Gif from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Bones.
It may not seem like it, but one-sided fights can be just as entertaining as the close ones. With just the right flare, just the right build up, and various other uses of phrases beginning with “just the right”, a fight where there is a clear and obvious winner fairly early on can be entertaining. Fights like these can illicit a cathartic release of emotions despite the fact that the identity of the winner is hardly in question. Whether it’s the emotions of hopelessness, sadness, anger; or even the happy satisfaction of seeing a vile character get their due beating, there’s nothing quite like watching someone getting their ass kicked.
Prepare your stomachs, prepare your hearts, get a cold drink out of the fridge, and maybe even let a bit of your sadistic tendencies out. Time for a few of my favorite beatdowns!
1. Alucard vs. Luke Valentine
From Hellsing: Ultimate
Clip From Hellsing: Ultimate. Madhouse.
It starts as a fair fight but quickly becomes a gruesome murder. Luke Valentine was cocky enough to believe that he could fight on par or even better than the vampire Alucard and paid the price for it dearly. For all intents and purposes he does keep up with him at first but once Alucard releases the limiters on his unholy power he quickly outpaces his opponent. Frightened beyond belief, Luke’s attempt to run away is quickly cut two legs short and he falls to the floor. Left with no where to go, he becomes literal dog food for Alucard’s familiars.
To this day, Alucard’s words still sends a sharp chill up my spine. “”Summon up your familiars. Transform your body. Heal your severed legs and stand! The evening is still so young. Hurry! Hurry! HURRY! Pull yourself together. The fun has just begun…” Luke Valentine was never fighting a mere supernatural being, he was fighting a monster. Plain and simple.
2. Ladd Russo vs. Henchmen of Huey Laforet
Clip from Bacanno! Brain’s Base.
Ladd Russo just won’t stop talking! Even outnumbered and facing down a few thugs with guns, Ladd doesn’t really let up on the jibber or the jabber. Jabber being a keep point here as he proceeds to beat down an unlucky thug that didn’t manage to get away. It’s one terrible strike after the next until Ladd does some amateur plastic surgery on his face and turns it into a bloody mess. The sadistic tendencies run high with this man.
If the beating wasn’t enough, the poor henchman has to listen to Ladd droll on and on about whatever comes to mind. He goes from boxing, to the type of people he enjoys killing, and even a tender bit on sausage. By the end, he probably can’t even hear Ladd, not that he would care.
Clip from Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho. Studio Pierrot.
Don’t mess with this mama’s boy. Roto decides to threaten Kurama with the life of his dear mother but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t compete with Kurama’s tactical genius. He throws a pebble as a distraction to firmly plant the seed of the Death Plant into his chest. Roto then proceeds to do what every villian does and gloats until it incubates. Then left paralyzed and helpless, Roto asks for Kurama to spare his life, and the sniveling coward even asks if he believes in mercy. With a cold “No.” he kills him outright.
The Dark Tournament Saga is often said to be one of the best tournament arcs in anime. It’s fights like these that present compelling evidence for such a claim.
4. Roy Mustang vs. Envy
Clip from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Bones.
For all of their regenerative capabilities, homunculi really can’t stand up to the heat. This is more of a series of small fights than one big slobberknocker but no matter had hard Envy tries he is just no match for Roy’s flame alchemy despite trying every dirty trick in the book. He grows large, he mimics Hughes, and runs away multiple times only to be defeated by the lethal end of Mustang’s finger snap at its conclusion. One… Twice… multiple times… it is quite the cathartic release to watch Maes’ killer finally get his due punishment at the hands of his friend, Roy Mustang.
Honorable mention here goes to the fight between Roy Mustang and Lust. Similar in execution and concept we find Roy saving the day once again with his own brand of fiery explosions. I said it once and I’ll say it again. Homunculi regenerative capabilities ain’t nothing against the sheer fire power of Roy Mustang.
5. Shichika vs the 11 Deviant Blades
Clip from Katanagatari. AMV from Yomi’s AMV s. White Fox. Song: A Demon’s Fate by Within Temptation.
Broken down to it’s core, this series of fights is essentially a video game boss rush animated with the cheat codes on. No longer bound by his promise to not destroy the Deviant Blades and to protect himself, Shichika wrecks his way through the top of the tower in quick succession. One broken blade or broken person after the next, he makes quick work of every contender that even attempts to hinder his suicide rush to the top of the tower. Due to either previous knowledge or an incapable wielder, no one can bring out the full potential of each deviant blade until he reaches the top of the tower.
Once he is there, the true fight can begin with Emonzaemon Souda. Though the final fight wouldn’t be nearly as epic without the subsequential beatdowns that came before it. Which ends Katanagatari on a high note as one of the best endings to an anime I’ve ever seen.