An anime or manga in which, rather than fighting, the characters play a game or sport. Said game or sport will
be Serious Business
sometimes resulting in physically unwarranted pain, injury or death. Expect a lot of Mundane Made Awesome
. Frequently leads to a Tournament Arc
. Sometimes overlaps with Mons
and To Be a Master
. Because the vast majority of characters are male, sports anime and manga have become synonymous with fangirl
fodder along with otome games
Not to be confused with RPG Anime
- Accel World
- Ahiru No Sora is about basketball.
- Kuroko no Basuke is about Basketball too, but enters in the fanservice territory.
- Aim for the Ace! is about tennis players, about thirty years earlier than The Prince of Tennis.
- Akagi, which is a manga about Mahjong.
- ALL OUT!!, a series about rugby.
- All Rounder Meguru
- Area no Kishi (Knights Of The Area): The story of a high school football club manager who seeks to overcome his fear of inadequacy to once again play the sport he loves.
- Arrow Emblem: Grand Prix no Taka
- Ashita no Joe Its most recent incarnation is a live action film, with the popular Idol Singer Tomohisa "Yamapi" Yamashita playing Joe.
- Attacker You!, an influential Volleyball manga, it inspired lots of girls into playing volley-ball in both Japan and Europe at the time the manga was published and the anime aired.
- Attack No. 1 is the first televised female sports anime ever, about volleyball.
- Ayane's High Kick follows a would-be professional wrestler and her debut in the world of competitive kick-boxing.
- Baby Steps is the tale of a nerdy high-school student who trains to become a tennis player both to prove to himself that he can, and to get closer to the girl that has caught his eye.
- Baki the Grappler is about martial arts.
- Bamboo Blade, which is about kendo.
- Basquash! is about basketball. In 30-foot tall giant robots! It also may be about the jiggle factor.
- Battle B-Daman
- Battle Club is about wrestling. Its also by the same gentleman who wrote Ikki Tousen, so if know anything about that, you probably already have a good idea about what is in this manga.
- Battle Spirits is a card game by Bandai, which spawned several anime series. It did get a limited run in English but Bandai's lack of advertising, and the failure to even bother giving stores the cards to sale led it to be a wasted effort and discontinued in English after only the first set. It's still going strong in Japan though.
- Beach Stars: Is about beach volleyball
- Big Windup - Baseball anime about probably the wimpiest pitcher in history.
- Beyblade, which is about spinning top battling. Yeah.
- Captain Tsubasa is centered around soccer.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard, a more realistic take on card games (at least, when compared to the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime's absurd level of Serious Business).
- The Cherry Project: By Sailor Moon author Naoko Takeuchi, about ice skating.
- Chihayafuru is about karuta, which is basically a card game but the Japanese refer to it as "competitive sport on a tatami."
- Cross Game is about baseball
- Danball Senki is about children (and adults) dueling with each other via futuristic gunpla called LBX. It overlaps somewhat with Humongous Mecha genre but the LBX are still essentially toys.
- Dash Kappei is one of the first parodies of this genre.
- DAYS is about a boy who joins his high schools' soccer team despite never playing soccer before.
- Dear Boys
- Diamond no Ace is about baseball
- Dog Days turns War into a sports festival.
- Dorabase is, as the name suggests, baseball played by robot cats (referenced as ''Dora'' robots cats in the series).
- .hack is probably the Trope Maker in relation to online games. SIGN might be the Ur-Example.
- Duel Masters, something of an Affectionate Parody of Gaming and Sports Anime and Manga, revolves around the titular card game.
- Eyeshield 21 is about American football.
- Free!, AKA "Swimming Anime."
- Future GPX Cyber Formula is about futuristic Formula racing, in which race cars are equipped in AI computers.
- Ganbarist Shun is about a boy training to be an Olympic medalist in gymnastics.
- Giant Killing
- Ginga E Kickoff
- Girl Got Game aka. Power!! is about a girl starting on a new school to join the basket team... disguised as a boy. Why? Her father wanted to become a basket star but got injured, so he wants her to take his place.
- Girls und Panzer — the "sport" here being tank-on-tank combat!
- Haikyuu!! is about volleyball.
- Hajime no Ippo is about Boxing, thus overlapping with Fighting Series - but with a heavy focus on training and rules, it's more about the sport than anything else.
- Harlem Beat, about a basketball team.
- High Score Girl is about an arcade gamer boy who meets an unexpected rival in the form of an Ojou.
- Hikari No Densetsu. A shoujo manga by Izumi Asou, whose main character Hikari Kamijou is a Plucky Girl who wants to be a gymnastics idol. Serialized in Margaret in the late 80's.
- Hikaru no Go is centered around the traditional Japanese board game of Go.
- Hinomaru Zumou is about Sumo Wrestling.
- Hungry Heart: Wild Striker
- IGPX Immortal Grand Prix
- Inazuma Eleven is about fantastical football complete with special moves.
- Initial D: to be a master in illegal mountain pass racing.
- Kaiji, which is about gambling. However, the gambles tend to be games that you wouldn't normally associate with gambling, such as playing rock-paper-scissors.
- Keijo!!!!!!!!, which is about a fictional sport named "Keijo", where women in swimsuits use speed and strength to kick the opponent off a platform floating on the water... and they can only use their bust or butt as weapons.
- Kengan Ashura, Martial Arts in organized, but very shaddy, MMA matches.
- Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho, which is about swimming... and fanservice.
- Kokouno Hito, which uses mountain climbing as a metaphor for social isolation and connections with other people.
- Kurogane (2011) is a manga about Kendo.
- Kyojin No Hoshi (Star of the Giants) Not the first baseball manga ever, but the one everyone remembers (and copied/borrowed from).
- The Legend of Koizumi is about Mahjong.
- Legendz revolves around a Pokémon-esque monster fighting video game. The focus of the series is more on the monsters themselves, but most people in the series (at first) only know about the game and not that the creatures are real.
- Log Horizon takes place in an MMORPG
- Lu's Time is about a group of professional e-sports players who solve conflicts through 1v1 games or team matches.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT has the Nanoha cast dueling through card games.
- Major follows a young baseball prodigy from his days in Little League to the professional leagues.
- Mega Man NT Warrior has Megaman.EXE and his friends destroying viruses on the net. 'Jack in, Megaman. Execute!'
- This one is more of a half example. While Navis can (and often are) used for the "Gaming" aspect of the thing (Net Battles), they are also used for system administration, security, business and just about everything in-between. Being a Gaming Anime, naturally, the Net Battling gets more focus.
- Moero Top Striker, known in France as L'Ecole des Champions (The Champions' School)
- Moshidora: A girl buys Drucker's Management and uses its strategies to apply to baseball.
- Musashi no Ken is about kendo.
- No Game No Life is mostly about classic board games and video games set in an alternate world.
- Nononono is about ski jumping and... loads of squicks... (not the way you would expect, more like in ways... you don't want to see...)
- Notari Matsutarou is about Sumo Wrestling.
- Overdrive It's about cycling, road racing
- Only Sense Online is a Slice of Life series about a Virtual Reality MMORPG player and his adventures in-game.
- Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation is about... Phantasy Star Online 2. This is because the anime adapts the game by featuring it as a game... in the anime. While taking place in the world of the game.
- The Prince of Tennis is about, well, tennis players.
- Princess Army follows a female judoist.
- Princess Nine focuses on an all-girls baseball team attempting to win the (formerly male-only) national high school-level baseball championship.
- Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin: Both Anchan and Mario dream of being boxers. Mario's subplot after escaping the Boys Dormitory centers on him getting his debut match against an American boxer on a U.S. military base.
- Rideback is about Mini-Mecha motorcycle racing, ballet and La Résistance movements against a former La Résistance.
- Rin! is about archery while also being a Boys Love manga.
- Ring Ni Kakero: By Masami Kurumada from Saint Seiya fame.
- Ro-Kyu-Bu! is about basketball.
- Saki is about Mahjong.
- 3-gatsu no Lion centers on the life of a professional shogi player.
- Sayonara Football is about soccer.
- Seishun Hakusho by Kimiko Uehara, a shoujo manga from The '70s in which a girl plays ice hockey and a boy is an ice skater.
- Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! is about pro wrestling.
- selector infected WIXOSS is about a collectable card game that, unusual for its genre, played mostly by female population and features a female protagonist.
- Slam Dunk, which is about (of course) basketball.
- Speed Racer is about racing.
- Swan is about ballet.
- Sword Art Online is about a virtual-reality series of online role-playing adventure games. The original starts by going way too far to achieve success.
- Taisho Baseball Girls also deals with all-girl baseball team, but this time taking place during the Taishō period (e.g. in 1920s Japan).
- Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C 3 Bu focuses on Airsoft.
- Walkure Romanze revolves around competitive jousting.
- Wangan Midnight Similar to Initial D above, but the focus is on highway racing around Tokyo rather than mountain pass racing.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!. The manga featured several different games, most notable being card games (duh), board, dice, and role-playing games. The anime universe settles on the exclusive use of the trading card game Duel Monsters.
- Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl is all about Judo.
- Yowamushi Pedal is about competitive cycling.
- Yuri!!! on Ice is about male figure skating (despite what the title might make you think).