The Anime Subgenre Fans Need To Give A Chance

By Nina Phillips | Published

If you’re not into sports in real life, you might think watching people swim or chase a ball in anime isn’t something you’ll connect with. However, sports anime and Shonen, like One Piece and Naruto, have a lot more in common than you think, which is why all anime fans should give the former a try at least once. 

Sports Anime Is Relatable

One of the reasons sports anime will resonate with everyone, even if they’re not huge fans of sports, is because of the themes. A lot of the time, the main characters in these anime have to deal with feelings and emotions that may be hampering their game.

Some of the struggles and feelings you’ll find are common themes in sports anime, including learning how to deal with failure, taking the blame for mistakes, finding the balance between work and fun, or losing the excitement you once had for a hobby or activity. 

Similar Themes To Shonen

Many people can relate to those feelings, and that’s one of the reasons this genre of anime has a wider audience than you might first suspect. The drive to do better and grow is addictive and rarely gets old.

What’s interesting about sports anime is they are a lot more like classic fantasy and Shonen anime. People start with a goal or an affinity for something and pursue their lofty dreams. Along the way, they make friends, grow in strength, and face several challenges. 

Only The Setting Is Changed

The main difference is the setting. Without the setting and strange powers, any sports anime and Shonen series could easily be mistaken for each other. However, in one way, sports anime have an advantage because they show how these powerful characters can just be normal people who work hard to achieve their goals. 

Anyone Can Play Sports

When you watch a show like One Piece, it’s a fun story, but it’s not someone you can aspire to be like since you’re likely not going to become a pirate and don’t have the opportunity to get your hands on Devil Fruits. But someone who has been passionate about basketball their whole life and has to balance school, learn to make friends and be a team player, and fight hard to reach their dreams? Now that’s someone easier to relate to. 

Anime For Each Sport

Are you curious about where to start with sports anime? Haikyu!! is a popular series about volleyball. The show focuses on the tense moments of the game and how to learn to be a team player to win. 

Fun Series New And Old

Kuroko’s Basketball is another popular story that follows a high school basketball team aiming to be the best basketball team in Japan, even if that means taking on former legends. Free! is a show about a swim club and the team trying to become close with people once considered rivals. 

A Whole New Genre To Stream

If you want to see what the fuss is about, check out one of these shows to start. Haikyuu!!, Kuroko’s Basketball, and Free! are all available to watch on Crunchyroll, so you can try them all out and see what you think of sports anime for yourself.