Five Moments in Anime that gave me the Chills

This is an appropriate post since at the time of writing this I’ve got the chills that come with a bad cold. I actually went to get tested for COVID-19 just in case (work won’t let me come back until I get the all clear). As the title suggests, this post is of five times that anime gave me chills. Anime, at it’s best, can bring out our emotions like any other type of entertainment. Anime can make you feel excitement, disgust, rage, disappointment, satisfaction, and in the case of this list, chills. Typically, these moments are the culmination of an ongoing theme that finally comes to a head. With that said, take a look at the list!

5.Kirito defeats the Blue-Eyed Demon solo – Sword Art Online

Kirito defeating the Blue-Eyed Demon
Kirito defeating the Blue-Eyed Demon

I like the Sword Art Online anime. I enjoy MMORPGs and the idea that there could be one where you could fully immerse yourself in the world is appealing. Unfortunately for the characters in SAO, if you die in the game the nerve gear will fry your brain. With that being said, you get a real sense of danger watching Kirito and Asuna navigate the treacherous world of online gaming. For those unfamiliar, betrayals and backstabbing are common in MMORPGs. People who you can trust are in short supply.

Mid-way through the first season of the anime, Kirito, Asuna, and a friend Klein watch as underleveled players take on a floor boss despite the objections of the three high level players. Needless to say, the attempt to take down the Blue-Eyed Demon fails miserably. As members of the underleveled group drop one after another, Kirito, Asuna, and Klein rush in to help. The three take on the boss in an attempt to rescue their woefully unprepared fellow players.

Eventually, Kirito decides to pull out a second sword and use his previously unknown dual sword skills. Asuna and Klein watch on as Kirito takes on the boss single handed. The tension builds as Kirito is in a rush to defeat the boss before he’s taken out. Kirito rushes faster and faster, striking the boss with hit after hit until finally, the Blue-Eyed Demon disappears. Kirito managed to bring down the floor boss solo with just the tiniest sliver of health left. Kirito’s brave battle left emotions drained and chills running down my spine. Now I want to go back and watch it.

4. Kenshin turns into his manslayer self while fighting Saito – Rurouni Kenshin

Kenshin as Battosai the Manslayer
Kenshin as Battosai the Manslayer

Everyone’s lovable swordsman has a dark past that continues to haunt him. Up until this point, we’ve come to know Kenshin as the swordsman who refuses to kill. So far in the anime, Kenshin’s saved Kaoru’s dojo, defeated an entire yakuza syndicate by himself, and defeated the Oniwaban group. His undeniable strength has been obvious but against some of his tougher opponents he’s been found lacking. Kenshin’s battle against a former member of the Shinsengumi, Udo Jine, was the first time we got to see Kenshin’s manslayer persona. It was dark and menacing, nothing like the Kenshin we’ve seen up until this point.

While we got to see a little bit of Kenshin’s manslayer side in his fight against Jine, we get to see a lot more in his fight against his rival from the revolution, Saito. Saito’s done everything he can to torment Kenshin. Luring him away to fight two bounty hunters, nearly killing Sanosuke, and entering Kaoru’s dojo in a move to threaten Kenshin’s friends.

Saito easily has the upper hand at the beginning of the duel, pushing Kenshin to his limit. As the fight progresses, Kenshin steadily reverts back to his old self. With every exchange Kenshin takes a step closer back to mentally reverting ten years until finally, we get to see Battosai the Manslayer. Not only do we get to see Battosai the Manslayer but we get to see him take on his rival in a fight to the death. Kaoru becomes despondent, she saw what Kenshin was capable of in this state when she was Jine’s captive. The rest of Kenshin’s crew know there’s nothing they can do to bring back their beloved Kenshin. I’m getting chills just writing this. I love it!

By the way, Kenshin would’ve won this duel if he was not using a reverse blade sword.

3.Roy Mustang incinerates Envy – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Roy Mustang incinerating Envy
Roy Mustang incinerating Envy

Oh man, where to begin with this one. Roy Mustang has been trying to figure out which homunculus killed his friend Maes Hughes. He finally comes face to face with Envy. At the end of his patience, Mustang directs pointed questions toward the shape-shifting bad guy until he finally receives his answer. Envy transforms into Maes Hughes’s wife and mocks the stupidity of the late Lt. Colonel for being tricked. Obviously, this infuriates Mustang to the point where he starts to mercilessly incinerate Envy.

Mustangs power is flame alchemy. It is incredibly powerful and capable of both precise attacks as well as massive salvos. With a snap of his finger providing the spark he needs, Mustang can easily roast his opponents on command. We see this play out with devastating effect with Envy. Tire of Envy’s taunts, Mustang explodes his tongue. How about a charred eyeball? Envy transforms into a massive beast, no problem. Mustang chastises the Homunculi for giving him a larger target.

The truly disturbing part of this exchange comes after Envy tries to escape. Envy tries posing as the late Maes Hughes only to have that plan backfire. Mustang is not going to be tricked into a vulnerable position by the one who he’s hunted down all this time. Finally, Mustang gets into a position where he’s standing over Envy unleashing blow after blow of intense flames. There is no reprieve. With all of the emotions built up to this point, if you feel nothing then you might not be normal.

2.Mikazuki saves Akihiro and Takaki – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

Mikazuki and Barbatos to the rescue!
Mikazuki and Barbatos to the rescue!

I just recently watched this anime and I have to say, the moment that Mikazuki saves Akihiro and Takaki might be one of my favorite moments of all time. Up until this point, we’ve been cheering on the members of Tekkadan as they fight for their own place in the universe. As an assortment of orphaned children and “human debris,” the members of Tekkadan have had to live a life at the bottom of society. Beaten and abused, forced to fight on the front lines of combat, these kids have grown a bond that few get to experience.

When embarking on their first real mission of taking Kudelia Aina Bernstein to Earth so she can hopefully secure Mars’s rights as an independent planet, Akihiro and Takaki run into a group of mobile suits while on patrol. Outnumbered and overwhelmed, they desperately fight to stay alive. The desperate situation is made even worse knowing that Akihiro and Takaki bonded over conversations about their siblings. Akihiro was separated from his brother when they were captured by pirates and sold off as “human debris.” Takaki was elated to receive a message from his sister. He’s working for Tekkadan so she can receive a proper education and hopefully get out of an orphanage.

The results of this battle become ever more clear. Akihiro and Takaki are going to die just at the point where they’ve experienced some true happiness. Takaki is gravely wounded when his mobile worker is badly damaged. Akihiro’s mobile suit is on it’s last legs. Then, out of nowhere, Mikazuki and his Gundam mobile suit the Barbatos arrive and kill the pilot of the mobile suit about to deal the finishing blow to Akihiro. What a save!

The part that makes this moment so powerful is the music that goes along with Mikazuki’s arrival. This is the very end of the anime episode so Mikazuki’s arrival coincides with the closing song playing. If you haven’t heard the closing song for the first few episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans go listen, it’s fantastic. It’s perfect for this moment too. All of the emotions built up from this point explode with this song. I got chills just looking it up and playing it, and it’s not even because I’m sick right now. What an ending to an episode! It nearly brought me to tears of joy!

1.Gohan turns SS2 – Dragon Ball Z

Gohan losing it
Gohan losing it

This is not the most imaginative moment to put at number one, but it’s deserving of this spot. Gohan’s hidden power was hinted at ever since his introduction at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. When Gohan gets angry enough to the point where he’s seeing red, he gets strong. Not only does he get strong but he’s capable of taking on whatever antagonist is the greatest threat. We’ve seen it with Radditz, Garlic Jr., Nappa, Dodoria, and several others. We know that Gohan has strength that is untapped, he just can’t consistently bring it out. In most cases, when he does bring it out he doesn’t even remember doing it.

Fast forward to all the way to season six of the anime and we finally get to see Gohan unleash his power. It took all the way to episodes 184 and 185 (169 and 170 in the original English dub) for us to finally get to this point. Cell pushes Gohan over the egde by crushing Android 16. The kind and gentle Gohan has seen too much and unleashes his rage. All of the hints leading up to this point, all of the times Gohan has unknowingly saved the day, have culminated in Gohan finally realizing his true power.

What happens next is epic. Gohan obliterates all of the Cell Jrs. until finally turning his attention to Cell. The fight between Gohan and Cell quickly turns into a total beat-down with Gohan showing Cell just how much his hubris will cost him. I remember watching this part of the Dragon Ball Z anime and feeling such a sense of awe that Gohan finally pulled it off. Unfortunately, Gohan doesn’t ascend to become the main character of the anime after this point. He’s relegated to the supporting character that he’s been up until this point as his father, Goku, is able to surpass him not that long after this point. At the time, though, I didn’t know any of that and it appeared that this transformation unleashed all of the hope I had in Gohan. Here’s a boy who finally came into his own in the most epic way possible. I need to go back and watch all of these now!

There’s my list. I hope you enjoy.

Now go watch some anime!


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