Top 10 Underrated Sports Anime to Watch Right Now

In this article, check out the top 10 Underrated Sports Anime you can watch right now, their review, plot and more information.

Ping Pong the Animation/ Credit: Tatsunoko Production, Funimation, Aniplex
By Mahaksh Chauhan | May 13, 2024 | 6 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Among anime subgenres, sports anime has a small but dedicated fanbase and a lot of uncharted ground. Exciting matches, intense rivalry, and the intensity in the players’ eyes are enough to make you feel that surge of adrenaline. With our list of the top 10 underrated sports anime, your binge need will be fulfilled instantly. Fasten your seatbelts and buckle up for an adrenaline rush like no other with these overlooked and undiscovered sports anime.

10. Big Windup

For those who appreciate the aesthetic value of baseball, Big Windup is a priceless treasure; for those who are unfamiliar with the sport, it serves as a primer. It is that good. Because of his colleagues’ taunting and his own self-doubt, Ren Mihashi has never felt confident in his pitching abilities. They were never able to win because of the low morale and self-esteem of the team.

Ren doesn’t give baseball a second thought when he transfers to a new school, but destiny has other plans. The team’s catcher has seen his talent and has been helping him improve.

Read More- Best 5 Underrated Anime to watch right now!

9. Diamond No Ace

In the middle school baseball game that Eijun Sawamura played in his last game, a wayward fastball utterly missed the batter. In the wake of this crushing loss, Eijun and his friends resolve to make it all the way to the national competition in high school. Everything changes, though, when a scout spots his potential at the eccentric Seidou High School in Tokyo and unexpectedly invites him there. With the support of his teammates, Eijun takes the offer, eager to sharpen his baseball abilities and compete at a higher level.

Nevertheless, with so many talented players around him, Eijun is having trouble finding a role for himself. He confidently states his intention to become the team’s starting pitcher in the future, but that will only happen if fellow first-year player Satoru Furuya doesn’t win the championship with his lightning-fast fastballs. With these skilled new players joining an already strong lineup, the Seidou baseball club is determined to become the greatest in Japan, even though they will have to overcome many dangerous opponents.

8. The Prince of Tennis

Though it was of high quality, the anime adaptation of The Prince of Tennis failed to connect with Japanese audiences in the same way that the manga did. Since J.C. employees were involved, many individuals failed to notice it.

At his father’s request, the notorious tennis prodigy Ryouma Echizen has returned from America. He hopes to join the middle school tennis team and one day become the greatest player in the world. The tennis club starts to climb the success ladder as he gets involved after convincing them of his skills, but the opposition teams are no joke either. In order to win, they need to figure out how their opponents are executing their strategies.

7. Giant Killing

Since the start of Japan’s premier soccer league, East Tokyo United has gone winless in their last three matches, leading many to declare them the tournament’s worst team. The squad keeps losing despite trying again with new coaches. After a stint as an ETU player, the eccentric coach Takeshi Tatsumi joins the team. Although he betrays ETU followers, Takeshi accepts the mission to eliminate the game’s giants.

The soccer anime is, in a nutshell, entertaining, addictive, and thrilling. Giant Killing stands apart from other anime because it focuses on the character’s growth as a cohesive unit.

6. One Outs

In a single word, this underappreciated sports animation says it everything. The world of baseball and the associated gambling is the center of attention in One Outs. With 499 wins in a row in the One Outs Game, baseball prodigy Toua Tokichi has clearly hit a home run. With one out, the batter and pitcher can square off.

After spotting him, a struggling team batter will do anything to get him join the squad. That, however, is contingent upon his success in this game against the undefeated Toua. Seeing Toua in action in the awesome baseball anime is sure to keep you hooked.

5. Free!

A high school swim team is the center of Free!. Rin Matsuoka leaves the primary school swimming club that Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, and Nagisa Hazuki were all a part of to pursue further education and swimming training in Australia. When Rin goes back to Japan to enroll in the legendary Samezuka Academy for swimming, they reconnect years later. This anime is considered one of the best Underrated Sports Anime among many fans.

Iwatobi High School Swim Club members Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa convince track star Rei Ryugazaki to switch to swimming so he may be a part of their team. The protagonists, the Iwatobi guys, are in the thick of things as they work to rebuild their swim club and make amends with Rin, who appears to have changed.

4. Chihayafuru

Chihaya Ayase introduces us to Karuta, a card game in which players use their wits, speed, and memory to decipher specialized poems. Her goal, along with that of her peers, is to become Karuta’s queen soon.

After much deliberation, Chihaya found a Karuta club at her middle school. She aims to win Omi Shrine’s National Championship with the help of a few newcomers and her enhanced skills. Lots of people didn’t bother watching Chihayafuru since the idea didn’t pique their interest; the anime is relatively unknown. If you persist, it will gradually enchant you.

3. Ashita No Joe as another underrated sports anime

Because of its era, many people have never seen the most spectacular sports anime that came out in the 1970s. The film Ashita No Joe depicts the sport of boxing and the psychological and physiological toll it takes on its participants.

The enduring story follows Joe Yabuki through his turbulent youth, characterized by pain and conflicts. He got into numerous fights and suffered injuries as a result of his self-taught fighting abilities. Until the inebriated boxing teacher saves Joe from a fight, Joe laughs off the idea that he could train with him. Joe learns the fundamentals of boxing. Can we expect him to return to his former ways or face discipline?

2. Hajime No Ippo

One of the most underappreciated, yet highly regarded, sports anime is Hajime no Ippo. Drama, romance, and a moving backstory all feature prominently in the professional boxer’s career.

The tragic end that befell Ippo Makonouchi confined him to a life of relentless bullying. After his father passes away, he takes care of his mother as the sole breadwinner in the family. He stinks and is easy prey due to the monotony of fishing.

During one of these occurrences, Ippo meets a promising young boxer. After learning about Ippo’s devastating blows, everyone is shocked and eager to give him a go in this fighting sport.

1. Ping Pong the Animation is the best Underrated Sports Anime

Just 11 episodes provide an unparalleled amount of joy and fulfillment in Ping Pong the Animation. Although they couldn’t be more different, Peco and Smile’s undying devotion to the game of ping pong cements their friendship. Peco, on the other hand, has an inflated sense of self-confidence, whereas Smile appears to doubt his abilities at every turn.

In the midst of a famous coach’s efforts to train a grin, Peco loses badly versus an ex-international player and begins to doubt his own existence. Can they win the Ping Pong tournament?