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15 Best Sports Anime Of All Time

The best sports anime not only showcase the thrill of athletic pursuits but also delve into the personal struggles, growth, and camaraderie of the characters.

Author:Andrew Stevenson
Reviewer:Johnathan Miller
Mar 19, 2024
In the realm of anime, the exhilarating world of sports comes alive through captivating storytelling, dynamic characters, and intense competitions.
The best sports animenot only showcase the thrill of athletic pursuits but also delve into the personal struggles, growth, and camaraderie of the characters.
As we delve into the realm of the best sports anime, we uncover a genre that inspires and entertains, taking us on journeys of triumph, perseverance, and teamwork.

Inazuma Eleven

Inazuma Eleven (Anime) -- Trailer

The soccer animation Inazuma Eleven focuses on the importance of collaboration and camaraderie. The protagonist, Endou Mamoru, is a skilled goalkeeper who, together with his pals, is trying to build up the soccer team at his school. If they don't attract enough people to join the club soon, it will have to disband.
Fans of the genre will agree that Inazuma Eleven deserves more recognition than it currently receives, since it is among the greatest sports anime currently airing. If you like Blue Lock but are looking for something comparable but less intense, this is one of the finest sports anime you can watch.

Burning Kabaddi

Burning Kabaddi Official Trailer

Kabaddi is a relatively unknown team sport that places a premium on offense. Even while kabaddi seems like it's all about tackling and raiding, it really demands outstanding observation and strategy abilities.
It's a really physical game that gives the athletes a real rush. After seeing Burning Kabaddi, even someone who had never heard of the sport before would feel driven to give it a try.
In Burning Kabaddi, Yoigoshi is followed after he is tricked into joining the kabaddi club at his school. He was a famous soccer player who decided to pursue livestreaming instead. Yoigoshi originally rejected the group, but he came to appreciate and even enjoy the sport of kabaddi.

One Outs

One Outs Anime Trailer [Eng sub] ワンナウツトレーラー

An excellent sports anime, One Outs shows that baseball is more than simply a physical contest; it's also a mental one. Whether it's a win on the field or a method to improve his reputation, brilliant pitcher and talented protagonist Toua Tokuchi is exceptionally excellent at utilizing mind tricks to acquire what he wants.
Toua is the final hope for the Lycaons, a small-time squad that has had little success in the league. The same kind of intellectual intensity that makes Kakegurui and Death Note great shows up in One Outs, an outstanding sports anime.

Tsurune: Kazemai High School Kyudo Club

Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu(Tsurune: Kazemai High School Kyudo Club) Season 2-Trailer 02

Kyudo, or Japanese archery, is a traditional sport in the country. Kyodo, in contrast to traditional archery, makes use of martial arts. Tsurune features Minato, a member of the Kazemai High School Kyudo Club.
Prodigious kyudoka Minato stopped practicing after learning in middle school that he would always be subject to hayake, or the involuntary release of an arrow.
When a kyudo group sprang up at Minato's school, he decided to start practicing again. Through the club, he connected with two old pals from his youth, Seiya and Ryouhei.
Minato rediscovered his passion for kyudo and led his team to the national championship. Tsurune is a fantastic sports anime that doesn't get nearly enough praise.

Ao Ashi

Ao Ashi | Official Trailer

The soccer drama Ao Ashi is riveting. The tale of Ashito Aoi is told in Ao Ashi, an animated film by Production I.G. He's notorious for playing dangerously and without consideration for his teammates.
On the field, he is a one-man army that single-handedly propels his side to victory. But then Ashito was provoked into a dispute by an adversary, and everything changed. Ashito's outburst caused his coach to sideline him, which ultimately led to the loss of the game.
Ashito's absence was crucial to the failure of his squad in the competition. Ashito was given a second opportunity when a coach named Tatsuya saw his ability and reached out to him.
He extended an offer to come to Tokyo and try out for the squad. Ashito quickly discovers that he is not the only talented player, and he must perform at a higher level if he is to achieve his goals.


Amanchu! - Official Trailer (subtitled)

In 2016, Amanchu, a 12-episode sports anime centered on scuba diving, was released. Each episode stands on its own as an exciting journey. Like other excellent sports anime, the importance of friendship is emphasized heavily here.
Pikari and Teko are the main protagonists of the program. One is reserved and quiet, while the other is bubbly and odd. Teko also can't swim at first since he never learned. Viewers will be inspired to start scuba diving after seeing this show.

Yowamushi Pedal

Yowamushi Pedal The Movie - Official Theatrical Trailer

Despite its widespread popularity, cycling has not been the subject of many anime. The only major series to tackle cycling is Yowamushi Pedal, and the manga has been so successful that it has spawned more than 80 volumes.
The anime version has likewise reached the landmark of 100 episodes, which took five full seasons to complete. It's also responsible for a few feature films. Yowamushi Pedal is obviously popular.
The plot centers on the Sohoku High Bicycle Club and their preparations for the Inter-High competition. The plot of the anime revolves on a shy youngster named Sakamichi Onodoa who is recruited by the club. He doesn't start off very enthusiastic about riding, but he comes to really like it.
Even the anime's villains are fun to watch, and the rest of the main cast is likeable. Both of Yowamushi Pedal's most recent seasons have been met with mixed reactions from fans, although the show as a whole is enjoyable.

Salaryman's Club

Salaryman's Club (2022) - ​Official Trailer | FHD 60 FPS

Even though Hanebado! is the most well-known badminton anime, its popularity is constrained by its desire for drama and its abrasive treatment of serious issues. Even though it isn't as well-known, Salaryman's Club is a far better recommendation for the ordinary sports fan since it offers a fresh viewpoint on the subject.
LIDENFILMS' animation offers a welcome change of pace by following a group of working people as they pursue their love for badminton in their spare time. While they may be fierce competitors when the pressure is on, these characters care more about their own happiness than the usual heroes of sports anime.
The badminton sequences in Salaryman's Club are expertly directed, with stunning animation and startling intensity. The characters take their pastime very seriously, which encourages the viewer to do the same. Their working lives are explored extensively in the series, to the point that it may be classified as a workplace anime.


Keijo takes pride in its deliberately simplistic premise, which centers on a made-up sport in which women strive to knock one other into a pool using just a few body parts. The anime does not try to be anything other than a fanservice anime, and that is exactly what it is.
Despite the absurdity and humor of the idea, Keijo's characters take their sport quite seriously. They are driven to excel in the activity that has the same name, and it shapes who they are as individuals.
Keijo, for the most part, features good animation, likeable characters, and a firm grasp of the mechanics of a tournament. The program is entertaining both as a satire and as a basic sports tale in the shonen genre.

The Gymnastics Samurai

Anime is a big fan of baseball, but also enjoys tennis and soccer. There are always a few notable episodes based on each sport that are included in new manga.
There's a good (financial) reason for their widespread acclaim, but it's always refreshing when a show comes along that focuses on a lesser-known pastime. The Gymnastics Samurai is, as its title suggests, an anime about gymnastics; it's also the only one of its kind.
Joutarou was formerly considered to be Japan's greatest gymnast. The performer is no longer in his athletic peak and has begun to noticeably deteriorate, albeit he is still talented in his own way. Despite the inevitable victory of old age, Joutarou intends to go out fighting with the help of his daughter and a fan-turned-friend, Leo.
The gymnastics events are always entertaining, but the show often veers into farcical territory in its pursuit of humour. Joutarou's hardships are not often handled in sports anime, and all three characters are endearing.

Captain Tsubasa

Yichi Takahashi and Tsuchida Production created the Captain Tsubasa manga series. Due to its massive popularity and widespread distribution throughout the years, it is often regarded as one of the most popular soccer animes.
Tsubasa Ooozora, a little kid of 11, has always wanted to play soccer professionally for Japan and is the main character in this film. He uproots to Nankatsu City with his mom in order to play for one of the city's famous high school teams.
As a result of this change, he has a clearer picture of the level of competition he faces and the breadth of talents he will need to master.
Nonetheless, he will have the support of his new pals and guidance from his mentor. The fact that this anime is both realistic and fantastical contributes to its endearing qualities. It provided a gateway for many people into the world of professional football and was an inspiration to players like Fernando Torres and Lionel Messi.

Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk, the pioneering basketball animation, has stood the test of time. Takehiko Inoue, a manga artist, conceived the series, and Toei Animation animated it. The middle schooler Sakuragi Hanamichi is notoriously short-tempered, despised by female classmates, and despises basketball.
A girl approaches him on his first day of school at Shohoku High and inquires as to whether or not he enjoys basketball. In an effort to win her over, he takes up a sport he once hated, develops a passion for it, and pushes himself to improve.
The realism and the character growth in Slam Dunk are two of the reasons why the film is so well-liked. It serves as a timely reminder that a strong mentality, consistent effort, and discipline are the building blocks of excellence in any endeavor. Slam Dunk is the quintessential example of how there are no easy ways to become an expert at anything.

Hajime No Ippo

Hajime No Ippo is an anime about boxing that was created by Madhouse Animation and features the writing and artwork of manga creator George Morikawa. Ippo Makunouchi, a teenager, works relentlessly to support his family by operating a boat rental service for his mother.
However, Ippo is also introverted, which makes him a target for bullies who beat him up mercilessly, leaving him battered and broken.
After school, boxer Mamouru Takamura sees Ippo being bullied and rushes to his aid, bringing him back to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym till he feels better.
After spending time with his savior, he gains exposure to the boxing scene and resolves to train as a fighter so he can defend himself.
Ippo finds an inner strength he never knew he had when he begins training, and he undergoes a visible metamorphosis each time he enters the ring. The technical aspects of boxing, life lessons about standing up for yourself and finding your confidence, and epic battles all combine to make Hajime No Ippo a potent and memorable work.

Run With The Wind

Production I.G. adapted Shion Miura's book for the film Run with the Wind. Kakeru Kurahara, formerly a top runner, decides he doesn't want to compete in college.
But Haiji Kiyose, another college student Kareku meets, is a runner with a mission: to recruit the former ace and eight of his fellow students to train for and compete with him in one of Japan's most prestigious relay events. Unfortunately, only two of the kids he's attempting to persuade are really interested in running.
Nonetheless, his deft strategies win them over. The collegiate life shown in the anime is realistic, without sacrificing the show's inspirational undercurrent. The story's diversity and the characters' great chemistry keep things intriguing.
It interestingly catches the spirit of persuading people to take on a task they didn't set out to do and the lessons they learn about themselves and others as a result. The adult, no-nonsense tone and collegiate setting earn Run with the Wind a lot of fans.


Mitsuru Aadachi wrote and drew Cross-Game, and Synergy SP created it. The families of Ko. Kitamura and Aoba Tsukishima are close friends and business partners. But Aoba dislikes Kou because she believes that by becoming close to her sister, Kou has stolen her away from her.
Kou isn't into baseball, although he has good hitting abilities, while Aoba loves the game and has great throwing form. But an unexpected catastrophe forces them to work together, and they use the time to practice their baseball abilities. Mitsuru and Aoba's animosity and jealousy develop into something deeper over time.
Cross-Game is an emotional animation about how life's unexpected turns may let you see a side of things you hadn't considered before. What really sets this anime apart is the way its two main characters commit to become the best at their sport for reasons other than their own. There's sadness, baseball, friendship, and love in this narrative. The emotional impact of this anime builds gradually but steadily.

Final Thoughts

In the world of anime, the genre of sports provides a unique and exhilarating experience for viewers. The best sports anime offer more than just the thrill of competition – they capture the essence of dedication, perseverance, and the human spirit's triumph over challenges.
From intense matches to heartfelt character development, these anime series have the power to inspire, entertain, and resonate with audiences of all backgrounds.
So, whether you're a sports enthusiast or simply looking for compelling storytelling, the world of the best sports anime awaits with its exciting and unforgettable tales of athleticism, camaraderie, and personal growth.
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Andrew Stevenson

Andrew Stevenson

Meet Andrew Stevenson, a distinguished male writer whose passion and expertise encompass a wide array of topics, including global news, finance, health, celebrity culture, movies, and cryptocurrency. With a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail, Andrew delivers engaging and informative content that resonates with readers from all walks of life. His insightful analysis of market trends, health breakthroughs, and the latest developments in entertainment captivates audiences, while his exploration of the burgeoning world of cryptocurrency offers invaluable insights into this rapidly evolving field. Andrew's commitment to excellence and his ability to distill complex information into accessible narratives make him a trusted source of knowledge and inspiration in today's dynamic media landscape. Join him on a journey of discovery as he illuminates the intersections of culture, finance, and technology, shaping the conversation one article at a time.
Johnathan Miller

Johnathan Miller

Meet Johnathan Miller, an esteemed writer and analyst renowned for his expertise in global news, finance, health, and cryptocurrency. With a distinguished background in finance and a meticulous approach to research, Johnathan offers incisive insights into market dynamics and economic trends. His articles are characterized by a profound understanding of health-related issues and a clear articulation of the complexities surrounding cryptocurrency. Through his professional lens and commitment to excellence, Johnathan navigates the intricate webs of our interconnected world, delivering compelling analysis and thought-provoking commentary. Join him on a journey of discovery and enlightenment as he continues to shape discourse in these vital spheres.
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