There's no shortage of action in anime, that's for sure. No matter where you look, someone is getting shot, something is being blown up, or someone is going all out with hand-to-hand combat. I'm always super imprssed with the amount of choreography in these scenes. Sometimes they're just drawn and other times they are layered over real-life actors for smoother animation, but usually the end result is interesting nonetheless.
Where most big budget films in the states tend to have action that is overblown and hard to follow, anime usually focuses in on a fight between two opponents and shows us what they have. There are indeed fights where armies take down massive enemies, but the one-on-one fights are really the ones that I enjoy. Two people with everything to lose and willing to do anything it takes.
Personally, I have floored by the fight scenes in two anime in particular. First up is Cowboy Bebop, which has some absolutely fantastic action. It doesn't matter if it's two guys punching/kicking each other nonstop or guns blazing with people diving for cover, all of it is amazing action. To think of how all of this is put together is mind boggling. It makes me very happy to be on the viewing end, and not with the team that has to plan it out!
The other fight scenes I really enjoy are those from Birdy the Mighty. While they may not be the most action-packed, they are animated in a way that is absolutely amazing. It's a very rough style with truly fluid animation, and the end result is unlike anything I've seen in any other anime. I really wish more animation houses would take on this style.
What are some of the best fight scenes you've seen in an anime? Let us in on what you consider top-notch action!