In anime, the hero’s sword is often the character, and there is no shortage of badass swords in the genre. Why, a quick Google search at the best anime samurai sword fights will yield a range of blades from the typical katana to giant, large blades that have to be wielded with two hands; The list goes on and on, offering a wealth of samurai sword entertainment.
Sword fighting is an integral part of the samurai way of life. Trained from an early age, samurai spent much of their time training together with other clan members. Armed with a sword, the samurai strove to maintain his fighting skills so that he may be prepared to defend himself or his clan. In this day and age, it can be challenging to find a good anime samurai sword fight. But don’t worry! We have collected our Top 10 favorite samurai sword fights for you to watch.
FYI: We decided not to include too many mainstream or shonen anime to keep the recommendations fresh.
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10: Brave 10
Brave 10 follows Saizou and Isanami’s journey throughout the war-laden lands searching for brave warriors to serve under Yukimura’s banner, each possessing powerful skills of their own. They’ll have to travel far and wide, all while trying to fend off those who would chase after the dark power that she possesses to make it their own.
Brave 10: Honoo no Kokuin is one of the most popular anime samurai sword fighting shows of the decade, and for a good reason. It’s not just that they have the best samurai sword-fighting. It’s also that the story has a rich cast of characters, and the action is beautifully choreographed. The action is also interspersed with plenty of humor to keep things interesting, and the plot is intriguing enough to keep you coming back for more. It’s no surprise that so many people are big fans of this series.
9: Mugen no Juunin: Immortal
Blade of the Immortal’s story begins with Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan who has been cursed with immortality. The story follows ronin on a redemption journey. He fights against a corrupt and influential group of individuals who want to use his powers.
The battles are long and visceral, and the violence is unflinching. In other words, it is the perfect anime for anyone who is a fan of samurai sword fights.
8: Shigurui: Death Frenzy
At the beginning of the Edo Era, when people enjoyed a time of peace, Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga holds a fighting tournament. In the past, matches were fought with wooden swords. This time, real swords will be used.
One-armed Fujiki Gennosuke and blind Irako Seigen will fight each other in this match. Both are disciples of Iwamoto Kogan, who is known as Japan’s greatest swordsman. Each of them is determined to prove himself the successor of Iwamoto’s school. However, there can only be one champion.
So begins a story of intertwining fates, conflict, and strange destinies.
Shigurui is an anime series similar to the likes of Samurai X or even Romeo X Juliet, but with plenty of notable differences. The series is a dark, violent take on the samurai genre that earned praise and criticism from reviewers. The art style is very unique, and the action scenes are incredibly flashy. Still, these elements also place Shigurui in the category of anime that some viewers will love and others will hate.
7: Rurouni Kenshin ( Samurai X )
Rurouni Kenshin ( Samurai X ) is an anime based on a manga of the same name. It is also considered to be a classic of the genre and one of the best anime samurai sword fights you should watch! The series is about a former hitokiri named Kenshin, who wanders Japan to help those in need and advance the Meiji Restoration. The series itself is incredibly well-written, and its use of comedy, drama, and romance makes it stand out.
Along with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most successful anime series to come out of the mid-1990s. The series is often credited as a significant influence on the “new-type” era of the 1990s, which many fans consider the “golden age” of anime.
While many other anime have some great fighting scenes in them, one show has its beat hands down: Rurouni Kenshin ( Samurai X ). If you have never watched this show, you should do so. Not only is the storyline one of the best anime stories ever, but the sword fighting scenes are so realistic that you feel like you are watching a movie. The sword fighting is entertaining, but it is also very informative on how a sword fight should go.
6: Samurai Champloo
Champloo is an anime about three characters, Mugen, Jin, and Fuu, who travel throughout Japan looking for “worthy battles.” The series is a little vague about its period. Still, it appears to be during the Edo period of Japan – which stretches from 1603 to 1868 – and Mugen is often seen wearing a hakama. (He’s a Samurai.) Champloo is known for colorful yet realistic fight scenes that combine styles from other martial arts, making it a good anime for anyone who enjoys the action from martial arts films.
Samurai Champloo has the best samurai sword fights because they were fast, intricate, and had a lot of impacts. It may seem like an odd combination. Still, the right mix of the three made the sword fights highly entertaining and memorable, the best examples were the fights between Mugen and Jin, Jin and Fuu, and even Jin and the Reaper, there were also the slow and intricate fights featuring Jin and Mugen, they showed the differences in their fighting styles and how different they were.
5: Samurai Kings
Sengoku Basara is a samurai fantasy anime that focuses on the battles between the Sengoku period’s famous warlords. Most anime of the same genre have characters either based on real historical figures or inspired by them. However, Sengoku Basara’s writers have made a great effort to remain as faithful to the historical record as possible, with even the most minor characters being based on real people.
The series is most famous for its astonishingly realistic portrayal of samurai sword-fighting, which more than makes up for its lack of any strong plot or character development–the battles are so realistic they look like they were filmed for a documentary.
4: House of Fire Leaves
The story has a great sense of realism, as it is not a tale of a battle-hardened hero who single-handedly saved the world, but rather a tale of a regular person trying to find their place in the world. The story is also quite emotional. The main character starts off as a cold-hearted killer who eventually finds a cause to fight for. I would also like to mention that the story is quite historically accurate, as it is based on actual events.
3: Sword of The Stranger
The film follows Kotaro, a hunted boy by a group of Ming swordsmen for a sinister purpose. Among the group is a fearsome Western fighter named Luo-Lang, whose only desire is to find a worthy opponent. Kotaro and his dog find “Nanashi,” a nameless ronin whose violent past has led him to forbid drawing his sword again. When the Ming warriors clash with a feudal lord, a proud general, and monks divided between faith and survival, the reason behind the Ming group’s mission forges a bond between Nanashi, Kotaro, and his dog Tobimaru.
Although sword fighting is very unrealistic, the film has some of the best sword-fighting scenes ever. The sword fights are exaggerated, making it look even more unrealistic and making it even more entertaining to watch. The sword fighting is also very stylish, with lots of jumps and twirls. This, combined with the music, makes the sword fights in the sword of the stranger some of the best sword fights you have ever watched.
2: Afro Samurai
Afro Samurai is a Samurai story told in a very unique, stylish way. It is based on the manga of the same name, which was originally released in Japan. The story takes place in a futuristic, dystopian setting in which the line between good and evil is blurred. It follows the story of the title character, Afro (also known as Afro Samurai), as he attempts to avenge his father‘s death. Along the way, he faces many foes of all shapes and sizes, including the number two swordsman in the world. Afro Samurai’s story is told in a very unique way, with a combination of anime-style animation and live-action.
Afro Samurai is not for everyone. It’s filled with graphic violence, gratuitous nudity, and foul language. We’re talking about a character who gets his sword out of his crotch area. There is a lot of “titillation” to get past before you get to the actual anime. However, give it a chance, and you’ll find it to be a rewarding watch.
The story is set in an alternate-history late-Edo period, where humanity is attacked by aliens called “Amanto” (天人, “Sky People”). Edo Japan’s samurai fight to defend Earth, but the shōgun cowardly surrenders when he realizes the aliens’ power. He agrees to an unequal contract with the aliens, placing a ban on carrying swords in public and allowing the invaders to enter the country. The samurai’s swords are confiscated, and the Tokugawa bakufu (shogunate) becomes a puppet government.
The series focuses on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata, who works as an odd-jobs freelancer. He helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura save his sister Tae from an alien group who wants to send her to a brothel. Impressed by Gintoki, Shinpachi becomes his freelance apprentice to pay the bills and learn more about the enigmatic samurai. When the pair rescues a teenage alien girl with super-strength, Kagura, from a Yakuza group, they accept her into their freelancing business. The three become known as “Yorozuya” (万事屋, “We do everything” or literally “The Anything Store”).
Gintama is a weird samurai anime that can be hard to get into due to it’s jumpy plot and odd humor. But when it comes to samurai sword fights, there is no better anime out there. Gintama has so many good fights and so many memorable characters, it’s no wonder it’s our top pick for anime samurai swordfights. So if you’re looking for the best anime samurai sword fights, Gintama is your best bet.