10 Incredible Sports Anime Everyone Forgot About

Sports anime is one of the medium’s most underrated genres. When fans think of their favorite adrenaline-pumping, hype-inducing stories, they tend to think of the popular shonen fighting anime. But some of the most thrilling shows in anime history are more sports-centric. Whether it’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, or tennis, these cartoons have found ways to connect audiences to a pastime they wouldn’t otherwise care about.

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But while these stories are exhilarating to watch, they also touch on some of anime’s best themes, such as talent versus hard work. Despite the vital importance of sports anime to culture, many fans have overlooked the most pivotal stories to have been created in the genre.

ten Major followed a player throughout his life

The world of sports anime is largely high school focused. High school provides a very strict framework for crafting a story and is usually the same age as the average viewer. But this fact Major existence a rare case in the genre.

While some parts of Major following the main character’s high school life as a baseball pitcher, Major stands out by following his entire career, from learning the game to becoming one of the best players in the world. It’s not something a viewer is likely to get from any other anime.

9 Ping Pong was a 12 episode classic

Most of the most popular sports anime depict games that are loved all over the world. These sports attract millions of spectators and constitute some of the largest commercial industries in history. But table tennis proved that sports anime shouldn’t be limited by big names.

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With only 12 episodes, table tennis shined a spotlight on the particular game of table tennis, telling a heartfelt story that managed to charm anime fandom despite how little they knew about the mechanics of the sport.

8 Baby steps had a clever protagonist

The average sports anime protagonist is a simple-minded, high-energy idiot with plenty of talent and a desperate need for guidance. The genre borrows heavily from shonen battle in this regard. But no baby breaks the formula by introducing a character who thinks more than he acts.

Eiichiro Maruo is an honor student who quickly took up tennis, increasing his skill level through his unique style of play and genius intellect. In a world where his peers are all morons, Eiichiro is a breath of fresh air for sports anime fans.

seven Ashita No Joe made an anime icon

Many modern anime fans haven’t seen Ashita no Joe, but they certainly know the works he inspired. Created in April 1970, the anime depicts a young troublemaker with a knack for fighting as he learns the ropes of boxing and becomes one of the sport’s greatest fighters.

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Due to its age, many anime fans have not seen Ashita no Joe, but the work of its director, Osamu Dezaki has been widely influential for many anime creators ever since. To this day, fans can find references and gags at Ashita no Joe in modern popular works.

6 Megalo Box brought a new aesthetic

Whereas Ashita no Joe may be too old for the average anime fan, its modern reimagining in the form of Megalo Box can more than do the job. Megalo box was created to celebrate Ashita no Joe‘s 50th anniversary and features a world where boxing has been taken to the next level through the use of cybernetic enhancements.

After Gearless Joe, the series is a touching successor to Ashita no Joe legacy and amassed a whole new group of fans who can appreciate the timeless story of the original.

5 Ahiru No Sora is an underrated gem

When it comes to basketball anime, most fans only think of Kuroko no basketbut having been published in 2003, the manga Ahira no Sora exceeds the first by about five years. Contrary to Kuroko no basket, Ahiru no Sora never received a full translation of the manga’s source material and is therefore much less recognized by Western audiences.

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Regardless of recognition, Ahiru no Sora proved itself as an anime in 2019 with its first adaptation. It’s a unique story that truly describes what it means to be an underdog, following a team that has little or no chance of winning a tournament.

4 Running with the wind was a new perspective on the sport

With most high school-centric sports anime, Run with the wind stands out by presenting the mature perspective of a college running group. Unlike many popular sports anime, Run with the wind has nothing to do with exhilarating competition or the desire to become great.

Instead, the anime focuses on sports as a way of life. He says running is not just about being fast, but about community and health. For the anime fan who is beyond aspirations of becoming the best, Run with the wind offers a refreshing alternative that can still be just as enjoyable.

3 Slam Dunk sets the template for future sports anime

Although there have been many sports anime focused on basketball, slam dunk undoubtedly set the standard for what sports anime should be. At a time when the sport was not as popular as it is today, slam dunk became a great success.

This was largely attributed to a huge increase in Japanese interest in the sport after the release of the manga. slam dunk defined many archetypes and formulas that continue to be used and innovated to this day.

2 Ace Of Diamond is a must for baseball fans

Sports anime naturally follows the most popular games in the world, especially those that appeal to Japanese audiences. Baseball has become one of the biggest and most famous sports games in the country, with many of the world’s greatest players hailing from Japan.

It’s no surprise that sports anime is following suit with the release of Ace of Diamonds. Ace of Diamonds is an exciting and archetypal sports anime for those just looking to get their dose of trendy athleticism.

1 One Outs expanded the scope of sports stories

People play sports for different reasons. Some play with aspirations of turning pro, while others watch for the sake of the game. Many sports anime base themselves on the former, but the latter makes up a significant portion of the viewer base.

an out does what no other sports anime dares by using the game of baseball to tell one of anime’s smartest and most exciting stories about the game. It’s a game of cat and mouse to high stakes that will appeal to any fan interested in a more cerebral story.

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