In anime, there have often been moments where the story lags behind. Whether because of an underwhelming protagonist or an equally abysmal plot, it often requires a compelling and dramatic moment in order to kick things up a notch.
Fortunately, there are dozens of instances where a single scene is so powerful that it saves the entire narrative from losing its audience and momentum. Usually, it is visually spectacular and significant to the plot. These legendary and iconic moments are able to turn a previously dull story into an outstanding one.
10 The League Of Villain’s Arrival Stopped UA From Being A Slice Of Life (My Hero Academia)
The first few episodes of My Hero Academia made it seem as if the show would be a dull slice of life following Deku’s adventures and budding interest in Uraraka. Although adversity existed through petty villains, they were not pervasive enough to be of note.
This changed when the League of Villains arrived to threaten Class 1-A. In addition to showing what All Might was capable of, it redefined the tone of the series and reminded audiences that danger was never far off.
9 The Rumbling Was Long In The Making (Attack On Titan)
Despite a spectacular third season, Attack On Titan struggled from serious pacing issues after the invasion of Liberio. Many of the introduced characters weren’t interesting, and the constant string of political machinations lost their novelty.
However, it all paid off when Eren finally unleashed the cinematic Rumbling. His army of colossal titans provided a worthy final antagonist to the series and clarified his previously incoherent partnership with Zeke Yeager. Though the ending remains highly controversial, the series had a magnificent segue into the final act.
8 Akame’s Fight With Esdeath Broke Tropes (Akame Ga Kill!)
Though an incredibly active series with high stakes, Akame Go Kill! suffered from redundancy. In most battles, a hero would either die before the villain or immediately afterward. Akame’s fight with Esdeath revitalized the show with a satisfying conclusion for a number of reasons.
Not only did Akame break the series’ convention by actually surviving, but she also unleashed the full extent of her imperial arms for the first time ever. Considering Esdeath’s substantial antagonistic role, one might even claim that she stole the role of main character in the final act.
7 Biscuit Oliva & Guevara Checked Baki’s Ego (Baki)
When Guevara and Oliva prepared for their fight, Baki clamored for his chance to have a go at either of them. He hoped to provoke them through his words and did not care that tensions were already high. Unexpectedly, they retaliated by punching him in the face at the same time, which immediately knocked him out.
This single strike had excellent implications for the series. Not only did it portray Baki’s two biggest adversaries in a positive light, but it also illustrated that his recklessness sometimes had consequences.
6 Joseph’s Fight Against Santana Breathed Mystery Into The Series (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Battle Tendency had a serious issue with its apparent repetitiveness. For the beginning half of Joseph Joestar’s adventures, it seemed like his only opponents were vampires, which had already been seen before, and other humans, who were relatively easy for him to defeat.
However, everything changed after encountering Pillar Man Santana. Joseph needed to make unlikely partners and quick decisions in order to narrowly defeat him. Despite his lofty efforts, it was later revealed that Santana was the weakest of Kars’ underlings.
5 Sasuke Protecting Naruto Added Depth To Their Relationship (Naruto)
At first, the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke seemed straightforward and standoffish. They were constantly at each other’s throats, and Sakura did not do much to add nuance the team’s dynamic.
However, Sasuke’s decision to save Naruto from Haku in the Land of Waves improved their synergy and the series overall. Not only did it make the boys’ relationship special, but it also helped to justify Naruto’s determination to save him in the later acts of the series. Otherwise, his devotion to the rogue Uchiha would seem more like an obsession.
4 The Cardinal Heroes Came Together To Defeat The Pope (Rising Of The Shield Hero)
Pope Balmus was one of the highest-ranking individuals of the country and a conspirator in overthrowing the Queendom. When he revealed his machinations, the cardinal heroes stepped forward in order to stop him.
This scene was significant for a number of reasons. Not only did it fully exonerate Naofumi from his defamation, but it also proved that in spite of the other cardinal heroes’ idiocy, they at least tried to be heroic. Their victory also set an entirely new precedent for the rest of the series.
3 Meruem’s Mercy Drove Home The Message Of The Chimera Ant Arc (Hunter X Hunter)
The chimera ant arc’s intended message was to display the humanity in monsters and the monstrousness in humans. Despite the story’s best attempts to humanize the villains, however, the moral did not entirely come through due to villains like Rammot and Neferpitou.
However, Meruem’s decision to spare the remaining hunters after his victory over Netero ensured that audiences comprehended his humanity. Instead of spending his final hours getting vengeance, he enjoyed Komugi’s company.
2 Luffy’s Fight With Arlong Was The Series’ True Beginning (One Piece)
many One Piece fans claim that the series starts with a crawl. It is a fairly accurate criticism, as antagonists like Buggy the Clown, Kuro, and Don Krieg have failed to make a lasting impression on both audiences and the series as a whole.
However, this dynamic changed when Luffy fought Arlong. Not only was the fight extremely tough, but it also gave every Straw Hat a chance to show their skills. Furthermore, Luffy received his first official bounty after Arlong’s defeat since he threatened a corrupt naval officer.
1 Near’s Victory Over Light Finally Gave The Series Closure (Death Note)
The second act of Death Note paled in comparison to the first. The ironically named Near’s distance from Light limited their interactions, which made the mind games between them far less compelling than the ones that Light had with L.
However, the series had a satisfying conclusion when Near finally exposed Light before the entire Japanese Task Force. It made L’s death feel meaningful and ensured that the narrative did not close on a depressing note. Nevertheless, it also humanized Light in his final moments by showing the origins of the increasingly warped path he took leading to his demise.
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