If you think sports are boring, think again because the anime I’m about to recommend will show you how incorrect you are.
All of the anime listed here will ignite your interest in a variety of sports, and it is also a wonderful method to learn about various sports and how they function.
Sports anime do not have a large fan base, but believe me when I say that if you watch any of the anime listed below, you will undoubtedly become a fan of the genre.
In this article, I’ve picked 15 of the most underrated sports anime that will make you into a sports lover.
Underrated Sports Anime
Days depicts the hardships of Tsukushi Tsukamoto, a shy, awkward, and bullied teenager set to enter high school. He decides to enrol in Seiseki High School in order to be with his next-door neighbour and childhood buddy Sayuri Tachibana, who is a year his senior.
Tsukushi is bullied after visiting Sayuri at her workplace, but he is saved by Jin Kazama, who scares the bullies away by hitting them with nunchucks and declares himself a wanderer and lost in town. Jin then asks Tsukushi whether he likes football and invites him to a futsal match the following night because his team is one player short. Tsukushi surprises Jin by turning up after running nearly ten kilometres in the pouring rain and without a single shoe, following another run-in with his bullies.
Makunouchi Ippo has spent his entire life being bullied. Ippo, who is constantly doing errands and getting beaten up by his peers, has always wanted to change himself but has never had the drive to do it. One day, in the midst of yet another round of bullying, Ippo is saved by Takamura Mamoru, a boxer. Ippo passes out as a result of his injuries and is taken to the Kamogawa boxing gym to heal. As he regains consciousness, he is taken aback by his new surroundings at the gym, but he lacks the courage to try anything.
Takamura compels Ippo to hit a punching bag with a portrait of one of his classmates on it. Only then does Ippo feel something stirring inside him and asks Takamura to instruct him in boxing. Takamura, believing that Ippo lacks the necessary skills, assigns him an impossible mission with a one-week deadline. Ippo trains intensely to complete the goal within the time restriction, motivated by a sudden urge to become stronger for himself and his hardworking mother. Thus starts Ippo’s journey to the top of the boxing world.
Sena is like any other shy kid starting high school; he’s just trying to survive. Constantly bullied, he’s accustomed to running away.
Surviving high school is going to become a lot more difficult once Hiruma, the captain of the school’s American football team, observes Sena’s extraordinary agility and speed while fleeing from some bullies. Hiruma plans to make Sena the running back for his high school team, The Devil Bats, in the hopes of transforming the team from the laughingstock of Japan’s high school leagues to a title contender.
To protect his precious star player from rivaling recruiters, he enlists Sena as “team secretary,” giving him a visored helmet and the nickname “Eyeshield 21” to hide his identity.
The Devilbats will attempt to reach the Christmas Bowl, an annual competition attended by Japan’s premier football teams, with “Eyeshield 21” leading the way. Will they be successful in winning the Christmas Bowl? Will Sena be able to make the transition from a shy, small freshman to an all-star? Put on your helmet and pads to find out!
Ren Mihashi was the ace of his middle school baseball team, yet they could never win because of his awful pitching. Constant losses led to his teammates harassing him to the point that they no longer sought to win, forcing Mihashi to graduate with low self-esteem. As a result, Mihashi plans to attend a high school in a distant prefecture where he will not play baseball. Unfortunately, he is dragged into joining their new team as the starter pitcher upon his arrival at Nishiura High.
Despite his initial hesitation, Mihashi understands that here is a place where he will be welcomed for who he is; with the assistance of the catcher Takaya Abe, he begins to have greater confidence in his own talents. Abe, noticing Mihashi’s potential, sets a goal of assisting him in becoming a pitcher deserving of the title of ace.
Ryman’s Club is situated in a badminton business group, and depicts the two contrasting parts of everyday life as a salaryman, as well as progress and disputes as a player. The anime follows Mikoto Shiratori, a prodigy badminton player who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after losing in an inter-high competition. He works as a salaryman at Sunlight Beverage and befriends Tatsuru Miyazumi, the team’s best performer and salesperson.
Ahiru no Sora
Sora Kurumatani has battled with his tiny stature since he first developed an interest in basketball. Despite this disadvantage, Sora’s persistent desire never let his diminutive stature limit his ability to play, believing fully in doing his utmost and consistently training to prove his abilities.
Sora enrols in Kuzuryuu High School in order to join the basketball club and compete in competitions in order to fulfil his mother’s desires. However, Sora is disappointed to see that the boy’s basketball team is little more than a haven for punks with no interest in the sport. Sora also learns that the Hanazono boys, Chiaki and Momoharu, with whom he gets acquainted, have lost their previously zealous desire to play.
Sora, determined to resurrect the basketball team, challenges the lads to a game against him, where his quick feet and rapid movements completely overpower the group. Gradually influenced by Sora’s amazing skills, sheer effort, and unwavering dedication to basketball, the guys’ burnt-out passion for the game is rekindled.
Run with the Wind
Kakeru Kurahara, a former Sendai Josei High School ace runner, gets chased away from a convenience store for stealing. He runs across Haiji Kiyose, another student from his university, after shaking off his pursuer. Haiji is amazed by Kakeru’s speed and convinces him to live in Chikusei-sou, the run-down apartment in which Haiji and eight other students live. Kakeru accepts the offer hesitantly, having lost his whole rental deposit at a mahjong club.
During Kakeru’s greeting party, however, Haiji discloses a secret: the apartment is actually the Kansei University Track Club’s dormitory. He reveals his ultimate ambition of competing in the Hakone Ekiden, one of Japan’s most prestigious university marathon relay competitions. Unfortunately, with the exception of Haiji and Kakeru, all of the residents are complete runners.
Worse, none of the residents are even remotely interested in being a part of Haiji’s ludicrous proposal! Will the fourth-year student be able to persuade them otherwise and accomplish his distant dream of running in the Hakone Ekiden with only months before the deadline?
The boys’ soft tennis club, which is constantly surpassed by the girls’ club, is on the verge of disbandment due to poor skills and a lack of favourable results in matches. Toma Shinjou, in severe need of members, is eager to recruit capable players, but he is unable to scout anyone. Maki Katsuragi, a new transfer student, shows amazing reflexes when he saves a stray cat in his classroom, immediately attracting Toma’s interest.
Toma, with his interest sparked, begs Maki to join the boys’ squad, but is promptly turned down because Maki does not want to join any groups. Toma refuses to back down and eventually persuades Maki—but only if Toma pays him for his participation and covers other club expenditures.
When Maki first joins the team, his exceptional form and quick learning allow him to quickly outperform the rest of the team. Despite the fact that this causes disagreement among the guys, Maki encourages and pushes his teammates to not only keep up with his seemingly innate aptitude, but also to devote themselves to the game they had previously neglected.
Eiichirou Maruo, a diligent and meticulous honour student, resolves to exercise more during his limited free time because he is concerned about his health. As a result, he joins the Southern Tennis Club at the start of his freshman year after spotting a flyer.
During his free trial at the club, he meets Natsu Takasaki, a first-year student who is driven to become a professional tennis player because of her passion for the sport. Eiichirou’s study-oriented existence, on the other hand, exists because he believes it is what he must do, not because he enjoys it. His humdrum days, however, come to an end as the more he plays tennis, the more fascinated he becomes with it.
Baby Steps tells the storey of a little kid who uses his hardworking and perfectionist temperament to establish his own distinct playing technique. Eiichirou’s talents gradually improve, and he aspires to be on equal footing with the finest tennis players.
The storey centres around the Mizuki Diving Club (MDC), which is on the verge of shutting due to financial difficulties. The club’s new coach persuades the club’s parent business to keep the club running on one condition: that one of its members participate in next year’s Olympics as part of Japan’s Olympic squad.
“Tsurune”—this is the sound created by the bowstring when an arrow is fired, and it is this sound that prompted Minato Narumiya to learn Kyuudo, a modern Japanese martial art centred on archery. However, an event during his most recent middle school tournament forced him to retire from the sport.
But soon, a number of events conspire to force Minato to pick up the bow once more: the formation of a new Kyuudo club at his high school, a chance meeting with a mystery archer, and the encouragement of his boyhood friends, Seiya Takehaya and Ryouhei Yamanouchi. Minato rekindles his love for Kyuudo with the help of his childhood friends and new teammates, Kaito Onogi and Nanao Kisaragi, and works with his team to win the prefectural tournament.
Sakamichi Onoda is a cheerful otaku ready to join his new school’s anime club and meet some new acquaintances. Unfortunately, the group has been disbanded, so he decides to resurrect it by recruiting students to join. Without much luck, Onoda resolves to ride his ancient, hefty city bicycle round trip to Akihabara, a weekly 90-kilometer route he has been doing since fourth grade.
This is when he meets fellow first-year student Shunsuke Imaizumi, a dedicated cyclist who is practising on the school’s steep hill. Surprised by Onoda’s ability to ascend the hill with his special sort of bicycle, Imaizumi challenges him to a race, offering Onoda membership in the anime club if he wins. As a result, the young boy’s first adventure into the world of high school bicycle racing begins!
Tatsuya Yoigoshi, a former national soccer player, is presently a freshman at Noukin High School. Because of his growing hatred for sports, he has abandoned his former ambitions to become a well-known internet livestreamer. Souma Azemichi, a first-year on the kabaddi team, attempts to recruit Yoigoshi one day and unexpectedly stops his broadcast.
Yoigoshi follows Souma to the school gym, where he sees second-years Kyouhei Misumi and Shinji Date participating in the primordial contact sport of kabaddi. Despite mocking the rules of the game, Yoigoshi is taken aback by the round’s intensity. He agrees to settle the prospect of his recruitment through the most exciting way: a war of kabbadi, a team sport played empty-handed, due to an enticing deal and slight coercion.
Natsuza Yuzuki has been playing rugby as a left-winger ever since he was a child. After enrolling in Doushisha University, he quickly becomes a rising star in the Kansai University League.
His dreams were shattered, although, when a bad motorcycle accident leaves him with a spinal hernia, rendering him unable to play rugby again. With no other options, he accepts his new position as manager and believes his team can win the league title.
Yuzuki’s squad includes his calm best friend and full-back Seiichirou Jingyouji; hot-headed first-year Yasunari Tsuru, who has a strong dislike for Natsuza and is filling his senior’s old position as left wing; and Yuu Mashiro, who is battling to retain his footing as a scrum half.
Despite Natsuza’s efforts to prepare his club for a league title, their roster still feels unfinished. Ibuki Ueka, the brilliant fly-half who was once Doushisha’s ace, abruptly left rugby a year ago, and Natsuza is desperate to get him back.
East Tokyo United (ETU) has struggled in Japan’s top soccer division in recent years. It has taken everything they had to keep from being demoted. To make matters worse, the squad has now lost five consecutive games, resulting in dismal team morale. Even the fans are turning against them, and reports suggest that the municipality that owns the stadium will withdraw its support. With numerous coaches sacked and terrible financial decisions in hiring players, ETU is on a downward spiral.
Under pressure from general manager Kousei Gotou, the board of directors takes a chance and hires a new coach, the rather eccentric Takeshi Tatsumi. Tatsumi, who was formerly regarded as a superb soccer player, left ETU years ago. However, he has since proven himself to be a successful manager of one of England’s lower division amateur teams.
Tatsumi’s work will be difficult; ETU fans have labelled him a traitor, and the team is competing against teams with larger money and better players. Even an underdog can defeat a goliath, and Tatsumi claims to be a specialist at monster slaughter.