Hey Otaku, Today, we’re going to talk about sports anime. Since a lot of people like basketball, we chose to talk about basketball anime series.
We’ve made a list of basketball anime shows that follow the “never give up” and “work hard to get what you want” philosophies.
These sports anime shows aren’t just one type of show because they cover so many different sports and have different themes like slice of life, thriller, and “zero to hero.”
So, here is a list of what we think are the best basketball anime shows to watch.
- 15. Dash Kappei
- 14. Breakers
- 13. Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu
- 12. Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5
- 11. Barangay 143
- 10. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops
- 9. I’ll CKBC
- 8. Dash! Kappei
- 7. Dear Boys
- 6. Ro-Kyu-Bu!
- 5. Basquash!
- 4. Buzzer Beater
- 3. Ahiru no Sora
- 2. Slam Dunk
- 1. Kuroko No Basketball
15. Dash Kappei
Here’s an anime about basketball that came out in 1981 and had 65 episodes.
The ecchi comedy in Dash Kappei is at its best.
The story is about Kappei Sakamoto, a high school student who is so short (he is less than a metre tall!) that he plays basketball like a god.
Even though Kappei’s reason for playing is strange: he found out that the team’s coach wears white ties.
In a funny way, it’s also his biggest flaw, since he can’t stop looking at those underwear!
Dash Kappei is funny and full of out-of-this-world jokes (like Kappei getting stronger by wearing underwear and winning games with strange strategies).
However, he does try to take basketball seriously by explaining some game terms in each episode.
So you might like this one even if you don’t know much about basketball.
This basketball anime is based on humans having the power to release their potential under various conditions.
Breakers came out this year and is about the paralympics, a part of sports that isn’t often covered in popular media.
This anime shows four sports: goal ball, paralympic swimming, track, and wheelchair basketball.
The main highlight of the first episode was wheelchair basketball, which did show how exciting (and talented) para-athletes can be.
It’s a fun look at a different kind of basketball that most people wouldn’t think of. It’s a unique show to watch for sure.
13. Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu
Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu is an anime special that came out in 2017. It might make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The 2011 Tohoku earthquake is thought to have killed a lot of people. A shocking 15,899 people died because of this disaster.
The Onagawa Junior High girls basketball team keeps playing, which shows how strong they are. Even if there are only five regular players left.
I think the best anime are those that make me think.
And Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu shines brightly because of the love of the game.
12. Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5
Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5 is a rare anime that comes next.
This movie, which came out in Korea in 1995, shows a lesson that everyone in basketball knows: it’s all about working together.
The movie shows Kim Youngwoong’s journey to becoming the best basketball player in his country.
Even though the biggest schools know about him and want to get him, Youngwoong decides to join a small school.
It’s partly because of what Youngwoong’s coach told him, and it’s also because Youngwoong is a better player when he’s around other players who want to win.
It’s interesting to see how basketball has changed different countries in Asia.
Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5 made a lot of noise in the area. At the time, the Korean University basketball team sang the movie’s theme song.
11. Barangay 143
Now, this anime series isn’t very well-known (relatively, since it’s shown all over the world on a Filipino channel). It was also shown again on TV not too long ago.
Barangay 143 looked at street basketball from the point of view of a Filipino.
The show is about Bren Park, a basketball player from Korea whose family is from the Philippines. He joins a streetball team in his hometown.
In addition to the games, Bren learns more about the culture of the Philippines.
He also learns how important it is to follow your own dreams.
Even though Barangay 143 was made by a Filipino animation studio and TV Asahi, there are some strange things about the dubbing and animation.
Even if you leave those things out, you’ll still get an interesting sports anime that shows how important basketball is in Asia.
10. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops
This basketball anime follows Hagino Yuzuru an ordinary girl at Houjou High School.
Even though it is a sports anime, it doesn’t have to be all shounen.
The shoujo anime Mitsu x Mitsu Drops Honey x Honey Drops is about basketball games.
This strange master-slave system is in place at Houjou Academy.
A “slave,” also called “honey,” must do what her master tells her to do. In exchange, a honey doesn’t have to pay any tuition.
It’s strange, but it’s anime, so…
Kai Renge is the best player on the basketball team at Houjou Academy. He is also Hagino Yuzuru’s master. He is a student who is having trouble paying for school.
In this series, the best part of basketball is that the loser has to give up his honey.
Mitsu x Mitsu Drops only had two episodes (the OVA came out in 2006), but it did show an interesting way that basketball can be used in romantic stories.
9. I’ll CKBC
This anime shows how important it is for a group to get along.
I’ll/CKBC is an OVA that came out in 2003 with two episodes.
It has two main characters: Akane Tachibana, the hard-working player, and Hitonari Hiiragi, the superstar with natural talent.
This really short but still fun anime shows that teams can win games if they work well together.
This OVA is worth watching because of the basketball scenes.
But since there are only two episodes, you can expect to get a lot of information all at once. Still, it’s great for a quick watch.
8. Dash! Kappei
This basketball anime is about Kappei, a dramatically short guy who is a master in every sport.
He lives as a guest in sweet Akane’s house, and he’s in love with her, but there’s a strange rival, her dog Salomone (Italian name), who plans evil traps to encumber Kappei.
But the dog also has another function: he explains all sports rules when a new sport is depicted. Kappei is fond of white female underwear, always trying to lift girls’ skirts up.
7. Dear Boys
This anime is fun to watch if you like a more focused look at basketball ideas.
Dear Boys is like any other shonen anime about an underdog.
Aikawa Kazuhiko is thought to be one of the best high school basketball players in Japan. When he decided to switch to Mizuho High School, he shocked the sports world.
That school isn’t really a place where people can win.
Still, the young star gets stronger by taking charge and leading a group of oddballs. He wants to win the Inter-High basketball tournament.
Even though the story will slowly grow on you, don’t be too harsh on the animation in this show. Some of the CG seems to be done very badly.
Here’s a change of pace. The best parts of loli and basketball anime come together in Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Who would have thought to combine them…
Basically, it’s an anime about a guy named Hasegawa Subaru, who used to play basketball but quit because of a strange scandal. No hints yet, you should watch it first.
Ro-Kyu-Bu! is based on the idea that you can still play hoop even if you aren’t allowed to.
Subaru is now coaching a team of young girls, and in order for the team to win games, she has to teach them the basics.
It might not have as much action as other basketball shows. But Ro-Kyu-Bu! is a winner in both the cute and cutesy categories.
Basquash!, a game that came out in 2009, is an example of a different way to play basketball.
Games played with mechas, to be exact. Very Japanese.
In the show, the games are usually played in huge arenas and are called “Big Foot Basketball” (BFB).
When Dan, the main character of the series, crashed a Big Foot Streetball game, he didn’t mean to make it famous.
In this anime, things are very different.
When things get hard for Dan and his crew, you can expect a lot of mecha upgrades, in addition to the amazing animation.
Also, keep an eye out for some out-of-this-world product placements. For example, the Nike swoosh logo can be seen on the feet of several mecha.
4. Buzzer Beater
In the near future, Hideyoshi is a homeless boy who lives in New York. He makes money by beating other kids in basketball games.
But now he’s on a professional team with a very different goal. There was once a time when people were the best at basketball.
But times have changed, and now the game is mostly played by physically stronger aliens. There aren’t many human players left.
But Hideyoshi’s team, which is the first all-human team to play in the Space League, wants to change all that and bring the championship back to Earth.
3. Ahiru no Sora
Ahiru no Sora just came out in late 2019, and it’s already making waves in the basketball anime world.
In shonen, the story of the underdog is a mainstay.
But Ahiru no Sora seems to do this in a really new way. Most basketball fans around the world can relate to the main character, Sora Kurumatani.
He wasn’t given the gift of height.
Even so, he doesn’t stop trying to be the best.
Ahiru no Sora has great basketball action and great plot drama. It also has a very colourful cast of characters.
Sora’s team is made up of a mishmash of criminals.
2. Slam Dunk
Sakuragi Hanamichi is a junior high punk used to getting into fights and being rejected by girls but upon entering high school he meets the girl of his dreams, Haruko Akagi.
He will do anything in order to win her heart including joining the school basketball team that is aiming to conquer the nation led by Haruko’s brother.
The problem is that Sakuragi has never played basketball before, and a freshman sensation is stealing the spotlight and Haruko’s affection from him.
Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi (OVA)
Some spoilers are coming up, so if you don’t want to know much about the OVA but still want to see Slam Dunk, go look at this instead. I promise it will be good!
One thing that makes Slam Dunk such a great anime is that the good guys don’t always win.
So it is with the Shohoku team.
After they lost to Kainan High, Sakuragi was determined to become a better player, which is why he got a haircut at the end of the series.
This 1995 movie tells about the game Shohoku played right after their terrible loss to Kainan.
Coach Anzai’s decision to have his team play against another tough opponent may be the best way for Shohoku to get better, given how important it is to build team chemistry, even after a loss.
It also seems to show how much a strong opponent can help you.
In the same way that Slam Dunk did, this movie gives an even-handed look at basketball and life lessons.
Maybe that’s why Slam Dunk is so popular in the first place: it’s an anime series that almost anyone from any background can relate to.
1. Kuroko No Basketball
Once upon a time, a team of basketball prodigies rose to the top by demolishing all competition.
This team became known as the Generation of Miracles, as they are all in the same year group and they were considered children of miracles.
After junior high school ended, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams.
However, a fact few people know is that there was another player accompanying the Generation of Miracles, a Phantom Sixth Man.
This mysterious player is now a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, yet a little-known, team.
Tetsuya Kuroko, the sixth man formerly with the Generation of Miracles, and Taiga Kagami, a naturally talented player who spent most of junior high school in America, are aiming to bring Seirin to the top of Japan, taking on Kuroko’s old teammates one by one.
Kuroko no Basket: Last Game (OVA)
“Last Game” is one of the most well-known OVAs based on the Kuroko no Basket world.
It shows how great it would be if the best people in the series worked together.
And we’re talking about the very best!
Kuroko’s old team from “Generation of Miracles” and Kagami agreed to play as a single team against a US streetball group that was visiting Japan.
This movie shows what makes Kuroko no Basket famous: the exciting basketball action and weird special moves.
Also, fans do have a great time with Kuroko no Basket: Last Game.
The Generation of Miracles probably won’t play together again, so this is a very special time for basketball anime.