Why sport is the best genre in anime

Too many genres to choose

Today brings you a slightly shorter feature at www.readyplayergone.com, have you ever struggled to find the right genre of anime for you? Anime has so many different genres, too many, some would say. It’s nigh impossible to find a new anime to watch without first considering a genre that is right for you. One of the most newcomer-friendly genres has to be Shonen, which is generally aimed at the male, young adult, audience. Titles in this genre include Naruto, Bleach, Attack on TitanOne PieceFullmetal Alchemist and so on. The Shonen genre features a lot of action, regular comedic value and generally is headed up by a male protagonist (someone the demographic can attempt to relate to). These features fit really well in a fantasy or sci-fi setting, but I never would have considered sport and shonen to fit so perfectly in the anime scene.

Sport anime – almost without fail – start out with the same sort of protagonist who you can relate to as a viewer. However, there is usually something different about them, the are usually incredibly talented in a specific area. Additionally, the trade-off is that they have a disadvantage which they need to overcome to be the best. Below is a few examples:

Shoyo Hinata is fast on the court and can also jump surprisingly high. However, he is incredibly short.

Tetsuya Kuroko can pass the ball faster than anyone else and is a genius at misdirection. Although, once he is noticed it takes a lot for him to be ‘invisible’ again.

Sora Kurumatani is able to make impressive free-throws which regularly go in, however, his height puts him at a severe disadvantage.

 Sport anime is full of ‘action.’ Sure, not in the classic anime-sense of the term, but there is almost always something to keep you engaged. Like the moment in volleyball anime series, Haikyu!!, where Hinata and Kageyama first pull off their freak quick. Again, when the volleyball was going out of play and instantly, Shoyo gets to it and spikes what seems like an unimaginable shot. I have never watched Volleyball – and I will never watch volleyball – it’s not my cup of tea, but Haikyu!! sure is. Yeah, I played a little bit of basketball back in my school days, but little did I know that after watching Kuroko no Basuke and Ahiru no Sora, I would be picking up a basketball once again.

I’m sat here picturing some of the screaming Otaku, “Sports anime is for total weebs, I only watch the 1982 series of Gundam.” Or, the guy who hates all things shonen but is secretly up to date with all 945 episodes of One Piece, including filler and movies. There’s always that one guy who does it, they hate on any genre outside of his preference. Seriously, that guy is a real cheb. The thing is, even though the genre is about sports, and the rush that you feel isn’t even necessarily related to the sport itself. That’s what I love about this genre – I can appreciate it beyond its most basic topic – it isn’t all about the sport.

What happened to all the ‘action?’

Take this for example, I love One Piece (cue the disapproval). What I love can be seen as quite shallow – it’s funny, has a lovable cast and plenty of action. My love of One Piece (which falls into the Shonen category) goes back a number of years now, and I will see it as an achievement when I make it to the end. My biggest gripe with the show is that you can sometimes go 10-20 episodes with little action and suspense. However, this is why the sport genre takes it for me – you get plenty of action and suspense in every episode (bar the irregular filler episode). I am constantly gripped in the matches on Haikyu!!, wondering how they are going to overcome the next hurdle, knowing that Kageyama has something up his sleeve.

Sure, the production value in sports anime isn’t always the highest. You can probably guess what is going to happen next. We all know the end goal is likely to be that the character has made it, but this is why I love this genre. It feels good to watch, there is little to no depressing connotations and I come away knowing that I’ve enjoyed the last 25 minutes. It’s not that deep, but I’m incredibly invested and that is what I like. So yeah, there it is. Sport anime may be basic, but it packs plenty of action. The story may be typical, but sometimes that is what you want.

Anyway, what series are you watching at the moment? Have you been keeping up with Crunchyroll Simulcasts? Do you have any recommendations?

Let us know and make sure to check back on our homepage for more anime and gaming features!

Joey Hancockhttp://www.readyplayergone.com
Founder of Ready Player Gone and avid gamer.

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