Best 15 Basketball Anime Of All Time

In sports anime, basketball has been explored in various ways, with some series taking a unique approach to the sport or utilizing it as a framework for unconventional storytelling. While basketball may not be as popular in Japan as in America and other parts of the world, it has produced some of the greatest and most impactful sports anime. Compared to more popular sports like baseball and soccer, high school stories centered around basketball are less prevalent. Instead, many basketball anime opt for a different approach, using the sport as a backdrop to tell strange and engaging stories.

These unconventional narratives allow for greater creative freedom to explore themes beyond competition and teamwork. By incorporating supernatural powers, time travel, or even outer space adventures into their plots, these anime expand the boundaries of what can be done within the genre. This innovative use of basketball leads to intriguing storylines that captivate audiences who desire new experiences from their viewing material.

This article aims to explore the top 15 basketball anime productions, presenting an objective and impersonal analysis of their merits. Employing the parallelism technique throughout the introduction, this writing seeks to captivate and engage its audience.

Best Basketball Anime

Best 15 Basketball Anime

  1. Basquash!

    Basquash! is a 2009 anime series set in a futuristic world where basketball is played using mechs. The story follows a young man named Dan JD, who lives on Earthdash. He discovers his exceptional basketball skills when he accidentally participates in an underground Basquash match. This catches the attention of the wealthy and influential billionaire James, who invites Dan to join the professional Basquash league.

    Dan and his friends embark on a journey to become a successful Basquash players and compete against other teams and players in this unique sport. As they progress, they uncover the truth about the game, the secrets behind its creation, and the hidden agendas of influential individuals involved.

    Throughout the series, Dan and his friends face challenges, forge new relationships, and strive to make a mark in the world of Basquash while also addressing the deeper issues surrounding the sport and its impact on society.

  2. Real

    Real is a manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. The story revolves around three main characters whose lives intertwine through their shared experiences with wheelchair basketball and their challenges in overcoming their struggles. The manga explores themes of disability, perseverance, and the power of sports to heal and inspire.

    Set in a rehabilitation hospital, the narrative follows the emotional and physical journeys of the three protagonists. Nomiya, a former basketball player, has lost the use of his legs due to a tragic accident. His passion for the sport leads him to coach the hospital’s wheelchair basketball team, using the game to instill a sense of purpose in himself and his players.

    Togawa, another central character, is a young man who uses a wheelchair due to a motorcycle accident. He initially struggles with anger and frustration over his circumstances. Still, as he becomes involved in wheelchair basketball, he finds new meaning in his life.

    Hisanobu is a teenager with a degenerative condition that affects his legs. Despite the limitations of his illness, he discovers a renewed sense of hope and camaraderie as he becomes part of the wheelchair basketball team.

    Throughout the series, the characters face various personal and emotional challenges as they come to terms with their disabilities and strive to reclaim their identities. The sport of wheelchair basketball catalyzes their personal growth, helping them build friendships, confront their fears, and develop a stronger sense of self-worth.

  3. Kuroko no Basuke: Last Game

    It is a 2017 anime film sequel to the “Kuroko no Basuke” (Kuroko’s Basketball) anime series. The film is set after a series of events and follows the Seirin High basketball team as they face off against a formidable group of American street basketball players known as the “Jabberwock.”

    The story revolves around a street basketball tournament organized by a wealthy entrepreneur from the United States named Nash Gold Jr. The Jabberwock team, composed of highly skilled players, competes against various Japanese basketball teams, easily defeating them and gaining a reputation for their arrogant and disrespectful behavior.

    Feeling that the Japanese teams have been humiliated, Kuroko Tetsuya and his former teammates from the Generation of Miracles and their current team members from Seirin High decide to challenge the Jabberwock in a showdown. The match becomes a battle of styles and ideologies between the Japanese and American players, highlighting their passion for the game and their determination to prove their worth on an international stage.

    The players push themselves to their limits as the match unfolds, showcasing their unique basketball talents and strategies. The film explores themes of teamwork, friendship, and the love of basketball as both teams strive to emerge victorious.

  4. Buzzer Beater

    Buzzer Beater is a manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. It was serialized from 1997 to 1998. There was also a 2005 anime adaptation based on the manga. The story is set in a future where Earth is a member of an intergalactic basketball league, and it follows the adventures of a young and talented human basketball player named Hideyoshi.

    Hideyoshi, nicknamed “Hideyoshi of the Wind,” is known for his incredible speed and agility on the basketball court. He becomes a key player for the Cosmo Clan, a team representing Earth in the Intergalactic Space Basketball League. Despite Earth’s status as an underdog in the league, Hideyoshi’s skills and determination lead his team to surprising victories and help them compete against advanced alien teams with unique abilities.

    The manga focuses on Hideyoshi’s growth as a player, his interactions with his teammates and rivals, and their competitive space basketball league challenges. The story explores teamwork, perseverance, and the universal love for sports, transcending cultural and species boundaries.

  5. Ro-Kyu-Bu!

    Ro-Kyu-Bu! is a Japanese light novel series adapted into an anime. The story revolves around a high school boy named Subaru Hasegawa, who becomes the coach of a girls’ basketball team.

    Subaru was once a promising basketball player, but an incident involving a girl on his team led to his withdrawal from the sport. Years later, he is coerced into becoming the coach of the elementary school’s girls’ basketball team, known as “Tomoka’s Little Angels,” by his childhood friend and teacher, Minato Tomoka.

    The series follows Subaru as he reluctantly takes on the coaching role and works with the five girls of the team: Tomoka, Maho, Saki, Airi, and Hinata. Despite initial challenges and personal baggage, Subaru’s guidance helps the girls improve their basketball skills while also forming strong bonds of friendship. The story combines sports, comedy, and slice-of-life elements as Subaru navigates his new coaching role and supports the girls on and off the court.

  6. Kuroko’s Basketball

    Kuroko’s Basketball, also known as “Kuroko no Basuke,” is an anime series that follows the story of a high school basketball team and their journey to become the best in Japan. The series primarily focuses on two characters: Tetsuya Kuroko and Taiga Kagami.

    Kuroko is a former member of the “Generation of Miracles,” a group of extremely talented and dominant basketball players during their middle school years. However, Kuroko’s unique playing style made him less noticeable on the court, earning him the nickname “The Phantom Sixth Man.” After entering Seirin High School, Kuroko joins the basketball team and becomes the secret weapon to support his teammate Kagami.

    Kagami is a naturally talented player who has just returned to Japan after living and playing basketball in the United States. Together with Kuroko and the other Seirin High basketball team members, they aim to defeat the formidable “Generation of Miracles” players, who are now scattered across different high schools, and win the national championship.

    The series showcases intense basketball matches, highlighting the characters’ skills, strategies, and personal growth. As the team faces off against various opponents, they also rekindle the rivalry with Kuroko’s former teammates, each of whom has developed their basketball style and unique abilities.

  7. Dash Kappei

    Dash Kappei is a sports anime series that follows the comedic and athletic adventures of a teenage boy named Kappei Sakamoto.

    Kappei is a mischievous and energetic elementary school student who loves basketball. He is known for his incredible speed and agility, which he uses to outsmart and outrun his friends and opponents. Despite his small stature, Kappei’s athleticism and determination make him a formidable athlete.

    The series revolves around Kappei’s participation in various sports, often finding himself in unconventional and humorous situations. He engages in various sports, including baseball, soccer, basketball, and track and field. Kappei’s competitive spirit and boundless energy lead to comedic moments and heartwarming interactions with his friends and rivals.

    As the series progresses, Kappei faces challenges, learns important life lessons, and forms strong friendships through his sports endeavors. His enthusiasm and willingness to take on any athletic challenge contribute to the lighthearted and entertaining nature of the show.

  8. Slam Dunk

    Slam Dunk is a classic sports anime and manga series that focuses on basketball and follows the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, a delinquent and former gang member who joins his high school’s basketball team.

    Hanamichi Sakuragi is known for his fiery temper and tall stature. He initially joins the basketball team at Shohoku High School to impress a girl named Haruko Akagi, whom he has a crush on. However, he quickly discovers his natural talent for the sport, particularly in rebounding and dunking, which earns him the nickname Sakuragi Slam Dunk.

    The series follows Hanamichi’s journey as he grows as a basketball player and as a person. He forms bonds with his teammates, each of whom has their strengths and quirks. The team’s ultimate goal is to become the best in Japan and win the national championship. Along the way, they face formidable opponents from rival schools and overcome personal challenges.

    The anime portrays intense basketball matches, showcasing the strategies, skills, and teamwork of the Shohoku High basketball team. Hanamichi’s transformation from a delinquent with no knowledge of basketball to a dedicated and passionate player is a central theme of the series. The story also delves into the characters’ backgrounds, motivations, and personal growth.

  9. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops

    Mitsu x Mitsu Drops is a romantic comedy anime that follows the story of Hagino Yuzuru, a diligent high school student known for her intelligence and serious demeanour. One day, she accidentally stumbles upon a secret – her popular and charismatic classmate, Akihisa Yoshioka, works part-time at a maid café.

    Yuzuru decides to keep Akihisa’s secret, and in exchange, Akihisa agrees to grant her three wishes. As the story unfolds, the two characters navigate the challenges of school, friendships, and their budding feelings for each other. Their interactions are filled with humor, misunderstandings, and heartwarming moments as they gradually develop a deeper understanding of each other.

    The anime explores themes of hidden identities, personal growth, and the complexities of teenage relationships. With a mix of comedy, romance, and slice-of-life elements, “Mitsu x Mitsu Drops” portrays the journey of Yuzuru and Akihisa as they learn to appreciate each other’s differences and embrace the unexpected twists that life brings their way.

  10. Ahiru no Sora

    Ahiru no Sora follows the story of Sora Kurumatani, a determined and passionate young boy who aspires to become a great basketball player, inspired by his mother’s love for the sport. Despite his short stature, Sora joins his high school’s basketball team and sets out to lead them to victory.

    Sora faces numerous challenges along the way, including skepticism from his teammates due to his height and personal struggles and rivalries. As the team gradually comes together and grows stronger, they learn essential life lessons and develop individually and as a group.

    The anime explores themes of friendship, perseverance, and the power of teamwork while delving into each character’s struggles and aspirations. With intense basketball matches and heartfelt moments, Ahiru no Sora showcases Sora’s unwavering determination to prove himself and make his mark in the basketball world, all while inspiring those around him.

  11. Barangay 143

    Barangay 143 is an animated sports drama set in the Philippines. It follows the story of a young man named Bren Park, who leaves his life in Korea to search for his long-lost father in Barangay 143, a fictional neighborhood in Manila. Bren becomes involved with a struggling local basketball team and decides to help them regain their former glory.

    As Bren joins the team, he forms strong bonds with his teammates and the community, all while facing challenges. Each character has dreams, struggles, and personal growth arcs, adding depth to the narrative. The series tackles themes of family, friendship, determination, and cultural diversity, highlighting the power of unity in the face of adversity.

    With basketball as a central theme, Barangay 143 combines sports action, emotional moments, and cultural exploration to create a heartfelt story that resonates with audiences of all ages. The anime captures the Philippines’ spirit and celebrates its characters’ passion and resilience as they work together to achieve their dreams.

  12. I’ll/CKBC

    “I’ll/CKBC” (short for “I’ll/CKBC: Crazy Kouzu Basketball Club”) is a sports anime centered around a high school basketball team. The story follows Takumi Fujiwara, a skilled street basketball player scouted by the Crazy Kouzu Basketball Club (CKBC) at his new school.

    Takumi initially needs help to fit in with the team, as their unconventional and unorthodox playing style clashes with his more traditional approach. As he gets to know his teammates and their unique personalities, Takumi adapts and learns from their strengths.

    The anime focuses not only on basketball matches and training but also delves into the personal lives and struggles of the team members. Each character has a backstory and challenges to overcome, contributing to the overall depth of the narrative.

    I’ll/CKBC combines sports action, humor, and character development, showcasing the growth of the individual players and the team. The series highlights the importance of teamwork, friendship, and the determination to succeed, all set against the backdrop of intense basketball games and the camaraderie that forms among the CKBC members.

  13. Blue Box

    Blue Box is a Japanese romantic comedy and sports anime that centers around Taiki Inomata, a high school student who unexpectedly encounters a classmate named Chinatsu Kano while buying snacks at a convenience store. Their chance to meet sparks a connection, and Taiki becomes intrigued by Chinatsu’s cheerful and energetic personality.

    Despite Taiki’s initial shyness and awkwardness, he develops feelings for Chinatsu. As their relationship unfolds, Taiki decides to pursue his interest in tennis, a sport he had played in the past. He joins the tennis club, hoping to impress Chinatsu and get closer to her.

    The anime follows Taiki’s journey as he balances his budding romance with his dedication to tennis. Through challenges, successes, and the support of his friends and teammates, Taiki works hard to improve both on the court and in matters of the heart.

  14. Dear Boys

    Dear Boys (Hoop Days) is a sports anime that aired in 2003. It follows the story of Aikawa Kazuhiko, a high school student who transfers to Mizuho High School, hoping to join their basketball team. Aikawa is passionate about basketball and aims to prove himself as a skilled player.

    Upon joining the Mizuho basketball team, Aikawa encounters a diverse group of teammates, each with strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. The talented but enigmatic coach, Kenji Dobashi, leads the team. As Aikawa integrates into the team, he bonds closely with his teammates. He experiences both triumphs and challenges on and off the court.

    The series chronicles the team’s journey as they strive to improve their skills, overcome obstacles, and compete against strong rivals in various basketball tournaments. Along the way, the characters undergo personal growth, face their fears, and learn valuable life lessons through their shared passion for basketball.

  15. Girl Got Game

    It is a romantic comedy anime that follows the story of Kyo Aizawa, a skilled and talented female basketball player. Due to her father’s job, Kyo is forced to transfer to Seisyu High School, an all-boys school known for its strong basketball team. To complicate matters, Kyo’s father convinces her to disguise herself as a boy to stay at the school.

    Under the new identity of “Mizuki Aikawa,” Kyo navigates the challenges of maintaining her secret while excelling on the basketball court. She becomes roommates with Chiharu Eniwa, a fellow basketball player initially unaware of her gender. Kyo also catches the attention of the school’s top player, Chiharu’s cousin, Shohei Aiba.

    As Kyo gets involved in boys’ basketball, she faces humorous and sometimes awkward situations while trying to hide her true identity. The anime explores themes of identity, friendship, and romance as Kyo develops feelings for Shohei while struggling to maintain her disguise.


The world of basketball anime offers an exhilarating experience for fans of both sports and animation. Its compelling narratives and stunning visuals immerse viewers in a world where dreams are chased and challenges are overcome. These 15 basketball anime series are prime examples of the genre’s ability to inspire and entertain. Their depiction of passion, teamwork, and determination is unmatched, making them must-watch shows for any avid anime enthusiast or basketball lover seeking an unforgettable experience filled with excitement and emotion.


Which Basketball Anime Has the Most Intense and Action-Packed Matches?

The intensity and action-packed nature of matches in basketball anime can vary. Factors such as animation quality, storytelling, and character development contribute to portraying intense and action-packed matches in different series.

Are There Any Basketball Anime That Focus on Female Players?

Female representation in basketball anime is evident, with several series focusing on female players. These anime showcase the unique challenges and triumphs faced by women in the sport, providing a fresh perspective and inspiring young girls to pursue their athletic dreams.

Can You Recommend a Basketball Anime That Explores the Psychological Aspects of the Sport?

A basketball anime that delves into the psychological aspects of the sport is recommended. This anime explores the mental challenges, strategies, and personal growth experienced by athletes in the game.

Are There Any Basketball Anime That features supernatural or Superhuman Abilities?

Basketball anime that incorporates supernatural or superhuman abilities exists within the genre. These shows often depict characters with extraordinary powers, enhancing their basketball skills beyond what is naturally achievable in reality.

How Does Basketball Anime Portray the Growth and Development of Their Main Characters Throughout the Series?

Basketball anime portrays the growth and development of their main characters throughout the series by highlighting their dedication, perseverance, and passion for the sport.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *