TOP 17 SPORTS ANIME THAT WILL TURN YOU INTO FANS

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Growing up, I was never a fan of sports. I enjoyed participating in them, but simply watching never crossed my mind. I was very skeptical when one of my fellow anime-obsessed friends insisted I should watch Kuroko's Basketball, but decided to give it a try: and into the sports anime vortex I went. Regardless of whether you like sports or not, sports animes are immensely enjoyable because they are inspirational and thrilling in their depictions of the bonds that unite their teams, the intense focus and thirst that accompanies games and competitions, and the never-ending desire that their characters have to better themselves and become the best. Character development plays a huge role in sports anime and is manifested by the tree-like evolution of players: they grow, hit a plateau, choose another road, and the cycle begins anew. Sports anime like Haikyuu or Kuroko’s basketball will leave you gasping in excitement at the edge of your seats, while others like Tsurune will simply make you marvel at the art of the animation and the beauty of the sport. I truly hope you will enjoy this list, which has been crafted for the pleasure of sports fans and newcomers alike.

+In no particular order:


1.ping pong the animation

ピンポン THE ANIMATION - PIN PON THE ANIMATION

It’s not uncommon. Talented people who know themselves never seek anything. People who don’t know themselves are always the ones who struggle hard to win, because they want to prove something.

Type of Sport: Table Tennis - Ping Pong

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Trailer: Link (Turn on subtitles)

Average episode length: 25m

Number of episodes: 11

Number of seasons: 1

2.run with the wind

風が強く吹いている - Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

It’s not uncommon. Talented people who know themselves never seek anything. People who don’t know themselves are always the ones who struggle hard to win, because they want to prove something.

Type of Sport: Track and Field - Athletics - Running

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Production I.G

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 23

Number of seasons: 1

3.Haikyu!!

ハイキュー!! - Haikyū!! - Volleyball

Does losing prove that you are weak? Isn’t losing difficult for all of you? A challenge where, after ending up on your hands and knees, you must see if you can stand up again? If you stay on your hands and knees, that proves that you are weak.

Type of Sport: Volleyball

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Production I.G

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 74 + 4 OVAs [ONGOING: STILL AIRING NEW EPISODES]

Number of seasons: 4

4.Hajime no Ippo

はじめの一歩 - The First Step

Run until you can’t run anymore, and then run again. Constant effort is life’s greatest shortcut.

Type of Sport: Boxing

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Madhouse

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 23m

Number of episodes: 76 (Hajime no Ippo) - 26 (Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger) - 25  (Hajime no Ippo:Rising)

Number of seasons: 3

5.BABY STEPS

ベイビーステップ - Beibī Suteppu

So no matter how far my goal is, no matter how small a step I’m taking, as long as I keep moving forward, someday I’ll get there.

Type of Sport: Tennis

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Pierrot

Trailer: Link [No English Trailer]

Average episode length: 23m

Number of episodes: 50

Number of seasons: 2

6.INITIAL D

頭文字D - inisharu Dī

No Matter how much skill you have, it’s difficult to maintain it once you have decided that you’re good enough. If you aren’t continuously looking up and putting in the effort, you can’t reach the next level. I think that’s what it means to become a master.

Type of Sport: Street Racing (Yes, it’s a Sport, get over it)

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Studio Comet + Studio Gallop (First Stage)

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 26 (First Stage) 13 (Second Stage) 2 (Extra Stage) 24 (Fourth Stage) 14 (Fifth Stage) 4 (Final Stage)

Number of seasons: 4

7.Welcome to the ballroom

 ボールルームへようこそ - Bōrurūmu e Yōkoso

Even if we’re not confident that we’ll win, even if others tell us we don’t stand a chance, we must never tell ourselves that.

Type of Sport: Competitive Dancing

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Production I.G

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 22m

Number of episodes: 24

Number of seasons: 1

8.ahiru no sora

あひるの空 - Sora the Duck

Even if they have wings, birds can never fly without a sky.

Type of Sport: Basketball

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Diomedéa

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 22m

Number of episodes: 38 [ONGOING: STILL AIRING NEW EPISODES]

Number of seasons: 4

9.Tsurune

ツルネ -風舞高校弓道部- Tsurune: Kazemai Kōkō Kyūdō-bu

Have you ever looked at yourself and wished that you were different in every single way?

Type of Sport: Martial Art of Archery (Kyūdō)

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Kyoto Animation

Trailer: Link [DUBBED]

Average episode length: 22m

Number of episodes: 13 + OVA

Number of seasons: 1

10.YURI ON ICE

ユーリ!! - ON ICE

Dance with beauty. Beauty is a crushing force of righteousness! Strength means nothing without beauty.

Type of Sport: Figure skating

Studio + Other Works by Studio: MAPPA

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 23m

Number of episodes: 12

Number of seasons: 1

11.chihhayafuru

ちはやふる

‘I did my best’, ‘the fight was close’… words like that blow past and die out like the wind. Only the result is a stone. The stone you can reach by doing your best.

Type of Sport: Competitive karuta (Recognized as a sport in Japan, so don’t even try)

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Madhouse

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 74 + OVA

Number of seasons: 3

12.hanebado!

はねバド! - The Badminton Play of Ayano Hanesaki!

Type of Sport: Badminton

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Liden Films

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 23m

Number of episodes: 13

Number of seasons: 1

13.Eyeshield 21

アイシールド21 - Aishīrudo Nijūichi

Sports is not something in which strength is decided by the size of your muscles or by how many training manuals you’ve read. Right, for days upon days, diligent, steady practice, and the repetition of basic training. That training piles up little by little and become the trigger to victory.

Type of Sport: American football

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Studio Gallop

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 145

Number of seasons: 1

14.Kuroko's Basketball

黒子のバスケ - Kuroko no Basuke

The possibility of victory is only 0% when all the players give up. No matter how impossible it may seem, I refuse to make it 0% myself.

Type of Sport: Basketball

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Production I.G

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 75+3 OVA

Number of seasons: 3

15.yowamushi pedal

弱虫ペダル - Yowamushi Pedaru

When you aim for the top, you learn where you stand. Choosing your course of action based on how others see you or think of you won’t get you anywhere.

Type of Sport: Cycling

Studio + Other Works by Studio: TMS/8PAN

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 38 (Yowamushi Pedal) 24 (Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road) 25 (Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation) 25 (Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line)

Number of seasons: 4

16.days (TV)

デイズ - Deizu

As long as you’re alive... As long as you’re running, you’ve got to give it everything you have, or you’ll have nothing left.

Type of Sport: Football - Soccer

Studio + Other Works by Studio: MAPPA

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 24 +5 OVA

Number of seasons: 1

17.ace of diamonds

ダイヤのA[エース] - Daiya no Ēsu

Even when times are at their hardest, don’t let it show on your face. If the captain is shaken, the team will waver.

Type of Sport: Baseball

Studio + Other Works by Studio: Madhouse + Production I.G

Trailer: Link

Average episode length: 24m

Number of episodes: 126 + 5 OVA (Ace of Diamond) 52 (Ace of Diamond Act II)

Number of seasons: 2


THE FOLLOWING 3 ANIME SERIES ARE LISTED AS HONOURABLE MENTIONS

18.SLAM DUNK - 19.PRINCE OF TENNIS - 20.GIANT KILLING

I personally feel like they are masterpieces, but are either old - hence the animation depicting the sport is slow - or necessitate a pre-passion for the sport they depict. If you don’t particularly enjoy watching sport animes, to begin with, stick to the ones mentioned in the main list.


OTHERNour Salhabanime