9 Iconic Shonen Anime Scenes That Are Forever Etched in Our Minds

To call these shonen anime scenes memorable is selling them short – these moments are the ones that stick with you forever, replay in your head during showers, and have you texting your friends at 2 AM because you’re still not over them.

Some are emotionally devastating, like the Hunter x Hunter scene where Meruem and Komugi show the true extent of their friendship in the most tragic way possible. Others are just plain epic, like when All Might took on Nomu in My Hero Academia. Whatever the vibe, they stay in fans’ minds long after they’ve finished watching.

9. Greed’s Sacrifice For Ling (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

Greed Sacrifices Himself To Save Ling - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist has so many moments that deserve to be on this list that it’s tough to pick just one. For now, we’ll go with the moment where Greed finally realizes that he actually cares about something other than mindless acquisition. When Father tries to wrest Greed from Ling’s body, Ling wants the two of them to keep fighting together. But Greed knows that if they keep trying, they’ll both be destroyed, so he tricks Ling into letting his guard down and lets himself be absorbed, ending his life and freeing Ling from danger. Both heartbreaking and deeply satisfying, this scene is an example of all the great things FMA has to offer.

8. All Might’s Season 1 Fight Against Nomu (My Hero Academia)

All Might Saves The Day At U.S.J. - My Hero Academia 

“Hey villain, have you ever heard these words?” In the midst of a trial of courage and skill at the Unforeseen Simulation Joint (USJ), the students of Class 1-A found themselves under life threatening danger (and so did teachers including Aizawa.) Even though All Might had limited time in his hero form, he refused to bow down, giving fans one of the most epic shonen anime fights we’d seen in years. With this, the Symbol of Peace confirmed why he was the #1 hero, inspiring his students and heroes-in-training alike to strive for greatness even in the face of overwhelming adversity

7. Saying Goodbye to Kuro-Sensei (Assassination Classroom)

Class 3-E Says Goodbye - Assassination Classroom 

Who would have thought that an anime about a tentacle monster teaching the art of assassination could be so sad? After growing attached to the mentor who taught them to be their best selves, and learning that he bears them no ill will whatsoever but they still have to take him out for the good of humanity, Class 3-E is devastated. In their final moments with Koro-sensei, they say their goodbyes, express what he means to them, and then finally do the thing he’s been teaching them to do all along – assassinate their teacher. 

6. Satoru Gojo’ Face/Power Reveal (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Satoru Gojo Shows Off - Jujutsu Kaisen

This epic Jujutsu Kaisen scene offers a double whammy. While fighting a cursed spirit, Satoru Gojo reveals what’s under his blindfold – an absolutely stunning pair of eyes that basically broke the anime Internet. Nobody expected the goofy Gojo to look like a character from Violet Evergarden, which is why the scene had such an impact. Oh yeah, and the power he debuted, Limitless, was ridiculously strong as well. 

5. The End of Meruem (Hunter x Hunter)

Meruem & Komugi's Final Moments - Hunter x Hunter

As the king of the Chimera Ants, Meruem’s sole purpose in life is to become as strong as possible and help his fellow ants prosper. But this purpose wasn’t one he chose himself. As he gets to know Komugi, a young blind girl with a talent for a game called Gungi, he begins to understand that life is about more than just acquiring strength. Discarded by humans, Komugi is experiencing respect and camaraderie for the first time in her life. Their growing bond comes to a gut-wrenching end when Meruem is about to pass away from the effects of the poisonous and contagious Poor Man’s Rose. Komugi chooses to sacrifice the rest of her life to play one last game with her best friend. 

4. Itachi Tells Sasuke That He Loves Him (Naruto Shippuden)

Itachi Tells Sasuke That He Loves Him - Naruto

There are plenty of other Naruto moments that also deserve a spot on this list, but for now, we’ll focus on this one. Sasuke got revenge on his brother Itachi before learning why he destroyed their clan. The two finally get a chance to reconcile after Itachi is brought back to life via Edo Tensei. When this happens, Itachi gets a chance to tell Sasuke that while he doesn’t have to forgive him for what he did, he will always love him, no matter what. We’re not crying, you’re crying.

3. The Soul Society Plot Twist & Aizen’s Betrayal (Bleach)

Aizen Betrays Soul Society - Bleach

At this point, even anime fans who have never seen Bleach know that Sousuke Aizen betrayed Soul Society. But while it may be old news, the reason it’s so well-known is that it blew people away. He reveals that behind the scenes, he’s been quietly manipulating Soul Society, and is about to unleash one of the biggest betrayals of all time. It’s hard to say exactly which part of the betrayal was the best one, but the moment where he smiles and says “it’s time” before a hole full of Gillian-class Menos opens up in the sky stands out. 

2. L is Defeated Well Before The Show Ends (Death Note)

Light Defeats L - Death Note

Almost no one can say they saw this one coming, and its still talked about today. A little over halfway through the series, Light Yagami puts an end to L’s investigation by tricking Rem into writing his name down in her notebook. Any time a major character passes, it’s impactful, but this scene came on the heels of some beautifully rendered details about L’s past, and a touching final moment between the two rivals that made it all the more meaningful. Fans couldn’t believe the show was going on Light’s rival, and many were lukewarm about Near and Mello, L’s successors.

1. Goku Goes Super Saiyan For The First Time (Dragon Ball Z)

Goku Goes Super Saiyan For The First Time - DBZ

This classic moment doesn’t just live on in fan’s minds, it’s also inspired countless other power-up scenes in the shonen anime that came after it. Enraged by Frieza’s brutal destruction of his closest friend and his threats toward his son, Goku summons the energy needed to pull off his first ever Super Saiyan transformation. While he’d have more powerful transformations later on, nothing beats the raw emotion of the first time.