Sports anime, a great way to hype yourself up to go out and play some sports. This anime genre has been popular for a long time, and today, we will be presenting you the 13 best sports anime ever made.
There have been countless masterpieces that are still discussed amongst the anime fans and debated which ones are the best.
Sports anime can be predictable sometimes, but despite us knowing the results, the build-up to the moment is why we love these anime.
Here are the 13 best sports anime of all time:
13 best sports anime ever made
13. Big Windup
Coming at number 13 on our list is one of the classic sports anime, Big Windup. Released in 2007, this anime was a big hit back then.
The story revolves around Ren Mihashi, who is a baseball player on his school team.
Ren is supposedly the ace of the team but has very poor pitching ability, and due to that, he and his team cannot win any tournaments.
Later on, he moves to a different prefecture to attend another high school and has no intention of playing baseball, but that is where the story begins.
Big Windup has two seasons, with season one consisting of 25 episodes, and season two is just 13 episodes long.
Moreover, the anime was made under A-1 Pictures, and Higuchi Asa wrote the original manga.
12. Diamond no Ace
Next up on the list is Diamond no Ace, one of the best sports animes out there. So if you are looking for a sports anime with many episodes, then this is it.
Diamond no Ace is an anime based on baseball with a total of 3 seasons and 178 episodes.
Along with those episodes, they have 5 OVA episodes as well.
This story is about Eijun Sawamura, who wants to become the ace of the baseball team.
At the beginning of the series, Eijun finds it very hard to adjust to his new high school team, but things change drastically later.
This anime was animated by popular studios like Madhouse and Production I.G, and Yuji Terajima writes the manga.
11. Ping Pong the Animation
Ping Pong the Animation is an anime about ping pong/table tennis and probably has the unique animation amongst the anime on this list.
Moreover, “Ping Pong the Animation” is about two best friends, Makoto Tsukimoto and Yutaka Hoshino, nicknamed Smile and Peco.
In this anime, we can see how the two friends live their daily lives playing ping pong and aim to be the best ping pong players in the world.
There are many hurdles in the way, but it doesn’t stop them from trying their best while looking forward to achieving their ambitions.
This anime has 11 episodes, and Taiyō Matsumoto wrote the manga. It also has a live-action movie.
Chihayafuru is an anime completely based on a Japanese card game, Karuta.
In addition, this anime is one of the few sports anime that has a female character as its protagonist.
The protagonist of this anime is Chihaya Ayase. She is carefree and lives her life with no dreams and ambitions until she meets another character named Arata Wataya.
The main plot of the story begins when Arata introduces Chihaya to Karuta. It is a Japanese card game that requires physical and mental willpower.
If you are not from Japan, then probably you are not familiar with the game.
So it is intriguing watching this anime as we learn about a new game while enjoying the dramatic story of the anime.
The anime has a total of three seasons and 74 episodes.
9. Eyeshield 21
Eyeshield 21, written by Riichiro Inagaki, is a sports anime about American Football.
The protagonist of this anime is Sena Kobayakawa. The story begins with Sena joining the American football club as a secretary member.
Later on, he is persuaded by one of the team members to play as the running back of the team.
Eyeshield 21 comes as the protagonist wearing an eyeshield while wearing the jersey number 21 on the field.
The anime has 145 episodes and has only one season.
Megalobox is a sports anime based on boxing, but it is not just normal boxing.
It involves boxing with a metal frame attached to the boxer, which helps them to deal much harder blows and increases their speed and power.
The story of this anime revolved around Joe, who has a ring name, “Junk Dog.”
Joe is a guy who fights in illegal fights and makes his living, but one day, he is challenged by the best medal boxer named Yūri.
Yuri beats Joe with ease in their first fight, but the main plot starts from there.
Joe wants to fight Yuri again, and to do so, he must get to the finals of the megaloboxing tournament Megalonia.
This anime has two seasons with 26 episodes.
7. Prince of Tennis
As the name makes it obvious, the next anime on our list is about Tennis.
Prince of Tennis is one of the classical sports animes which is loved by the fans all around the world.
The plot of this anime is based on Ryouma Echizen, who is a prodigy in the anime.
Despite being quite good for his age, he is always snubbed under his father’s shadow and never given proper credit.
This anime showcases Ryouma’s journey of becoming one of the best tennis players in the world.
Prince of Tennis has two seasons. Its first season has 178 episodes, and the second one has 13 episodes.
6. Yuri on Ice
Yuri on ice is one of its kind. This anime is about skating, and the animation for this anime is extremely eye-catching.
The story’s protagonist is Yuri Katsuki, a skater, but Yuri wants to give up on skating after losing in a big tournament.
This anime showcases how Yuri’s passion for skating is reignited.
Yuri on Ice has one season with a total of 12 episodes.
The studio behind the animation of this anime is MAPPA.
In the hot summer, this is probably the anime that will make you want to go swimming.
Free! is an anime based on swimming that is mostly targeted towards the girl audience.
The story is centered around a high schooler named Haruka Nanase. He loves swimming and is extremely good at it.
He, along with few other boys, form a team to compete in swimming tournaments, and from thereon, the main plot progresses.
This anime has three seasons with 37 episodes.
4. Hajime no Ippo
Coming at number four on our list is another anime based on boxing, Hajime No Ippo. Hajime no Ippo translates to The First Step in English.
The anime’s protagonist is Ippo Makunouchi, a shy, timid, and introverted kid who has difficulty communicating with people around him.
He is bullied by other kids, especially Umezawa, who is the bully’s leader.
When Ippo was getting bullied, he is rescued by a retired boxer and taken to a gym.
When Ippo vents his anger on the sandbag, the former boxer notices that Ippo might have some talent for boxing and the main plot begins from thereon.
This anime has a total of 126 episodes in three seasons.
3. Kuroko no Basket
Next on the list of 13 best sports anime of all time is Kuroko no Basket.
This show makes you want to play basketball and hype you with its amazing animation and dramatic moments.
The plot of this anime revolves around Kuroko and Kagami, who are high schoolers.
Kuroko was the part of a prodigal team in his middle school, Generation of Miracles.
On the other hand, Kagami is a basketball player from the US who recently moved to Japan and is huge in size.
As one would expect, Kuroko must be really good if he was part of the miraculous team, right? Well, he is not, and this is what makes the anime and the duo interesting to watch.
This anime has a total of 75 episodes combined from 3 seasons.
2. Slam Dunk
Our runner-up on the list of best sports anime is Slam Dunk, one of the classics and fan-favorite anime.
Slam Dunk is an anime about basketball, and the protagonist of this story is Hanamichi Sakuragi.
He is a huge guy who has nothing to do with basketball, but the girl he likes loves to play basketball.
So to impress the girl, Sakuragi decides to take up basketball and join the team, but as expected, he is not really good at it except because he is huge and can jump really high.
Later on in the series, Sakuragi becomes a great basketball player as he continued his basketball career.
The best thing that makes this anime really good is that there is no sudden boost in the character’s development.
Instead, the author has done a great job of keeping the character development balanced.
Finally, topping the list of the best sports anime ever made is Haikyu!! Which is an anime about Volleyball.
Haikyu is a volleyball anime based on Shouyou Hinata, a high schooler but has a really small height.
Despite being way shorter than any other player around his age, he persuades career as a volleyball player. Even though his height is small, he can jump really high.
The protagonist of this story is Hinata, but this anime has done a good job of proving significant attention to the other team players.
In this anime, we can see the characters face various hurdles, but they overcome them as a team and help each other grow, especially Hinata and Kageyama.