Anime lovers, rejoice! This listicle is for you. We’ve compiled the best anime arcs of all time, from the old to the new generation. So no matter what your taste in anime is, you’re sure to find something to love on this list.
So what exactly is an anime arc? An anime arc is simply a portion of an anime series that is self-contained and has a beginning, middle, and end. Usually, an anime arc is around two to twelve episodes long.
But some can be as short as one episode or as long as an entire season.
No matter what your favourite anime genre is, there’s sure to be an anime arc on this list for you. Also, we will try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, so you can go into these shows with fresh eyes.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to marathon some of the best anime arcs of all time!
Best Anime Arcs Of All Time
Anime arcs are essential in making a good anime great. It is what gives the story its depth and soul. It is what makes the characters grow and change. It is what makes the world of anime come alive.
Without a good anime arc, an anime would be nothing more than a bunch of pretty pictures and flashing lights.
So, if you are an anime fan, then you should definitely check out the best anime arcs of all time. You will not be disappointed.
Let's get started!
1. Pain Invasion Arc: Naruto
This arc follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki as he attempts to save his comrades from an intense battle with the Akatsuki leader, Pain.
The Hidden Leaf village was literally destroyed by Pain as it invaded and caused heavy damage! Despite that, many people think Pain did the right thing after learning his backstory. Wondering why? Then, you should watch this arc!
The action-packed and dramatic arc is filled with emotional moments that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
It is one of the best Naruto arcs because it has it all: heart-pounding suspense, emotional, and even a few surprising plot twists thrown in for good measure.
Also, you'll see Naruto's new strong form, plus his meeting with his father!
2. Wano Arc: One Piece
A decade ago, we saw the first tease of Wano Country in Thriller Bark. During Punk Hazard, the Straw Hat Pirates encountered the Samurai of Wano Kin'emon and Momonosuke, which set the stage for this arc.
Also during this arc, Strawhat and Heart formed an alliance to target Kaido. The Wano arc is by far the best build-up fans have seen in any One Piece arc.
The group heads for Ryugu Palace to rescue Kiku from her father's clutches. However, their plans go awry when they are attacked by a dragon and must fight it to move on.
There are action scenes, betrayals, honour, revenge, etc. in the Wano Arc.
3. Fall Of Shignasina Arc: Attack On Titan
In the Fall of Shiganshina arc, Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and their friends enter the Underground District to find Grisha's (Eren's father) research so that they can find a way to save humanity from extinction.
We see a lot more character development in this arc when we see how each character responds to the world around them.
We also learn more about Eren and his family, and some backstory on Mikasa.
4. Chimera Ant Arc: Hunter x Hunter
The Chimera Ant Arc is about Gon's character development as he transitions from being a child to becoming something much darker. Gon gradually loses his humanity over the course of the arc, becoming a monster driven by revenge.
An immensely significant part of the story arc was the destruction of the friendship between Killua and Gon.
It is an emotional rollercoaster that makes you wonder if anyone will survive by the end.
5. Mugen Train Arc: Demon Slayer
It is no secret that Demon Slayer has become one of the most popular new-gen anime series. It's Mugen Train arc contains a lot of emotional and thrilling moments with excellent animation, which is why so many anime fans have spoken highly of it!
Tanjiro and Inosuke's teamwork was exceptional in the intense fighting situation. Aside from this, Rengoku was absolutely stunning, in terms of both appearance and power. In the beginning, he was able to defeat every opponent in front of him, until an Upper-Level Demon appeared.
It's going to make you cry when the end comes!
Here's the trailer:
6. Thousand-Year Blood War Arc: Bleach
The Thousand Year Blood War arc is one of the most celebrated arcs in anime history. It is not only one of the most epic arcs in all of the anime but also an arc with some excellent character development.
Why? This arc has enough fight scenes and deaths to satisfy any battle-hungry fan.
Secondly, there are so many surprises and twists during this arc that it's impossible to predict what will happen next.
Also, this arc sets up a foundation for Bleach's future plots by exploring characters such as Aizen and Orihime Inoue that we hadn't seen before.
Watch Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War trailer here:
7. Shogun Assassination Arc: Gintama
As the Shogun Assassination arc progresses, serious themes begin to overshadow Gintama's comedy and become more prominent in the series.
It is the Shogun Assassination episodes that have the greatest effect on the anime due to the long-awaited details provided about Gintoki's past with Takasugi and the events surrounding the death of their mentor – There's no doubt that it was one of the best anime arcs of all time that set off the rest of the story.
8. International Assassins Arc: Chainsaw Man
Things begin to heat up dramatically plot-wise following the Bomb Devil's unprovoked attack on Denji. Since Denji's presence spread around the world, assassins and devil hunters have been sent to hunt him.
Throughout this arc, the Chainsaw Man cast gets greatly expanded, with an equally exciting and foreboding plotline, as the conditions deteriorate, mysteries unravel, and Makima's own evil and ulterior ambitions become more apparent.
9. Grand Magic Games Arc: Fairy Tail
In Fairy Tail, the Grand Magic Games is a tournament that occurs every four years in Crocus. The competition's winner earns their title as the best guild in Fiore.
During this arc, Natsu and his friends reunited as the Fairy Tail guild again and came back stronger than ever!
As part of the competition, they compete against guilds like Lamia Scale and Sabertooth, two of the strongest guilds in the Fiore.
The arc is filled with a lot of heartwarming emotional scenes, as well as action and excitement!
10. Royal Knights Arc: Black Clover
Asta, Yuno and their fellow knights compete in a tournament to be selected as members of the Royal Knights, a squad that attacks the Eye of the Midnight Sun's base, a dangerous group trying to take over the Clover Kingdom.
This arc introduces Mereoleona, the older Vermillion sibling and one of the most powerful characters in the Black Clover verse. The arc also introduces Zora (a Black Bull guild member), who will play a key role in future arcs. The final will also give us a chance to see Yuno's improved magic skills.
There's no doubt that the tournament arc will keep you on the edge of your seat. As a whole, the Royal Knight's Tournament Arc is quite fascinating since it involves activities until the end.
11. Paranormal Liberation War Arc: My Hero Academia
One anime arc that stands out from many others is the Paranormal Liberation War arc from My Hero Academia. The storyline follows a group of heroes battling a terrorist organization and its leader, trying to control Japan.
The series tackles themes such as social inequality, discrimination, and fear-mongering. There is also plenty of humour to balance it all out.
Another highlight is the development of characters like Katsuki Bakugo, who was always portrayed as an arrogant jerk but, over time, became more likeable with his softer side showing through. It has some graphic violence, but it doesn't take away from the story.
Watch My Hero Academia Season 6 Trailer:
12. 4th Great Ninja War Arc: Naruto
Naruto's 4th Great Ninja War arc is one of the best anime arc. One of anime's most popular and beloved villains, Madara Uchiha, makes his appearance in this storyline.
The action never ceases as Naruto fights off one opponent after another in intense battles filled with excitement and suspense.
One of the highlights of the war arc was seeing Might Guy's full potential, which was truly astounding. Also, A significant amount of focus is also given to Team 7 at this point in time, specifically Sakura, who grows from a naive team-mate into a capable medical ninja.
One last thing. It's also going to be the moment everybody's been looking forward to: Naruto vs Sasuke.
Bringing a series to a close like this is perfect.
13. Meliodas vs The Ten Commandments: Seven Deadly Sins
This is a battle between our protagonist Meliodas and the leader of the Ten Commandments, Gowther. In terms of power, Gowther is arguably one of the strongest characters in the series, as he was able to eradicate a country just by using his words.
He also possesses immense speed that matches that of Meliodas, considered one of the fastest characters in this anime. What sets these two apart from each other, though, are their abilities.
Meliodas relies on brute force and overwhelming strength, which proves to be ineffective against Gowther's omniscience. On the other hand, Gowther needs none of those skills because he has an ability called The Book which allows him to read any person's memories or make someone see illusions based on those memories.
Furthermore, this arc is excellent because it has much more depth than most arcs in similar shounen shows, such as Naruto or One Piece, with its emotional moments mixed with action sequences.
14. Farmland Arc: Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is an ongoing manga by creator Makoto Yukimura. The story follows Thorfinn, a son of one of the Vikings who invaded England in the late 10th century. He seeks revenge for his father's murder and tries to escape a problematic past.
In the process, Thorfinn learns about his family and himself. Farmland arc introduces us to Thorfinn's family and their conflicts with the local lords. It also gives us insight into what life was like in medieval Scandinavia before Christianity became widespread.
The arc's tone changes considerably, from comedic scenes where Thorfinn is taken away by some powerful women to scenes of violence that show how brutal life can be in this world.
15. Falcon Of The Millennium Empire Arc: Berserk
Berserk is a manga written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. It has been adapted into an anime series that aired from 1997 to 1998 and has since been collected on DVD.
The story follows Guts, a superhumanly strong warrior who wields a giant sword dubbed Dragon Slayer. He roams medieval Europe as a lone mercenary while fighting against the Holy Roman Empire's invasion in the Hundred Years' War.
16. Death Of The Undying: Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist is also one of the most popular anime series. It is a show that has won accolades for its storytelling while developing a dedicated fanbase.
The story follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who use alchemy to try to bring their mother back from the dead after she dies in an accident.
They get help from their father, who teaches them how to do it but warns them not to push themselves too hard or they will die.
17. Shibuya Incident Arc: Jujutsu Kaisen
This is one of the best Jujutsu Kaisen arc, where Geto's forces merge with Mahito's to finally start their battle against Satoru Gojo. Their end goal is to seal him away.
Shibuya Incident Arc are further subdivided into sub-parts, such as finding the traitor, Prison Realm, Awakening of Sukuna, etc.
A train full of transfigured humans is brought to Satoru Gojo by Mahito. It is worth noting that the train does stop at the station, and Jogo commented that Mahito was at the stop. Suddenly, mutated humans come out of the train and start killing the people as they approach the train.
To Wrap Things Up
Well, there you have it!
Anime arcs are a great way to experience a story. They are often stand-alone stories that are well-written and exciting to watch.
And, these were the best anime arcs of all time, in our opinion. However, there are a lot of great anime arcs out there, and this list barely scratches the surface.
Hopefully, this list has helped you find some new series to watch. If you have any suggestions for other great anime arcs, please let us know in the comment below.
Thanks for taking the time to read!