10 Best Anime Athletes of All Time

The world of anime is expansive and offers many unique stories with compelling characters, engaging plots, and epic moments. While some anime come and go, many deliver unique and memorable experiences. Those types of anime typically contain well-written storylines and characters.

We want to highlight the best anime athletes of all time. From the iconic Ippo Makunochi to under-the-radar folks like Tsubasa Ozora, these athletes have earned their spot among the others here. 

Feel free to leave your comments about our choices below.


Taiga Kagami (Kuroko’s Basketball)

Taiga Kagami is an incredible basketball player in the Kuroko’s Basketball universe. With its impressive stature and physical capabilities, Kagami’s hard work and effort make him an outstanding player on the basketball court. His attitude, dexterity, and power contribute to his talent on the ballcourt. 

Moreover, Kagami is known for being an extremely agile player. His phenomenal leaping capabilities allow him to outplay defenders and score points with no trouble. On top of having great reaction time and brute strength, Kagami is an incredible basketball player and one of anime’s finest athletes. 


Ippo Makunochi (Hajime No Ippo)

For those who are into boxing, Ippo Makunochi is an anime boxer worth observing in the Hajime No Ippo series. While he starts off having no talent or knowledge of the sport, his unfathomable determination, drive, and work ethic push him to become a tough opponent in the field. Ippo’s unwavering spirit has assisted him in defying the odds countless times in the series. 

Every time he steps into the ring with someone–strong or weak, Ippo’s determined to give it his best effort. Moreover, the series exceptionally shows Ippo pursuing greater heights through tough training regimes and deep conversations he has with professionals. With his sheer determination and skill set, Ippo is a boxer worthy of praise. 


Shoyo Hinata (Haikyu!!)


Haruka Nanase (Free! Iwatobi Swim Club)

Whenever Summer calls, many folks’ go-to activity is swimming. For Free’s Haruka, this activity is his profession. That said, Haruka is a remarkable athlete with exceptional swimming skills. His dedication to the sport makes him a force to be reckoned with during swimming competitions. Whether it’s his tight focus or graceful swimming habits, many will commend him for his skills. 

On that note, many will admire Haruka’s unique swimming style in the Free series. He’s capable of swimming at incredible speeds and dominates most competitors during medley or freestyle events. In addition to having excellent breathing control and rhythm, Haruka’s a swimmer you don’t want to compete with. 


Sakuragi Hanamichi (Slam Dunk)

Next to Kagami, Hanamichi is another fabulous basketball player worth acknowledging on this list. At the start of Slam Dunk, Hanamichi is disinterested in the sport. As he competes in basketball games, he develops a fondness for the sport and learns he’s great at it. Therefore, one of Hanamichi’s best traits is his athleticism, most notably his height and strength.

With his impressive stature and raw power, Hanamichi has an advantage over most people he competes with. Moreover, his superior jumping ability enables him to dominate in rebounds and secure critical possessions for his team. With great passion and athleticism, Hanamichi has earned his spot amongst the others present here.  


Eijun Sawamura (Ace of Diamond)

Eijun Sawamura is a skilled baseball player with a unique pitching style and unwavering spirit. Unlike some pitches that rely on speed and accuracy, Eijun employs multiple unpredictable tactics to keep batters on their toes. From cutter throwes to forkballs, Eijun uses multiple pitching styles to keep his opponents guessing, making him a fun player to examine in Ace of Diamond. 

Additionally, Eijun possesses strong willpower and determination. Despite encountering countless hurdles and setbacks, Eijun’s passion for baseball and his belief in his potential allowed him to push through these barriers. It’s this grit and drive that motivates his teammates to give it their all in every game they partake in. 


baki hanma

Baki Hanma (Baki The Grappler)

Baki Hanma is a popular martial artist in the Baki The Grappler universe. Known for his ruthless training regimes, formidable strength, and marvelous spirit, Baki has earned his spot on this list. Ever since he was young, Baki has immersed himself in rigorous martial arts training scenarios. He’s always striving to surpass his limits and puts in the work necessary to achieve this mission. 

That said, Baki’s mastered various fighting styles and techniques over the years. Whether it be his relentless pursuit for perfection or determined will, fans will walk away adoring Baki’s character. 


Tsubasa Ozora (Captain Tsubasa)

Tsubasa Ozora is a great soccer player in Captain Tsubasa. He possesses phenomenal talent, an unwavering spirit, and multiple skills. Like our previous entrant, Tsubasa’s always been incredibly talented at the sport he admires. He’s known for having wonderful ball control, mastering multiple soccer techniques, and being extremely fast. 

For instance, he possesses exceptional dribble, passing, and shooting skills. Additionally, he’s known for being a tactical player on the court and can make precise decisions on the fly. Skills aside, Tsubasa is highly committed to soccer and vows to push beyond his limitations. With great passion and an exceptional skill set, Tsubasa deserves recognition. 


Makoto Tsukimoto (Ping Pong The Animation)

Ping Pong isn’t a sport that’ll come to many folks’ minds when they discuss or contemplate athletes. However, after one witnesses how Makoto’s journey unfolds in Ping Pong’s The Animation, they’ll think differently of it. That said, Makoto is a skilled table tennis player who undergoes a rough yet compelling journey in this series. 

While his enthusiasm for the sport may not mesh well with others, his quirky nature and unique playing style contribute to his proficiency on the court. He’s known for being a calculative table tennis combatant. He can read his foe’s movements and swiftly adapt his shots around theirs.

Additionally, Makoto’s phenomenal reflexes and deep understanding of the game aid him in overcoming multiple odds. While Makoto may not be the most inspirational figure in Ping Pong The Animation, he’s an athlete worth praising. 


Joe Yabuki (Ashita No Joe)

Joe Yabuki is on par with Ippo in terms of being a well-written, motivational boxing protagonist. Despite his harsh upbringing, many anime fans will admire Joe and the difficult journey he embarks on in the Ashita No Joe series. As soon as he steps in the ring, Joe’s willing to give it his one-hundred percent best. 

Additionally, Joe encounters multiple issues outside the ring, too. From severe injuries to personal tragedies, Joe’s path to glory isn’t always peaceful and joyful. Nevertheless, viewers will admire watching Joe tackle and overcome these many issues. Coupled with his excellent fighting ability and effort, Joe Yabuki is a marvelous anime athlete. 


So, there we have it, our picks for the 10 best anime athletes of all time. 

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!


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