5 Sports Anime to Watch After Kuroko’s Basketball

Initially released in 2012, Tadatoshi Fujimaki's Kuroko's Basketball has seen a massive resurgence within the anime scene, following its recent inclusion in the Netflix library. The anime has once again started trending, providing viewers with intense action and a shonen style take on the dynamics of sport, which pre-existing fans of the genre have come to expect.

However, new fans to the genre may feel lost as to where they can find more sporting goodness to satiate their hunger for teamwork and scoreboards. This article highlights five anime definitely worth a watch if you enjoyed the antics of Kuroko and the boys of Seirin High.

Yowamushi Pedal

Yowamushi Pedal racing club

Also available for viewing on Netflix, Yowamushi Pedal follows Onoda Sakamichi's journey after joining his high school's bicycle racing club. Onoda is an otaku by nature, making daily trips to Akihabara on a city bicycle, usually intended for only short journeys on relatively even ground. By using this style of a bicycle over large distances and uphill on a regular basis, Onoda naturally developed an incredible amount of stamina and steady form. As a result, this small timid character seemingly unfit for the sport is able to overcome many obstacles and raise the team to new heights.

The role Onoda plays within the story is very similar to that of Kuroko's in Kuroko's Basketball and fans of the latter should find the former just as appealing, especially as he gradually gains confidence within the club. Likewise, fans of how Kuroko's Basketball delves into the finer details of the sport will be pleased to hear that Yowamushi Pedal is no different, exploring the mechanisms behind racing bikes and covering topics like cadence.

Watch Yowamushi Pedal on Netflix.


Another anime with a protagonist physically unsuited for the sport he competes in is Haikyu!! and its chibi star: "Hinata". Unlike Kuroko, Hinata was never part of a generation of miracles, instead, he came from an exceptionally weak middle school prior to joining Karasuno's volleyball team. In a sport where height is everything, he is equally underestimated because of his short stature, but after joining Karasuno he builds upon his innate jumping talent to become a key player for the team.

In a similar fashion to Kuroko's Basketball, Haikyu!! chooses to develop every Karasuno team member with a personal backstory that explains their particular character traits and makes them more relatable for the audience. The show also focuses on a first-year duo as the cornerstone of the team, with Hinata and Kageyama's relationship on the court mirroring that of Kagami and Kuroko's fairly closely. The intensity of the matches in Haikyu!! live up to those found in Kuroko's Basketball, without any larger-than-life abilities to detract from the realism.

Haikyu!! can be streamed fully on Crunchyroll.

Burning Kabaddi

Burning Kabbadi Yoigoshi cut

For fans who enjoyed the larger-than-life shonen elements of Kuroko's Basketball, such as Midorima's ability to shoot from anywhere on the court, then Burning Kabaddi is a must-watch from this year. Tatsuya Yoigoshi decided to quit playing sports after finding them all too easy and having disputes with his former teammates. He is then scouted by Kei Iura and blackmailed into trialing for the Kabaddi team, a sport he knows nothing about and as he learns, he is far from the best at.

Kabaddi is a contact sport that combines elements of tag and dodgeball. Whilst it is popular in the Indian subcontinent, for western audiences, it is extremely unfamiliar and seems almost fantastical. Fortunately, Yoigoshi is oblivious to the sport's intricacies as well, which allows the characters to explain the rules to both him and the audience simultaneously. For this reason, Burning Kabaddi is a great choice for viewers who want the thrilling action of a traditional sports anime, without feeling as if they should already know about the sport beforehand.

Watch Burning Kabaddi on Crunchyroll here.

Ahiru no Sora

For those who fell in love with the world of basketball after watching Kuroko, Ahiru no Sora is a follow-up series that can potentially fill the void left in its wake. Sora Kurumatani gained his passion for basketball from his mother and after promising her he will dominate his high school basketball debut, he discovers the basketball club at his high school has been taken over by delinquents with no intentions of taking part in club activities.

Undeterred by this, Sora continues to try and convince the club members to join him in his training, slowly revealing the history of the club and allowing for the development of some interesting character types. Like Kuroko's Basketball, the show successfully blends sporting scenes with slice of life elements off the court, in order to keep the content from getting too repetitive. In contrast, it takes a more realistic approach to the matches, favoring hard practiced skills over innate special abilities.

Watch Ahiru no Sora on Crunchyroll here.


Megalobox title image

Available for streaming on Netflix, Megalobox is a perfect choice for someone looking for a more mature take on the sports anime genre. In an alternate dystopian Japan rife with poverty and segregation, Gearless Joe enters into the brutal world of Megaloboxing in order to survive. Just like Kuroko's Basketball, the show takes the key elements of a traditional sport (in this case boxing,) and incorporates larger-than-life aspects to intensify the action even further. For Megalobox, this means strapping mechanical exoskeletons onto the boxers to boost the lethality of their punches, which leads to some brutal fights, not for the faint of heart.

As his ring name suggests though, Gearless Joe enters the ring without any mechanical assistance, providing the same underdog feeling felt when watching Kuroko or Hinata compete respectively. However, as boxing is a solo sport, the show also has a much smaller cast of characters which are broken down in greater depth than first expected.

Watch Megalobox on Netflix here.

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