The best scenes in anime never start with the key characters already present. Instead, tensions build and stakes rise until it's just the right moment for the hero to make an entrance and captivate everyone around them with a pose, phrase, or even immediate action. The best entrances create a bit of dramatic flair without drawing out the scene or episode. An entrance should make all eyes focus on the hero and leave the audience on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next.
Whether the entrance acts as the character's introduction or if their arrival is long-awaited in that particular episode, a proper entrance should set the tone for that scene, or even for the remainder of the series. While most anime have at least one or two big character entrances, there are some that stand above the others.
10 Hak Shows Up Just In Time (Yona Of The Dawn)
In Yona of the Dawn, Hak is a character known for his quick-thinking and dependability in battle. At the start of the series, Yona witnesses Soo-Won, her childhood friend and object of affection, kill her father. Shaken, she doesn't fight back when the guards surround her with intent to kill. Ironically, it is Soo-Won whom she calls out for.
As one of the guards brings his sword down to kill Yona, Hak shows up and stops him. This entrance is a simple one, but Hak always manages to look strong and full of conviction when he's on-screen. He obliterates the guards in seconds, demonstrating a determination to help Yona that sets up his character's drive throughout the series.
9 L Casually Reveals His Identity (Death Note)
Perhaps it's because Death Note portrays its drama in more a psychological sense, or that the role of the hero is undefined, but L's in-person introduction to Light Yagami is one of the coolest scenes in the show. Both of these characters understand that in order to succeed, one must keep their friends close and their enemies closer.
Both men are more or less aware of one another's roles in this fight for "justice," but act as though this is a simple conversation. The audience, however, knows the true weight of L telling Light who he is, and the dramatic music and color shift in the animation stress that this is indeed a turning point in the anime.
8 Kaneki Saves The Day In His New Look (Tokyo Ghoul)
Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul is a protagonist known for his constant look changes, but his first appearance with his white hair is arguably the best. This scene demonstrates how Kaneki is no longer the innocent kid he was. Instead, he's now willing to get his hands dirty to protect his allies.
Just as Ayato is about to make himself an only child, Kaneki swoops in and saves Touka. Maybe it's because this is the first time Kaneki's friends see him with his new look, or maybe it's the way Kaneki makes sure the wind catches his hair for dramatic effect, but the audience is captivated.
7 Mugen Helps Fuu In Exchange For Dumplings (Samurai Champloo)
One aspect of Samurai Champloo that sets it apart from other anime is that the three protagonists don't care for one another, at least not at the start of the series. Mugen sits in the corner of the tea house as an angry customer threatens to cut off Fuu's fingers. It is only when Fuu exclaims that she'll give Mugen 100 dumplings in exchange for saving her life that he interferes.
Mugen's entrance into the anime does a lot in expressing how casual his motives are as well as how skillful he is with a blade. When Mugen teases the rude customer's group about their lives being worth only 100 dumplings, the audience realizes that Mugen doesn't think the same way most protagonists do.
6 Saki Impulsively Enters The Scene (Zombieland Saga)
While the events of Zombie Land Saga aren't as drastic as the events of a shonen would be, Saki, Zombie Number Two, tends to make the most dramatic entrances. After she introduces herself to the local girl gangs by throwing herself out of a van moving toward them, Saki notices that they are doomed to repeat the mistakes that have led to her death.
Right before the girls' chicken race on the cliff, Saki comes barreling in to impart some wisdom. She enters on a cheap bicycle, driving so unrealistically fast that she knocks over a row of motorcycles right before giving an ominous speech that alludes to her death.
5 Saitama's Entrance Is Predictable But Epic (One-Punch Man)
Saitama's role in One-Punch Man is repetitive. As his name implies, he consistently saves the day with one punch. Despite the anime's predictability, fans are never disappointed when Saitama shows up to save the day. When Suiryu is being mercilessly beaten by Bakuzan, he calls for the heroes' help, but everyone around him is scattered across the ground and injured.
Naturally, Saitama answers Suiryu's call, stating that he has come because he is a hero. Most of Saitama's entrances are packed with power and anticipation, and the way this hero defeats his enemies within minutes of arriving at the fight is a comedic spin that never grows old.
4 Shanks' Call To End The War Is Chilling (One Piece)
Fans of One Piece know that Shanks, or Red Hair, is the pirate who motived Luffy to go down this path. This hype is confirmed the second he enters the scene during the war, radiating untouchable energy. He gives a warning, telling the pirates around him to cease their fighting and that he will take down anyone who continues.
The fact that Shanks has a whole crew, each member looking more threatening than the last, only adds to the entrance. Even with the numbers against him, Shanks knows his crew is more powerful than the rest. This explains his confidence.
3 All Might Demonstrates His Reliability (My Hero Academia)
Especially in earlier episodes, My Hero Academia stresses just how young and unpolished the new heroes are. They're certainly brave and give their all in holding off the bad guys, but they aren't ready to handle the big league villains just yet.
When All Might makes his entrance and proclaims, "I am here," the audience is overwhelmed with relief. After all, if anyone can reliably save the day, it's the number one hero, All Might. When he dons that confident and slightly terrifying smile, fans know the fight is about to be awesome.
2 Roy Mustang Outsmarts Lust (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
During Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, most fans manage to guess that Roy Mustang isn't dead when Lust delivers the news. Even with this knowledge, his entrance in this scene is one of the rawest on the show. With Hawkeye out of commission and Alphonse unable to hold Lust off much longer, Mustang makes his appearance just in time.
With a transmutation circle carved into his hand, his wounds seared closed, and vengeance written in his eyes, it starts to look like the colonel may actually kill this immortal being. After all, there is no shortage of fire in this scene.
1 Naruto Appears For The Battle Against Pain In Sage Mode (Naruto: Shippuden)
Most fans of Naruto: Shippuden can agree that Naruto's entrance to his fight with Pain is one of the greatest anime entrances of all time. The village is practically destroyed, and a lot of lives are on the line, but Naruto appears just in the nick of time.
There is a slow build-up to Naruto's face being revealed to the audience, and it's absolutely worth the wait considering Naruto's eyes hold his classic determination. Fans are quick to note how Naruto's look in his Sage Mode not only makes him resemble his father but also shows just how much Naruto has grown since the start of the series.
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