Few stories adapt to anime more effectively than ones that can be classified as sports anime. Every sport imaginable was displayed on the television in a Japanese animation style, from well-known activities like softball to those that receive less attention, like bowling. Few, however, can compete with the best sports anime, which both fans and critics agree are among the best of all time. Some shows are so well-liked that they’ve moved beyond being regarded just as sports dramas and into the realm of best anime series.
Although most people wouldn’t consider sport anime to be among the most thrilling genres in the medium, there are several fantastic shows that completely engross the audience with written effectively drama and action-packed games. Sports anime incorporates the high-stakes action of shonen into every sport possible, as opposed to using fancy power systems or supernatural equipment.
The anime’s depiction of sports encourages viewers to develop a passion for each one, whether they are conventional sports like basketball or unconventional ones like ping-pong. The most endearing characters in the best sports anime series have intriguing dynamic relationships. There is a special bond between teammates and competing teams.
Blue Lock and 12 other sports anime series that have achieved the ‘classic’ status
1. Inazuma Eleven
(UNPOPULAR TRUTH – #2 – Inazuma Eleven)
The only 2 players that played in all protagonist matches WITHOUT SUBSTITUTION in the corresponding saga:
Kabeyama // Tenma🐐 pic.twitter.com/siKS1PU8oe
— Tenma joins the battle (💨 —— 🌪🌪🌪) (@Arashi_Tenma) July 8, 2023
Inazuma Eleven is a really big event in Japan, along with its numerous sequels despite not being all that popular in Western countries except for people attuned to Cartoon Network or Sonic. The licence has also resulted in a variety of Level-5 games, as well as eight seasons and well more than 200 episodes of anime. Inazuma Eleven is entertaining as a ridiculous soccer anime with a tone akin to Pokemon with its absurd and bizarre world-shattering movements.
The series contains a lot of charming characters and exciting moments of tension, and even while the later seasons occasionally veer into the bizarre, they are never unwatchable. When it works, Inazuma Eleven is a relatively simple film to watch.Inazuma Eleven, the original version, is regarded as the series’ pinnacle, whereas Inazuma Eleven GO, the sequel, and the spin-offs Inazuma Eleven: Ares and Orion are more divisive. However, their protagonist trios – Tenma-Tsurugi-Shidou and Asuto-Haizaki-Nosaka – are charming in their own rights and can more than hold a candle to the originals.
the impact that this haikyuu panel has on me is just on another level pic.twitter.com/9VRqto3niq
— ً (@suckerforyuu) July 14, 2023
The behemoth and pinnacle of japanese sports anime series, Haikyu!! is great for younger audiences. Even those who haven’t seen the show have heard about it. The tale is driven by the charming protagonist of the series, Shoyo Hinata, and the other characters. Haikyuu! will engross viewers in volleyball even if they have no particular passion in the game.
Although Shoyo and the other Karasuno members are the main focus of Haikyu!!, it is difficult to detest many of the opposing teams since they are endearing. Fans support all teams during games because they adore characters from almost every single one of them.
3. Blue Lock
rin calling sae shitty brother throughout all of blue lock because hes mad at him only to switch up immediately when he thinks that sae is going to acknowledge him… like are you not embarrassed for folding this fast 😭 pic.twitter.com/Qk1RLun72M
— kirby (@isgluvr) July 16, 2023
The recent fall anime adaptation of Blue Lock show that the enthusiasm around the manga was well-founded, especially with regard to how its popularity became sky-high in context of the World Cup. Critics have praised Blue Lock‘s original premise, and it became one of the most popular mangas of 2021. Blue Lock was a football movie with a grim, dystopian edge. Jinpachi began the aforementioned Blue Lock. Finding Japan’s top striker—someone egotistical and someone who isn’t afraid to take the stage on the field—is a project.
Three hundred players are called to the venue and made to compete against one another. There will only be one national team member. Isagi prevented his squad from earning a big victory in the national competition. He sees Blue Lock as an opportunity to prove himself and improve as a player.
— Ayodele 🍫 🧸 (@Ayo_dayjy) July 11, 2023
Few new series debuted during the season, and the sole exception, Shoot! Goal to the Future. Summer 2022 was not particularly generous when it came to sports shows. Furthermore, the fact that AoAshi, a far stronger football story, is airing concurrently with that series does not help. For the next season, the top Japanese sports anime series from Spring 2022 retained its title.
The protagonist of the football anime, Ashito Aoi, a gifted player from a tiny village with some anger management issues, is given the title. Ashito has to adjust to the reality that he is no more, a large fish in a little pond once he is selected for a youth squad based in Tokyo. The anime primarily addresses well-worn themes, and thus far it has done a good job of executing them.
5. Kuroko no Basket
— English Anime (@englishanime_tv) July 17, 2023
A lengthier sports anime series, Kuroko’s Basketball aired for 75 episodes from 2012 to 2015. The series is renowned for its fluid animation and over-the-top basketball moves. Kuroko’s Basketball will undoubtedly appeal to viewers of shonen shows with overpowering super moves. Though some have criticised it for being overly idealistic, the characters actually make it work.
There is no other sports anime protagonist like Kuroko. His ability to blend into the background and have a laid-back demeanour later on turns out to be his best asset. He battles the members of the Generation of Miracles individually with the assistance of his team, Seirin.
6. Captain Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa was first produced in 1981 as a manga series, and he has experienced a lot. Its anime series of the 1980s contains over 100 episodes, and its manga is still being published. Football is Captain Tsubasa’s passion. Because of its endearing characters and themes of togetherness, this sports anime has gained popularity.
In terms of Japanese pop culture, it has left a small legacy. After that, Captain Tsubasa appeared in a large number of films and OVAs, followed by numerous anime series in the 1990s, 2000s, then most recently through 2018 to 2019.
7. Slam Dunk
Anime : Slam Dunk pic.twitter.com/EtxHE8Qx1J
— Takehiko Inoue Art (@TakehikoArt) July 14, 2023
A highly regarded sports anime from the era of the 1990s is called Slam Dunk. Hanamichi Sakuragi, the star of Slam Dunk, joined his school’s basketball team in order to make friends with Haruko Akagi, the team captain’s sister. Hanamichi initially joined the club just to meet women, but he soon fell in love with the game and wanted to take his playing seriously.
Slam Dunk features amazing humour and believable character development. Hanamichi’s development throughout the course of the series is plausible and, for some viewers, even realistic. Hanamichi didn’t have any innate athletic propensities to begin with, in contrast to previous protagonists. Hanamichi had a challenging road to becoming a competent player, and he still has more to learn before he can even think about turning pro.
8. Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story
Vipère ❤️🐍 (via BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls' Story-) pic.twitter.com/VZ3HltfOfB
— Crunchyroll (@Crunchyroll) July 10, 2023
Birdie Wing: Golf Girls‘ Story adds the mafia, battle shonen-style special shifts and an unnamed ailment to what is perhaps the most complex sport. Because so much of the humour in this programme depends on surprising the audience, it is one of those programmes which profits from low expectations. As a result, the effect of the anime is diminished if someone enters anticipating an outrageous action-comedy rather than a typical sports anime.
That so, Birdie Wing is still a fun movie to see even without that sense of surprise. The show delivers the excitement associated with both sports and shonen cliches while effectively parodying both. While putting Eve and Aoi versus a few of the top golfers in the industry, the show gradually increases its absurdity.
9. Hajime no Ippo
"Hajime no Ippo" manga series will have an Important Announcement on July 14, 2023. pic.twitter.com/rRJfktRDst
— Anime News And Facts (@AniNewsAndFacts) July 12, 2023
A sports programme about professional boxing is called Hajime No Ippo. Since 1989, the manga has been published. Makunouchi Ippo began his road to becoming a professional boxer as a shy high school student.
He possessed a pretty motivational past, which led to many followers admiring him. Even after seeing, Hajime No Ippo might motivate some viewers to exercise. A lot of viewers had grown up watching this series, which ran from 2002 until 2014. Even a motion picture and a number of video games are part of the franchise.
10. Sk8 the Infinity
No one told me sk8 the infinity was that good, beado mnni y'all fake pic.twitter.com/MQLNPoc8Mn
— Peter 🇲🇦🇵🇸 (@peeteeer_) July 11, 2023
Sk8 the Infinity, one of the top shows of Winter 2021 season, was produced by Hiroko Utsumi, who is also the creator of a number of other critically regarded sports anime series. This programme pushes skateboarding to the limit by including two-person, illegal “S” races that frequently end in major accidents.
The development of Reki and Langa’s friendship is very wonderful to watch, and no effort was wasted to make the action scenes appear jaw-dropping. Although this show is relatively new, it is certain to be popular for a very long time.
The sports anime character of the day is Shigeno Goro from MAJOR. He plays baseball pic.twitter.com/Rxc8jRkveG
— Sports Anime Character of the day (@sportsanimeOTD) October 16, 2021
Major is the most comprehensive sports anime in existence, quality issues aside. It follows Gorou Honda’s professional life from his early years up till the World Cup throughout the span of six seasons, a few films, and a few OVAs. Even a follow-up anime featuring Gorou’s son exists.
Fans get to watch Gorou mature during this voyage, even though he always has a certain childlike quality about him. The baseball sequences are wonderfully put together and captivating, while being a little bit ridiculous at times.
12. Megalo Box
🏍️It's #NationalMotorcycleDay, who is your favorite Bike-riding anime character?
(via MEGALOBOX) pic.twitter.com/UdSkn5WWDu
— TMS Entertainment USA Inc. (@tmsanime) July 15, 2023
Megalo Box is a futuristic take on boxing that was developed to commemorate Tomorrow’s Joe’s 50th anniversary. In order to compete in the big tournament known as Megalonia and face the competition’s champion, Yuri, Joe, an abandoned warehouse lurker who is employed to fight in subterranean battles, chooses to enter.
Although boxing is technically involved, combatants have mechanical arms called Gears that significantly increase their fighting effectiveness. When Joe realises he won’t be able to obtain a suitable Gear, he chooses to fight conventionally. Megalo Box features outstanding animation, a wonderful hero, and consistently thrilling battles. The narrative also goes in an unexpected path in Season 2, and it is handled effectively.
13. Yuri!!! On Ice
also the fact that the yuri on ice opening was animated by a single person is actually insane, people deserve awards for this type of thing bc??? pic.twitter.com/J1607WfQZX
— avary 🤍 (@kyoruyeye) July 16, 2023
In many people’s minds, figure skating doesn’t compare to popular sports like football, despite the fact that it’s still highly physically taxing. Watching 23-year-old Yuuri try to make it to the summit of the skating world is fascinating since older athletes have it even harder than younger athletes to succeed.
His relationship with his renowned skating master Victor is complicated further by their homosexuality. Even the most seasoned sports fans will be on the very edge on their seats during the show’s final seconds.