Table of Contents
- Anime training arcs are crucial for character development and showcase resilience, determination, and growth in the face of challenges.
- Training arcs in popular anime series like Yu Yu Hakusho, One Punch Man, Attack on Titan, and Bleach are intense, impactful, and entertaining.
- Characters like Yusuke Urameshi, Saitama, Eren Yeager, Ichigo Kurosaki, Monkey D. Luffy, Izuku Midoriya, Gon Freecss, Rock Lee, and Goku undergo transformative training to improve their skills and overcome obstacles.
Anime training arcs are quintessential to the genre, allowing characters to develop their skills, learn new techniques, and strengthen their resolve before a major confrontation. They offer insight into the characters' resilience, determination, and growth, forming a crucial part of their journey.
Whether it's Goku mastering the Spirit Bomb under King Kai in Dragon Ball or Tanjiro mastering the Water Breathing sword technique in Demon Slayer, each training arc is unique, entertaining, and impactful. This list explores some of the best training arcs in anime, where characters are pushed beyond their limits, leading to transformational growth and unforgettable storytelling moments.
Yusuke Urameshi’s Training Arc
In Yu Yu Hakusho, the delinquent-turned-spirit-detective Yusuke Urameshi undergoes crucial training under the stern Genkai. Winning Genkai's tournament, Yusuke earns the right to learn her techniques. The most significant phase is the Spirit Wave Orb training, where Yusuke learns to harness his spirit energy more effectively.
This grueling process involves severe physical and mental endurance tests, pushing Yusuke to his limits. Genkai's tough love approach often veils her deep concern for Yusuke's growth. This arc is marked with intensity, humor, and a bond that transcends the typical student-teacher relationship.
Saitama’s Training Arc
One Punch Man follows the story of Saitama, a superhero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch. His unique training regimen is revealed early on in the series and becomes a running joke due to its simplicity compared to the intense training other characters go through.
For three years, Saitama followed a daily routine of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10-kilometer run and lived without air conditioning or heating to build mental fortitude. This training is a parody of conventional Shonen training arcs.
Eren Yeager’s Training Arc
In Attack on Titan, Eren Yeager, and his companions undergo rigorous military training to prepare for their fight against the Titans. This training helps Eren develop his physical capabilities and combat skills, and he becomes adept at using the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, crucial for battling Titans.
Later, after discovering his Titan-shifting abilities, Eren undergoes additional training to control this power, with varying degrees of success. Throughout this process, Eren's resolve to eradicate the Titans never wavers. His training prepares him for combat and is a significant component of his character development.
Ichigo Kurosaki’s Training Arc
In Bleach, the protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki undergoes several crucial training arcs. Initially, under the mentorship of Kisuke Urahara, Ichigo learns to manifest and control his Soul Reaper powers, undergoing a brutal training regimen in Urahara's underground facility.
This is where Ichigo first achieves his Zanpakuto's Shikai state. Later, Ichigo battles Zangetsu (Zanpakuto Spirit) for two and a half days to achieve Bankai. This training results in his gaining a new power called Tensa Zangetsu, which translates as Heaven Chain Slaying Moon, and highly increases his speed and combat abilities.
Monkey D. Luffy’s Training Arc
In One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy undergoes two-year training with Silvers Rayleigh, the former Vice Captain of the Roger pirates. After the traumatic Marineford War, Luffy decides to focus on training to protect his crew. Rayleigh, stranded with Luffy on Ruskaina Island, helps him to harness and control Haki, a spiritual energy that grants various abilities.
These include Armament Haki for improved defense and offense, Observation Haki for heightened senses, and the rare Conqueror's Haki to overpower foes' wills. This grueling training strengthens Luffy physically and mentally for the New World.
Izuku Midoriya’s Training Arc
In My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers in a world where they're common, is chosen by the top hero, All Might, to inherit his power, One For All. Before Izuku can receive this power, he undergoes a grueling ten-month physical training regimen designed by All Might.
Later, Izuku trains to control One For All, initially struggling due to its overwhelming strength. He eventually learns to distribute its power throughout his body instead of concentrating it in one area, a technique he names Full Cowling.
Gon Freecss’s Training Arc
In Hunter x Hunter, Gon Freecss undergoes intensive training throughout the series, first under Wing, who introduces him to Nen, the life energy individuals use to manifest superhuman abilities. Gon learns the four principles of Nen: Ten, Zetsu, Ren, and Hatsu. He develops his unique ability, Jajanken, modeled after the rock-paper-scissors game.
Later, during the Greed Island arc, Gon trains under Biscuit Krueger, enhancing his Nen control. Gon's training arcs are integral to his character development, illustrating his exceptional potential, unwavering tenacity, and the reckless lengths he will go to for his friends.
Rock Lee’s Training Arc
In Naruto, Rock Lee is a hardworking and dedicated shinobi who, despite his inability to use ninjutsu or genjutsu, becomes a formidable ninja through sheer physical training and determination. Under the guidance of his sensei Might Guy, Lee's training primarily focuses on taijutsu (hand-to-hand combat).
His regimen involves intense physical exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, running, and practicing his fighting techniques. Lee wears heavy ankle weights for training, which, when removed, dramatically increases his speed. His perseverance, hard work, and never-give-up attitude during training make him a beloved character.
Goku’s Training Arc
In Dragon Ball, Goku's training is a core aspect of the series, starting with his initial training under Master Roshi, where he learns martial arts fundamentals and develops superhuman strength, speed, and endurance. He later trains under Korin, learning patience and improving his fighting senses.
The most significant training arc occurs when Goku trains with King Kai in the afterlife, where he learns powerful techniques like the Spirit Bomb and the Kaioken. He continuously seeks out stronger opponents, embodying the pursuit of self-improvement. Goku's training and development make him a fan favorite.
Tanjiro Kamado’s Training Arc
In Demon Slayer, the protagonist Tanjiro Kamado undertakes difficult training to become a Demon Slayer. His initial training under Sakonji Urokodaki, a former Water Hashira, involves rigorous physical conditioning and learning Water Breathing sword techniques.
Tanjiro must split a boulder with his sword to prove his readiness, a task he accomplishes. Later, Tanjiro trains at the Butterfly Mansion to master Total Concentration Constant, a technique to maintain his enhanced breathing technique. Tanjiro's combat skills develop significantly through these challenging training arcs, preparing him for the battle against demons.