The 9 Greatest “First Meetings” in Anime History

Meruem And Komugi - 'Hunter X Hunter (2011)'

With countless anime series to choose from, narrowing down the most memorable “first meetings” in anime can be quite challenging. These moments are often pivotal for the plot and character development, establishing a dynamic that defines the rest of the series. Let’s look at 9 super impactful first meetings between anime characters, using criteria like emotional weight, comedic value, or just pure entertainment.

Not all of these first encounters are the beginning of a love story. Some first meetings are the start of a significant friendship or even the development of a rivalry. First meetings are often the turning point of the plot, and may at times be shrouded in mystery for the majority of a series. They all prove that at any moment, your life could change forever.

Over 6,000 anime fans have voted on these first meetings on Ranker, so we’re presenting the list as a countdown with the #1 voted meeting at the end.

9. Ash And Pikachu – ‘Pokémon’

Ash And Pikachu - 'Pokémon'

There are sparks in the air when Ash and Pikachu first meet – literally. When Ash arrives too late to pick his starter Pokémon, Pikachu is the only one left. And although Pikachu looks absolutely adorable and harmless, Ash realizes very quickly that Pikachu is quite the stubborn Pokémon. This electric first meeting is fitting for one of the most iconic anime duos of all time.

8. Mugen And Jin – ‘Samurai Champloo’

Mugen And Jin - 'Samurai Champloo'

Mugen and Jin’s first meeting results in an amazing swordfight that’s arguably one of the best anime fight scenes. Jin enters Fuu’s restaurant at the wrong time, causing Mugen to mistake him for the prefect’s bodyguards. This battle ends with the restaurant burning to the ground and the two of them are wrongfully sentenced to death by the local authorities. Fuu helps them escape, marking the beginning of an incredible friendship among the three.

7. Yuri And Victor – ‘Yuri On Ice!!!’

Yuri And Victor - 'Yuri On Ice!!!'

Imagine getting so drunk you completely forget how you met your childhood idol, danced with him all night, stripped in front of him, then asked him to be your coach as you grinded on him. This is exactly the predicament of Yuri, who for most of the series wonders why Victor came to Japan to be his coach, when all along he was the one who asked him, but couldn’t remember.

This revelation put many things about their relationship into perspective, and it certainly opened up a whole new side to Yuri’s personality, making it one of the most enjoyable first meetings in any anime ever. 

6. Kaori And Kousei – ‘Your Lie In April’

Kaori And Kousei - 'Your Lie In April'

Lots of anime, especially shoujo, have the “cherry blossoms in the wind” moment as the protagonist meets their love interest. Your Lie In April isn’t exactly an exception, but it executes it so magically that it takes this cliche to a new level. The scene highlights Kaori’s completely free spirit as she plays the melodica at the playground, amid flowers in the wind and white doves flying around her. 

Who wouldn’t fall in love at first sight? While this isn’t the first time Kaori sees Kousei, it is the first time he sees her, and he is completely enchanted. 

5. Meruem And Komugi – ‘Hunter X Hunter (2011)’

Meruem And Komugi - 'Hunter X Hunter (2011)'

Meruem and Komugi’s first meeting might be a planned and scheduled event between king and subject, but it’s still one of the most fateful encounters of the entire series. The intensity and suspense that develops over a board game, with Komugi’s life on the line no less, is unprecedented.

It’s a roller coaster from start to finish, and it’s only a few minutes long. 

4. Hinata And Kageyama – ‘Haikyuu!!’

Hinata And Kageyama - 'Haikyuu!!'

Sports anime are full of rivalries – it is the essence of competition, after all. Enthusiastic Hinata meets the talented Kageyama in a middle school tournament, on opposite sides of the net. What makes their meeting stand out from other series in this genre is that they begin as rivals, and very tenacious ones at that.

This makes their eventual reunion as high school teammates that much more interesting, especially when neither of them back down from their rivalry. They begin on opposite sides of the net, but must learn to fight on the same side. A very poetic first meeting indeed.

3. Tohru And Kyo – ‘Fruits Basket’

Tohru And Kyo - 'Fruits Basket'

There are a number of ways a first meeting can go wrong. But seeing a boy turn into a cat is probably not what one would expect. When Tohru moves into the Sohma household, Kyo suddenly crashes through the roof and challenges Yuki to a fight. As if that’s not strange enough, Tohru accidentally falls onto Kyo, making him turn into a cat before her very eyes. It’s honestly surprising that Tohru didn’t faint from shock. 

2. Atsushi And Dazai – ‘Bungou Stray Dogs’

Atsushi And Dazai - 'Bungou Stray Dogs'

It’s not everyday you save someone from drowning and they’re not happy about it, but such is the case for the kind-hearted Atsushi who spots Dazai floating downstream and pulls him to shore. Dazai’s unusual response takes this encounter out of the ordinary, and simultaneously gets you intrigued about his character.

It says a lot about both of them in just the few minutes of the series’ beginning, yet you know there’s so much more to learn. 

1. Alex Louis Armstrong And Sig Curtis – ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’

Alex Louis Armstrong And Sig Curtis - 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'

Just two burly, strong men flexing their muscles for each other. Nothing unusual about that. When Sig Curtis lands an impressive blow on Sloth, Armstrong can’t help but admire this man’s strength. As if they’re telepathically connected, they take turns showing off their muscles before shaking each other’s hands. Then they both finish Sloth off with a double punch. Can you name a more memorable showcase of manly camaraderie?