Hello and welcome, guys. It´s about time to get yourselves involved in some inspirational action. What´s better than an engaging, thrilling sports anime? It’s more than sports in anime. It´s also about friendship, struggle, growth, and achieving your dreams. Without further ado, we list for you our best, highly rated Sports Anime. Are you ready to rumble?
12-Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Haruka Nanase has an intense passion when it comes to swimming. In elementary school, he competed with his three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana. After leading them to their great victory, they all went their separate ways. Years later, they reunite as high school students. However, Rin couldn’t care less about returning to the way things used to be. After the bitter reunion, the trio decide to form the Iwatobi High School Swim Club. All they need now is a fourth member, if they hope to take part in the upcoming tournament. They recruit Rei Ryuugazaki, a former member of the track team. The four develop a close bond while training intensely to come out on top, and settle things between Haruka and Rin once and for all.
Smells like childhood memories, doesn’t it? While other schools in Japan compete for the title of the best soccer team in the country, Raimon Middle School’s soccer club, Inazuma Eleven, struggles to rise from the verge of being disbanded. The goalkeeper and captain of the team, Mamoru Endou, takes the challenge of kicking the long neglected club back into shape. To do this, he’ll need some help, and more than a little luck. Mamoru starts recruiting skilled members in the team. Together, they start their journey to rise to the very top and become the new heroes. Full of sparks and over-the-top flashy moves, this was one hell of a childhood classic. It will not disappoint you in the slightest way.
The story revolves around wrestling and a famous wrestler who is loved by everyone. Naoto Date was a feared heel wrestler in America. He is considered extremely vicious in the ring. However, he became a face after returning to Japan when a young boy says that he wishes to be a villain like Tiger Mask.
The latter only inspires Tiger to be a heroic wrestler in the ring. He also decides to fight all villains. This show never seizes to be so amazing and it’s definitely a must-watch Anime. Even if you’re not a fan of bloody wrestling and broken noses, you’ll love this. It is not quite easy to tell you, how original this underrated, classic masterpiece is.
“Nobody wins but I!” The subtitle of this series couldn’t be any more accurate. One Outs is the story of the extremist gambler at heart, Toua Tokuchi. He battles to completely crush his opponents in the Japanese Pacific Baseball League. Perhaps but less importantly to the pitcher, he tries to earn a beefy salary while doing so.
It does not really matter if you are some avid baseball fan or someone with no prior knowledge of the sport, because it explains everything in detail. Moreover, the suspense is also cool, and it has got some of the best cliffhangers. All in one, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a cool anime. You are in the right place, buddy.
8-Diamond no Ace
With a stray pitch that completely missed the batter, Eijun Sawamura loses his final middle school baseball game. Frustrated by this defeat, Eijun and his teammates vow to reach the national tournament, only once they are in high school. Then and there, everything changes when a scout unexpectedly invites Eijun to Tokyo’s prestigious Seidou High School.
After seeing his unusual pitching style, he immediately notices his remarkable skills. Encouraged by his teammates, Eijun accepts the offer. Ready to improve his skills, he plays at a much more competitive level of baseball. Eiijun is now surrounded by plenty of obstacles, struggling to find his place in the team. This pushes him to polish his skills and become the number one player, the ace of the team.
7-Prince of Tennis
In a battle to determine the best of the best, numerous schools in Japan compete against each other. Seishin Gakuen Junior High School, more commonly known as Seigaku, is one of the most prominent contestants. Their team line-up gets even stronger with the sudden arrival of a young prodigy from the West, Ryouma Echizen. He is determined to prove himself and escape the towering shadow of his legendary father. This fine addition changes the team for good. From then on, we witness the rising of a young star. Alongside the rest of the Seigaku team, Ryouma fights to make his and his teammate’s dreams come true. With amazing tennis matches, a plethora of unique and lovable characters, the Prince of Tennis is a splendid sports anime.
6 Yuri!!! On Ice
Once upon a time, there was a young man with a big dream. He idolized a famous Russian skater named “Victor Nikiforov,” and hoped to skate on the very same icerink as him. Initially, that dream sunk after his crushing defeat at the Grand Prix Finale. Those days were about past and gone when Yuri was able to impress Victor by imitating his routine at perfection. You can guess what happens next. Victor, so impressed, decides to be Yuri’s coach at the upcoming Grand Prix Finals. Yuri on Ice is a sport Anime that transcends the boundaries of sports anime. With a unique, new narrative and a neat character-driven conflict. Overall, it’s very well-written and definitely worthy of your time.
5-Ping Pong The Animation
The story is a simple one, as it chronicles the lives of two boys and their experiences with table tennis. We are introduced to Makoto Tsukimoto, aptly nicknamed “Smile,” and his boastful best friend Yutaka Hoshino, or “Peco.” These two are polar opposites. We follow them through their high school ping pong careers. Nevertheless, the two have always stuck together, with a bond built upon their mutual love for this sport. Through intense training and competition only the very best prevails. The rivalries between characters are beautifully illustrated. Their personalities bounce off of each other in a frighteningly realistic way. The harsh reality of athletics is painted not only on their faces, but also in their words. It is something truly worth your time.
4-Kuroko no Basket
Teikou Junior High basketball team is a crowned champion. Thanks to their outstanding skills, they leave opponents dwelling in one defeat after another. Their breathtaking and unique skills gain them quite the reputation three years in a row. However, after graduating, they all go their separate ways considering each other now as rivals. Under the lead of Taiga Kagami, a promising player, and Tetsuya Kuroko, a former member of Teikou’s basketball team, Seiren’s team attempts to become the very best. To reach their goal, they have to cross paths with several powerful teams, some of which have one of the five players with godlike abilities. The storyline will get you hooked and capture your attention with epic scenes, likeable characters, and comedy.
Haikyuu!! Or High Jump in English is about Hinata and Kageyama. The two players, who originally stand at the opposite side of the volleyball net, are forced to work together. During that process, they learn the importance of teamwork, that you don’t lose or win alone. The show eventually does focus on the entire Karasuno volleyball team and on other teams as well. But at the end of the day, it’s still obvious who the main characters are.
The volleyball aspects in this show are well-explained, with nicely weaved dialogues, too. If you are new to the sports genre, this might be a gateway to a new horizon for you. Therefore, I pray you to give Haikyuu a chance.
2-Hajime no Ippo
Ippo is a weird, unpopular guy. He gets bullied everyday at school. Furthermore, his classmates take it overboard by humiliating him. Ippo realizes that something must change, and for the sake of it, everything is sacrificeable. After being saved by Takamura from bullies, he joins his boxing gym. With his fueled will and an iron heart, Ippo overcomes all his weaknesses. Thus, his journey to the top of the boxing world begins. Hajmme-no Ippo is not like any typical anime. This show has a well organized story and realistic settings. Even if you don’t like sports anime, don’t worry about it. The whole thing is deeper than that, for it touches plenty of aspects that lots of you can relate to.
The plot circles around our self-centered protagonist Sakuragi Hanamichi. The 16-year-old, flame-haired delinquent hates basketbahl. In order to impress a girl, he attempts to play this said sport, fails miserably at it, and even manages to pants the opponent. The latter was the captain of the basketball team, as well as the girl’s older brother. But even after all that, he, still somehow, managed to get on the basketball team. Slam Dunk is considered a pioneer of sports anime. All from the witty jokes to its inspiring speeches. It’s a masterpiece from the 90’s. This show never seized to teach us many valuable morals, such as establishing strong bonds with each other and never ever giving up.
This is a wrap, guys! Those were our top 12, recommended sports anime. We hope that you start rolling the ball and enjoy each and every show. If you have a favorite of your own, please do share it with us in the comments below. Have fun!