Anime and sports have always enjoyed a good relationship. The mixture of stories focused on discipline, teamwork, passion, redemption and / or the gradual growth of its protagonists, while they pursue a fixed goal, coupled with the creative licenses that animation offers to represent the show of in the most engaging way possible, they have spawned some of the most successful productions in the medium’s history.
Next, we offer you a compilation with some of the best cool that you can enjoy right now in streaming. As an outline, this list only includes one title per sport discipline to broaden the range of options.
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Meet the best sports anime here:
Ace of Diamond
Introduced by American immigrants during the Meiji era, baseball eventually became the most popular sport on Japanese soil. Numerous mangakas have taken this scenario as a starting point to tell stories and one of the most successful adaptations of recent times is Ace of Diamond, based on the homonymous work of Yuji Terajima. Prodigy pitcher Eijun Sawamura receives a proposal to play at the prestigious Seidou High School. There he will meet great players who aspire to win the National High School Baseball Championship at Koshien Stadium through hard work and determination. (Crunchyroll)
In the karuta, players must memorize the position of 100 cards with fragments of traditional poems placed on a tatami mat. A speaker recites the first part of a poem at random and participants must find the letter that completes it; process that is repeated until someone runs out of cards. Adapted from the award-winning manga by Yuki Suetsugu and featuring superb animation by Madhouse studio (A Place Further Than the Universe), the story centers on Chihaya Ayase, a girl who lacks ambitions, whose passion was aroused by discovering this sport. This is how she sets out to become the best player of kurata from Japan. (Crunchyroll Y HIDIVE)
Ashita no Joe It is an absolute classic not only within sports titles, but it is one of the most influential, honored and parodied works in the history of Japanese manga and animation. The series revolves around Joe Yabuki, a troubled young orphan who ends up wandering the slums of Tokyo, where his street fighting skills catch the attention of former boxer Danpei Tange. The creation of Asao Takamori and Tetsuya Chiba recounts Joe’s tragic journey through the sport of fists and his private life. A history full of violence, hardships and dramatic moments that have been marked for posterity. (Prime Video)
Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka are four swimming friends who split up after elementary school. Years later, Rin meets Haru again and defeats him without difficulty in a direct challenge. Not wanting to be left behind, Haru gathers Makoto, Nagisa, and a new recruit named Rei Ryugazaki to form the Iwatobi High School Swim Club, which will motivate them to pursue ever more ambitious athletic goals. KyoAni’s hit franchise originated in the light novel saga High Speed!by Kōji Ōji, recipient of an honorable mention at the Kyoto Animation Awards in 2011. (Crunchyroll Y Funimation)
The modern king of cool. Inspired by a player nicknamed the “Little Giant,” Shoyo Hinata, a short boy, revives his school’s volleyball club during his high school years, but his squad is beaten in an official tournament by Tobio Kageyama’s team. . Hinata vows to outmaneuver and beat Kageyama, only to find that he will now share the court with his rival in high school. Featuring top-of-the-line technical values courtesy of Production IG (Ghost in the Shell), the manga adaptation of Haruichi Furudate is the perfect combination of drama, comedy, and showmanship that you could wish for from a sports anime. (Crunchyroll Y HIDIVE)
Run With The Wind
Production IG scored another jewel of the genre with its most realistic and intimate approach to the novel Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiruby Shion Miura. The driving force behind this tale is Haiji Kiyose, a college student who has been stealthily gathering a group of ten men in the Chikusei-so dormitory to join the track and field team. The objective? Compete in the Hakone Ekiden, a famed college relay marathon held annually in Japan. Unfortunately, all of the residents except him and elite runner Kakeru Kurahara are complete rookies. Can you convince them to participate and prepare them in time to fulfill their elusive dream? (Crunchyroll Y HIDIVE)
The title that promoted the practice of basketball in Japan during the 90s – and that surely inspired other young people in many nations around the world -, even earning it public recognition from the Japan Basketball Association. Hanamichi Sakuragi is a juvenile delinquent with an impressive record of love disappointments. One day, our protagonist decides to join his school’s basketball team to impress the lovely Haruko Akagi, even though he has no knowledge of the sport. Takehiko Inoue’s work chronicles Hanamichi’s inspiring personal and player evolution. (TV tubes)
Due to the massive popularity of soccer in much of the world, Super Champions It is one of the obligatory references when talking about sport in Japanese animation. With various iterations throughout the decades, the plot of the franchise born in Yōichi Takahashi’s manga is well known to any Latin pambolero: here we follow the adventures of Oliver Atom and his friends, from their childhood school parties, through their first challenges as professionals in some of the most important clubs in the world, until their eventual call-up and debut with the Japan National Team at the World Cup. (Netflix / Prime Video)
The Prince of Tennis
Tennis no Ōji-sama is an iconic multimedia franchise that emerged from the manga by Takeshi Konomi, which stars Ryoma Echizen, a superb tennis player who, despite his innate talent, does not seem to escape the shadow of his father: the legendary tennis player Nanjiro Echizen . Ryoma joins the Seishun Gakuen Institute, a school with one of the best programs of this discipline in the country, where he will try to overcome his personal demons. At the moment, Funimation only has the two OVAs The Prince of Tennis II Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future, but the entire franchise will be added to its catalog in the coming months. (Funimation)
“Tsurune” is the sound the bowstring makes when an arrow is released, and what inspired Minato Narumiya to learn kyūdō, the Japanese art of archery. Unfortunately, a certain incident during a tournament caused him to leave the sport. After an encounter with a mysterious archer, Minato is inspired to practice again and will aim with his childhood friends and his new classmates at Kazemai High School to win the prefectural tournament. KyoAni’s impeccable production is based on the novel by Kotoko Ayano, the first to win a Special Jury Prize at the Kyoto Animation Awards in 2016. (Crunchyroll Y HIDIVE)
Based on the award-winning Wataru Watanabe manga, Yowamushi Pedal follows the life of Sakamichi Onoda, a friendless otaku who only wanted to join the anime club upon entering high school. There, he sadly discovers that it has been dissolved for lack of members. As usual, Sakamichi was traveling 45 kilometers by bicycle from his home to the Akihabara commercial area, when his partner Shunsuke Imaizumi realized his endurance and potential talent for this discipline, for which he convinced him to join the cycling club. Thus begins an emotional story about friendship, change and overcoming obstacles step by step. (Prime Video / TMS Latino)
Yuri!!! on ICE
Yuri Katsuki carried the hopes of all of Japan in the Figure Skating Grand Prix, but suffered a devastating defeat in the finals. Destroyed, Yuri returns to his hometown to emotionally rehabilitate in a family environment and, on the other hand, to contemplate the possibility of retirement. Then five-time world champion Viktor Nikiforov travels to Japan to offer to train him. Little can be added about the passion project of the director Sayo Yamamoto and MAPPA study, with one of the most cared and praised productions on a technical level in recent times, which swept the Anime Awards and the Tokyo Anime Awards. (Crunchyroll)
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