Interestingly, weapons in anime don’t have the same prominence as they do in other media. The landscape of modern action movies is dominated by weapons, including the John Wick series, Top Gun, and the work of John Woo. Behind hand-to-hand combat, weapons are the main mode of action in various types of media. However, anime has a stronger preference for swords, martial arts, and superpowers.
This does not mean that the medium is devoid of great firefights. There are many examples of cool anime gunslingers competing against other gunslingers. These duels are tense, cool and brutal. The gunslingers involved have an air of sophistication or charisma to them, which reverberates throughout the fight. These are stylish moments that elevate the viewer’s excitement.
10/10 Luke Valentine exchanges deadly shots with Alucard
In Hellsing UltimateThe gunfight between Alucard and Luke is brief, but it’s undeniably flashy and memorable. Both fighters have gone wild, laughing after being shot in the head. This gives their fight a chaotic energy, with both Luke and Alucard feeling invincible.
As for the gunfight, Luke comes out on top. He lands more shots at Alucard while dodging hits repeatedly. Alucard doesn’t bother to dodge, as the gunfight is frivolous for him. He reveals his true power to Luke. The existential horror of Alucard’s power ends the battle with Luke immediately.
9/10 Valmet gets revenge for Karen’s actions
Two of the most persistent and vicious characters in JormungandKaren and Valmet’s fight is brutal. In an act of revenge, Valmet systematically breaches Karen’s defenses. During the rifle portion of the fight, Karen has the upper hand. She even manages to defuse Valmet’s firearm.
However, Valmet shows that she is a much more dangerous close-range fighter, especially with a knife. Blade wounds neutralize Karen completely. Her last attempt to reload is thwarted by a jam around her belt and the fight ends in Valmet’s favor.
8/10 Ogata Outsmarts Vasily in a Sniper Duel
Sniper duels are hard to storyboard in anime. The whole point of a sniper is their lethality in a single attack, so it wouldn’t make sense if they were constantly shooting each other during a duel. It is vital to keep their positions hidden in battle. Golden Kamuy manages to hold onto this while making the scene incredibly intense and impactful.
Ogata takes on Vasily, a sniper almost as good as he is. As for the show, this is a duel between the two best shooters in the anime. Ogata bluffs his location and remains silent, eating snow to hide his breath. It takes a while, but Vasily falls for the bait and Ogata quickly punishes him for it.
7/10 Panty versus scanty is an exercise in excess
Pantyhose & stocking with garter belt
One of the most over-the-top gunfights in the anime, Panty’s showdown with Scanty has them blasting through bathroom walls, breaking urinals, and blasting down hallways. The animation is fun and inventive, and the perspectives used communicate so much joy.
The biggest downside to this gunfight is that the Stocking and Kneesocks fight overshadows it. While the gunfight deserves praise, it’s hard to compete with a sword fight between two women driving cars through a building. The whole sequence is energetic and certainly fits the tone of Pantyhose & Stocking with Suspender Belt.
6/10 Revy works with Mr. Chang to fight terrorists
black lagoon is full of relentless battles between overpowered antagonistic forces, but one of the standout battle sequences is when two sides team up. When a terrorist cell interrupts a meeting between the Black Lagoon company and the triad, Revy teams up with Mr. Chang to deal with them.
Both dual-wield pistols, but Mr. Chang is more reminiscent of the Gun Fu movie subgenre. The two cover each other’s backs and the camaraderie really shines through. It’s a really fun series with two of the most cold-blooded characters in the show.
5/10 Odasaka and Gide use insider knowledge to neutralize each other
Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs two mafia gunmen who can see into the future. They use this to anticipate the other’s next move. While only showing the action, the anime communicates the mental game between Odasaka and Gide. It’s a game of chess choreographed as a dance that ends in a brutal way.
The best part of the fight is when the antagonistic nature is reversed for a moment. Gide and Odasaka see gunmen storming into the room to kill them, so they team up to take them out first. It heightens the dance-like aspect of the sequence.
4/10 Homura & Mami create a spectacle of a fight
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion
The narrative conclusion of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series has one of the most graceful firefights in all of the anime. Each surface has a different texture, giving the battleground an incredibly surreal feel. Homura and Mami fly around, summoning new weapons and refuting the other’s shots with their own weapons. The clash of metal leads to an incredible light show.
While some moments can feel static and often focus more on the geometric beauty of the shot than on kinetic action, it also features moments of reaction from the two. Mami turns to dodge Homura’s shot and fires back within the same movement. It’s a sight to behold, fueled by Homura’s selfish determination.
3/10 Alphard & Canaan blast through a train
One of the longer gunfights in the anime, Alphard and Canaan switch between using rifles and fistfights, often combining the two in close-range shootouts. The impact of the hits has a tactile quality to them. The blows have a clear audible impact, the breaking of the glass sounds sharp and the force of the blows is clear.
Canaan takes it one step further by increasing the scale once they climb on the train together. Alphard jumps on a helicopter, but Canaan manages to shoot him. It borders on how overdone it is, but it does have spectacle.
2/10 Vash confronts knives in an epic showdown
The pinnacle of Trigun involves a tense duel between two brothers. Knives shows no remorse or hesitation when it comes to his brutality, but Vash is clearly tired of all the fighting. Two equally talented and powerful shooters force each other to multiple stops.
The clash of Vash and Knives is difficult to predict. At one point they seem even, then Knives gains the upper hand, but Vash finds a way to approach his brother. It will keep the viewer guessing, even if the fight doesn’t last incredibly long.
1/10 Spike storms the syndicate on his own
The climax of the Cowboy Bebop shows a Spike Spiegel that has nothing left to lose. He has only one goal: to face Vicious and kill him. To get there, he decides to walk through the main entrance on his own. Equipped with nothing but his guns, ammunition and some explosives, he storms in, destroying several floors in his wake.
The moment is endlessly entertaining. Spike is an unstoppable force that works its way through the floors and hallways needed to reach Vicious. There are times when he gets shot during an exchange, but this just adds to the stakes.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest Anime Swords, Ranked