Anime series often pit characters against each other. And while we love watching action-packed fight scenes, we can’t deny that many anime fights are simply unfair and unbalanced. One-sided, even.
And it’s usually our beloved protagonist who’s the weaker one up against a stronger, larger, and more capable opponent. Sometimes the fight forces our protagonist to surpass their limits and gain new powers, other times our protagonist nearly dies and barely gets away alive.
Here are some of the most unfair and unbalanced fights in anime history that we enjoyed watching anyway.
15. Altair vs. Selesia (Re:Creators)
Re:Creators centers on characters from popular media that are brought into the real world (isekai). Selesia is a princess knight who drives a mecha warrior Vogelchevalier, while Altair (the Military Uniform Princess) is a creation who gets its power from fanfiction.
Though Selesia is already a badass fighter, she’s no match for Altair, who has powers and abilities granted by the fanfiction about her. This results in Selesia recruiting other creations and creators to fight with her.
14. Koro Sensei vs. Tentacled Reaper (Assassination Classroom)
Koro Sensei is the most powerful being, possessing Mach 20 supersonic speed (up to 15,500 mph), superhuman strength, and is the first human with anti-matter tentacles. During the final episodes, he fights Reaper: a former student who takes on his former identity.
The Reaper, now also tentacled, is a product of enhanced anti-matter experiments and was solely created to defeat Koro Sensei. That means he has more superhuman strength and is capable of a top-speed reaching Mach 40, double Koro Sensei’s speed.
13. Shoto Todoroki vs. Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia)
The UA Sports Festival features the Todoroki versus Midoriya fight, which was one of the most anticipated matches of the series.
Izuku Midoriya, with his One For All Quirk, is up against Shoto Todoroki, who only uses his ice powers (which is only half of his total ice-and-fire Quirk). The match seems equal between Izuku’s explosive attacks and the large-scale ice towers created by Shoto.
Due to One For All’s toll on Midoriya’s body, Todoroki has the edge—and by the time he decides to use his fire powers, Midoriya has all of his fingers and arms damaged (twice). Talk about unbalanced.
12. Saitama vs. Villains (One Punch Man)
Almost everyone knows Saitama and how he can end a fight with just a single punch. With his epic entrance and serious game face, any enemy will die or vanish in an instant with one blow.
Prior to Saitama’s entrance, other heroes worked hard to surpass their limits, like when Genos intended to do self-destruction, which he thought would bring the Elder Centipede down. But against Saitama, no one stands a chance—such is his power advantage.
11. Goku vs. Beerus (Dragon Ball Super)
In front of Beerus, the god of destruction, Goku and Vegeta are nowhere near his level. We can’t expect Goku to win as he did in his fights before using the ultimate Super Saiyan 3 mode—so it’s good that Goku and Vegeta didn’t piss off Beerus and make him use Hakkai on them.
And because of its foods and delicacies, the planet is spared from destruction and the duo get a chance to train in Beerus’ place with Whis.
10. Rin vs. Amaimon (Blue Exorcist)
Rin and Amaimon were brothers, both being the sons of a devil. During their fights, Rin never wants to unsheathe his sword and make use of his blue flames (because his friends might find out who he really is).
On the other hand, Amaimon—who can use his power at will and is trained for it—takes advantage of the situation to beat him down.
Because of Amaimon’s provocations, Rin eventually uses his sword out of desperation to save his friends, thus revealing his true identity as a devil’s son to everyone. He manages to turn the tide of battle with his immense power, but he was almost consumed by it.
9. Zoro vs. Mihawk (One Piece)
Their first encounter shows how badly Zoro wants to defeat Mihawk and become the world’s strongest swordsman.
Mihawk, on the other hand, just uses a small sword (as long as a finger) to counter Zoro’s three-sword technique. That’s how far apart their levels are: a rookie pirate against one of the Seven Warlords of the sea.
Though Mihawk cuts him with the Great Blade Yoru as a courtesy for having the courage to face him, Zoro manages to survive and grow into the badass pirate he is now.
8. Brook vs. Big Mom (One Piece)
There’s no way Brook is going to win against Big Mom, but he still manages to eliminate some of her army with his Soul Ability, which is a natural countermove for the Soul Soul Fruit of the Emperor.
Though he can’t win, he manages to obtain a copy of the Ponyglyph and remain intact because of his peculiarity.
7. Uchiha Madara vs. Allied Shinobi Forces (Naruto Shippuden)
Although the Allied Shinobi Forces of the Five Great Nations is comprised of capable ninjas and samurai warriors, they are nothing but a mere toy in the face of the legendary Uchiha Madara.
Another thing that makes this fight so one-sided in Madara’s favor is that he’s reanimated with Hashirama cells, making him able to use the Wood Release Technique of the First Hokage.
During the clash with the numerous shinobi, he isn’t even scratched once—as if to say he doesn’t even need a reanimated body to keep fighting and bring the five nations down all by himself. Even the Kages of each village were no match for Madara in 5-versus-1 combat.
6. Naruto and Sasuke vs. Isshiki (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations)
The Ishiiki vs. Naruto and Sasuke moment is one of the better fight scenes in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, where we can see that despite being the most powerful ninjas, Naruto and Sasuke stand no chance against an Otsutsuki.
The Susanoo, Sage-plus-Kurama mode, and the Rinnegan are no use against Isshiki, a member of the clan to which Hagoromo and Kaguya (the founders of chakra and the Tailed Beasts) belonged to.
This was also one of the more heartbreaking scenes because Kurama gives up his life for Naruto to gain an enormous power—on par or far stronger than Isshiki’s—just to defeat the enemy.
5. Meliodas vs. Ten Commandments (Seven Deadly Sins)
The Dragon’s Sin Meliodas is beaten to death by his former comrades, the Ten Commandments, in battle. We knew he’d use his Full Revenge ability to accumulate all the damage from his enemies’ attacks, but it was wasted because Estarossa knew he’d do that.
If only Meliodas was in his true form, the match would be equal and the Ten Commandments would have a hard time conquering the land.
4. Ippo Makunouchi vs. Ichiro Miyata (Hajime no Ippo)
Ippo Makunouchi, a total beginner, is pitted against Ichiro Miyata, an experienced rookie boxer, in a match hosted at Kamogawa Boxing Gym.
After receiving a barrage of punches from Miyata, Ippo manages to connect an uppercut that brings him victory. His determination, perseverance, and stamina miraculously turn the tables around.
3. Kurama vs. Bakken (Yu Yu Hakusho)
During the Dark Tournament Saga of Yu Yu Hakusho, Kurama fights Gama, where he’s restrained and unable to move by the latter’s ability. Still, he defeats his opponent using a rose whip grown out of his hair.
In the following matches, even though he still can’t move, he fights his second opponent, Touya, and wins—but ends up in an unconscious state before his last match with Bakken, who takes advantage of the situation and beats him heavily.
2. Ochaco Uraraka vs. Katsuki Bakugo (My Hero Academia)
Another one-sided fight from My Hero Academia is when Ochaco goes against Bakugo. Ochaco Uraraka and her Gravity Quirk is best for supporting roles and rescue missions, while Bakugo’s Explosion Quirk is suited for combat-style hero endeavors.
Though we know who’s going to win—Ochaco stands no chance—we see her determination and critical thinking as she plans to turn the debris from Bakugo’s explosion into a rain of stones toward him.
1. Sasuke vs. Itachi (Naruto Shippuden)
Sasuke had grown stronger after years of training and acquiring Orochimaru’s cursed seal, all while Itachi had grown weaker due to his severe illness. Furthermore, Itachi’s Sharingan was used so often that his vision had grown severely impaired.
In any other circumstance, Itachi would’ve wiped the floor with Sasuke—and he even has the upper hand in the fight a few times—but Sasuke wins because Itachi is debilitated in so many ways. It’s almost hard to say that Sasuke even “won” given the conditions.