Let’s be honest here. For as many anime fans there are that love a unique story with well-developed characters and twists that leave you guessing, there are just as many fans that love simple stories with lots of action. Both sets of fans have different preferences in regards to what anime they choose to like, but there are some things in anime that unites almost everyone. Believe it or not, a giant explosion can serve as one of those things.
Most of the time, explosions are associated with something that occurred in a big fight or battle. This is fair to assume, as many of the type of anime associated with fights and wars feature many smaller explosions that occur frequently as well as bigger ones occasionally. However, the biggest explosions, regardless of genre, usually occur at critical junctures in the story and have an emotional impact on the characters involved. As a result, you have fans that enjoy the deeper impact regarding the meaning of these type of explosions while other fans are blown away by how massive and destructive said explosion is. Whether its context, magnitude, or both, here are the Top 10 Explosions in Anime.
10. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – Black Cloud Explosion
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 8, 2016 - Jul 1, 2016 episode 9
It’s one thing to have zombies. But in an anime filled with explosions, it’s still another thing entirely to have a zombified character start shooting energy blasts. But that’s exactly what Horobi does when she becomes the heart of a Black Cloud beast thanks to Biba’s serum. This new attack of hers results in a powerful explosion that many didn’t see coming. As a result of said attack, the Kabane at Iwato Station are destroyed, and if it wasn’t for Biba killing Horobi since she had served her purpose, we more than likely would have seen more explosions like that from her. Luckily there are plenty of other explosions in the series to keep fans tied over.
9. Knights of Sydonia - Heavy Mass Cannon Explosion
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 11, 2014 - Jun 27, 2014
If you’re the last remaining link to the survival of humanity, then you’d best be able to defend it with the best you have to offer, and the Sidonia isn’t lacking in that department. Regarded as possibly the last human ship in outer space, the Sidonia’s Heavy Mass Cannon is well equipped with the necessary power to take on the Gauna, and proves it early on in the series. This explosion is an impactful one for multiple reasons. For one, this explosion occurs in outer space. While a fair amount of explosions do take place in outer space, unless it’s that of a planet, very few manmade explosions occur that reach this size. Second, the speed of which the explosion reaches the size that it does is incredibly fast. It certainly ranks among the fastest explosions on this list. Finally, this explosions stands out in terms of its appearance. Most explosions tend to take on a circular shape of some sort. This explosion actually has a unique design to it, something many explosions on this list are lacking in. Interesting how something so destructive can also look strangely beautiful at the same time.
8. Hunter x Hunter – Poor Man’s Rose Explosion
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: Oct 2, 2011 - Sep 24, 2014
Explosions tend to take place in the landscape and are caused by either weapons or some type of special attack used by someone on someone else. As a result, most of those types of explosions tend to be more on the visual scale (with some exceptions). That being said, explosions that actually claim the life of someone tend to be more emotional, especially if they were a secondary character of some sort. In the case of Netero, you have an explosion caused by a character willing to commit suicide by use of the Poor Man’s Rose in order to see to the death of the King if necessary. Even if you survive the initial explosion, the poison residing within the weapon will kill you in the long run. A perfect example of a somber explosion.
7. Kill La Kill – Ryuko vs Ira
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 4, 2013 - Mar 28, 2014
What makes an explosion even more epic than normal is when it comes at a time where everything rides on the outcome of its aftermath, and Ryuko’s battle against Ira culminates in such an explosion. With Ira’s Scourge Regalia serving as an armor defending Ira from Ryuko’s attacks, Ryuko situation seems hopeless. However, with the help of Senketsu, Ryuko uses a new form to pull off the win in epic fashion, creating a massive explosion in the process that would have left Ryuko the loser had it not succeeded. Even though the multi-colored explosion itself was very brief, the impact was very powerful, qualifying it to be on this list.
6. Eureka 7 – Seven Swell
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr 17, 2005 to Apr 2, 2006
Many explosions tend to be very wide and circular the more massive they get. The Seven Swell explosion in Eureka 7, however, breaks that trend. Not only do we get to see an explosion that is multi-colored (which in of itself is rare), but we also see an explosion that ends up being very large in terms of its height as opposed to its width. We also grow to learn how such an explosion is created as a result of an “emotional agreement” of the minds of the pilots piloting their respective Nirvash, a special type of mecha-suit. As a result, the Seven Swell explosion’s creation as well as the explosion itself are what qualify it to rank in this list.
5. Nichijou – Catastrophic Collision
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 3, 2011 - Sep 25, 2011
It’s one thing when you know an explosion is coming. But it’s even better when it unexpectedly occurs. Especially if it’s in a setting where there is no logical reason for it to occur in the first place. Plenty of these types of moments exist in Nichijou, a wacky series to say the least. In this particular case, Nano is running down an alley when a boy listening to headphones walks from out behind a corner. Nano does her best to slow down to avoid hitting him, but it’s clear what’s going to happen. As one would expect, a nuclear explosion results from said collision that covers the entire immediate landscape. This isn’t the only explosion like this to occur in Nichijou either, as many more random scenarios depict this type of setup. Definitely an explosion that resides in a class of its own in terms of context.
4. Gurren Lagann - Super Tengen Toppa/Anti Spiral Giga Drill Break
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: Apr 1, 2007 - Sep 30, 2007
As epic as Gurren Lagann’s fights are throughout the series, one of the coolest explosions takes place in the 2nd movie, where the ultimate battle takes place between Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and the Anti-Sprial. The collision that takes place between their ultimate drill attacks is nothing short of leaving someone awestruck as they try to comprehend what exactly they’re witnessing. As a result of how powerful the attacks are, the resulting explosion from their attacks as well as the immediate aftereffect is unfathomable. It’s not every explosion that results in multiple galaxies collapsing inward towards the source of said explosion. Truly an explosion that will be remembered in the days to come.
3. One Punch Man – Saitama’s Strongest Attack
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 5, 2015 - Dec 21, 2015
When you’ve got a hilarious anime that revolves around the idea of a man who can defeat powerful opponents with just one punch, you’d best believe that there are going to be some giant explosions that take place. Picking just one explosion from the series is difficult, as many acts of destruction are committed by Saitama’s opponents as they try to demonstrate their best moves in any effort to defeat him. Not to mention the resulting explosions that occur from the number of monsters Saitama annihilates into pieces. However, a strong case can be made for the strongest punch Saitama delivers in the series in his final fight with Boros. The impact of such a punch is nothing short of incredible, as the explosion afterwards immediately effects the entire planet and leaves Boros, a being that can regenerate himself from hundreds of pieces as well as fatal wounds, completely wiped out and unable to move. The fact that one person could create such an explosion is nothing short of remarkable.
2. Dragonball Z - Destruction of Planet Namek
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: Apr 26, 1989 - Jan 31, 1996
One of those few explosions where the explosion itself was impactful due to both its context and how big it was. With Frieza telling Goku Namek will blow up in 5 minutes after destroying the planet’s core, the tension begins to mount as Goku races against the clock to not only defeat Frieza, but also get to a spaceship so that he can escape. In the final seconds, the audience watches from outer space as the massive explosion takes place, and we’re left wondering if Goku somehow survived or was caught in the explosion. Even when we learn at the end of the Frieza saga that Goku is alive, we’re still left wondering how exactly he was able to escape, and the sequence that occurs once Goku gets back to Earth and recounts his survival is pretty cool to say the least. All in all, a perfect explosion that ties in very well with the plot of the story.
1. Akira – Destruction of Neo-Tokyo
Doesn’t get much better than this one. Not only do you have a meaningful story that lies with a young boy struggling to control his powers, experience a fall from grace, and fight his former friends, but the actual explosion itself is unbelievable. Rarely do you see an explosion happen where it gets bigger to the point where you wonder just how much bigger it’s going to get before it stops. The fact that Kaneda and some of his friends were even able to survive such an enormous explosion is miraculous, as most of Neo-Tokyo is completely wiped out. Not to mention Tetsuo not only surviving the initial explosion, but being blasted into a different universe as well. With the explosion serving as the finale to the struggle that ensued, you can’t ask for a bigger way to go out on top.
There are so many explosions in anime to choose from, but here is the final list for the top 10 explosions in anime. What are your guys’ thoughts? Was your favorite explosion on this list? If not, let us know your favorite in the comments!