Hinomaruzumou was one of the most hotly anticipated sports anime of the season, and for good reason. The manga it’s based on is considered one of the best ongoing shounen battle series right now thanks to its fun story and wonderful art. With the anime being a solid adaptation, it’d be completely understandable if you were hungry for more. You might even be so drastic as to check out the manga.
Before you do that, though, we’ve got some ideas for you. There are plenty of great sports battle anime to jump into, many of which are quite recent! Sports anime is a pretty homogenous genre, with many exploring many of the same themes and following similar plot threads to tell their story. So if you’re looking for anime like Hinomaruzumou, never fear! We’ve got you covered.
Similar Anime to Hinomaruzumou
1. Eyeshield 21
- Episodes: 145
- Aired: April 2005 - March 2008
Sena Kobayakawa is the very definition of bully-bait. He’s tiny, timid, and a giant pushover. He was hoping to escape that life in high school but, sure enough, a trio of wannabe-thugs set their sights on poor Sena and making him their gofer. Finally fed up with getting singled out, Sena stands up for himself for the first time. While he’s running from them, Sena catches the attention of Deimon High’s resident psycho/American Football team captain, Hiruma Yoichi. As it so happens, Hiruma was just looking for someone with a nice set of legs to be his own runner… or rather, a running back!
Slam Dunk may have started the craze of sports anime focusing on niche sports (for Japan and the time period, anyway), but Eyeshield 21 was the perfection of the genre. Sena starts petrified and unwilling to play but as the series progresses, he discovers a love for the sport and develops into a self-confident competitor. Not only that, but he’s surrounded by one of the best supporting casts in all of sports anime, each one with their own goals and character arcs that develop throughout the series. For that reason, we’d be shocked if Hinomaruzumou didn’t take some inspiration from Eyeshield 21!
2. Tiger Mask W
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: October 2016 - July 2017
Global Wrestling Monopoly: if nothing else, their name is honest. They want to own all of wrestling all around the world and will stop at nothing to achieve their strangely specific goal. In their reckless pursuit, one specific gym gets caught in the crossfire. GWM’s Yellow Devil needlessly brutalizes Daisuke Fuji, the owner of a small gym, and has two promising up-and-comers looking for revenge. One, Naoto Azama, trains in the secret training facility of the legendary wrestler Tiger Mask to put a stop to GWM’s madness. The other, Takuma Fuji, wants nothing more than bloody revenge for his father and goes undercover within GWM’s ranks.
Are you enjoying the exciting action of Hinomaruzumou but find its technical knowledge of actual sumo wrestling too tasteful? We’d like to direct your gaze over to the gaudy stylings of Tiger Mask W, which can only be described as the answer to the age-old question “What if the ridiculous plot lines of professional wrestling were actually real?” Tiger Mask W was made to intersect with real plot lines that were going on within Japan’s own NJPW league, and even has several of their more famous wrestlers included within the series. It’s every wrestling nerd’s dream, with actual wrestlers like Kazuchika Okada and Tobi Makabe making appearances!
Tiger Mask W PV:
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2016 - March 2017
Kenji Gion is a ferocious little brat of a human. He hates his height and wants nothing more but to beat up people bigger than him. As it turns out, he gets his chance when he meets the gentle giant Iwashimizu, who accidentally introduces him to the violent sport of rugby. Their school’s rugby team isn’t much, though, outside of the passionate Hachiouji and the talented captain Sekizan. However, that doesn’t stop their dream of winning the Japanese national high school tournament!
Look, sports battle anime are about one thing and one thing only: the little guy standing up to overwhelmingly powerful opponents. That is ultimately the main goal of Hinomaru in Hinomaruzumou, and Gion’s end goal in All-Out. Both characters want to not just be the best at their sport, but actively lay the smackdown on men who tower above them. We love it because we want to see ourselves as the little guy, so if you’re looking for more anime like Hinomaruzumou with that power fantasy, All-Out needs to be at the top of your list.
Any Anime Like Hinomaruzumou ?
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2018 - October 2018
Sometimes, life simply isn’t fair. Aragaki Nagisa has trained all her life to become the best women’s badminton player, yet she keeps getting shut down. She loses to a middle school prodigy in her second year of high school and now Nagisa can’t seem to pull herself together. Nagisa, as captain, starts taking it out on her teammates and slowly drives away members, but she really hits her limit when Hanesaki Ayano, the aforementioned prodigy, enters her high school. Both players will have to come to terms with playing with each other and remember why they love badminton in the first place.
Effort vs talent. It’s the eternal struggle of all sports anime. In many ways, this is exactly what Hinomaruzumou is all about. Hinomaru is cursed with a small stature in a sport that would actually ban him for competing in the professional leagues. Nagisa is introduced to us completely unable to reconcile her own lack of talent with her love of the game. But while Hinomaruzumou’s personal drama is generally regulated to the background, this conflict is what drives the plot of Hanebado. It’s a much more dramatic take on the same formula.
5. Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2017 - December 2017
Tatara Fujita is in middle school and has absolutely no prospects for his life. He’s meek, timid, and lives in poverty with his divorced dad. One day on his way from school, he encounters some rather nasty bullies. Thankfully, Tatara happens to be right outside the dance studio of legendary ballroom dancer Sengoku Kaname, who ends up saving Tatara. Tatara decides that, after watching Sengoku’s intense and dominant dance routine, he wants to follow his footsteps into the world of ballroom dancing!
It’s not just the story of Hinomaruzumou that entices people to watch it. A lot of the hype for the anime going into this season actually came from the high-quality art from the manga. The intense sumo battles had magnificent command of intense camera angling and explosive, expressive art. And while the anime certainly captures a lot of that energy, it did lose just a touch in the transition. Ballroom e Youkoso, which was made by none other than Production I.G., might fulfill your craving for intense animation and artwork!
Ballroom e Youkoso PV:
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2014 - September 2014
“The Little Giant”: a title bestowed upon a legendary high school volleyball player from Karasuno High. He inspired hope in all the little guys who want to play volleyball, and there are few littler than Hinata Shouyou! Of course, Hinata’s got more than just a short stature to worry about. His middle school doesn’t even have a men’s volleyball club anymore. After struggling to find anyone who will play with him, he finally convinces a few friends to at least go to his middle school’s tournament. There, he picks a fight with the genius setter Kageyama Tobio, and the two vow to be rivals… only to find that they’re going to the same high school!
Considering that this is now our third recommendation that stars a tiny hero overcoming the deficiencies of his size, you might be able to tell this is a heavy trend in sports anime. But, hey, why mess with success? Haikyuu is about as perfect of a sports battle anime as you can get, with fun characters, unexpected and devastating upsets, and, most importantly, some absolutely beautiful animation and camera work to drive it home. Better still, Haikyuu has got 3 seasons under its belt, so it’s a proper binge watch between new Hinomaruzumou episodes!
Hopefully you haven’t seen most of these picks. These should give you enough content to last you week-to-week while waiting for new episodes of Hinomaruzumou. If you still want more though, never fear! Sports anime as a genre is so wide that there are tons of choices. These are just the ones we felt were best.
But, hey, do you have your own thoughts? Really dig Kuroko’s Basketball and want to convince everyone else? Got a soft spot for Ace of the Diamond? Please, let us know in the comments below!