20 Best Sports Anime To Watch: Sports anime are more than just animated sport, and if you are not watching sports anime, you are missing out on so many things. Sports might not attract everyone as it all depends on a person's interest, but as I said earlier, sports anime is not just animated sports. It is so much more than that: the character depth, the underdog story, the epic comeback, and those heart-shattering moments. There is not a single sports anime that is not worth your time. But some anime is just head and shoulder above others. We have compiled a list for you of 20 best sports anime ever. It might not involve your favorite anime, and that doesn't mean it is terrible in any sense. It is just our opinion and our pick on the best sports anime that you can watch and enjoy.
- 1 List of the Best Sports Anime
- 1.1 1. Haikyuu
- 1.2 2. Ace Of Diamond
- 1.3 3. Kuroko No Basket
- 1.4 4. Slam Dunk
- 1.5 5. Ping-Pong The Animation
- 1.6 6. Hajime No Ippo
- 1.7 7. Captain Tsubasa
- 1.8 8. Prince Of Tennis
- 1.9 9. Yowamushi Pedal
- 1.10 10. Eyeshield 21
- 1.11 11. One-Outs
- 1.12 12. Cross Game
- 1.13 13. Major
- 1.14 14. Baby Steps
- 1.15 15. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
- 1.16 16. Yuri On Ice
- 1.17 17. Inazuma Eleven
- 1.18 18. Giant Killing
- 1.19 19. Initial D
- 1.20 20. Days
List of the Best Sports Anime
Our list includes 20 all time best sports animes that you can watch. Filled with energy and enthusiasm the list is handpicked for sports fans and anime fans. I am a huge sports anime fan this list is the best for sports anime to watch.
Haikyuu is the most famous sports anime out there. If you are a sports genre fan, there is no way you have not heard about it. When Haikyuu manga, it was trending number 1 on Twitter worldwide. This type of love for a sports manga is unexpected. Haikyuu excels in the story, and character development and even the side characters we only get to see for a couple of episodes are well rounded. In terms of pure sports, it is one of the greatest anime ever.
2. Ace Of Diamond
Personally favorite anime. Ace of Diamond is a perfect underdog story that you can ask for. The manga has been running strong for almost a decade now. Both the anime and manga are excellent. In this anime, you can see the protagonist struggle, accept the loss, break down like a regular player, and become a pro. This anime will give you literal chills, and the adrenaline rush will be real.
3. Kuroko No Basket
If you are into sports where players are entirely overpowered, this anime is for you. Kuroko No Basket shows some unrealistic abilities of the players, but it was considered the best sports anime around when it was out. It is the reason many players started watching sports anime. SO you should give this one a try.
4. Slam Dunk
A masterpiece of a sports anime. This might be the sports anime that started it all. Hilarious comedy scenes, Original, and one of the best storylines and one hell of a main character you will get behind. What else do you need? The only downfall will be animation, but regarding the anime that was made in the 90s, you really can't expect much.
5. Ping-Pong The Animation
This anime is more of a psychological affair. It shows you the psychological experience required while playing a game. The animation style is rough, and not everyone likes it. But if you can look past that, you will see how beautiful this anime is. It will take only two episodes to hook you to this anime.
6. Hajime No Ippo
Hajime No Ippo is the One Piece of the sports genre. It has more than 1300 chapters and is still going strong. Manga doesn't run for 1000 chapters if fans do not love it. The anime is also just as good as anime with perfect pacing and everything. It might be on the side of long anime with many episodes, but it's worth it. You will love the thrill this anime will give you.
7. Captain Tsubasa
One of the classic. People grew up while watching this anime. The anime had a remake in 2018, so if you don't like the classic animation of 1983, you can watch the new one. Both of them are great, but the new one might have an edge because of the animation quality so go for it.
8. Prince Of Tennis
If you want to watch a sports anime where unique characters just ruin their opponents, go for this anime. It is one of those anime, which is unrealistic in terms of the players' abilities, but if you are into that stuff, you should watch it. It's a great and silly and funny and charming little sports anime. Once you get to know everyone in the Seiguku club, you start getting attached to the characters, and then it's a blast.
9. Yowamushi Pedal
Yowamushi Pedal is the best sports anime in my opinion. This one also falls into the category of unrealistic, but that makes it interesting to watch. The first two seasons are just amazing. After that, it goes into a little bit of a slump, but it recovers itself in the end. This anime also has some inconsistencies, but overall it is a pretty decent watch.
10. Eyeshield 21
An anime about Rugby, No not rugby but American Football, Lol. Eyeshield 21 is a unique and good anime to watch. This anime has one of the most exciting sets of characters that will attract you instantly. The final arc of the anime felt kind of rushed, but it was still a very satisfying ending.
Another sports anime that you can put in the psychological category. The mind game it involves shows you the dark side of the game that you were deprived of. It is coming from someone who hasn't played baseball in his life that it is such a good anime. Shockingly, people don't talk about this anime that much. The only flaw this anime has its lack of interesting characters other than the main character.
12. Cross Game
It is a top-notch anime that people don't tend to mention. It is just hard for fans to get into it because of the art style. Please don't go in expecting a hardcore sports show, though. It's more of a character drama that focuses on people obsessed with baseball. The show lets you get close to the characters, and the stories of these characters hurt during the pay-off.
Major is one of the longest sports anime out there. You follow the main character through so much. Each season is a different phase of his life, and because of this, each season tells a different story. Aside from sports, Major puts more focus on character development and training, and less on the actual games. Most games are resolved in a single episode, with the important ones being two or three. This is something new as usually in sports anime, the actual match tends to run for far too many episodes.
14. Baby Steps
It is a refreshing anime, as it doesn't follow the similar, mundane plot of every sports anime. The main character is lovable, and his journey is motivating and exciting to its core. And it also has an excellent romantic subplot that happens naturally without all the drama you tend to get with romance in anime.
15. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Get ready for manservice, lots of manservice, because this anime is full of it. Talking about the actual plot, Free is one of the finest animes in general. It's exceptionally well animated and fun to watch. So, unless you are uncomfortable with the manservice, this show is a must-watch.
16. Yuri On Ice
Just watch this anime, and you will fall in love with every aspect of this show. The skating scenes' grace, the beauty of the music, and the relationship between the main characters are just so beautiful to watch. The anime got a massive backlash as it was voted as the best anime at Crunchy awards, but that was because of the show's premise. The anime is a brave attempt showing the relationship between two males. And if that bothers you, this anime is not for you. This one completely wins the thrill of a sports anime also its considered as the best sports anime by various anime fan groups.
17. Inazuma Eleven
Inazuma Eleven is a favorite childhood anime for many kids. In terms of story and characters, this anime is pretty good. There are lots of great characters. People tend to comment that it is for kids, but anyone can enjoy this anime. It is one of the few anime that gives a damn about Football.
18. Giant Killing
This anime stands out against all the sports anime that focuses on football. Captain Tsubasa and Inazuma Eleven are enjoyable, but none of them is mature enough to deal with what makes football, football. The fans, injuries, the chants, the players, the coaches, the manager, and the process of running a club, plus the league, tactics, and so much more. This anime deals with that. It is one of those unusual anime that is almost a masterpiece, but no one talks about it.
19. Initial D
One of the best cliches anime you will ever see. It's a good show, but don't expect a great story, but enjoy the art and CG animation progression over the years it was created. As you mentioned, the soundtrack is fantastic. If you like Psychological anime then you can also read Best Psychological Anime
It is one of the most emotional sports anime out there. It is so criminally underrated that it is a disgrace to an anime of this caliber. The anime might not be pure sports, but it is a good watch. The only downfall of this anime is its animation. It is one of those cringy and cliche anime that you can't hate no matter what.