Most anime fans are no stranger to exciting sports anime, but in the last few years, we’ve seen a significant uptick in their popularity. Here we take a look at some of the best sports anime out right now!

What is Sports Anime?

Sports anime centers around a specific athletic activity, often in a school setting. From baseball to biking to boxing, there’s no shortage of subjects covered.

However, it isn’t solely about practices and playing games either. Sports anime seek to mix high-intensity action scenes with strong friendship bonds to create compelling journeys that pull in viewers who wouldn’t typically consider themselves sports fans. They contain a lot of the same relatable elements that make Slice of Life anime so popular. Winning isn’t everything in sports anime, but it’s definitely part of the fun!

What is the Best Sports Anime?

Every anime lover will probably have a different opinion on the best sports anime, especially depending on what kind of sports they like to watch in real life. 

According to My Anime List, the third season of Haikyuu!, Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs. Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou, is currently the highest-rated sports anime with a score of 8.86.

Since there are so many sports shows out there, Chasing Anime has comprised a list of some of the best sports anime to get you started.  

1. Haikyuu!!

MAL Score: 8.53

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and Haikyuu certainly delivers on that front. Unlike most volleyball players, Hinata Shoyo doesn’t have the height or the training most people would consider necessary to be successful. He doesn’t let that stop him, though. 

As someone who played on their middle school volleyball team, I can tell you that getting the hang of the game isn’t as easy as it looks. I quit after one year. Luckily Hinata uses what he does have – his ability to jump and his speed – to carve out a name for himself and catch the attention of genius setter Kageyama Tobio. Hinata struggles on his own, but together they can do anything.

If rooting for Hinata doesn’t grab you, the matches definitely will. Haikyuu is filled with fast-paced, high-intensity volleys and spikes that make it hard to turn away from the screen once you’ve started it. There’s something about the “whoosh” of the ball or seeing his opponents’ faces when Hinata pulls off his “Freak Quick Attack” that really gets your adrenaline pumping!

Hinata and Kageyama perform their “Freak Quick Attack”.

Watching Hinata and his team strive for the top is a heart-warming journey, but with eight teams to follow and over fifty characters, there’s definitely a favorite out there for everybody. You’ll be rooting for your favorites to make it to Nationals in no time!

If you burn through the anime and want to continue reading, consider purchasing the haikyuu manga to support your mangaka!

2. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run With The Wind)

MAL Score: 8.45

Kurahara Kakeru used to be a runner – a talented one at that until a violent outburst at school not only tarnished his reputation but his running career as well. Now he’s nothing more than a broke college student, stealing food from convenience stores just to eat. Too bad he’s not nearly as good at stealing as he is at running. 

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This show isn’t afraid to take a more realistic approach, aiming to build an emotional story about overcoming the darker elements of sports culture. Sometimes what’s holding you back isn’t your next opponent, but yourself. If you’ve ever been on a team, you know the crippling fear of not wanting to let the group down, can often be the factor that keeps you from performing your best in the first place. Being able to overcome thoughts like “what if I fail?” or “what if I’m the reason we lose?” is crucial to success, and sometimes it takes that extra push from the right people to help you achieve that. 

This anime is just as much about finding yourself as it is about winning. It offers a diverse cast of characters like Prince, an otaku with zero athletic ability, or Musa, the African exchange student (who despite what you and his team might be thinking, has literally never run a race in his life). Everyone has their motivation for deciding to compete, but when their cleats hit the track, they’re one team, fighting relentlessly to cross the finish line together. 

While running doesn’t sound as cool as other sports, this series really draws you in by putting everything on the line. Every qualifying race is a high-stakes battle that could crush their dreams of making it to the Hakone Ekiden at any moment. If you’ve ever run a relay, you know the immense pressure of carrying a team on your back. You’re on top of the world when you win, but it can be soul-crushing when you lose. You’re always left to wonder if you had pushed harder or trained more, would something have been different? 

This anime captures all of those emotions and ends up as a surprisingly thrilling saga about how far you’re willing to go for the good of your team.

If you enjoy the series, consider supporting by purchasing the official Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Blu-Ray box set!

3. Diamond No Ace

MAL Score: 8.12

Diamond no Ace shows just how competitive high school sports can be. On one side, they’re incredibly rewarding, but on the other, they can be equally as heartbreaking. This show covers that, and everything in between, to flesh out Sawamura Eijun on his journey to becoming the ace of his team. 

What are you willing to do to become the best? If the answer isn’t everything, then chances are, you may never succeed. It’s one thing to be good at baseball, but when you’re surrounded by nothing but elite players, standing out can be the difference between standing on that field or never getting to play at all.

The drama is just as serious off the field as it is on. The competition is severe, with kids literally hiding their injuries just for another chance to make a game-changing play. Still, there are plenty of touching and humourous scenes to break up the tension between games.

While many people find baseball tedious and boring, myself included, this series does an excellent job of filtering out the slower aspects of baseball to focus on the big plays and game-changing moments. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat with every pitch!

If you want to read ahead, considering checking out the Diamond No Ace manga! (Amazon has a good collection, but its only the digital versions)

4. Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)

MAL Score: 8.21

At first glance, an anime about ballroom dancing doesn’t sound nearly as competitive as more mainstream sports. What could possibly be exciting about watching a group of kids learn how to waltz or tango? The answer may surprise you, as this anime has a lot more to offer than just a few cool box steps and fancy music. 

Like most sports anime, Ballroom e Youkoso is a story of passion and discovery. The story follows Tatara Fujita, a middle school kid with nothing to look forward to. He’s spent his entire life playing it safe and trying to fit in until a group of local bullies reminds him even the most underwhelming kids can still be a target. After local ballroom instructor, Kaname Sengoku saves him, Tatara finds himself captivated by the world of dance and longing to be a part of it. 

Ballroom dancing isn’t as easy as it seems. As someone who took ballroom dancing lessons as a kid, I can tell you it requires immense discipline and body awareness. Every aspect of your performance is under scrutiny-from how well you execute your routine to your music and even your appearance. If even one step is out of place, you risk losing everything you’ve worked for to another couple. It’s crazy competitive, but also crazy beautiful to watch and I loved the contrast between those two aspects. It kept me coming back for more.

Tatara quickly realizes just having passion isn’t nearly enough to be a legitimate contender, especially against kids who have been putting their bodies on the line, tirelessly perfecting their craft since their elementary days.  The world of ballroom dancing is highly competitive, and the other kids will stop at nothing to make sure they end up as the judges’ favorite by the time their song ends. 

Although Welcome to the Ballroom can only be found on Amazon Prime, they also sell the Welcome to the Ballroom manga as well!

5. Kuroko no Basket

MAL Score: 8.15

If you’ve ever watched a high school sports anime, you’re probably used to the loud, excitable protagonist who will stop at nothing to be the ace of their team and the best in Japan. They want to stand out, and they usually won’t let you forget it. But what about the kids who don’t need to stand out to be special? 

That’s the case in Kuroko no Basket, where the titular character, Kuroko Tetsuya, is the most decorated basketball player that no one has ever heard of. 

Kuroko standing with a basketball and his shadow behind him

Despite being the sixth man with “The Generation of Miracles,” Japan’s greatest middle school basketball team of all time, Kuroko is incredibly forgettable as an opponent. Yet it’s that same underwhelming presence that makes him such a terror on the basketball court! 

He’s not a well-developed athlete. He kind of sucks honestly, but his ability to pass the ball is unprecedented. It’s hard to stop a player that you barely remember is there. 

What sets this anime apart is the unique approach it takes to its characters compared to other sports animes. Kuroko doesn’t need to be the star of the team. He’s fine as a supporting member, so watching his new high school team try to develop his skills is as fun as it is frustrating. It’s especially interesting to see his old, all-star teammates pop up and offer their undying respect for a teammate they’re clearly way more talented than. 

Kuroko’s passes are like something straight out of an NBA game. You’ll definitely have to watch him closely to see just how cool they are. The rest of the cast also has some serious pro-level talent to keep games fast and captivating. It’s not the usual sports anime setup, but that’s what makes it worth the watch. 

If you want to check on the Kuroko no Basket manga, Amazon has some pretty well-priced volume collections!

6. Yowamushi Pedal

MAL Score: 7.99

The story follows Onada Sakamichi and his team through multiple long-distance races as they attempt to win the inter-high championship – a three-day, 200 kilometers bike race. Although new to competitive biking, Onada is a  formidable opponent who specializes in uphill climbs. Years of riding his “mommy bike” – a heavy vehicle not usually meant for long trips – have given him the strength and endurance to compete with some of the best cyclists in Japan.  

The ensemble cast has a range of diverse, colorful characters, from a guy who uses his protein bars like Popeye to instantly power him up mid-race to a kid who’s so skilled, he can ride his bike parallel to the concrete when hitting turns. They’re each biking to fulfill their own motivations while still striving to take their team to victory, and half the fun is getting to know why these kids are so serious about this in the first place. 

The races themselves are fast-paced and thrilling. The chances for devastating injury, and even sabotage, are always right around the next corner, but that doesn’t stop these boys from putting everything they have into each race. Yowamushi takes a seemingly mundane sport and turns into a high-stakes competition that will have you cycling through every episode in no time.

If you can’t get enough, try checking out the Yowamushi Pedal manga or even buying the Yowamushi Pedal The Movie (Blu-ray/DVD)!

7. Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup)

MAL Score: 7.95

While the pitcher is one of the most coveted positions on any baseball team, it’s also the position with the most pressure. The feeling of having an entire game reliant on one player’s ability to shut out a batter is so exhilarating and terrifying, it can often make or break the ace of a team. As someone who was forced out of baseball by his middle school team’s constant bullying, Ren Mihashi knows this pressure firsthand. 

What Ren lacks in confidence, he makes up for in skill, but by the time he gets to high school, he’s all but given up on baseball. It isn’t until catcher Abe Takaya, takes notice of his special abilities, that Ren sees his true potential as a pitcher. 

This anime is all about confidence and passion. While being good at a sport definitely makes it more fun, skill level hardly matters if you don’t even love the game you’re playing. You can really feel how deeply these characters truly enjoy the game they’re playing and as a viewer, their enthusiasm quickly becomes your own. Seeing Ren regain his love for baseball makes each of his triumphs resonate even deeper, reminding you that you don’t have to be perfect to find joy in your favorite activities. 


The stakes are still high, however. The competition in high school is even tougher than before and the residual trauma from Ren’s middle school season makes him a layered character with that much more to lose if he fails. It’s a very real look into what it’s like to play sports when you’re not a prodigy. Ren isn’t an all-star, but a kid who puts his heart and soul into every game just the same, making this an easy anime to relate to anyone who’s ever had a hobby they enjoyed.

If you enjoyed season one, consider checking out season two of Big Windup on DVD!

8. Yuri on Ice

MAL Score: 7.94

Anyone who watched Yuri on Ice when it first came out can tell you, it definitely got a lot of hype. They can also tell you, that hype was definitely deserved. 

Whether you’re a champion skater, or you’re someone who’s never been to an ice rink in your entire life, this anime has something for everyone. It delivers everything you want from a sports anime – well-choreographed routines set to an exceptional original soundtrack, intense training scenes, and of course, high stakes competitions. 

However, if the sports angle isn’t enough to get you, then maybe the infamous Yaoi scenes are what you’re really interested in? Yuri on Ice isn’t afraid to bridge the gap between sports and boys love, making its story super unique. The relationships are strong and as Yuri and his Coach, Victor, grow closer, Yuri’s skating only seems to get better. Plus, things also get a little steamier as well, featuring one of the most talked-about anime kisses ever. It’s not hard to see why this anime was so popular with female audiences. 

Yuri on Ice is a sports anime that doesn’t need to follow the traditional pattern to be exceptional. It does things on its own terms, mixing sports with comedy, drama, and romance to make this series realistic and relatable. Athletes do have lives outside of sports and Yuri on Ice reminds us of that while making sure to keep the plot interesting. The intense competitions on the ice, coupled with the budding relationship off the ice will keep you coming back for more!


This is a pretty long video, so if you watched it from beginning to end, you might as well turn on YOI right now because you’ll probably like it!

While this one doesn’t have a manga, you can purchase the Yuri on Ice complete series box set for a good price on Amazon!

9. Megalobox

MAL Score: 7.91

Boxing is easily one of the most physical sports someone can participate in. The idea of taking multiple hits to the face, with only your own hands as protection, isn’t exactly most people’s idea of a good time. 

Now imagine getting punched in the face by someone wearing metal gear that enhances their strength and makes their blows that much fiercer. 

In the future, Megaloboxing is the next big thing. Boxers wear custom gear to raise the stakes and intensity to the extreme. Each blow is that much more terrifying and that much more dangerous. So when Joe’s gear breaks, forcing him to compete with no enhancements or protection, he may as well be signing his own death certificate.  

No one expects Joe to win one match, let alone several. It doesn’t take long for him to make a few rivals and enemies as he tries to become the first person to win Megalonia, the biggest ever Megaloboxing competition. 

What makes this such a good watch, is not only the unique twist it puts on boxing but the unusual setting as well. The story takes place in a dystopian future where unregistered citizens, like Joe, are forced to live in the slums on the outskirts of a technologically advanced society. It makes things difficult but also keeps you on edge as you watch Joe fight his way to the top both inside and outside of the ring.

It’s an original series, but you can still support it by purchasing the MegaloBox DVD or Blu-Ray!

10. Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

MAL Score: 7.36

When Free! first hit the scene in 2013, it blew up, and it’s not hard to understand why. Attractive men with bulging muscles, dripping in water? The fan service alone was enough to keep most viewers tuning in week to week. 

But Free isn’t all fan service! There’s a strong story there as the word “free” itself has a double meaning. The main character, Haru, doesn’t care about competitions or college. He wants to be free to swim what he wants, how he wants, and when he wants without the influence of others. His preferred stroke just so happens to be the freestyle. However, the irony is that in order to be free, swimming on a relay team with others might be the only way to achieve that.  


Friendship and comradely are major themes here, which only makes the training scenes and races that much more mesmerizing and significant. Once you meet all the characters, you can’t help but root for them in these intense, beautifully animated swimming sequences. Seeing Haru rip through the water at such high speeds is enough to capture anyone’s attention and make you want to get in the water. 

Free reminds you that sometimes sports aren’t all about winning competitions, but that doesn’t mean the anime skimps on the number of major races and excitement (or on well-defined muscles either). 

Check out the Free! – Iwotabi Swim Club Blu-Ray here!

11. Sk8 the Infinity

MAL Score: 8.04

Sk8 is one of the newer entries on this list but it definitely got a lot of attention. Chances are if you liked Yuri on Ice, you’ll like this, as they give off similar vibes. 

Sk8 the Infinity is about skateboarding, but far more stylized and intense than what you’re used to seeing. Think of it as a more colorful version of Tony Hawk Pro Skater – not the most realistic but fun as hell. Skaters compete in dangerous, downhill races on a makeshift track where anything goes. I mean literally anything, from grabbing other races to throwing homemade fireworks at them. The jumps and tricks are death-defying areal feats, taking this already extreme sport and making it that much crazier. 

While the skating itself is thrilling enough, Sk8 also has a colorful cast of characters to make things interesting. The main villain, Adam, is basically Hunter x Hunter’s Hisoka on a skate deck, with an insatiable appetite for tearing down his teenage competitors. Reki and Langa are the asphalt versions of Yuri and Victor, though their relationship doesn’t get quite as steamy (it comes pretty close though!) 

Although a little crazy at times, there is no shortage of drama and excitement in the skating anime, both on and off the boards. With everything from crazy tricks to legal corruption to street fights, this anime is sure to keep you on your toes and entertained! 

Sk8 isn’t out on home video yet, but you can stream it on Funimation! 

12. Stars Align

MAL Score: 7.55

At first glance, Stars Align presents itself like any other sports anime. It’s about a group of kids trying to save their failing tennis club from cancellation by winning more games. On the surface, it sounds like what you’d expect but then it takes a sharp left turn, and once the ball gets going, it never stops.

While sports are still the main focus of the anime, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that teenagers have personal lives as well, and not everyone’s home life is perfect. For most of these kids, tennis is an escape. Some kids are running from abusive parents, others from bullying, some from overbearing helicopter moms. The list goes on and on, but none of that stops them from giving their all in their tennis matches. 

What really pulled me into this anime was how balanced the drama and sports storylines were. I got all the excitement and athleticism of a good sports anime, but it still felt grounded in reality. I was never bored by any of the storylines or tennis matches, if anything, I was drawn in more because of the character backstories.

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Stars Align doesn’t shy away from literally showing you the painful realities of childhood and it reminds you that you don’t know everyone’s struggle. However, despite their obstacles, the passion these boys have for their sport constantly shines through. They give put it all on the line for every tennis match, making each win that much more satisfying and each loss that much more heartbreaking. The games are fast-paced, ensuring the series never drags. With so much going on and off the court, it’s impossible to be bored. 

Support the series by checking on the Stars Align Blu-Ray! (maybe it’ll help us fund a season 2!)

13. Ahiru No Sora

MAL Score: 7.31

Ahiru no Sora is what I like to refer to as the “edgy” basketball anime. 

It follows Sora Kurumatani as he tries to make better use of his high school basketball career than he did in middle school. It’s not that Sora’s bad at basketball. It’s the opposite actually, he’s great at it. Still, people tend to underestimate him because he’s short and everyone knows basketball isn’t always kind to people less than six feet tall.  

The plot sounds pretty standard but what makes this show stand out is its setup and characters. Sora has to put together a team, and in trying to find members, puts together the most random, misfit team of delinquents ever. Some of them have never played basketball in their lives, while others are borderline prodigies—however, none of them are kids you expect to be team players. If they could get their alpha personalities and attitudes in check, they might actually win a game, but that’s easier said than done.

Part of the fun is watching this team actually try and come together at all. It seems skeptical they’ll ever make it to a practice match, let alone nationals, but once they find their footing, the show really takes off. From “blink and you’ll miss them” trick passes to wild blocks and crossovers—the basketball sequences in this show are always flashy and exciting. Every dribble is made to seem like it could be the bounce that decides the game, and with the future of the team constantly on the line, it definitely feels that way. 

It isn’t the most light-hearted sports anime, but that’s what makes it stand out.

If you enjoy the series, consider buying all four seasons of Ahiru No Sora on Blu-Ray!

14. Prince of Stride: Alternative

MAL Score: 6.91

Prince of Stride centers around a sport the anime refers to as “Stride”, which for all intents and purposes, is basically parkour. Teams compete in relays that involve racing across town while doing insane acrobatics and physical stunts over seemingly impossible obstacles. If you’re thinking that sounds dangerous, it most definitely is.

The stride club at Hoban Academy is basically non-existent, but two first years hope to revitalize it in time to win the biggest Stride competition in Japan. Considering how physical the sport is, it’s basically an impossible task.

While Stride isn’t about a conventional sport, what really makes it fun is how extreme it is. It’s like the perfect mix of gymnastics and track, bringing you the eye-catching flips without sacrificing the adrenaline of racing. Some of the tricks can be downright terrifying, as the potential for serious injury looms around every corner. Still, these kids go into every stride without hesitation. Proceed with caution because this anime will have you on the edge of your sear for sure!

Consider purchasing the Prince of Stride series on Amazon if you enjoyed it! They have it for a very reasonable price!

15. Ping Pong the Animation

MAL Score: 8.62

When it comes to this anime, the style and animation definitely stand out first. It isn’t what most viewers are used to, or would consider traditional. Yet the art works really well for the story being told here because the gameplay is surprisingly fast, with frames quickly shifting and splitting up to keep the excitement and interest levels high. 

The story follows Makoto Tsukimoto, aka Smile, a nickname he earned because he only smiles when he’s playing ping pong. Unlike most protagonists, Makoto doesn’t seem to have an interest in his sport anymore. It’s gotten so bad, that he barely even cares about winning. So instead of the usual overly excited protagonist, the show takes a different approach, helping the viewer to fall in love with ping pong as Makoto regains his passion for it. 


While ping pong may not seem as exciting a subject as other sports, this anime surprises you and pulls you in with how seriously everyone takes the game. After a few episodes, you hardly even notice the art style anymore. You’re too busy focusing on the epic matches and rivalries between opponents. 

The series is rounded out by lovable characters like Peco, who add a depth that helps to contrast Makoto’s aloof attitude towards the sport. Fun fact: the series also employed native voice actors to play characters of different nationalities. You can tell the creators put a lot of effort into making this series special and it’s definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for a unique, but still entertaining experience.

Consider purchasing the Ping Pong manga to support this amazing series!

16. Number24

MAL Score: 6.68

Number 24 tackles a sport you don’t see often in anime — Rugby. To say I didn’t know much about Rugby before starting this anime would be an understatement. I was absolutely clueless, but luckily you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy this series. 

What’s interesting about this anime, is the main character isn’t actually a player, but the team manager. After getting seriously injured in an accident, Natsuza Yuzuki, can no longer play rugby, but he dedicates his time to supporting the team from the sidelines. I liked this approach because it really allowed some of the other players’ storylines to shine through their interactions with Natsuza. There’s more than one way to be a part of a team and make a difference. Number24 does a good job of balancing a manager’s storyline with that of the actual team, though don’t be surprised if the boys feel extra close! This anime is often mistaken for a boys love series…and understandably so if you watch the clip below!

Don’t be fooled though. Rugby is still very much the focus of this anime. It’s a crazy physical sport that’s reminiscent of American football without the pads. If you like intense sports, this is might be perfect for you. It’s definitely a good show to pick up if you want to see some good action!

If you enjoyed this, you’re in luck because the Number24 Blu-Ray for this series just released!

17. Hanebado 

MAL Score: 6.90

When people think of sports, especially sports anime, badminton probably isn’t the first sport that comes to mind. Hanebado is here to change that! 

Badminton itself is actually far more exciting than it seems. With its sleek animation, Hanebado has a way of capturing just how much is at stake during every match and intensifying the gameplay even further. There’s little downtown as players rush around the court with crazy crossfire shots and wild tactics, shedding sweat and tears for this sport. It’s fun to see just how serious the game gets and just how fast a shuttlecock can actually be because nobody expects that from such a relaxed sport. 

What really makes the anime stand out, is that it’s centered around female students instead of a boys team for once. Here girls aren’t limited to being team managers, but instead are intense competitors with years of training behind them. Some of these girls have everything to lose, while others have already lost everything. It makes for some interesting backstories and perspectives not always seen in male-dominated sports. 

If you’ve ever played badminton you know how hard it can be to cover a whole court by yourself. Yet These girls do it flawlessly and make it look easy. There’s never a dull moment in Hanebado, with serious storylines both on and off the court. It’s definitely worth giving a shot if you haven’t already.

Check out the Hanebado complete series box set here!

18. Chihayafuru

MAL Score: 8.22

If you’ve never heard of the sport Karuta, something tells me you’re not in the minority there. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a “traditional” sport, as it doesn’t appear nearly as physical. It’s almost like chess in that sense. 

However, don’t let this mellow seeming card game fool you. It gets pretty serious. I never thought seeing someone swipe and throw cards would be intimidating but these players aren’t messing around. Their highly focused and moving scary fast at times, making this series just as intense and serious as its more physical counterparts. Once you get into the show, it’s easy to see why people like it. It’s different, but still equally as competitive as anything else. 

Chihayafuru follows Chihaya Ayase as she strives to not only be the best kurata player ever but to reconnect with her old friend Arata. There are also some decent love triangle elements that give this anime more unique high school storylines and add to the drama of it all. There’s more on the line here than just winning a match—there are entire futures at stake.

If you want more, Amazon has digital versions of the Chihayafuru manga for sale!

19. Keijo!!!!!!!!

MAL Score: 6.99

First things first—if your favorite thing about anime is fan service, look no further because Keijo may just be the sports anime of your dreams. 

In a fictional reality, Keijo is the new, must-see sporting event where women compete using their best physical “assets”. The matches take place in pools, with competitors attempting to knock each other off platforms into the water using only their chests and behinds. 

It’s meant to be wildly sexy, incredibly physical, and hilariously entertaining. For the most part it is. Despite how crazy this all sounds, the women competing, especially Nozomi Kaminashi, take the sport quite seriously! 

Keijo doesn’t hold back on the action! The hits are strong and heavy, literally sending girls flying off the platforms at times. It’s exaggerated but still super exciting to watch how much strength they all have! This sport shouldn’t be as fun as it is but it is worth a chance if you’re looking for something different! The fictional sport has even gained so much attention, that women in Portugal have tried turning it into a real sport!

If you can’t get enough, the complete series of Keijo is available on Blu-Ray!

20. Pokemon

MAL Score: 7.34

This one feels like a stretch but when you think about it, like really think about it, there’s definitely some sports allusions going on here! Hear me out. 

First of all, if you anything about sports, you know its all about the equipment, which Pokemon is already famous for – the ball. There are multiple balls in fact: Poke balls, Great balls, Master balls, Premier balls. The list goes on and on. On top of that, you actually have to be good at throwing them if you actually want to catch anything! It takes precision. To be a trainer, you have to have the skills of a little league baseball pitcher at least or you won’t be catching much of anything.  

Once you have pokemon, you actually have to train, which is basically the same as going to practice. Like any great team, trainers and pokemon work on moves and combinations together until they’re battle-ready. Then they engage in fights with other trainers that are heavily spectated like all major sporting events. They even have tournaments! Pokemon leagues for Ash are basically the equivalent of a sports team going to Nationals.

Plus, they literally battle in arenas called Gyms! Honestly, how much more obvious can they get? 

There’s unlimited Pokemon content out there for purchase, but if you’re not sure where to start, maybe try reading the Pokemon manga!


You don’t have to be an athlete, or even a major sports fan, to enjoy a good sports anime. I rarely watch sports in real life, but every time a new anime appears, I’m right there soaking up every single episode like water after a long day of training for Nationals. 

While the genre isn’t for everyone, there are a lot of different sports animes out there with unique storylines and approaches to athletics. Hopefully, something on this list stood out to you for one reason or another! 

If you like fast-paced shows but are maybe looking to take a break from the usual fight-heavy animes, maybe one of these will catch your attention? Or if you’re like me and just love sports anime, try checking out one you haven’t seen yet! 

Either way, you’re not going to be disappointed! Just like with training in sports, your dedication will definitely be rewarded!