[Description]: Sports shows as you would expect are about sports! They are often action-packed and dramatic to give the viewer a sense of excitement and allow them to invest themselves in the successes or failures of a team or player. Sports shows most often are just as much about life outside of the sport and who the characters are and how they practice as they are about the actual matches and games they play. Links to spoiler-free reviews of all of the shows that have them are included
Episode Count: 50 Episodes; 2 Seasons (24-minutes each)
Studio and Year: Production I.G; 2014 – 2016
Details: The story of Haikyuu!! begins with Hinata Shouyou who gains a fascination for volleyball after watching a player sharing his small stature in a championship game. He starts his own club in middle school however they lose their first and only tournament game against Kageyama Tobio and his team. Determined to follow his dream of playing volleyball, Hinata enrolls in Karasuno High School and joins their club however finds that Kageyama has joined as well and that they must become teammates despite their past confrontation. Haikyuu!! is an exciting and dramatic sports show about teamwork and overcoming obstacles. The visuals are impressive and really accentuate the action of volleyball as it plays out on the court. If you’ve never seen any sports anime before, this would be a great place to start. You can read a spoiler-free review: here.
1. Ping Pong The Animation
Episode Count: 11 Episodes (25-minutes each)
Studio and Year: Tatsunoko Production; 2014
Details: Ping Pong The Animation is a thematic masterpiece and ultimately is more about its incredibly well-written, distinct characters than it is about the game of ping pong. Illustrated with rather experimental and stylized visuals, the show follows several different players from different schools – their motivations, their relationships, and how they play the game. The central two characters are a pair of friends named Smile and Peco, one of which is an ambitionless and robotic person while the other is boisterous, lively, and dreams of becoming the best player in the world. Ping Pong is an extremely intelligent and tightly written exploration of its cast which uses artistic visuals, symbolism, and the extremely intense game of ping pong to exhibit who they are and how they develop. If you can enjoy or tolerate the show’s visual style, then a truly thrilling experience awaits you.