If you're looking for anime similar to Baby Steps, you might like these titles.
Meet Ryoma Echizen, the cocky prince of tennis. He comes to Japan from America where he is known as the Prince of Tennis – but that is no surprise considering he is the son of the former tennis pro, Nanjiroh Echizen, otherwise known as the Samurai! Upon transferring to the school Seishun Gakuen, he meets the regulars of the tennis club, and becomes the first freshman to become a regular; but he has a lot to learn yet about being a tennis star. Ryoma, along with the rest of his teammates, aspire to win the Nationals; but first, they must defeat the other teams which stand in their way!
Baby Steps is the first tennis anime I've seen outside of the Prince of Tennis franchise, so that's the most obvious reason for this recommendation. But there's more. If you loved Inui's analytic tennis in PoT, you will love Ei-chan in Baby Steps. Unlike Inui, he is the main character, and we get to watch his tennis develop from the beginning.
Fans of Baby Steps need to know about Prince of Tennis, and I recommend checking it out if you get a chance. Each character has a unique approach to tennis. The main character in PoT has some very different personality traits than Ei-chan, but that's part of what makes both these anime so fun to watch!
Both animes are about tennis, and while Prince of Tennis has Echizen Ryoma, Baby Steps has Eiichiro Maruo. Though the two start off their tennis careers at different levels and in different ways, they both strive to improve and win. The tennis played in PoT is headed more at like superpower shots, while the tennis played in Baby Steps is a lot more realistic. However, if you like one, you're sure to like the other!
Well, considering they're both very much about tennis, it's pretty obvious. They take a slightly different route, however, with the protagonist prodigies coming from almost opposite beginnings. It's a fresh take for both ways and would surely sate any tennis or sports anime enthusiast.
Sakamichi is a die-hard otaku; he loves anime and manga, and rides his clunky bicycle over 90 kilometers to Akihabara each week for the latest toys and games. Upon entering high school, Sakamichi is thrilled to meet others that share his passion, but soon discovers that the anime club is defunct and in need of members. Meanwhile, a skilled cyclist and fellow classmate Shunsuke has his eye on the boy, having seen his incredible speed, even while riding such a heavy "mom cycle." Now, Sakamichi must decide if he wants to stick with his would-be anime club, or join Shunsuke and other new friends for the ride of his life in the Competitive Cycling Club, where fierce races and other adventures await them!
Both anime have a similar feel. They're about entirely different sports, but they're both about rookies who get started in a new sport in high school and have a lot of potential.
Shares underlying theme of underdog developing through hard work, analytical approach and strong personality
While examining an old Go board in his grandfather's basement, twelve-year-old Shindo Hikaru is possessed by the restless spirit of Sai, an ancient Go master who has waited for over one thousand years to play the Hand of God: the perfect move. Sai convinces Hikaru to act as a vessel for making his moves, but it is soon clear that Hikaru also enjoys Go and wants to play his own games. Moreover, the rules of Go have changed since Sai's time, and Go players from all over the world are now much stronger, having had the benefit of hundreds of years of evolution and experimentation by the masters before them. Can this unlikely pair form a successful partnership and rise to the top of Japan's Go community, and can Sai finally play the Hand of God and find some peace?
This recommendation didn't hit me until I reached the 18th episode of Baby Steps, so avoiding spoilers is difficult. But both Ei-chan and Hikaru are complete amateurs at the beinning of their anime. At first, neither character intends to take his activity very seriously. Ei-chan picks up tennis because he needs excercise. Hikaru has a Go-loving ghost begging him to play. But, slowly, they come into their own. They participate in tournaments and develop strategies and playing styles unique to them, absorbing understanding from their teachers and friends.They develop a passion for the game.
As a viewer, your mind can be engaged on multiple levels in both anime. In Baby Steps, Ei-chan is a strategist, and you get an inside view on how he analyzes and approaches games--and you learn a bit of tennis in the process. In Hikaru no Go, Hikaru plays Go, a strategy game. As you learn about the game and the characters, you can follow more of what goes on.
I watched all 75 eps of Hikaru no Go twice, and I'm closely following Baby Steps as it airs. Obviously, I find both of these anime very enjoyable, so if you like one for any of the above reasons, you should try the other out.
Baby steps and Hikaru no Go are about young boys who are introduced to a new sport/game and fall in love with it. They are slightly different in the way they both react, but they both put in a lot of hardwork and are both great anime to watch.
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.
Both are amazing sport anime, and give a professional seriousness yet are fun to watch, I find it interesting to see how they chnage and adapt to their enviroment and both have a fun jolly yet serious tone.
Both pull you into enjoying a sport through the use of very dedicated amatuer players, their evolution as players, and their relationships with the characters around them in a school setting.
The differences here are that Haikyuu!! is about a team sport, and Baby Steps is not. The main character of Baby Steps is also extremely academic, whereas Haikyuu!!'s main character is shown to be failing. Both examine the personalities, psychology, and abilities of the individual players, but Baby Steps does it to a higher degree considering the match ups are one vs one.
Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something - anything. Unfortunately, he's about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku's not the neighborhood watch, though. He's a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same.
Baby Steps and Welcome to the Ballroom are very similar in the aspect that the main character begins a sport because of a girl who has a passion for the sport. both characters have a strange obsession once they begin and the sport rapidly takes over their lives.
They are both stories of a rookie working hard to achieve their dream of going pro. Both rookies happen to have secret talent at the sport allowing them to improve at a dramatic, unhuman speed. They are basically the same anime, but with a different sport.
Both animes are about the personal development and success of the main character in his new passion. I really like the resemblance to the reality where hard work and goals are a must for success in your job/passion/creation etc.
Also, both MC are getting into tennis/dancing by mistake, or randomly. And, both MCs are doing well only after experimenting failure and not giving up on training untill they succeeed.
Kotoko Aihara has always been in love with Naoki Irie; he’s tall, handsome, and rumored to be the most intelligent student in Japan – who wouldn’t be? Only one thing stands in the way of a relationship with Irie: Kotoko is ditzy and is at the bottom set of her school, and Irie-kun hates nothing more than ditzy, stupid girls. When disaster strikes and Kotoko is forced to move in with Irie-kun’s family, she suddenly sees her chance to bridge the gap. After all, even cool, super-intelligent guys must have a soft spot, right?
When Koh was eleven years old, he lived a quiet and peaceful life, delivering sporting goods for his family's store and batting frequently at the Tsukishima Batting Center. Though Koh had no interest in baseball, he started the play the sport anyways after a series of events, much to the delight of his best friend, the beautiful Wakaba Tsukishima. However, soon life dealt Koh a tragic turn, changing him forever. Now, years later, Koh attends Seishuu Academy and is soon pulled back into the world of baseball. Alongside Wakaba's talented sister, Aoba; old friend and fighter Nakanishi; and plenty of new teammates and companions, Koh will once more pick up the pitcher's mitt and see if he has what it takes to be a champion.
Cross Game has a very similar feel to Baby Steps. Unlike the high-octane sports anime (Hajime no Ippo, Major), both Baby Steps and Cross Game take a gentle drama approach. The main characters are sensible and approachable for the most part rather than brazen and extreme. The humour is more ironic and homely. However, Cross Game is a more accomplished work overall, with greater nuance in the dialogue and character interactions. If you enjoy Baby Steps you really will like Cross Game.
Moritaka Mashiro feels as if life is passing him by; with no dreams or motivation, he trudges through day-to-day life. One day, after leaving his notebook behind, he returns to school and finds the smartest guy in class, Takagi, waiting for him. Takagi is happy to return the book, but on the condition that Mashiro agrees to become a mangaka with him. Though Mashiro initially declines, he soon reconsiders when he discovers that the girl he likes, Azuki, dreams of becoming a voice actress. And after promising that she can have the lead role if their manga is ever adapted into an anime, he suggests that they get married once they are both successful! Shockingly, she agrees to the proposal and Mashiro and Takagi embark on their quest to become manga artists.
After just a few episodes of Bakuman, I knew I'd make this recommendation, although I waited until I finished the series. Both of these feature young teens who start as complete rookies in their field and, through serious dedication, work their way toward becoming professionals. They work alone or in small teams, without the added motivation of a school club—in fact, their new goals can isolate them from normal school activities. There's competition involved in both, too. So if one of these series inspired and intrigued you, the other is probably worth a try.
Sena was always a weak child, constantly having to run away from bullies; so much, that he became good at it. Now, as a teenager, Sena’s skill at running has become so impressive that the diabolical mastermind of the school football team notices his talent and recruits him. Yet to keep his privacy intact and his dangerous hobby a secret from his overprotective childhood friend Mamori, Sena is forced to develop a secret identity: the ace running back, Eyeshield 21! But the world is full of talented rivals, and Sena has a long way to go until he can reach the top...
Extreme sportsman character development: zero guy finds talent and spring in sport.
Although the protagonist does not have such analytics as Ei-chan, anime compensates with team roles and team spirit of American football and explains the game almost as well in case you wanna get some enthusiasm for it :)
Ren Mihashi is a timid pitcher with problems; he has no self esteem or confidence, due to the relentless bullying of his once teammates, and is reluctant to play baseball again. However, at Ren's new school, Nishiura Prefectural High, he finds himself picking up the mitt once more. Along with the help of alumni-turned-coach Maria Momoe, tough but supportive Takaya Abe, and the rest of his teammates, Ren will regain his confidence and show the game of baseball who's the boss yet again!