The best sports manga that Japanese mangakas have ever created are listed here.
Japanese manga often features various sports, some of which are based on real-life sports and events. This variety helps make manga one of Japan’s most popular forms of entertainment.
Most of them tell stories with the same level of competitiveness and humor as the players would in real life.
These manga series frequently demonstrate the importance of personal development for each individual and how teamwork and leadership can influence one’s path to success in various fields.
Those comic books are, without a doubt, a must-read for anyone interested in competitive sports or Japanese culture because of the engaging sports tales that have amassed such a large following among Japanese readers.
Since sports have always been a part of anime culture, the best sports manga also make it into anime. As a result, here is a list of the 20 best sports manga you should read immediately!
20. Baki: The Search of Our Strongest Hero
Baki, an incredible Japanese comic that can read like a maintenance hole, is the first manga on this list of the best sports manga. This martial-art manga is a good choice for people who read manga frequently and are interested in fighting stories.
One of the best sports manga genres, the story takes place in the world of Kanto, where people train their bodies and minds through martial arts.
Baki Hanma, the son of a famous grappler, trains with a wise older man to get better than his father and challenge him once more, but losing this time is not an option.
When Baki fights in sometimes ceremonial but always deadly fights, he grapples with fighters from all over the country and sometimes even further.
Despite being only seventeen years old, he has lost numerous tournaments to competitors of all ages, but he never gives up.
19. Kuroko’s Basketball
This sports manga is for you if you’re looking for a clean and healthy manga series.
One of Japan’s most well-liked manga series is Kuroko’s Basketball, which is a must-read for sports fans looking for the best manga.
This manga is about Seirin High School, a small school with big dreams who want to take on The Generation of Miracles, a powerful force.
The protagonists, Kuroko and Kagami, and their teammates dream of defeating The Generation of Miracles, a formidable force. Although the group faces numerous obstacles, they never waver in their determination to defeat any opponent.
By September 2018, the Basketball manga series by Kuroko had sold more than 170 million copies worldwide, and fans are still growing!
18. BE BLUES!: Ao ni Nare
Ryuu Ichijou is a boy who is obsessed with soccer and wants to play for Japan on the national team. He has the potential to be great and seems like he can do it, but when he was in elementary school, he was in a car accident while protecting a friend and had to amputate both legs.
Ryuu is one of the main characters in this story. He has been injured, but he still joins a school soccer club to try to get his team to the top.
Sports manga fans should read Be Blues because it depicts the fun side of athletics and the real-life struggles that come with confidence.
Unlike other sports manga, this one incorporates comedy, drama, romance, and other genres with the sport to create a unique experience for readers.
Readers will find the following story of H2 to be quite amusing because it features Adachi and Mitsuru, the manga’s authors, producing one of the best sports manga.
The protagonist’s two greatest passions in life are baseball and poker; however, after being in an accident that resulted in an elbow injury, he chooses a school that does not have a baseball team.
He joins the soccer team but meets Haruka, a foolish girl who runs an illegal baseball club.
Hiro shows up when the soccer team challenges the baseball club to a game to humiliate them, and he ends up switching teams.
On the other hand, his childhood best friend Hikari, who now attends a different school, wants him to play baseball again.
16. Initial D
The story of Takumi, a member of a street racing group with a passion for cars, is told in the Japanese manga Initial D. He begins his career in street racing by enrolling in a race car driving school.
After that, he moves to the most prestigious and professional “Touge” races, which are high-speed hairpin races up steep mountain roads. It also shows Takumi’s complicated relationships with his friends and rivals on the track.
Many people have fallen in love with the sports manga Rookies because of its engaging plot and intriguing characters. If you are a fan of sports manga, you should read it.
The relationship between Koichi Kawato and his students is the story’s main focus, which is essential because of how the characters develop and change as they learn from one another.
The plot centers on the protagonist, Koichi Kawato, a high school teacher and a former professional baseball player for the Hanshin Tigers. This manga also has some darker themes, like bullying, that make for an interesting mix in the narrative.
Even though he is not their teacher, he starts coaching a team of outcasts from his school. This team becomes competitive when they learn that if they follow Kawato’s advice, they can play in the national championship game.
14. Kengan Ashura
One of the most well-known manga works is Kengan Ashura, published six years ago and has more than 30 volumes. The story is about a martial arts tournament with exciting characters and plot twists.
Kengan Ashura has other genres besides the main yakuza story, which may be why it is an excellent choice for fans of blood and fight scenes and an intriguing read for those who are not interested in that genre.
This manga is ideal for reading if you’re looking for action, martial arts fights, violent sports, gore, or gore.
13. Blue Lock
Blue Lock, a Japanese soccer manga that takes a different stance than most sports manga and features young players and follows them as they grow over time, is one of the most well-known.
The soccer manga series Blue lock is written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura for Kodansha.
The story of our protagonist is very positive; he will put in a lot of effort to realize his goals, which include becoming Japan’s best striker and helping the team win the World Cup.
12. Kokou no Hito
Kokou no Hito, also known as “The Climber,” is a manga written by Shueisha and published in Japan in 2007 in 17 volumes. It is based on a book written by Jir Nitta.
The story of Mori Buntarou, our protagonist, who trains and lives to become the world’s most successful climber and stand where no one else has gone before.
It all began when his new high school teammates challenged him to climb the school building, and despite his loneliness, he began climbing without hesitation. He discovered a new passion and breathtaking sports actions.
Mori rediscovered a sense of purpose and a passion for life after exploring the sport of rock climbing. From there, Mori’s eyes drift towards something he would not usually see: another goal.
11. Wind Breaker
One of my favorite recommendations for sports manga fans is this one, which has 404 chapters and was published in 2013. This story has sports, adventure, drama, action, and much more for everyone to enjoy!
The boy in Wind Breaker is named Jay Hyeon, and his family expects him to be the best in his class and everything else.
Even though Jay Hyeon was named Taeyang High’s student president, he continued to study hard to concentrate more on his studies, leaving little time to make friends with other students.
Jay is racing his bike at high speed on their way home from school when he piques Min Woo’s interest.
After being astonished by his one-of-a-kind biking skills, he quickly tries to recruit Jay to the biking team, but Jay vehemently declines the offer.
To demonstrate to Jay the pleasure of riding with others, Min Woo makes a straightforward arrangement in which he competes against a member of Jay’s squad and promises to leave Jay alone if he wins.
10. Hajime no Ippo
Next on our list of the best sports manga is Hajime no Ippo, a well-known series that follows Makunouchi Ippo, the main character, as he deals with the world of professional boxing. It was first published in 1989 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and has since been translated into English, French, Dutch, German, and Portuguese.
Makunouchi Ippo, a high school student with exceptional fighting skills and a devastating right cross, is the narrative’s focus. He sets out on his own to become the world champion in boxing.
This fantastic sports manga focuses specifically on a volleyball team struggling to advance to the national tournament.
The story of a high school volleyball team that has failed to reach the National High School Volleyball Championship for seven years in a row is told in the manga Haikyu!!, which has been published since 2012 and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
The journey they take as they prepare for nationals once more and share their experience with fans of both sports and manga is followed in the series.
One of Shonen Jump’s best-selling sports mangas, Haikyu!! Won the Excellence Prize at the 38th Annual Grand Prix, making it one of the best-selling sports mangas ever.
8. Diamond no Ace
Diamond no Ace is a sports-themed manga with an engaging plot that follows the protagonist and his friends as they try to become professional baseball players for their teams.
The story’s protagonist is a young man named Eijun Sawamura, who wants to be the fastest pitcher in the world. Eijun Sawamura is from Fuchu, Tokyo, and his fastball was recorded to be over 150 kilometers per hour, which is one of the highest speeds for a high school pitcher.
On his way to achieving this objective, Eijun encounters numerous challenges and loses confidence in himself.
However, he continues to work hard in preparation, and he overcomes these obstacles with the assistance of his friends and rivals (and it helps that he now has control over his pitches).
Namaikizakari, also known as a “cheeky brat,” is a Japanese manga by Mitsubachi Miyuki. It was published in 2013 and had 23 volumes. If you like a good love story and are interested in Japanese culture, you should read this manga.
Yuki Machida, a high school student who decides to become the basketball club manager to be closer to her crush, is the narrative’s focus.
6. Captain Tsubasa: Rising Sun
Captain Tsubasa is one of the oldest and most well-known sports manga with a large following.
The excellent soccer manga series Captain Tsubasa: Rising Sun was written by Yichi Takahashi and first appeared in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It has been serialized since October 2013.
It is about a young boy named Tsubasa who has been working out to become a professional football player and make it to the Olympics.
The main character, Tsubasa, is a person who can become more robust and faster with each challenge they overcome. His goal is to become like his hero, who was once considered the best player in Japan. This manga is about soccer with some magic thrown in for good measure.
Tsubasa, who wants to represent Japan at the Olympics, will be the focus of “Rising Sun” this season.
5. Ahiru no Sora
Takeshi Hinata is the author of Ahiru No Sora’s manga series, which has been serialized since October 2013 and first appeared in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump.
Kurumatani Sora, a basketball fan, is the main character in this story. He is small and weak and has just started a new school.
Since childhood, he has been shooting baskets to grow taller than his mother, who “used” to play basketball.
You will have to read to find out what has happened to Sora’s mother and what he will do at the new school! The story is inspiring and always has an element of surprise, making it impossible to put it down until the end.
4. Slam Dunk
The famous basketball manga “Slam Dunk,” which is adored by many for its engaging plot and well-rounded characters, comes in second place among the best sports manga to read.
Slam Dunk has a lot of fans because it has a well-developed and interesting story that makes you want to keep reading, and the art style is very appealing to manga fans who like this style.
Slam Dunk tells the story of Sakuragi, a high school basketball player who constantly strives to improve his game, particularly his rebounds, on a full-time basis.
He has an attitude that gets him into a lot of trouble, but he will eventually achieve an all-star career with a new team called “The Miracle Ten”, thanks to his determination, talent, and teamwork.
3. Run With The Wind
Shiuon Mura’s Run With The Wind manga series follows Haiji, a man obsessed with running and vows to become a runner.
The story follows him on his way to success at Kansei University as he meets new friends, rivals, and coaches.
This manga is perfect for sports manga fans because it has a lot of humor, exciting races, and motivational sayings about life in general.
Mitsuru Adachi’s “Rough,” a 1987 Japanese manga with 119 chapters, brought this one to our attention.
Due to a cake, two generations of rivalry between two families began, with Yamato Keisuke, a promising freestyle swimmer, competing against Ninomiya Ami, a skilled diver.
1. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Steel Ball Run
The magnificent sports manga “JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Steel Ball Run,” the third instalment in the epic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series, rounds out our list.
The story follows a single man as he traverses a country with a variety of terrain.
He meets many new people along the way and eventually discovers that winning isn’t everything—as long as one doesn’t lose one’s humanity.