Some sports anime put every bit of care and attention into creating a realistic recreation of a sport, while others -- from Hip Whip Girl to Kuroko's Basketball -- would make Isaac Newton cry as they brutally ignore every single law of physics. However, as unrealistic as they might be, these four sports anime are definitely fun to watch -- sometimes like a car crash, and sometimes because they're genuinely enjoyable despite bending reality.
Hip Whip Girl
Also known as Keijo!!!!!!!! (yes, with eight exclamation marks), this anime is about the new upcoming classic sport of a bunch of girls in swimsuits using their breasts and buttocks to try to knock opponents off platforms into the water. Keijo can be a get-rich-quick sport for girls who have what it takes. Strategies for winning include utilizing the strength of the softness or firmness of their buttocks, hypnosis, and flashy finishing moves. Some of these special moves include Electricity Manipulation, Hip of Babylon and Wind Blade Creation, to name a few.
If Hip of Babylon sounds familiar, that's because it's indeed a copy of Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon from Fate, while Wind Blade is likely a spoof of Blade of Wind from Naruto. Nothing about this sport is realistic from concept to execution; Hip Whip Girl is simply here to have fun.
Kuroko's Basketball is at least about a real sport, but it's just as wacky as Hip Whip Girl when it comes to finishing moves. Each player has a set of special moves they employ during a match, to varying levels of success. Main character Kuroko might not be the strongest or fastest player on the team, but he makes up for it with the ability to become nearly invisible.
This helps him perform a number of impossible moves such as the Invisible Pass, where he uses his invisibility to change the direction of the ball without being seen, the Ignite Pass, where Kuroko does the same thing except faster by actually punching the ball, and Ignite Pass Kai, which is the same thing again except the ball is sent spinning with the momentum of a bullet. Team-building and training only add to his arsenal -- and that's just Kuroko. Every team member has their own ridiculous moves to add to the game of basketball, turning games into more of a shonen tournament than a sports anime.
Prince of Tennis
Prince of Tennis begins as a fairly normal sports anime but quickly abandons any semblance of physics. Though based on actual techniques, tennis balls should not move the way they do in this series -- but apparently, the rules don't apply when you're enough of a tennis prodigy. Main character Ryoma is able to access his most powerful moves by reaching the State of Self Actualization, which allows players to go beyond their limit and use techniques that they have either seen or experienced themselves at exceedingly high skill levels, no practice necessary.
Ryoma and other characters also have a number of special smash and drive techniques to force their way through an opponent's offense. A sure classic is the Samurai Drive, where Ryoma hits the tennis ball with insane speed at the rope that holds the net to the pole. The ball is sliced in half upon making contact with the rope and the halves bounce in two directions, making them nigh impossible to return. Is it possible? Nope. It is entertaining to watch? Definitely.
Competitive cycling is all about strategy, and Yowamushi Pedal does manage to have strategies. Not all of them are actual strategies real cyclists use, but they are strategies. The Power of Friendship doesn't tend to win the Tour de France, but the show at least acknowledges that members of a cycling team all have different roles and that drafting is a valuable way to save energy. Different sorts of body types are better suited for certain roles, and some members of the team have to know they will never get the glory of first place because they are entirely support.
However, any points Yowamushi Pedal might have earned for these realities are stripped away by one thing: the existence of Akira Midousuji. Midousuji is a rival to the show's protagonists, and some would question if he's human at all given the way he can stretch and bend his body. At one point, Midousuji begins a sharp turn, decides to ignore gravity that day, and rides with perhaps a ten-degree angle between him and the road, ear nearly touching the pavement. For some reason, he chooses to do many of his reality-defying stunts while poking his enormous tongue out, which isn't as unrealistic as it is just unnerving. Midousuji alone places Yowamushi Pedal among the greats of wacky sports anime.
Impossible as they are, these wacky sports titles are certainly an experience and can be filled with all the laughter, tears, camaraderie and screaming for the goal that makes the genre such a hit. The inclusion of ultimate moves or possible alien competitors simply makes things even more fun, and at the end of the day, entertainment is what these shows are meant to be. It's alright to forget about the laws of physics once in a while and enjoy some completely ridiculous sports.