10 Intense Sports Anime to Lift Up Your Spirits!

best sports anime

We’re pretty sure out of your all anime, the least-watched genre is sports. Just like regular anime, there are tons or fewer sports anime out there.

If you’re here for sports anime or by mistake, it’s okay because either way, you’re going to witness some freaking amazing sports anime down the list.

Best Sports Anime 2022!

1. Haikyu!! (2014)

Haikyu!!- best sports anime

It’s pretty much obvious to start the list with a life changer. Yes! Haikyu isn’t a typical anime you watch in your everyday life. Usually, an anime has a protagonist and an antagonist, but what if there isn’t such a thing in an anime?

Well, that’s Haikyu for you. Of course, this anime does have a protagonist, but once you watch it, we’re pretty sure you’ll say the same thing. With many sweet and bitter moments, struggle and success, Haikyu ended up #1 in our list of best sports anime.

Hinata Shoyo decides to become the best volleyball player when he watches a player nicknamed “Little Giant” on TV, who is about the same height. After he loses a match against Kageyama in middle school, he challenges him to beat him the next time.

However, in high school, they both end up in the same school named Karasuno (Little Giant’s school). Surprisingly, this duo becomes a base of Karasuno’s volleyball team, which has gone into hiatus for the past three years.

Can Hinata cross his obstacles in front of him and reach his goal? If you watch this sports anime, I’m pretty sure it’ll make your life more meaningful.

2. Kuroko’s Basketball (2012)

Kuroko's Basketball- best sports anime

Kuroko’s Basketball is yet another amazing sports anime with a below-average player named Kuroko as the protagonist. Even though he doesn’t have many physical qualities like height and agility to play Basketball, he discovers a way to become one.

The Teiko Middle School basketball club is an incredibly strong team with three consecutive championships. That’s all possible because they have a group of five prodigies nicknamed as “Generation of Miracles.” But with his new skills, Kuroko evolves to become a new prodigy among the “Generation of Miracles.” Can he achieve it?

This anime can be very inspiring for the people who give up because of their weaknesses. In the anime, Kuroko isn’t the type of guy that can fit into the basketball team. However, his passion for Basketball makes him find a new approach towards it.

For the people who watch episodes in one go, this anime will be your night out companion. By portraying different emotions as a drama, this anime will get your attention right from the beginning. Thus, we brought it to the list of best sports anime.

3. Hajime no Ippo (2000)

Hajime no Ippo- best sports anime

Just imagine yourself being treated like a loser and getting billed by the people around you. Now again, imagine that you rose into an amazing personality because of those bullies. Sounds incredible, right? Hajime no Ippo is all about motivation and inspiration.

The story concerns Ippo, who is the same person you have imagined at first. But when a boxer named Takamura Mamoru saves him from the midst of bullying and introduces him to a new world of Boxing, his life takes a turn. The plot sure is exciting, isn’t it?

He no longer feels like a loser. Instead, he decides to become a great boxer and conquer the arenas. Thus begins the journey of Ippo as he trains his body like hell through admittable will power and motivational drive.

Every minute of the anime is like a reference for every loser in the real world. The franchise even has some video games basing on this anime, and those are pretty much successful. But make sure you add it to your watchlist because it is one of the best sports anime out there.

4. Big Windup! (2007)

Big Windup!- best sports anime

Big Windup is an anime with only 25 episodes. But for a 25-episode show, it shows way too depth in the story. Yeah! It’s a compliment. You probably might’ve not encountered it somehow, but it is still one of the most popular sports out there.

It is a baseball anime, and even though you’re not a baseball fan, you’ll like it and learn some new things from it. For the people who avoid the sports genre, this anime can be a good start since it is small, but you can always go with Haikyu. The relationships, characters, humor, and everything are on point, and in the end, you can’t miss this fantastic sports anime.

Ren Mihashi is a baseball player and Ace of their baseball team. But because of his poor pitching, they lose most of the matches. Due to that, his teammates even point out him being not worthy of Ace’s title and eventually end up in a state of giving up on the game.

However, Mihashi decides to go to a school with a prefecture of no baseball environment. But surprisingly, they drag him into their school team and make him their starter pitcher.

Even though he feels uneasy at the beginning, with a catcher, Takaya Abe, his potential, he becomes worthy of the title Ace. Arguably, it is one of the best sports anime out there.

5. Fastest Finger First (2017)

Fastest Finger First- best sports anime

Unlike other sports anime, Fastest Finger First isn’t an outdoor sports anime. But when it comes to intensity and storyline, it is as exciting as them. Koshiyama is the type of person who spends most of his time reading books about history and classic literature.

Even though his family encourages him to lead an exciting life by playing the other games, he prefers it this way. But his habits make him worthy when he gets a chance in a tournament with his school’s quiz team. Then, he becomes more passionate about the game of quiz, and now he loves to keep playing it even more.

You might think it is just a regular anime with some boring educational quiz and stuff. But watch a few episodes of it and ask yourself why you’re watching it until the end. The depiction of each quiz bowl in the anime is amazing and unique.

You might not encounter some significant developments in their characters, but when it comes to maintaining the plot at a pace, you can count on it. Well, that’s how it became one of the best sports anime on our list.

6. Yowamushi Pedal (2013)

Yowamushi Pedal- best sports anime

You may have already expected the sports involved in this anime with the word “Pedal” in the title-Biking. The story follows Sakamichi Onoda, who is looking forward to joining an anime club in his school.

But when the club gets disbanded, his dream of making friends fails, but he decides to revive the club. However, he fails to do so. Depressed Onoda makes a round trip to Akihabara on his cycle, which he has been doing since his fourth grade.

In the middle of his ride, he meets Shunsuke Imaizumi, a fellow student of the same year, and thus begins his first step to take part in a bicycle club.

You might have many questions about this anime because what type of excitement you can expect from an anime with cycling? But you don’t need to worry; you have plenty of scenes to boost up your enthusiasm.

Throughout each of their training sessions, they always explain the tactics they use from the sidelines. By combining both skill and practice, this anime shows how the protagonist evolved from being an underdog to a top dog. If you love cycling, then you’ll love this anime for sure.

7. Yuri!! On Ice (2016)

yuri on ice- best sports anime

Yuri On Ice is quite a special anime in many ways. It features Homosexuality in a different way than Yaoi anime and is also praised for being the most refreshing anime. The story follows Yuri Katsuki, who is one of the best skaters in Japan.

However, when he faces a defeat at Grand Prix Finale, he develops mixed feelings about skating and puts his career on hold for some time. But, when he finally decides to get back into it, the competitors become much more talented, and some do anything to become the best.

The best part about the series is its stellar animation, and it always seems right to rewatch it. Skating scenes alone can hook you up with the anime while, on the other hand, the plot and other things maintain their value.

Focussing on the sport of Skating, which is famous in the Winter Olympics, shows us the real competition as the number of countries gathers up to participate. Instead of just focussing on sportiness, this anime helps you in knowing more about the personalities.

If you’re fond of skating sports anime, you can’t find the best one than this. In our list, this anime is unique in all ways. 

8. All Out!! (2016)

All Out- best sports anime

All Out focus on a shorty Gion Kenji who makes up with his personality for what he lacks. He joins the Rugby team along with Iwashimizu Sumiaki, Hachioji Mutsumi, and Sekizan Takuya. Even though they come into the team at different times, destiny brings them together as a team.

When the time comes, we’ll see each player’s rugby skills and the captaincy of Sekizan Takuya. Overall, we get to see these different personalities get together to become the ultimate team in the league. Yeah, many moments solely focus on character development.

Even though All Out’s storyline has the same base as most of the sports anime, it’s significant selling point is all about Rugby. If you have no clue about Rugby sport, you can still watch it because it introduces you to the game in a clean manner with Terminology and Rules.

If you’re a fan of Rugby, you’ll enjoy it more than anyone else. And in addition to these, there are plenty of hilarious moments to keep you going on. Well, it surely is one of the best sports anime out there.

9. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (2013)

Free!- best anime of Kyoto Animation

Free is a type of anime that gets a lot of fan service. And the reason is it is full of hot and pretty boys that can attract most of the females just by their personalities. So, there is no need to surprise for its immense fan service. But what if I say it’s worth the fan service?

Its beautiful art and the engaging plot make you want to enter the world of Free. And when you watch those dazzling visuals when they swim, I bet you’d want to swim right away.

Haruka Nanase has a passion for swimming, and he is a good swimmer. In his elementary school, he competed with one of his friends and won before they separate their ways. Years later, they all reunite as high school students and decides to form an Iwatobi High School Swim Club.

But Rin’s passion lies in defeating Haruka in a swimming duel. To take part in the competition, they need a fourth member. With the entry of Rei, who Nagisa recruits, they become the ultimate team of Swimming champions. If you love swimming, then you need to check this sports anime right now. 

10. Inazuma Eleven (2008)

Inazuma Eleven- best sports anime

Inazuma Eleven is a type of anime that you’ll rewatch many times. The story follows the grandson of Inazuma Eleven’s first generation goalkeeper known as Mamoru Endou.

While other schools in Japan compete with each other to prove their team as the best soccer team in the country, Raiman Middle school’s club struggles to rise from being a disbanded club.

But when Mamoru stands up as a captain of the team, he decides to revive the club by finding suitable players from his school and make their soccer the best in the country. Can he achieve it on his own? 

Since Inazuma Eleven is an anime about soccer, you can already feel the chills inside you. As you’d expect, this anime is full of sparks and flashy moves. But what you’ll notice different from this anime is players having superpowers. And that’s where the exciting part of the anime begins.

With different abilities, each player shows some outstanding moves in the playground. Doesn’t it excite you even more? But in the meantime, it does show us some formidable enemies where Inazuma Eleven feels like they’ll lose against them.

Conclusing Sports Anime List!

There you go! The ultimate list of the best sports anime you can watch. However, we might’ve missed some incredible anime like Slam Dunk and The Knight in the Area, but we feel these are the best ones that you might like. Make sure you pick up the best one for a good start. 

If you’re a starter in sports anime, Haikyu would be the best start for you. It is entertaining, intense, and, more importantly, inspiring. Well, what is your favorite sports anime? And did you like our list of best sports anime? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. 

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Posted by
Hanumanth Reddy

Hanumanth is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Anime Ukiyo. He's a seasonal anime watcher and shares his knowledge on anime through his writing. He loved anime for a long time and in the process of loving it more, he created this amazing website.

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