If you've ever browsed series after series in the anime section on your favorite streaming service looking for something to watch, you've probably skipped over quite a few sports anime. Sure, if you love sports, they probably feel a lot more engaging to you than the average viewer. But for the rest of us, we may as well go out and actually play basketball or volleyball or whatever the sport in question is. It'd be just about as entertaining as watching people play it in the show.
Bear with me, though. Some of these sports anime, despite the fact that you may not care for sports or outdoor things or aren't athletic, are actually extremely entertaining. Why? They transcend the activities they're based on and move into some totally gripping territory. They aren't just about simple team-based play. They're about making friends, honing a skill, and the spirit of competition. Need a quick anime fix? Try out one of these five sports anime that won't bore you to tears.
Keijo!!!! is unique in that, technically, it's not about an actual sport. But it's about something that totally should be. Combatants simply race to bump each other off of a platform and into a body of water, like a pool. The only caveat? They can only use their bodies. It's a show that will hook you instantly, as long as you're not one who's squeamish about watching women parade around in swimsuits and assaulting each other with their assets. It's the kind of thing that really makes you wonder, in fact, why there isn't a real-world analog, especially when it's such a simple concept that could be easily mirrored.
Think riding bikes is lame? You've never seen Yowamushi Pedal. Following young otaku Sakamichi Onoda, it's al about some powerful cyclers who join up to form the bicycle racing club at their school. From there on, it gets pretty intense. The hard-working team puts themselves through grueling training to win the Inter-High race. There's bike crashes, stomach pains, and intense character faces in just about every scene. Most of all, it's so gripping you'll forget you're watching a show all about riding bikes. Oh yes, it's that good. Pedestrian? Maybe. Awesome? Absolutely.
Boxing isn't for everyone. But Megalo Box, the spiritual successor to anime classic Ashita no Joe, could very well be. With the swagger of Samurai Champloo and the hip-hop musical flavor from artist Mabanua, it takes place in a future where Megalo Boxing is all the rage. It's just regular boxing, but you do it while wearing a special metal frame that adds some serious oomph to your game. The rich can obviously afford better equipment, but that doesn't stop the poorer folks from improvising, which makes for some amazing and awe-inspiring boxing matches. For fans of old-school action anime, Megalo Box is a must-watch, even if you're not into boxing.
Haikyu!! is all about volleyball, which you might incorrectly assume is just about a bunch of girls running around in the sand since it's anime. You'd be totally wrong, and shame on you for assuming. This series follows junior high school student Shoyo Hinata after he decides he wants to follow in the footsteps of a formidable volleyball player named "Little Giant" and take his newfound talent all the way to the bank, joining a team that truly appreciates his talent and drive, complementing them and working together toward a common goal. It's more than volleyball. It's camaraderie and teamwork, and you'll want to let it wash over you in waves.
You've probably heard of Kuroko's Basketball before, and for good reason. It's an action packed, absolutely excellent drama that explores the story behind the basketball team of Teiko Middle School who absolutely crushed all comes. After graduating, the team's stars headed out to different high schools — but there was another mystery player that people weren't familiar with. That particular player, a high school freshman, is looking to bring his high school into the same realm as the "best in Japan." And it's a real doozy from there. We won't spoil it further for you, but just know it's absolutely worth jumping into.