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Top 10 Most Heated Rivalries In Anime (Ft. Clifford Chapin)

VO: Clifford Chapin WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly-Mckean
They take competition to new extremes. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Heated Rivalries In Anime. For this list, we’ll be looking at the rivals in anime who never wasted an opportunity to try and best each other in their respective fields. Whether its sports, battles to the death or even a card game; defeat is not an option when it comes to these duos. Get ready for a few spoilers down the line along with plenty of hot-blooded machismo.
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Top 10 Most Heated Rivalries In Anime

They take competition to new extremes. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Heated Rivalries In Anime.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the rivals in anime who never wasted an opportunity to try and best each other in their respective fields. Whether its sports, battles to the death or even a card game; defeat is not an option when it comes to these duos. Get ready for a few spoilers down the line along with plenty of hot-blooded machismo.

(Cliff Introduction)

#10: Tai and Matt
“Digimon Adventure” (1999-2000)

Ironic that the guy who owns the crest of friendship is the loner of the group and always picking fights. Ever since arriving in the Digital World, the Digidestined’s fearless leader and cool as ice bad boy have been pushing each other’s buttons. It got so bad that the two eventually ended up coming to physical blows, with their own Mega-Level Digimon nearly tearing each other apart for the sake of their partners. Be honest guys, all this fighting is because you’re both crushing on Sora, isn’t it? Yep, thought so.

#9: Kagami and Aomine
“Kuroko’s Basketball” (2012-15)

As the former Ace of the Generation of Miracles, it’s fair to say Aomine knows his way around the court, and that’s even without tapping into the “its-totally-not-a-superpower” Zone. However, due to his overwhelming skill, he quickly grew complacent and bored of the sport…until he met Kagami. Not only was he Seirin’s new trump card, just as agile, tall and imposing as Aomine himself, but he was also Kuroko’s new bestie. Given how Aomine used to be Kuroko’s basketball bro, this perfectly set the stage for the two to throw down. And they did. And it was awesome.

#8: Ash and Gary
“Pokémon” (1997-)

They both want to be the best like no-one ever was, but of course, there can be only one! Ever since leaving Pallet Town, Ash has made it his mission in life to best his childhood rival to prove who was truly the better Pokemon Trainer. Between all the gym leaders, villainous organisations and region hopping, it took a fair amount before the two found themselves facing off in a championship battle. The wait seemed to be worth it, since Ash finally overcame his oldest rival thanks to his Charizard somehow overcoming an obvious type-advantage. Wouldn’t feel too sorry for Gary though, he still has his own personal cheerleading squad after all.

#7: Zoro and Sanji
“One Piece” (1999-)

Hey, just because they’re part of the same crew doesn’t mean they have to get along. One of the more playful rivalries you’re likely to find in anime, these two might look like they can’t stand each other and would rather beat other senseless, but deep down, they’re a hundred percent committed to Luffy’s cause. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from arguing every step of the way, even when they’re in the middle of battling a giant robot modelled after a guy with all-powerful paws for weapons. Only in One Piece.

#6: Natsu and Gray
“Fairy Tail” (2009-)

Everyone knows that fire and ice never mix, hence why these two guildmates never really did see eye to eye. While they’ve never hesitated when it comes to fighting side by side, there’s nothing more that Gray and Natsu enjoy more than indulging in some good ol’ magical fisticuffs. Can’t really blame them, after all Natsu is hotheaded and never thinks things through, while Gray is too cool for school and has an aversion to wearing clothes. That’s a recipe for disaster from the get-go.

#5: Shizuo and Izaya
“Durarara!!” (2010; 2015-16)

A sassy information broker who never knows when to shut up, and an ill-tempered individual that’s casually known as the strongest man alive. Match meet dynamite. Finding sheer joy in provoking the beast that is Shizuo, it’s kind of amazing that Izaya hasn’t lost his head yet. After all, Shizuo is something of a walking hurricane. And yet, the slippery eel always manages to skate on by without losing his head. It might all seem like fun and games for the moment, but just you wait until Shizuo really snaps. Trust me, I know a thing or two about easily-aggravated blondes!

#4: Midoriya and Bakugo
“My Hero Academia” (2016-)

Number four? Number four?! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT WATCHMOJO! I’LL BLOW YOU ALL TO BITS! Ahem. Ever since they were kids, these two have always dreamed of becoming pro-heroes. While Midoriya is the ultimate fanboy with a heart made of sweetcakes, Bakugo is…not. With contrasting ideals yet an equal drive to live up to All Might’s legacy, both have clashed on multiple occasions, each time drawing that much closer to surpassing themselves as both heroes and human beings. Don’t get me wrong though, Deku will forever be a nerd, and Bakugo will always be King Explosion Murder.

#3: Naruto and Sasuke
“Naruto” series (2002-)

Honestly, these two have been through so much together they should probably attend couples counselling. What started off as harmless banter between two junior ninja soon escalated into a life or death feud when Sasuke turned traitor for the sake of vengeance. Ever since then, these two have come close to killing each countless times, with Naruto trying to bring his buddy back to his senses, only for Sasuke to try and stab him in the throat. You have to hand it to them for being such good sports about the whole thing, after all they did blow each other’s arms off!

#2: Goku and Vegeta
“Dragon Ball” series (1989-)

A rivalry as old time, and one that has come to define the granddaddy of shounen. Ever since Vegeta first uttered “it’s over 9000”, these two have butted heads. Starting off as mortal enemies that held the fate of the world in their hands, all the way to becoming Super Saiyan buddies dealing with a pair of strong-willed wives, Goku and Vegeta have been through the ringer all right. You can always count on them to clash in one form of another, whether it’s with beam struggles or a good ol’ planet-busting spar.

#1: Yugi and Kaiba
“Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters” (2000-04)

You will believe a card game can turn an ancient Pharaoh trapped inside a teen and a billionaire with a dragon fetish into the most diehard of rivals. From Duelist Kingdom all the way to the Battle City Finals, Yugi and Kaiba have been locked in an almost never-ending conflict to decide who truly is the King of Games. Obviously, it’s the kid with the incomprehensible hairstyle that walks away the winner most of the time, but kudos to Kaiba for hanging in there. It’s not like he doesn’t have money to burn, the dude made a freakin’ Blue Eyes White Dragon Jet. Who does that?!

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