Top Martial Arts Anime with Strong Main Characters – Bringing out the kid in all of us

Once in a while, people come across martial arts in several anime series. While the subject around it may be rare, it goes beyond fighting for entertainment. In essence, different series demonstrate the amazing power and skills of various characters. It gets more exciting because sometimes the actions go beyond people’s imagination of martial arts. 

That said, below are some interesting martial arts anime series with powerful main characters:

Baki the Grappler

Keisuke Itagaki wrote the manga series. It tells the story of a teenage boy called Baki Hanma. He has been brought up by his rich mother, Emi Akezawa. She pays for him to train, hoping that Baki will learn to fight like his father.

Baki the Grappler

As Baki grows, he sets off a path to learn hard fighting beyond traditional training. He comes across many trained fighters along the journey. Later on, he takes up a fight with his father and gets defeated. It probes him to travel around the world to train harder.

As the years go by, he begins to fight in an underground martial arts arena. It is at this point that he begins to master his fighting skills.

Dragon Ball Z

Toei Animation created the anime series. It aired from 1989 to 1996. The Dragon Ball Sequel tells of the adventures of Goku, who has grown into a young adult. An alien called Raditz tracks Goku on Earth, claiming that the two are brothers. Initially, Goku is brought to Earth as a baby when his race, the Saiyan, was almost extinguished.

Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z

Goku arrives on Earth, but a brain injury leads to memory loss. He doesn’t remember the mission that brought him to the planet. When Goku refuses to help Raditz, he kidnaps Gohan, Goku’s son. Goku joins his former enemy Piccolo, to try and defeat Raditz. Unfortunately, he in the process.

In the afterlife, Goku trains under King Kai in the North Galaxy. After learning new tactics, he revives to fight Raditz’s allies.

Ranma ½

Rumiko Takeshi created the anime series. Ranma doesn’t have intense action as compared to other martial arts anime series. However, it has many charming characters. The story follows the heir of the Anything Goes Style of Martial Arts, Ranma Saotome.

Once, he trained with his father in a cursed Chinese hot spring. It led to an incident where Ranma transforms into a girl when cold water touches him. He is also engaged to Akane Tendou, a practitioner. Akane doesn’t want to be involved with him. Ideally, their relationship is slow and never starts seriously.

Ranma ½
Ranma ½

The fun begins when Rumiko Takeshi creates funny and crazy scenarios that the audience thinks are not serious. However, the style still revolves around the main theme of the series. In another scene, a Chinese amazon threatens Ranma’s life Ranma and Akane come together in a match against a couple. Their high school becomes the battlefield when their principal finds minor issues with the students` dress code.

Although the humor in the story is not very good, the anime series is perfect for watching for martial arts lovers.

Hajime No Ippo

Hajime no Ippo is a Japanese martial art manga serie with 76 episodes. It was released in 2003 and was aired up to 2014. It revolves around the life of the protagonist, Ippo Makunouchi. He is a high school student who ventures into boxing to start his career. Although he begins as a weak oxer, he gains skills over time. Subsequently, he gains many championship titles and defeats a greater part of his opponents.

In the story, Ippo is a very shy student. He doesn’t have a lot of friends because he always helps his mother run the family business. Due to his calm nature, several bullies begin to pick on him. One day when Ippo was beaten severely, a professional boxer, Mamoru Takamura, appears and saves him from the fight.

He takes the wounded boy to the Kamogawa Gym to treat his injuries. He falls asleep and he uncovers his boxing talent. He decides to train to be a professional boxer. He shares his thoughts with Takamura, and the latter challenges him.

Hajime No Ippo
Hajime No Ippo

After weeks of training, Takamura introduces him to the other people training in the gym. The coach puts him up for a fight with Miyata because they share the same age. After the fight, the coach sees the willingness and spirit of Ippo to win. He decides to train him in preparation for the Japanese Championship. He goes on to win the world championship later on in the series.

Kengan Ashura

The Kengan Ashura series ran from 2012-2018 and adapted on Netflix in 2019. Many characters from different walks of life brings out the joy of this anime series. Despite their backgrounds, they have to fight against each other. For instance, one of the characters called Sekabashi Jun has high spirits and charisma. He is a trained wrestler who can bear any punishment without being limited to pain.

There’s also the famous Karo Yoshinari, who spent most of his time as a fisherman. His experience on ships has given him unique skills of moving and balancing. Yoshinari is also a powerful martial arts fighter.

Kengan Ashura
Kengan Ashura

In the plot, there’s only one way to solve disputes when big corporations disagree. They have to participate in underground martial arts called The Kengan Matches. The fights bring together different fighters to eventually determine the best one. Ideally, each fighter has the fate of their respective companies on their shoulders.


Anime becomes more unconventional when arts are involved. Although martial arts may be violent, it shows the body strength that people have. The aspect of self-defense is also interesting, as illustrated in various martial arts anime series.

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