One genre that is extremely underrated in the anime industry is certainly the sports genre. What many viewers don’t understand is that anime can make anything seem entertaining and that especially pertains to sports. Some of these shows exaggerate sports to the point where you’ll think you’re watching an episode of Dragon Ball Z, but it still manages to be extremely entertaining. Here are three sports anime, that were recently released over the past couple years, that I would definitely recommend.
1) Kuroko no Basket (by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, animated by Production I.G.)
Kuroko no Basket is about Kuroko Tetsuya and his freshman year on the Seirin Basketball team. At first glance, Kuroko seems like a completely useless player. He is below average in physique and is horrible at dribbling and shooting. But it turns out that Kuroko, in middle school, was once apart of an elite group known as the Generation of Miracles. Find out what secret ability Kuroko has in this three-season anime!
2) Free (directed by Hiroko Utsumi, produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do)
Free is an anime that revolves around Haruka Nanase, a young man that has a powerful passion for swimming. In elementary school, he and three friends (Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, Makoto Tachibana) won a competitive tournament through a relay race. Years later, Rin decided that all that matters to him is becoming a better swimmer than Haruka. He even attended a different high-school, leaving Nagisa, Haruka, and Makoto to attempt to create a new swim team with their friend, Rei, called the Iwatobi Swim Club. The anime, at least in the first season, has some fan service, so it might not be enjoyable for all audiences. However, the animation, soundtrack, and story are high quality, which is why it has become an extremely popular anime.
3) Haikyuu (by Haruichi Furudate, animated by Production I.G.)
Haikyuu follows Hinata, a short boy who idols a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant.” He aspires to become a great volleyball ace without height and uses his powerful jumping capabilities, speed, and persistence to make up for his small body. When he first began playing volleyball in middle school, Hinata made a promise that he would defeat the legendary setter named Kageyama after a crushing defeat at a tournament. However, he never expected that Kageyama would become his teammate on the Karasuno High School volleyball team. This anime’s animation, story, soundtrack, and characters are some of the best in animation. Not only does Haikyuu rank as one of the best sports anime, it is also one of the most popular anime in existence.