Tension goes hand in hand with excitement, and they often come together during intense chase sequences. Anime as a medium does not lack bombastic action and memorable fight scenes, but sometimes the hero or villain finds the need to run. In times like these, everything is at stake.
A chase scene can determine whether a character lives or dies or whether justice is served. It could even be an opportunity for an anime character to make life-changing decisions. Whatever the outcome, the thrill of an anime chase scene is in its journey, not its destination.
10 Chasing a dream can be heartbreaking (Millennium Actress)
Satoshi Kon is a legendary director of anime movies, and his work on Millennium Actress it’s noticable. At the climax of the story, viewers can feel Chiyoko Fujiwara’s fear and tension only through her actions.
As she travels from Tokyo to Hokkaido, her mind is caught between reality and fiction. She’s chasing something she knows may be long lost, but she must try anyway, and her intense desire not to give up makes this a powerful moment.
9 There’s a lot at stake in train fights (Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door)
Most chase scenes in Cowboy Bebop are nostalgic or whimsical, but Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door went above and beyond. A dramatic train chase between Spike and Vincent is accompanied by music to match their actions.
Stylish drum notes fade into ambient sounds that amplify the fight before it climaxes as Vincent reveals his grenade. Finer details like the movement and breathing of characters are portrayed, and when Spike finally loses, the audience feels its weight.
8 A chase between servants is one to remember (Fate/Stay night: Heaven’s Feel)
The war with the Holy Grail is always a high-stakes battle. Magical masters and their heroic servants of all time compete for the wish-fulfilling treasure, but they don’t all play by the same rules.
The Assassin class is a frequent threat until Lancer finds an opportunity to chase him. What follows is a spectacular chase through the town of Fuyuki, including a memorable fight on a moving truck and a slow but terrifying scene in a forest.
7 The antics of embarrassed schoolgirls should not be underestimated (Nichijou)
The magic of Nichijou is when it takes ordinary situations and portrays them in the most extraordinary ways possible. Yuuko Aioi unknowingly possesses Mio Naganohara’s book of yaoi drawings. Instead of returning him, she makes a daring escape and forces Mio to chase her.
The ensuing hallway chase between the pair is animated with more sakuga than most shonen anime. The music makes the audience feel like an agent of The Matrix Yuuko is hot on his heels and the scene even features Formula 1 sound effects to let fans know how fast they are running.
6 Lupine and Jigen have their priorities in order (Lupine III: Cagliostro’s Castle)
Arsene Lupine III and Daisuk Jigen mind their own business, but when they see a bride passing by in a car chase, they can’t help but get involved. James Bondstyle music sets the scene for a chase around perilous cliffs.
The angles shift from wide shots of all parties involved to a cockpit shot of Lupine’s car. The pair even ride up the cliffs to get the high ground on their enemies before jumping down in front of them and using a well-placed tire shot to get the job done.
5 A dangerous booth user pushes Josuke Higashikata to his limits (JoJo’s bizarre adventure)
Josuk Higashikata and Rohan Kishibe didn’t trust each other, but that made it all the more important when Rohan used his supposed last escape attempt to warn Josuke of the danger of the Highway Star Stand.
What followed was an intimidating chase as Highway Star’s several feet chased Josuke relentlessly through the town of Morioh with no regard for their surroundings. It takes all of Josuke’s ingenuity to escape with his life, making his ultimate revenge on the hostile Stand User all the sweeter.
4 A good chase can be thrilling in itself (a place beyond the galaxy)
Making decisions in life is difficult, especially for high school students. That said, inspiration can lead one to go to some of the most unlikely places. For Mari Tamaki, she made the decision to travel to Antarctica with her new friends.
Before leaving, however, the new group had to infiltrate a meeting for the Antarctic Expedition in Tokyo, which resulted in them being chased away. Despite the situation, Mari realizes that up to this point she has never felt that her life could be a fun adventure.
3 Shizuo Heiwajima is the protector of Ikebukuro (Durarara!! X2)
Ikebukuro is a neighborhood for absurd events in Durarara!!, and no one personifies that more than Shizuo Heiwajima. When Akane Awakusu is kidnapped in a truck, it’s up to Shizuo and Celty Sturluson to save the day.
Shizuo kicks a car down the street as cover for gunshots before jumping over rooftops to get into the truck and break Vorona’s gun with just a flick of the hand. Seeing Celty’s powers to stop a gunshot and then create a web to save the couple from Vorona was the icing on the cake.
2 There has never been a more iconic motorcycle scene in Anime (Akira)
As for iconic car chases in anime, Akira is hard to top. Neo-Tokyo’s cyberpunk hellscape is brought to life with slow drums and eerie vocals as viewers watch a dramatic car chase between two rival biker gangs.
Collateral damage is inevitable and the action is brutal as horsemen and civilians get caught up in battle. Alien chants set the tone for a game of chicken and the cinema’s most iconic motorcycle shot, referenced in countless other media since then.
1 Levi Ackerman had to use everything he had to survive Kenny The Ripper (Attack On Titan)
Carefully crafted plans often don’t work out, and Levi Ackerman would understand that. After a simple reconnaissance mission to explore the city fails, Levi is put on the run from his former mentor, Kenny the Ripper, and his band of ferocious mercenaries.
You’ll need all of Levi’s ODM skills to rampage through the city and get out of the deadly situation. He narrows to avoid a barrage of attacks and eventually turns the tables when fans think he’s completely cornered.
Next: 10 Most Intense Anime Racing (That Aren’t Racing Anime)