Best Rivalries in anime can take many forms. One thing is certain: they bring the story alive and add depth to the characters. An anime without competition or rivalry is certainly not worth watching. We might be a bit too optimistic here. We don’t want to take too much risk in saying that Japanese animation almost embodies this feeling.
To create our selection, we based ourselves on the opinion of many anime fans around the world. We have therefore taken into consideration many tops available on the web. This ranking may not please everyone, but should, overall, reflect the opinion of the majority.
Top best rivalry in Anime
Best Rivalries in Anime is a ranking based on the popularity of the characters and the anime and also my personal opinion. You might not find your favorite characters in this list
31. Ichigo And Grimmjow ( Bleach )
Bleach shows Ichigo Kurosaki as a normal teenage girl before she is dragged into Soul Society and given the power to become a Soul Reaper. Throughout the series, Ichigo forms many frenemy relationships with other characters. One of them is with the Espada Grinmjow.
When they first meet, Grimmjow outclasses Ichigo and discredits Ichigo’s unwavering faith in himself. This leads to a fierce rivalry. The gap between them narrows over time and Ichigo is able to win many exciting battles. Despite being on opposing sides, Ichigo & Grimmjow share many traits, such as confidence and honor. This suggests that the two have a lot in common.Best Rivalries in Anime
30. Kenshin and Saito (Ruroni Kenshin)
Ruroni Kenshin is set in the 1800s and tells the story of Kenshin Himura who was once a swordsman-assassin, now trying to make amends for his past mistakes. He protects the innocent and refuses to kill, even though the foes that he meets test his newfound peace.
Saito does not appear until the Kyoto episode, but his arrival sets the stage for the series’ most compelling story. Soon, we learn that Kenshin and Saito are both veterans of war ten years ago. Saito decides to bring out Kenshin’s killing instincts by reviving Battosai The Man-Slayer. Despite their differences in ideologies they eventually unite to defeat the Shishio. This resulted in a memorable and unique dynamic where both characters had to rely on their ex-enemy to survive.
29. Kiritsugu And Kirei ( Fate zero )
Fate zero is a prequel series to Death/Stay Night. It chronicles another Holy Grail War. Each magi/Heroic spirit duo competes to win the wish-granting Grail.
Kiritsugu Emiya, the protagonist, is cunning and ruthless and determined to win and use the Grail to end all world’s suffering. He is unable to predict moves of Kirei Kotomine, his opponent. This leads to mutual interest and rivalry. This series is a great choice for older viewers. The battles are engaging and distort the lines between good and evil.Best Rivalries in Anime
28. Trunk And Goten (Dragon Ball )
Let’s not get into the most famous rivalry in Dragon Ball. We all know who we are talking about. Instead, let’s discuss the next generation rivalries: the friendly competition between Gotens and Trunks. Although they are rivals like their fathers, Goten and Trunks have a history of competing against one another, but it is based on friendship and on a smaller scale.
However, their rivalry was more civilized than their fathers’. Goten and Trunks fought hard at the World Martial Arts Tournament. Their involvement in Goku’s rivalry, acting as extensions of it, led us to include them.
27. Mugen And Jin (Samurai Champloo)
Shinichiro Watanabe’s Samurai Champloo may not be as popular as Cowboy Bebop but we recommend it highly. Samurai Champloo is a strange mix of Samurai films and Hip Hop. It follows Mugen (a samurai) and Jin (a rapper) as they try to help Fuu.
As their backgrounds and personalities clash, the two samurai are quick at pursuing each other’s throats. Although they have some mutual respect and a sense of friendship, the two samurai still want to fight each others like good rivals. Best Rivalries in Anime
26. Sanji And Zoro (One Piece )
Sanji and Zoro from One Piece have a complex relationship. They have a lot in common and can agree on some things. However, they still get into physical fights on a regular basis.
It all comes down to their clashing personalities but they respect each other’s strengths enough to push themselves further. These two are a classic anime rivalry that is undoubtedly one of the most iconic in anime.
25. Spike And Vicious (Cowboy Bebop)
The main rivalry in Cowboy Bebop is the rivalry between Jin (Mugen) of Samurai Champloo. This is the rivalry between Vicious and Spike, who were once partners but became bitter enemies.
They were the prefect team for the Red Dragon Syndicate. But when Julia joined the fray, the rivalry started and they were destined to clash throughout each series. Spike, his friend and former ally, died in the final duel. Best Rivalries in Anime
24. Naruto and Sasuke ( Naruto )
Let’s begin this list by listing the most beloved anime rivalry of all time. Naruto have been friends since childhood. They were officially introduced when they became part of Team 10 under Kakashi Seni.
Sasuke was considered a prodigy unlike Naruto, who was a failure. They have been trying to outshadow each other since the beginning. Well! They had different motives. Naruto was determined to impress Sakura. Sasuke wanted to be more in order to defeat his brother. Their rivalry was a little one-sided at the beginning, as Sasuke viewed Naruto as a clown.
They were enemies at one point in the series, when Sasuke tried to kill Naruto. There were multiple battles, with Naruto winning each one. Well! It makes sense, he is the main character. Despite all of this, Naruto considered Sasuke his FRIEND even though everyone was against him. Best Rivalries in Anime
23. Kamina and Viral (Gurren Lagann)
Although Kamina may not be the main character , his charisma and motivation for Simon made him the star .
Viral, Kamina’s rival was discovered quite early in the series. Viral was a Beastman Commander that encountered Kamina while he was searching for resources. Kamina’s first encounter with Viral was not very memorable. Viral, an expert pilot, played with Simon and Kamina. They had to flee to to save themselves.
This rivalry was crucial as it led to Gurren Lagann. Simon and Kamina combined their Gunmen to create the Legendary GURREN LAGAANN during their second encounter.
Viral never forgot about Kamina even after his demise.
22. Tai and Matt (Digimon)
Next on the list are Matt and Tai from Digimon. Well! Many people might believe that Matt dislikes Tai because he is the leader, but this is not true. This is false. Matt doesn’t like his decision-making abilities. They have completely different ideologies and personalities.
While they managed to sort out their problems over time, their mutual crush on Sora was always a problem. It seems their rivalry is ETERNAL. ! Best Rivalries in Anime
21. Gray Fullbuster And Lyon Vastia (FairyTail).
Well! Some people might disagree with the rivalry and claim that Gray is a Natsus competitor. Gray and Lyons’ rivalry is worthy of being on the list. Their main rivalry is the LOVE TRIO! !
Lyon is in love with Juvia and is very open about it. Juvia on the other side loves Gray and is a bit scared by Lyons behaviour. This isn’t the only thing. They were both trained by the same Ice teacher and have been competing against one another since childhood. Their rivalry is friendly and their interactions are always funny!
20. Light and L Lawliet (Death Note)
Sometimes it’s not all about love and strength. Sometimes it’s all about BRAINS! L and Light are the same. L had always suspectedLight to be the Kira and Light had managed to trick him every single time.
To be closer to Light and the investigations, he joined the police force. They fought it out, and Light prevailed in the end. L was killed. This rivalry is, honestly, my favorite. Their mind battles were too OP!
19. Class 1-A And 1-B (My Hero Academia)
Rivalry between two classes is nothing new. This is something we all have witnessed at school and college. This battle between the classes and the head teachers is always on. If there are any sports competitions, this battle becomes more intense.
This is also true for these classes. The villains attacking made Class 1-A a little too popular in the beginning. Because they survived a villain attack so early, people considered them stronger. This made Class 1-B a little jealous. They are constantly looking for ways to downgrade class 1-A and show that they are superior. Best Rivalries in Anime
18. Ash And Gary (Pokemon).
This rivalry is really something else. Gary is Professor Oaks’ grandson and imo. He just spoiled him too much. He is very arrogant and teases Ash.
They are completely different from one another in their personalities. Ash isn’t arrogant or likes to tease others so he wants Gary to defeat him in a Pokemon battle.
This rivalry goes beyond anime. You can also see it in Pokemongames. Their fights are always INTENSIVE and they have been fighting since the beginning.
17. Beerus And Champa (Dragon Ball Super)
Beerus and Champa are the Godsof Destruct of Universe 7, 6 and 6. Well! It’s clear that Beerus is stronger than the other. Their rivalry goes beyond their strengths. They even fight over which universe is stronger or has better food
A tournament was even arranged for them. They are just too funny to have constant bickering whenever they see each other. It’s strange to see two GOD of DESTRUCTIONS fighting like children.
16. Soma Yukihira And Takumi Aldini (Food Wars)
Food Wars is my favorite anime because I love food and not cooking. This anime’s plot is very similar to other Shounen anime except that fighting is replaced by cooking. After his challenge, Soma Yukihira became a lot of enemies.
Takumi Aldini is one of them. Takumi challenges Soma constantly to prove his superiority and to show him who’s the true BOSS! However, some people never compliment his feelings and turn him down. They interact in a hilarious way.
15. Sakura And Ino (Naruto)
There are many rivalries in Naruto. But this one is special. Sakura and Ino have been friends since childhood. Well! Their rivalry is the main reason caused . It was their mutual crush on Sasuke. This is what most people believe!
Sakura was bulliedquite often when she was a little girl and Ino always jumped in rescue. Sakura believed that she was in Inos debt and they were not equal. She was JEALOUS! Their crush on Sasuke wasn’t the only factor that made feel.
As the series progressed Ino lost touch with Sasuke, and they became friends once again.
14. Ace And Luffy (One Piece)
This list has featured many brothers. Well! Although Ace and Luffy do not consider themselves biological brothers, they are considered to be siblings. Still! Since the beginning, they had a strong senseof competition.
Both wanted to be pirates and shared similar dreams. They always fought to see who was the stronger. Ace, the elder brother, won the majority of the times. Luffy didn’t give up. Their relationship is really healthy and I love it!
They loved one another and their rivalry was very friendly, unlike other members of this list. Luffy was willing to fight three Admiralsto rescue his brother is another thing.
13. Meliodas And Ban (“Seven Deadly Sins”)
Next on the list is Meliodas, our favorite captain, and Ban, the immortal. Their rivalry is bloody if I may say so. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to kill Ban , he will not die. Meliodas on the other hand has extreme endurance.
They are the strongest characters in the series, and they don’t hold back against one another. You won’t believethis but they have arm wrestled at least 700 times! Yess! Yes, 700
They are still good friends and are always there for one another. It is really entertaining to see their interactions.
12. Yugi Moto And Seto Kaiba (Yu-gii-Oh! )
This unique rivalry is something you won’t see very often these days. This is a rivalry between Yugimoto and Seto Kaiba. Both of them have fought in battles many times. It is possible to say they are a one-sided rival.
Kaiba was defeated first by Yugi. Yugi wanted to defeathim at any cost, but Yugi displayed no hostility or rivalryto Kaiba. Yes! Yes!
Nowadays. They’ve fought so many times, even I don’t remember how long they fought lmao!
11. Asta And Yuno (Black Clover)
Next on the list is Asta and Yuno of Black Clover. Both of them were orphans and were raised in the same Church. Asta was the energeticone who saved Yuno from bullies. One promise however changed EVERYTHING !
They began competing to be the Wizard King. Well! The competition was unfair in the beginning, as Asta was magical and Yuno was blessed by the 4 Clover Rimoire. However, Asta’s Anti-Magic Grimoire made everything.
Their rivalryis actually friendly and they treateach others like brothers. It is impossible to criticize Asta or Yuno before Asta.
10. Yami And Jack the Ripper (Black Clover)
Another rivalry to Black Clover. Yami (Jack) and Green Praying Mentis are the captains, respectively. They both have quirky personalities. They fight constantly, trying to outdo each other.
Yami is clearly stronger than Jack. However, their interactions are quite funny. They make a great team fighting together .
09. Ichigo And Renji (Bleach)
GAJEEL AND NATSU! This rivalry has been ongoing for quite some time. This is one of my favorite rivalries of all time. Natsu and Gajeel met as enemies when Natsus guild AKA Fairy Tail was up to Phantom Lord.
Fairy Tail and Phantom Lord fought for years. Finally, Phantom Lord attacked Fairy Tail with all his might but was defeated. Gajeel, an Iron Dragon Slayer, is Natsu, a Fire Dragon Slayer.
It’s basically a rivalry between two Dragon Slayers. It was pretty cool! Gajeel and Fairy Tail became good friends after the phantom Lord was disbanded. They both strive to surpass each other whenever possible.
08. Guy And Kakashi (Naruto)
Ahhhh! This is my favorite! Guy and Kakashi’s rivalry is so wholesome that you can’t love them. Guy considers Kakashi his competitor since their childhood. It is something Guy takes seriously and is constantly challenging Kakashi to do strange things just to test him.
Kakashi, however, is more relaxed and acceptshis challenges. Both respect one another and would do anything to help the other. Best Rivalries in anime
07. Midoriya And Bakugo ( My Hero Academia)
The beginning rivalry was quite one-sided as Bakugou was always critical of Midoriya for being quirkless. But, things changed when he was admittedto the same institution as him!
Midoriya was inspired by Bakugou because he was a remarkable talent and had amazing skills. Bakugou was energized when Midoriya took One for Allfrom All Might. It can be said that he was JEALOUS. !
This was the start of their rivalry. Bakugou is still considered a close friend by Midoriya. However, I don’t think the feelings are mutuallol. Best Rivalries in anime
06. Kaguya And Miyuki (Kaguya–Sama: Love is War).
These two aren’t on the list because you didn’t expect them to. Since the beginning, Miyuki Shirogane, president of student council, and Kaguya Shinomiya Shinomiya vice president have had a crush on each other. The best part is that they both know this.
They are DATING! Why? They want the other person’s confession first or they will lose. They live a WAR daily existence, as they conspire against each other.
You are missing a lot if you have not watchthis show because it’s a rom-com.
05. Hinata And Kageyama (Haikyuu! )
This is my favorite rivalry. This rivalry is well-known. Kageyama was the one who first recognized Hinatas talent, telling him that he was wasting all his potential.
Both were admitted to the same university and decided to join the Volleyball Club. This was the start of their rivalry. Kageyama is a prodigy. Hinata on the other side doesn’t know much. He knows nothing but JUMPING!
Their rivalry is quite interesting IMO. Kageyama is the only setter capable of matching Hinata’s speed. They are able to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are the perfect match! ! Best Rivalries in anime
04. Shizou Heiwajima And Izaya Orihara (Durarara! )
Shizou Sheiwajima, Izaya Orihara are the next characters to be featured on this list. Heiwajima seems to be a very peculiar character. It is impossible to understand what he is thinking. He is a human but has incredible strength. He has an odd habit of lifting heavyobjects, such as cars, when he’s angry. And he also has multiple broken bones!
It is quite bizarre that he has a rival with Izaya. It is not a reason. He believes Izaya to be his sworn enemy. You’ll find a mailbox or something similar if you look at them togetheron screen.
03. Ryuko And Matoi (Kill La Kill! )
Ryuko lost her father very young. She was devastated and wanted to get revenge. The Honnoji Academy was the only place where she could find information about the murderer. Satsuki Kiryuin served as the President of the Student Council at this prestigious school.
Ofc Ruko would prefer to go straight to Satsuki, as she has the most knowledge. Satsuki refused to accept her every time. The constant bickering turned into a fierce rivalrybetween them with Ryuko trying defeat Satsuki to prove who’s the REAL boss!
These two, like every friendly rivalry began working together and eventually became good friends.Best Rivalries in anime
02. Sonic And Saitama (One Punch Man).
Well! This rivalry is quite one-sided. Sonic believed he was the strongest Ninja. After being beaten by Saitama multiple times, Sonic began to question his existence.
To beat SERIOUS WAYS JUMPS, he trained hard. Saitama couldn’t remember his name and called him strange names such as Seed on the Ground, Jack-o-Lantern Panic and Lost and Found. They have a freaking funny relationship.
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01. Goku And Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)
Finallyyyy! Without them, any anime rivalrylist would be incomplete. These two are the perfect example for sworn enemies becoming rivals. Vegeta tried to destroy but was defeated by Goku.
After a few years, we now see him fighting evillike Majin Buu and Cell to save the place he hated. Vegeta has always been one step ahead Goku. He is still better than Vegeta, even though he is the Almighty Prince Saiyans.
Vegeta says that he is the only one who can killGoku. This rivalry is unmatched by anyone on this list. Hmphhhh! !