In the endless number of fights that exist in anime, we see characters utilize special attacks and unique abilities to overcome one another and defend others who can’t defend themselves. Some of these special abilities are only wielded by a select few or even one character. Others may be a common ability shared by many. But a technique almost every anime character possesses in some form is the ability to fight physically. Most people think of punches in when hearing “physical combat”, and there are certainly some impressive punches that have been done. However, equally as impressive as punches are kicks.
It can be argued that kicking is more impressive than punching because of it not being as easy as to perform a kick as opposed to throwing a punch in a fight, therefore requiring more skill to do and perform. It can also be argued that kicking can do more damage to an opponent than punching can. Whatever the case may be, it cannot be denied that anime certainly has its fair share of kicks that are beyond impressive, whether it’s because of its effectiveness in combat or the context of the situation it was used in. Here are the Top 10 Anime Kicks.
10. Taiga Aisaka’s Kick(s), Toradora! (Season 1 Episode 14)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2008 - Mar 2009
A romantic comedy anime, Toradora focuses on Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka as they try to help each other with winning the hearts of the other’s best friend. However, both of these characters have their quirks. In the case of Taiga Aisaka aka the “Palmtop Tiger”, she has a short temper that usually results in her taking out her frustration in a violent manner, most often by kicking someone or something in epic fashion. How such a short girl like Aisaka is able to perform the types of kicks she does is impressive, such as when she uses both feet to kick Takasu in midair. In the context of the story, Aisaka’s kicks are done for humorous effect more than anything else. If you’re a fan of over the top physical violence in response to situations that more often then than not don’t call for it, Toradora has multiple examples of Aisaka kicking this way that all deliver on this idea.
9. Hiyori’s kick against Urahara, Bleach (Season 11 Episode 207)
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: Oct 2004 - Mar 2012
Bleach is a long enough series where the characters and the story have been built up enough to the point where flashbacks are warranted. In one of these flashbacks, we see Hiyori training with Urahara. Her kick(s) against him serves as another example of a kick used primarily for humorous effect; however, her kick works as a joke on multiple levels. Not only does Hiyori make an attempt to kick Urahara in his most sensitive area, she actually fully connects with it. However, Urahara does not indicate in any manner that Hiyori’s kick had any effect what so ever. In the meantime, Hiyori is clutching her leg, questioning just what exactly she kicked for her leg to be in so much pain. Hiyori’s kick stands out as a reverse of what is normally the opposite to happen whenever kicks like those are employed in anime to humorous effect.
8. Lucy Kick, Fairy Tail (Season 2 Episode 51)
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 2009 - Mar 2013
The main female character of Fairy Tail, Lucy Heartfilia is a celestial mage with powerful magic that only grows stronger as the story progresses. Lucy is certainly a force to be reckoned with as she uses this magic in combat. However, her use of the technique that’s now become known as “Lucy Kick” is both humorous and effective. A Melee Combat ability, Lucy simply charges in the direction of her opponent and uses that momentum to deliver a single kick to the opponent. Lucy has knocked out multiple opponents with this technique, and the humor lies in the simplicity of it in comparison to her arsenal of magic attacks as well as the sometimes unexpected use of it. Not often do we see legit kick techniques that are also pretty funny at times, but the Lucy Kick technique delivers on both.
7. Gintoki Kick, Gintama (Season 2 Episode 74)
- Episodes: 316
- Aired: Apr 2006 - Mar 2010
Gintoki is a serious student of the sword as he struggles to make a living as a samurai in a time where the world doesn’t need samurai anymore. Often times, he relies on his sword as he fights his opponents, but whenever his sword breaks or his sword techniques are not proving to be effective, Gin has plenty of physical techniques up his sleeve ready to use. One of those techniques includes his absurdly powerful kick. Sometimes the situation calls for such power, like when Gin uses his powerful flying kick against a car that a bad guy was driving, causing it to flip over. Often times it is comical, such as when Gin kicks a taxi driver to save Shinpachi because a mysterious unibrow outbreak had taken place and the taxi driver had a unibrow. Whichever the case is, you can count on Gin to use his technique for practicality, humor, and a mixture of both.
6. Rock Lee’s 1st Successful Kick on Gaara, Naruto (Season 2 Episode 48)
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct 2002 - Feb 2007
In the 3rd Round of the Chunin Exam, Rock Lee and Gaara are the opponents matched together, with the winner moving on to the final round. Up until this point in the series, Gaara has been untouchable. He has won the few encounters we’ve seen him in with hardly any effort and has yet to suffer even a scratch, something Kankuro clues Naruto in on as they watch Lee take on him. However, Lee’s incredible speed as well as his mastery of taijutsu allows him to be the first to bypass Garra’s sand shield with a powerful kick to the head. Not only did this technique start a chain of attacks from Lee that almost won him the match, it was also eye opening to the other ninja participating in the exam that as powerful as Gaara was, he was not untouchable. Sasuke would employ Lee’s strategy in his fight with Gaara later on. All of this was accomplished by what seems like a simple kick to the head but what represents something much larger in the context of the series.
5. Android 17’s Kick to Dr. Gero, DBZ (Season 4 Episode 134)
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: Apr 1989 – Jan 1996
In one of the biggest moments in the Android Saga, Dr. Gero succeeds in doing what is Trunks’ worst nightmare: he successfully activates Android 17 and Android 18. However, things don’t go as expected. It becomes quite apparent that Androids 17 and 18 have their own plans as they mock Dr. Gero, and don’t take kindly to the remote he tries to threaten them with. As a result, Android 17 decides that enough is enough, and in one swift kick decapitates Dr. Gero’s head in front of Krillin, Tien, Piccolo, Vegeta, and Trunks. Everyone is shocked at what Android 17 has just done except for Trunks, who fully knows what they are capable of. If the Z warriors weren’t worried before, they are now, as 17’s kick marks just who exactly they’re dealing with. Definitely effective in making a 1st impression.
4. Luffy’s Gum-Gum Battle Axe to finish Arlong, One Piece (Season 1 Episode 43)
- Episodes: 762 (as of now)
- Aired: Oct 1999 – currently airing
It’s easy to talk about Sanji and his many effective kicking techniques, and one of them is further down this list. However, Luffy’s kick to end his battle with Arlong cannot be ignored. Blinded by rage as he watches Luffy destroy the room Nami grew up making Arlong’s sea charts at his command, Arlong goes for the kill. However, Luffy uses his Gum-Gum Battle Axe to stretch his leg so high that when he brings it down on Arlong, he destroys Arlong Park as well. This is early on in the series where Haki has not been brought up; this was all of Luffy’s strength and grit combined with his Gum-Gum ability to take down a Fish-Man. The fact that Luffy’s kick strong enough to literally bring down an empire is nothing short of incredible, and serves as one of the big moments why Luffy deserves to be the pirate captain.
3. Goku and Jackie Chun’s Final Kicks, Dragonball (Season 1 Episode 28)
- Episodes: 153
- Aired: Feb 1986 - Apr 1989
Before we had the amazing fights that we did in Dragonball Z, we had some amazing fights in Dragonball that showed what was yet to come. Goku’s fight with Master Roshi aka Jackie Chun in the final match of the 21st Tenkachi Budokai is one filled with numerous techniques employed by both fighters as well as crazy shenanigans throughout. These would include Goku turning into a giant monkey during the fight as well as Jackie Chun destroying the moon with his Kamehameha Wave. However, in the end, the fight comes down to the both of them executing flying kicks at each other and connecting, with Jackie Chun getting the win only because he did a little more damage due to his legs being longer. A fitting end to a fitting match.
2. Lord Boros Kicks Saitama to the Moon, One Punch Man (Season 1 Episode 12)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 2015 - Dec 2015
In the final battle of the series between Lord Boros and Saitama, Saitama is finally faced with an opponent where one punch or one kick won’t completely obliterate the enemy. Numerous punches and kicks are exchanged until Boros puts his power into a kick so hard that it sent Saitama flying off planet Earth entirely and onto the moon. This technique was effective in not only showing the sheer power Boros has, but also the kind of power Saitama possesses as he is able to return back to Earth and defeat Boros. So simple, yet so dominant.
1. Sanji’s Amour Shot in Dressrosa, One Piece (Season 17 Episode 639)
- Episodes: 762 (as of now)
- Aired: Oct 1999 – currently airing
If you had to think of one character whenever kicks are mentioned, it would be “Black Leg” Sanji. His kicks are already impressive when he first joins the Straw Hats, having learned from “Red Shoes” Zeff. However, his kicks become that much more powerful once Sanji starts to employ Haki as well as becoming stronger after the time skip. Among his numerous kicks, one of the best examples is where Sanji uses his Amour Shot to save Violet in Dressrosa. Sanji’s kick is so powerful that his opponent is sent flying out of sight. With the series still ongoing, we can only expect more powerful kicks from Sanji in the episodes to come.
Humor, battle worthy, or both, anime certainly has its fair share of kicks that are pretty impactful. Something that happens so quickly can sometimes serve as a symbol for something greater, and executing a powerful kick is a great example of that. What are your guys’ thoughts? Was there an obvious kick missing from this list? Was there a kick that shouldn’t have even been included? Do you agree with the #1 choice? Let us know in the comments!