Top 33 Best Baseball Anime Ever Made: Our Recommendations ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
One of the most popular sports categories of anime revolves around baseball. There’s just something universal with this game that makes it such an interesting topic. Or maybe the Japanese audience just really love it, who can say!
Either way, there’s a lotta baseball-themed animes to love. And here I’d like to share the cream of the crop in my list of the best baseball anime worth watching. Check em out!
33. Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu! (Azusa Will Help!)
Here’s an interesting take on baseball with a definite anime feel.
Lacking one more player to complete their school baseball team, our MC decides to purchase a baseball robot player to complete their roster.
However he ends up buying Azusa, a maid robot. Not quite the same but I guess it’ll do, right?
Still, Azusa seems to hide a secret. And that may help the school baseball team to win this year’s tournament!
Released in 2004, this series does offer a light escape especially if you’re tired of the heavily packed animes. Think of this as a much more relaxing experience.
32. Neko Pitcher
Let’s try something hilarious for a change!
Neko Pitcher, airing from 2014 to 2016, features a cat pitching in the Japanese Baseball League.
Yes. That’s the plot. And as bare as it seems, it works!
An episode of this series lasts around 2 minutes long. And that’s more than enough time to show how cute this cat is.
But it’s actually more than just a gag show.
Neko Pitcher does have baseball trivia peppered into each episode, which makes it a relevant and educational choice to learn about baseball’s effect on Japan!
31. Miracle Giants Doumu-kun
Another favorite device used in sports anime is the secret technique.
This 1989 anime follows this route, when the main character Domo Shinjo inherits the special baseball skill from his late (and pro player) father.
The kid then joins the big league, using his magical pitch to beat basically everyone.
What makes this another exciting (and touching) anime is the bond Domo has with his father. Even from beyond the grave, Domo knows that his dad will be there with him every game.
30. Samurai Giants
A 1973 release, protagonist Ban Bamba may actually be considered one of the characters who set the standard of having a samurai-esque figure in a modern setting.
With his wild way of playing, yet focused determination on winning, the samurai spirit within Ban Bamba allows him to develop some of the most creative pitches done in baseball anime.
If you dig older shows(specifically 70s-era stuff) and if you love baseball, you’re really gonna like Samurai Giants.
29. Little Busters!
Baseball is a team sport. So it makes sense that an anime series will focus on an integral component that all teams should have: friendship.
Released in 2012, Little Busters! is actually a group of do-gooders living life to the fullest.
When their leader Kyosuke announces he’s leaving school soon, the group decides to play out his last year with a bang.
And they do this by forming a baseball team (go figure). It’s a simple but really engaging story.
And isn’t that what you want from baseball in the first place? More than the fights or the possibilities that the future holds, baseball is a sport enjoyed in the present moment.
28. Shippu! Iron Leaguer
An early 90s anime, Shippu! Iron Leaguer imagines a world where humans don’t engage in sports themselves anymore – robots do instead.
Although it’s just one of the sports featured in this anime, baseball does take a nice leading act through its representative robot, Magnum Ace.
It’s not realistic, fine. But this show does take the cake in showcasing how imaginative anime can be. Even sports anime.
27. Ippatsu Kanta-kun
If you really want to accomplish something, do it.
Even if you feel the entire world is against you. For a comedy/family anime, it’s quite impressive that this idea is the main message comes across through sports.
Kanta Tobase, forbidden to play baseball by his mother, tries his best to squeeze time to get into the game.
Circumstances allow Kanta to eventually play, winning his mom’s support in the end.
It’s simple, funny, yet touching at the same time.
Here’s another reason to watch this 1977 series: the beloved Mamoru Oshii debuted as a episode director in this series!
26. Princess Nine: Kisaragi Joshikou Yakyuubu
Here’s yet another anime that features some really nice female empowerment.
Released in 1989, this proves that girls can compete against the best of the boys in baseball.
Leading the girls is Ryo Hayakawa, daughter of a legend in the Japanese pro baseball league. Ryo then gathers a rag-tag group of females of different talents, and goes to play.
It shows that passion, dedication, and teamwork can defeat anyone. You go, girls!
25. Gurazeni: Money Pitch
We all know it takes a team to win.
But a darker side does loom among players, as shown in this 2018 release Gurazeni: Money Pitch.
Natsunosuke Honda is a relief pitcher for the baseball team “The Spiders”.
Knowing that a player’s salary depends on his performance, Natsunosuke slyly finds ways to manipulate and challenge his fellow teammates to secure the highest paycheck in the team.
It’s a cynical but still interesting view of the sport.
This retro goodness anime (released in 1976) proved that comedy and baseball can be a great combination.
From its beginnings you’ll be laughing about the rather large bento box full of food.
But this series doesn’t just bring in the laughs. Its baseball action scenes are some of the best in retro anime history.
23. Play Ball
An injury doesn’t necessarily mean the end for your sporting career. Well it can, but maybe not in anime!
Play Ball, which aired in 2005, dwells on this idea.
The main character Takao Taniguchi initially lost his will to play because of an injury.
But his love for the game never disappeared.
Constantly watching from afar, he decided to join the school’s baseball team. By building up on the fundamentals, Taniguchi slowly regains confidence and leads the team to victory.
22. Ganbare!! Tabuchi-kun!!
First shown in 1979, this anime connects two interesting themes: gag comedy antics and a theme based a real Japanese baseball player, Koichi Tabuchi.
As fun as the series is, I’ll say it’s such a joy that Tabuchi was game for this kind of treatment (after all, the man is a homerun artist in Japanese pro baseball history!)
Most of the time, sports anime is often seen from a star player’s perspective.
For a different look into this sport, Kurokan offers a unique perspective from the coach himself.
The animation may be a bit stiff, sure. But Kurokan does offer a nice way of treating the game itself.
With the 100th anniversary of the Koshien Stadium just around the corner, baseball clubs are doing everything in their power to train & possibly get into the championship.
Which leads us to Kurokan. Why does he promote such an unorthodox way to train his players? Does he really care for their future? Let’s find out!
The episodes are fairly short, so you’re bound to get through this faster than you’d think.
A popular anime in Japan during the 1980s, Captain tells the story of four high school baseball players.
The main character’s role revolves among the four players, as the captain is the oldest of the bunch.
Once the captain graduates, he then transfers the title to the next player. Such is life.
It features a mix of slice of life and baseball action rolled together.
19. Meimon! Daisan Yakyuubu
A staple among sports anime is the underdog story.
This series does just that. It shows how even if you’re the worst baseball team in your school, there’s always room to win.
Through sheer guts and dedication, these passionate players can beat even the best of the best.
Another Mitsuru Adachi hit (actually, his longest manga in circulation), H2 tells the story of some best friends caught in the crossfire of baseball & love.
An odd mix, but trust me it works.
Typical of works from Mitsuru Adachi, H2 does have the warm feeling of a slice of life show, peppered with technical baseball information throughout.
A really nice and character-driven anime for baseball fans.
17. Slow Step
Yes, another Mitsuru Adachi release!
This 1991 OVA also has the signature styles of any work made by this storyteller.
But Slow Step does include another sport in the mix: boxing.
With both boxing and baseball, and chasing after the girl of his dreams, which sport will have the edge towards love?
Thrilling baseball action, a wonderful romantic plotline, and a rather heart-stomping twist all combined into one anime.
Touch sure does manage to tackle several issues without missing a beat!
This 80s hit may very well be one of the most memorable and imaginative takes on how baseball is used in anime. And it made Mitsuru Adachi a household name, at least when it comes to quirky baseball tales!
15. Nine: Original Han
This movie gives off that awesome 80s anime romance vibe move than any other.
Nine: Original Han, with a love angle involved, still includes the message of every member of a baseball team is important. And really, this is so true.
It’s yet another Mitsuru Adachi creation, who seems to enjoy making baseball (and romance!) anime hits.
14. Taishou Yakyuu Musume. (Taisho Baseball Girls)
It’s always nice watching a sports anime that gives the spotlight over to female players.
And this show makes the topic even more relevant by placing us into the 1920s. Specifically 1925.
What’s with that year?
Baseball was in its infancy stage in Japan during that time. Players were mostly male too.
The main character, Akiko Ogasawara, wanted females to join in the games. Noticing that females aren’t readily accepted, Akiko decides to create her own team to match up with the men.
Girls rule, and this anime proves it!
13. Mix: Meisei Story
One of the most recent baseball anime to come out, Mix: Meisei Story is (yet again) another of the great Mitsuru Adachi’s hits.
As a sequel to the successful Touch mentioned earlier, Mix: Meisei Story does offer some callbacks and cameo appearances of some of the first story’s characters. So maybe check that one out first if you can.
But with Mix you’ll find the signature Mitsuru Adachi plot devices and lengthy narrative. And yes, plenty of baseball.
12. Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of the Giants)
Considered to be one of the most inspiring anime series ever made, this 182-episode retro hit (initially aired in 1968, followed by numerous movies) showcased how the game of baseball can be a good setting for classic family values.
Aside from the great sports action and family drama genres, this one kind of blends multiple ideas together.
And it’s a great reason to check this out, even if you aren’t super into baseball (although that does help).
Fun fact: this was the first sports manga to be adapted into an anime series, ever!
11. Yakyuukyou no Uta
First airing in 1977, Yakyuukyou no Uta started an idea that turned into a staple among anime today: female empowerment.
Or said another way, girl power!
This series follows Yuki Mizuhara, a female college student who tries her hand playing baseball.
With great baseball scenes and progressive messaging on gender equality, this is a baseball anime worth appreciating. Especially for ladies out there who are into sports & anime (an eclectic mix, but out there nonetheless!)
10. Apache Yakyuugun
As one of the earliest anime to tackle baseball, Apache Yakyuugun does introduce a really imaginative take on how this sport could be seen on television.
A bare and short plot(it’s at just 26 episodes), Apache Yakyuugun makes use of its given time by citing one of the best lessons learned from the sport: it’s all about the company you keep.
When an ex-pro baseball player decides to become a coach, bigger and more beneficial lessons are given out to his team. And he even learns some things along the way!
It’s an early slice of life series that does its job really well.
Also, this series was helmed by none other than the late Isao Takahata of Studio Ghibli fame!
9. Kenritsu Umisora Koukou Yakyuubu-in Yamashita Tarou-kun
A common trope in most sports shows is that the main character basically starts off physically talented.
In some cases, the main character has a secret technique that basically always wins him the game.
Well this late 80s anime didn’t go that route.
What sets apart our MC Tarou Yamashita from other heroes is that he sucks big time.
But because he loves the game and he’s dedicated to improve, Tarou and his team persevere. Even with odds stacked against them. Quite inspiring, really.
8. Go-Q-Choji Ikkiman (Battle Ball)
Let’s ty some intergalactic baseball for a change of pace.
This 1986 classic may be an obscure title.
But for those lucky enough to have seen it(or those luckier to have copies), Battle Ball is an instant anime classic.
The character designs seem to be a blend of different types of Saiyan armor (hitting the orb on the armor chestplate with a baseball can disable the player).
Additionally, the motley crew that represents Earth’s team is made up of several star athletes from different sports!
The main character does have some alien blood, which is the ace that our planet needs!
It may not be as realistic as other titles. But if you can get into some sci-fi stuff then Battle Ball is a really fun show, even for non-baseball enthusiasts.
Airing in 2016, this series shows a really important yet complex relationship forged in baseball: the chemistry between the pitcher and the catcher.
The main character, 12-year old Takumi Harada, is known to be one of the best pitchers in Japanese baseball history.
Even at his young age, several schools have been trying to recruit him.
Circumstances led to Takumi staying in a small town, with an equally weak baseball team. Yet this doesn’t bother Takumi.
The only worry is that nobody in his new team can catch the balls he pitches!
That is, until he meets Gou Nagakura. Gou is firmly focused on forming that special bond with Takumi. And that focus matters more to Gou than winning games.
How does this play out? Well, you’ll have to watch to see for yourself.
6. One Outs
This bleak series tackles baseball in a different light (or a lack of light, that is).
Combining the seedy nature of gambling and the excitement of baseball, One Outs is truly a one-of-a-kind sports anime experience.
The series follows the Saitama Lycaons’ pursuit of winning a championship. Hiromichi Kojima, the team’s best batter, tries to recruit a better roster to match up against the strong competition.
Enter Toua Tokuchi.
If anything, nothing is spectacular about this pitcher. His fastball is just 134 kmph.
But Toua’s unique way of pitching & gambling philosophy results in 499 wins in the special street game of One Outs. Crazy stuff.
Hiromichi knew he had to get Toua to give the Lycaons a winning chance. But how will Toua react to this opportunity?
It’s unique, unpredictable, and will help you see baseball in a different way!
5. Cross Game
Another Mitsuru Adachi baseball anime hit.
Released in 2009, this series tells the story of Kou Kitamura and Aoba Tsukishima: two excellent baseball players with personalities at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Kou’s talented, but not really focused in playing.
Aoba’s dedication is fierce. So much so, he makes sure he’s going to win at every turn.
What connects these two star players is Wakaba, Aoba’s sister.
As with other Mitsuru Adachi works, Cross Game does have a heavy and hard-hitting twist in its narrative.
But it’s masterfully done. Nothing’s forced to move the plot either. Trust me, you’ll enjoy this one.
4. Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup!)
Bullying. A topic often discussed in anime.
But what happens if the team you’re supposed to rely on are the bullies themselves?
That’s how this baseball series starts off.
Ren Mihashi, although talented in baseball, has low self-esteem. His teammates have no interest in really winning games. Some even start to blame Ren for their losses.
Ren decides to quit and enroll in a different school. He suddenly gets dragged into the world of baseball again, when his new school’s team invites him on rather quickly(no surprise here).
Will this be the start of a better baseball future for Ren? Check out Big Windup! and see for yourself!
Now this is a really strange but also really entertaining gem.
Moshidora, released in 2011, offers a very different way of playing & looking at baseball.
As with many series in this list, baseball anime usually falls towards the underdog story. There are also a fair number of entries that focus on drama and character development.
Moshidora goes an entirely different route: baseball team management using business management principles.
Specifically, the book Peter Drucker’s Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.
And as bizarre as it sounds, applying these principles when managing a team does work out for Minami Kawashima, our MC.
Slow-paced in the beginning, and ending with a bang, this series has a lot of wonderful surprises in store!
2. Diamond no Ace (Ace of Diamond)
We’re closing in now with yet another popular anime series, Diamond no Ace, released in 2013.
It has all the makings of a memorable sports show.
The story focuses on the pitcher Eijun Sawamura, and his journey towards becoming the ace player of the team.
This series does offer a nice viewpoint on how to create believable baseball-loving characters.
And aside from learning more about baseball, this series also offers a nice view on how high schools in Japan see baseball. The action scenes are really spectacular to boot.
You’ll quickly realize how much of an impact well-timed pitches are!
This is a show that will make you fall in love with baseball, as if you hadn’t already.
Perhaps one of the most famous baseball series in Japan, and arguably the best one ever made.
What makes Major a winning series is its deep character growth and development.
Spanning 6 seasons (and several movies too), Major’s dedication in telling a beautiful story for that long should be applauded.
The series is about Goro Honda. We follow him from kindergarten to his growth as a player for the pro leagues.
Goro’s journey working towards his dream is filled with lots of problems (and accomplishments too). And we get to see them all. In the end, Goro’s drive to be the best does win him accolades in the future. And it’s a hell of an inspiring story for baseball fans the world over.
Not to mention there’s another anime called Major 2nd to follow up after you complete this one.