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Top 10 Most Tense Moments in Anime


Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean You can cut the tension here with a knife. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Tense Moments in Anime. For this list, we’ll be looking at the scenes in anime where characters were put in a desperate situation with seemingly no way out. As long as there’s a very real chance of shit hitting the fan, it counts. As such, be prepared for some seriously chilling spoilers down the line!
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Top 10 Most Tense Moments in Anime
You can cut the tension here with a knife. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Tense Moments in Anime.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the scenes in anime where characters were put in a desperate situation with seemingly no way out. As long as there’s a very real chance of shit hitting the fan, it counts. As such, be prepared for some seriously chilling spoilers down the line!

#10: Johan Unveiled

“Monster” (2004-05)
Dr. Tenma hasn’t exactly had it easy. A once respected neurosurgeon, his fateful decision to save the life of a young boy instead of the Mayor ended up costing him his career. Alas, the way to hell is paved with good intentions, as years later the boy he saved resurfaces, now a cold-blooded killer and master manipulator, whose sole ambition seems to be getting the good doctor to break his moral code and kill him. The sight of Johan gunning down his victim right before Tenma’s eyes perfectly sets up the horrors that are to follow.

#9: At Gun Point

“Steins;Gate” (2011)
You didn’t think you could mess around with time-travel and not pay the price, did you? After coming across a means to alter the present through texts, self-proclaimed mad scientist Okabe and his motley crew find themselves crossing one parallel timeline too many after they are set upon by masked gunmen. Under the orders of the mysterious organisation SERV, three of them are taken captive, while the adorable Mayuri ends up meeting his end via a bullet to the head. What had been a slow burner of a series instantly takes a sharp-turn into a sci-fi thrill-fest and never looked back!

#8: The Stand Off

“Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion” (2006-07)
Childhood friends Lelouch and Suzaku each held the belief that the Empire of Britannia had to be changed, though both felt opposing methods were needed. While Suzaku would join it’s legion and try to alter it from within, Lelouch assumed the masked mantle of the vigilante Zero in order to overthrow the establishment. Their clashing ideals unfortunately end up costing them both dearly. As such, they aren’t exactly thrilled to learn where the other stands. With tensions and the sense of betrayals running high, the former friends end up losing it and firing upon one another.

#7: Armin’s Speech

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)
All his life, Armin has been the one in need of saving. Whether its from bullies or Titans, he’s always had Eren and Mikasa to back him up when the going got tough. However, after Eren’s shocking transformation into a Titan, it’s down to Armin to save the day when the military sets their sights on blowing all three of them to kingdom come. In a final plea, he shows off his conviction as a soldier as well as his belief in how they can use Eren’s new power to turn the tide of the war. We still can’t believe they made it out of this one.

#6: Infiltration

“Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)
To be fair, if we were tasked with sneaking around a palace filled with Chimera Ants, we’d probably be as terrified as Knov. As one of Netero’s closest allies, Knov was tasked with aiding the likes of Morel and Knuckle by finding a way into Meruem’s home turf in order to gain the upper hand. Thanks to his ability of Hide and Sneak, Knov was able to effortlessly create a backdoor. Just one problem, he has to skirt around knowing that the Royal Guards could be around any corner! Best of luck with those therapy bills Knov.

#5: The Killer Revealed

“Erased” (2016)
The time-travel aspect may have kept us on edge, while the situation regarding Kayo’s abuse stands as one of the series’ most emotionally poignant moments, but it all comes second to this. In what’s essentially a masterclass in building suspense, Satoru gets a drive home from his homeroom teacher Mr Yashiro. However, as their conservation on personal philosophies starts to take a dark turn, he realises that he’s trapped inside the car with the very serial killer he’s been searching for. Pretty sure most fans stopped breathing by this point.

#4: Josuke vs. Kira

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable” (2016)
Across multiple murders, time loops and hair styles, Yoshikage Kira managed to slip by unpunished; free to pursue his dream of a quiet life while also making the occasional victim explode. At least he had, until this long-awaited final clash with the JoJo with the immaculate hair. Despite the severity of their wounds, the pair battle each other in the ultimate Mexican “stand”-off. As the seconds count down, all we can do is hope that Josuke and Crazy Diamond manage to fire off first.

#3: Hand of Death

“My Hero Academia” (2016-)
While this isn’t the first time that Izuku and Shigaraki have tangoed, there’s no denying that this scene was on a whole other level of terrifying. Cornering our hero inside a mall, Shigaraki manages to get his death-dealing hand inches from Izuku’s throat, effectively holding him hostage. From there, the two have a “somewhat” tense discussion about the nature of heroes as well as the impact of All Might. We’ve seen Deku take on some deadly situations before, but nothing as intimate as this. We’re guessing he’ll be seeing that face in his nightmares.

#2: Walking the Pole

“Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” (2007-08)
The lengths some people will go to get rich. After somewhat stupidly deciding to try his luck at yet another dangerous gambling game, Kaiji finds himself and the others tasked with climbing over a steel beam several stories above ground during what has to be Japan’s windiest night, atleast in their heads. Does he go through with it? It’s Kaiji, of course does. Pushing past the idiocy of his decision, seeing these desperate men crawl for their lives to escape debt is nonetheless a harrowing sight to behold. Don’t look down.

#1: I Am Kira

“Death Note” (2006-07)
In the wake of L’s demise, it fell to the likes of the far-less interesting yet equally intelligent Near to put the kibosh on the serial murderer Kira once and for all. With all the pieces in place, both Near and Light face-off in the final stage of their mental duel. While it initially looks like the God of the New World is going to once again walk away the victor, a last minute upset totally exposes Light’s secret. Backed into the corner with no way out, all he can do is reveal his true self in what has to be one of anime’s most haunting laughs
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