Record of Ragnarok: The Fiercest Battles So Far
Who would win in a fight between Hercules and Jack the Ripper? Record of Ragnarok has the answer to that and many more titanic matchups.
This article contains spoilers for Record of Ragnarok seasons 1 and 2.
If there was a death match between humans and gods, who would triumph?
Think again before assuming immortals have the advantage. In Record of Ragnarok, which might be the most metal anime ever (down to screaming guitar riffs of the soundtrack), the most powerful humans who ever lived face off against the fiercest deities in Valhalla for humanity to have a chance at surviving another thousand years.
Humans can compete against the likes of Thor and Zeus because they get a power boost from the Valkyries. When the soul of a human and Valkyrie merge, it creates a Völundr—a Divine Weapon. The Völundr can make a mortal capable of godlike things that would otherwise be impossible to pull off. This doesn’t always mean victory. Apparently, the souls of the dead can die again, and even the divine can perish, but if you’re familiar with the afterlife in series such as Bleach and Noragami, it should come as no shock.
Record of Ragnarok released its second season on Netflix in January, and will reopen the heavenly arena for its third season later this year. Some formidable opponents are still on deck. Until then, get pumped with the most impressive fight moves so far.
Lü Bu was known as “The Flying General” and “Furious Dragon” for a reason during his time on Earth. The only downfall of the fearless Chinese warlord, who was deified by some for his strength, was having no match in battle. Then he enters the arena and stares down Thor himself.
Sky Eater lives up to its name. A throwback scene shows his sword literally slicing through the clouds. Now that Lü Bu can finally use this attack, his Völundr being unbreakable halberds, his immense strength and the centrifugal force form his swing create a gaping hole in the sky, eliciting gasps from both the audience and Heimdall, the Norse god who is playing sportscaster and could pass for Skeletor’s long-lost cousin.
While Sky Eater is a tremendous show of power and possibly breaks some laws of physics, what happens when it collides with Thor’s countermove is something else.
Awakened Thunder Hammer
Thor’s iconic Mjolnir is a spectacle in itself. The hammer actually “awakens”, or comes to life, mid-fight, pulsating with veins of what could only be a huge disembodied heart that cracks the iron. This is his chance to bring on the Awakened Thunder Hammer.
Now you see what happens when two legendary attacks collide. At the same time that Lü Bu tears the sky open, Thor flings his living Mjolnir into the air with an eerie calm. The velocity and centrifugal force that it generates, combined with the power of his opponent’s attack, manage to freeze them in combat right in midair. The rage is palpable. Lü Bu bares a mouthful of sharp teeth, and Thor’s yellow eyes glow like a supernatural fire. Then, in an incredible flash of light, Lü Bu is down.
How strong is this awakened Mjolnir? With one last swing, Thor knocks Lü Bu’s head clean off as he charges towards the thunder god on horseback one last time. What a funeral.
How can Zeus, who is so ancient and shriveled he appears positively mummified, make himself jacked in seconds? Right, it’s the god thing.
The way he dances to get himself revved up might be kind of ridiculous, but he gets down to business when he winds up his arm and throws rapid-fire punches so fast (0.01 to 0.00000001 seconds) that everything is a blur. Then his opponent fires the same move right back at him. How? Zeus is up against his own creation, Adam, the first man, wearing nothing but a fig leaf and the brass knuckles that his Völundr manifests as. Adam already has the superhuman ability to copy any of his creator’s techniques—the mirror capability.
Most of the fight ends up being one long round of Meteor Jab, but you have to marvel at how Zeus went from almost lifeless to jacked in seconds. He destroys any assumption of muscle or testosterone fading with age.
The Fist That Surpassed Time
This is another Zeus move that Adam throws right back at him. It was the same punch that ended his father, the Titan Kronos, and Kronos’ reign as the strongest god in the universe.
Supposedly the fastest punch ever, this attack is supposed to transcend time itself. How fast? Try about 0.000000000000000000001 seconds. The problem for Zeus is that he is not just getting pelted with his own punches by Adam, but Adam can dodge the punches coming at him almost every time. The emphasis is on almost because Zeus compresses all his muscles and morphs into a creepy form he calls Adamas, which makes him look like a mummy again, though a really ripped mummy, and bolsters his strength.
In his Adamas form, the fist of Zeus really does surpass both time and Adam. What isn’t immediately obvious is that Adam keeps standing and throwing punches even as a corpse.
Medusa Alope Demeter
Poseidon wields a trident and knows how to use it. In his fight against master swordsman Kojiro Sasaki, the ruler of the sea sends multiple trident heads towards Sasaki, not only all at once, but from every angle.
Of course, this attack had to be named after the most fearsome gorgon of legend. The superfast tridents come at the opponent as if the snakes writhing on Medusa’s head lunged at any sorry visitor who hadn’t yet been turned to stone. A move like this has to be petrifying for anyone on the receiving end, especially when the tridents zoom so fast that what you see onscreen are actually their afterimages. By the time you see the flash of a trident, it’s already gone. Whether this speed can rival the death punch of Zeus is unknown.
Feel free to hit pause after Poseidon launches Medusa Alope Demeter, because your eyes might need a break.
Niten Ganryu Style
For a man just about married to his sword in life and death, that sword has to become his Divine Weapon.
Kojiro Sasaki has never won a battle. However, his track record is deceptive, because the only reason he ever fought, even in the afterlife, was to keep gaining skill that would unexpectedly make him someone to fear for Poseidon. The sea god thinks this is going to be an easy defeat, but when Sasaki’s katana breaks, it reforms into two katanas glowing with divine green light. This is how he survives the Medusa trident barrage. He is able to fend off the trident heads with crossed blades while his superfast footwork helps him dodge them otherwise.
The way Sasaki moves is so unbelievably fast it’s almost like Poseidon’s own element, water, is rushing towards him. Then he can slash at Poseidon and stain the ground with the blood of a god.
Twelfth Labor: Hound of Hades, Cerberus
While on Earth, Hercules performed twelve labors in exchange for twelve divine powers. Subduing the dread hound of Hades was one of those labors.
In his battle against Jack The Ripper (no introduction needed), Hercules uses Cerberus as one of his battle tactics. Winds whirl furiously in the dark sky of Victorian London, which Jack requested as an alternate arena, and from this hurricane emerges Cerberus, in the form of three five-eyed hounds instead of one hound with three heads. How Jack remains mysteriously calm is beyond understanding. Hercules takes advantage of this power to smash anything Jack throws at him, even though everything Jack touches turns divine, so the attack has enough power to shatter divine weapons.
Hercules then leaps into the air and hurls Jack down from an attempted escape on the roof of a building, skewering him on a fence post. It really is no less than the infamous Ripper deserves.
For all the might of Hercules, remember that Jack’s Völundr is his gloves. They can turn everything they touch into a Divine Weapon, including entire buildings.
Jack plays dirty and the Valkyries know it. This is why, for the sake of saving humankind, they recruited one of the most abominable human beings who ever existed to fight a man whose strength turned him into a deity. Dear God is a move that depends more on trickery than brawn. Jack stealthily works at it throughout the fight. He manages to convince Hercules that his bag of ghastly murder weapons was his Divine Weapon, since he touches them all to give that impression. Then he slathers his hands in his own blood and goes in for the kill.
Jack lunges at Hercules, and his hands cut right through the flesh of the god’s chest. His sinister whisper of “dear god” will give you the chills.
Raiden Tameemon is ready to unleash all his power, at the risk of destroying his body, with this “forbidden” move. His Divine Weapon makes it possible.
Born with a rare condition which made his muscles grow faster than his bones, Raiden somehow overcame this obstacle to become a renowned sumo wrestler. His Divine Weapon is his own body. Because of this Völundr, he can no longer has to hold back his power out of fear of hurting others or himself, and the Three-Legged Crow (Yagaterasu in Japanese) is the ultimate form of his. Raiden actually summons all the power in his body into the palm of his hand, which shines with golden light the turns blue as he deals his opponent, Shiva, a monstrous punch.
The strength of this move is so devastating that it rips off two of Shiva’s four arms. Unfortunately, using it again tears Raiden’s own arm in half.
Shiva is definitely burned by Raiden’s attack, but it is still no match for the fires that blaze from the very god of destruction.
There is a prophecy that Shiva will burn his own body and use the ashes to rebuild the world. Here, it comes to life. Shiva dances in fire, among tongues of yellow and blue flame, and his skin turns from blue to reddish. The flames come with him when he leaps towards Raiden. Raiden can take the heat, using his muscles as protection and single handedly turning Shiva upside down, but he doesn’t last. He is being cremated alive. When that final punch annihilates his arm, some of the flesh that falls to the ground has already melted. Shiva at least has arms to spare.
This move lies somewhere between elegance and devastation. It is a dance of death, but at least one that allows the opponent to burn out bright.
Both seasons of Record of Ragnarok are available to stream on Netflix now.