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4 Anime Sakuga Scenes So Beautiful They Belong in an Art Museum


4 Anime Sakuga Scenes So Beautiful They Belong in an Art Museum

In anime, sakuga is defined as a moment in a show or movie where the animation’s quality improves so drastically that it is impossible not to notice. This style is used pretty often throughout the medium today, resulting in some really beautiful moments. 

To celebrate those scenes, we’ve put together a list of four anime sakuga moments that are so beautiful that they honestly belong in an art museum. 

Spoiler Warning: the following spoils key scenes from Ping Pong the Animation, Demon Slayer, Mob Psycho 100, and JuJutsu Kaisen. If you haven’t seen parts of these anime, we recommend you hold off reading until you have. 

If you have seen the anime, or simply don’t care about spoilers, then continue onward. 

(Featured image credit Bones & Crunchyroll)

Ping Pong the Animation – Kazuma vs Smile

At first glance, Ping Pong the Animation looks kind of crudely drawn, as there isn’t much detail given to the backgrounds, characters, or environments that aren’t the focus of the scene. Interestingly enough, it’s that lack of detail that makes the overwhelming amount of animation that does get put into the show’s moments of sakuga that much more impressive by comparison. 

Take the fight between Kazuma “The Dragon” and Smile as an amazing example of this. While many of the ping pong games we’ve seen before this match had plenty of cool details, all the stops are pulled out for this bout. 

Small things like a line following the ball’s insane curve and the picture in picture format immediately give this game a weight we haven’t seen up to this point, serving to convey what a monster Kazuma is at ping pong. Things only get crazier as the fight goes on, as the camera angle paints Smile’s opponent as if he were towering over him. 

Kazuma’s strikes are even given their own distinct animations, featuring an electric purple, superpower-like streak of lightning that trails after each hit. The match crescendos with one last hit by Smile, as his entire journey up to this point plays in the background of the ball’s path, only for it to be interrupted and crushed by a purple dragon. 

The crazy amount of sakuga that goes on in these two minutes is all you’d ever need to show anyone on the fence about why they should watch Ping Pong the Animation.

Demon Slayer – Tanjiro vs Rui

With just one season, Demon Slayer has captivated a huge following already, as fans love its refreshing combination of comedic characters and wonderful animation. And while we love the dynamic of Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke, it’s definetly the latter that is helping the show stand out amongst the other contenders for being one of the top anime currently airing. 

Anyone who disagrees with that statement simply needs to remember the end of Episode 19. The climax of this chapter sees Tanjiro square up against Rui, one of the Twelve Kizuk. 

While the fight starts off with impressive enough animation, with Tanjiro dodging through sharp spider webs, it’s the end of the fight that really kicks it into gear. 

The moment Tanjiro combines his Final Form of Water style with his father’s Hinokami Kagura is a sheer thing of beauty. The blue water dragon transforms into a fiery burst of flames at the end of his sword, enveloping the screen in warm colors. 

Tanjiro immediately flies forward, with the embers of the flaming sword dancing alongside him, as he dodges the red spider silks that scream across the screen, nicking bits of blood from the Demon Slayer all the while. 

To cap off this red hot action, Nezuko unleashes her blood art, which careens down the silk, bursting into a roaring flame that allows her brother to land a seemingly fatal blow. This moment of sakuga is so impressive that it is actually what convinced me to watch the show in the first place. 

Mob Psycho 100 – Mob vs Koyama

Just about any time an esper lets out their powers in Mob Psycho 100, you know you’re in for a treat, as Studio Bones puts every ounce of effort possible into making their abilities look epic on screen. Yet, there is one instance that stands above the rest in the show’s first season, and that is when Mob is protecting his brother from Koyama. 

The fight scene between Mob and Koyama starts off with a flash, as the young esper flies toward the thug at inhuman speeds, leaving a rainbow trail of power behind him as Mob surges forward. What follows is a back and forth of colorful blows, with blood and concrete flying as the two trade attacks. 

Once Mob passes 100 percent, though, the true beauty begins, as his red eyes overlay a black and white background before the world is overwhelmed with violent colors and destruction. The midair action that follows is indescribably beautiful as Koyama is almost obliterated by the young esper’s sheer psychic prowess. 

JuJutsu Kaisen – Gojo’s Infinite Void

Like many of the anime on this list, JuJutsu Kaisen features so many awesome moments of sakuga that it is hard to pick just one. Seriously, even the first episode has an insane display of animation at the end.  

Hell, the show loves busting out sakuga so much that the bad guys get some awesome moments of animation, too, as seen on display with Mahito’s overly-handsy Domain Expansion. 

That Domain Expansion and every other move in the show doesn’t hold a candle to Satoru Gojo’s final technique, though. When the strongest JuJutsu Sorcerer in the world pulls off his blindfold, what follows can only be described as a cosmic event. 

As soon as Gojo unleashes the Infinite Void, the screen is warped, pulling everything in the frame through a purple light-speed shift that essentially displays everything in the known universe all at once. We see a beautiful eye that is the size of a planet, bubble-sized molecules, and so much more. 

In fact, the technique is so distracting and bewitching that it incapacitates Gojo’s enemy to the point where he can just pop his head off with no reaction whatsoever.

While it only occurs for a brief few seconds, the time spent viewing Gojo’s Domain Expansion is easily one of the greatest moments of sakuga ever on display in any anime. 

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