18 Best Basketball Anime Ranked

Best Basketball Anime

Basketball anime has captured the hearts of sports fans and anime lovers alike. From classic tales of high school teams striving for glory to futuristic sci-fi matchups, the subgenre offers exhilarating entertainment for all. As an experienced anime blogger and basketball enthusiast, I have compiled a definitive list of the 18 best basketball anime spanning decades of standout slam dunk titles.

Whether you are a devoted hoops otaku or looking to get into the game, these electrifying shows are guaranteed to have you cheering from the sidelines. So lace up your Jordans and get ready for the definitive rundown of hardwood heroes, underdog triumphs, and intergalactic showdowns awaiting on the courts!

Here is the list of the 18 Best Basketball Anime:

1. Kuroko No Basket

Kuroko No Basket

This adrenaline-fueled 2012 series follows a high school basketball team aiming to become the best in Japan. While the story itself treads familiar sports anime territory, the true stars here are the misdirection specialist Kuroko and hot-headed ace Kagami. Together they form an unstoppable duo, unleashing show-stopping combos rooted in real basketball fundamentals. With its lightning-paced matches, stellar characterization, and stylish moves, Kuroko No Basket scores big as both a sports chronicle and battle anime thrill ride.

2. I'll/CKBC


While lesser known, this brisk 2003 OVA perfectly encapsulates the rush of hoops action alongside the bonds of teamwork. We witness two differing playstyles - the methodical Tachibana and wildly skilled Hiiragi - mesh together to claim victory. Beyond the intense gameplay, I'll/CKBC also succeeds in thoughtfully developing relationships between rivals turned teammates. Executed concisely yet effectively in two episodes, this hidden gem is a must-watch for fans seeking substance alongside sports spectacle.

Watch I'll/CKBC

3. Dash Kappei

Dash Kappei

Those seeking zany basketball comedy will find 1981’s Dash Kappei a delightfully outrageous slam dunk. Motivated by his perverted quest to catch glimpses under his coach’s skirt, pint-sized protagonist Kappei is an eccentric yet strangely gifted player. His madcap basketball antics are only rivaled by his wacky special moves on the court. Alongside the hilarity, Dash Kappei also offers plenty of insightful fundamentals explanation for basketball novices. So get ready for some salacious sports satire as Kappei dashes his way to hilarious hoops hysteria!

Watch Dash Kappei

4. Barangay 143

Barangay 143

This obscure 2015 Philippine series depicts youth streetball culture through an insider's lens. We follow Korean player Bren, newly arrived to a Manila slum team, as he comes to understand the integral role basketball plays for less fortunate Filipino youth. Barangay 143 proudly reps Asian basketball beyond well-worn anime settings. Backed by one of the Philippines’ largest animation studios, this series offers an eye-opening look into how the sport seeds hope and purpose within impoverished communities.

Watch Barangay 143

5. Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5

Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5

Victories cannot be claimed through singular effort, but rather collective team building, as taught in this 1995 Korean film. Initially disappointed to join an athletically lackluster squad, skilled hotshot Youngwoong soon recognizes how emphasizing his teammate’s strengths and covering their weaknesses breeds success. Featuring thrilling late game suspense alongside this central lesson, Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5 highlights the inseparable basketball passion within 1990s Korea.

Watch Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5

6. Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu

Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu

Tragedy meets triumph in this emotional 2017 special chronicling a girls middle school team persevering after the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With only 5 players remaining in the aftermath, the Onagawa squad could have understandably folded. But their enduring team bonds and love of basketball motivate them towards recovery through continuing play. As a touching testament to the resilient human spirit, Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu deserves immense praise for sensitively addressing real national trauma through uplifting sports narrative.

Watch Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu

7. Dear Boys

Dear Boys

Shifting to straightforward high school basketball action, Dear Boys centers on skilled player Aikawa transferring to the downtrodden Mizuho High School aiming to restore their reputation through rigorous training. Match after match, we witness the team’s exponential growth fostering harmony and skill. While rehashing familiar underdog tropes, Dear Boys still excels thanks to excellent pacing and great attention towards capturing the sport’s technical aspects.

8. Ro-Kyu-Bu!


Don’t let its questionable premise deter you - Ro Kyu Bu! manages to blend loli moe with insightful coaching commentary. After his playing career ends in scandal, Subaru steps back as a coach for an elementary school girls team instead. Slowly but surely, he breaks down each pint-sized player's strengths and weaknesses while molding them into coordinated contenders ready to challenge older middle schoolers. So set aside any objections over its eccentric setup - Ro Kyu Bu! delivers delightful basketball training coupled with kawaii charm.

Watch Ro-Kyu-Bu!

9. Breakers


Shining light on lesser depicted adaptive athletics, episodic series Breakers dedicates its premier to the exhilaration of wheelchair basketball. Beyond lightning-paced match coverage, Breakers primarily succeeds in transforming public conceptions surrounding disabilities through positive sports portrayal. Alongside other featured Paralympic events, Breakers makes great strides towards empowering marginalized para-athletes.

Watch Breakers

10. Basquash!


With its bombastic mechs meets basketball premise, Basquash! smashes conventions towards new science fiction sporting frontiers. Set in a distant future, the mythical player Dan JD popularizes giant robot streetball “Big Foot Basketball” as Earth’s most viewed spectacle sport. What follows is larger-than-life hardwood madness - behemoth cyborgs battling mid-air while dunking massive balls through equally massive nets. Backed by stunning animation and even Nike shoe product placement, Basquash! offers heavy metal hoops hysteria beyond imagination!

11. Buzzer Beater

Buzzer Beater

Prepare for interstellar hardwood warfare as humans challenge alien oppressors in Buzzer Beater’s spacefaring society. Here the game has been dominated by extraterrestrial races flaunting superhuman gifts. But down on his luck protagonist Hideyoshi suddenly earns the chance to lead Earth’s first professional human squad aiming to dethrone these celestial titans. What follows is out-of-this-world action as beastly exotic species and scrawny underdogs collide! Fantastically illustrated through sharp manga panels, Buzzer Beater throws basketball conventions out the airlock window for full throttle cosmic spectacle.

Watch Buzzer Beater

12. Ahiru no Sora

Ahiru no Sora

Character-driven coming of age drama Ahiru no Sora beautifully illustrates youth basketball culture beyond the typical underdog formula. Diminutive Sora Kurumatani lives, breathes, dreams about playing - only let down by genetic improbability. We follow his journey entering high school, joining a ragtag team filled with athletic indifference and attitude rather than skill and spirit. Through tremendous personal perseverance, he slowly reignites their diminished passion for the game. Ahiru no Sora proudly reps overlooked teenage turmoil alongside commentary regarding rigid societal judgement over ability limits. Each emotional step rings loudly with authentic portrayal of high school dynamics and basketball catharsis.

13. Kuroko No Basket: Last Game

Kuroko No Basket Last Game

The exhilarating OVA sequel Last Game realizes fans’ fantasy scenario - pitting Kuroko and Kagami’s squad against supremely skilled American streetball players. Maintaining the series’ trademark rapidfire pacing and combat-like intensity, Last Game delivers thrilling back-and-forth matchups featuring death-defying jumps, perfectly executed counters and combos galore! From sizzling music accompaniment to fluid animation VALUES, this epilogue provides supremely satisfying closure for beloved franchise.

14. Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk

As the series kickstarting an entire sports subgenre movement, 1993’s Slam Dunk!! remains the gold standard blueprint even through modern innovations. We follow aggressive punk turned basketball protege Hanamichi Sakuragi in his rekindled journey towards skilled ace. Through tremendous personal growth and team building, Hanamichi embodies the passionate coming-of-age underdog spirit propelling Slam Dunk into masterpiece eternal status. For any sports anime fan, this 101 episode grind tracing basketball redemption retains insurmountable importance for its smashing crossover mainstream popularity.

15. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops (Honey x Honey Drops)

Mitsu x Mitsu Drops

Shojo romance stories meet basketball in this sweet two episode series. At the peculiar Houjou Academy system designating students as hierarchical “Masters and Honeys”, circumstances take an odd turn when the outcome of a rivalry match hinges on basketball prodigy Kai...using his managerial “Honey” Hagino as wager collateral! This leads into heartwarming athletic training between the two, strengthening bonds on and off the court. MitsuX2 drops executes this oddball premise into a satisfying two-part story perfect for shoujo readers seeking sports with their schoolyard crushes!

Watch Mitsu x Mitsu Drops

16. Power!! Girl's Got Game

Power!! Girl's Got Game

Girl power fantasies shoot straight through the nets in ecchi gender-bender Power!! Girl’s Got Game! Hiromi yearns attending elite high school Seisyu Academy...for their nationally ranked boy’s basketball team. So naturally her parents enroll her under the guise of the opposite sex! What follows is hysterical hijinks as Hiromi attempts hiding her identity amongst oblivious yet attractive teammates all while becoming their secret ace star player! You’ll be rooting for all the wacky ways she maneuvers between high school hoops and romance all while infiltrating as a basketball prodigy boy herself!

Watch Power!! Girl's Got Game

17. Harlem Beat

Harlem Beat

Streetball redemption tales slam hard in gritty coming-of-age story Harlem Beat. Constantly warming the bench on his lackluster school squad, Nate ditches structured play taking to chaotic urban blacktops. Running with the local ragtag Harlem Beat crew, Nate rapidly transforms into a basketball beast fueled by true passion for the game. Harlem Beat excels portraying Nate gain immense personal maturity alongside jaw-dropping playground maneuvers - capturing the fluid improvisation and freestyle heart streetball culture embodies.

Watch Harlem Beat

18. Real


Transferring basketball narrative into sobering realistic fiction, acclaimed manga series Real spotlights three paraplegic players facing marginalization and accessibility beyond their athletic aspirations. From recounting their tragic life-altering accidents towards discovering renewed purpose through wheelchair athletics, Real grounds readers through exposing infrequently discussed societal issues. Both an inspirational sports chronicle and profound mirror reflecting neglected marginalized realities, Real makes great strides in progressive social discourse through perceptively told human stories.

Watch Real

Final Thoughts

Basketball and anime proves a consistently winning entertainment combination as evident in these diverse slam dunk titles. From competitive high school redemption tales towards intergalactic sci-fi showdowns, there exists a hardwood saga to satisfy all viewers regardless of hoops knowledge. So whether you are obsessive otaku eager for fast breaks or casual fan looking for thrilling crossovers, be sure to lace up and get in the game experiencing the scope of basketball anime brilliance firsthand! Let me know your own personal all-star lineup - which basketball anime titles fill out your starting five roster? Thanks for checking out my definitive rankings championing these athletic anime icons! I’ll see everyone courtside for the next tips off!

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