For every great anime character who aims to reach the top of their world, there is another who is right at their heels with the same goals. Whether it’s to become the de facto leader of their village, to defend their beliefs and philosophies or simply to become the strongest in the world, these characters compete with each other tooth and nail to prove they’re the dominant party and are dead set on becoming the first to achieve their goal. It’s not an uncommon aspect of anime by any means and there have been plenty that have tried to depict it, but these 10 in particular stand at the top as some of the best rivalries in the history of anime.
Midoriya Izuku and Katsuki Bakugo (My Hero Academia)
New to the anime scene as it may be, Midoriya and Bakugo’s race to the top of the hero world is one which already contends with some of the years-long rivalries on this list. From an early age, the two shared the same dream of becoming a hero on par with their idol All Might, but only Bakugo was lucky enough to be blessed with a quirk and the talent to use it. Shortly before entering high school though, Midoriya was granted the power of One for All and set to work on catching up to his rival post haste, even competing with him directly in his school’s Olympics-level sports festival and in a mock-combat training exercise. As it stands, Bakugo still hasn’t recognized Midoriya as an equal and even detests him for his sudden, meteoric rise to prominence among their peers, but as the series has gone on, they’ve drawn closer and closer to acknowledging each other’s competitive relationship as one which could push both of them forward.