Arria’s Recommended 15 Often Overlooked Sports Anime

In another post of mine, I shared with you “15 Anime You Need to Watch  Before You Can Call Yourself a Sports Anime Fan” listing 15 of the most influential sports anime, in my opinion.  Today’s post features 15 of my recommended sports anime that are often overshadowed by my previous 15 list.

Arria’s Recommended 15 Often Overlooked Sports Anime
(arranged in alphabetical order)

1. Akagi (アカギ)
Even after watching this mahjong anime, I still have no idea how to play the game.  Nevertheless, my lack of mahjong knowledge didn’t hinder my viewing experience.  This is such a well-made psychological series, in my opinion.  I love how it makes me think and guess what’s going to happen next.  If this is a book, it’ll definitely be a page-turner.  It is dark, crass, and violent yet utterly absorbing.  It’s about gambling, threats, violence, and the yakuza.  I don’t recommend this to people who aren’t mature enough, that’s for sure.  The art style is not the most appealing, but it fits the foreboding atmosphere of the series.  Based on the manga Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai (アカギ 〜闇に降り立った天才〜 / Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness) by Fukumoto Nobuyuki (福本伸行).

akagi anime

2. Area no Kishi (エリアの騎士 / The Knight in the Area)
I’m still disappointed that there are still no plans to make a second season for this anime since the first one aired in 2012.  The premise is like the sports version of Angel Heart where a heart transplant causes the recipient to gain the memories and even the skills of the donor.  It’s a very interesting series with exciting soccer matches and, ahem,  ecchi fan service scattered here and there.  The anime definitely left me wanting for more.  Fortunately the manga is still ongoing.  But I still want a second season!!! 😦 Based on the manga written by Hiroaki Igano (伊賀大晃) and illustrated by Tsukiyama Kaya (月山可也).

area no kishi anime

3. Bamboo Blade (バンブーブレード)
Although I enjoyed this anime, it doesn’t rank high on my personal sports anime list.  It’s so-so, I guess.  But I feel the girl power—Wohoo!—which is cool.  Unlike most sports anime that I watch, it didn’t really make me interested in the sports it’s about, in this case kendo.  It’s worth watching if you want something to pass the time, but it can be quite forgettable.  Based on the manga written by Totsuka Masahiro (土塚理弘) and illustrated by Igarashi Aguri (五十嵐あぐり).

bamboo blade anime

4. Chihayafuru (ちはやふる)
This series was quite a surprise for me.  I had no idea what in the world karuta was before watching it.  It sounded like a boring game, but the series’ execution made it super interesting.  The art style is beautiful and the characters are likeable.  It can also be quite romantic (ehehehe~) and it made me cry which is quite an accomplishment.  The atmosphere is more shoujo/josei compared to most sports series that have strong shounen/seinen feel.  Definitely worth watching!  Based on the manga by Suetsugu Yuki (末次由紀).

chihayafuru

5. Dear Boys (ディア・ボーイズ)
It doesn’t reach the level of Slam Dunk or even Kuroko no Basuke, but this basketball anime is worth watching.  I remember fangirling and crushing on the boys.  Ehehehe~ I also feel the girl power, despite this anime being about “Dear Boys”.  The matches are exciting and the characters themselves are fascinating.  It’s more serious and dramatic than Slam Dunk and less outrageous than Kuroko no Basuke.  It holds its own, so it’s worth a watch.  Based on the manga by Yagami Hiroki (八神 ひろき).

dear boys anime

6. Ganba! Fly High (ガンバ! Fly High)
This series is quite old.  You may be turned off by its old animation style, but I think that its worth watching.  There are so many laugh-out-loud moments that I still chuckle whenever I remember them.  It’s not the best sports anime, but it’s guaranteed to entertain especially if you’re interested in competitive gymnastics.  Based on the manga written by Morisue Shinji (森末慎二) and illustrated by Kikuta Hiroyuki (菊田洋之).

ganba fly high manga

7. Giant Killing (ジャイアントキリング)
I enjoyed this anime while it lasted, but it’s not wow-inducing, if you know what I mean.  It’s interesting and entertaining, but it didn’t really satisfy me.  I was expecting something that didn’t come.  It was disappointingly lukewarm all throughout.  Perhaps it’s because I watched more amazing sports anime than this, but I still wanted something more from this series.  Still a good anime, though.  Based on the manga written by Tsunamoto Masaya (綱本将也) and illustrated by Tsujitomo (ツジトモ).

giant killing

8. Ginban Kaleidoscope (銀盤カレイドスコープ)
A skating anime that managed to make me laugh like a lunatic and cry like a baby (not at the same time, mind you).  You don’t see a lot of ice skating anime, you know, at least I don’t.  This anime is super funny, ridiculous, yet romantic and tragic at the same time.  If you’re a hardcore shounen/seinen sports anime fan, this shoujo sports series might not appeal to you, but it’s still a good idea to keep it in mind.  What do you know?  You might end up enjoying it.  Just saying.  Based on the light novel series written by Kaibara Rei (海原 零) and illustrated by Suzuhira Hiro (鈴平ひろ).

ginban kaleidoscope

9. Initial D (頭文字D)
Oh my gosh.  This is one of my super-duperest favourite sports anime ever!  It’s so awesome and so exciting!  It’s a series about illegal street racing on mountain passes in Japan.  It just ended last year, but let me tell you that I’ve been a fan of this series for a decade now.  Based on the manga by Shigeno Shūichi (しげの 秀一).

86 drift - initial d

Recommended Post:  The Legend of INITIAL D Ends But My Decade-Long Fandom Remains

10. Kaiji (カイジ)
Another gambling anime which is not surprising given that it’s created by the same mangaka as Akagi.  I personally like Akagi better but Kaiji is still good.  If you’re interested in watching these gambling anime, I recommend watching Akagi first because it’s better in putting you into the mood.  Experience the most intense first.  Based on the manga Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ / Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji) by Fukumoto Nobuyuki (福本伸行).

kaiji

11. Kaleido Star (カレイドスター)
I remember watching this in high school.  It’s like an anime version of Cirque du Soleil.  Like Ginban Kaleidoscope, it’s also a romantic shoujo which may not appeal to hardcore shounen sports anime fans.  It’s a cute series, but there are also serious moments.  I think that this is a more entertaining anime to watch than Ganba! Fly High if you’re interested in gymnastics.  However, it’s not as realistic because it introduces a magical element.  You’ll know what I mean if you watch it.

kaleido star

12. One Outs (ワンナウツ)
This anime is very similar to Akagi when it comes to their dark, violent, and psychological atmosphere.  Both of them heavily portray the world of gambling.  Like Akagi, I don’t recommend this to viewers who aren’t mature enough.  The protagonist in One Outs is like the devil incarnate in terms of appearance and personality, although I do find him oddly attractive.  It’s distinctly different to the more mainstream baseball anime like Daiya no A and Major.  If you want something more adult than most mainstream sports anime, I highly recommend this series.  I do admit that it’s an acquired taste, though.  Based on the manga by Kaitani Shinobu (甲斐谷忍).

one outs

13. Ookiku Furikabutte (おおきく振りかぶって / Big Windup!)
This is one of the sports anime that I like re-watching again and again.  It’s an adorable series that has a lot of exciting possibilities for fujoshi.  Oh my.  My fujoshi sensibilities are stirring.  But putting my shounen-ai interest aside, Ookiku Furikabutte is a great baseball anime that is unfortunately often overshadowed by more popular series like Daiya no A and Major.  Perhaps it’s because the characters are more boyish and don’t have the gorgeous characteristics of bishies we fangirls so love.  I’m still hoping that the rest of the manga will be adapted into anime.  Oh please!  Based on the manga by Higuchi Asa (ひぐち アサ).

ookiku furikabutte

14. Over Drive (オーバードライヴ)
An interesting anime about bicycle racing.  It introduced me to Tour de France and similar international bicycle races.  I think it’s more realistic in its portrayal of this sport than Yowamushi Pedal, but I personally like YowaPeda more.  I watched this as a teen and I remember enjoying it so much that I marathoned it in one night.  It’s just 26 episodes, so it’s not that big of a time investment.  Try it.  Based on the manga by Yasuda Tsuyoshi (安田 剛士).

over drive

15. Saki (咲-Saki-)
This is like the kid version of Akagi and Kaiji.  It does have serious and even dark moments, but certainly doesn’t reach the intensity of Akagi nor Kaiji.  Also if you’re into yuri, Saki may appeal to you.  It’s interesting that a mahjong series would have such a kawaii-moe-chibi art style as this.  I personally am not too fond of it, but it’s still entertaining.  Based on the manga by Kobayashi Ritz (小林立).

saki anime


Which of these anime have you watched?  Which of these are you planning to watch?  Do you agree with this list?

I’m aware that there are more overlooked sports series than included in this list.  These 15 are series that I personally finished watching and doesn’t include those that I’m not done watching yet, such as Moshidora and Hikaru no Go.  More sports anime list is coming up soon.

That’s all for today, folks!  Thanks for reading.  Have a great day.  Keep on watching sports anime.  Cheers!

-Arria

Links:
Akagi Anime at NTV (Japanese)
Area no Kishi Anime at TV Asahi (Japanese)
Bamboo Blade Official Anime Website (Japanese)
Chihayafuru Anime at NTV (Japanese)
Giant Killing Anime at NHK (Japanese)
Ginban Kaleidoscope Anime at TV Tokyo (Japanese)
Kaiji Anime at NTV (Japanese)
One Outs Anime at NTV (Japanese)
Ookiku Furikabutte Official Website (Japanese)
Over Drive Anime at TV Tokyo (Japanese)
Saki Official Anime Website (Japanese)


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99 thoughts on “Arria’s Recommended 15 Often Overlooked Sports Anime”

  1. Hi Arria, apart from Kuroko no basuke and Haikyuu, I have never really watched any sports anime. I guess this could be a good start for that. And yes, I hope you would continue to follow by manga-based articles and considering you have considerable knowledge I’m hoping you will point out good/bad things about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sports anime are like my comfort food. They’re my go-to genre whenever I don’t feel like watching any new series. They never fail to motivate. I hope you find something to your liking from this list and my other list about the more popular sports anime.
      And of course! I will. Thanks very much for dropping by and commenting. I appreciate it. Cheers!

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      1. I started watching Chihayafuru. And I quite like it now. Could you write about good comedy manga/anime? I have read Horimiya and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. But finding it difficult to go beyond that. Share the link if you had already written about them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good for you. “Chihayafuru” was a big surprise for me. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I have not written any list of recommendations in the comedy genre. Will probably do that in the near future.

        Comedy is such a broad genre. There are a lot of series falling under this category. Perhaps you might like Ouran, if you haven’t watched/read it yet? It’s very funny and it has romance. Gintama is also super funny, but it’s more on parody and fantasy. You might also like Watashi ga Motete Dousunda. It’s super funny, especially if you like BL. Koi Dano Ai Dano is really good, too. Skip Beat is super funny as well. Well, exactly what kind of comedy do you like? Do you like rom-com? Or more on the slapstick category? Or perhaps just anything that makes you laugh in general?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have read Ouran, Skip beat, Koi dano Ai Dano. Gintama, I’m yet to get used to the kind of comedy. I’m looking for something like Horimiya and Gekkan Shojo Nozoki-kun in rom-coms. I also like Tanaka kun wa itsumo kedaruge and The Devil becomes a part-timer shounen comedy. It is super funny.
        So I’m looking for something that would make go LOL and I do not mind genres. Is there something you can recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmmmm. That’s pretty broad but I’ll try. How about Watashi ga Motete Dousunda? It just had an anime adaptation. It’s pretty funny. Another funny one is Oresama Teacher. Hmmmm. Sakamoto desu ga is also hilarious…there’s a good anime adaptation for it. If you’re okay with dark humour (and I mean “dark”), try Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei. The anime is pretty good, but it’s not for everyone, I must admit. Hmmmmm. There’s a lot of series that can be categorized as comedy, so it’s kind of difficult to recommend without specific requirements. But perhaps you’ll like something from what I shared. Let me know.

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  2. No wonder that most of these animes are underrated, I only know Chihayafuru and one outs. But out of them, only Chihayafuru was able to impress me. One outs had a much psychological sense, but to be honest unlike most thrilling and psychological anime, in one outs every time the main character won. That thing actually was not appreciated by me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy sports anime, so I really go out of my way to watch a lot of them. Of course I haven’t watched all of them but those ones are still on my to-watch list. It’s only a matter of time before I watch them.
      Initial D is my most favourite in this list. It’s just so bad-ass. The art & animation drastically improves with every stage. It’s definitely worth a try.

      Same here. I wasn’t really expecting Chihayafuru to impress me that much. I had no idea what karuta was before I watched the show. It looks like a boring card game, but the anime made it look so intense and physical. Great execution. The art also looks nice.
      Ahaha! Yes. One outs is definitely an acquires taste. Theni if you didn’t like it that much, I guess that you won’t like Akagi, the mahjong anime. It’s much darker than One Outs. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be great! The art and animation style of First Stage are not the greatest, but the story and the races are superb. It gets better after every stage. Anyway, I hope that you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. To be honest; I only know Chihayafuru in this list. I watched it by recommendation because I wanted to watch something about japanese culture or sport.

    I think Chihayafuru has to be the anime that has surprised me the most. I wasn’t expecting too much at the beginning – it was a wonderful anime and I hope they’ll animate the other chapters too. The manga is still ongoing after all!
    The anime made me very curious about the game itself. I don’t care about the romance at all, it’s the game that made me stick with the anime laugh And I especially love the main trio and Sudo.

    Btw. I LOVE the ending song Soshite Ima.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just watched the second season myself. I’m with you that they should adapt the rest of the manga into anime. I still don’t understand that much about the mechanics of karuta, but it doesn’t really matter to me because the show itself is entertaining. Oh no. What? You don’t care about the romance? I’m the opposite. I want more development in that area. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing your experiences of watching this series.

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  4. This is a very good list. I must admit, I didn’t expect to see One Outs and Initial D on that list and I’m glad they both made it. I haven’t watched the anime but the manga was great and if that’s anything to go by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Really? “Initial D” is actually a super favourite of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been following it for so many years now that I was shocked when it ended. As for “One Outs”, it’s not a favourite but it’s good and makes me feel more a little adult. Hope you get to watch the anime. 😉
      Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only read them more recently. Haven’t got around to finishing initial D. I like the old school feel it’s got. And one outs is a immense psychological welfare in a sports drama so I can’t not like it. But very adult indeed. It was my pleasure. Keep writing this well and I won’t be able to help myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see, but at least you’re aware of them. It’s such a shame that not that many people are aware of them, or if they are aware of them, they’re not interested in giving them a chance. I hope that you get to finish Initial D. It’s not the BAM ending that I was hoping, but it was satisfying. I agree with “One Outs”. If you like psychological warfare in sports, perhaps you’ll like “Akagi” or maybe even “Kaiji”. They’re darker than “One Outs”. Thanks again! I’ll be reading more of your posts as well, especially the ONE PIECE ones. It’s my #1 fave series, after all.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kaiji is not a mahjong anime, but a gambling anime in general. I quite liked how visceral Kaiji was but after watching Kaiji and Kaiji 2 I felt all of Kaiji’s efforts kind of went no where (unless you count having some good friends, which I do). I didn’t really want to get into that whole experience again so I haven’t watched Akagi.
    I haven’t heard about half the animes on list before, but if it’s ice skating I’m probably going to avoid it like the plague. (‘><)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What?! But “Akagi” is awesome. But I agree that it’s an acquired taste. I personally like it. It’s so dark. And for the ice skating, it’s good. But I have a feeling you won’t like it. Are you alright with romance series? Because “Ginban Kaleidoscope” has strong romance aspect in it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I personally am not interested in romance because it never resolves the way I want it to. and Inuyasha’s sub-plot of romance totally put me off romance. I just don’t find romance to be that compelling because it should be simpler than the animes and other media’s portrayal of it

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    1. Oh! That’s so interesting. I personally didn’t like it that much, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it because I did. But I agree with you that it deserves more attention. That’s why I included it on this list. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your opinion. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list! I don’t really consider myself into sports anime…but I loved Kuroko’s Basketball and Free!!, and I want to watch Haikyu now…so maybe I’m getting into it. Chihayafuru is also one of my favorites!! Glad that counts as sports anime haha. Wish they would animate more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Oh my gosh. You chose two series that have some of the most gorgeous guys.;)

      I LOoooooooVE “Haikyuu!!” Go watch it! 😉

      Well, yes. I consider “Chihayafuru” as sports in the same way that I consider “Akagi” (mahjong) to be sports anime. Some may disagree, but oh well. Too bad. Anyway, any other sports anime that you’re interested in watching?

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      1. Oh my gosh. Your the second one to mention “Prince of Stride” to me. I’m not freaking AWARE of this show? How come?!! I’m feeling kind of frustrated. But I’m glad for the two of you for making me aware of this show. So my big thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lita! Oh my gosh. I’m so happy. (hugs)

      Yes, “Ginban Kaleidoscope” is good. I think you’ll like it since you like shoujo anime. I hope that you get to watch it when you have the time. Cheers! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Didn’t expect that I’d see a little close to half of the titles you’ve listed here. Guess I should be giving myself more credit in terms of my taste for sports anime xD

    Akagi was very dark and intense, and it gave a different edge-of-your-seat kind feeling compared to other sports anime. I agree that one won’t learn much riichi mahjong in Akagi, but the match stipulations more than make up for it. Saki in that regard was more educational, surprisingly (well, sans the luck manipulation powers).

    OoFuri season three when?! >_<
    But with Production I.G. having their hands full with both Haikyuu!! and Ace of Diamond though..

    Have you seen Taishou Yakyuu Musume. by any chance? A bit overlooked as well in my opinion, which is shame – considering it has a fairly unique backdrop for a sports anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Good for you! High-five! You have good taste if you watch about half of the things I listed in here.

      I agree with you about “Akagi”. It was very intense, but a good kind of intense, in my opinion. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s worth trying it just to see whether you’ll like it or not. As for me, I didn’t like “Saki” that much compared to “Akagi”, but I’m not saying that “Saki” sucks. It has its own good points, but for those who wants more serious and more “adult” feet, then “Akagi” & “Kaiji” are the ones I’ll recommend more than “Saki”. Have you watched “Kaiji” yet?

      Well, it’s been a long time now since the last season of “Oofuri”. It’s not looking bright, but I’m an optimistic sort of person. Crossing my fingers. And speaking of “Haikyuu!!”—-love it! I like “Daiya no A”, too, but “Major” is my #1.

      No. I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t really watched it. I don’t think it’s a “bit” overlooked. It’s a “lot” overlooked. I didn’t include it here because I haven’t watched it yet. Did you like it?

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      1. lol, Thanks 😀

        Definitely not for everyone. Riichi Mahjong aside (which is already a niche of it its own), it’s relatively ‘slower’ than the usual sports anime. Yep, I can see that. Saki is very much the traditional ‘cute girls doing x’ variety, whereas Akagi would seem to fit the image of Mahjong better.
        I’ve seen only the live action adapts of Kaiji, but even that was pretty good as well.

        There’s always the potential of other studios picking it up, but I don’t really know how often that actually happens. There’s just something about Japanese High School Baseball that makes it so appealing 😀

        Yeah. I like it for what it did – that being a display of what was (and probably still is) the issue of gendered roles in society, which we don’t really see often. In a way, it made the ‘cute girls doing x’ theme rather purposeful. On the sports side, its a bit light, but the character developments balance it out, at least in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I saw some film posters for the live action of Kaiji, but I don’t really watch that much of live action adaptations of anime. I wonder if they’re good.

        As long as “Oofuri” gets another anime, I don’t mind which studio does it. Besides it’s not that unusual for other studios to take up the a series done previously by other studios. Oh well. Crossing my fingers.

        I’ll keep “Taishou Yakyuu Musume” in mind. I’m not that enthusiastic about watching it since the blurbs I read about it doesn’t really appeal to me, but when I get in the mood, I’ll definitely watch it. Thanks!

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      1. Chihayafuru would be at the top of mine, plus the josei/shoujo theme stands out to me. I like shounen/seinen for sure, but as a girl I appreciate something for my own demographic too. So, that mixed with sports sounds like a winner to me! XD

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      2. Jamie! It’s been a while. Great to hear from you again. I understand. I really like Chihayafuru, too. How about you try the other sports shoujo ones? “Ginban Kaleidoscope” is about ice skating (unusual) and “Kaleido Star” is about gymnastics. I think you’ll like them, as they have strong romance aspects, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I was hoping Chihayafuru would be on this list! The author does an excellent job of explaining the game—I now know karuta better than other sports haha. Also one of Miyano’s more understated roles, really shows off his range.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High-five! I know, right? If you read a description of karuta, it sounds like a boring game but the series really did a great job in making it so interesting. And yay for Miyano Mamoru! 😉

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    1. Hmmm. Well, “Bamboo Blade” was enjoyable but compared to the other sports anime that I’ve watched, it’s not really that great. It’s good, but not awesome. As for “Initial D”, oh my gosh. I’m a huuuuuuuuuuge fan. I’m kind of crying inside that it’s over, but at the same time I’m so happy that I get to witness the conclusion. Anyway, did you like it when you watched it before?

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    1. Exactly! I love watching sports anime although I don’t play most of the sports they’re about. I have no idea how they’re played, but most of these anime still manage to make you happy and absorbed. Which title are you most interested in from this list?

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      1. Ooooooooh. I hope that you get to watch it soon when you have the time. I personally like it, although I know that it’s not for everyone. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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      1. Yes, I remember you saying before that “Chihayafuru” is one of your fave anime. But I didn’t know that you like “One Outs”, too. High-five!

        “Initial D” is one of my most favourite anime. Although I can’t guarantee that everyone will like it as much as I do. The animation quality is very inconsistent per seasons. I don’t think the art style will appeal to you, especially the first season, since I know that you care very much about the art.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. //high five
        I see, but I guess it won’t hurt checking it out. I mean i didn’t start One Piece until my friends kept bugging me because i didn’t like the art style. Now I quite love the art style.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yay, ONE PIECE! My favourite! Well, you have great friends if they forced you to watch it. 😉

        The animation of the first season of Initial D is not the best, but it gets better from there on. But putting aside the inconsistent animation quality, what I love were the action and the story itself. I hope that you get to watch it soon when you have the time and enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have a whole bunch of shows, anime and books lined up from not having time in the term, but I’ll get to it eventually! And when I do, I’ll tell you what I thought.

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  9. I remember seeing a bit of Ginban Kaleidoscope and liking it. Kaleido Star has been in my backlog for like forever. O_O I’ve watched some of Chiharafuyu, and I loved it, but I keep holding out that someone will take a chance on the manga. I know Initial D, but I almost know more about it from parodies and homages rather than the original.

    I also like stories that mix sports and emotional/psychological plots like Shion no Ou and Cross Game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Ginban Kaleidoscope” was really sweet. It’s also considered tragedy so it made me cry at the end. Well, I hope you get the chance to watch “Kaleido Star”. It’s not the best sports anime, but it’s entertaining. It also has a good story.

      So you haven’t finished “Chihayafuru” yet?

      Oh no! “Initial D” is one of my most favourite anime series ever. I’ve a fan for such a long time. It’s better to watch/read the original rather than parodies, you know. But then again, you may not like it. There’s a reason why I put this series in this “often overlooked” list. Not everyone likes racing series.

      If you liked “Shion no Ou”, I think you’ll like the 2 mahjong anime I included in this list: “Akagi” & “Kaiji”. And of course “One Outs”. Have you watched any of them yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Akagi was definitely the one that captured my attention the most. I probably would have gotten into Initial D years ago, but Tokyopop’s releases were panned by fans. I know it’s been picked up by Funimation, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. With Chihayafuru, I know I’ll love it, but then I’ll just want more!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I really liked “Akagi”. It’s dark and intense. Aw. I hope that you get to watch “Initial D” when you have the time. The art style and animation are very inconsistent per seasons, but the story itself is engaging. I hope that you like as much as I do. As for “Chihayafuru”, go for it! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A lot of these look good. The only one on your list that I have seen is Bamboo Blade, which I liked a lot, and was probably the only sports anime available on Netflix DVD.

    I thought is was pretty good at introducing a viewer to kendo. For me I did not anything about kendo, so I learned a lot. (Had a post about this a while back.)

    Yelling “men” then striking the top of the head is a good example. I wondered, “are these girls mad at boys?”. Then I learned that “men” is a strike to the head for a point.

    The show also had good opening and ending pop song themes.
    It had a reasonable conclusion (VERY important to me in anime series), but left room for a sequel.

    Another sports anime you might like is “Kurokan Baseball”. It was also based on a manga, but this anime has a distinctive “manga-like” animation and often uses manga panels and word balloons as part of the drawings. Here is a clip.
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/kurokan/episode-1-kurokan-style-baseball-667693

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha!!! Your “men” comment literally made me laugh out loud. Well, I did say that I enjoyed “Bamboo Blade”. It’s just that it didn’t really leave a deep impression on me compared to the other titles on this list.

      Oh wow. I wasn’t aware of “Kurokan Baseball”. Very interesting. The animation style sort of reminds me of those “How Should Have Ended” Youtube videos. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL I think Ookiku has the most canon fujoshi vibes in any sports anime I have watched so far … you just need to watch the OP to know it 😉
    And Kaleido Star is way too overlooked I agree. Personally I enjoy it lots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High-five! I know, right? I wish for another season of Ofuri. It’s really good, but I guess that compared to Daiya no A, it didn’t really make that big of a splash. Sigh. So unfortunate.

      Oh, you watched Kaleido Star? Yay! I really enjoyed it, too, when I first watched it. I think that “Ginban Kaleidoscope” has a sort of similar feel to it. Have you watched it yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it was the art. Daiya has much better art. But Miharu x Abe were really adorable!
        Yep I thought the idea of combining gymnastics and circus was a very interesting one. I haven’t watched that though! Is it as good?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my gosh. Be still my heart! Ahahaha. That pairing.

        Hmmmm. Not amazing, but still entertaining. It’s not a very long anime, so it’s not that big of a time investment. It’s certainly hilarious, though. Try a few episodes when you have the time. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you don’t. I watched “Kaleido Star” & “Ginban Kaleidoscope” as a teen and I remember enjoying them very much. But as an adult now, I don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much if I watch them again so I can’t really guarantee that you’ll like them much. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is true. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem too much time invested. I actually just watched Kaleido Star a year ago, so it’s not that long before. Maybe if I am in need of some shoujo sports xD
        How much sports anime have you watched? You seem to have watched a lot, seeing from this post and the previous sports one you did.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I honestly don’t know the exact number. I’m certain that I watched more than these, but I don’t remember much because I watched them when I was younger and they didn’t make that much of an impression on me compared to the anime that I featured. There are also many sports anime that I started but never finished so I don’t count them. How about you? How many sports anime have you watched?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hmm I see. For me, I really haven’t watched much sports anime except most of the recent ones, like KnB, Haikyuu, Diamond no Ace. I tried Oofuri but didn’t watch season 2. And the other shoujo ones like Chihayafuru and Kaleido Star. Oh and about half of Eyeshield 21. I haven’t watched much old ones, but I realised my tastes have changed. I used to like the more ‘supernatural’ or more unrealistic ones like KnB, but I realised that I don’t enjoy KnB as much now, and I can’t get into Prince of Tennis or Eyeshield. I am currently trying Major now, but i think it’s more of ‘personal drama’ than a sports-centred anime per se. I only started watching anime 4 years ago, towards the end of my teenage years though xD

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Indeed. Our tastes change. Like what I also said in a previous post, I enjoyed “Eyeshield 21” & “Prince of Tennis” when I watched them for the first time but if I watch them again now, I don’t think I’ll enjoy them as much.

        As for “Major”, yes, it’s a personal drama especially at the start but once Goro begins actively playing in high school and as a professional athlete in the Majors, that’s when the sports aspect really kick in. It’s quite a long anime, so I suggest that you hang in there!!!

        Oh wow. 4 years? That’s quite recent by my standards. I’ve been literally watching anime my whole life. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t watching anime. What is your first anime?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. At least you had a chance to enjoy them at that time! Now I find myself wishing that I had watched some of the ‘not-so-good’ anime earlier so that my tastes won’t be ‘spoiled’ by the latest which also happens to be the better ones.
        I see, thanks for telling me that, guess I just have to stick through it. 🙂 I was just a little unmotivated at the moment because I am still at Goro’s ‘kids’ stage.
        Yep, it definitely is recent. I haven’t exactly been watching much tv in general throughout my life. xD My first anime was La Corda D’oro which I watched when I was 17, but that wasn’t the one that got me into anime. The one that really kickstarted it all was Code Geass 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I understand, especially since more anime now have become gutsier than the anime from before.

        Oh. You’re still when he still a kid. Yes, you definitely have to watch more. It’s really great to see their development after the timeskip.

        Ooooooh. “La Corda D’Oro”, huh? I still have the soundtracks from that anime! “Code Geass” is a good way to start your anime journey, as well. Great.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yup, and definitely more interesting and less predictable.
        Timeskip huh? Seems something that is worth waiting for. Tbh this is one of the rare anime that show the whole process of a young kid well into adulthood. Not sure what sort of experience it’ll turn out for me.
        Ah yes, I still remember some of the music pieces from the OSTs as well. How much anime have you watched? Do you have any favourites?

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes. Timeskip is the bread and butter of epic stories like this. Very exciting. Well, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did when I watched it.

        Hmmmmm. That’s a difficult question. I’ve been watching anime literally for my whole life, so I can’t count all of them. I used to watch anime with my dad when I was a kid, maybe even when I was still a baby, so there you go. How about you? How long have you been into anime?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I hope I do too! After all, it was been constantly lauded as the greatest sports anime series of all time, I wouldn’t want it to fall short of my expectations xD
        WOW that’s a really long time. Even when you were a baby?!?! That’s really .. long. Haha, I’ve been into anime since the start of 2012? Which is the time I started Code Geass haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Ahahaha! But don’t have too high expectations, it may fall short on your standards, you know? I think you should just enjoy it as it comes. It really is a great series, to be honest.

        Ahahah! I don’t know. But I have a feeling that it’s the truth, as my dad watched a lot of anime when during the 90’s. He’s stuck in that generation when it comes to anime, and all he ever wants to talk about anime with me are titles like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and the likes that were widely aired during that time.

        Code Geass is really great. Have you watched Death Note yet? I bet you did.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Haha yeah, you just reminded me that. I have a bad habit of inflating my expectations too much, only to be disappointed in the series as it goes on.
        Wow, but even so, it’s really cool that your dad watches anime and likes to discuss it with you at least. You’re lucky! It’s sucks that I know nobody Irl who likes watching anime. Most people don’t even approve of it lol. I have to watch anime in secret most of the time.
        Haha yep I did. I have tried almost everything that has been recommended to me on the basis of Code Geass, but other than DN which is more similar, none of them match up to CG imo :p

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Oh no. I think this is why I don’t really like watching airing anime because most of them have this strong buzz around them and whenever I read a favourable impression based on a series, I can’t help but increase my expectations. I hope that find a way so that you feel neutral when you watch it, so your high expectations won’t leave you disappointed. -___-

        Aw. I can’t really relate to how you must feel because my environment sounds so different from yours, although I encounter a lot of anime fans like you online. My family don’t bat an eye whenever I watch anime in their presence. They don’t think it’s weird or anything because we’re a Filipino family, and I think that anime has a big influence on Filipino watching habits. That’s what I think, I guess. So even if I live in Canada right now, my family and I still retain that kind of relationship with anime. So you don’t know anybody in real life AT ALL who likes watching anime? 😦

        Oh well. Recommendations are just recommendations. It’s still up to you whether you like the series or not, right? Do you have a favourite genre in anime that you tend to like more?

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Haha yeah, thanks to many similar experiences I have gotten a ‘better’ feel of what kind of anime or cliches I am in the mood for, and what I kind of absolutely can’t stand at the moment xD exactly, it also doesn’t help when some of these anime are often mentioned in forums and whatnot. Tbh those tend to increase my expectations a lot.
        Wow, your family and environment sounds like a totally unimaginable world to me. Yep thanks to the Internet, at least I have some online anime friends. From where I am, people don’t think anime is exotic or weird, but they do think that people who watch it almost exclusively (I.e. Hardcore fans) are weird. Unfortunately, the people whom I know who watch anime are merely casual fans of it, because they like to watch live action dramas and movies as well. ><
        Haha yes, and often enough a series in a genre I normally wouldn’t like surprises me enough. Hmm I don’t think I have a specific genre except mecha and sports, but there are also lots of exceptions within the genre itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Well, in the end it’s all about our personal preferences, right? No matter how hard I try to recommend a series to you, I can’t guarantee that you’ll like it 100%. I think that it also applies the buzz generated by series. Even if we get influenced by what other people say, in the end we can’t force ourselves to like what we absolutely can’t like.

        Oh, I see. Being a casual anime fan is still good. At least they won’t completely reject the idea of watching anime and turn their noses up against it. Do you watch anime with them or discuss things together? Or do you that only with your online friends?

        So you like mecha?

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Yeah exactly, which is why sometime its best to just recommend as you can, but not be disappointed if people don’t think the same way as you do xD
        I don’t talk to anybody IRL about anime at all, to be honest. If any discussion, I only talk about it with online friends. I think its sad because it means nobody really knows me in real life. But its times like this when I take relief in the fact that anime doesn’t entirely consume me, so that I don’t feel completely alone in that sense.
        I generally like mecha, but not the machines xD I like that mecha genres often have a lot of teenage angst, melodrama, they involve some battle strategy and political machinations, and that they contemplate themes about having the responsibility of being able to kill others and what that means. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Aw. That’s okay. At least you look at it on the bright side. Sorry I can’t really relate that much since my environment is so different from yours.

        Your approach to mecha is also similar to mine. I don’t watch a lot of mecha anime, but just like you said, I like how they involve battle strategies and political machinations. I think that that’s what I enjoy the most about them. What’s your most favourite mecha anime?

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Haha yeah I understand. 🙂
        Technically, my favourite mecha anime is Code Geass (since its my all time favourite and it has the ‘mecha’ tag), but mecha is only one of its elements and definitely not its defining one. So I would have to go with Gundam Seed. That’s my first and favourite, up to now xD

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Gundam, huh? I watched some Seed when I was kid but didn’t really like it. I’m trying to watch more Gundam series right now and Seed is definitely on my list. I wonder if I’ll also like it as much as you do. We’ll see. As for Code Geass, it’s been a while since I watched it. I don’t think I’ve completed it, but what I watched I enjoyed. I guess it’s time to rewatch it one of these days, especially since I’m in the mood for some mecha at this time. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I think trying Seed again is a good move. After all, there are plenty of anime that don’t sit right with us on the first try, but only can be appreciated in a certain mood or at a certain age. Still, Seed appeals to a wide range of audiences so the chances are relatively high on that one.
        Haha yeah, it’s good to watch more of a genre especially if you know you are in the mood to appreciate it. You’re welcome 🙂

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