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The Best Sports Anime of 2021

Sports anime are considered to be one of the most-loved genres of the media. It always gives out a lot of action scenes and drama, but the viewers are generally saved from the unnecessary plot twist of someone dying. In the anime community, saying that “nobody dies in a sports anime” has been popular for many years.

A few series from the genre are released every year, and 2021 is no exception. This year, anime fans were introduced to new sports and have been fans of quite a lot of well-written shows, such as the following:


Bakuten Backflip
Bakuten shows the journey of a young high school student who fell in love with men’s rhythmic gymnastics.

It’s pretty typical for some sports anime to have a main character whose adamant about excelling in their chosen sport (one of the most prominent examples is Haikyuu!!). This series follows that trope. Futaba just happened to watch a Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics competition and was suddenly mesmerized by it.

The strength of this anime comes from the characters, who are all lovable. The protagonist’s seniors all have quirky personalities and are pretty much highly skilled in the field. They’re all mentored by a genius and former star gymnast who has a very mysterious and rather eccentric personality, too. The most wholesome part remains to be their friendly rivalry with another team: they are all driven to win the competition, but they harbor no hard feelings if they lose to the other.

Burning Kabaddi

Yoigoshi - Burning Kabaddi
Kabaddi isn’t too famous as a sport, but the anime still made it seem very interesting.

Yoigashi was a soccer genius, but he left the competitive world of sports because he is annoyed by everyone. He pursued a career in blogging, but the sports world came back to disturb his newfound peaceful life. Members of his school’s kabaddi team challenged him to a match. Even with his exceptional footwork and agility, he still lost at the game because of his lack of experience.

It’s the first sports anime we’ve seen where the main character takes on a “tsundere”-like role. He says he didn’t like kabaddi at all, but it’s obvious that his competitive nature gets the better of him when he’s on the mat. If you’re looking for an exciting anime that features one of the most aggressive sports, then Burning Kabaddi is right up your alley!


Minato - Re-MAIN
Re-MAIN evokes a rollercoaster of emotions!

There are sports anime that features geniuses, and Re-MAIN is one of them. This series is a land of plot twists, and it will definitely take you on the wildest rollercoaster ride for your emotions. The first plot twist happened right in the first episode: the water polo star and protagonist of the anime, Minato, fell into a coma and woke up without his memories. His skills in playing the game were gone, and the anime focused on him getting back on his track and regaining his lost memories.

It was one of the most dramatic sports series we’ve seen, but it’s also one of the most wholesome. As expected, Minato will regain his memories before the end of the anime, but what happened right after he did was totally unpredictable. Everyone in this anime is a victim of fate, and it’s hard to see who among them made a mistake . . . because no one really did.

Wave: Surfing Yappe!!

Wave!!: Surfing Yappe!!
“Nobody dies in a sports anime!” Yeah, right.

Corgi has nothing better to do aside from going to school and going to the beach and admiring the sunset. That’s until he and his friend Tanaka met Sho, a genius surfer. Tanaka, who’s also a highly skilled surfer in his own right, had been encouraging Corgi to try the sport out for a long time. But Corgi only picked up the board and tried battling the waves when Sho was the one who invited him for the ride.

Corgi isn’t too bad, but he’s totally not as prodigious as Sho or Tanaka. But what he lacks in talent, he makes up with passion and determination. The three of them joined contests and planned to battle each other for the finals, but what happened was far from what they anticipated.

Sk8 the Infinity

Langa and Reki - Sk8 the Infinity
Sk8 the Infinity took the anime community by storm when it was released early this year.

Headlined by its two adorable main characters, Sk8 the Infinity is one the most well-loved sports anime this year. It tells a story about two friends who just happened to meet and clicked with each other. Their personalities might be polar opposites of each other – Reki is the extroverted type who loves to speak his mind out, while Langa is more reserved and timid – but they definitely create the best duo.

Reki has been skateboarding since he was a kid, while Langa, only learned the sport after he met Reki. His snowboarding skills that he obtained in his Canada hometown helped him a lot to become a great skateboarder that rivals the best in his community. The anime features their tumultuous relationship and the challenges they faced that only strengthened their bonds as friends!

What’s Your Favorite 2021 Anime?

We might have missed a few of the best sports anime this year. If your favorite is not included in this list, feel free to tell us in the comments section, and let’s have a discussion. #

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