Graphic Novels / some of my favorite sports manga for you to feast on!

What is with passionate high school boys and their sports of choice that sweeping fragile fangirls like me off our feet? How can they make this after school activity so intense? Is it the camaraderie? Friendly (or hostile perhaps, right, Sakuragi?) rivalry? The boys?! Or all of it?!

Some years ago when Mitchii was this teeny teenager, she swooned over Ryota Miyagi and Mitsui (OK, Rukawa, too) from Slam Dunk! And now with series like Kuroko no Basket and Haikyuu (yes, Haikyuu!!) I think that teenager in me emerged once again rooting for these boys to achieve their dreams! There’s something about sports anime/manga that promotes positivity! It is such a wonderful sight to see them work so hard to achieve their goals (and be with them along the way! Witnessing their tremendous character development). While there’s repetitive pattern in them, the real theme of perseverance is there—and that’s why I stick around. And so today I’ll share some of my favorite sports anime/manga so far:

Slam Dunk

This one is a classic! I knew the series by heart. Watched/read the series more than I can count. This is one of the sports anime/manga that if you’re venturing into it as a first timer or just a big fan of the genre then you must not miss this one out! The overall atmosphere is just entertaining as it is deep. It’s hilarious, it can be crazy, but the basketball is real. It has heart! I remember Inoue Takehiko’s words in the epilogue that when he was about to start the manga, basketball as a theme was risky. It wasn’t popular then. But lo and behold what Inoue-sensei’s achievement: he made the sports popular. But the story, it just amazing that even though it has been years (13 years ago I think?) since I first laid my eyes on it. It still evokes the same emotions. Slam Dunk is the epitome of sports manga to me. PERIOD!



I’m crazy over Haikyuu!! You don’t know how much this anime/manga makes me happy. The team is just astounding but more than that it is also so well-balanced that I never found a dull moment (especially when Hinata is on the spotlight). I also like if the sport is portrayed as realistically as possible and that gives Haikyuu an edge to other some sports manga/anime I followed. But seriously, the antics of the group, the character development that has happened to each one of them makes me feel so proud. If this is how a parent feels like when they see their kids excel then that is what I’m feeling every time (and even on the smallest details take note) it happens! Go Karasuno! Fly once again! *daps eyes with handkerchief*

Prince of Tennis

I was crushing on Ryoma big time before. I love the first season (or the first 26 eps) when they actually were playing tennis. Now…well, you could say I’m a little turn off of what tennis has become here. It’s like Inazuma Eleven (but crazier). But if we’re talking about the beginning of the series then I’m happy to tell you how entertaining POT was. It was kinda refreshing to see that the MC or the entire team as one of the strongest teams/players around. Maybe that was the reason why it became odder as the series progress, LOL. Nevertheless , Seigaku is a team to remember and they make tennis so hot (I wanted tennis as my compulsory PE subject but I ended up with Basketball—which was not shoddy outcome because it’s the only sports I’m quite good at. I got an awesome grade btw!). 😛

Dear Boys

It’s either Kuroko no Basket or Slam Dunk, only a handful of people I know had heard of Dear Boys. This, like the two I mentioned is also about basketball. I admit I didn’t get to finish it but I remember how I was so into that I became an admin for a community for this series (ah, I’m hinting you my age again). It’s not as, bubbly? (not the right term but kinda like it) as KnB or SD; it’s more dramatic , or quite tone down since the team has some sort of stuff (read: drama) right at the beginning. And unlike the other protags who are either novice or just on the developing phase, the MC was incredible player already but he went to unknown school who only had 4 members (Yeah, Seirin you were pretty lucky, still). There’s also romance here, subtle but established…or I think it was. I’m mentioning because I had memorable history with it.

Eyeshield 21


I can never be prouder of Sena Kobayakawa: from a pashiri (ぱしり) or lackey to a complete athlete. He was bullied and was always defended by his older girl friend (as in just a friend, like an oneechan) but when their demon (literally) of a captain saw his big potential as a running back for his then two-man American Football team; his life changed after. I can clearly remember that moment when he finally took off his helmet—that was a goose bumps inducing scene. And through it he met many friends. And those friends were amazing people. Can you believe that the people who bullied him before became his teammates? Solid and reliable ones at that! I loved how it showed the changes in everyone: be it on their craft or them as a person.

Hajime no Ippo

Boxing is a big thing in our country (hello! Manny Pacquiao!) but even if that’s the case I wasn’t into it. But Hajime no Ippo changed my mind. Like Sena (of Eyeshield 21) he was bullied but later got interested with boxing. It so nice to see him from this complete beginner to a champion. His journey was the one that got me so interested (apart from the humor—oh my gosh, this series is totally for boys! Like bathroom/d*ck jokes around). But when it is serious, it is serious! The fights were intense (hats off to Madhouse for the anime). It’s quite long (with currently 1000+ chapters already?) so I don’t rec it that much but Ippo’s athletic career is one the most fascinating I’d seen!

I’m aware that I didn’t mention Kuroko no Basket (I have big responsibility to showcase this right so maybe next time), Hungry Heart, Yowamushi Pedal & Rikidou (are Capeta & Grander Musashi considered as one?). I didn’t forget, that was intentional. But titles above are the ones that I really, really liked/loved/memorable. Let’s see if I can do a part two then, LOL.

How about you, are you also passionate fan of sports anime/manga? Which ones are your favorite? Rec it to me! 


4 Responses to These passionate boys & their sports of choice!

  1. Neo says:

    Hi, Mitchii!! It’s me, Neo from twitter/amassment! I just absolutely had to flock to your post because /you know/ sports <333.

    I've actually been on your blog before, I specifically remember reading about how Honey & Clover affected you – sorry I haven't commented before now ;;. I feel that it is my absolute duty to, today! (and hopefully future days)

    It's so wonderful to see you featuring sports series on your blog! And, I absolutely have to agree with you. The passion that drive the boys in sports-centered manga is so electrifying! It keeps me on the edge of my seat and I am just cheering (and crying) for them like nobody's business.
    I don't know how it has enveloped girls' hearts(I suspect slash is involved in some cases, aha), but I am so glad it did!

    Prince of Tennis and Slam Dunk were my firsts (although I cringe about a lot of things in PoT now, lol) and they are the ones I most fondly remember. But, I also really love newer series and how far they have come in terms of character development, animation, and just sheer variety.

    Dear Boys and Hajime Ippo have always been on my list, but they are competing with so many others~~ Hopefully I will sit down and read these one day. That also reminds me that I didn't finish Eyeshield 21. I actually have no idea where I left off.

    I think it really is the transformation of the character and the trials and tribulations along the way that is so visible due to the sports that is so attractive. It spurs emotions in you that you can also do the same.

    Do you like any baseball series? I definitely recommend Cross Game if you haven't read it already. It seems like something you may like based on what I know you already like c:
    I also recommend Diamond no Ace, but it is very sport-heavy and takes a different turn with the path of the main character.

    Ahh, sorry I didn't mean for this comment to be so long! Okay, maybe I did. Sports series are amazing ~~! Look forward to your future posts!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Hi Neo, thanks for dropping by & took time to read my ramblings, haha. I just can’t help to feature my current obsession right now. So I need to highlight them here on my blog.

      It’s kinda weird and completely puzzling how sports manga captured our hearts. I think, for me, I love how they work so hard, how passionate they are.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks POT changed so drastically. I love the beginning, didn’t mind the power-ups & stuff. But it became too ridiculous for me to swallow. But the beginning was really addicting, oh I wish Konomi had sustained the same flow.

      I hope you get to finish ES21. And also try Dear Boys and Hajime Ippo. Both are quite different but loads of sports action like the others.
      Unfortunately I’m not too keen with baseball. I tried several anime like ookiku furikabutte, one outs, major and of course Daiya no Ace. For some reason I couldn’t get the hold of it. Perhaps, it’s the sport?

      No, actually thank you for commenting. Your insights are wonderful! <3 Love to hear from you (I know how much you love sports anime/manga). xD

  2. Romi says:

    I definitely agree. I haven’t read any sports manga, but I can imagine how high the passions run and that’s the thing I really love about manga- they are just so passionate and even if I don’t, after eighteen volumes and intense love, really know what a Host is IT DOESN’T MATTER. Because they just had so much passion and it was exciting and spirited and that seems to be a feature that carries through most of the manga I’ve read. Even when it’s heartbreaking and horrifying and brutal, there’s still that passion. That dedication to telling a story and following the character’s growth, and I adore it.
    I’ve actually been considering trying Slam Dunk, but I’m going to see if my library has a couple of these and see how I go. I NEED MORE PASSION.
    Gorgeous post. xx

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Thank you so much Romi! Are you talking about Ouran? This is what I love about manga they make what sometimes we think are mundane things very elaborate and the subject shines through the story. Ooooh~ I hope your library has Slum Dunk so you can read it. Again, thank you Romi. <3

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