5 Classic Sports Anime For Everyone

Sports movies worldwide have taken hold on the hearts of audiences worldwide. King Richard and The Iron Claw are a few of those. The former won Will Smith accolades. Meanwhile, the next one garnered Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White critical praise, although it received none of the awards hype. But just as the following have set a hold on the hearts of audiences, sports anime have also, over time, gone to become cultural giants.

It is easy to see their appeal. A lot of the best anime deliver on universal themes. And when it comes to the sports genre, compelling character stories and themes like loss, family, determination, and friendship fuel the story. Over time, sports anime have also been reframed as a love story between the characters, the sport – and the journey to succeed in the sport.

We’ve rounded up some of the best sports anime we have watched!

Slam Dunk

Look no further than your NBA & PBA odds to taste real basketball! Slam Dunk follows the endeavors of the high school basketball team, Shohoku, to fulfill its captain, Takenori Akagi’s long dream to conquer the nationals. Slam Dunk is a classic for a reason, with its compelling arcs, sense of humor, and the world feeling very lived-in. The story revolves around the unorthodox First Five of the Shohoku basketball team – a team made of a talented rookie, a promising rookie, a former MVP turned gangster who specializes in shooting, an agile point guard who fights for love, and lastly, its determined and dogged captain, who has endured years to see the fruition of his dream.

The ending of Slam Dunk was a mixed bag for most people. However, in a meta way, the fight continues, with those with their futures left up in the air. Akagi still fights for a chance to attend a sports challenge. Meanwhile, Mitsui is planning a future in sports with his performance in the Winter Cup; Sakuragi is recovering from therapy and enjoying the start of a rivalry and friendship with Rukawa. And lastly, Miyagi, the new team captain, is learning to adapt to a leadership position.

Hinomaru Sumo

Sumo is a topic rarely discussed in anime and manga. However, the shortage makes the experience of Hinomaru Sumo even more pleasing. The series uses well-used tropes and a tried structure to tell its story. The characters are likable, and the fight sequences are well-made and produced, holding up well against most martial arts-based stories.

The story highlights Ushio, who is a sumo fan. He has been training for years and has become a good fighter. He is not tall enough to become a professional sumo wrestler, so he has to compete in tournaments as a high school team member. Realism and hype marry together in this anime. Thus, it results in a grounded but satisfying experience.

Welcome to The Ballroom

Dance hardly counts as sports – in the mind’s eye of some. However, dancing requires strength and endurance, much like the more popular sports. Uniquely, Welcome to The Ballroom is a unique dance sports series featuring dancing. It follows a shy boy whose life changes when he falls in love with dancing and gets inspired by the beauty of the dance.


One of the landmark Japanese sports is Kyudo. It is also considered Japanese archery and gets incorporated into martial arts. The anime Tsurune: Kazemai High School Kyudo Club stars Minato, a Kyudo prodigy who takes a break and picks up his bow again. Although it is one of the newer titles on this list, it is an enjoyable sports anime that should be appreciated more. Rich in subtext and with a light art style, Tsurune is a beautiful anime to watch.

After a new kyudo club opened in his high school, Minato picked up his bow again. He joined the club and reunited with Seiya and Ryouhei, his childhood friends. Minato fell back in love with Kyudo and helped his team get to nationals. Tsurune is an excellent sports anime that deserves more love and attention.

Kuroko No Basuke

Another newer title, Kuroko No Basuke, is a more exaggerated basketball title. In addition to the rudimentary basketball skills, players of basketball in the series are gifted with extraordinary abilities, like Riko Aida’s Scan, Kise’s Perfect Copy, and the Emperor Eye. Plenty of the series is scattered with references and tributes to Slam Dunk. However, Kuroko No Basuke has a powerful take on basketball as a tool of love and friendship – and more than just a competition.

The series initially focused on the Seirin basketball team. However, there is a sequel series to the series, which focuses on street basketball.

Wrapping Up

We’ve rounded up classic sports anime for everyone! Some of the titles are new. However, all of them have a lot of value to offer. Plenty of them have held up well for the times. Others have also given us a more refreshing take on the genre, the sport – and what it means to be a master at something and live for.