A niche sub-genre of anime is sports anime, but shows such as Ping Pong The Cartoon and Haikyuu are among the greatest ever. The top sports anime are ranked here.
If you think the genre of sports anime is dull, then you’ve obviously never seen a good sports anime before. A strong sports anime is like a drama that is well-written but with sports involved. With assorted motives and rich past that make you want to cheer or boo them, the characters need to be fascinating. To make sports exciting and enjoyable to watch, the animation needs to be some of the best.
Here are the best sports anime that we claim to have good characters, well-done drama, and incredible animation.
Ping Pong The Animation
On this list, this series has the most special animation style. It’s distinct and can take some getting used to, but this sports jewel does certainly not make you avoid it. As there is no fan service, huge colored eyes, and some items are drawn in a misformed way, the show took a lot of risks (like the ping-pong balls are not marked as perfect circles).
The characters are superb and are a delight to watch grow. Their discussions sound normal, and there are witty bursts of dry humor. The two mates, one being energetic and cocky while the other is calm and passive, are absolute opposites.
Prince Of Tennis
As compared to any of the other shows on this list. In Prince of Tennis, the protagonist is already an awesome athlete when the show starts. Really, he’s sort of a genius and has won a variety of championships already.
However, despite his talent, he was still unable to beat his father. That’s right, there are problems with daddy! He joins a tennis team also spends the show attempting to be good enough to surpass his boss.
Yuri On Ice
Yuri on Ice, on a variety of occasions, is a really unique anime. In a somewhat different way from the yaoi genre, it covered homosexuality. It gained a lot of acclaim for its refreshing portrayal. The animation was stellar, and just for the skating sequences, it’s easy to want to re-watch the entire film. Not only did the animation introduce the sport to life, but it really highlights the character’s personality.
Yuri, the lead character, is a bit of a dork and clumsy outside the ice rink. However, he turns into a completely severe and confident guy once he is on the Ice, and you can not blame Viktor for falling in love with him.
Hajime No Ippo
This manga has been ongoing since 1989! From 2002 to 2004, it had 76 episodes, a novel, 26 episodes in 2009, and 25 more from 2013 to 2014. It is an anime those people have grown up with. The franchise now has computer games of its own!
The tale follows Makunouchi Ippo, a shy high schooler, on becoming a professional boxer. This manga is a best-seller and a Kodansha Manga Award recipient.
Hajime no Ippo is an excellent anime featuring creation, grit, and spectacular action. Maybe it’ll just knock you down and take away your breath.
There are plenty of reasons for you to enjoy ‘Inazuma Eleven’ if you love soccer (‘football’ for most areas of the globe,’ soccer’ for the USA). It’s a pretty exciting show that focuses on soccer. The influence of “Captain Tsubasa” is inevitable for any soccer-related anime, and “Inazuma Eleven” tries to come out of its shadow to show its originality.
Given the central theme of soccer, the show can also be viewed as an illusion, but it is essentially an entertaining show. We have some intrusive aliens in the mix followed by excellent graphics, and you have a superior performance to enjoy. The characters are sketched out with a thematic resonance aspect.
This sports anime focuses on riding, as you can see from the “pedal” in the title. Sakamichi Onoda, the lead character, is an otaku who is trying to find friends. The school anime club has dissolved, though, so he has to settle for the bike racing club. The cast of characters is a friendly party that is not necessarily your usual sports anime protagonist with a lead character. The heroes are not only brilliant, but the villains are rather unforgettable.
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Complimentary! It’s an anime that, because of its fan service, was partially successful. It was directed at anyone who would like to see many pretty boys floating in the water and glittering. That was what was expected, but attracting viewers that appreciated the anime outside of its fan service shocked the anime world.
The painting is lovely and makes you just want to go swimming. Swimming has never looked so refreshing and enjoyable.
The dynamics between the characters are certainly one of their pros. We’re not going to ruin the ending, but how partnerships grow is very juicy.
Kuroko no Basuke
It’s another longer sports anime that aired from 2012 to 2015, consisting of 75 chapters. Basketball is the subject, and the show, with very intense basketball movements, is known for its smooth animation. The episodes fly by really efficiently for viewers, and they’ll find that they unexpectedly sat up until 3 am watching 10 episodes. Others have found that they have earned adrenaline rushes if their favorite personality is triumphant. Some viewers note that the show is impractical in terms of sports, but that’s part of what makes it enjoyable and fascinating.
The show is not a tale of “good people win every time” like most on this list. Still, there is a lot of difficulty, drama, and the victories sound all the more genuine and satisfying for the characters.
It’s fun to see Kuroko do his thing to see his enemies flabbergasted by such a misunderstood character and having absolutely no idea what’s going on.
Enjoy Kuroko Season 1 on Netflix…
Even if you haven’t seen this film, you’ve definitely heard or seen it around you if you’re into anime. It’s prevalent.
The sport the show centers around are volleyball, so to enjoy the anime, you don’t have to be a fan of the sport. Since they are friends, teammates, and students in different school years, viewers enjoy showing how the characters grow and how their relationships shift. Some sports anime-only concentrate on an athlete with their talents, but Haikyuu is more about team coordination.
There will be several challenges, though, which will test their talents and relationship. Are they going to be able to break through the tall walls before them?
You can watch Haikyuu on Netflix
In the opening five minutes of the kinetic and gasping badminton match, Hanebado! Declares itself as the newest of the great sports anime in the long line. All are stunning about this 2018 film. His animation is smooth and too complicated. His sound design is vivid and powerful, and his female protagonists’ emotional arcs are compelling. Every single person here fleshed out completely, packed with stress, rivalries, and sad backstories. Plus, this show does a fucking decent job of making badminton look like the worst sport on Earth.
Uh, Hanebado! When it discusses the protagonist’s fractured friendship with her mom, it is more emotionally involved than the typical sports anime.
That said, the stellar animation faithfully portrays real-life matches, even down to something like the shuttlecock drop. Even if you are not a fan of melodrama, it makes this sports anime worth a watch.