10 Best Anime Fans Will Never Believe Are About Sports

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Summary Sports anime can focus on activities that aren’t traditionally considered sports, like Karuta and Shogi, but still highlight competition and sports-style structures.
Salaryman’s Club is a youth-blasted badminton anime set in the corporate world, showing the protagonist’s struggle to balance his dreams and his realities.
Prince of Stride is a unique sports anime that combines the explosiveness of sprinting with the dexterity of obstacle course running, resembling modern-day parkour.
The best sports anime that fans will never believe are about sports focus on activities ranging from tabletop games to poetry, with athletic elements slipping seamlessly into the background. Despite this, the anime with seemingly inconsequential sports focuses will start to show its competitive colors once the main characters delve deeper into the essence of the respective sports.
The question of what makes a sports anime a sports anime is rather ambiguous. There are a plethora of series about mainstream sports, such as basketball, soccer, tennis, and even boxing. But with the release of series such as Chihayafuru and March Comes in Like a Lion, anime about Karuta and Shogi, respectively, the line becomes less clear. Although these games are not traditionally labeled as sports, the series are undoubtedly sports anime purely due to the elevated competitive framing and the sports-style structures such as team play and tournament arcs.
Related 10 Best Sports Anime of All Time Sports anime are some of the most compelling in the medium, but only a few are great enough to be called the best (and have major impacts on sports).
10 Salaryman’s Club Meditates on Work-Life Balance
Original series directed by Yamuchi Aimi
Release Year: 2022 Episodes: 12 Where to Stream: Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video
Salaryman’s Club, or Ryman’s Club for short, is an anime produced by Liden Films, and is nothing like what its title implies, as it’s a youth-blasted sports anime taking place in the heart of corporate Japan. The series follows badminton genius, Shiratori Mikoto, as he wades through the waters of salaryman life, an occupation that his dreams of playing badminton professionally forced him to take on.
Mikoto joins the Sunlight Beverage corporate badminton team, but unlike how it sounds, there are competitions held on a professional level, and the anime implies that working as a corporate peon during the day and practicing for cross-company sponsored tournaments by night is the only way to make a living as a professional badminton player. From personal growth to teammate bonding, Mikoto enters a fresh world of balancing his dreams and his realities.
WATCH ON Crunchyroll
9 Prince of Stride Has School-Sanctioned Parkour
Based on the manga by Sogabe Shuji and Arai Teruko
Release Year: 2016 Episodes: 12 Where to Stream: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Tubi
Prince of Stride: Alternative is a short sports anime series produced by studio Madhouse, known for hit series such as Death Note, Hunter x Hunter, and the most recent Frieren. Compared to these big-name series, Prince of Stride rather takes a quiet, but action-packed backseat, but sports anime fans looking for something fresh will inevitably find this series.
Prince of Stride is an anime focusing on the sport of

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