Like many of you, I love anime. And I especially like anime about sports. In this article I would like to tell you about my history and why sports anime interests me the most.
When I was younger (most likely in elementary and middle school), anime was in a good portion of my passion for Japan. I wanted to watch all kinds of genres in the series.
Sports and Anime
Sports and anime have an overlap in my life. As I go into high school, there was soccer and other things that made anime (a big proportion to my love for Japan) a lot less ambitious for me to try. The reason being was that since I started to play soccer more and learned about the other aspects of Japan, anime just started to become a lot less approachable.
Not saying that anime was bad, but since I was more enthusiastic about soccer, it [anime] was in the backseat of my brain. Anime does seem interesting, comical, and inspirational to watch, however; it was really difficult for me to get a grasp of that same passion I had when I was in elementary school.
When I have the opportunity from time to time, I began to go back to anime but I wanted to see it from a different perspective. So rather than going mainstream anime, I would go back into anime by going into sports anime. Since I was interested in sports, especially soccer, I started to watch sports anime series.
Some of my favorite sports anime
- Inazuma Eleven
- Giant Killing
- Kuroko no Basket
- Diamond of Ace
It was really cheesy and corny at first because of the common anime stereotypes and the ecchi moments here and there, but when I started to watch it more and more, the series became more interesting and engaging for me to watch and interact with other anime lovers.
It has gotten to the point that sports anime was the number one genre I constantly watch (besides harem and ecchi series for the guilty pleasures). It correlates my passion for soccer and my love for Japan perfectly.
Inazuma Eleven - One of my Top 5 Anime of all Time
It’s basically why Inazuma Eleven would go down as one of my top 5 favorite anime series of all time.The love and passion for soccer and the representation of Japan altogether was almost the perfect series for me. It was basically the Naruto series and soccer put together.
Plus, because there were tournaments in sports anime, it became even a lot more engaging because tournaments were basically one of my favorite things about sports.
A certain amount of contenders battling it out for a trophy and fame. As a usual thing to do in American media, sports anime do have their underdog stories. However, sports anime was sometimes unique compared to American sports movies, because there were some series where the main characters and their teams kinda sorta not really underdogs.
They were either in the middle of the pact, or one of the teams to beat in a tournament. For example, in Inazuma Eleven, Inazuma Japan (the Japanese national team) were the underdogs in the FFI Internationals (the anime version of the FIFA World Cup).
Diamond of Ace
Whereas in a baseball series Diamond of Ace, Seidou High School was deemed one of the baseball powerhouses in not only in the Kanto region but in the entire nation.
And since it is anime, the main characters (or characters in general) would use their superpowers they got from years from training or from “hereditary traits from their superstar ancestors” to gain the advantages and ultimately win their matches.
Diamond of Ace was an exception since it does deal with the real perspective of high school baseball in Japan and talks about the legendary baseball player Eijun Sawamura.
Strategy in Sports Anime
The most underrated topic in sports anime that appeals to me the most was the strategy teams were using to get the advantage. Even the sleazy and “cheating” ways are more strategic. In sports anime, the tactics that were used were based on not on a player's traits but their mentality and the environments and situations they either prosper at or lack in.
Even if there were players and/or teams that looked like they almost never had a weakness, they would find something either before or during the match to spot a potential weakness. Strategy in sports anime is essential for realism and enjoyment.
Overall, sports anime was deemed the best anime genre in my books, and I do want to watch many sports anime series as I can. For movies... It might take a while for me to catch up on a lot of sports anime movies.
If you want to spread the joy of anime to your friends, here you can read about top 5 anime shows to start your anime journey.