Here are 10 of my most iconic memorable anime scenes. These are moments that truly struck me, whether good or bad, heartbreaking or action packed.
- Parasyte: The Maxim - Shinichi Vs. Noboku
This was probably one of the most heartbreaking scenes for me in the whole series. While there were more remarkable action packed fights, this one felt too important. After leaving to go on a scenic vacation, Shinichi’s parents stand atop a cliff staring out at the horizon. His father, Kazuyuki, stares in horror as an injured parasite appears directly behind Noboku and immediately decapitates her. Moments later, Shinichi receives a phone call from his father, who tells him that Noboku had been killed by a monster. When she arrives back home she asks Shinichi if his father had returned or if he was truly dead.
Shinichi refuses to believe that his own mother had been murdered and taken over by a parasite. Without hesitation, Noburu stabs him through the heart. After being repaired by Migi, he runs off to find the parasite and put an end to it. Ultimately he hesitated before he could kill her, and the final blow came from a friend, who had a parasite implanted in his jaw, Mamoru Uda. He tells Shinichi he did it because he didn’t want her son to have to make that decision.
- Dragon Ball Z - Gohan Vs. Cell
If you’re an anime fan at all, people typically know which scene I’m talking about. Admittedly, I find the teamfourstar version to be significantly more entertaining. Nevertheless, seeing Gohan go Super Saiyan II for the first time was seriously something to watch. Like the flip of a switch, you could see Cell go from “oh yeah” to “oh no.” Watching Gohan completely demolish all of the Cell Jrs like a kid popping bubble wrap, Cell had that “oh crap” moment. After endless episodes of watching him beat the absolute daylights out of his opponents, it felt refreshing to finally watch him get his comeuppance. Also his version of ‘I did it my way’ will forever live in my head rent-free.
- Mob Psycho - Finding bodies in his burning house
Talk about a jaw dropping moment. Mob comes home late from the nurses office at school and discovers that his house is on fire. He walks in searching for any signs that they had made it out. Both his brother and father were home. They would have been smart enough to escape. When Mob opened the door you could hear Dimple yell “Mob don’t look.” The next clip shows the charred figures of what appears to be his family, lying on the ground. The complete and utter fear Dimple had on his face when he frantically told Mob that the bodies were dummies goes to show that Mob would have most likely burned down everything in his path to find out what had happened to his family. I almost wanted to see Mob go truly berserk.
We all know this one. This was actually the first anime that I had really been introduced to and watched in its totality. He sees the chimera and listens to Shou boast about his newest creation. The chimera utters the words “big brother ed.” When Ed pieces it together and discovers that Shou Tucker had turned his own daughter and her dog into a chimera, you just sit there in shock. He tries to push the blame onto the pursuit of science. He even goes so far to compare his experiment to Ed and Al’s transmutation. Overall it was a really gut-wrenching scene. Even more so when Scar finally gives her some peace and kills her.
- One Piece - Choppers first Monster Point transformation
Ok, so I know this wouldn’t even be in the top 20 best One Piece moments for most. But let me tell you, when I saw Chopper eat those rumble balls and go absolutely off the walls, it solidified my love for the anime. I had a hard time getting into this one because there were so many episodes to catch up on. Chopper turning into a massive mindless beast really added a darker tone to the story. They made the whole scene feel so animalistic and spooky. Plus this is the same arc in which Robin is officially made a crew member and we are introduced to the famous ‘Sogeking’ (who is totally not Usopp.)
- Jujutsu Kaisen - Gojo Vs. Sukuna
After being under wraps (literally) for a thousand years or so Sukuna is finally reawakened by the perfect host, Yuji Itadori, after he consumes one of his cursed fingers. Fushiguro tries to fight him off but is unfortunately on the losing end of the battle. Somehow Itadori manages to regain control of his body. Gojo appears, a bag of souvenirs in hand, and asks Itadori to let Sukuna take control for 10 seconds. Gojo makes quick work of the ancient cursed spirit that is Sukuna. His power and speed are unparalleled. The whole scene, while it didn’t last long, showed a glimpse of just how powerful Gojo Satoru is.
- Promised Neverland - Conny’s Death
This whole anime did a whole 180 when Emma and Norman walk to the gates to return Conny’s bear. Conny, a young, enthusiastic little girl waves excitedly to all of her orphanage mates as their caregiver ‘Mom’ escorts her from the building. Emma notices that her beloved bear is still sitting on the table next to them. Norman notes that mom most likely hadn’t left yet and they would still have time to return the bear. Emma stumbles back after looking in the van and discovering Conny’s lifeless body with a flower stuck in her chest. Both her and Norman proceed to hide under the van when they hear voices approaching and learn that mom has been farming the kids and selling them as food to demons. I knew absolutely nothing going into this series. I watched the first episode expecting a slice-of-life style anime. When I tell you I was ‘shooketh.’
- Fullmetal Alchemist - Maes Hughes death
Hughes death was one of the very few scenes in anime that I’ve ever cried over. This man was the very definition of a loving, doting husband and father. He brags about his daughter day in and out and cares immensely for his wife. He confronts the sin ‘Lust’ and she delivers a strong blow to his chest. He manages to escape her grasp and walk to the nearest payphone to get a hold of Roy Mustang. Only Mustang doesn’t pick up in time before Envy appears behind him in the form of Maria Ross. Hughes immediately knows this isn't her due to the lack of a mole under her eye. Envy admits to this. Hughes turns to throw a knife at his attacker before seeing the image of his wife in front of him. Envy uses this to his advantage and shoots Hughes. The funeral service brought me to tears. The line “it's a terrible day for rain” sticks with me to this day.
- My Hero Academia - All Might Vs. One for All
All Might arrives on the scene in the hopes of rescuing one of his kidnapped students, Bakugo. In the midst of the fight, you see a flashback between Toshinori and his predecessor talking about why he wanted to become a hero. All Might is reduced to his emaciated form and the whole world is watching the last flickers of his powers fade from existence. He uses the very last embers of his power and delivers the final blow to All for One, rendering him unconscious. When All Might screams “UNITED STATES OF SMASH” and the animators take it back to an almost raw level of animation, you can feel that emotion spill over. It was truly a monumental scene for me.
- One Piece - Ace and Whitebeard's death
I’ll have you readers know, I rewatched every one of these scenes for the sake of accuracy and I bawled watching this one again. This story was told over the course of 2 separate arcs. Luffy learns that his brother has been captured and is being held at Impel Down. He is set to be executed. Despite all odds, Luffy manages to break in and escape Impel Down, a place in which only 1 person had escaped from before. He fights the prison warden Magellan and is poisoned, nearly resulting in his death. By the time he wakes and recovers, he escapes and sets a course to Marineford to save his brother.
This entire arc was truly a masterpiece. Entire crews band together to save Ace. Right before the guards bring the blades to his neck, Luffy breaks him free. Finally, the feel good moment we have all been waiting for. Upon their escape, they are confronted by the Fleet Admiral, Akainu. He throws a punch that had been intended to kill Luffy, but instead goes through Ace’s chest. Whitebeard is enraged and uses his devil fruit ability to slam Akainu into the ground. Luffy begs and pleads for someone to help him. He tells Ace that he promised to stay alive. The crowd around him knows that there's nothing that can be done. Ace shares his last words and wishes with Luffy and ultimately dies. Luffy, in a state of shock, can't move. Whitebeard's crew members understand that this is where his fight ends. They rescue Luffy and flee for the ships. Whitebeard fights until his last breath and dies standing.
This was one of those moments where you really wanted that happy ending. You wanted Ace to live. You wanted all of that time and work Luffy had put into rescuing him to be worth it. But this goes to show that you can’t always get the happy story you wanted. The whole scene was really hard to absorb for me, and even to this day I can’t watch it without tearing up.
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