of Crunchyroll’s deal with Webtoon. While most anime fans didn’t know what to expect, fans of the Manhwa knew this was going to be great. God of High School delivers some of the cleanest action that we have seen in recent years with its stellar animation and great art style.

The show highlights a ton of real-world martial arts including Taekwondo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and even sword fighting styles. Now we said at the beginning of this list that we didn’t want to feature shows that rely heavily on superpowers over martial arts. God of High School makes the cut because it uses its powers, known as Charyeok, to help amplify the martial arts techniques or show us new ones and not just give the character’s energy blasts.

This way of using Charyeok kept the action smooth and intense at the same time, letting us see the very physical struggle that the characters were having in every fight.

2. Kengan Ashura

Kengan Ashura Ensemble

Kengan Ashura was a surprise smash hit that came to us in late 2019 and as a fan of martial arts and of people punching each other in the face, I couldn’t be happier with this series.

This series takes place in a world where companies, mainly in Japan, settle disputes with one on one combat and largely revolves around a tournament to see who will become head of the organization that hosts the fights. While the joke is that this is just a rip off of Baki and it’s true that Kengan probably wouldn’t exist without Baki, I believe that it outshines its predecessor in many ways.

First is the characterization, most of the characters in the main cast are actually interesting and most of those characters get their moments, whether cool or funny and the characters have their own motivations for competing in the tournament.

Where Kengan Ashura really sets itself apart from Baki. at least for me, is in its fight scenes, which are far more down to earth and accurate to the styles that are represented. Kengan Ashura showcases a fair amount of more obscure martial arts, like Myanmar Lethwei and Baritsu, as well as more well-known arts like Boxing and Judo. The Show has it’s fair share of fictional styles as well like the Niko Style and Ballet fighting, but all of the made-up styles take inspiration from real ones and utilize actual techniques, that make it a must-watch for any weeb martial artists

1. Hajime no Ippo

Ippo Headshot

This anime has one of the most accurate fictional displays of boxing you will ever find in any media that isn’t a documentary, hell, it’s more accurate to boxing than some documentaries. The series is written by Jyoji Morikawa, who himself is a boxer and even owns a boxing gym in japan and is frequently a cornerman for some Japanese fighters, so it’s safe to say that he knows boxing. Every technique, training method and strategy is accurate, albeit super exaggerated.

The Hitman style won’t turn your arm into a snake that smacks your opponent, but it is a real style, most famously used by 50-0 pro-Floyd Mayweather. The show also makes references to a ton of real-world boxers like Mike Tyson and Jack Dempsy, who are the people that Ippo gets his style from.

Aside from just the accurate fighting, Hajime No Ippo is incredibly accurate to the training of a boxer. Ippo and the other fighters all train in the same way that professional boxers do, including sparring rounds, running, shadow boxing, hit pads and a bunch of conditioning to increase stamina.

The show has great fight scenes and amazing animation during those scenes, all this bundled with an inspiring story and amazing characterization and you have a must-watch in the action anime genre.

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