Sports romance anime let you experience the perfect balance of adrenaline-pumping action and heartwarming romantic relationships.
Witness the dedication, teamwork, and love required to become a true champion, and be moved by the struggles and triumphs that come with it.
This list includes the best sports romance anime if you want to combine love, action, and even drama and humor.
Table of Contents
15. Hungry Heart
Follow Kyosuke Kano, a rebellious boy and coach of the newly formed women’s football team, as he trains them with the help of the team captain, Miki.
Watch as he overcomes real issues faced by soccer players like injuries and uncooperative teammates to make it to the national championship.
But it’s not just about sports. Hungry Heart is also about self-discovery and growth, with well-developed characters that will leave you rooting for them.
And plus, the romance between Kyosuke and Miki is sweet, heartwarming, and a highlight of the show.
With a strong storyline and an extremely likable protagonist, the anime is much deeper than it appears on the surface, even with some stereotypical elements and characters.
14. Skating Rink Kaleidoscope
Skating Rink Kaleidoscope is a unique sports romance anime that combines figure skating and the afterlife for a captivating storyline.
After a fall ends her Olympic dreams, Tazusa Sakurano starts hearing the voice of a Canadian stunt pilot, Pete Pumps, trapped in her body after a tragic accident.
Despite the unusual situation, Tazusa continues to pursue her passion and relies on Pete’s guidance and support.
Their amusing and heartwarming interactions add humor to the sports drama, making it a must-watch.
Although the animation isn’t the best, the settings are beautiful, the characters are appealing, and the music is excellent.
13. Clean Freak Aoyama-kun
Looking for a sports romance anime that puts a fresh spin on the classic high school soccer team story? Look no further than Clean Freak Aoyama-kun.
This standout anime features a skilled soccer player who also happens to be a clean freak, adding a quirky and fun element to the story.
Despite his germaphobia, Aoyama gives his all for the love of the game and his team, and his unusual personality even attracts female teammates.
Clean Freak Aoyama-kun blends lighthearted moments with serious storytelling, including sweet moments between Aoyama and Odagiri in a haunted course.
The romance intensifies when Mio confesses her feelings, but Aoyama’s devotion to Moka adds depth to the story.
While it may not be the funniest anime out there, Clean Freak Aoyama-kun offers a delightful mix of lighthearted moments and serious storytelling.
12. Air Gear
This thrilling series follows the journey of Itsuki Minami, a middle school student who discovers a pair of futuristic inline skates called Air Trecks and sets out to become the ultimate AT rider.
But, Air Gear isn’t just about skating. The series is full of dynamic characters, and a love story that will leave you rooting for your favorite pair.
As Itsuki rises to fame in the streets with his ATs, he catches the eyes of the girls in the AT community, adding a romantic element to the story.
Ringo Noyamano, the female lead and main love interest of Itsuki, adds to the series’ love and relationship themes.
Air Gear’s animation is top-notch, with stunning racing and battle scenes. And also the music sets the pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The focus on character development makes the world of Air Gear enjoyable, with relatable and humorous characters. It’s a unique and exciting sports romance anime that will hook you from the first episode.
11. Aim For The Ace
Aim for the Ace! is a classic anime that’s perfect if you want a touch of romance and a serious tone.
First aired in 1973-1974, it’s one of the first anime to focus on tennis.
You’ll follow Hiromi Oka, a 15-year-old girl who works hard to become the best player she can be under the guidance of her strict coach Jin Munakata.
But it’s not just about tennis as Hiromi falls in love with fellow player Takayuki Todo, adding a layer of romance to this already engaging story.
With the support of her coach, friends, and newfound love interest, Hiromi grows into a mentally stronger person, overcoming her anxiety and becoming one of the best players in the world.
The soundtrack is fantastic, and the artwork will take you back to the classic art styles of 70s French advertisements.
But what really sets Aim for the Ace! apart is its exploration of mature topics such as balancing love and career.
The women’s tennis club and its independence are portrayed as a great example of how it should be. The show represents the female characters as strong, independent individuals with their own goals and ambitions.
If you’re looking for a sports romance anime that is both heartwarming and intense, then Touch is a must-watch.
It tells the story of Kazuya and Tatsuya, 2 brothers who are both in love with Minami, their childhood friend. The competition between the brothers for Minami’s love is captivating, and you can’t help but root for your favorite brother.
What sets Touch apart from other sports romance anime is its reliability.
The characters are middle school students who are struggling with school, love, and their relationships with each other. It’s a coming-of-age story that explores the complex dynamics of sibling rivalry and young love.
Although the show has its flaws, it’s a classic that has aged well. The visuals are still impressive despite being over 30 years old, and the high episode count guarantees that you’ll be invested in the characters and their story.
9. Slam Dunk
Slam Dunk is the perfect sports romance anime that combines thrilling matches with hilarious moments.
It takes you on a journey into the world of high school basketball, following the growth of the main character, Hanamichi Sakuragi. He joins the basketball team to impress Haruko Akagi, a girl who is deeply passionate about basketball.
What makes Slam Dunk stand out is the portrayal of the love for basketball, drawing you into the exciting world of high school basketball and the relationships between the characters.
While some true fans of the game may find the portrayal of basketball outdated, the anime’s hilarious moments and relatable characters make up for it.
It’s a perfect blend of, basketball, friendship, competition, a great slice of life romance anime, and lots of laughs.
If you’re looking for a sports anime with a heartwarming romance story, then MAJOR is a must-watch.
This anime follows the journey of a father and son duo, Shigeharu and Goro, as they pursue their dreams of becoming successful baseball players.
Along the way, they encounter Momoko, a schoolteacher and love interest for both Shigeharu and Goro.
MAJOR is not just a baseball anime, but a story about love, loss, and the pursuit of dreams. The emotional journey that the family goes through is captivating and will keep you invested in their story from start to finish.
While the art may not be the best, the high-quality sound and excellent voice acting from the Japanese cast make up for it.
The story is what truly shines in MAJOR, with fleshed-out characters that you’ll root for and others that you’ll hate.
7. Welcome to the Ballroom
Welcome to the Ballroom is a sports romance anime following Tatara Fujita, a shy middle-schooler who finds his passion for ballroom dancing after being saved by Kaname Sengoku.
As he trains with his classmates, Tatara gets drawn into the world of competitive dance and builds important relationships with his partners Mako Akagi and Chinatsu Hiyama.
While the anime doesn’t focus much on Tatara’s love life, it makes up for it with its focus on ballroom dancing, vivid choreography, and various dance styles.
If you’re looking for an anime that showcases a passion for ballroom dancing, has well-developed characters, and features an engaging romance story, then Welcome to the Ballroom is a must-watch.
This anime follows the journey of a high school student named Yawara Inokuma who dreams of living a simple life with a boyfriend, but her grandfather has other plans for her.
He wants her to become a famous Judo champion, and despite her attempts to hide her skills, she becomes a star with the help of a sports reporter.
Yawara stands out from other sports romance anime due to its diverse and distinct cast of characters.
Yawara, a Judo prodigy, dreams of a normal high school life despite being forced to train from a young age by her grandfather Jigoro.
Her rivalry with Sayaka leads to a love triangle with their charming Judo coach Kazamatsuri. Jigoro’s stubbornness and manipulations add tension and comedic moments to the story.
Yawara’s well-written plotline and character development make for an engaging and intense viewing experience.
This anime follows Yamato, a high school student who falls in love with the talented track and field athlete, Suzuka.
Despite her initial disapproval of him, Yamato joins the school’s track team to prove his worth to her and show her that he is serious about his feelings.
What makes Suzuka one of the best sports romance anime is the captivating storyline that keeps you invested in Yamato’s journey to become the best athlete he can be and win over Suzuka’s heart.
The animation is beautiful, and the track and field events are depicted in an exciting and realistic manner, making this show one of the best school romance anime you can find.
The character development in Suzuka is done exceptionally well, especially with Yamato’s narration providing insights into what goes on in a guy’s mind when he has a crush on a girl.
The interactions between Yamato and Suzuka are realistic and heartwarming, making you root for their relationship to blossom.
4. Cross Game
This heartwarming series follows the story of 2 unlikely friends, Kou and Aoba, who share a deep love for baseball and a special connection to Wakaba, Aoba’s older sister, and Kou’s crush.
One of the things that makes Cross Game stand out is the unique dynamic between these 3 characters.
The tension and rivalries that develop on the field only serve to strengthen their friendship and relationship off the field. You’ll be drawn in by the touching moments and relatable characters.
The art style is unique and suits the younger slant of Cross Game, but be warned, everyone has monkey ears! However, this minor quirk shouldn’t deter you from giving this series a chance.
While the story may not be the most complex, it is solid without glaring faults. And although the anime is aimed at kids, adults can still appreciate the touching moments and themes of perseverance and dedication.
3. Yuri!! On Ice
If you’re looking for a sports romance anime that combines humor, breathtaking animation, and an intriguing romantic storyline, then Yuri!!! On Ice is the perfect show for you.
This popular anime follows the journey of Yuuri Katsuki, a Japanese ice skater who finds his passion for the sport reignited after a chance encounter with talented Russian skater, Victor Nikiforov.
One of the things that make Yuri on Ice stand out is the beautiful and heartwarming romantic relationship between the 2 main characters.
While some people may think that this show is only for yaoi fans, the romance is cute and heartwarming, and it blends seamlessly with the plot.
Watching the relationship between Yuuri and Victor grow is adorable and wonderful, and it’s not random or “there just to be there.” Even if you’re not into Boys Love, you can still enjoy the show for its plot, visuals, and characters.
The animations by MAPPA are stunning, and the story is exciting and engaging, with one of the best romance subplots you can find.
Chihayafuru follows Chihaya, who rediscovers her love for karuta and forms a club with her childhood friend Taichi and talented player Arata.
This anime showcases the intense and competitive world of karuta while exploring the complex relationships between the 3 main characters, including one of the best love triangles in anime.
The breathtaking animation and perfectly fitting soundtrack make each episode engaging.
While romance isn’t the initial focus, it becomes more important as the plot progresses, adding another layer of depth.
The character development, intense matches, and emotional relationships make for a truly captivating viewing experience.
1. Baby Steps
Baby Steps is the perfect anime for those seeking a balance of thrilling sports and heartwarming romance.
This 2014 hit anime follows Eiichiro Maruo, a non-athletic student who falls in love with tennis after joining the Southern Tennis Club for health reasons.
The show’s focus on Eiichiro’s growth, both as a player and a person, is mirrored by his relationship with Natsu Takasaki, a passionate tennis player with dreams of becoming a pro.
As Eiichiro develops his own unique playing style, the matches become both exciting and emotional.
The realistic and well-developed characters make Baby Steps a joy to watch, even for those not typically into sports anime. The animation during the matches is spectacular and realistic, making it a treat for tennis fans.
The series handles romance well and the developing friendship between Eiichiro and Natsu is heartwarming to watch.
Although the series starts slow, the character development and thrilling matches make it worth the watch, also if you’re looking for a good romance anime without harem.