There's nothing like a good fight scene, especially if it's well-animated with fluid movements, beautiful details, and impactful results.
Usually, the longer the fight scene, the more memorable it is. Time is needed to build up tension, establish the stakes, and throw the fighters through ups and downs that force them to adapt and grow.
But there are also many anime fight scenes that end in just one hit—and, surprisingly, they can be just as awesome. With the right kind of preparation, a fight that ends in the blink of an eye can be incredibly satisfying. The hard part is making sure it makes sense in the grand scheme.
Of course, One Punch Man probably comes straight to mind, given that the entire premise of that anime series centers on Saitama's ability to defeat any opponent with a single blow. But there are many other examples!
Here are our picks for the best anime fights that ended in a single hit.
14. Rill Boismortier vs. Luck Voltia (Black Clover)
Both of these Magic Knights took inspiration from the other team's fight during the Royal Knight Selection match. It was Luck Voltia who initiated the first and only blow, which he landed quickly and accurately with the help of his teammates' magic attributes.
Though he couldn't react or counterattack, Captain Rill Boismortier managed to send it back at his opponents—so, technically, it was Luck's own powerful attack that broke their own crystal.
13. Giyu Tomioka vs. Rui (Demon Slayer)
After a harsh and bloody fight, we thought that Tanjiro and Nezuko managed to defeat Rui (Lower Moon 5 Demon). But then Giyu Tomioka steps in to kill the demon.
With a single strike, Giyu instantly decapitated Rui without any resistance. This moment showcased the power of the Water Hashira and gave us a glimpse of how powerful the so-called high-ranking Demon Slayers were.
12. Hakuro vs. Kyoya Tachibana (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
To avenge the deaths of their fallen comrades, Rimuru and the rest of the troops attack the human army camping nearby—and Hakuro, the elderly swordsman, faces off against Kyoya Tachibana.
Confident in his abilities, Kyoya belittles the old man, not knowing that their first clash would be nothing compared to their next. With his Thought Acceleration ability, Kyoya saw everything: how he was decapitated with a single strike and how Hakuro caught his head in midair.
11. Monkey D. Luffy vs. Bellamy (One Piece)
Bellamy's pride was shattered by a single punch from Luffy. It served him right, given that earlier that day in the pub he trash-talked Luffy, the Sky Island, and the dreams of the pirates. He even beat both Luffy and Zoro (who didn't fight back because it wasn't worth it).
After all the hopping and springing and gaining of momentum for his supposed attack—using his Spring Spring fruit ability—he fell down and was struck unconscious the moment he got hit by Luffy.
10. Roronoa Zoro vs. Monet (One Piece)
In One Piece, you need to coat your arms and/or weapons with Haki in order to inflict damage against Logia-type Devil Fruit users. But Roronoa Zoro didn't use any Haki when he struck Monet.
Instead, he used the power of fear: he intimidated Monet with the intention of killing her. This caused Monet to panic, who believed she was cut and unable to control her Devil Fruit power. It was already over, but Tashigi then cut her with a Haki-imbued blade to finish her off.
9. Saitama vs. Garou (One Punch Man)
This one wasn't actually a fight. Rather, it was just a scene where Saitama was bothered by some dude he didn't know. Garou landed a powerful hand chop on Saitama, causing the ground below Saitama to break.
Much to his surprise, Saitama didn't even flinch—and returned with a hand chop of his own, rendering the Hero Hunter unconscious.
8. Kenpachi Zaraki vs. Giriko Kutsuzawa (Bleach)
The Fullbringer Giriko Kutsuzawa was offended by Kenpachi Zaraki when said it was boring to cut down weaklings. To prove he wasn't a weakling, Giriko transformed into his Fullbringer form and flexed his abilities.
But even so, Kenpachi cut him down in an instant, interrupting his speech and noting how boring it was. No surprise, given that Kenpachi was a monster when it came to slicing and dicing.
7. Zenitsu Agatsuma vs. Tongue Demon (Demon Slayer)
At first, it looked like Zenitsu Agatsuma was nothing more than a crybaby scaredy-cat accompanying Tanjiro, but his one-hit slash against the Tongue Demon proved he had some fight up his sleeve (with a twist).
He only knew one form of his Thunder Breathing Technique—the Thunderclap and Flash—but it was enough to behead a demon!
6. Killua Zoldyck vs. Johness (Hunter X Hunter)
The character of Johness was explored in Hunter X Hunter following his introduction in the Hunter Exam, during which even his comrades were afraid of him. Even Leorio discouraged Killua from fighting him, stating that they'd have a chance to retry the Hunter Exam next year.
But this killer of over a hundred people had his heart snatched right out of him in an instant. Killua was so fast that the heart was still beating outside the body as he held it in his hand.
5. Natsu Dragneel vs. Bluenote Stinger (Fairy Tail)
Bluenote Stinger was a mage who could go head-tohead against one of Fairy Tail's top mages, Gildarts Clive. But his fight with Natsu ended instantly, with him roasted by the Fire Dragon Slayer's magic.
In this scene, it kind of seemed like Bluenote was nerfed just to highlight Natsu's progress, but the intensity of the flames showed that Natsu wasn't holding back, and that made it pretty badass.
4. Oliva Biscuit vs. Kaiou You (Baki the Grappler)
Kaiou You started off cool in Baki the Grappler, showering the harmless Kaiou Dorian with a barrage of punches and kicks. But he couldn't accept his win of that fight, so he agreed to fight "Mr. Unchained" himself.
Boldly stating that he had trained his body to become a diamond, You was brutally crushed by Oliva. Allowing Oliva to make the first move was the worst mistake he'd ever made.
3. Nagisa Shiota vs. Akira Takaoka (Assassination Classroom)
A terror teacher would be any student's nightmare, but not for Nagisa Shiota. When Akira Takaoka first entered as Class 3-E's PE teacher, he treated them rudely and unjustly.
In their match—which would determine whether Takaoka leaves Class 3-E—Nagisa showed off his fluid and terrifying assassination skills, rendering the teacher traumatized. Though the fight isn't bloody, you can still feel the pressure because of what's at stake.
2. Escanor vs. Derocchio (Seven Deadly Sins: Prisoners of the Sky)
We saw Escanor's immense power in his first-ever slash and how he toyed with Galland in the main series, but his fight against Derocchio in Prisoners of the Sky was way more savage.
He was a proud person, even going as far as calling himself the "King of the Jungle" in front of the Lion's Sin of Pride. How fitting for him to perish with a single swing of the Divine Axe Rhitta.
We can't blame Derocchio for not putting up a good fight against Escanor, given that he's someone who can stand his ground even against high-ranking demons like Meliodas and the Demon King.
1. Asta vs. Sekke Bronzazza (Black Clover)
What makes this one-hit fight scene so amazing and satisfying is how Asta was mocked and judged for being a magicless peasant who can't conjure elements or fly on magic brooms.
Sekke Bronzazza picked Asta as his final round opponent, believing that Asta wouldn't stand a chance. But that's when Asta he showed everyone—including the Squad Captains—what he's capable of.
Combining his destructive physical strength with his Anti-Magic swords, Asta put Sekke to shame with just one blow.