The swimming club from Free!
The basket club from Kuroko no Basket
The volley ball from Haikyuu
The SKET DANCE from Sket dance
The baseball club from Ace no Diamond
The soccer club from Inazuma eleven
The American football club from Eyeshield 21
The tenis club from The Prince of tenis
The Kurata club form Chihayafuru
as a quick excuse EXPLANATION: I generally don’t like sports manga. And despite the domination of series such as Haikyuu, Kuroko and Daiya in the current anime/manga fan landscape, I like to imagine that there are others that are like me…. others who find sports manga tedious for a variety of reasons.
And thus, this list was born out of me doing backflips around the definition of what counts as a “sport.” Basically, it came down to this: if the manga takes on a structure that is standard of a sports manga, or people are competing for something, I decided it was a sport!!!
Additionally, I tried to find manga that subverted a major thing that I don’t like about sports manga, and that is a complete lack of female characters. You can expect most of these titles to have a strong presence of female characters in the plot (purely fueled by my bitterness at how much of a misogynist furudate is) !!!!
Anyways, titles and basic explanations under the cut!
it’s a sports anime with an amazing female protagonist.
people mistake it as a shoujo but it is actually josei.
the protagonist team is co-ed, yet there are absolutely no qualms that the female lead is the strongest player among them. there are even boys on the team who look up to her as a personal goal for themselves.
there are tons of girls in this anime, and none of them are sexualized. in fact, while playing, the teams wear just regular t-shirts or gorgeous hakama.
the sport they play might just possibly be the most beautiful sport in all of japan: karuta.
a lot of people choose not to watch this because they don’t know what karuta is. in its simplest definition, karuta is a one-on-one card game. a reader recites poetry from the ogurahyakunin isshu and the players attempt to steal their opponent’s corresponding card while protecting their own.
the main rival is also an amazing, badass female, who has so many layers to her character.
in fact, all the characters are so fleshed out and go through breathtaking character development through the series, as do the friendships.
there are so many emotions in this series. you’ll cry (in the first three episodes even), you’ll laugh, you’ll cheer, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. it’s like a journey.
there is a romantic subplot, but it takes a backseat most of the time to give more attention to the teams and the characters and the game itself.
the art is spectacular. the imagery is gorgeous.
there is so much poetry and symbolism that it’ll take your breath away.
you’ll fall in love with karuta. that, i can promise you.
There’s so much I could say. There’s so much I want to say. There’s so much I have to say. There’s so much I need to say.
But, I can’t find the right words. That’s what you do to me, Mamo-kun. There is no other seiyuu quite like you; you are truly one of a kind. My love and admiration and respect for you will never end. It only grows. (1/3)