10. Ashita no Joe
Set in post war Japan, where the living conditions were bleak; a young man, Joe Yabuki, wanders into the slums of Tokyo looking for a place to settle down. He meets a former boxing trainer, Danpei when fighting off some gangsters. Danpei realises the boxing potential in Joe during the fight and offers to train and nurture him in boxing.
After 45 years from the first run of the anime back in the early 70s, this masterpiece is the first successful sports anime that is now an iconic series in Japan. Rewatching the series recently, the grittiness is still apparent in the animation – the use of bold lines in the together with the sombre soundtrack and the haunting eeriness of the Joe’s whistling adds to the harrowing atmosphere of the animation. This bittersweet anime will no doubt, leave a deep impression on the viewer.
Why watch it?: If you want to see how the sports anime genre started, this is one anime you shouldn’t miss. Despite it’s age, the story still resonates with many viewers in this day and age.
TV series: 126 episodes
Anime movies: 2 movies
So there you have it, our choice of the top 10 sports anime you should watch. There are plenty more out there so if you think we missed out on something, do drop us a line or the comments below.