In the world of anime, there are dozens of sub-genres to explore, but few are as popular and prolific as sport series. In the past decades, sports anime has become a mainstay with fans all over the world. Whether characters have signed up for a cycling club or want to swim to their heart's content, there is a sport anime out there for you.
Of course, there are some who may be confused by the sub-genre. After all, why would someone like watching a bunch of animated characters play sports? When it comes down to it, the value of these shows comes from the camaraderie between characters and the push-and-pull fan service that comes with those relationships.
Here at ComicBook.com, we are looking back at some of the best and most well-rounded sports anime series for beginners. So, put on your training gear and get your legs limbered up; It's time you entered the world of sports!
Yuri on Ice!!
Created in 2016, Yuri on Ice!! is the newest addition to the sports anime world, and it is one of the finest projects to ever enter the sphere. The lilting anime is filled with stunning animation and choreography that has caught the world by storm. The ice skating anime tells the story of a young Japanese figure skater named Yuri Katsuki who is too insecure to make his dreams of becoming a renowned athlete come true. But, when his idol and fellow skater Victor Nikiforov comes to train him, Yuri goes through a physical and emotional journey that will leave fans craving for more.prevnext
Sure, Chihayafuru may not sound like a sports anime at first, but there's no denying that the josei series is. Created in December 2007, the slice-of-life series gained momentum in 2011 thanks to its anime adaptation. The series uses the Japanese card game Karuta as its sport, and Chihayafuru follows a group of estranged friends as they reunite because of the game. When Chihaya Ayase wishes to see her old friend Arata once more after he suddenly moved away as a child, she challenges herself to become the country's greatest Karuta player to make him notice her. And, as time moves forward, her determination brings both Arata and another boy named Taichi back to the playing field.prevnext
The Prince of Tennis
For U.S. fans, their first introduction to sports anime may have been through The Prince of Tennis. The older series was first published in July 1999 before it was adapted into an anime in 2001. The tense series follows a prodigal tennis player named Ryoma Echizen as he attends a private sports academy. With his talent, the boy is able to defeat his elders with ease, but Ryoma still has to fight to secure his ultimate dream of winning the National Middle School Tennis Championship.prevnext
Who knew an anime about volleyball could single-handedly rejuvenate sports anime? Back in February 2012, a manga named Haikyu!! made its debut and was quickly turned into a lauded anime by 2014. The colorful, fluid series tells the story of two boys named Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama. The pair are volleyball players with two very different outlooks on the sport, but they are forced to work together when they wind up on the same high school team. Determined to make Karasuno High School known for its volleyball talent, the pair must work alongside their quirky teammates to soar to their rightful places as legends.prevnext
Created in December 2008, Kuroko's Basketball gained international attention after Production I.G. adapted the shonen manga into an anime. The action-packed series tells the story of a group of boys who used to play for the same middle school team. The talented athletes now find themselves separated at different schools, but one of the lauded group's hidden members winds up at a new school with an untested team. The boy, whose name is Tetsuya Kuroko, decides to make his high school's basketball team one of the best. And, so, the anime follows the boy and his whacky team members as they face down other teams and former "Generation of Miracles" players.prev