It’s been a long time since Sports anime has been around us, with classic anime such as Slam Dunk. Lately, sports anime has started rising in popularity with a ton of genres being introduced every season. And the same goes for sports anime as well. There’s something in sports anime that everyone can enjoy, from sports-action, sports-romance, to just sports anime.
Even if you’re not a sports person yourself, there’s something out there for you too. And this is the beauty of sports anime. It’s also considered as the category that has an equal number of men as well as women’s fan base. Here, we have brought to you some very popular and best sports anime series and movies of all time.
If you’re someone who is a sports anime lover or someone who is looking for the best sports anime suggestions (series & movies), then this is for you…
15. Cross game:
It is an Adachi anime and has an impressive storytelling technique used in it. The entire series is slow, filled with tension, and pretty well executed. This is a 50 episodes long show, yet feels pretty short. Unlike other sports anime, Cross Game shows the character and the audience with respect. It might look like yet another sports anime, but it shines through as a rare gem in the sports anime genre.
14. Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road:
This series does an enormous job of showing the backstories of the characters throughout the show, in some or another way. Make sure to watch season one before moving to the new season. This season will keep you off the edge of your seat and will make you smile & cry throughout the anime. This is a series where you’ll be on the verge of knowing what happens next, at the end of every episode. If you hate animated movies, this would be a great watch for you to get into the genre.
13. One Outs:
This is the story of Toua Tokuchi, and his desire to completely defeat the opponents in a Baseball League. And earn some beefy salary out of it too. You don’t need a deep knowledge or interest in the sport of baseball to watch this anime, and it will still increase the enjoyment levels. The series mostly revolves around the main character rather than the sport. Hence, this will be a great watch even if you are not into sports and games.
12. Megalobox 2: Nomad:
This is an improved sequel of Megalobox which was released in 2018. Part 2 tells a different as well as more believable story, and this part has surpassed the original Meglobox. Nomad was released a few years after the conclusion of the first season, Megalobox.
The main character, Joe, is seen living in the twilight after losing the Megalonia crown. Nomad shows how Joe puts his life back on track after the death of coach Nanbu. These developments in the story bring back Joe to a more glamorous stage of Megalonia, and it feels entirely different than the original Megalobox.
11. The Prince of Tennis:
Contrary to other shows in the list, the Prince of Tennis revolves around a tennis player, who is an amazing tennis player and has won tons of championships.
But despite the exceptional talent that he has, he still can’t beat his father. Yes, you heard it right! And the entire series shows how he joins a tennis team and tries to be good enough to beat his father at the game. Nevertheless, this movie will show you the tremendous ways of playing tennis and a sweet-spicy father-son relationship.
10. Run With The Wind:
This is a show purely based on running. This anime starts with Kakeru, a fourth-year student who is brought back into running (Kakeru’s old love), to get his team in shape for Hakone Ekiden.
This is a very character-driven anime. Every character is running for a different reason and to fight with their emotional and personal baggage. All the characters have some of the other complex relationships with the sport. Besides this, the show also brings out how it is like to live in a college dorm, as the entire show is happening in college.
This show is an anime targeted towards older or adult women, which is unusual for most sports series and movies. Also the competitive poetry game, Karuta makes this sports anime show a unique watch. Any sports anime fan will never make the mistake of missing this show.
It is a marvelous experience to watch Chihaya become charmed by the game and the way she learns the complexities of the game alongside. This show has a powerfully emotional message, genuine and a unique feel to it that no other show can offer. It is rated the highest by die-hard anime fans showing that the show is worth watching.
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8. Initial D:
Final Stage: All the Initial D parts were a blockbuster and loved by every sports anime fan. After defeating every team in the racing prefecture, Initial D: Final Stage is the last race of the series. Takumi Fujiwara has never lost a race. But his opponent is also in an AE86 and this battle gets even more hot and exciting. It’s worth watching if Project D is going to succeed in this difficult race of Initial D.
7. Big Windup!:
This is an anime that aired 14 years ago and is 25 episodes long, and is still watched and loved by many. It is based on the sport- Baseball. Baseball sports anime would perform pretty well in Japan (as mentioned earlier).
But what makes this show the best and unique from the rest is the original manga that was made by Higuchi Asa. They have a sports psychology degree! And they put this degree to use in this story, through the personalities of its characters.
6. Yuri!!! On Ice:
Unlike other sports such as baseball or football, skating is an entirely different and physically demanding game. It is the most difficult sport for even the older players of this game, and this makes watching Yuri’s attempt to become the top player of the skating game, even more interesting.
Yuri also shows homosexuality in an entirely different way and was praised for this refreshing change in the genre. Along with the sport, the animation also shows the personality of its characters in a very unique way.
The main character, Yuri, when he steps on the rink for skating, you get to see a different and confident Yuri. And this makes Viktor fall in love with Yuri. The gay romance adds another layer of beauty to the entire show.
5. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club:
If you’re someone who loves or has loved swimming in the past, then Free! Is a perfect choice for you. Kyoto Animation started producing the show when a sample animated reel of the show went viral and fans started demanding an entire show.
This show is more than just men in swimsuits. It shows the complex friendships and relationships amongst the characters that are quite a lot of captivating drama.
4. Ace of Diamond:
A baseball game had to be on the list. This show has a lot of episodes, as the fanbase of Baseball sports lovers is majorly found in Japan. Hence, this list wouldn’t be complete without this gem.
This anime show has 126 episodes. The majority of “Ace of Diamond” fans exclaimed that the sound effects were top-notch and commendable. Also, the cast of the show was extremely loved by anime fans.
3. Ping Pong:
The Animation: This incredible anime is made by the anime legend Masaaki Yuasa. It has a breathtaking art style that is far better and different than the modern sports anime with action scenes. This is a very inspirational and motivational show showing what the result is when people, who can’t rise to the top, actually achieve victory, and hence this movie is worth binge-watching.
2. Kuroko’s Basketball:
Kuroko’s Basketball has outperformed even the most popular 90’s anime classic that is Slam Dunk. You’ll be mesmerized by watching the bond between Kuroko and Taiga. And the rest of the cast makes a strong team from Seirin High.
The way Seirin High takes down the opposing team feels more like a battle than just a basketball game. This extremely heart-throbbing show is an incredible gem of a movie and has some wild action scenes that will get your heart racing the fastest.
1. Haikyuu!! :
This is one of the most successful and popular sports anime to date. If you had to choose any one anime from the entire list, then we would recommend you to go ahead and watch Haikyuu!! This show has numerous epic moments that couldn’t be forgotten ever. The entire show revolves around the sport- Volleyball.
This show very well portrays the character and their relationship as friends, students, and teammates of different school years. Haikyuu is a movie that shows how communication plays a very vital role in a team. It’s undoubtedly going to captivate anyone who starts watching it.