Boxing is an amazing sport that brings out the beast in men and women, which is hidden in all humans. While many see it as an entertaining sport, there is much more to it than meets the eye. It shows participants’ struggles and how they worked their asses off to get where they are, and anime is probably one of the clearest representations we can get these days.
While sports is not the most popular genre in anime, it does provide a certain amount of prominence to it, as seen with several anime shows like Kurorko’s Basketball, Hajime no Ippo, and Blue Lock. That said, there are very few anime about boxing that most of us are aware of. So, here are some of the best boxing anime recommendations to binge-watch.
Rokudenashi Blues is a peculiar anime because it only has one episode with a runtime of 30 minutes which was released in 1992. However, a sequel film was released in 1993, which makes it a very short anime but still worth visiting. Although the plot is relatively simple, it has a strong message and features some decent hand-to-hand combat sequences.
When Maeda transfers to Teiken High School, he instantly becomes a standout in the crowd as he hits a teacher during the entrance ceremony. While many clubs are hell-bent on recruiting him, his nervousness and clumsy attire make him a loner. Regardless, he has a dream: to become a boxing champion.
“Slaves have only one option: to use their fists and wrestle for freedom.” From this phrase, you can pretty much expect what kind of anime Cestvs: The Roman Fighter is and combine that with its title, and you know it’s a historical anime with fist fights, which is equivalent to boxing in ancient times.
The story follows a fifteen-year-old boy named Cestvs, who only desires one thing—to escape from his slave life. However, in order to do so, he must win 100 battles against other slaves, and after witnessing the death of his friend, the possibility of freedom seems like a far-fetched dream. Will he be able to attain it?
One Pound Gospel feels like an average anime due to it being a single-episode OVA, but for what it’s worth, it’s a beautiful romance story of a boxer and a nun. While it isn’t anything spectacular, you should try it for its fantastic art style and the message it conveys through the story.
The story revolves around Hatanaka Kosaku, a boxer who mastered the KO punch, but unfortunately, he is not as disciplined to become a champion. Thus, every time he takes a punch in the stomach, he loses with ease due to his unhealthy diet. When he meets Sister Angela at a local convent, she helps him handle his boxing issues while secretly falling in love with him.
Ring ni Kakero 1 is a normal anime with a typical boxing storyline, but it is worth noticing how it keeps the momentum going on for almost until the end without making you feel bored. Regardless, it’s not the only good thing about the anime as it also shines in other aspects such as music, characterization, and creative action.
The Takane siblings, Kiku and Ryuji, had only one goal after their father died: to become a champion in the boxing competition. With sheer determination and willpower, Kiku becomes the trainer while Ryuji assumes the role of the boxer, but to take that massive step into the world of professional boxing, he must defeat his arch-rival, Kenzaki Jun.
Not all boxing anime shows need not be lengthy that spawn over hundred episodes (although they are exceptional masterpieces) because even with just a few OVA episodes, some are meant to entertain the audiences rather well. Nozomi Witches is the ideal example of that as it only has three episodes, each with a duration of 50 minutes, but it feels like a well-executed storyline due to it utilizing the amount of time allocated to it to the utmost.
When Ryoutaro moves to a new neighborhood with his family, he becomes friends with a beautiful girl named Nozomi, which eventually becomes a deep bond. However, when Nozomi signs him up at the high school boxing club and spreads the talk of him being a boxing genius, he finds himself in a challenging situation. However, it turns out that Ryoutaro has an amazing gift of a boxer, but what are Nozomi’s true intentions?
Levius is one of the best short anime series on Netflix that you can binge-watch and walk away with no regrets. While boxing is its main theme, it places a significant emphasis on comradery as it pushes the main and side characters to become better versions of themselves.
The anime is set in the 19th century, when war has sunk society to the depths of destruction and ignited a new era of rebirth. In this new world, only the fittest survive, and cybernetically augmented fighters put their lives on the line to achieve fame and fortune. Levius is one such young fighter who is determined to reach the top by winning in arena battles.
Ganabare Genki is an anime classic that was released in 1980 and ran for 35 amazing episodes. It depicts the father-son bond in the most heartbreaking way, much like Marvel’s Daredevil series if you can relate to it. Although it is not quite as popular, we believe it is criminally underrated due to how good the show genuinely is.
Genki lost his mother when he was born and was raised only by his father, who is a professional boxer. However, when he is five years old, his father passes away, and he decides to follow his father’s footsteps. However, his grandparents, who take care of him now, oppose Genki in choosing boxing, so he had to train secretly, hoping to become a pro boxer like his father.
Ashita no Joe is one of the very first sports anime and certainly the first anime to explore the world of boxing. Despite airing 50 years ago, the anime still holds up with the current anime series, whether in terms of production values or story. It is a must-watch anime if you’re heavily passionate about boxing or sports.
Joe is a troubled kid who lives in slums only by depending on his fighting skills, despite his manners getting him into frequent conflicts. When one day, he defeats a local gang all by himself, he draws the attention of Danpei Tange, a drunkard who used to be a boxing coach formerly.
Although Joe initially rejects him as a mentor, he eventually decides to become a disciple owing to circumstances. However, the world of boxing is tread with struggles that will test him to the limits, and if he is to survive, he must trust his mentor and learn everything he can.
2. Megalo Box
A quick question: what makes a good boxing story? Is it the struggles of the boxer that turn him into a beast and develop his character tremendously by the end? Or is it the story that relates to the real world? Whatever perspective you may have on it, Megalo Box brings a new outlook to the genre with its creative blend of boxing and technology.
In a world where boxers utilize mechanical limbs to increase the power and speed of their punches, Junk Dog, a boxer with brimming potential, has lost miserably to another boxer named Yuuri. However, the latter offers him that if he can fight his way up in the world-spanning tournament of Megalonia, he will fight him once again. With only a few months left to quality, Junk Dog must defeat ruthless opponents to face his rival.
It’s no wonder that Hajime no Ippo takes the top spot, as it is usually seen as G.O.A.T in the genre of sports anime, just as Cristiano Ronaldo along with Messi is one in Football. What makes this anime so special is its characters and how likable and original they are. Nonetheless, the story plays a huge role in keeping us occupied with tension and thrills.
After his father’s absence, Ippo has been helping his mother run their fishing boat rental business. However, despite being a responsible son, he is seen as a weak person who is frequently targeted by bullies. When he gets beaten and bruised one day, a boxer saves him and brings him to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym to treat him.
However, when the fellow boxers witness how strong his punches are when he throws a few casual punches, the journey of Ippo in becoming a boxer begins to take shape. With his tough body honed from overtaxed work and unlimited fighting spirit, Ippo decides to conquer the world of boxing.