What is Soccer Anime and Manga?
Calling all sport anime fans and especially those who follow the soccer anime and manga characters. Today we’ll be telling you about the top 20 best soccer anime and manga series. You’ll notice a mix, going from the legendary to the modern style soccer anime featuring an obvious change in animation.
As a sports anime fan, you are probably aware that there are numerous categories and agree that soccer anime needs a list on its own. And, as a passionate soccer fan, you probably watch soccer in all its forms including, anime. But, if not, at least you’ll definitely find something that will keep you entertained for a while.
Believe it or not, soccer anime has been around for a while, so it is most likely because you are new to the game if you think it’s a new trend. If that is the case, you will be up to speed after going through the next list of top 20 best soccer anime and manga.
Top 20 soccer anime
1. Akakichi no Eleven (The Red-Blooded Eleven)
Akakichi no Eleven aired back in the ’70s and told the story of Tamai Shingo, who is confronted by his high school’s vicious coach Matsuki Teppei to join the team. He then comes up with his own squad as an act of defiance. Now Shingo’s mission is to crush his own school’s team to show them that playing soccer should be about the love of the game.
Akakichi no Eleven aired more than five decades ago and is viewed as the original soccer anime.
2. Captain Tsubasa
This story recounts the life of Tsubasa Osora as he follows his passion and the ultimate goal of becoming a world-class soccer player.
After moving to Nankatsu City, known for its prestigious elementary school soccer teams, Tsubasa learns that his skills, though good at his hometown, need to improve due to the fierce competition.
Throughout much of his life, Tsubasa has experienced many adversities that set him back from accomplishing his dream, including tough rivalries and difficult championships. However, thanks to the encouragement of friends who follow the same passion, Tsubasa could make his dream come true of representing Japan at The World Cup.
The series aired in the 80 and has had several sequels.
3. Ganbare! Kickers (Fight! Kickers)
Kakeru Daichi, starts to turn things around for an otherwise not very good team, The Kickers, a team known for their losing streak. Nevertheless, it is an underdog story that hopes at least beat their biggest rivals, the Devils.
The main plot revolves around the building up of a team and the importance of team bonding off the field.
The series aired in the ’80s under the shadow of the highly popular Captain Tsubasa. Ganbare! Thanks to German fans, kickers are considered to have survived over the years.
4. Aoki Densetsu Shoot! (Blue Legend Shoot!)
After joining their junior high school’s soccer club, Tanaka Toshihiko, Shiraishi Kenji, and Hiramatsu Kazuhiro become inseparable. Together they obtain junior high glory and look to do the same in high school, Kakegawa High.
This story, which aired in the ’90s, is different because it focuses on the influence of the three players instead of one main character’s influence on an entire team.
5. Giant Killing
In Giant Killing Tatsumi Takeshi is hired to be the new coach of East Tokyo United, a losing team barely on the cusp of being dropped down a tier. In such a crisis, the panicked team hires Tatsumi, whose methods are unconventional, but it turns out to be what the team needs.
The series aired in 2010 and lasted 26 episodes.
Days, which became pretty popular back in 2016, is the story about Tsukamoto Tsukushi, who works really hard to make the line-up of his high school soccer team after discovering that soccer is his passion through a chance encounter game.
The character embodies hard work and what you can achieve even if you are not good enough at something. Tsukushi forces himself to work to the bone to earn his place on the team.
7. Keppeki Danshi!! Aoyama-kun (Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun)
This 2017 soccer anime is about Aoyama, the perfect human. His grades are perfect, soccer skills are perfect and cleanliness is perfect. However, in fact, Aoyama suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and cannot deal with even a speck of dirt on him; this forces him to play soccer without at a fraction of his normal abilities. Will he be able to lead his team to the championship?
8. Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin
Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin first aired in 2018. There are three main characters, Haizaki Ryouhei, Inamori Asuto, and Nosaka Yuuma; who all live on an island that deeply loves soccer.
To save their soccer club is to become champions of the Football Frontier. So Asuto Inamori and his classmates take up the offer, move to mainland Japan, and attend Raimon Junior High to embark on a journey that will test their resolve to be the best in all of Japan.
9. Hungry Heart: Wild Striker
In Hungry Heart, we see the story of Kyosuke Kano, who has had to endure constant comparisons to his successful soccer player brother, Seisuke. Tired of living under the shadow of his brother, he abandons the game until a boy from his new high school discovered him and asked him to join their team.
Whistle tells the story of Shou Kazamatsuri, who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, even though he is viewed as a third-string soccer player. He sees his dream getting closer only after he transfers to Sakura Jousui Junior High.
11. Ginga e Kickoff!!
Ginga e Kickoff!! Follows Shou Oota and his journey to rebuild a soccer team. After his team disbands because of a lack of players, Shou searches for new members to recruit. He becomes encouraged after meeting a professional female soccer player. With her help, he then aims to bring his team back.
12. Area no Kishi (The Knight in the Area)
In Area no Kishi, we find the story of two brothers who love soccer. Kakeru and Suguru Aizawa spent their childhood playing soccer; however, while Suguru becomes a star in the youth soccer system, Kakeru takes a managerial job.
After reevaluating his decision, Kakeru begins to train hard with the ultimate goal to make it to the world stage.
13. Moero! Top Striker
Moero! Top Striker tells the story of teenage Hikaru Kicker, who loves soccer so much that he travels to Italy to learn the sport.
After arriving at Genova, Hikaru joins a strong team to quit and join the weaker team, Columbus. Together they work to build their strength and skills, hoping to defeat Margerita.
14. Forza! Hidemaru
Forza! Hidemaru stands out because instead of humans, we see a group of animals playing soccer. Join Hidemaru, a feisty fox, and his friends enjoy their soccer matches. His friends include bunnies, dogs, horses, and a couple of hefty hippo girls.
It aired during the year of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
15. Angel Cup
So-jin and Shin-bee are best friends who attend Hansin High and form part of the girls’ soccer club. The duo appears to have no opponent as they pull out all the stops to play their favorite sport. Unlike other manga, the main characters are all female.
16. Be Blues! Ao ni Nare
Be Blues! Ao ni Nare is a bit of an adversity story. The main character Ryuu Ichijou is considered a genius soccer player and is well on his way to making his dreams of joining Japan’s national soccer team. However, his dream will have to wait after saving his friend’s life and being hit by a car. Following rehabilitation, Ryuu joins the soccer club and works through the hindrance of his injury to achieve his dream.
17. Shinju no Kusari (Chain of Pearls)
Hisa is the high school soccer club manager with a secret that would see her quitting her favorite sport. The secret part-time job that she needs to survive is discovered by club member Sakyou, now things could change for Hisa, but handsome and high-handed Sakyou wants to keep her close to him.
18. Uwasa no Midori-kun!!
If you love romance and comedy, you will surely enjoy Uwasa no Midori-kun!! This romantic comedy is a must-read for those who love a clumsy, headstrong character moved by emotions.
You will find the story of 15-year-old Yamate Midori, who is determined to defeat Tsukasa – the childhood friend who taught her to love soccer. For this, she joins an all-boys high school.
19. Eyeshield 21
In Eyeshield 21 is the common story of a bullied student with a twist. Sena, who was constantly bullied, finds himself being recruited to his school’s football team after becoming so good at running away from his bullies.
But he has to keep his identity hidden from his overprotective friend. So, then he emerges as the ace, Eyeshield 21.
20. Hungry Hear Wild Striker
On Hungry Hear Wild Striker, you’ll see Kyousuke Kano, who abandons his dream of becoming a soccer player due to comparisons with his brother.
His destiny changes after he meets a girl who later forces him to become her school’s soccer team coach; he then discovers his passion.