All great Shonen anime require some sort of action, and arguably the best anime at defining the genre and taking things to a new level is the Dragon Ball franchise. As one of the most successful and world-renowned anime of all time, spanning multiple media platforms, it's no wonder Dragon Ball is considered the bedrock and cornerstone of what makes a Shonen anime great.
That being said, there are other popular anime that give Dragon Ball a run for its money and have also perfected the formula for what makes a Shonen story successful. One Piece is one such contender, with fleshed-out characters that fans have fallen in love with, special abilities, and memorable fights that have left a lasting impression over the years. Several One Piece battles that easily compete with those in Dragon Ball.
10 Ace's Sacrifice Really Hits Hard
Goku has the skill of self-sacrifice down to a T, having made himself a martyr on a large number of occasions. But when it's done in a world where wishing someone back to life is a simple process of collecting seven Dragon Balls, it just doesn't hold the same weight.
This is where Ace's selfless sacrifice was done far better, as the permanence of it all really hits home for fans. Akainu was a Navy Admiral who played dirty and tried to kill Luffy while fighting Ace, causing Ace to jump in front of the punch and end up with a hole in his chest. Watching Luffy's brother die in his arms was heartbreaking.
9 Whitebeard vs. Akainu Was A Worldshattering Fight
After Ace's death, the grief hit everyone hard, including Whitebeard, which lead to a battle between two titans that reverberated across the seven seas. The most memorable part of the battle was after Whitebeard drilled his fist into Akainu's face despite being burned by Akainu's magma punch, Whitebeard retaliated with a literal world-shattering punch to the gut. The blow was so powerful it destroyed the entire Navy HQ nearby. Fans could feel the pain and love Whitebeard had for Ace through the screen.
8 Sanji vs. Jabra Showed Off Sanji's Potential
One reason Dragon Ball has such memorable battles is because of how often the heroes are pushed to their limits by enemies and unlock new potentials within themselves even they weren't aware of. This is also the case with everyone's favorite Devil Cook, Sanji, who before this battle had usually taken a backseat to Luffy and Zorro.
Fighting for both his own life and Usopp's, Sanji awoke untapped power which let him use the Devil's Leg/Diable Jambe technique. It is a hilarious and action-packed fight scene to remember.
7 Luffy vs. Katakuri
If there's one thing both fans and critics of Dragon Ball agree on, it's that some fights are long-winded thanks to all the transformations and continuous yelling that makes them last far longer than necessary. So it's only fair that one of the most memorable fights in One Piece is splitting fans the same way. Some love the battle between Luffy and Katakuri, while others think it was too long and ridiculously one-sided. They also don't like how Katakuri is shown as far stronger than Luffy, but then Luffy wins thanks to Shonen plot armor.
6 Straw Hats vs. Oars Demonstrates The Power Of Teamwork
It's always an exciting time when an enemy shows up that is so powerful it requires the heroes to all work together to take them down. This is the case when Oars appears, a zombie four times larger than a giant. The fight between the Straw Hat crew and Oars was the main showcase for great teamwork, and Oars use of Luffy's shadow lead to some insane speed and power from such a giant foe. As the only time the whole crew has worked together, this is a special battle.
5 Luffy vs. Doflamingo Demonstrated Luffy's Capabilities
Barely any villain has had as much build-up or development as Donquixote Doflamingo, and everyone knows that the greater the build-up the greater the battle has to be. As one of the main antagonists of the whole story, and the best underworld broker, he is also one of the Shichibukai and strongest fighters ever.
The battle truly tested Luffy's ability after his hiatus training with Raleigh. Fans got to see Luffy's Gear Fourth for the first time and finally saw him unleash his greatest skill yet, King Kong Gun.
4 Ace vs. Blackbeard Showed Blackbeard's Immense Strength
After spending much time searching for Blackbeard, the fight between him and Ace acted as the catalyst for the Marineford Summit War. Similar to how fans anticipated seeing the deadly powers of legendary destructive powers of villains like Frieza and Buu, Blackbeard was a long-awaited foe for the Straw Hats to fight. Blackbeard manages to sink an entire town and negate all of Ace's abilities, and during the battle, audiences also get to see Ace use his greatest move, Flame Emperor, which causes an intense burst of flame and darkness.
3 Luffy vs. Crocodile Really Challenged Luffy's Combat Prowess
Crocodile was the first warlord of the sea that Luffy had to fight, the first villain that managed to defeat the protagonist on multiple occasions, and the first logia devil fruit user he encounters. Crocodile ate Sand-Sand Fruit which meant Luffy's fists went through him like a hand through sand, meaning Luffy's biggest strength was ineffective.
It was incredibly satisfying seeing Luffy finally land a punch on Crocodile's smug face, and the excellent combination of drama and choreography made this battle one for the ages.
2 Luffy vs. Usopp Was A Tragic And Emotional Brawl
There is nothing more intense than when two members of the same crew end up fighting each other. For Dragon Ball, this was usually in the form of Vegeta's ego turning him against his team, but in One Piece's case it was when Usopp battles against Luffy. Unlike Vegeta, this wasn't about Usopp's ego. Usopp was upset at Luffy's decision to sink their ship, the Going Merry, and this resulted in a heartwrenching fight between the two family members. A situation full of emotion, the fight had no real winner.
1 Luffy vs. Rob Lucci Pulled Out All The Stops
The final boss battle of any story arc is going to be one for the ages, and the CP9 crew was one of the toughest the Straw Hats have ever had to face. Rob Lucci ate a Zoan Fruit that grants him the abilities of a leopard, and he mastered the Rokushiki, making him a formidable opponent.
What made this battle one to remember is that it was a purely physical fight with everything at stake, and Luffy struggled so much that he had to reach down deep to unleash another level of power. Luffy had to develop Gear Second and Gear Third all at once, and it lead to one of the greatest battles in Shonen anime.