Many anime series feature sports matches and competitions between characters regardless of genre. Sports matches offer intense action and allow characters to test their skills in various challenges. Whether sports competitions are for recreation or survival, these scenes add variety to a series’ usual storyline.
Even non-sports-based anime incorporate the occasional sports match and add a unique spin by utilizing the series’ power system. A handful of sports scenes truly push characters to their limits and pressure them to win at all costs. The loss of certain games means death or a drop in reputation that has long-lasting consequences for all involved.
10 Jotaro Kujo Challenges D’Arby To A Baseball Game (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Jotaro Kujo competes in a baseball match during a battle against Dio’s Stand user D’Arby in Stardust Crusaders. D’Arby’s soul-stealing Stand ability forces Jotaro to wager his soul on the game, which places Jotaro under constant pressure. Jotaro faces the additional challenge of playing against an opponent with mind-reading skills.
Jotaro plays against D’Arby’s vast gaming experience while being new to gaming himself. Though Jotaro finds a way to shield his thoughts from D’Arby, he struggles to block D’Arby’s home run streak after his initial lead. Each baseball inning requires Jotaro to master a new skill to survive.
9 Gon And Killua Play A Deadly Dodgeball Game (Hunter X Hunter)
In Hunter X Hunter, Gon and Killua play dodgeball against Ging’s ally Razor to win a Plot of Beach card from the Greed Island game. The game’s player requirement forces Gon and Killua to recruit a rival team and Hisoka to oppose him. Though Gon and Killua’s team includes many strong members, Razor’s exceptional Nen strength backs them into a corner.
Razor’s rules allow players to use any force necessary to win, which leads to severe or barely avoided injuries on both sides. Gon and his allies take massive risks to find an opening in Razor’s defenses and achieve the timing needed to succeed.
8 The UA Students Participate In A Calvary Battle (My Hero Academia)
The students of UA high school compete in a cavalry battle as part of the U.A. Sports Festival in My Hero Academia. Deku begins the match with a whopping 10,000,000 points, which immediately sets every team in the competition against him. Deku’s team continuously takes the defensive as they try to evade their classmates and finish in the top four.
The various player points switch hands multiple times as each team combines their Quirks in creative ways. The match’s results come down to the last second and determine who competes in the final tournament.
7 Akira Competes In A Running Race (Devilman Crybaby)
Akira from Devilman Crybaby competes in a track championship as part of Ryo’s plan to use the athlete Koda Moyuru to expose the existence of demons to the world. Although Akira hesitates to enact the plan, Ryo’s interference turns Koda into his Devilman form on live television. What starts as a race between strength-enhanced Devilman turns into a scene of utter destruction.
Akira’s race and Koda’s transformation on the track mark the beginning of the war between humans and devils. The aftermath showcases the Devilman’s power and their previous hidden presence around the world.
6 Class E and Class A Duel It Out In Pole Felling (Assassination Classroom)
In Assassination Classroom, the members of Class A challenge Class E to a pole-felling competition after Asano catches Isogai breaking school rules. Class E begins the match at a severe disadvantage in both numbers and strength, which forces them to rely on strategy to outsmart the opposing team. Isogai faces immense pressure to win, as his loss means expulsion from the school.
Class E manages to gain the upper hand by preventing Asano from communicating with his teammates, which gains enough time for Class E to attack. The Class E students win despite near-impossible odds and secure Isogai’s enrollment status.
5 Mugen And His Allies Join A Baseball Game (Samurai Champloo)
Mugen and his allies from Samurai Champloo play an inning of baseball against a group of American travelers. Mugen’s team struggles to hit the ball and suffers unforeseen and comedic setbacks one after another. Even the athletic feats of Mugen’s team end in disaster and send the game further into chaos.
The baseball game ends early due to a series of fatalities and injuries that take out the majority of both teams’ players. Though Mugen manages to remain standing, his team’s victory comes at a painful and humiliating cost for both sides.
4 Light and L Face-Off In Tennis (Death Note)
Light Yagami from Death Note accepts L’s invitation for a tennis match after L plans to observe Light’s behavior. Light attempts to defeat L without raising his suspicions, though L predicts Light’s reasoning. Every move Light makes serves as evidence for L to use against him, which builds suspense throughout the scene.
Light and L’s mental strategizing highlights both characters’ intelligence and the guessing game they play in the investigation. Though Light wins the match, neither side appears to have gained an advantage. Both characters learn more about each other’s actions as L’s search for Kira continues.
3 Jindai High School Destroys Garasuyama In Rugby (Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu)
Jindai High School’s rugby team plays against Garasuyama High after hours of intensive training. Jindai’s team ignores Garasuyama’s taunting and goes in for a win that turns out nothing short of catastrophic. The Garasuyama players find themselves violently shoved aside and the receivers of numerous injuries. Jindai’s captain Sousuke’s coaching leaves the opposing team unable to retaliate.
The game’s stormy weather conditions and the aggression of both teams combine for an action-intensive sports match. The rugby team’s results both horrify and impress the players and their supporters.
2 Universe 6 And 7 Play A Friendly Game of Baseball (Dragon Ball Super)
Universe 6 and Universe 7 from Dragon Ball Super compete in a game of baseball as a show of friendship. Although the game’s rules forbid destruction, each player’s supernatural abilities repeatedly damage the playing field or send the ball in unpredictable directions. Several characters hit the ball with enough force to send it into space itself.
The players’ unfamiliarity with baseball’s rules results in comedic confusion and a clash between various powers. Though the game disbands after multiple arguments occur, both sides learn about a sport through a series of violent trial and error.
1 Saitama Joins A Martial Arts Tournament (One Punch Man)
Saitama competes in a martial arts tournament as a replacement for the martial artist Charanko. Though Saitama lacks official martial arts training, his unmatched strength wins him multiple matches to the surprise of the spectators and participants. The competitors display a variety of devastating abilities as a result of dedicated training.
Although Saitama ends up with a disqualification, his skill leaves an impression on the other contestants. The ensuing monster attack on the arena allows Saitama to display his full capabilities, as he defeats a monster that harms the remaining challengers.
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