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Fighting Series

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It could be quite easy to boil Dragon Ball Z down as a consecutive series of one-on-one fights, and you know what? It totally was. All of Dragon Ball Z's major plot points center around the idea of combat. But I also don't view that as an objective flaw, either, and the reason for that is that these characters are all written around the concept of fighting. (...) Combat wasn't actually a way to solve problems to these characters - rather, it was justification for why they exist at all. These were all proud fighters who put an immense amount of personal weight into their physical strength and skill - or to put it a different way, Dragon Ball Z wasn't a story about fighting, it was a story about a group of characters who really loved to fight.

A Fighting Series, as its name suggests, is one that places a lot of emphasis on fighting. Different fighting styles and learning new moves and abilities are a major part of the plot. There will be lots of emphasis on training, technique, and practice. The main character often, though not always, wants To Be a Master; whether he does or not, he usually is by the end. Common in Chinese movies from the 1970s and ubiquitous in Japanese Shōnen anime/manga.

Note that simply having a lot of fighting does not mean that a show is a Fighting Series; in order to qualify, the fighting has to be integral to the plot, rather than a means to an end.

Related to the Martial Arts Movie. See Fighting Game for the Video Game equivalent. Should not be confused with Dueling Shows. For fight scenes happening in one of these series, take a look at Fighting in All the Wrong Places Index. Also see This Index Knows Kung-Fu.

Common tropes in this genre include:


    open/close all folders 

    Multimedia Franchises 

    Anime & Manga 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Ninjas And Superspies by Palladium Books is a hybrid James Bond/Jackie Chan style action thriller in tabletop game form with a very heavy focus on combat mechanics. About 90% of the characters know at least one style of martial art and there are several who can learn multiple styles.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath is influenced by these types of series in Japan, with the idea that it's an Interactive version of this type of Anime series. It works.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation