Top 10 Bold & Underrated Sports Anime to Binge.

underrated sports anime

Out of many, the sports anime genre has few selected fanbase and the territory remains unexplored in many ways. The thrilling matches, blood-pumping rivalry, and the fire in the eyes of players are enough to evoke that adrenaline rush.

From the life-taking punches with boxing to heart-thumping chase of football to witness it all, fasten your seatbelts and check out this list of unexplored and underrated Sports anime that are worth watching.

10. Giant Killing

Giant Killing
AiredApr 4, 2010 to Sep 26, 2010
GenresSports, Drama
Streaming PlatformCurrently Unavailable

Are you a great soccer/sports anime fan? If you don’t know where to start then this underrated sports anime might be a great place to start. Giant Killing shows the triumph of underdogs hitting right out of the park.

Japan’s top soccer league has begun and East Tokyo United has lost a few consecutive matches labelling them as the weakest team in the tournament. With their final attempts with different coaches, the team continues to fail.

Enters the eccentric coach Takeshi Tatsumi, once a player of ETU. Despite being a traitor to ETU fans Takeshi takes up the job to kill the Giants of the game.

The soccer anime sums up as addicting, suspenseful, and utter fun. Unlike other anime, Giant Killing shows each character’s development as a team making it more interesting. Despite all fans aren’t aware of it as much.

9. Baby Steps

 Baby Steps
AiredApr 6, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll

Throw out your cliché sports anime and add Baby Steps to your watch list, You won’t be disappointed. The tennis anime shows that hard work is the key to your dreams rather than tricks and motivations.

The story centers around Eiichirou Marou as a tough-worker high school student excelling at his pure work. Soon he discovers the tennis club and within a few times, he becomes fascinated by the game.

Despite his monotonous life, Eiichirou meets another Tennis enthusiast and learns what it is like to have a dream. Eiichirou develops his skills and levels up his new style of tennis.

The art style might push away you but get past it and you will be rewarded with a great anime. The engaging storyline and cliffhangers will rush you to reach the end.

8.The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis
AiredOct 10, 2001 to Mar 23, 2005
GenresSports, Drama
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll

While the manga had one of the best impacts on the Japanese audience, The anime version of The Prince of Tennis didn’t despite its good quality. A lot of people overlooked it due to J.C. staff’s involvement in it.

Ryouma Echizen, the infamous tennis prodigy has returned from America at his father’s request. Aiming for the middle school tennis club, he still aspires to be the best tennis player in the world.

As he gets involved in the tennis club after convincing of his skills, the team begins to climb the success ladder but the enemy teams are no joke. They must decode rivals’ tactics to win.

The tennis anime doesn’t outplay the screen time on the court it also follows the out-of-court bonding and training to relate with the fans.

7. Big Windup

Big Windup
AiredApr 13, 2007 to Sep 28, 2007
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll, Funimation

If you can find beauty in baseball, then Big Windup is a gem for you but If you don’t know anything about baseball then it will teach you how to love it. That’s how good it is.

Ren Mihashi has always doubted his pitching qualities and suffered from the bullying of his teammates. The low self-esteem and the team’s morale never allowed them to win.

Upon his new arrival in another school, Ren has no reason to look at baseball but his fate winds him up into the baseball team. As the Catcher of the team recognizes his abilities, the two try to hone his skills.

The slice-of-life elements let you relate to many plots if you have grown up regretting something. Dive into this underrated sports anime with curiosity and it is fruitful.

6. Cross Game

Cross Game
AiredApr 5, 2009 to Mar 28, 2010
GenresSports, Drama, Romance
Streaming PlatformCurrently Unavailable

Looking for an anime filled with sports, drama, and romance subtext? Cross Game is a perfect match. The baseball anime with a great opening leaves you smiling throughout the entire series.

Meet Kou Kitamura and Aoba Tsukashima the two rivals despite they are family friends. Kou Kitamura never liked the game of baseball but has exceptional batting quality.

On the other hand, Aoba is a great pitcher and her family owns the only sports shop in the area. Here is the fun part Kou dates Aoba’s elder sister Wakaba. But Aoba and Kou’s conflicts make her worried.

The anime defies the tag of any particular genre regardless of blending comedy and slice-of-life elements into it. The relaxing and slow-paced anime is a refreshing one to watch and yes an underrated one.

5. Chihayafuru

Aired Oct 5, 2011 to Mar 28, 2012
GenresSports, Drama
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll, Netflix

Have you ever heard of the game Katura? Well, that’s the exact reason Chihayafuru is on the list of underrated sports anime. Don’t let the first impression of the shojo/josei type ruin this impeccable card game show.

Meet Chihaya Ayase and her newfound passionate sport of Karuta, a card game where the opponents read special poems with their excellent memory and agility. Soon along with her classmates, she aims to become queen of Karuta.

Chihaya decides to start a Karuta club in her middle school With a few newcomers and her improved skills she targets to win Omi Shrine’s National Championship.

Chihayafuru is so under the radar anime that a lot of people passed it over just because the premise just doesn’t excite them. Stick to it and slowly you will be under its spell.

Ping Pong The Animation
AiredApr 11, 2014 to Jun 20, 2014
GenresSports, Drama
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll

While many shows cater to fan service, few rare anime sticks to originality, and Ping Pong is one of them. The amount of satisfaction and contentment you can find in just 11 episodes is just unmatchable.

Peco and Smile are polar opposites yet their common love for the ping pong binds their unbreakable bond. While Peco is overconfident with his skills, Smile seems to question his skills at each step of life.

When Peco challenges an ex-international player to the game, his loss is brutal and makes him question his existence and on the other hand, a famous coach tries to train smile. Will they conquer the game of Ping Pong?

The unorthodox animation mostly throws people away and is forced to become one of the underrated sports anime. But its peculiar animation retains its originality from others.

3. One Outs 

One Outs
AiredOct 8, 2008 to Apr 1, 2009
GenresSports, Suspense
Streaming PlatformCurrently Unavailable

Winner takes all. This is the universal rule of Battle.” This word sums up this underrated sports anime. One Outs focuses on the game of baseball and the gambling around it.

Toua Tokichi is a prodigy when it comes to the game of baseball and has 499 consecutive victories under his name in the One Outs Game. One out allows the batter and pitcher to face each other head-on.

When a struggling team batter spots him badly wants him in the team to get him onboard. But that could only happen if he could defeat Toua in this game who is undefeated.

The kick-ass baseball anime never gets you bored watching Toua in action. The gripping drama and nail-biting matches will keep you watching it at odd hours. The popularity around it might surprise you leading to the list.

2. Ashita No Joe

Ashita No Joe
AiredApr 1, 1970 to Sep 29, 1971
GenresSports, Drama
Streaming PlatformCurrently unavailable

The most epic sports anime from the era of the 70s that remains unexplored by many due to its period. Ashita No Joe not only shows boxing sports but how it changes a person both physically and emotionally.

The timeless tale tells the story of Joe Yabuki and his troubled youth filled with anguish and fights. Self-learned fighting skills lead him into many brawls and leave him bruised.

One time a former and drunk boxing coach sees his potential and decides to train him but Joe takes it as a joke until the coach rescues him from a fight. Joe gets introduced to the art of boxing. Will he be disciplined or run back to his old days?

Even though the graphics and animation don’t match the standards of the present the storyline thrives among today’s so-called overrated anime.

1.Hajime No Ippo

Hajime No Ippo
AiredOct 4, 2000 to Mar 27, 2002
Streaming PlatformCrunchyroll

Boxing Fans!!! Assemble, the savor is here. Hajime no Ippo is considered one of the best sports anime yet so underrated. The journey of the professional boxer presents drama, romance, and also a poignant backstory.

Ippo Makonouchi and his fatal fate threw him into the cage of constant bullying. Being the only person to earn, he takes care of his mother after his father’s. The relentless work of fishing makes him stink and an easy target.

One such incident introduces Ippo to an upcoming professional boxer. Upon discovering Ippo’s powerful punches everyone is astonished and ready to give Ippo a chance in this combat sport.

Despite being a long-running manga and anime, it never failed to bore with any repetitive tropes or story. Just Don’t judge this anime by its cover or should say its genre. It is a masterpiece.


A voracious reader and anime nerd, always geeking about enormous metaphors hidden in Books and Anime. I am also trying to write my first book as well as enjoying sharing experience with an audience.

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