The Japanese subsidiary of Baidu, the Chinese search engine which provides the keyboard application Simeji, announced the results of an internet poll in which the Gen Z chose their top ten sports anime.
The survey was conducted online between Dec 12, 2022, to Dec 30, 2022, and targeted men and women aged 10-24. The results were then summed up based on the valid responses.
Recent soccer manga hits, namely Aoashi and Blue Lock secured a place in the list, while classics like Inazuma Eleven and Slam Dunk were also present in it.
The results of the top 10 sports anime (along with their MAL descriptions) are:
Haruka Nanase has a love for water and a passion for swimming. In elementary school, he competed in and won a relay race with his three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana. After claiming victory at the tournament, the four friends went their separate ways. Years later, they reunite as high school students; however, Rin couldn’t care less about returning to the way things used to be. Not only does he attend a different school, but the sole thing important to him is proving that he is a better swimmer than Haruka.
After the bitter reunion, Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto decide to form the Iwatobi High School Swim Club, but they will need a fourth member if they hope to take part in the upcoming tournament. Enter Rei Ryuugazaki, a former member of the track team whom Nagisa recruits. As the time to compete draws near, the four develop a close bond while training intensely to come out on top and settle things between Haruka and Rin once and for all.
In a quiet rural town, the spotlight of a local junior high school football team rests on one player: Ashito Aoi. Known for his unpredictable moves and self-centered playing style, Ashito is the sole powerhouse pushing his team through an important high school preliminary tournament. However, their win streak is short-lived—an opponent causes Ashito to lose his temper and act violently, resulting in his removal from the rest of the game.
Without their star player, the team is quickly eliminated from the tournament. Just as he believes all hope is lost, Ashito is approached by a youth team coach named Tatsuya Fukuda who senses potential in him, and Fukuda invites him for tryouts in Tokyo. In an unfamiliar setting surrounded by talent, Ashito must bring out the best of his ability to prove himself and secure what could be a life-changing career.
8. Love All Play
Love All Play follows the story of Ryou Mizushima and his friends join the badminton club on a whim. As he grows fond of the sport, Ryou works tirelessly to improve his badminton skills until he qualifies in the prefectural tournament. Lacking a coach who can bring out his full potential, he does not consider entering a high school with a strong badminton team. Instead, he plans on attending a local high school where he can play badminton for fun.
However, Ryou’s perspective changes when Yokohama Minato High School’s badminton coach scouts him. Not only does the institution have one of the strongest badminton teams in the region, but it also has Kento Yusa, a player Ryou admires. Though hesitant at first, Ryou decides to enroll with the support of his sister. Possessing a firm ambition, he begins to gain experience with the proper guidance of a coach—all in hopes of surpassing Yusa one day.
7. Yowamushi Pedal
Sakamichi Onoda is a cheerful otaku looking to join his new school’s anime club, eager to finally make some friends. Unfortunately, the club has been disbanded and he takes it upon himself to revive it by finding students who are willing to join. Without much luck, Onoda decides to make a round trip to Akihabara on his old, bulky city bicycle, a weekly 90-kilometer ride he has been completing since fourth grade.
This is when he meets 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, with the proposition of joining the anime club should Onoda win. And thus begins the young boy’s first foray into the world of high school bicycle racing!
6. Inazuma Eleven
While other schools in Japan compete for the title of being the best soccer team in the country, Raimon Middle School’s soccer club, Inazuma Eleven, struggles to rise from the verge of being disbanded. The grandson of Inazuma Eleven’s first generation goalkeeper and captain of the team, Mamoru Endou, takes the challenge of kicking the long neglected club back into shape. To do this, he’ll need a little help and more than a little luck.
Mamoru Endou finds hope in the hands of Shuuya Gouenji, a brilliant young player who has given up on soccer. Mamoru is determined to get Shuuya and other new recruits to join his team, no matter what the cost. Is his passion and determination enough to treat the ailing club? Or is there no more hope for the team?
5. Slam Dunk
Hanamichi Sakuragi, infamous for his temper, massive height, and fire-red hair, enrolls in Shohoku High, hoping to finally get a girlfriend and break his record of being rejected 50 consecutive times in middle school. His notoriety precedes him, however, leading to him being avoided by most students. Soon, after certain events, Hanamichi is left with two unwavering thoughts: “I hate basketball,” and “I desperately need a girlfriend.”
One day, a girl named Haruko Akagi approaches him without any knowledge of his troublemaking ways and asks him if he likes basketball. Hanamichi immediately falls head over heels in love with her, blurting out a fervent affirmative. She then leads him to the gymnasium, where she asks him if he can do a slam dunk. In an attempt to impress Haruko, he makes the leap, but overshoots, instead slamming his head straight into the blackboard. When Haruko informs the basketball team’s captain of Hanamichi’s near-inhuman physical capabilities, he slowly finds himself drawn into the camaraderie and competition of the sport he had previously held resentment for.
4. Kuroko no Basket
For the last three years, Teikou Middle School has dominated the national basketball scene with its legendary lineup: the “Generation of Miracles.” It consisted of five prodigies who excelled at the sport, but a “Phantom Sixth Man” lurked in the shadows and helped earn the team their revered status. Eventually, their monstrous growth jaded them from the sport they loved and made them go their separate ways in high school.
In search of new members, the Seirin High School basketball team recruits Taiga Kagami and Tetsuya Kuroko, two freshmen who seem to have significant differences in abilities. Having returned recently from America, Kagami has both a natural aptitude and relentless love for the sport. Meanwhile, Kuroko lacks presence and exhibits no outstanding athletic talent. However, it is later revealed that he is Teikou’s Phantom Sixth Man—the player once part of the Generation of Miracles.
Kuroko wants to prove to the Seirin team that he is strong in his own way. Seeing his conviction, Kagami forms a dynamic partnership with Kuroko, the latter promising to support Kagami’s “light” as his “shadow.” Alongside their new Seirin teammates, they aim to conquer the upcoming Interhigh championship, but the reappearance of Kuroko’s former teammates complicates their plan.
As a child, Chihaya Ayase had only one dream: to see her elder sister Chitose become Japan’s most successful model. However, upon defending her ostracised classmate Arata Wataya from his bully—Chihaya’s childhood friend Taichi Mashima—she discovers the world of competitive karuta and soon becomes enamoured with the sport.
Based on the Ogura Hundred Poets anthology, this card game where poems are studied requires excellent memory, agility, and a tremendous endurance from the players. Full of hope, Chihaya joins the Shiranami Society together with the newly reconciled Arata and Taichi, embarking on an exciting journey for the title awarded to the top-ranked female player—Queen of Karuta.
Since middle school, Chihaya grew distant from a dispassionate Taichi and separated from Arata. However, in order to improve her skills, Chihaya decides to create a karuta club in her high school. With the help of Taichi, another veteran player, and a few spirited newcomers, Chihaya’s new-founded Mizusawa Karuta Club aims for victory in the Omi Shrine’s national championship.
2. Blue Lock
Yoichi Isagi was mere moments away from scoring a goal that would have sent his high school soccer team to the nationals, but a split-second decision to pass the ball to his teammate cost him that reality. Bitter, confused, and disappointed, Isagi wonders if the outcome would have been different had he not made the pass. When the young striker returns home, an invitation from the Japan Football Union awaits him. Through an arbitrary and biased decision-making process, Isagi is one of three hundred U-18 strikers selected for a controversial project named Blue Lock.
The project’s ultimate goal is to turn one of the selected players into the star striker for the Japanese national team. To find the best participant, each diamond in the rough must compete against others through a series of solo and team competitions to rise to the top. Putting aside his ethical objections to the project, Isagi feels compelled to fight his way to the top, even if it means ruthlessly crushing the dreams of 299 aspiring young strikers.
Ever since having witnessed the “Little Giant” and his astonishing skills on the volleyball court, Shouyou Hinata has been bewitched by the dynamic nature of the sport. Even though his attempt to make his debut as a volleyball regular during a middle school tournament went up in flames, he longs to prove that his less-than-impressive height ceases to be a hindrance in the face of his sheer will and perseverance.
When Hinata enrolls in Karasuno High School, the Little Giant’s alma mater, he believes that he is one step closer to his goal of becoming a professional volleyball player. Although the school only retains a shadow of its former glory, Hinata’s conviction isn’t shaken until he learns that Tobio Kageyama—the prodigy who humiliated Hinata’s middle school volleyball team in a crushing defeat—is now his teammate.
To fulfill his desire of leaving a mark on the realm of volleyball—so often regarded as the domain of the tall and the strong—Hinata must smooth out his differences with Kageyama. Only when Hinata learns what it takes to be a part of a team will he be able to join the race to the top in earnest.
A total of 487 responses were received in the survey!