Script written by Jonathan Alexander
Top 20 One-Hit KOs in Anime
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 One-Hit KOs in Anime.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most embarrassing fights that ended with a single blow.
Which of these scuffles do you wish lasted a little longer? Let us know in the comments below!
#20: Gobta vs. Gabiru
“That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” (2018-)
It’s common knowledge that you never want to pick a fight with a slime. Or their traveling companions, for that matter. But, when Gabiru Gabiru into the village like he owned the place, Rimuru decided he wasn’t even worth the time. Instead, they sent in Gobuta, who had conveniently just finished their shadow movement training. A few feints and a kick to the head later, Gabiru’s face was firmly planted in the ground. So much for him owning the village. If Gobta is any indication, these hobgoblins can take care of themselves. Now, just imagine how quick it would’ve gone if Rimuru had fought instead.
#19: David vs. Katsuo, Round Two
“Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” (2022)
Turns out, what goes around, does come around. Especially if it's a punch. The slimy Katsuo made the mistake of saying some unsavory things about David’s late mother. In his defense, he successfully stuck it to David in the past . But, when David decided to go-full android with a Sandevistan spine, he returned to dole some well-deserved payback. Not only does Katsuo fail to land a hit, but he gets knocked into oblivion before he can even turn his head. Keep in mind, David doesn’t even know how to control his powers at this point. Although, for the sake of Katsuo’s pride, here’s hoping he never learns that part.
#18: Nagisa vs. Takaoka
“Assassination Classroom” (2015-16)
Class 3-E’s new P.E. teacher has some very questionable teaching methods. Mainly involving physical pain and emotional turmoil. But, he failed to realize that this isn’t called the “Assassination Classroom” for nothing. Nagisa spent a whole semester learning how to kill, and he put that to work in this speedrun of a smackdown. In a single coordinated strike, the arrogant prick Takaoka becomes a sniveling crybaby on the ground. And the worst part? Nagisa did it all with a smile on his face. Even though this wasn’t an official assassination attempt, there’s no doubt who’s at the top of this class.
#17: Sarada vs. Tarui
“Boruto: Naruto Next Generations” (2017-23)
Well, you can’t say Sarada’s not a woman of her word. She flat-out said her match in the Chunin Exams would only take three seconds, and she completely delivered. In fact, you could argue she only needed one. Sarada spent her first second getting in close, the second dodging an attack, and the third sending her opponent flying out of the arena. She really only used the final second, but clearly, that was more than enough to handily take the win. That’s the power of a Sharingan for you. Even in the hands of a wannabe Chunin, it’s capable of making anyone look like a rookie.
#16: Shirou vs. Shinji
“Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel II. lost butterfly” (2019)
If you’re going to bother holding someone ransom, at least have the strength to back it up. Shinji, unfortunately, did not. He went to the trouble of kidnapping Sakura, luring Shirou back to school, and even getting some lackeys to do his dirty work. The one thing Shinji didn’t prepare for was stepping into the ring himself. But, once all his plans failed, he had no choice but to make a hail-mary charge at Shirou. Alas, the only thing Shinji slammed into was Shirou’s rock-solid fist. After all the trouble he caused, it’s both hilarious and vindicating to see Shinji go down so fast.
#15: Killua vs. Johness
“Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)
Ironically, Johness the Dissector ends this fight as Johness the Dissected. On paper, all he had to do was beat up some punk kid. Unfortunately for him, that kid was Killua Zoldyck. For him, taking on a notorious serial killer is nothing more than a light stroll. Literally. Killua casually walks forward, and just like that, there’s a gaping hole in Johness’ chest. As you can imagine, he doesn’t last very long after that. If you’re looking for a clean win, amputating your opponent’s heart is a pretty foolproof plan. And, based on Killua’s satisfied smirk, this probably isn’t the first time he’s been a real heartbreaker in the ring.
#14: Deku vs. Muscular, Round 2
“My Hero Academia” (2016-)
You could say that Izuku Midoriya has a bit of a sordid history with the villain, Muscular. Way back when, the beefed-out brawler nearly crushed the poor kid into paste. But, times have changed. Deku’s older, stronger, and has a lot more of One For All’s quirks unlocked. Not that he needed them. In actuality, Deku pounded through Muscular’s physique with a single, smashing punch. Only one quirk required. Oh, and by the way, the blow was at just 45% impact, too. With that in mind, it feels like all Muscular did was serve as a measuring stick for how ridiculously powerful Deku’s become.
#13: Ash vs. Hop
Over the years, Ash and Pikachu have taken on rivals, champions, legendaries, and more. So, when the newbie trainer, Hop, challenged them with a novice Wooloo, you can imagine how things turned out. In the spirit of good-sportsmanship, Ash even let Hop make the first move. But, it ended up being the first and last thing Wooloo ever did. Pikachu counterattacked with its iron tail, and immediately sent Hop’s partner on an express flight to the Pokemon center. It wasn’t exactly a graceful defeat, but hopefully Hop learned his lesson. Never challenge a Champion without a plan. Or, at least, do it with a Pokemon that can take a few hits.
#12: Mikey vs. Taiju
“Tokyo Revengers” (2021-)
As Taiju soon learned, the truce between the warring gangs was protecting him as much as it was keeping him at bay. Admittedly, he had an impressive track record, and the muscles to prove it. But, none of that mattered once Mikey entered the fray. The Tokyo Manji gang leader is a reasonable guy, though. He graciously let Taiju land one free punch to the face as penance. But, once that was over, Mikey returned the favor ten-fold. Or, maybe it’s more accurate to call it one-thousand-fold. Either way, Taiju hits the ground so fast, you don’t even see him go down. It’s almost pitiable, but quite frankly, Taiju had it coming.
#11: Lawton vs. Radley
“Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's” (2008-11)
You know when someone loses so badly, it feels like they didn’t even get to play? Well, in Radley’s case, that’s no mere feeling. He quite literally didn’t get a chance to move before the match was over. To really rub it in, Lawton won with only a single monster on the field. His Gatling Ogre could sacrifice trap cards in exchange for gargantuan damage. So much damage, in fact, that it ended the whole duel half a turn in. The look on Radley’s face is worth its weight in gold. But, you can’t blame him for being incredulous. The heart of the cards has never seemed so one-sided.
#10: Jotaro vs. The Sun
“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders” (2014-15)
While not exactly the deadliest Stand he’s gone up against during his tour towards Egypt, Jotaro and company still ended up feeling the heat when facing off against a literal sun. Stranded in the desert while being belted with scorching temperatures, for a moment it looks like Jotaro’s goose is well and truly cooked…until he catches onto the Stand user’s whereabouts and uses Star Platinum to launch a rock at lightspeed. The result of which finally put an end to the Sun and left its owner with what we can only imagine to be permanent brain damage.
#9: Akira vs. Koda
“Devilman Crybaby” (2018)
Any sympathy we may have had for this track champion was lost when he gave into his hellish urges and joined Satan’s forces. After all, just because your boyfriend was killed doesn’t mean you should lead the charge to mankind’s extinction. During the apocalyptic final battle, Koda tries to gore Akira before he can reach Ryou, confident he can end the Devilman once and for all. Unfortunately for him, Akira ain’t got no time for that, and so promptly tears him in half during his descent without a second thought.
#8: Natsu vs. Laxus
“Fairy Tail” (2009-19)
Given how explosive their initial encounter earlier in the series was, you can bet your britches that fans were eager to see both the Fire and the Lightning Dragonslayers duke it out once again. With the rest of the Guild watching, the two power up to their maximum and lash out in a true clash of the elements…only for Laxus to win a second later. Sure, it’s played for comedic effect, but we have to wonder why Laxus waited until now to dish out a punch like that. Could have saved him a lot of time and effort if he’d used it a couple of arcs ago.
#7: Asta vs. Sekke
“Black Clover” (2017-)
Say what you will about Asta and his annoying as hell scream, at least he knows how to come through when it counts. In a bid to become a Magic Knight, he soon finds himself facing off against the less than modest Sekke, whose confidence in his mastery of bronze magic proves to be his undoing. Despite boasting an impressive shield, it’s unable to handle the shear force of the Demon-Slayer Sword, which Asta sends hurtling down onto his face. Guess you should never underestimate a Wizard King in training.
#6: Tatsuya vs. Hanzo
“The Irregular at Magic High School” (2014)
We’re starting to think the reason this guy has no personality is due to the fact he traded it in for an in-built God-Mode. While he decimates more than his fair share of magical students across the series, the one that ended up dropping the quickest was this cocky vice-president. Despite showing an impressive aptitude for magic, Hanzo is woefully unprepared for Tatsuya’s overpowered-ness. Not only does he end up blindsiding Hanzo with sheer physical speed, but also manages to pull off a magical thug-life headshot in under two seconds.
#5: Vegeta vs. Frost
“Dragon Ball Super” (2015-18)
Given how he slaughtered his people and destroyed his planet, it’s easy to see why Vegeta would still have such a hate-boner for Frieza after all this time. This spells bad news for Frost given how he’s essentially the Universe 6 duplicate, looks and all. In a burst of rageful catharsis, Vegeta delivers a blow that sends the wannbe space emperor flying from the ring. Still not sure how Vegeta managed not to kill him in the heat of the moment, but oh well - yay for pseudo-vengeance!
#4: Sebas vs. Zero
“Overlord II” (2018)
Jeez, the inhabitants of Nazarick are so powerful that even the butlers are top tier. After his new lady love is kidnapped by the deadly crime syndicate known as Eight Fingers, Sebas sets off to do what he does best and take out the garbage. Not only does he pop the heads off the group’s most elite members with a series of light jab, he even manages to take their leader out of commission with a single heel to the skull. Must suck for Zero, he went through all that trouble of showing off his magical tattoos for nothing.
#3: Kenpachi vs. Giriko
“Bleach” (2004-12; 2022-)
One of the saving graces of Bleach’s final arc was by far the sudden appearance of everyone’s favorite murderous captain, and what do you know, he’s just as trigger happy as ever. After each captain is forced to fight a member of Xcution one on one, Kenpachi finds himself going up against a seriously roided Giriko. Not that it does him much good mind you, since Kenpachi finds the whole thing rather dull and so slices him in half with minimal effort. Not sure what’s shaper, the sword slash or that biting insult at the end.
#2: Luffy vs. Bellamy
“One Piece” (1999-)
And this is what happens when you chat shit to Luffy. While the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates had let a beating from earlier slide, he drew the line when this devout member of the Doflamingo Pirates started berating him over the nature of dreams and determination. After finally getting fed up with his taunts, Luffy unleashes a punch so fearsome that it not only stops Bellamy mid-spring, but also indents the shape of a fist into that smug face of his. That’s what you get for dissing another pirate’s ambitions you jerk!
#1: Saitama vs. Anyone
“One Punch Man” (2015-)
He may not have been the first to practice the art of the one-hit kill, but he certainly perfected it. With enough power to destroy any opponent with but a single swing, Saitama managed to take what many would consider a mundane trope and turn it into an endless source of entertainment. It’s impossible for us to pick out a particular moment given how each opponent ends up meeting their end after just one hit, though watching Marugori and the Deep Sea King go down despite their immense sizes never gets old.