Do you like to see anime where the characters push themselves beyond their limits to rise as the best of the best? Do you like to see them putting their blood, sweat and tears into a single thing that they’re living for? If so, get ready to binge watch, because here’s a list of the best sports anime that’d satisfy your craving!
1.Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit)
MAL score: 8.79
Aired: Oct 4, 2000 to Mar 27, 2002
Hajime no Ippo is a boxing anime that revolves around the protagonist, Makunouchi Ippo, and his friends training and growing into a professional boxer.
Even if you’re not a fan of boxing, this anime will take you into the world of hooks and jabs giving you the kind of motivation that you’ve never felt before. It’s that captivating.
One of the strong suits of this anime is the character development. It has unique, lovable characters, each having their own goals and dreams. What makes this anime amazing is that, it clearly depicts how the characters pour their heart and soul into boxing so that they can achieve their goals.
Mal score: 8.64 (Season 1), 8.86 (Season 2), 8.97 (Season 3)
Total Episodes: 60 (excluding OVAs)
Aired: Apr 6, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014 and Oct 4, 2015 to Mar 27, 2016 and Oct 8, 2016 to Dec 10, 2016
One way or another, you might’ve probably heard about this volleyball anime that took the world by a storm.
This anime is about how a volleyball team that has been deteriorating from it former glory, grows and and gradually progresses towards the top with the arrival of the astounding duo – Shoyou Hinata, who aspires to become like the legendary player called “Little monster”, and Tobio Kageyama, the volleyball prodigy.
This anime is all about how they grow together as a team, understanding and supporting each others despite their differences and how they train themselves to reach the national level tournaments.
3. March comes in like a lion (3-gatsu no Lion)
MAL score: 8.44 (Season 1), 9.04 (Season 2)
Total Episodes: 44
Aired: Apr 6, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014 and Oct 14, 2017 to Mar 31, 2018
Unlike any other anime on this listing, 3-gatsu no Lion is an indoor sports anime. This anime is about a Shogi prodigy, Rei Kiriyama marching forward through the professional Shogi world, despite the struggles and suffocations in his personal life.
This anime perfectly balances the sports theme as well as the personal life of Rei, which warms up the hearts of the watchers. It will take you on an emotional journey, making you feel happy, sad, amused and thrilled at times.
4. Kuroko no Basket
MAL score: 8.34 (Season 1), 8.46 (Season 2), 8.51 (Season 3)
Total Episodes: 75
Aired: Apr 8, 2012 to Sep 22, 2012, Oct 6, 2013 to Mar 30, 2014 and Jan 11, 2015 to Jun 30, 2015
While the other sports anime focus on ‘realism’, Kuroko no basket lets loose the restraints of reality and creates an enchanting story.
This anime is about how Tetsuya Kuroko, a person with a weak presence, who supports his team by passing the balls , and his teammates battle stronger opponents in order to become the best Japanese high school team by winning the Interhigh Championship.
5. Yuri!!! On Ice
MAL score: 8.14
Aired: Oct 6, 2016 to Dec 22, 2016
Yuri!!! On Ice is a fresh and unique sports anime that focuses on Ice skating where the main protagonist is not a high school student. Yeah, it’s a big deal, because literally every sports anime is focused on high schoolers, but this one is different (Well, it technically doesn’t make any big difference, but y’know it just gives a different “flavor”).
This show is about Yuri Katsuki, one of Japan’s figure skaters, who admires a Russian skater and a five time world champion, Victor Nikiforov. Seeing Yuri performing a routine used by him on a video, Victor offers to become Yuri’s mentor, leaving his profession as a skater. After that, with the man he admired as his mentor, Yuri trains to become the world champion.
6. Diamond no Ace
MAL score: 8.19 (Season 1), 8.40 (Season 2)
Total Episodes: 126
Aired: Oct 6, 2013 to Mar 29, 2015 and Apr 6, 2015 to Mar 28, 2016
Diamond no Ace is a captivating anime about baseball. It is about Eijun Sawamura, a pitcher with a unique style who aspires to become the ace of Tokyo’s prestigious Seidou High School. They train rigorously and face formidable foes in order to become the best team in Japan.
This anime has a straightforward story line with lovable characters. In addition to that, it also has amazing character development.
7. Megalo Box
MAL score: 8.07
Aired: Apr 6, 2018 to Jun 29, 2018
Megalo Box is sports anime, that takes boxing one step further. Megalo Box is an evolution of boxing that utilizes mechanical limbs known as Gear to enhance the speed and power of its users.
This anime is about a man called “Junk dog”, who fights matches dictated by his boss, Gansaku Nanbu. After losing to the Megalo box champion (who was disguising himself as an ordinary man) and being challenged to fight him again in the championship match, Junk dog begins at the very bottom of ranked list and fights his way up to the top.
In short, with a mind blowing story line and a gorgeous art style and music, this is one of a kind sports anime.
8. Prince Of Tennis
MAL score: 7.99 (Season 1), 7.64 (Season 2)
Total Episodes: 191
Aired: Oct 10, 2001 to Mar 23, 2005 and Jan 5, 2012 to Mar 29, 2012
This anime about a tennis prodigy, Ryouma Echizen, who’s determined to prove himself and surpass his father, who is a tennis legend. Ryouma pushes himself hard so that he can achieve his goals someday. He faces off top-notch opponents one after the other to reach the summit of the world of Tennis.
Unlike many other sports anime, this show is not about starting from the rock bottom and working on their skills to the point they reach the “pro-level”. Ryouma is already skilled when it comes to Tennis, but he has to go even further to become the best in the world.
9. Uma musume: Pretty Derby
MAL score: 7.46
Aired: Apr 2, 2018 to Jun 18, 2018
Do you like horse races? Probably not. They’re just horses running, right? What could be fun about it? Well, what if the horses were girls and they perform special dance after their races? That’d be pretty, wouldn’t it?
This anime starts off with a country horse-girl, Special week, transferring to Tokyo’s Tracen academy to train and become the best horse-girl in japan just as she promised to her mother.
This is one of a kind anime where sports is actually made beautiful which gives off a light and positive vibe. I mean, it’s got super moe horse-girl characters racing each others. What else could make an anime more beautiful?
MAL Score: 7.18
Aired: Oct 7, 2016 to Mar 31, 2017
All Out!! is a rugby anime that centers around a team that has no coach or advisor. Without anyone’s help, they try everything they can, by learning to play rugby from rugby books, however, they never won a single game.
One day, the main protagonist calls a retired professional rugby coach on a whim, but it ended up being their first ignition – their very first victory. After going through grueling training, and strengthening the bond within the team mates, they become stronger and stronger everyday with a combined goal of participating in the International Rugby Game.