The Five Best Sports Anime of 2017

Updated on February 8, 2018
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Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.

Was 2017 loaded with decent sports anime?

Not really.

There were only a handful of sports anime that showed up in 2017. In fact, I only know five! What a coincidence! I need only five to complete this list!

As with the other genres, there are good and bad sports anime. Since I know of only five for the year of 2017, I’ll list them all here regardless of their quality. It is assured that one of these is a dud. Keep your eyes peeled and be on the look out for it!

Well then, enough chatter! Let’s get it on with the five best sports anime of 2017! If there’s a good title that I am unaware of, please share it in the comments. It would definitely be very much appreciated!

The 5 Best Sports Anime of 2017
1. Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)
2. Dive!!
3. Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
4. Nana Maru San Batsu (Fastest Finger First)
5. Yowamushi no Pedal: New Generation
Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)
Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom) | Source

1. Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)

With the release of Ballroom e Youkoso, the sports genre once again proves that there are virtually no limitations when it comes to dispensing new and novel concepts for anime. This time, what we are given is an anime about, you say it—ballroom dancing!

Ballroom dancing?! What kind of lame activity is that? Are the creators out of their minds?

Before you react further with head scratches, let me ask you to calm down and try not to let your preconceptions fog your own judgment. Remember that the only limit to everything is your imagination. Just because this show is about ballroom dancing doesn’t mean it is uninteresting. I must admit that its concept is unusual; but so as many other shows!

Ballroom e Youkoso, in reality, is a show that can adequately compete with other sports anime. It is heavy in content as it is loaded with astounding character development. And I haven’t even mentioned anything yet about the sport it is trying to lay bare! When it comes to dancing, music always comes along as a partner. So not only should you expect the various spirited dance moves to render you breathless, you should also expect the music to do some brilliant storytelling and soothe your soul with the breathtaking experience.

Dive!!
Dive!! | Source

2. Dive!!

Dive!! is actually the black sheep of this list! The only reason it is here is because there’s nothing else to recommend. Still, I must commend it for being a sports anime that features a very unique construct. Based on its title, it is for sure a show that is about diving! But then, what it boasts in terms of being a pure representation of the sport is wholly overshadowed by its lacks of appeal when it comes to execution and development.

The story of Dive!! is centered on the Mizuki Diving Club. This club is regrettably on the verge of being shut down. Then suddenly, an opportunity shows up. If the club succeeds in sending one of its members to the Olympics, it will be permitted to thrive for the next couple of years. If not, then it’s goodbye to club.

The premise of this anime is so simple yet full of potential. Unfortunately, that potential went down the drain. It was poorly staged. The story never got riveting. The character designs may appeal to some, but that would be all there is to it! This show failed miserably in developing all its other elements. Even the most important element—the sports theme—was left hanging on the end corner of the diving platform.

If you still want to watch this anime, then by all means, go ahead. I did say that it wasn’t at all good, but a part of me believes that it is still one of the best sports anime of 2017. For that matter, it is the best among the worst! Not that there are any other worse sports anime.

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun | Source

3. Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun is genuinely a sports anime, but at the same time, it is not! Wait, what?! While it is true that it is essentially about soccer, it is actually more about its main character, Aoyama. Aoyama is not your ordinary student! He is a clean freak in all the extremes! Everyone likes, admires, and respects him, but no one can get an inch close to him because he ultimately avoids everything and everyone like the plague. But what’s really surprising is, Aoyama is a brilliant player of soccer—a sport that is, in essence, a dirty sport that requires a lot of physical contact!

What surprised me about Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun is that its surface shimmers with the essence of sports but in reality, it has comedy at its core. Sometimes, I even forget that its a sports anime. I am all too focused on the peculiarities of Aoyama that everything else seems to dissolve in the background. There sure is plenty of soccer in this anime, but not enough to take it seriously. Nevertheless, this is a unique sports anime that will force you to develop some abs laughing.

Nana Maru San Batsu (Fastest Finger First)
Nana Maru San Batsu (Fastest Finger First) | Source

4. Nana Maru San Batsu (Fastest Finger First)

Some people would say that Nana Maru San Batsu is not a sports anime. Maybe they are right, but I beg to differ! I am well aware that quiz shows cannot be classified as sports. But when the participants are more focused on pressing the buzzer faster than any competitor can, then don’t you think that it is in itself already a sport?

In Nana Maru San Batsu, a student named Koshiyama Shiki is invited to a mysterious Quiz Study Group. Little did he know that the world he is about to enter is a world that will not only test his mental and psychological prowess, but also his dexterity.

Who knew quiz shows could be this fun? Not only did Nana Maru San Batsu succeed in exceeding my expectations because I initially thought it was an underwhelming show, it also displayed a level of intensity and passion that beguiled my soul. I expected nothing, but what I got was a show that was so entertaining and fun it captured my uttermost attention.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation | Source

5. Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation

Our favorite sports anime about cycling is back, and it’s better than ever! I’ve lost count as to how many seasons, movies, and OVAs this anime already has, but I’m still loving it even now. For Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation, it is still quite similar as before. It is still exciting and engaging. Perhaps some will be put off by its deficiency of new innovations and developments, but those don’t really matter when you’re still enjoying it like before.

If you’ve been following this anime since the beginning, then there’s no reason for you to miss this new season. I believe that the Yowamushi Pedal series is one of the best sports anime of all time so my fondness in recommending it is extremely high!

Which of the titles listed is your favorite 2017 sports anime?

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