15 Best Fitness and Sports Anime of All Time

15 Best Fitness and Sports Anime of All Time

Sports and anime may not seem intrinsically linked, but here are some quality anime series that will fill fans with the fitness feeling.


Sports are an important part of any society and can inspire tremendous works of art, which is why it's no surprise that the best fitness and sports anime stand as titans of the medium. More than just a niche, the history of sports anime is heavily linked to the history of the medium in general. Series that have become quite popular have also exerted considerable influence outside their genre.

Unlike most feature films and live-action TV shows, these best sports anime series of all time may not always be based in reality, but, because the medium brings a new quirky twist to sports, these shows can often be somewhat entertaining. One of the best athlete biopics – if not more. On that note, from traditional uplifting dramas to genre-bending sports comedies, even those with no interest in sports at all can find something of interest.

15 Best Fitness and Sports Anime of All Time

15 How heavy dumbbells do you lift?

How Heavy Dumbbells Do You Lift Since? is a more adult anime that thrives on fan service and typical anime feel-good humor, it may not be everyone's taste. But, for anyone looking into bodybuilding or a fitness routine, its comedic style is enough to entertain. The central character of the series is gluttonous high school student Hibiki Sakura. When her growing waistline begins to worry her, she decides to change her life and joins the gym - but she must overcome insurmountable and often hilarious obstacles to stick on her fitness journey.

14 Eye Shield

American football is not particularly popular in Japan, although it may surprise some people to learn that the country actually has a professional league for the sport known as the X-League. American football was also briefly represented through the relatively short-lived anime series Eye Shield. When timid Sona Kobayakawa develops a hidden talent for running and escaping after avoiding bullies at school for several years, he anonymously joins an American football team while wearing a face-concealing visor. Wears and uses the nickname Eyeshield 21. It has a unique hook and a compelling cast of characters. Undoubtedly mark it as one of the best sports anime of all time.

13 Yowamushi pedal

Yowamushi Peddle Sakamichi Onda is a high school otaku whose interests do not extend beyond anime and general nerd culture. However, when a famous cyclist and fellow student discovers Sakamichi's astonishing power on his heavy, beach cruiser-like bike, he becomes involved in the world of cycling. A series about coming out of one's shell and discovering new passions and interests, as well as it being about cycling, Yowamushi Peddle adds quite a bit of personality and intrigue to a sport that is often under-covered in most media. is not done.


Premiering in mid-October, The Prince of Tennis moves away from the typical sports anime narrative. Instead of focusing on an underprivileged character, it tells the story of a star player, Ryouma Echizen. After moving to Japan from the West the young boy enrolls at Seishun Gakuen Junior High School. His presence makes the team stronger. However, despite being a great player, Ryouma wants to become the best tennis player in Japan and create his own legacy rather than living under his father's shadow.

11 Chihayafuru

Spanning multiple seasons and OVAs, Chihayafuru has an interesting card game called Karuta at its core. Physically and mentally tough, the game takes inspiration from the classic Japanese anthology Hundred Poets. The series' main heroine, Chihaya, first appears in the game when she meets transfer student Arata Wataya.

It is that fateful encounter that changes his life for the better and introduces him to the fascinating world of competitive karota. Adapted from the manga of the same name, the story of Chihayafuru is replete with well-developed characters and plot points. Madhouse Studio's fantastic work with the show's animation is a bonus that ranks it among the greatest sports anime of all time.

10 Chief

A long-running baseball-focused anime that originally began in 2004, it follows the career of Goro Honda, the son of a prominent baseball star whose career was sidelined due to injury. Overcoming adversity and the troubles brought upon him by family drama, Goro transforms from an innocent schoolboy into a promising major-league prospect. As is the case with any anime series, it is full of emotion, suspense, and exaggerated hyperbole. Still, baseball is an extremely important sport in Japan, and even Western fans will want to watch this genre-defining sports anime.

9 blow the wind

Unlike most anime adapted from manga, Run with the Wind is a novel adaptation. As its title suggests, the show is about competitive racing. But, as well as the general narrative about the progress of the main characters in its game, it also delves deeper into the mental catharsis of its protagonist, Haiji. Despite having a high school team full of novice runners, Haiji has her sights set on the notoriously difficult University Marathon Relay race in Japan. The team will have to overcome many obstacles along the way to even be able to compete against Japan's best runners, let alone win.

8 ace of diamonds

Ace of Diamonds is the story of Eijun Sawamura, a young pitcher who develops a reputation due to his unusual style. Ambitious and somewhat over-eager, his middle school team loses their final game, but Eijun drives to become an even stronger high school athlete. Eijun's skills earned him a spot at Japan's notorious Seidou High School, though he faced competition from both competing teams and fellow teammates. Although it follows many of the familiar shonen sports anime story beats, it's definitely something any anime fan who also comes to watch baseball needs to check out.

7 Kuroko's Basketball

Fast-paced quarters, dramatic time-outs, high-intensity action—the game of basketball has all the right ingredients to make for a strong and engaging anime series. This explains why so many shows use sports as a narrative device. While Kuroko's Basketball does the same, it adds a layer of eccentricity to the game. There's a lot of surreal dunking, passing and martial arts-centric action. Viewers looking for strategic gameplay and lessons on real-life basketball may not get much from it, but, for shonen anime fans, it fits the bill perfectly.

6Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Some viewers may scoff at "Free!"'s intense fan service, but there's much more to anime than just the beauty of its protagonists. The series' characters are its true heart, all of whom receive relatively balanced development throughout its run. Despite having a fairly predictable premise, Free! keeps viewers captivated with its high-octane swimming competitions and rivalries. Not to mention, since KyoAni is behind the creation of the anime, both the style and quality of its animation make it one of the best looking sports anime ever.

5 Yavara!

Old but as pure as gold, Yavara! It stars the titular teenager Yawara Inokuma, a young judo genius who is being raised by his grandfather, who is also a highly skilled judo instructor. Facing the pressure of competing for a spot in the 1992 Summer Olympics, Yavara must train constantly to meet the demands placed on her by her grandfather, although all she wants to do is live a normal life free of hardcore athletics. Ultimately, Yawara learns to harness her innate talent and gains a new appreciation for the game, though it takes her time. It is a seminal sports anime that is recognized by many as a somewhat overlooked anime gem.

4 Haikyuu

Haikyuu is one of the most popular anime of the modern era, and it has earned its incredible popularity. While its central premise is based on the volleyball adventures of a diminutive protagonist named Hinata, the anime thoroughly explores the backstories of all its characters and never leaves a dull moment. Its on-court volleyball action is so exciting that most of the viewers remain hooked. But, more than that, it is the characters of this anime that allow it to rise above other generic sporting events that are taking over from this genre.

3Yuri!!! on ice

The delicate, beautiful art of ice skating has already been expertly portrayed by Yuri!!! An extraordinary series on ice. However, when it comes to its plot, it's hard not to be captivated by its subtle and brilliant romantic developments. Created by MAPPA Studio, Yuri!!! On Ice focuses on Yuri Katsuki, a once-famous figure skater who struggles to hold on to the sport after losing his peak form. But, with a change in fortunes, his previous performance goes viral, and five-time world champion Victor Nikiforov arrives at his doorstep to give him advice. His journey back to the world stage may not be easy, but, with Victor's support, he can achieve it.


The slam dunk is a classic. As recalled by Sports Illustrated, when it first premiered, it had a massive impact on Japanese culture and helped popularize the sport in the country. What makes Slam Dunk such an epic anime is how it seamlessly switches back and forth between its sports-focused action and the day-to-day high school hijinks of its characters. Along with that, it also focuses heavily on the technicalities of the game and offers several lessons here and there for aspiring basketball players. Its animation style may look a little dated today, but all the other elements easily make up for it.

1 Hajime no Ippo

Originally from the anime anime, even though it follows a typical fight-of-the-week format, the boxing journey of Hajime no Ippo's main character is awe-inspiring. Another aspect of the series that makes it different is the predictability of its boxing matches. No matter how hard a viewer tries to predict the outcomes of their bouts, anime always surprises with their outcomes – just like real sports. For anyone looking for some inspiration to start working out or simply change their life, Ippo's path from being a bully to becoming a boxing professional deserves a chance.

Although they may not be as popular among Western fans, sports anime are an important part of the history of the medium. Classics like Hajime no Ippo and Slam Dunk are influential to all shonen anime in general, even beyond the genre of sports shonen. The Best Sports and Fitness Anime of All Time People use their Let's use the game.

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