Sports Anime as the name suggests is all about the narrative revolving around a particular sport. There are plenty of Sports Anime series that are popular among the fans and the sports they involve are usually baseball, volleyball, basketball, and football. While the sports aspect is, of course, an integral part of the story, these anime also have some drama, intense action sequences and incidents with which the viewer can relate to. While one might be tempted into thinking that Sports Anime can end up being predictable, it is not really the case. It is often full of twists and turns and ends up being an interesting watch. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best Sports Anime of all time.
A sports anime can be said to be among the best if the audience can relate to the characters onscreen and feel the team-spirit. That is what happens with the series titled Haikyuu which includes some interesting action sequences. This particular sports anime deals with volleyball and the plot revolves around the protagonist named Hinata Shouyo who aspires to be a big name in the sport. His journey as he builds a team and seeks to enhance his reputation is what forms the backbone of the plot.
2. Kuroko no Basket
This sports anime is about basketball and the story revolves around a team of five extremely talented players who managed to win every match that they played. However, there was a sixth whose identity is gradually established as he seeks to lead his own team into victory. In this anime, the stunts that are shown are enough to impress the audiences. Some exciting basketball skills and some thrilling plot-twists make for a rather intriguing watch.
3. Prince of Tennis
For many anime fans, Prince of Tennis holds a special space. This is because this show had some action sequences which could keep anyone hooked on to their seats. The protagonist of this anime is a talented young tennis player named Echizen Ryoma who is a genius when it comes to the game. He won several tournaments and defeated the best of opponents but never managed to defeat his father. The show follows his trajectory as he seeks to finally defeat his father.
4. Eyeshield 21
Viewers always love it when a weaker character develops and evolves into being a strong asset. That is what happens with the main character of this anime called Sena Kobayakawa. He had the gift of speed as he had to run errands all his life and was also bullied a lot. The captain of the football team spotted his talent and although he only wanted to be a manager, he ended up being an integral part of the team. Eyeshield 21 has some intense physical action and it is indeed American football at its best.
5. Yowamushi Pedal
This sports anime is all about cycling which clearly deviates from the usual. The best thing about this series was the feel-good sentiment that it delivers to the audiences. As the viewer watches the innocent life of Sakamichi Onoda unfold before their eyes, they cannot help being impressed with the story. He was a boy who was obsessed with anime and traveled long distances on his cycle. This helped his skills and soon he was one of the fastest cyclists in his school.
6. Hajime no Ippo
Haime no Ippo deals with boxing and brings before you a form of boxing that you never thought could exist. The series goes beyond the general frantic punching and shows some moves that are sure to leave you spellbound. This anime is about the development of a character named Makunouchi Ippo, who grew from being bullied to being a boxer who pursued his dreams.
7. Baby Steps
There are so many characters in anime who go from being a zero to a hero as the story progresses. Such is the case in Baby Steps which is a sport anime based upon tennis. Maruo Eiichirou chose tennis to be the sport for his redemption and soon he was dedicated and focused on it. He strived for brilliance and his performances soon reflected his efforts. This show can be inspirational for many and is a must-watch among the sports animes.
This anime is for those who are willing to devote to a very long series building up slowly and steadily. This is a sports anime based upon baseball and the characters develop and amaze the viewers as the story progresses. Besides the usual drama, action, and comedy, the show also boasts of some interesting comic elements which are sure to impress the audiences.
9. Slam Dunk
As the name suggests, this sports anime is all about basketball. The story revolves around the character named Hanamichi Sakuragi. He faced a bitter rejection from the girl he loved and soon he learned basketball to win back his love. The plot traces his journey as he learns basketball from Haruko and manages to excel in the sport. The best things about this series would have to include the fact that some of the basketball moves shown are as real as it gets. It is a real treat for the basketball lovers.
10. Ookiku Furikabutte
There are several sports anime that use baseball as the sport and Ookiku Furikabutte is no exception. The pace of this series is perfectly arranged and it picks up speed in no time. The story revolves around a student named Mihashi Ren. He had his share of bad games in baseball which shattered his confidence and the story is all about his talent finally coming into its own. This anime is a source of inspiration for many and teaches the valuable lesson about rising from the ashes.
11. Captain Tsubasa
The success of this particular anime can be understood from the fact that Captain Tsubasa is one of the reasons for the popularity of soccer in Japan. Some of the best footballers in the world have watched this anime series and have been an ardent fan of this intense soccer-based sports anime.
This sports anime makes up with a brilliant soundtrack what it lacks in fine art and sequences. Besides these, it has a gripping tale of friendship and rivalry and when it comes to F1 racing, there has not been a better story in the sports anime genre.
13. Ashita no Joe
The best way to describe Ashita no Joe is that it is a Japanese anime version of Rocky. This anime about boxing is a stunning construction which keeps the viewers glued to the show. Another special aspect of Ashita no Joe is that it also counts among the first sports anime that were broadcast for the viewers.
14. Cross Game
When there is a synthesis between romance and sports, the end-result is often very pleasing as can be seen in Cross Game. This sports anime features basketball and has some strong characters which the viewers can look up to for inspiration.
15. Ping Pong, The Animation
This is one of the rare instances in the world of sports anime, where the sport table tennis has been used as the main theme. The perfect and smooth style of storytelling and the impressive animation work make this one of the popular sports anime and the viewers love the story between two childhood friends named Tsukimoto and Peco.
16. Initial D
This is once again one of the sports anime based on racing. The heart-thumping stunts and the intricate work on animation make it a popular choice for the anime lovers. The tension of watching the cars race is what makes this anime so thrilling.
17. One Outs
Since this happens to be a great combination of psychological elements and some baseball action, One Outs has a fan-base extending across a wide audience base. The inspiring journey of Toa Tokuchi is surely going to leave you impressed.
18. Air Gear
Air Gear puts across a futuristic version of roller skates and it is a favorite among several anime fans. The story revolves around the central character Itsuki and his journey as he embraces the exciting sport.
19. Free! Eternal Summer
Free! Eternal Summer has an entertaining story of a swimming club who win a lot of competitions. When some of the team members make decisions on their future, the club faces the threat of being unable to maintain its legacy. The story takes you through an emotional journey of the characters and you are sure to love this sports anime.
20. Ace of Diamond
Among the sports anime currently airing, Ace of Diamond is possibly the most exciting. The gripping storyline and impeccable animation with the perfect plot-twists make this an amazing watch for the audiences.
It revolves around a swimmer named Haruka Nanase and his struggles with new conditions as he starts college. This sports anime also has an emotional angle where he is trying to mend his relationship with a friend named Ikuya Kirishima. Free inspires and leaves a smile on your face once you are done watching the three seasons.
22. Princess Nine
This sports anime has as many as 26 episodes and it never fails to impress with an interesting storyline. The story is about a Baseball club and its struggles and glories and this sports anime has a 26-year-old legacy to keep up.
There are several other sports anime available, but these can be regarded as the best of the lot. Apart from the entertainment that you can derive from these shows, they can also be a source of confidence and inspiration and are sure to leave you with a smile on your face after you are done watching.