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11 Of The Best Sports Anime Like Haikyuu

Haikyuu is a Japanese anime on Volleyball. The story follows the protagonist, a middle schooler named Hinata, who’s inspired to be a volleyball player after watching “Little Giant” on TV. Even though he lacks one important requirement for playing – height- this determined boy forms his own team with friends and enters a tournament!

Hinata’s dreams were shattered after the first match resulting in their brutal defeat against an opposing team. They lost because of Tobio Kageyama, who is a setter and called “The King of the Court.” Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama. As he joins Karasuno High School, he learns that his sworn enemy will be on the same volleyball team as him now!

best anime like haikyuu

A sports anime with likable characters, well-done action scenes, storyline and motivational conversations all tied together by superb animation quality and soundtrack. This combination makes it a very popular sports anime.

Now that “to the top” is finished, one excellent way to fill the void left by Haikyuu!! is through more anime! There are tons of amazing anime series, both sports and not, that have comparable aspects like a cast of lovable characters or an intense rivalry. Check out our list of amazing sports anime recommendations for anime similar to Haikyuu!!

1. Kuroko No Basket

kuroko no basket best anime like haikyuu

After winning three consecutive championships, the five players of the Teikou Junior High School team split up after graduation and now consider each other as rivals. These teammates were known to be “The Generation of Miracles” due to their breathtaking skills that left opponents in despair and fans amazed with admiration.

When Taiga Kagami and Tetsuya Kuroko come to Seirin High School, it quickly becomes apparent that they are not your average student-athlete. With his time spent playing in the US, Kagami is the most skilled basketball player on campus—though he can be quite loud about it at times. Meanwhile, Kuroko manages to stay unnoticed when he’s doing what needs to be done for their team. Despite being neither athletic nor able to score any points, Kuroko was an amazing player in Teikou’s basketball team. There he played as the “Phantom Sixth Man” who easily passed and assisted his teammates with his special talents.

Kuroko no Basket and Haikyuu!! are two of the most popular sports anime out there. If you’re a fan already and love how they show fighting spirit and teamwork like in Haikyu!, then this anime on basketball might be up your alley as well!

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2. Free!

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Haruka Nanase loves water and swimming. When he was in elementary school, he competed with his three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana, for a relay race. He claimed victory at the tournament; after that, they went their separate ways. 

Years later, they reunite as high school students; however, Rin couldn’t care less about the old days. Not only does he go to a different school, but his sole purpose is proving that he’s better than Haruka at swimming.

The three friends come together to form the Iwatobi Swim Club, but they will need a fourth member if they hope to take part in the upcoming tournament. Nagisa recruits Rei Ryuugazaki from the track team. Bonds start to form as they train intensely to come out on top and settle things between Haruka and Rin once and for all.

Haru is quite like an even more reserved version of Kageyama. His attitude towards the sport was that it’s something he does on his own–even though it’s really not because relay races are all about relying on your teammates to do their parts too. This theme goes hand in hand with Kageyama’s arc from being king of the court to becoming someone who knows how important teamwork really can be. With a nice animation quality and action scenes, this is a must-watch for anime fans.

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3. Food Wars!

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Souma Yukihira is a fifteen-year-old who has been cooking with his father since he was just five years old. He loves to cook and entertain people, but more importantly, Souma wants to run the restaurant that belongs to him and his family one day as its head chef!

Upon his father’s sudden decision to close the family restaurant, Souma is sent off from home and enrolled in Tootsuki Culinary Academy. Tootsuki Culinary Academy is the most elite cooking school in Japan, where only ten percent of students graduate. It’s famous for its “Shokugeki,” or food wars, with intense high stakes showdowns between rivalling chefs and cooks to prove whose cuisine reigns supreme.

Souma is faced with a new set of difficulties at Tootsuki Academy. With so many challenges, it’s as if his years of training under his father have been for naught, and he must resort to more creative ways in order to succeed!

If you liked Haikyuu, then there is no doubt that you will also fall in love with this popular anime series. It has the same comedic tone and energy as Haikyuu!!

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4. Ace Of Diamond

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Eijun Sawamura’s ambition to play baseball at a more competitive level was realized when he got the opportunity for Tokyo’s prestigious Seidou High School after being scouted for his unusual pitching style.

Eijun is a skilled player, but he’s surrounded by other talented players. He declares that he’ll someday become the team’s ace if fellow first year Satoru Furuya doesn’t take it before him with his breakneck fastballs and a coveted spot on the starting roster. With these powerful new additions to an already strong lineup, the Seidou baseball team aims for Japan’s best–facing off against formidable foes who stand in their way of glory.

Ace of Diamond is a popular baseball anime that focuses on baseball with a ton of similarities to Haikyuu!! and Kuroko no Basket. The cool characters are also incredibly charming and funny, which will make audiences want them to succeed as they play their way through the series. Ace of Diamond has many amazing characters, and at one point or another, the show focuses on a single character in order for viewers to see how important every team member can be when it comes down to it!

5. Welcome To The Ballroom

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Tatara Fujita is just your average shy middle school student. He has no plan for the future, and he’s managed to get by without any confrontations because of his avoidance skills and ability to blend in with crowds. But one day, a group of bullies harass him into giving them money or else they’ll beat him up. Luckily, Tatara gets saved from that situation by Kaname Sengoku.

Kaname invites Tatara to his dance studio. Although he would normally never set foot in such a place, Tatara is captivated by Sengoku’s commanding presence and sets off on an adventure into the world of competitive ballroom dancing with fellow classmate Shizuku Hanaoka who often practices at Kaname’s Studio.

Welcome to the Ballroom, where graceful dancers glide across polished floors in perfect synchronicity. This anime is a must-watch for anyone who loves Haikyuu!! It’s made by the same animation studio, Production I.G., so of course, it has an amazing soundtrack, awesome scenes, stunning animation and the same character dynamics and character growth we get in Haikyuu!!!

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6. Run With The Wind

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Kakeru Kurahara is a former ace runner of Sendai Josei High School. One day, he was chased away from the convenience store for shoplifting and shaking off his pursuer, ran into Haiji Kiyose, who persuaded him to live in Chikusei-sou – an old apartment building with some shady residents where there’s no space left, but that doesn’t stop them either!

Haiji reveals that during Kakeru’s welcome party, the apartment is actually his dormitory for Kansei University Track Club. His ultimate goal is to participate in Hakone Ekiden—a prestigious Japanese marathon relay race between universities. Unfortunately, all of Haiji’s residents are complete novices with only months before the deadline! Will he be able to convince them and realize his dream?

From the same animation studio: Run With the Wind is another Production I.G sports anime with a long list of similarities to Haikyuu!! and Welcome to the Ballroom, including an upbeat animation quality and action scenes that focus on physicality. Kakeru was portrayed as being similar in some ways to Kageyama from Haikyuu!: focused on himself before realizing what it means to be part of a team, but he’s somewhat more sullen.

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7. Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup!)

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Ren Mihashi was the ace of his middle school’s baseball team, but he caused them to never win any middle school baseball game due to his poor pitching. Mihashi’s constant losses finally reached the point where his teammates bullied him and stopped trying to win. He then graduated from high school with little self-esteem because of this, which is why he decided to never play baseball again, not even at a different prefecture. In a whirlwind of events, Kenta was dragged into joining the baseball team here at Nishiura High.

It doesn’t take long before Mihashi realizes that he will be accepted for who he is in the team. With help from Abe, his confidence grows, and with a little bit of coaching on how to pitch, they have an ace!

One of the best things about this baseball anime is how it focuses on relationships and their impact on sports. You get to know all of the characters, see what they’re like outside or practice, and eventually understand why certain personalities are better for a specific sport than others. Just like Haikyuu!!! This is one anime with comedy delivered straight mixed with slapstick that makes it an enjoyable experience.

8. Baby Steps

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In the time-strapped life of a diligent and methodical honour student, Eiichirou Maruo is an anomaly. Concerned about his health because he doesn’t exercise enough, this freshman joins Southern Tennis Club after seeing their flyer on campus.

The first impression of the tennis club is not all sports and training. He meets Natsu Takasaki, a girl who, more than just a talented player, loves to play and aims for professional status. The monotonous days of Eiichirou come to an end as he becomes fascinated with the game. Although his life is oriented towards studying, it seems that playing tennis has a more profound impact on him than originally thought. As he trained and studied, his skills gradually improved until they were on par with the pros!

The protagonist, Ei-chan, is a beginner at the sport of tennis. The viewers can see his progress in each episode as he learns more about how to hit a ball and become better at playing this game. He has many funny moments that make you want him to succeed, even if there are people who have been doing it for years ahead of him! Baby Steps is an endearing show with lots of heartwarming scenes, just as Haikyuu!!

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9. Yowamushi Pedal

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Sakamichi Onoda, a cheerful and otaku who is eager to make friends at his new school, but when he finds out the anime club has been disbanded. He decides that it’s up to him on revitalizing this club by finding students willing to join. Without any luck, Onoda decides to make a round trip to Akihabara on his old and bulky city bicycle. He’s been completing this weekly 90-kilometre ride since fourth grade.

Onoda’s first foray into the world of high school bicycle racing began when he met fellow first-year student Shunsuke Imaizumi: a determined cyclist who is using the school’s steep incline for practice. Surprised by Onoda’s ability to climb the hill with his specific type of bicycle, Imaizumi challenges him to a race. The stakes? If he wins, then it means joining the anime club!

With many of the same themes as Haikyuu!!, Yowamushi Pedal is another anime that shows great character development. Sakamichi makes a full turn and gets immersed into an entirely new world.

10. Ahiru no Sora

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Sora Kurumatani has been playing basketball since he was a little boy and overcame many obstacles in his journey. His height-challenged stature didn’t stop him from excelling at the sport, practising relentlessly to beat some of those taller opponents that would have otherwise given an advantage over Sora’s shorter frame. 

Sora enters Kuzuryuu High School to become a member of the basketball club and compete wholeheartedly in tournaments. However, he’s disappointed when he finds out that all the members are punks who don’t care about playing at all. Sora also learns from his friends Chiaki and Momoharu Hanazono—whom he becomes acquainted with—that they have lost their once-spirited motivation for playing as well.

Determined to revive the school team, Sora challenged the boys to a match against him, where his quick feet and swift movements overwhelmed the group. Gradually affected by Sora’s impressive skills, sheer effort, and tireless devotion to basketball that was evident in every dribble or shot he made on them, they found their burnt-out passion for this game rekindling once again.

Ahiru no Sora is a must-watch anime like Haikyuu that are lighthearted sports dramas with always hardworking main characters. The program has its own niche by focusing on the players who lack height but compensate their shortcomings with skills, and it’s worth checking out because Ahiru no Sora offers a unique perspective combined with an amazing character arc.

11. Slam Dunk

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Slam Dunk follows Hanamichi Sakuragi, infamous for his temper, massive height and fire-red hair, as he enrols in Shohoku High School to finally get a girlfriend. His notoriety precedes him, though, as he’s avoided by most of the students at school.” I hate basketball,” Hanamichi thought to himself. “And I need a girlfriend.”

Haruko Akagi approaches Hanamichi without any knowledge of his troublemaking ways and asks him if he likes basketball. Unable to resist her, he lies quickly, blurting out a fervent affirmative as she leads him off for an impromptu show-and-tell in the gymnasium where she asks, “if you can do a slam dunk.” In one clumsy attempt to impress Haruko with his inhuman physical capabilities–he jumps too far and slams his head straight into the backboard. Haruko informs the basketball team’s captain of Hanamichi’s inhuman physical capabilities, and he slowly finds himself drawn into the camaraderie and competitiveness of the sport and eventually becomes a player in the Shohoku High School team.

Despite having different reasons, both Slam Dunk and Haikyuu have characters who are trying to be the best at their sport. It’s the type of anime on basketball where you can find a struggle of how they try and deal with life’s challenges as well as making it through tough matches in order to become number one. A sports action anime with comedy mixed in this action-packed series will keep you hooked from the start until the end!

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Well, that’s it for our list of anime recommendations similar to Haikyuu! We hope you found one or two new shows to watch. If we missed any sports anime on Volleyball with your favorite character, let us know, and maybe we can update this list! Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about our picks. Enjoy!

Written by Charlie

I've watched a lot of anime in my days, but that doesn't stop me from watching more. Whether it be new or old, I'll give it a run-through and tell you what I think about it. We're currently living in the golden age of anime with so many great shows out there to watch.

Some are better than others for sure, but they're all worth checking out at least once. My beautiful daughters also love watching animes...well not as much as their dad does!

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