Top 25 Best Sports Anime

Sports anime: the one kind of genre you can’t really find anywhere else. From the adrenaline-filled moments just watching a character play a sport, to tear-filled training montages, to leaping up from your computer to cheer your team’s victory, sports anime offers a rare experience. And that’s why this list brings you the best sports anime out there, with a bit of everything for everyone.

 







 

At the top of this best sports anime list sits a giant, burly series with a pair of boxing gloves and a fire in its eyes. The anime is Hajime no Ippo and its here to ignite your fighting spirit to cheer on characters you never knew you’d love so much.

Makunouchi Ippo is just a teen that helps his mom with their fish shop and hardly has time for hanging out after school. He’s bullied by a bunch of guys every day, but it’s only when pro boxing champ Mamoru steps in that Ippo sees he has the potential to be something more. And that something more is a punching machine that can climb all the way to the top.

It’s no secret that sports anime loves its underdogs, and while Ippo starts out as a newbie, his steady climb to the top is about what you’d expect. What you don’t expect is for every character and every opponent to have such deep backstories that they become real people in your eyes.

Why it made the list: Hajime no Ippo is the anime that makes you understand what’s so good about sports anime. You don’t have to be invested in the sport, you don’t have to know anything about it, and you don’t even have to like the activity involved in sport in general. Hajime no Ippo simply draws you into the show with it story and keeps you there with its characters, making you want to cheer on each and every one.

Watch it if you like: Boxing; shouting at the screen; the underdog; shounen anime; comedy; drama; bullying; backstories; long anime; older anime.

 

 

 

Japan loves its baseball and its baseball anime loves being good. The same goes for Big Windup!, another one of the hit shows to come out of 2007’s god season for anime.

Ren Mihashi is a nervous wreck who had a falling out with his middle school baseball team after a lot of bullying. When he joins a different high school, he has every intention of dropping baseball forever, but he’s dragged back in when he lets slip he’s a pitcher and now Ren is supporting another team all the way to the nationals.

To stand out among the hit after hit that was any anime in 2007 is a task, and that’s why Big Windup! is something of a hidden gem. It’s a slow series that knows when to take its time to make the games really matter.

Why it made the list: Big Windup! is the same kind of story you’ve seen countless times before, and, yet again, it’s a different kind of story that makes it unique. The series has a love for its dysfunctional characters and, like Cross Game, lets you get to know everyone through slice of life moments.

Watch if you like: Baseball; comedy; slow series; standard length series; slice of life; nervous protagonists; the underdog; the nationals.

 

There’s plenty of sports anime series about basketball, sure, but none are so widely recognized as the hit that is Slam Dunk.

Hanamichi is a slacker and looks like a total delinquent. It doesn’t help that he has a bad attitude and thinks of himself as a genius. After he’s approached by a cute girl and asked to join the school basketball team, Hanamichi agrees, because who can say no to a cute girl who will actually talk to you?

Slam Dunk isn’t anything special in terms of showing off the actual sport or even going anywhere new with storylines. But the whole anime has a certain charm with its characters and how it mixes in comedy and romance.

Why it made the list: Slam Dunk stands out from your more ordinary sports anime in that the protagonist is almost unlikable but you can still run along with him and his stupid charms. It also mixes in comedy and romance, with both turning out better than you’d expect. Definitely easy to get into for non-basketball fans.

Watch if you like: Basketball; older anime; high school setting; romance; comedy; muscles; delinquents; long series; watching the movies; silly protagonists.

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Close to the top of our Best Sports Anime list is Cross Game, the anime that’s something of a mix between slice of life and sports anime, with a touch of drama and the usual deep emotional connection to characters.

The Kitamuras and Tsukishimas have been like second families to each other for years. In fact, protagonist Kou Kitamura shares his birthday with one of the Tsukishima girls. Although the two families are always close, jealousy springs and even though one sister has great baseball skills and Kou trains hard, it’s not until something huge happens that Kou decides to pursue his baseball dreams.

Cross Game seems to have the perfect mix of everything, from slow slice of life scenes to exciting games to well-timed comedy to sudden drama. If you’ve gotten bored of the usual sports anime tropes, this is the series to down as a palette-cleanser.

Why it made the list: Cross Game is a lot like other sports anime but its key difference is that the sport isn’t be all and end all of the series and its characters. Characters exist outside the sport and don’t spend their lives in the game. Cross Game’s mix of slice of life and sport is what makes it so great to watch.

Watch if you like: Baseball; guys and girls; comedy; romance; school setting; long series; slice of life; fate; drama.

 

Break out your old bicycles and oil up the chain for Yowamushi Pedal, one of the more recent big hit sports anime shows.

Onoda is a geek and serious otaku who resolves to join the anime club so he can finally have some like-minded friends. What he doesn’t plan on is joining the school cycling team and carrying them to hard-earned victory with his skills gained by riding a hard-to-handle bike up hills.

Yowamushi Pedal is a show more about struggles than talent, and for that it’s damn interesting. But, of course, it still has most everything found in a sports anime and carries itself through competitions with good old spirit.

Why it made the list: Yowamushi Pedal is another guy-centric show about cycling and working hard to get to the top. It focuses a lot more on determination and struggling, but still relies on classic sports anime elements.

Watch if you like: Cycling; struggling; character development; long series; watching the second season; determination.

 

Haikyuu spikes into sixth place with a fresh new sports anime that gets all the standard stuff exactly right while giving us a whole new cast to love.

Hinata’s reasons for applying to Karasuno High School all involve revenge and balls. When his love for volleyball and burning ambition to beat the guy who took him down in middle school drives Hinata to join the school’s team, he finds that his rival is closer than he imagined. Now the two have to team up to smack balls against even more formidable foes.

Haikyuu is your standard sports anime, but don’t think that it’s just average. It works a no-talent group of players into a close-knit group that eventually works as a team to take on a whole bunch of other players. This anime loves its characters and you just might too.

Why it made the list: Haikyuu is this year’s answer to new sports anime that has everything you could want in a show about punching balls.

Watch if you like: Volleyball; teams; comradery; birds; rivalry; no superpowers; shounen anime; drama; comedy.

 

Kuroko no Basuke is ranked near the top of most sports anime lists, and it’s no wonder it’s come to rest at our number seven spot. With legendary players, a strong goal and a whole host of things we love about sports anime, Kuroko no Basuke is great.

Kuroko no Basuke sounds something like an RPG with basketball: five basketball players, legends of their sport, once played together as part of an all-star middle school team known as the Generation of Miracles. When graduation separates them, each player joins a different high school team. But little does everyone know that the Generation of Miracles had a sixth player, the phantom dribbler Kuroko. Kuroko also joins a new school basketball team and, with a determined friend and plenty of practice, decides to take on the Generation of Miracles and become number one.

Despite the whole courtloads of talent going on in this show, its story is easy to follow and the matches keep coming. Kuroko no Basuke’s strong point is in its character growth and watching the eventual victories of the underdog basketball team.

Why it made the list: Kuroko no Basuke is all handsome guys and flashy basketball playing all of the time. With things like the Generation of Miracles around, it’s not exactly going to be like a real match, but it’s good at what sport anime loves: rivalry, character development and exciting matches.

Watch if you like: Basketball; shounen anime; boys; flashy sports; the underdog; character development; a large cast of characters; standard length series; watching the second series.

 

Ping Pong bounces into our number eight position on the list for being a stand-out artistic sports anime. It manages to be an anime about table tennis that isn’t like any other sports anime but has the fluidity and energy of watching the actual sport. Ping Pong is animated art.

Makoto and Yutaka are two boys who play table tennis all throughout their school life. The two are friends but polar opposites, and while energetic Yutaka excels, shy and reserved Makoto needs a push to gain some competitive spirit. But before you think of it as a regular sports anime, throw those expectations off the table; this show is all about five kids and how they grow up.

The anime is brought to you by Masaaki Yuasa, the animator known for being able to draw what it feels like to be on LSD. While not as trippy as most of his other works, Ping Pong has a very specific look and feel that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Why it made the list: Ping Pong is so much more than the sports anime it sounds like in summary. While it’s still focused on the journey of people who play the sport, this anime is all about the art and movement of animation.

Watch if you like: Table tennis; animation; realism; Masaaki Yuasa; coming of age stories; taking LSD; seinen anime; short series; no overpowered characters.

Watch PING PONG on Amazon Right Now

 

9

Chihayafuru

 

 

Cultural card games have never been more interesting since strip poker. If you’ve been seeking a sport-based anime with less overpowered 14-year-olds and more actual tournament atmosphere, look no further than Chihayafuru.

Discarding super power-ups and final forms, Chihayafuru emerges from the pile of sports anime to bring you a slightly uninteresting card game made an extreme sport by lovable characters. Main girl Chihaya, after discovering her passion for an advanced game of snap, decides to form a karuta club in high school. With some luck, she manages to bring together enough oddballs to start participating in tournaments.

Perhaps it’s the fact that Chihayafuru doesn’t peddle card game merchandise that makes it a good watch, but the combination of pretty girls with depth, sporting ambition and seemingly life-or-death tournaments makes the show really compelling to watch. When the characters’ victories feel like your victory, you know it’s something special.

Why it made the list: Any anime that makes you interested and heavily invested in an old or boring aspect of culture should be a good anime in anyone’s books. Chihayafuru reaches the core of all sporting anime, putting the triumphs and disappointment of real people above the technicality of the game. It’s hard not to fall in love with the characters who have so much passion for what they do.

Watch if you like: Karuta; Japanese culture; josei series; high school setting; rivals; large cast of characters; romance; no superpowers; watching the second season.

 

Blasting into the number ten position of this list is the anime about World War II tanks being the pinnacle of femininity: Girls und Panzer.

Miho is from a family of highly regarded panzerfahren masters (that is, women who are highly skilled in operating tanks). After a certain dangerous incident, Miho breaks away and transfers to a school where panzerfahren isn’t a practiced sport. But luck isn’t on her side, as the student council president seizes the chance to revive the old sport and put Miho as its captain. Now faced with a whole national tournament and saving the school, Miho has to turn the school’s tanks and tank teammates into war veterans.

Girls und Panzer is one of those unexpected anime that you might jump into because it’s weird, but then leave with a tear in your eye and a bin full of tissues. It brings out all the best feelings sports anime always captures, with a huge cast of characters you can’t help but love. It may make you into a military otaku though.

Why it made the list: Girls und Panzer has a weird premise, but it mixes WWII military equipment with a strangely politically-blank setting, instead focusing on what makes sports anime great: watching the underdog struggle to win.

Watch if you like: World War II; tanks; military talk; Saki; no superpowers; winning impossible fights; the USSR; a huge cast of characters; the underdog; short series; crying.

 

Also known as “Swimming Anime”, Free! is possibly the only anime that created a massive fan following after airing a 30 second preview for something completely unrelated. It also became a fair sports anime.

Haruka and his childhood friends all have girly names, but that never stopped them from being pretty awesome when it came to swimming in their grade school swimming club. But when their team’s ace up and left for Australia, things fell apart. Now, several years on, their friend has returned as a rival and Haruka and friends must build their swimming team from scratch to witness something amazing once again.

Don’t let the sports team thing fool you though; this anime is more about friendship and rivalry then actual competition. That stuff’s for the second season.

Why it made the list: Have we even had a real swimming anime until now? It doesn’t matter; Free! has washed away all competition. With Kyoto Animation’s beautiful attention to detail and a simple story to go along with it all, Free! is an enjoyable anime for watching water as much as it is for watching endless muscles and cute boys.

Watch if you like: Swimming; slice of life; short series; Australia; sea animals; muscles; boys; childhood friends; rivals; less competition, more friendship; watching the second season.

 

High school isn’t the be all and end all of sports anime, and that’s certainly true for Giant Killing, one of the few shows that goes into the professional life of an all-adult soccer team.

East Tokyo United (ETU) seriously sucks. At least, that’s what everyone’s saying since even the fans are thinking of bailing on this out-of-luck soccer team. But ETU isn’t giving up – they decide to hire a former player to coach them to success. The new coach Takeshi is kind of controversial and crazy, but he has just the thing to help this team gain an edge: he has the skill to topple soccer giants.

Giant Killing isn’t some Shingeki no Kyoujin side-story featuring sports. Rather, it’s a gem hidden in sports anime where adults can have a shot at training montages and climbing the ladder to success.

Why it made the list: It’s not every day you see an anime about realistic adult life that doesn’t come with an 18+ label. More seriously, Giant Killing is one of those rare shows that goes introspective with the strategy but still delivers that sports anime classic punch of adrenaline and euphoria of watching the underdog win.

Watch if you like: Soccer; realistic sports; standard length anime; older characters; seinen anime; the underdog; introspection.

13

Major

 

 

Characters are clearly the best part of sports anime, unless you have undying, hardcore love for rules and equipment. Major is one anime that recognizes this and basically makes you care for a handful of characters for the rest of their lives.

Goro wants to be the very best that someone else probably was. In fact, right now he’s trailing after his pro baseball-playing father. But sport isn’t just about being good; it’s about working together with people and even figuring out what to do after you’re injured.

Major still falls into the place where comebacks are king and anything and everything can come out of the blue to save the day. But like most great sports anime, what’s important is the battle of wills between characters and rivals. There’s plenty of character-building that fits plenty well in this sports show.

Why it made the list: Major is about the only sports anime series that takes you through most of the protagonist’s life as it chronicles their journey to greatness. Season one is Goro’s kindergarten life to little league, but if you get hooked, there’s his whole life ahead.

Watch if you like: Baseball; standard length series; watching all the seasons; kindergarten; characters; growing up; drama; comebacks; shounen anime.

14

Initial D First Stage

 

 

Some sports anime stand out because they’re about something ridiculous or involve The Ultimate Powers over something that seems completely trivial. But Initial D stands out because it’s so amateur, so unenthusiastic and so… ugly.

Takumi Fujiwara is an apathetic high school student who works at a gas station by day and runs deliveries by night. His life is surrounded by cars but he sees them as nothing by a chore – that is until he’s recognized as the second fastest amateur racer in Gunma, Japan. Takumi is just learning about what this whole thing is, but that doesn’t stop challenges coming in from all across the country.

There’s no lying about Initial D First Stage’s age; its art style has aged horribly. But with the first season’s standard, it only gets better from there on.

Why it made the list: Initial D is the kind of sports anime that stands out, both for good and bad reasons. The art style has aged horribly, but the fact that the protagonist doesn’t know much about the sport and grows to like it over the course of the series is the pull.

Watch if you like: Racing; street car racing; cars; running in the ‘90s; music; older anime; anime references; reluctant protagonist; standard length series; watching the sequel; seinen anime; CG cars.

 

 

Baseball is one of Japan’s biggest sports, so it’s no surprise to know that the top-ranking baseball anime Ace of Diamond is still running… though it did only start in 2013.

Eijun Sawamura is a pitcher who joins an elite baseball school to be the best that no-one ever was. He teams up with a catcher who has a bad personality and a great play style and, together with the team, aim for the National High School Baseball Championship. But it’s not really about them all the time.

Ace of Diamond is no stranger to the mysterious power of determination and how working hard can make you a sports champion, but it balances out Every Sports Anime Aspect Ever by spending a lot of time on side-characters.

Why it made the list: Ace of Diamond is the biggest ongoing baseball anime and it’s set to keep going as it explores more side-characters than ever before and attempts to give them all attention. But really, it’s the sports anime to watch for kids playing baseball and competing to be the best at their position.

Watch if you like: Baseball; school setting; comedy; shounen anime; side characters; hard work; determination; backstory; long anime; watching the second season; rivalry.

 

Prince of Tennis is one of the few anime that is so good, it’s got OVAs and stories animated after well over a decade. Prince of Tennis is to tennis as what Slam Dunk is to basketball. Which is to say: it’s a damn good sports anime.

Ryoma is a tennis prodigy but he constantly lives in the shadow of his father, a pro player who worked his way up to earning the Grand Slam title before retiring before the last opponent. Ryoma then joins Seishun Gakuen to find his way of playing and to surpass his father.

Prince of Tennis is one of those anime traps that lures you in with cool sports moves and some great filler episodes and then sends you in a spiral of never-ending episodes and sequels.

Why it made the list: Prince of Tennis is the sports anime for watching tennis and guys playing tennis. But more importantly, it’s another solid race-to-the-top anime where you can dive into the series and only resurface years later.

Watch if you like: Tennis; guys; huge franchise; long series; wanting to be the best; the underdog; anime-original episodes; comebacks; older anime.

 

“Enough with the realistic sports anime; I need my fix of unrealistic sports played by kids with the powers of gods,” you might say. Well worry not: Inazuma Eleven is here with that same crazy sports goodness.

Endou Mamoru is a kid with a lot of promising talent for playing with balls. In fact, he probably inherited his talent from his late grandfather, a man who also knew how to handle balls and was the strongest in Japan. But Mamoru can’t really use his talent when the school’s soccer club is barely existent. It’s only when a mysterious new kid arrives at school that Mamoru can finally gather a team and… save the world?

As over-the-top Inazuma Eleven is, it’s got the feel of those same over-the-top shows you watched as a kid, complete with cool powers you want to have and the world at stake over a single game.

Why it made the list: Inazuma Eleven is another sports anime that introduces special powers in a world where everything revolves around the sport. If you have a hard time jumping into sports anime without a bit of spice (read: magical powers), Inazuma Eleven is the soccer anime for you.

Watch if you like: Soccer; or football; shounen anime; elementary school; super powers; long series; watching all the sequels; rivalry; friendship; large cast of characters.

 

The only martial arts anime on this list is also the second oldest, from all the way back in the magical 80s. It’s Yawara!, the sports anime about judo and manipulative grandfathers.

Yawara is an ordinary, single high school girl with a great talent for kicking ass. Her grandfather, a former judo champion and Yawara’s coach, gets Yawara to fight in matches and tournaments to push her into bringing Great Glory to her country by taking out a gold medal at the Olympics. But all Yawara wants to do is live the normal life and get a boyfriend.

Alright, maybe Yawara isn’t a classic sports anime in all the areas, but it delivers fights, tournaments and the huge final test just like all the rest. Yawara’s reluctance to use her skills is refreshing, and so is the older animation style.

Why it made the list: Yawara is a fun anime with a comedic atmosphere not unlike Ranma ½. Its old school feel just makes it that much better, and tackling judo is interesting in its own right. It’s also another show where you get to see the protagonist grow older.

Watch if you like: Judo; martial arts; older anime; long series; growing up; romance; comedy; the Olympics; reluctant protagonist.

 

Nothing’s too creepy when an anime’s for kids ten and older. Most of the time, kids are whisked away by large friendly animals, but in Hikaru no Go’s case, the protagonist is possessed by an ancient spirit. Oh well, all part of the course.

When searching through the attic, young Hikaru discovers an old Go board (a game that’s kind of a cross between chess’ war strategy and checkers’ tiles). Upon touching it, he’s possessed by a thousand-year-old spirit who has no problem being inside a twelve-year-old boy. It turns out that the spirit just really likes to play and wants to use Hikaru’s body to play the perfect game.

Jokes about possession aside, Hikaru no Go is another sports anime that gets you interested in a game you likely never knew about. Hikaru grows as he learns and is mentored about the game he has an interest in, but the characters surrounding him are just as interesting. You’ll start rooting for everyone in a matter of time.

Why it made the list: Hikaru no Go opens your eyes to one of Japan’s more niche games and takes you through a journey of rivalry and growing up. As the protagonist grows, you can see questions arise that apply to more than just sports and can give you something to think about.

Watch if you like: Go; possession; competition; rivals; older era Japan; a moderately sized cast of characters; growing up; mentors; the supernatural; coming of age stories.

Watch Hikaru Go on Amazon Prime

 

 

Inazuma Eleven is back, but with fewer powers and more dreams in elementary school soccer anime Ginga e Kickoff!.

Our protagonist Shou loves soccer but his school’s team is non-existent. We all know what that means: a 12 episode recruitment arc! After Shou finds a girl who likes balls and kicks butt, he recruits her into a new soccer team whose goal is to be the best team in the entire galaxy.

Ginga e Kickoff is the kind of sports series that doesn’t really leave the Sports Anime Tropes comfort zone but instead scales things down a little to be a little more realistic, including losses, girls, gradually gaining skill and an all-round fun atmosphere.

Why it made the list: Ginga e Kickoff is a rare anime where girls exist in the world and even play the main sport. But more than that, this series takes a simple and common story and makes it work its own way, with flashy but not-overpowered sports moves and a bunch of kids with a big dream.

Watch if you like: Soccer; guys and girls playing together; elementary school; big dreams; no superpowers; shounen anime; hard work; standard length anime.

 

Maybe in your insatiable search for anime you found yourself wanting a sports anime with a chronic case of sameface, or something so old you can only find it on video tape. Well your wishes have been answered in the form of Captain Tsubasa, the soccer sports anime.

Tsubasa is a kid full of dreams and incredibly talented with a soccer ball. When he moves to the town of Nankatsu, he hopes to play for its famous team, but ends up having to join a loser team that is in direct competition to his dreams. Can Tsubasa’s talent pull the team through? Of course it can, it’s a sports anime.

While Captain Tsubasa is based off an incredibly successful manga, it has aged incredibly. It’s an old man hobbling down the street. Watch it for the classic factor.

Why it made the list: Captain Tsubasa is strong on the classic factor and generally okay everywhere else. While it has aged incredibly since the early 80s, it’s still a classic anime that’s highly regarded – at least by Japanese fans.

Watch if you like: Soccer; older anime; long anime; the underdog; tournament arcs; rivals; reading the manga; classic anime.

 

On our list’s sub-category of “games that don’t seem fitting for sports anime” is Saki, the anime about overpowered lolis fighting with dragons and spirits over a game of mahjong.

Our protagonist Saki is somewhat traumatized by her family games of mahjong. She could never come away winning in any situation, so she learnt how to always make her score ±0. But when she’s dragged into the school mahjong club by her old friend, she’s forced into competitive play and awakens the mahjong demon within her, allowing her to practically carry her club’s team to national-level competitions.

Saki’s not the anime to watch if you want to learn about mahjong, but it is the one to watch if you need your fix of drawn-out battles, super powers, little girls and “what the fuck” moments. There’s something strangely compelling about all the weird and OP characters that show up, and they all help the story be not as lame as it sounds.

Why it made the list: Saki’s the kind of sports anime that you watch if you know absolutely nothing about it and don’t care to learn. It’s entertaining to watch little girls break out mystical powers though, and the tournament arcs fill a very specific need.

Watch if you like: Mahjong; ridiculous powers; long tournament arcs; watching the second season; large cast of characters; girls; all the girls; tacos; the underdog; Girls und Panzer; standard length series.

 

American football in your Chinese cartoons?! It’s more likely than you think. With support from the American National Football League itself, it’s easy to think that maybe this series is boring blockheads butting muscles, but it’s just the kind of over-the-top shounen anime you’re used to.

Deimon High School is aiming for the championship American football game, known as the Christmas Cup. The captain of this team – an actual vampire, probably – spots a young promising player called Sena and shoves him in the team with a visor over his face to keep his identity secret. Now that Sena’s training to make it big time, the whole team needs to crunch down hard to unlock his secret ability of… lightspeed running?!

Eyeshield 21 has the exact feel of those shows you used to watch on TV in the morning, where characters larger than life gradually fought their way up the ladder to achieve their dreams.

Why it made the list: Eyeshield 21 is another one of those unrealistic sports anime series, though this time with a bit less force behind the Overpowered Skills bit. Whether you hop into the series for the fact it covers American football or if you just want to get to know a team full of quirky characters, Eyeshield 21 has it.

Watch if you like: Amaerican football; super powers; long series; shounen anime; comedy; exaggerations; the underdog; running; older anime feel; demons; Shounen Jump.

 

Barely legal little girls playing basketball is all you need to know about this series. Get your secret folder on your hard drive ready for this one.

Subaru is down on his luck after his basketball club in high school is suspended. With his passion waning, his aunt arranges for him to become the captain of a basketball team for young girls. From there he coaches the young girls through various trials, but it’s not all sports all the time; they have to fit in the ecchi somewhere.

Ro-Kyu-Bu borders on a lot of things, but the important part is it’s not the typical kind of sports anime you might expect. The show is more of a slice of life anime where you get to see the young girls mature and be half-naked at times.

Why it made the list: There are no real surprises with a show tagged as ecchi, lolicon and sport. While it’s not the complete descent into debauchery that you might be thinking it is, it’s also not much more than its summary. Leave your hopes for hot-blooded action at the door.

Watch if you like: Basketball; little girls; overly cutsey anime; slice of life; all-star voice actor cast; the moe revolution; short series.


25

Princess Nine

 

 

You’ve scoured list after list for one, just one, anime that has more than two girls playing sport. And besides finding that show where an idol becomes a pro wrestler and spends the entire 20 minutes making noises, you probably had a hard time. And then you may have found Princess Nine.

Princess Nine involves an all-girls baseball team formed just to show up pesky boys and prove girls’ teams can be just as good. The new team is led by Ryo, the daughter of a legendary pitcher, and aims to compete in the national tournament. But a lot is standing in their way, including forced romance and drama.

It’s obvious as hell that sports anime is a sausagefest, but sometimes you just want to have it like your moe anime and watch girls do their stuff on the field. Princess Nine is, unfortunately, a more desperate grab for cute girls doing sporty things.

Why it made the list: Sports anime needs variety in cast and story, and Princess Nine delivers on an unusual cast and perhaps an unusual story if you find it that way. It’s a bit high on the drama, but if you need your fix of girls doing mainstream sports, it’s here.

Watch if you like: Tennis; girls; drama; hard work; romance; standard length series; older anime; love triangle.


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