Anime20 Best Sports Anime Series To Watch In 2023

20 Best Sports Anime Series To Watch In 2023

Are you an anime fan? If so, you’ve probably heard of the genre of sports anime. A favorite of many, sports anime revolves around a protagonist competing in a sport, usually at a high-level competition. 

Over the years anime has ventured into plenty of sports. From soccer to boxing to cycling, there’s hardly a sport that doesn’t have an anime series. And these have gripping storylines that will keep you hooked to your seat. 

So, for all the long weekends that this 2023 has, pick up a sports anime and make the most of the weekend.

20 Best Sports Anime

20. Haikyuu!! To the Top

haikyuu to the top

This sequel to the widely popular Haikyuu!! series follows Hinata Shoyo and Kageyama Tobio as they continue their journey to become the best volleyball players in Japan. Haikyuu!! To the Top is set to be an exciting addition to the best sports anime 2023. 

It follows Hinata and Kageyama’s inspiring journey from underdogs to contenders for the Nationals. With new characters and great animation, it promises to deliver a thrilling ride for both old and new fans of the series.

With advanced animation and exciting plot developments, the series offers gorgeous visuals and edge-of-your-seat thrills. The new cast of characters promises to expand this beloved universe with more spirited characters. Haikyuu!!

19. Kuroko no Basuke

kuroko no basuke
  • Season(s): 3
  • Episodes: 75
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

One of the best sports anime of all time. Kuroko no Basuke, the final installment in the Kuroko no Basuke series, follows Seirin High School’s basketball team as they face off against Jabberwock—a perfect team composed of five talented players from around the world called “The Generals”. 

The way the story keeps on giving us twists and turns binds the audience to the end.

With its fantastic animation quality, intense matches, and exhilarating music score, it’s no surprise that this is one of 2023’s most popular sports anime titles. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Kuroko no Basuke has one of the most beloved casts in all of anime!

18. Free!: Dive to Future

free dive to future

Free!: Dive to the Future is in continuation to the Japanese anime Free!

Directed by Eisaku Kawanami. Continuing off from where Free! Take Your Marks left off, Dive to Future follows Haruka Nanase who is attending college in Tokyo, and continues his journey towards becoming an Olympic swimmer. 

Haruka Nanase meets Asahi Shiina again, which brings back all the old memories with her including a promise he made to Ikuya Kirishima.

With inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on your dreams, Dive to Future is sure to be beloved by fans old and new alike. Plus, with its stunning visuals and catchy soundtrack, Free! Dive to Future promises plenty of entertainment for viewers who just want to kick back and enjoy some fun sports action!

17. Yowamushi Pedal

yowamushi pedal
  • Season(s): 5
  • Episodes: 124
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Yowamushi Pedal is an adrenaline-filled sports anime about a group of cyclists who compete against each other in grueling races. It’s full of exciting moments and heartwarming stories about friendship and determination.

It also does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of cycling and showcasing how teamwork can help you reach your goals. Plus, it contains some great character designs that will have viewers wanting more!

Some of you may feel that the sport is boring, but the writer has made sure that the audience gets a brand new and positive perspective on sports. 

16. Ace Of Diamond

ace of diamond

Ever thought of having a baseball anime? Well, there is Ace Of Diamond. It is another great sports anime that should not be neglected. With over 100 episodes to watch, the series follows Eijun Sawamura as he joins an elite baseball team with hopes of becoming Japan’s ace pitcher.

This show contains plenty of exciting matches as well as some intense training arcs that will have viewers rooting for Eijun every step of the way. Ace of Diamond is epic, engrossing, and packed with joyful and heartbreaking moments.

You can also notice that the eye colors of the characters change when they are fired up. These small details have made the series a must-watch. Plus, its colorful cast ensures that there’s never a dull moment!

15. Megalo Box 2

megalo box 2

Megalo Box 2 is the sequel to Megalo Box, an award-winning sports anime that gained tremendous popularity with fans of all ages. The show focuses on Joe, a Junkyard Dog, a mysterious fighter who enters underground fights in his wasteland home while avoiding police and shady organizations. 

As he competes in the tournament, born out of a desire to escape his life and make money, Joe learns more about his hidden talents and newfound powers in mechanical arms, Gears. 

With high-energy fight scenes and captivating visuals, Megalo Box 2 has everything that makes a great sports anime — exciting plotlines, unique characters, and intense action sequences. Fans won’t want to miss out on this outstanding series.

14. Prince of Stride: Alternative

prince of stride alternative
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 12
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Prince of Stride: Alternative is an action-packed sports anime series that follows a high school student’s journey as he and his team strive to become the best Stride Team in Japan. 

The series involves relay, parkour, free running, and sprinting; and revolves around Nana Sakurai and her friend who studies at Honan Academy. They want to make their Stride team and recruit members for their club, which is inactive for years.

To reach that goal, they need to defeat other elite teams as they traverse through a complicated relations web involving their peers. 

Their rigorous practice sessions and adrenaline-filled races bring the characters closer together, creating strong bonds and friendships along the way. With flashy sports action and emotionally-driven stories full of heart, it’s no wonder Prince of Stride: Alternative is one of the best sports anime to watch in 2023.

13. Chihayafuru

  • Season(s): 3
  • Episodes: 53
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Chihayafuru tops our list with its heartfelt story about competitive karuta (Japanese card game). This is one of those rare sports anime that has a female protagonist. Not many are aware of this sport, but you will be shocked to see a great fan base from all over the world.

This show does an excellent job of showcasing how passion can drive us to achieve our dreams despite any obstacles we may encounter along the way. Watching the main character Chihaya become enamored with the sport and learning all its complexities, gives a beautiful experience to fans.

Viewers will also appreciate the beautiful art style and captivating soundtrack which adds an extra layer of emotion to every scene! One of the best sports anime of all time.

12. Slam Dunk 

slam dunk anime

This basketball classic follows the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, a delinquent who discovers a passion for basketball when he meets Haruko Akagi, the most popular girl in school. 

While struggling to fit in on his high-school team, Sakuragi learns valuable lessons about friendship and hard work on their journey to the national championships. Laugh along with all the hijinks that ensue as this unlikely team pushes through against all odds.

Slam Dunk features an amazing cast of memorable characters, as well as gorgeous animation and epic sports action. The show’s impact on the world of sports anime can’t be overstated, and it’s often cited as one of the best and most influential sports anime series ever made.

11. Hajime no Ippo

hajime no ippo
  • Season(s): 3
  • Episodes: 76
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Hajime no Ippo is a boxing anime and manga series that follows the rise of a young up-and-coming amateur boxer named Ippo Makunouchi. It’s an inspirational story, featuring incredible fight scenes and characters you’ll love to root for.

The series has been praised for its realism, with great attention to detail in terms of boxing form and the portrayal of athletic movements. Each fight is skillfully choreographed and animated, full of drama, excitement, and tension.

Additionally, the relationship between coach Kamogawa and his hopeful champion Ippo embodies the ‘family-like’ atmosphere in sports anime. So whether you like sports or not, Hajime no Ippo is sure to be an entertaining watch. 

10. Yuri!!! On Ice

yuri on ice

Yuri!!! On Ice is about the journey of figure skater Yuri Katsuki as he regains his former skating abilities with help from legendary skater Victor Nikiforov.

With Yuri!!! On Ice, you’ll experience triumphs and setbacks in the world of competitive ice skating—and maybe even learn something new about figure skating along the way!

Despite the characters dwelling in a world of figure skating, Yuri!!! On Ice is surprisingly accessible to anyone who watches it. Non-skaters will truly enjoy its exciting narrative and brilliant choreography, while those more familiar with the sport can appreciate the technical commentary on each routine. 

Ultimately, Yuri!!! On Ice brings snowflakes and icicles to life in a way few other anime can match. Boasting memorable characters and intense competition, it’s a show that fans won’t soon forget.

9. Eyeshield 21 

eyeshield 21
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 145
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

A classic anime series loved by many, Eyeshield 21 is based on American Football. The story follows Sena, a high-schooler starting his first year of school. Sena is blessed with incredible speed and quickly catches the attention of American Football coach Hiruma Youichi, who makes him the running back for a team called the Deimon Devil Bats.

The anime follows the Devil Bats on their quest to become one of the strongest teams in Japan, and eventually, the world. Coming up against some of the toughest opponents and facing a multitude of obstacles along the way, Sena and his teammates must rely on teamwork and creative strategies in order to win.

With an array of imaginative characters and exciting football match scenes, Eyeshield 21 is one of the best Japanese sports anime ever created. 

8. Captain Tsubasa 

captain tsubasa
  • Season(s): 6
  • Episodes: 175
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

A soccer classic widely considered to be a must-watch for any fan of sports anime, Captain Tsubasa is a story following the adventures of Tsubasa Ozora, a passionate young player determined to become the best in the world. 

From humble beginnings as an elementary schooler, the show follows his journey to international stardom with outstanding matches and plenty of heartwarming moments throughout its several seasons.

With gripping storylines and matches that leave you on the edge of your seat, it’s no surprise that Captain Tsubasa was so successful. The characters are full of personality and have really stayed with people since its first airing in 1983.

It is, without a doubt, one of the best sports anime of all time.

7. Prince of Tennis

prince of tennis
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 178
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Prince of Tennis follows the story of the Amusement Grand Prix, where several junior high schools across Japan compete against each other to become the top tennis players.

It focuses on Ryoma Echizen, a young prodigy who joins teams in tournaments and must use his unique style to help them achieve victory. It isn’t just about watching Ryoma take on his father, but also his journey of growth as he battles different challengers throughout the series.

The anime has some of the most interesting and exciting matches you will ever see in tennis. And Ryoma’s journey is filled with both victories and defeats, making it a worthwhile watch for any fan of sports anime!

6. One Outs

one outs
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 25
  • Where to Watch: 9Anime

Get ready for thrilling baseball matches in this psychological sports anime!

One Outs follows the story of Toua Tokuchi, an enigmatic pitcher who makes a living by betting on opponents in games of one-on-one baseball. Through his ingenious and often comedic strategies, Toua outsmarts his opponents to drive them into a corner and make them lose the bet.

Toua has earned himself a reputation as an unbeatable pitcher with his incredible strategies, and his ageless form allows him to keep winning matches after years of play.

One Outs features an impressive lineup of characters and intense, heart-pounding action sequences, making it one of the best sports anime in the business. Whether you’re a baseball fan or just looking for an intriguing sports anime, One Outs is definitely worth watching!

5. Major

major anime
  • Season(s): 6
  • Episodes: 154
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Major is an uplifting series that follows the story of Goro Honda, a young boy who dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. After his father’s untimely death, Goro resolves to train hard and achieve his dream, no matter what stands in his way.

Even if you’re not a fan of baseball, Goro Honda’s journey will draw you in and make you root for him every step of the way. Major provides an inspiring tale about chasing your ambitions and the power of determination. 

With its mix of comedy and heartbreaking moments, it’s undoubtedly one of the best sports anime out there. It is a great choice to watch if you’re looking for some wholesome and inspiring entertainment.

4. Inazuma Eleven 

inazuma eleven anime
  • Season(s): 3
  • Episodes: 127
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

Inazuma Eleven is one of the biggest franchises in soccer anime and manga, following a group of middle-school students with superhuman abilities who form an unlikely team. 

With flashy moves and some seriously impressive visuals, this series offers a whole new level of soccer action but is still packed with heart-warming moments as well.

The main character of the series, Endou Mamoru, is a budding goalkeeper with special skills, who takes on the challenge of building an unbeatable team from the ground up.

With his unwavering determination and some helpful advice from his old-school coach, Endou leads his rag-tag group of players as they face off against teams with more skill, talent, and experience than them.

3. Whistle

whistle anime
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 39
  • Where to Watch: GogoAnime

Another classic of the genre is Whistle!, a manga and anime series that follows a young Shō Kazamatsuri as he works his way up through the high school soccer team ranks.

Despite facing obstacles from rival teams, opponents from his past, and even his own fear of failure, Shō never loses sight of his dream as he strives to become Japan’s best soccer player. 

An inspiring story for sports fans everywhere, Whistle! is one of the top titles in anime soccer history.

The art style in Whistle! is modern and colorful, the characters are dynamic and engaging, and the writing is excellent. It’s certainly earned a legitimate spot as one of the best soccer anime of all time.

2. Ping Pong The Animation

ping pong the animation
  • Season(s): 1
  • Episodes: 11
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

If you’re looking for an action-packed sports anime to watch, look no further than Ping Pong The Animation. This series follows two childhood friends Smile and Peco, and their dreams of becoming table tennis champions.

Ping Pong The Animation looks at the highs and lows of competition, revisiting themes of identity and ambition throughout the series. The competition is tight and intense, but ultimately there’s still room for camaraderie between all of the characters.

Every episode ends up being filled with both thrilling table tennis matches as well as touching moments between friends. Overall, this show is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a great anime about table tennis!

1. Baby Steps

baby steps anime
  • Season(s): 2
  • Episodes: 50
  • Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

A great tennis anime- Baby Steps. It tells the story of Eiichiro Maruo and his journey to becoming a pro player. He starts as a beginner but soon hones his skills and nears professional level. 

On his way, he faces many challenges that test him both physically and mentally, which makes it an interesting watch throughout. The series is also known for its realistic depiction of table tennis. Not only does it showcase the various techniques of playing and their importance but also showcases the physical toll it can take on a body. 

Its great animation helps further bring out this aspect, making the matches an immersive experience. All in all, Baby Steps is a really enjoyable and exciting sports anime of all time.


From emotional character growth to thrilling matches between rival teams, there are plenty of titles out there that can satisfy any fan’s cravings for excellent storytelling and fantastic animation quality. 

Whether you’re looking for something with heartwarming characters or intense action sequences, these sports anime are sure to provide hours upon hours of entertainment. So don’t miss out on these great stories—check out these top-tier sports anime releases now!

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