Some people love sports. They love sports in every part of their lives, from their team mascot themed bed to the bumper stickers plastering the tail of their cars. They love the pre-game commentary. They love the post-game commentary. They love the commentary during the game. They schedule their entire weekend around their sports viewing routine. They Want Sports in Eve-ry-thing! They even love sports in their anime.
This level of obsessiveness might seem odd or even alarming for some standard anime fans (because we would never obsess over one genre of anime to the point that the whole anime world is completely saturated with it! “cough, cough, isekai, cough”) For the standard anime fan, these sports super fans can be a little difficult to deal with and even more difficult to find an anime that you will both enjoy. They want to watch Eye Shield 21 or Ace of the Diamond, and you want to watch anything else. Thankfully there are some anime alternatives that are a little bit of sports and a little bit of something special. So, here are a few anime that the whole team can enjoy!
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
For the Sports Fan: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club is an anime about childhood friends (now in high school) that find out that their favorite indoor swimming pool is going to be torn down! Wanting to encourage interest in the neighborhood icon, the friends decide to start their own high school swim team to help save the swimming pool!
For the Anime Fan: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club is an anime about the bond of friendship, the love of something pure and simple like water, and the destruction that can happen when your inspiration leaves to train for years in Australia. Oh, and a whole bunch of quite fit guys in form fitting swim suites . . . if you’re into that.
Yuri on Ice
For the Sports Fan: Yuri on Ice is an anime about a low ranking figure skater in international competition that considers quitting his sports career after doing very poorly in a major competition. But, he gets another chance to make it to the top when a world famous Russian skater volunteers to be his couch!
For the Anime Fan: Yuri on Ice is an adorable BL about Yuri Katsuki, a low ranking figure skater that has been stanning Russian skater Victor Nikiforov since he was a kid. Yuri didn’t do well in his most recent competition and pretty much thought his career was over, so he goes home and stress eats for a while. That’s when Victor show up on his door step and offers to be his couch.
Encouragement of the climb
For the Sports Fan: Encouragement of the Climb is a rare anime about mountain climbing! It actually goes into surprising detail about hiking and climbing techniques, camping and climbing gear, and common mountains to climb in Japan. There are episodes that highlight shopping for climbing and hiking gear and how to select the appropriate mountain to climb for your skill level!
For the Anime Fan: Encouragement of the Climb is an anime about Aoi Yukimura, a quiet high school girl that likes staying indoors and doing crafts alone. But when her friend from elementary school returns, Aoi gets pulled back into the world of mountain climbing whether she likes it or not! Her old friend Hinata has fond childhood memories of climbing a mountain with Aoi and she wants to relive them! There’s just one little problem, over the years Aoi has developed a fear of heights and climbing.
Prince of Stride Alternative
For the Sports Fan: Prince of Stride Alternative is an anime about high school level Parkour Relay competitions. The main character Sakurai has been a huge fan of the sport for years and chose her high school because she was so impressed with their team. Unfortunately, the school’s team hasn’t been competing for two years after an accident. Not willing to give up, Sakurai appoints herself as the team manager and decides to rebuild the team and compete at the regional meet!
For the Anime Fan: Prince of Stride Alternative the anime is based off of the similarly named Otome game. Sakurai is the main character and the other members of the team are the love interests. In the anime, the romance is down played quite a bit, but it’s still there. Not surprising considering what it’s based on, the story of this anime isn’t really that deep, but it does have interesting characters and really nice animation. So, if you are looking for a romance that is light hearted and not too serious this might be the anime for you.
Do you have any favorite sports anime that aren’t just sports anime? Leave a comment below!