In light of the recent summer Olympics and the attention that it has drawn to some well-loved but lesser known sports, one Anime that comes to mind is Bakuten!! With its emphasis on teamwork, competition, and dazzling leotards, Bakuten!! takes its place on the podium as one of the most memorable sports Anime of the year so far. If you’re looking for an Anime that can teach you a thing or two about sports and that celebrates team spirit with a competitive edge and a sprinkling of bromance, check out these six Anime titles below!
Now, without further ado, let’s get STAR-ted.
Similar Anime to Bakuten!! / Similar Anime to Backflip!!
1. Cheer Danshi!! (Cheer Boys!!)
- Episodes: 13 (5.5 is a recap episode)
- Aired: June 2016 - September 2016
Starting off our list is Cheer Danshi!! After Haruki Bando chooses to quit the Judo club (owing to a lack of confidence because of an injury), he decides to help form a college cheerleading team known as BREAKERS alongside his childhood friend Kazuma Hashimoto. While creating a men’s team may seem a little unusual, the BREAKERS are soon able to recruit the required number of members and begin to compete in various cheerleading competitions throughout the course of the series.
There are some notable similarities between Cheer Danshi!! and Bakuten!! Both Anime focus on creating a sports club at a school/university that competes to be number one. The main characters in both begin as total novices, who have to learn their sport throughout the course of the series, and in each, the young men are surrounded by a supportive and uplifting team. There is a strong emphasis on camaraderie in the two shows, and both excel at developing their side characters. If you are looking for an uplifting high-flying show with an abundance of jumps and twirls and that sprinkling of bromance, Cheer Danshi!! comes highly recommended.
Cheer Boys Trailer
2. Iwa Kakeru! (Sport Climbing Girls)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2020-December 2020
Konomi Kasahara is addicted to video games, especially games with puzzles that require problem solving skills. One day, Kasahara discovers her school’s rock climbing wall and is dared by one of her classmates to climb it. When Kasahara realizes that she can use her problem solving skills to scale the wall, she joins her school’s rock climbing team, and together, they compete in the hopes of making it all the way to the top at nationals.
Unlike Bakuten!! which focuses on an all-boy team, Iwa Kakeru! focuses on an all-girl team. Both Anime are based on a club sport, and both Anime offer the viewer a decent amount of fan service along the way. In recent years, there have been a number of sports Anime; however, Bakuten!! and Iwa Kakeru! are unique in that they choose to consider sports that are not often given as a spot in the limelight. If you are looking for an enjoyable sports-themed Anime that focuses on a cutesy all-girl team for a change, then Iwa Kakeru! might just be the show for you.
Welcome to the Ballroom PV
3. Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2017- December 2017
Ballroom e Youkoso transports its viewers into the world of competitive ballroom dancing. Tatara Fujita is a third year middle schooler with no sense of direction for his life. One day after school when he is being harassed and bullied, he is rescued by Kaname Sengoku, who happens to be a teacher at Ogasawara Dance Studio. Fujita is dragged into the dance studio and quickly becomes enchanted by ballroom dancing, not to mention a certain girl. Like the hero in the great Japanese film, Sharu wi Dansu? (Shall We Dance?), Fujita is a novice at the beginning of the series, but his determination and competitive spirit propel him as he seeks recognition and his own place in the spotlight.
Initially, it may not seem like Ballroom e Youkoso and Bakuten!! have anything in common; nevertheless, there are some similarities. Both Anime present a niche sport that is not as well-known to audiences, and both Anime rely heavily on the competitive aspect of the story to drive the overall plot. In the beginning, both main characters are newcomers to the sports they are trying to learn, yet they are considered naturals at it. Both shows also feature stunning outfits that are sure to catch the eye. If you’re looking for a show that’s a little longer but follows the same plot formula as Bakuten!!, Ballroom e Youkoso will not let you down.
Any Anime Like Backflip!!? / Any Anime Like Bakuten!!?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2013- September 2013
Though arguably one of the most well known sports Anime, Free! should not be left off of this list. For those who do not know, Free! tells the story of Haruka Nanase and his best friend Makoto Tachibana as they seek to revitalize their high school’s swimming club. Once they are able to recruit the right number of members, the boys from Iwatobi participate in a variety of competitions, including against their rival Semezuka, where their friend Rin now goes to school. Free! is such a popular series that it was given three seasons and a number of movie adaptations. The final installment of Free! is scheduled to be released in two parts with the first being released in September 2021.
If there’s one thing that Bakuten!! and Free! have in common, it’s bromance. Both series focus on a team of boys coming together to train and compete, but along the way they forge bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.
Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club DVD Release
5. 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-Bu (2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2021- March 2021
One of the newcomers to sports Anime is 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-Bu. After Kamichika Haijima moves back to his hometown, he reconnects with his childhood friend Yuuni Kuroba, who happens to be a skilled volleyball player. Haijima is able to draw out Kuroba’s talent and together they become a force to be reckoned with. Haijima and Kuroba soon join their high school’s volleyball team, where they compete against a number of intimidating rivals and learn and grow not only as players, but as individuals along the way.
If you like Bakuten!!’s story, you will enjoy 2.43 Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-Bu. While not as popular as some of the other sports Anime out there, 2.43 Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-Bu takes its time investing in its characters and including you in their journey. If you want a sports Anime that takes you on a quest alongside its characters, but relies more on the story-telling aspect rather than zeroing in on the sport itself, then give 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-Bu a try.
2.43 Seiin Koukou Danshi Volleyball Team Trailer
6. Skate-Leading Stars
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2021- March 2021
For our final pick, we turn our attention to Skate-Leading Stars, another newer series. After losing to his rival, eleven-year-old Maeshima Kensei vows to never figure skate again. Because of his athleticism, once Kensei gets to high school, he is asked to join his school’s basketball team. Kensei refuses to commit to any sport until he learns that his rival Shinozaki Reo is competing in skate leading (team figure skating). With the help of an unexpected ally and the skate-leading team at Ionodai High School, Kensei returns to the ice and is determined more than ever to beat his formal revival.
If the aspect of Bakuten!! that you enjoy is its competitive nature, then be prepared to hold on to the edge of your seat as you watch Skate-Leading Stars. Both shows include witty banter and eccentric side characters, who really help to pull the show together and make you laugh along the way. If you are looking for a fun sports Anime that’s a bit more current, grab your remote and give Skate-Leading Stars and enjoy!
Skate-Leading Stars Trailer
There you have it, “Six Anime Like Bakuten!!” With their competitive edge, sometimes hint of bromance, and the opportunities to grow alongside each of the characters, these Anime will definitely satisfy your post-Olympic games craving. Be sure to let us know in the comments below which of these shows you have seen and which ones you like the best.