Time for a Lesson in Pain
Every great hero needs a mentor figure, one to guide and discipline them on the way to fulfilling their destinies. Of course, when it comes to the world of anime, that often equates to having to beat the hell out of each in some kind of “final lesson.” To that effect, these five students excelled!
#5: Korosensei vs Reaper 2.0
“Assassination Classroom” (2015-16)
This tentacled teacher may be one of a kind, but that’s not to say his replacement is anything to scoff at. When he was a human, the Reaper was nothing more than fanboy of Korosensei’s killing ways, until he took a chance to steal the spotlight for himself. Years later, he teams up with Shiro for the chance to bring down his formerly murderous teacher, after taking on a tendrilled form of his. He can feel proud about the fact he knocked around the legendary killer around more than any other, but he made one fatal mistake, he injured one of Korosensei’s students. That shit don’t fly.
#4: Domon vs Master Asia
“Mobile Fighter G Gundam” (1994-95)
You can always count on giant robots to spice up a fight. After all, why just have a master/student face off on top of a volcano when you can add Gundams to the mix? Despite painting himself as a villain looking to bring back the Devil Gundam, Master Asia is still a man of immense honour and faith in his student, encouraging Domon to strive for new heights…even as their respectable mecha are in the middle of a beam struggle. This final pep talk seems to work, as it allows the King of Heart to finally overcome his mentor, leading to a rather sorrowful goodbye.
#3: Midoriya & Bakugo vs All Might
“My Hero Academia” (2016-)
Not sure what was more difficult for these two wannabe heroes to overcome – learning to work together or battling against the man they idolise. As part of their final exam, All Might pushes both Deku and Kacchan to their absolute limits. Forced to finally rely on one another, Bakugo goes all out with his explosions in order to try and bring the Symbol of Peace to a halt, with Midoriya coming in at the last second to save his rival so they can cross the finish line together.
#2: Goku vs Master Roshi
“Dragon Ball” (1986-89)
Turns out that when Roshi likes to test his students, he does so under the guise of a martial artist named Jackie Chun during the finale of a world tournament. Despite the vast difference in age, both the future Super Saiyan and renowned Turtle Hermit seem evenly matched due to their control over the Kamehameha, at least until Goku ends up going full Great Ape. It’s a hard-fought battle that Roshi manages to claim at the last second, though the victory itself is bittersweet since Goku ends up wasting all of his prize money on food.
#1: Jiraiya vs. Pain
“Naruto Shippuden” (2007-17)
He may have been an old pervert, but Jiraiya the Gallant turned out to live up to his namesake during his final bout with his former pupil; now the leader of the Akatsuki. With the veteran ninja testing his power of Sage Mode against the Six Paths of Pain, this emotionally charged battle gave us everything we could have wanted from a ninja showdown. Orochimaru vs The Third Hokage and the rematch between Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi might have some great moments, but this brawl truly stands tall one of Naruto’s highest points, not to mention one of its saddest death scenes.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Anime Battles.