When Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin were in elementary school, they swam together in a relay race and won the match. As Rin was on his way to Australia to train to become an Olympic champion, the gang decided to bury their trophy in a time capsule and retrieve it when they all had grown up. Now, Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa have reunited in high school and decide to dig up the prize. But on the way there, they run into none other than Rin, and he's determined to show Haru who's the best! As a result of this fateful meeting, the three friends decide to start a swim club, along with fellow classmate Rei, and their rival's little sister Gou as the team manager. Can the gang hold their own against Rin and prove their skills at the Prefectural Tournament?
While these anime may be about different sports at their heart they are about teamwork among the members of each team. Both anime follow the lives of the players as they try to bond together as a team and become friends along the way. These anime also make a good pairing because they both have a bishounen style character designs and excellent animation.
Free! has a lot more fanservice and more of a slice of life feeling to it than Kuroko. However, if you like anime where the characters have to learn to use teamwork to win then you should try these titles.
The chosen sport of each series is drastically different, but the common goal of working together as a team in order to achieve their goals underpins them both. The animation in each is stellar, particularly in the case of Free!, and the cast of each follows a group of teenage schoolboys as they bond both as a team, and as friends.
Free! has quite a bit more fanservice than Kuroko, as well as having a large slice of life aspect to it that Kuroko never ventures into, but both are essentially well put together sports anime that are good representation of their chosen sport, and as such fans of one would do well to give the other a shot.
Both are sports anime's and focus on both the story line and the sports, these are some of my favourite anime's though I dont relly watch sports animes!!
Years ago, the East Tokyo United soccer team was a force to be reckoned with, captained by the talented and charismatic Takeshi Tatsumi. But after leaving suddenly to join an amateur team in England, ETU's record and morale quickly plummeted, their meager status kept afloat only by the efforts of new captain Murakoshi. Now, several years have passed and Takeshi is in town once more, this time to bring the team back to victory. But with fans resentful of the man's former departure, clashing personalities on the team and Takeshi's unorthodox and lackadaisical coaching style, ETU's rise to fame won't be easy...
While the sports in these anime are different, they both share the same kind of values espousing the merits of team work. Both anime involve down on their luck teams getting exciting new blood to reinvigorate them. In Kuroko it's new players and in Giant Killing it's a new coach, but in both the existing players must learn to get along with the new members and bond together as a team to win. Both series also have a lot of comedic moments inbetween the intense games they play.
Kuroko has much better animation and character designs. The games are much more exciting in Kuroko because of the better animation. Kuroko also has much better pacing. However, if you enjoy sports anime about teamwork then you should try both these titles.
The sport of choice in each show is different, but the two series' share many common traits that make them a really good fit for one another. Top of that list is the plot, where both shows follow a team going through a prolonged dry spell, who are suddenly re-invigorated with new, highly talented team mate that propel them back to winning ways.
Both anime have a common theme of getting along with, and working alongside your team mates to get the very best out of each and every performance. There's also a fair bit of comedy in each, but it never detracts from the sport at hand.
Kuroko has better animation, better writing, a far more engaging cast and superior audio, but if you enjoyed one, and are a fan of sports anime in general, chances are the other may well be right up your street.
They're both the same type of story. They're about a weak team overcoming their internal and external struggles on their way to the top. Personally, I feel like Kuroko has more likeable characters, because the story focuses on the team. Giant Killing focuses on the team as a whole, with a touch on the coach, so what you see is a team succeeding instead of individuals in a team succeeding. Giant Killing has a slower pace, but the story is still great. Kuroko starts to get a little shounen-y by turning basketball into a superpower fight, but it's still quite enjoyable.
Each of these shows are animated by the same studio, so there are similarities in the way it's animated, written and in the feel of the show. And even though the sports are different, it's likely fans of one will enjoy the other.
They share in the common theme of getting along with, and working alongside your team mates to get the very best out of each and every performance. There's also a fair bit of comedy in each, but it never detracts from the sport at hand.
While the sports are different both these anime are about the value of team work and tell an underdog story. Both anime start with the teams being kind of crappy until they can start working together. They're both inspirational underdog stories.
Both anime have their fair share of comedic moments to liven up the bits where they aren't playing their sport. If you like stories about an underdog fighting to win through teamwork then you should try these anime.
Shouyou Hinata began playing volleyball after seeing the "little giant" who played the sport when he was in elementary school. He suffers a crushing defeat in his first and last tournament in middle school at the hands of his rival Tobio Kageyama. So, Hinata joins Karasuno High School's volleyball team, vowing revenge against Kageyama. However, Kageyama is also on Karasuno's team. The former rivals form a legendary combo with Hinata's mobility and Kageyama's precision ball-handling. Together, they take on the local tournaments and vow to meet Karasuno's fated rival school in the nationals.
This is a recommendation that is immediately apparent after you watch the first few minutes of Haikyuu!!, and possibly the easiest recommendation I’ll make in quite a while. Production IG seem to have stumbled across the perfect formula for adapting sports anime with their fantastic adaption of the Kuroko’s Basketball manga, and it’s a pleasure to say that they’ve done nothing but prove themselves to be more than a one trick pony when it comes to sports shows with Haikyuu!!
Production IG have an almost uncanny knack for portraying sports at their most exciting, their most visceral and their most uplifting in a way that flows seamlessly from episode to episode, all while leaving the viewer begging for more at the end of each episode. The way they handle character interactions means that the shows rarely get bogged down in those annoying sports tropes such as sickening melodrama or the whole “determination overcomes all” bile that turns me right off a sports show. Basically, they know what makes a great sports anime, and goddamn do they do it well!
Naturally both stories focus on a protagonist who initially appears to be at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with his peers, but in each case he has a special talent that gives him a sporting edge that enables him to compete against the very best. There’s also the usual parallels when it comes to a small team who had a proud history, but has since fallen into mediocrity, until our protagonists arrival elevate them upwards in the world high school sports.
The interactions between the characters is sublime in both shows, with a main protagonist pairing that are different, yet complement each other ridiculously well for some intense action, great development and really funny comedy. Everything else from the supporting cast, the sound effects and the pacing are bang on in both shows, so if you found one enjoyable then I fail to see how you could fail to absolutely adore the other.
Ippo Makunouchi is a loser. He has no friends, he spends his free time helping his mom with work, and he's constantly being beaten up by bullies. But that all changes when one day he's saved from another beating by Takamura, an up-and-coming boxer. Soon, Ippo turns his life around with a passion for the newly discovered sport, but his new lifestyle is far from easy! Before he can even dream of becoming champion, he'll have to overcome a slew of fierce rivals and learn what 'dedication' really means.
These are both sports anime with intense heartpounding matches. Even if the sports are different both shows share the same values of hard work and training to be successful with an emphasis on building relationships between teamates. In Kuroko the teamwork aspect is more important since basketball is a team sport, but in Hajime no Ippo, Ippo must learn and bond with the other members of the gym he represents. Ippo trains with them, cheers then on and they help each other with strategy.
These shows are both great examples of sports anime done right. If you liked one then you should definitely check out the other.