My Hero Academia quickly made a name itself and has arguably become one of the most popular anime franchises of all time.
The anime follows Izuku Midoriya and his 1-A classmates at U.A. High School as they train to become professional heroes to protect the world from villains who want to throw it into chaos.
But these students aren’t just attending school, they get caught up in all kinds of villainous plans on their path to become the top heroes throughout all of Japan.
The anime features an assortment of different fights from duels between classmates after hours, school-sanctioned tournaments, training exercises, to full on fights against super villains.
And while the show prominently focuses on Izuku Midoriya and his classmates, there’s also plenty of fights involving a number of the top professional heroes throughout Japan.
Let’s count down the five greatest fights in the My Hero Academia so far.
5. Deku vs. Muscular
My list starts off with Deku’s fight versus the villain Muscular. The fight takes place in Episode 42 of the anime titled “My Hero.”
This fight has a strong emotional arc, it shows off Deku’s status as still a fledgling hero, highlights Deku’s strength of will, and gives us a fantastic fight between two individuals with powerhouse Quirks.
The fight begins by showing us just what the stakes are and revealing just how big of a threat Muscular is. He’s the villain who killed Kota’s parents and he’s about to add Kota to his kill list simply because he wants to kill him.
Fortunately, Deku arrives in the nick of time to save Kota, but in a callback to his fight against Stain, he’s left on his own as he can’t call for backup with his cellphone being smashed and no one knows where he is since he didn’t tell anyone.
This really shows that Deku still isn’t a team player and that he’s still learning to be a hero. He’s got a lot to learn. And he’s got to learn quick against Muscular.
After Deku saves Kota, Muscular launches into a vicious attack against Midoriya that not only breaks his arm, but sends him flying into the side of a mountain. Muscular continues to beat down Deku flinging him across the side of the mountain and repeatedly bashing him into it.
Even when Deku tries to counter, Muscular shows his might is much more than Deku can handle. He easily blocks him and then sends him once again flying backwards. It looks hopeless for Deku. He’s already beaten down in just a few short moments.
Fortunately, just like in the very first episode, where Deku inspired All Might, Deku gets the same inspiration from Kota. Kota throws a pebble at Muscular distracting him just enough for Deku to recover and launch a counter-attack using 100% of One For All.
It’s a great moment as we see Deku’s strength of will and his desire to become a hero, his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to save those in need.
One might think the devastating blow that Deku lands might be the end of the fight, but Muscular has his own hidden strength and he reveals he had just been toying with Deku in the beginning.
After getting beat down again with Muscular unleashing more of his powerful Quirk, Deku calculates his only option is to face the villain head on. A battle of wills begins as the two rush each other head on.
It appears as if Deku is defeated. But Kota refuses to heed Midoriya’s advice at running and instead launches a water attack. Kota’s belief in Deku powers up One For All and allows Deku to launch One For All 1,000,000% with a Delaware, Detroit Smash.
The punch to the face sends Muscular flying into the side of the mountain knocking him unconscious.
This fight shows the core of what it means to be a hero. You have to be willing to sacrifice yourself in order to save others. It also shows how one person’s sacrifice can inspire others to be heroic. As not only does Deku inspire Kota, but Kota does the same for Deku.
Maybe most importantly, it shows that Deku still has a long way to go to become the greatest hero. But he’s pushing himself and going Plus Ultra even using his broken arm to channel the power of One For All to defeat Muscular.
Watch the fight here.
4. Deku, Todoroki, and Ida vs. Hero Killer: Stain
This is one one of the best fights in all of My Hero Academia. Not only does it have exciting and engaging action sequences where we get so see multiple characters show off their Quirks and battlefield awareness, but we also get a major emotional beat and learn just part of what it means to be a hero.
The fight opens up with an awesome parkour move by Deku as he uses One For All to leap back and forth between buildings to land a rocket punch right to the face of Stain.
The emotional beat has already kicked in at this point as Stain reveals the truth that Ida is no hero, mainly that he was more focused on seeking revenge for his brother rather than saving his fellow hero, Native, who he didn’t even notice had been taken down by Stain.
However, after Deku arrives the emotional arc is kicked up a notch, when Deku tells Ida, “Meddling when you don’t need to is the essence of being a hero.” He shows how he’s just in a different mental state than Ida and he’s focused on rescuing his friend.
The fight features plenty of risk for the heroes and right from the beginning. Deku arrives just in time to save Ida from Stain’s swords and then when Deku finds himself falling victim to Stain, Todoroki arrives just in time to save Ida again.
It doesn’t stop there. When Deku is able to recover, he gets taken down again during an absolutely beautiful animated fight sequence showing off Stain’s extreme quickness as he is able to not only avoid Todoroki’s double dose of fire and ice attacks, but also Deku’s use of One For All.
As the fight progresses we get to see the strengths and weaknesses of our fledgling heroes, and it’s not just Ida’s lack of heroic spirit. Stain is able to exploit Todoroki’s reliance on his quirk as he hasn’t been focusing on the other parts of his athleticism. It almost costs him.
As for Deku, we get to see his battlefield and tactical awareness as he’s able to deduce what Stain’s Quirk is and how it works.
Finally, we get to see our heroes overcome their deficiencies as they work together as a team to defeat Stain. Specifically, Ida learns from his teammates that he was consumed by his anger, and he needs to have greater discipline in order to be a hero.
He also shows his battlefield awareness as he performs a combo with Todoroki in order to power up his Recipro Burst to launch a massive final attack on Stain. As Ida launches his attack, Deku launches his own that culminates in an epic Stain sandwich. To top it off, Todoroki blasts Stain in the face.
Definitely a top five fight for My Hero Academia. Take a look at some of the highlights.
3. Fat Gum and Red Riot vs. Rappa and Tengai
This fight takes place in Season 4 Episode 72 “Red Riot.”
Both Fat Gum and Red Riot foil a plan by the Yakuza to eliminate Eraser Head. Instead of Eraser Head facing off against Rappa and Tengai, it’s Fat Gum and Red Riot.
The fight starts off with a crippling blow from Rappa that not only physically disables Red Riot, but it leaves him on the brink mentally.
Red Riot is out of commission and that leaves Fat Gum to face off against Rappa and Tengai by himself. However, Rappa’s sense of honor allows Fat Gum to buy time for Red Riot to overcome not only his physical weakness, but his fear and mental insecurity as well.
While Red Riot deals with his fear, we get some awesome animation as Rappa shows just how much of an awesome fighter he is unleashing devastatingly powerful blows at a rapid pace.
Not only do we get to see Rappa’s brute strength, we see how it wears on Fat Gum.
The fight gives us an added level of danger when Fat Gum tries to counter Rappa, only to have Tengai’s shield completely block and absorb the blow.
While the fight provides great action scenes with Rappa unleashing his devastating blows, the highlight is Red Riot’s fight against fear, his fight to maintain his strong spirit.
And while he carries most of the load, he gets plenty of encouragement from Fat Gum, who even tells him, “Don’t let go of your Unbreakable! If even your spirit breaks, then you really have lost!”
He adds, “When fightin’ villains, it’s a matter of how fast you can make them lose their will to fight. You can’t lose your will before them!”
Not only does Fat Gum inspire Kirishima, but he actively goads Rappa into attacking him, preparing to risk everything to defeat him.
As Rappa continues to launch a flurry of attacks against Fat Gum, Kirishima is able to dig within himself to realize that being afraid is not a weakness and that heroes are afraid. He recalls a memory of watching Crimson Riot saying there is something even scarier than villains and that’s “the last expression of someone dying, and the pain of being unable to save them.”
It’s another lesson that heroes are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save others.
And it’s one Kirishima takes to heart. He’s able to recover and intervene just as Rappa is about to launch another flurry of devastating attacks against Fat Gum. He goes Plus Ultra as he continues to harden again and again every time Rappa’s attack cracks him.
The fight finishes with Kirishima giving it his all and being knocked down by Tengai’s shield barrier.
However, his intervention let Fat Gum convert the attacks from Rappa into a deadly golden fist attack. It breaks through Tengai’s shield and sends both him and Rappa flying against the wall, knocked out cold.
2. Lemillion vs. Overhaul
This fight takes place in Season 4 Episode 74.
Lemillion uses his Quirk Permeation to race ahead of the others to rescue Eri and put a stop to Overhaul.
The fight begins with Lemillion confronting Overhaul’s minions Deidoro Sakaki and Shin Nemoto. Despite being thrown off balance and losing his equilibrium by Sakaki’s Quirk and Nemoto’s attempt at demoralizing him, Lemillion uses his Phantom Threat super move to make short work of them.
The brief takedown shows Lemillion’s focus and determination. It highlights his desire to be the hero to Eri that he failed at being when he and Deku first encountered her and Overhaul.
From there the fight quickly transitions to Lemillion facing off against Overhaul and Hari Kurono. There is some great animation as Lemillion moves through the floor and appears behind Overhaul cutting him on his cheek and landing a devastating kick to the face of Kurono.
The surprise attack allows him to temporarily save Eri from Overhaul.
The fight kicks into high gear following Lemillion’s surprise attack. Overhaul responds with a devastating use of his Quirk as he nearly instantly destroys the floor and rebuilds it to attack Lemillion with a number of massive spikes.
The attack more than likely would have killed Lemillion if he didn’t use his Quirk at just the right moment.
Like most of the fights on this list, it’s not as simple as it seems. As the fight progresses, the challenges to the hero progress. This one provides those challenges in spade. First, Lemillion has to worry about keeping Eri safe as Overhaul reveals he has no qualms about injuring her because he can simply put her back together.
To make matters even worse Kurono recovers from Lemillion’s attack adding another threat he has to be aware of and deal with.
However, Lemillion shows why he’s the top hero at U.A. Academy. He uses his knowledge of Kurono’s Quirk and his tactical awareness to predict an attack and counter it. And he does it by using his cape, they aren’t just for show!
Not only does he evade Kurono’s attack, but he quickly launches a counterattack, removing the pistol from Kurono’s grasp and then landing a fist right to the face of Overhaul. And it’s not an ordinary punch, he uses Permeation to punch through Overhaul’s own hand that attempted to block him.
From there we get some awesome shots showcasing just how powerful Lemillion is as he uses Permeation to land a flurry of blows against both Overhaul and Kurono predicting what they plan to do next and stymying them before they can.
When it looks like Lemillion has everything in hand, another ripple of difficulty is added. Nemoto recovered from Lemillion’s attack and acquires one of the special bullets that can remove a person’s Quirk.
Nemoto uses Lemillion’s desire to protect and be a hero against him. He fires the bullet at Eri. And Lemillion shows what it means to be a hero. He sacrifices himself for her and throws his body in front of the bullet, but does it with a smile, just like All Might.
With his Quirk gone, one might think the fight is over, but it’s not. And that’s why this fight ranks up so high. Lemillion proves you don’t need a Quirk to be a hero. He launches an attack against Overhaul throwing Kurono at him and then landing a vicious left punch.
He then gets in a hand-to-hand fight as he uses his quickness to evade Overhaul and continues to land devastating blows on him.
The battle begins to turn as Overhaul is able to use his Quirk to attack at distance and begins to severely injure Lemillion. However, the U.A. student keeps fighting. He keeps fighting until Eraser Head, Sir Nighteye, and Deku arrive to take the fight to Overhaul.
This fight has everything you want in a fight. Strong emotional beats, excellent choreography. The characters unleash their abilities in unique and exciting ways, there lots of small twists and turns that increase the threat level, and the camera angles all make it extremely entertaining and put you on the edge of your seat.
1. All Might vs. All For One
We’ve made it to the best fight in the entire anime up to this point. And there is no comparison that the battle between All Might and All For One in Season 3 Episode 48 and 49 is the best fight of the entire anime.
The fight begins with All Might being outmaneuvered by All For One at the League of Villains’ hideout and him failing to rescue Bakugo. Meanwhile, we get to really see how powerful and evil All For One is as he makes easy work of Jeanist and the other Pro Heroes who raided the Nomu factory.
However, All Might quickly arrives at the Nomu factory and launches an aerial attack against All For One. The attack is so powerful it sends the League of Villains flying in its wake, but All For One is unfazed, showcasing just how deadly a foe All For One is again.
All For One then shows off his incredible power when All Might launches another attack. He blasts him with a wind current sending All Might flying backwards.
While all of the fights on this list have added dangers as the fight progresses, this one probably has the biggest one, and that’s the capture of Bakugo by the League of Villains. While Bakugo fends for himself, All For One prevents All Might from dealing with the League of Villains.
With All For One preventing him from rescuing Bakugo, All Might turns his attention to the villain, although he still doesn’t unleash his full power given Bakugo is still on the battlefield.
The solution comes from the U.A. students as they launch a risky plan to rescue Kacchan that keeps them from actually engaging in combat and not breaking the school’s rules. Deku and Ida with Kirishima in tow launch off an ice ramp created by Todoroki.
Bakugo launches into the air and joins them. However, the League of Villains attempts to intervene, but Mt. Lady who had previously been defeated by All For One uses Gigantification and puts a stop to Mr. Compress’ counter.
When the League of Villains attempts another attack, Gran Torino shows up and gives them a bunch of swift kicks to the face.
With Bakugo safely removed from the battlefield, the real showdown between All Might and All For One begins. And it’s not just a battle of brawn. It’s a battle of wits as All For One pulls out all the stops. In one really devious move he teleports Gran Torino in front of him to act as a shield, letting him take the full force of All Might’s attack.
The battle really shows the difference between heroes and villains as well. While All For One attempts to give a speech that All Might’s defeat of his associates were sacrifices that led to his elevation as the Symbol of Peace, All Might counters with the truth saying, “You always toy with people like that! You break them! Steal from them! Take advantage of them and control them! Scoffing irrationally at the people just trying to live their lives! I cannot forgive that!”
It’s a fantastic speech and on top of that All Might lands a devastating head blow on All For One and takes him to the ground.
It seemed like the blow to beat All For One especially since it began to break All Might out of his muscle form. However, All For One seems undaunted. In fact, he taunts All Might with the death of his mentor Nana Shimura.
At this point the fight is no longer about saving Bakugo or even defeating All For One. It’s about the Symbol of Peace and what it really means to be a hero. It’s about a just society versus one dominated by villains. This fight is for the hearts and souls of the Japanese people in the My Hero Academia world.
And All Might isn’t able to do it on his own. After being nearly thrown into a media helicopter, Gran Torino saves him and gives him some sage advice about keeping his head on his shoulders and not engaging with All For One’s attempt to demoralize him. He also explains that he will have to use his own wits to best the fearsome villain.
And while the fight seemed to be a showdown between All Might and All For One, All For One makes it clear he wants to destroy the reputations of heroes, specifically with All Might by promising to kill him in the most gruesome way possible.
And to begin he launches a devastating attack at a civilian still trapped on the battlefield. Blocking the attack forces All Might to completely abandon his muscle form.
Despite, All For One attempting to humiliate him, All Might reveals his heart is unmoved and that it will “remain that of the Symbol of Peace!” He even declares that it’s something that All For One cannot take away.
It shows us what it really means to be the Symbol of Peace and that being a hero not only requires outward action, but a strong inner character that cannot be shaken by external forces.
The fight then gives us a Darth Vader reveal moment. Shiguraki is revealed to be Shimura’s grandson. It appears to break All Might, even All For One mocks him asking where his smile is.
It really shows us that All Might is human. Even with his interior strength, All For One can get to him. He’s not perfect.
And while he might not be perfect, All Might is reminded by the citizen he just saved that there is a lot to protect and he will continue to fight and is determined not to lose. He might have been rattled, but his inner resolve is not broken.
He also receives encouragement and aid from his fellow heroes as Endeavor, Kamui Woods, and others join the fight. However, All For One disposes of them all with a powerful blast to the ground that sends the heroes flying in all directions. Only All Might is left on the battlefield.
With All Might, the last hero standing on the battlefield, All For One unleashes a deadly combination of Quirks and charges towards All Might. All Might responds and the two fists collide against each other.
All For One appears to gain the upper hand as he drives All Might back. But it was a bait and trap. All Might switches his power into his left hand, side steps All For One’s fist, and socks the villain.
The blow doesn’t do in All For One, however he receives a brief power up from All For One and attacks with the United States of Smash super move.
He decisively defeats All For One, using his wit, his will, and his strength. And then to top it off, he continues to be the Symbol of Peace, raising his fist into the air in triumph just as a boxer would after winning the championship.
There is no debate, this is the best fight in My Hero Academia so far. You get a Darth Vader level reveal. You get emotional attacks. You get awesome fight choreography. You get so see some really cool powers. There are multiple dimensions to the fight. And above all the hero comes out triumphant. The dangers that All For One poses to society are defeated. His ideals are crushed. All Might wins.
What are your top five favorite fights from My Hero Academia? Do you expect any of them to be supplanted in the upcoming Season 5?