8 incredibly fun rivalries in anime

Some anime rivalries are action-packed and full of suspense, while others are just plain silly. Either way, it’s the fun feuds between two characters that are worth discussing. The chemistry between two different characters plays an incredibly important role in determining how “fun” any particular rivalry is, especially when it comes to recalling a feud from many years ago.

It’s worth noting that this article is about canon rivalries between two anime characters. Therefore, it won’t include fanon feuds. Similarly, filler ones from non-canon sources (such as those found in a movie) won’t be mentioned here.

8 memorable anime rivalries

1) Shōyō Hinata and Tobio Kageyama (Haikyuu!!)

They don't always get along as teammates (Image via Production IG)

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Many westerners grew up with pokemon, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s one of the most popular anime from the 90s. The TV show comes from an insanely successful video game franchise, with the first season being the most recognizable due to it happening alongside Pokemon’s initial peak as a franchise.

There are several good rivalries in the Pokemon anime, but there is a strong case to be made that Gary’s feud with Ash was the best one. Essentially, Ash Ketchum was the standard underdog Shōnen protagonist, whereas Gary Oak was a cool winner who even had his own group of cheerleaders following him around.

Ash’s feud with Paul a few generations later would have better battles and seem more intense by comparison. However, Gary’s feud was included here simply because of the first season’s legacy compared to later seasons.

3) Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba (Yu-Gi-Oh!)

Two of Yu-Gi-Oh's most iconic characters (Image via Studio Gallop)Undisputedly one of the most famous anime rivalries of all time (Image via Toei Animation)Light and L (Image via Weekly Shōnen Jump)Zoro and Sanji (Image via Toei Animation)

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Another comedic example is Kazuma Kuwabara and Hiei from YuYu Hakusho. Although the two characters never actually fought one another, they often bickered about something insignificant whenever they were on-screen with one another. Kuwabara was largely a comical character, so he would often be the one at the receiving end of whatever snarky joke Hiei threw at him.

Funnily enough, Kuwabara has a massive crush on Yukina, even though he doesn’t know that she is Hiei’s sister. It was a fun dynamic that the anime developed, especially since Kuwabara and Hiei were almost always allies fighting for the same cause.

8) Atsuko Kagari and Diana Cavendish (Little Witch Academia)

One of the more underrated anime rivalries, featuring Diana on the left, and Akko on the right (Image via Trigger)

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This feud parallels Ash and Gary’s rivalry in that one character is noticeably outclassed by another, yet that character still tries their earnest to come out on top. Both characters in this instance had their magic drained by one of Ursula’s shows, yet Diana’s determination ensured that she would eventually become the competent witch that fans of this anime know today.

Akko had a rockier start to becoming a witch by comparison, but the series still ends with her saving the day. She might have lacked some fundamental magical skills compared to somebody like Diana, yet that obstacle was what made her progression as a witch all the more enjoyable to watch.

Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul


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