6 Must-Watch Sports Anime Series

  • Ever considered watching a sports-inspired anime, but can’t just get yourself to sit down and start viewing an episode? If so, then you are on the right page. Here is a short list of must-watch shows perfect for those who don’t have much background in this anime genre. Let’s start off with:

    Slam Dunk (Basketball)

    Creator: Takehiko Inoue
    No. of episodes: 101

    Slam Dunk is a series that has made a name for itself not just because of basketball’s popularity around the world, but also for the sheer beauty and fun that its story has. It’s a story of a guy (Hanamichi Sakuragi) who started off as a gang delinquent but suddenly ended up entering his school’s basketball club in order to impress the girl he fell for.

    For those who like basketball and are looking for some humorous and easy-to-follow storyline, Slam Dunk is the way to go.

    Eyeshield 21 (Football)

    Creators: Riichiro Inagaki & Yusuke Murata
    No. of episodes: 145

    This series centers around Sena Kobayakawa – the frail-looking, unassertive boy who might be an unlikely protagonist. Eyeshield 21 is an engaging, humor-packed treat to viewers who fancy the sport but would prefer to see more action and fun on screen than on the field.

    The characters, techniques, and screenplay guarantee a good laugh all throughout the series.

    Kuroko no Basuke (or Kuroko’s Basketball) (Basketball)

    Creator: Tadatoshi Fujimaki
    No. of episodes: Ongoing

    Yes, we’ve already mentioned Slamdunk for basketball, but we can’t just miss the more colorful and vibrant appeal that Kuroko no Basuke has. From the different hair colors that the characters have, up to those outrageous techniques and moves that they display during their games – all are packed with colors!

    This is also a unique portrayal of the game given that the protagonist (Tetsuya Kuroko) is really someone who does not have the height fit for the sport and whose skills only revolve around his incredible way of passing the ball from one player to another. Sound weird? Watch for yourself and find out!

    Hajime no Ippo (Boxing)

    Creator: George Morikawa
    No. of episodes: 76

    Something about stories centering on the struggle of a newbie, to achieve his or her dreams just attracts people to tune in and root for that character. And this is exactly what this anime is all about. The story may sound rather linear, but it could be nice to follow how one pursues his dreams amidst all the challenges.

    Prince of Tennis (Lawn Tennis)

    Creator: Takeshi Konomi
    No. of episodes: 178 (excluding OVA & New Prince of Tennis)

    Currently, the longest series we have on this list, Prince of Tennis is also the anime that has secured its spot in the hearts of a number of its female viewers. Apart from the sport, the graphics and character development are also things to look out for.

    You can’t expect all the tennis techniques to actually be realistic, but with good-looking and interesting characters using them, it somehow brings entertainment to a whole new level. Plus, the filler episodes in between major games are nothing short of fun and entertaining.

    Free! (Swimming)

    Creator: Koji Oji
    No. of episodes: 26 (ongoing)

    Swimming, aside from being a popular sport, is also a favorite pastime of many. It’s graceful to look at, with swimmers sporting their well-toned bodies as they race to finish the relay. This same idea is featured in Free – but with friendship at the center of its storyline.

    The story doesn’t have the drama and struggles other sport-themed anime have. However, its simple and casual storyline is what makes it a good choice for those who would like to have a break from the usual, thick-plotted, drama-packed series.

    Give yourself a break and have fun watching some of these great sport-themed shows!