Two warriors stand face to face in the arena, the tension in the air weighs down upon them both. Fists become clenched, legs shift slightly and neither person blinks. However, in a flash maybe it was a gust of wind, or maybe a far off shout, but both fighters move towards each other as if that was the signal for the fight to begin proper. We here at Honey’s Anime welcome you to a fun list of top 10 martial arts anime movies.
The world of the martial arts genre is pretty interesting. Even in anime movies that have swords or ninjas, you can see hints and signs of martial arts being implemented. Here at Honey’s Anime we went and witnessed dozens of action packed martial arts movie to find the best of the best, the ones that stand above the rest as victors after a heated duel. We tried to make sure to have everything from feudal lords battling for territory dominance to shinobi battling to prove their love and to keep their world safe from evil. I’m sure you’ll come to enjoy this list as you read it and will find a suitable show for your watching pleasure. Thus with that being said, let us sit down and witness a battle for the top spot of martial arts anime movies.
10. Yawara! Sore Yuke Koshinuke Kids!!
- Episodes: 60 mins
- Air Date: Aug 1, 1992
It’s hard for a young kid to enter the Judo tournament, luckily Yawara is there to help out. In Yawara! Sore Yuke Koshinuke Kids, a new Judo tournament is about to begin and several of the young competitors are finding their own battles start before they set foot into the ring. Yawara, our main female lead, must help out these kids such as Hanazono’s cousin or another young girl who seems to really idolize Yawara. Can Yawara give these kids the confidence they need?
Yawara Sore Yuke Koshinuke Kids is an awesome movie. In many ways Yawara Sore Yuke Koshinuke acts to teach people to be confident in themselves, a concept that is needed for anyone who wishes to be a martial artist of any creed. Despite an older setup and older animation, studio Madhouse still does a fantastic job creating unique characters with strong stylings. While Yawara Sore Yuke Koshinuke may be at the bottom list it still rose against other competitors for a spot on our martial arts list. Now what are you waiting for? Go and watch this fun movie!
9. Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture
- Episodes: 90 mins
- Air Date: Jul 16, 1994
Laocorn Gaudeamus has the money and has the resources, but he wants more. Laocorn goes on a mission to locate an old ancient suit of armor said to have been worn by the God of War Mars. Sulia, Laocorn’s twin sister, realizes her brother gaining such a power will be disastrous to the whole world so Sulia asks several warriors, Terry, Andy, Mai and Joe to stop her brother at any cost. These warriors are about to enter various battles in order to save the world from possible annihilation. No pressure, right?
The Fatal Fury series has been a well-known video game franchise full of martial artists battling against each other; it’s no wonder it would be given an anime adaptation and a movie. While loosely based off the game series, Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture still incorporates the great fights and the famous characters the series is known and loved for. Animation is extremely strong and each fight can be felt by the viewer due to their unrealistic but cool fight choreography. We at Honey’s Anime are a fan of both video games and anime, thus Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture hits that sweet spot. Go and journey alongside Terry, Mai, Joe and Andy to enjoy their romp together against those who use the martial arts in an evil way.
8. Tekken: Blood Vengeance
- Episodes: 93 mins
- Air Date: Jul 26, 2011
The G Corporation is once again up to something and apparently at the center of this new possible plot stands a young student by the name of Shin Kamiya. Nina Williams, one of G Corporation’s “employees” asks for Ling Xiaoyu’s help in finding Shin. Ling must now transfer to Kyoto University in order to gain information on Shin yet there stands another person named Alisa Bosconovitch who seems to have her eyes on Shin. What does G Corporation want with Shin and is Alisa merely a friend to Ling? Departing the usual Iron Fist Tournament story, Tekken: Blood Vengeance aims to tell of a story that takes place outside of the ring.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance takes some of the video game franchise’s main characters and throws into an epic CGI animated movie. While it may not be about the usual Iron Fist Tournament, Tekken: Blood Vengeance aims to still have some butt kicking action thanks to various martial arts being used. Tekken: Blood Vengeance’s story is also interesting allowing both fans and newcomers to the franchise equal enjoyment in seeing characters outside their usual elements. Overall, Tekken: Blood Vengeance aims to be both a homage and a spin off to the Tekken lore, but nonetheless is enjoyable and we highly recommend it.
7. Monkey King: Hero Is Back
- Episodes: 94 mins
- Air Date: Jul 10, 2015
All have heard of the legend of the Monkey King. Able to traverse the world, he is known to be stronger than most and capable of amazing feats. However, the Monkey King goes against too many of the Gods rules and is thus thrown into an ice prison. Due to the Money King’s disappearance, China begins to suffer as dark forces begin to ravage villages and cities. Retreating to safety, a young boy happens across the Monkey King’s prison and when he touches it, releases the King from his confinement. A grand adventure awaits in the tale of The Monkey King: Hero Is Back.
The Monkey King is a famous legend that has spread worldwide as a famous story. The legend has been used for inspiration in many different forms of anime, manga and even video games. However, Monkey King: Hero Is Back attempts to take the tale of the legend and forge a newer age story reviving the legend himself. Watch as an unstoppable force fights those that stand against him with equal power to save China from the darkness forming around it. Boasting some unique animation stylings, plenty of martial arts goodness and a fun story that adheres to all ages, the Monkey King: Hero Is Back is definitely a movie we recommend to watch.
6. Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter
- Episodes: 92 mins
- Air Date: Mar 30, 2005
Acting as a prequel to the popular series Tenjou Tenge, Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter aims to tell the story of the titular female leads Maya Natsume and Masataka Takayanagi. Already paving the way towards being the best warriors, Maya and Masataka notice something odd is happening to Shin, Maya’s brother. Mitsuomi believes that he is the only one capable of bringing down Shin but the two girls aren’t about to let Mitsuomi take the center stage. Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter aims to reveal elements of the story unseen in the main anime all while making sure to have plenty of martial arts action the series is so well known for.
In most martial arts movies, guys get the most screen time. Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter aims to make sure you remember there are plenty of girls who can kick just as much butt as any male lead. Still boasting the series great animation thanks to studio Madhouse, fans of the series will love the return to the series in movie format. If you found yourself loving Tenjou Tenge as a whole, we’ll say you’ll have no issue enjoying Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter. Don’t mess with these girls, they aren’t afraid to fight back.
5. Street Fighter II: The Movie
- Episodes: 101 mins
- Air Date: Aug 6, 1994
Street Fighter II, the world famous arcade game finally gets its chance as an anime movie with Street Fighter II: The Movie. Shadowloo the evil organization set for world domination led by its master M. Bison aims for an evil plan. Their plan is simple: take over the world by brainwashing the strongest warriors seen in the martial arts world. Meanwhile, Chun-Li, Interpol Agent, and Major Guile of the US Air Force team up to go against Shadowloo, putting their differences aside. Unknown to the plot going after strongest martial artists, Ryu, who is considered one of the best, is still wandering around in search of himself. M.Bison knows that only one thing can get to Ryu and that is Ryu’s best friend, Ken Masters…
Street Fighter has always been the best example of a famous martial arts 2D fighter in the gaming world. Street Fighter II: The Movie attempts to mimic that feeling in an anime movie and it does it successfully thanks to studio Group TAC. Besides being an ultimate homage to those who love the street fighter lore, newcomers can also view Street Fighter II: The Movie without any prior knowledge of the franchise. Kicks, hadokens and sonic booms fly in Street Fighter II: The Movie.
4. Ranma ½: Chuugoku Nekonron Daikessen! Okite Yaburi no Gekitou-hen!! (Ranma ½: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China)
- Episodes: 74 mins
- Air Date: Nov 2, 1991
Ranma ½ returns in true form thanks to this epic movie. Saotome Ranma, who becomes a girl when hit with water, is enjoying a peaceful day at the Tendo residence. However, a Chinese girl named Lychee bursts into the calm abode seeking atonement for a promise made to her when she was a young girl. Kirin and the Seven Lucky Gods make the situation more chaotic when they appear and take Akane as a future bride. Ranma and his allies will now embark on a trip to Nekonron China to save Akane from her marriage. The famous series returns in Ranma ½ : Chuugoku Nekonron Daikessen Okite Yaburi no Gekitou-hen!
The Ranma ½ has always been famous as a martial arts anime, and this movie adaptation does a tremendous job bringing back the series to its fighting ways. Ranma ½ : Chuugoku Nekonron Daikessen Okite Yaburi no Gekitou-hen aims to focus on fighting and adventure with a nice tinge of comedy as the viewer watches the story unfold. The series’ famous characters return which adds a nice enjoyment to those who grew up with the Ranma ½ series. If you love older anime movies and love older anime series we at Honey’s Anime direct you to watch Ranma ½: Chuugoku Nekonron Daikessen Okite Yaburi no Gekitou-hen. Now we feel like watching the classic Ranma ½ excuse us.
3. Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen (Fist of the North Star: Raoh Side Story Junai Arc)
- Episodes: 95 mins
- Air Date: Mar 11, 2006
Kenshiro master of the legendary martial art known as Hokuto Shinken returns. Acting as a remake to the series plot Hokuto no Ken, Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen aims to once again go into Kenshiro’s tragic story. Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen talks about the moments of Kenshiro parting ways with his brothers Toki and Raoh once he was given the right to be the successor of Hokuto Shinken. Kenshiro runs into Lynn and Bart in his adventures and aims to focus on the story of Kenshiro and party running into an evil overlord. The Overlord’s aim is to use kidnapped children as slaves to build a giant Pyramid for him. Kenshiro and his group will not allow this cruelty to continue and rush in to take action.
In many ways Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen aims to be both a remake to the original series all while being a side story in movie form. Regardless of this plot, what matters is the return of fists and kicks flying, something Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen does tremendously well. Thanks to studio TMS Entertainment, Kenshiro and his world have been given an animation overhaul looking incredible in comparison to the 1987 series. If you want your action dial set to 100, Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen is waiting for you to hit the play button.
2. Sengoku Basara Movie: The Last Party (Sengoku Basara- Samurai Kings: The Movie)
- Episodes: 93 mins
- Air Date: Jun 4, 2011
2. Sengoku Basara Movie: The Last Party (Sengoku Basara- Samurai Kings: The Movie)
Episodes: 93 mins
Air Date: Jun 4, 2011
Taking place near the end of the Sengou Basara story, The Last Party aims to end the story proper. Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ishida Mitsnari continue their endless fighting across Japan. However, the other leaders such as Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune wish to finally bring the peace Japan needs to fruition. Thus these several forces will meet in pitched combat once more wielding spears, swords and fists. The Last Party ends the series proper in the only way the series knows how, epic and violent combat.
The Sengoku Basara series has had a lot of popularity in many mediums such as video games and an anime series, thus it’s not a surprise to end the main story with a solid movie. The Last Party looks incredible, boasting strong art and animation all thanks to Production I.G. Fans will rejoice as their favorite Japanese heroes once again return to true form. While The Last Party may not be the most historically accurate film, that doesn’t mean the series suffers in anyway. Overall martial arts has not known a better movie to be associated with Sengoku Basara Movie: The Last Party.
1. Boruto: Naruto the Movie
- Episodes: 95 mins
- Air Date: Aug 7, 2015
1. Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Episodes: 95 mins
Air Date: Aug 7, 2015
Ending our list of the top ten martial arts anime movies is Boruto: Naruto the Movie. Taking place many years after Naruto’s tale of becoming Hokage and saving the Hidden Leaf Village, our tale now focuses on Naruto and Hinata’s son, Boruto. Like his father, Boruto is known throughout the now modernized village as being full of energy and trickery. As this martial arts anime movie takes place during the Chunin exams, an action Boruto makes anger Naruto causing the father and son to be at odds with one another. Adding to Boruto’s struggle is a new enemy that appears that may challenge him to show he’s just as strong as his father. It’s time to begin a new story of a new generation.
Naruto’s story has met its end but thanks to Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Naruto’s legacy is far from over. Once again kunai and fists clash in this ninja like story headed by Studio Pierrot. We highly recommend Boruto: Naruto the Movie if you plan on enjoying the currently airing Boruto anime as it has a lot of story elements not yet found in the anime series. Honey’s Anime felt Boruto: Naruto the Movie was a fitting note to end our list on. That being said, what are you waiting for…go watch Boruto: Naruto the Movie now!
After every fight even the victors must sit down and relax. We’re sure that with so many swords and fists flying you yourself are not only ready to enjoy one of these amazing movies, but also need a bit of a rest. If you could, we ask that you let us know if we did a good job with our list by commenting down below. As always though our battle is over for today, we’re sure to have engaged in more to bring you more great lists so be sure to keep your eyes glued to the site. With that we must return to more training, until we meet again folks.