Interestingly, guns don’t carry the same kind of prominence in anime that they do in other media. The landscape of modern action films is dominated by guns, including the John Wick series, Top Gun, and the works of John Woo. Behind hand-to-hand combat, guns are the primary mode of action in different kinds of media. However, anime has a stronger preference for swords, martial arts, and superpowers.
This doesn’t mean that the medium is devoid of amazing gun fights. There are many examples of cool anime gunslingers who have to face fellow gunslingers. These duels are tense, cool, and brutal. The gunslingers involved have an air of sophistication or charisma to them, which echoes through the fight. These are stylish moments that pump up the viewer’s excitement.
10/10 Luke Valentine Exchanges Deadly Shots Against Alucard
In Hellsing Ultimate, the gunfight between Alucard and Luke is short, but it is undeniably flashy and memorable. Both combatants are unhinged, laughing after getting shot in the head. This gives their fight a chaotic energy, where both Luke and Alucard feel invincible.
As far as the gunfight is concerned, Luke comes out on top. He lands more shots on Alucard while repeatedly dodging hits. Alucard doesn’t bother evading since the gunfight is frivolous to him. He reveals his true power to Luke. The existential horror of Alucard’s power ends the fight with Luke instantly.
9/10 Valmet Gets Revenge For Karen’s Actions
Two of the most tenacious and vicious characters in Jormungand, Karen and Valmet’s fight is brutal. In an act of revenge, Valmet systematically breaks down Karen’s defenses. During the gun portion of the fight, Karen has the upper hand. She even manages to disarm Valmet’s firearm.
However, Valmet displays that she is a far more dangerous close-range fighter, especially with a blade. Knife wounds completely neutralize Karen. Her last attempt to reload is foiled 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 single-strike lethality, so it wouldn’t make sense for them to constantly shoot each other while in a duel. Keeping their positions hidden is vital in the fight. Golden Kamuy manages to maintain this while also making the scene incredibly intense and impactful.
Ogata faces Vasily, a sniper who is almost as good as him. As for as the show is concerned, this is a duel between the two best marksmen in the anime. Ogata bluffs his location and stays still, eating snow to conceal his breath. It takes awhile, but Vasily falls for the bait and Ogata is quick to punish him for it.
7/10 Panty Versus Scanty Is An Exercise In Excess
Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt
One of the most over-the-top gunfights in anime, Panty’s clash against Scanty has them shooting through bathroom walls, breaking urinals, and blasting through corridors. The animation is fun and inventive, and the perspectives used communicate so much joy.
The biggest downside to this gunfight is that Stocking and Kneesocks’ fight overshadows it. While the gunfight deserves praise, it is hard to compete with a sword fight between two women driving cars through a building. The whole sequence is high energy and definitely fits with the tone of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.
6/10 Revy Teams Up With Mr. Chang To Fight Off Terrorists
Black Lagoon is full of relentless fights between overpowered antagonistic forces, but one of its standout fight sequences is when two parties cooperate. 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 of them dual wield pistols, but Mr. Chang’s approach is more evocative of the Gun Fu film subgenre. The two of them cover each other’s back, and the camaraderie really shines through. It is a wildly fun sequence with two of the most cold-blooded characters in the show.
5/10 Odasaka & Gide Use Precognition To Neutralize Each Other
Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs pits two mafia marksmen who have the ability to see the future. They use this to anticipate the other’s next move. While only showing the action, the anime communicates the mental mind game between Odasaka and Gide. It’s a game of chess choreographed like a dance that ends in brutal fashion.
The best part about the fight is when the antagonistic nature is briefly flipped. Gide and Odasaka see that armed men will burst into the room to kill them, so they work together to eliminate them 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 to the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series has one of the most ornate gunfights in all anime. Every surface has a different texture, giving the fighting ground an incredibly surreal feal. Homura and Mami fly around, summoning new guns, and deflecting the other’s shots with their own. The clash of metal leads to an incredible light show.
While some moments can feel static, often focusing more on the geometric beauty of the shot rather than kinetic action, it also includes moments of reaction from the two. Mami will flip to dodge Homura’s shot, and fire back within the same movement. It is a feast for the eyes, fueled by Homura’s selfish determination.
3/10 Alphard & Canaan Blast Through A Train
One of the longer gunfight sequences in anime, Alphard and Canaan flip-flop between using guns and fist fights, often combining the two in close-range shootouts. The impact of the hits have a tactile quality to them. The hits have crisp audible impact, the glass breaking sounds sharp, and the power of the strikes are clear.
Canaan goes a step further by upping the scale once the two of them climb on top of the train. Alphard hops on a helicopter, but Canaan manages to shoot it down. It borders camp with how exaggerated it is, but it does have spectacle going for it.
2/10 Vash Confronts Knives In An Epic Showdown
The climax 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 marksmen, they force each other to multiple standstills.
Vash and Knives’ clash is hard to predict. At one point, they look equal, then Knives gains the upper hand, but Vash finds a way to close in on his brother. It will keep the viewer guessing, even though the fight isn’t incredibly long.
1/10 Spike Storms The Syndicate On His Own
The climactic finale of Cowboy Bebop shows a Spike Spiegel with nothing left to lose. He has one goal: to face Vicious and kill him. To get there, he decides to walk in through the front entrance all on his own. Equipped with nothing but his guns, ammo, and some explosives, he rushes in and destroys several floors in his wake.
The moment is endlessly entertaining. Spike is an unstoppable force who blasts his way through the floors and corridors needed to reach Vicious. There are moments when he gets shot during an exchange, but this only adds to the stakes involved.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest Anime Swords, Ranked