Sports is among the most popular genre in anime. Chances are your top anime list probably has a few of them too. But if you don’t, no stress here is a list of 13 sports anime for you to binge-watch.
The list is in no particular order and is written from the perspective of the author.
Haikyuu has surpassed from being just the top sports anime to being on the top anime list of all weebs. With everyone eagerly waiting for the 5th season this anime has 4 seasons and a few movies to binge-watch.
After watching a national championship Shouyou Hinata gets inspired by an ace player called “The small giant” and joins his school volleyball team.
Slam Dunk is probably where many 80-90s folks got their love of sports anime. With 101 episodes and a bunch of movies, this is another great addition to this list
Delinquent Hanamichi Sakuragi enters Shohoku High School and joins the basketball team to impress his crush Haruko Akagi and get rid of his singlehood.
Another great basketball anime that almost manages to rival Slam Dunk. It has 3 seasons and a few movies to look out for.
Tetsuya Kuroko along with Taiga Kagami take on the challenge of bringing the Seirin High basketball team to the top during Nationals and along the way defeating his former members of ‘Generation of Miracles’ who have all joined different high schools.
With beautiful art and lots of complex relationships between the characters Free makes you wish you could also join the swim team and win tournaments with your friends. Free has a lot to offer so be sure to add it to your list.
When gifted swimmer Haruka Nanase’s encounter with his childhood swim buddy Rin Matasuko does not go as expected, he joins hands with his other friends to revitalize Iwatobi High School’s swim team and compete against him.
Many make the mistake of ignoring this gem for not being a ‘typical sport’. This is based on the card game karuta inspired by the classic Japanese anthology of the Hundred Poets. It is a great watch, one of the few to have a main female protagonist, and will also teach you a thing or two about Japanese heritage.
After reuniting with her childhood karuta club members Arata Wataya and Taichi Mashima, Chihaya Ayase aims to become the top Karuta player in Japan.
Hajime no Ippo
Who doesn’t love good old-fashioned stories of the underdog rising above their shortcomings and Hajime no Ippo is just that. with 75 episodes it will have you rooting for the underdog as they rise above all and defeat their opponent.
Always targeted by bullies for his distinct smell working at his family’s fish store, Makunouchi Ippo is rescued by boxer Takamura Mamoru. Takamura becomes his source of inspiration and he asks him to train him to become a boxer and this starts his journey to become the best boxer in the world.
Yuri!!! on Ice
Figure Skating might look easy but it’s because the skaters make it look effortless. This anime shows us behind the scenes of competitive figure skating from the years of practice, mental breakdowns, wins and losses, and lots of heartwarming friendships formed on the ice.
Facing defeat at the Grand Prix Finale, Japan’s most promising figure skater Yuuri Katsuki returns home to rethink his future as he is now 23 and has very few years left. However, luck seems to be on his side as goes viral for performing a sequence by 5 times world champion Victor Nikiforov who is impressed offers to mentor him. Now Yuri has to face his fears and vulnerabilities and make his way back into the skating world.
Ping Pong the Animation
This anime often gets passed on for its unique animation style but that’s what makes it more pleasing to watch. It’s a very realistic anime that explores how players deal with their wins and losses, some leave the game, some come back, some have natural aptitude while some practice so much they gain the aptitude.
Ping Pong follows the story of two polar opposite friends Peco and Smile as they learn about their shortcomings and try to overcome them while also developing into mature adults.
Run with the Wind
This anime will remind you of all the excuses you used to avoid running laps in PE class. It focuses more on each character’s reason for running and their conflicts rather than just winning.
Former runner Kakeru is rescued by Haiji, another runner while escaping after being caught shoplifting. This chance encounter begins a new journey for him where he and Haiji along with other friends try to achieve glory by winning Hakone Ekiden relay marathon with only a few months remaining.
You cant have a sports anime list without having baseball in it as it is the most popular sport in Japan. With the combination of gambling and baseball, this psychological thriller keeps you at the edge of your seats.
Toua Tokuchi a 134 KMPH pitcher of a gambling baseball game called ‘One Outs” is scouted by veteran batter Hiromichi Kojima with an unusual contract every out he pitches and gets him five million yen, but with every run, he gives up, he will lose fifty million yen.
With the word pedal, you can know this is about cycling. this anime proves that sometimes when you think you aren’t good at something you end up surprising yourself and there is no end to self-discovery.
Sakamichi Onoda an otaku is disappointed to find out that the anime club at school he was eager to join has been disbanded. During his 90 kilometer cycling round trip to the Akihabara shopping district over the steep slopes, he meets
Shunsuke Imaizumi a cyclist, challenges him to join the school cycling team.
The Prince of Tennis
Another popular anime Prince of Tennis focuses on the journey of a tennis prodigy who has already won himself lots of titles and fame.
Echizen Ryoma is a 4-time tennis champion who returns to Japan from America at the request of his father and joins the Seishun Gakuen junior high school Tennis team to compete with other school teams to reach the National tournament.
SK8 the Infinity
A recent addition in the world of sports anime SK8, with dangerous as well as illegal skating and comedic undertone, has become very popular among both sports as well as non-sports enthusiasts.
Reki Kyan a high school student injures himself competing in ‘S’ an illegal no rule, dangerous skateboarding competition at midnight. He takes new student Langa to S one night and ends up trapped in a bet that requires Langa to compete.
Other sports anime to check out are Ace of Diamond, Initial D, Prince Of Stride: Alternative, Hanebado, Megalo Box, Bing Windup, Bamboo Blade, and Air Gear.