Basketball anime has been an action-packed anime genre since the 1980s. Here is our editor’s list of the best basketball anime franchises. Below you’ll also see a full list of Kuroko’s Basketball films, Slam Dunk movies, and an exhaustive list of 41 anime basketball movies.
Basketball Anime Trailers
1. Kuroko’s Basketball (Kuroko no Basket)
Kuroko no Basuke might be the most well-known basketball anime for relatively young basketball and anime fans. The manga was initially released in 2008, and the anime version followed four years later. It is currently regarded as one of the best sports anime series of all time that highlights The Generation of Miracles with three perfect seasons in a row.
The anime centers on a basketball player named Tetsuya Kuroko, who recently completed the prestigious Teiko Middle School basketball program. Teiko had five basketball players with supernatural skills, making it one of the top junior high schools.
When Kuroko moves on to high school, he discovers the Seirin team isn’t very good. Kuroko meets Taiga Kagami, who recently immigrated from the U.S. Kuroko’s modest stature disappoints Kagami and others in Seirin.
Kuroko’s skills are not up to the level of Kagami since he was the 6th man on his champion middle school team. Still, despite his height, Kuroko uses his great passing and movement without the ball to get open, and they soon come to appreciate his contribution to the basketball team.
It’s an action anime that follows a basketball theme. The illustrations are clear, the action scenes are thrilling, and the animation is stunning. Kuroko’s Basketball may only be for you if you find superhero abilities interesting. Kuroko no Basket is the game for you if you enjoy watching basketball with a unique twist and the best players.
Kuroko’s Basketball TV Series
- Kuroko no Basket (2012)
- Kuroko no Basket 2nd Season (2013)
- Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season (2015)
Kuroko’s Basketball Movies
- Kuroko no Basket Movie 1: Winter Cup – Kage to Hikari (2016)
- Kuroko no Basket Movie 2: Winter Cup – Namida no Saki e (2016)
- Kuroko no Basket Movie 3: Winter Cup – Tobira no Mukou (2016)
- Kuroko no Basket Movie 4: Last Game (2017)
Kuroko’s Basketball OVAs / ONAs
- Kuroko no Basket: Baka ja Katenai no yo! (2013)
- Hiyoko no Basket Movie: Last Game 0401 (2017)
Kuroko’s Basketball Specials
- Kuroko no Basket: Oshaberi Shiyokka (2012)
- Kuroko no Basket NG-shuu (2013)
- Kuroko no Basket: Tip Off (2013)
- Kuroko no Basket 2nd Season NG-shuu (2014)
- Kuroko no Basket: Mou Ikkai Yarimasen ka (2014)
- Kuroko no Basket: Oshaberi Demo Shimasen ka (2014)
- Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season NG-shuu (2015)
- Kuroko no Basket: Saikou no Present Desu (2015)
- Kuroko no Basket: Oshaberi Shiyou ka (2017)
- Kuroko no Basket: Last Game NG-shuu (2017)
2. Slam Dunk
Without a doubt, Slam Dunk is among the best basketball anime names. Slam Dunk, which had 100 episodes created between 1993 and 1996, is considered one of the greatest anime from the 90s and is largely responsible for Asia’s intrigue with basketball.
Takehiko Inoue, who wrote and illustrated the original manga, initially intended for it to be a straightforward basketball story from his own experiences. However, as time went on, Slam Dunk gradually expanded into a vast and compelling tale of dedication, friendship, and passion.
Slam Dunk introduces Sakuragi Hanamichi’s journey with high school basketball as a freshman at Shohoku and how, with nothing more than his willpower, he comes to adore the sport. Sakauragi is known for his bright red hair and matching fiery quick temper. Even though his initial goals were to win over Rukawa and Haruko through competition, Sakuragi gradually came to love basketball.
Slam Dunk TV Series
- Slam Dunk (1993, Episodes 1-9 )
- Slam Dunk (1994, Episodes 10-49)
- Slam Dunk (1995, Episodes 50-91)
- Slam Dunk (1996, Episodes 92-101)
Slam Dunk Movies
- Slam Dunk: The Movie (March 1994)
- Slam Dunk: Zenkoku Seiha da! Sakuragi Hanamichi (July 1994) [Slam Dunk: Conquer the Nation, Hanamichi Sakuragi!]
- Slam Dunk: Shôhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi (March 1995) [Slam Dunk: Shohoku’s Greatest Challenge!]
- Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman Tamashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu (July 1995) [Slam Dunk: Howling Basketman Spirit!]
- The First Slam Dunk (2022)
3. Ahiru no Sora
Ahiru no Sora was a basketball anime that adhered to the original manga storyline written and illustrated by Hinata Takeshi. It is a thrilling journey that offers a novel perspective on the basketball genre. The final episode of this basketball anime aired in 2020.
Sora descended from a former professional women’s basketball player but sadly did not have the advantage of height. Despite his small stature, Sora grows a fierce passion for basketball and pursues his ambition to play in the NBA.
When Sora starts attending Kuzuryuu as a High School basketball player, he discovers an unmotivated ball club full of troublemakers. After challenging them to a game of basketball, he sparks their competitive nature, and the team sets out to be the best ball club.
Considering Japan’s fascination with mecha, the existence of a basketball anime featuring robots is likely not all that unusual. Basquash showcases giant mecha robots competing in basketball games in enormous arenas, unlike Buzzer Beater, which imagines a future where humans compete against aliens.
In this anime, shooting hoops is done in a completely new way. The games, known as Big Foot Basketball (BFB), are typically played in enormous arenas.
Dan JD, the series’s main character, despises how the game of basketball is now being played. Dan and his allies took the basketball game to the streets and renamed BFB to Basquash.
This anime is an entirely different experience. Along with the incredible animation, Dan and his team can anticipate numerous mecha upgrades when difficult circumstances arise.
The best elements of the basketball and loli anime are combined in Ro-Kyu-Bu! Combining the two has worked out well. This anime is a story about Hasegawa Subaru, a former basketball player who retired after a strange scandal that shut down his basketball team.
One day Subaru is invited to coach an academic girl’s basketball team. He reluctantly agrees to train the sixth-grade girl’s team with the goal of beating the best teams.
The premise of Ro-Kyu-Bu! is that you can still keep pursuing your dreams of playing hoops even if you are not allowed to do so. Subaru must now impart the fundamental concepts to a group of young girls for them to succeed in games.
Ro-Kyu-Bu! is less action-packed than most of the other Basketball anime on this list, but fans of ecchi anime will likely enjoy this show.
6. Dear Boys (Hoop Days)
You should check out this anime if you’re interested in a more in-depth exploration of basketball concepts. Dear Boys is an example of a shonen anime that features a classic underdog tale with some drama. The manga was written and illustrated by Yagami Hiroki.
Aikawa Kazuhiko is a senior at Tendoji High, a highly regarded school with a distinguished history, and the team captain. He moves and becomes a Mizuho High School student following several incidents. However, at Mizuho, the basketball program is quickly disintegrating.
The only thing keeping Mizuho’s basketball program alive before Kazuhito joined the team was the presence of four basketball players. These four players are motivated by Kazuhito’s passion, hard work, and basketball skills, regardless of the circumstances. They work together to win every game and eventually the championship.
7. Dash Kappei
Dash Kappei is the right anime for you if you want to travel back in time and watch a vintage sports anime. This 80s story centers on Kappei Sakamoto, a student under one meter (3 feet 2 inches) tall but somehow manages to be the star player for the school basketball team. The manga was written and illustrated by Rokuda Noboru.
This 65-episode anime series is much more intriguing than you may anticipate for a show of its age. Dash Kappei is funny and full of bizarre jokes and uses unusual strategies to win games by defying the laws of physics. Either way, he tries to take basketball seriously by attempting to explain some of the terms used in every episode. It is truly bizarre but entertaining at the same time.
8. Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu
Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu is a tv special that focuses on the Onagawa Junior High girl’s basketball team’s resilience after losing most of their teammates in an earthquake.
The Tohoku earthquake killed nearly 16,000 people and is considered one of Japan’s greatest tragedies.
The girl’s team is now down to their starting five players, and still, the team charges onward through unimaginable circumstances. Unlike most action-packed anime, this basketball anime special will make you feel a flurry of emotions and inspire you.
9. Barangay 143
Barangay 143 is a 26-episode anime about street basketball from the Filipino point of view. This anime was created by ASI Studio and written by Katski Flores.
The show’s protagonist is Bren Park, a Korean who joins a neighborhood streetball team called the Puzakals. Bren has Filipino ancestry and plays basketball.
In addition to the games, Bren gains more cultural knowledge of Filipino culture. He discovers the value of living a life that is driven by passion. As Bren continues searching for his father, he finds family in his misfit basketball group. Barangay 143 balances soft loving moments between all the intense action on the court.
Barangay 143 does exhibit some animation oddities and odd dubbing despite being created through collaborative efforts between TV Asahi and a Filipino animation studio. Despite these minor issues, Barangay 143 is a basketball anime that’s entertaining and demonstrates the significance of basketball in Asian culture.
10. Buzzer Beater
Hardcourt action is introduced in Buzzer Beater in a futuristic setting. Hideyoshi Tanaka, a homeless boy, lives on the streets of New York and hustles other young people in street basketball games to make ends meet.
Surprisingly selected by a professional team, he is forced to compete against physically stronger aliens who have taken over the sport, being watched by raving basketball fans. Hideyoshi goes head to head in the Space League to bring the title back to Earth with his entirely human team.
Inoue Takehiko, the author of Slam Dunk, a well-known manga and anime, is the creator of this manga series.
Buzzer Beater is still a good anime that is certain to satisfy any enthusiastic basketball fan who likes to watch anime, despite the plot and main characters needing to be fully developed as those in Slam Dunk.
Breakers is an anime that focuses on Paralympics-related topics that are rarely covered by the mainstream media. Wheelchair basketball, goalball, track, and paralympic swimming are the four sports depicted in this anime.
Wheelchair basketball was the primary focus of the first episode, which succeeded in capturing the excitement of para-athletes’ thrilling sports.
Few people would consider it, but it’s a fun interpretation of a different kind of basketball. Watching this show is undoubtedly unique and provides a new perspective on competitive sports.
I’ll/CKBC is a basketball anime from 2003 that illustrates the importance of rivalries and team chemistry in sports. I’ll/CKBC was originally a manga that was illustrated and written by Asada Hiroyuki.
This basketball story revolves around two main boy characters, the naturally gifted Hitonari Hiiragi and the hardworking, diligent Akane Tachibana. These two are long-time rivals until Hiiragi transfers to Tachibana’s school and has to play on his team.
At first, there is a lot of friction between the rivals who are now on the same team, but over time, they begin to work together. When the team chemistry starts to smooth out, Hiiragi’s family urges him to attend a more prestigious basketball program.
On separate teams again, Hiiragi and Tachibana’s rivalry is renewed, and they can both be the heroes on their teams.
Although there are only two episodes, this basketball anime packs a lot of information and entertainment into the show making it one of the top short anime series to watch.
13. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops (Honey X Honey Drops)
Basketball games are the focus of the shoujo anime Mitsu x Mitsu Drops. This strange master-slave system is in operation at Houjou Academy. A “honey” is required to carry out their master’s instructions. A honey receives a tuition waiver in exchange.
This anime is based on a manga illustrated and written by Minami Kanan. Mitsu x Mitsu Drops is an OVA that only had two episodes when it was released in 2006.
Hagino Yuzuru has Kai Renge as a master in addition to being the star basketball player for Houjou Academy. He’s a student who struggles to cover his educational costs. Basketball is a standout game in this series because the loser has to give up his honey.
Mitsu x Mitsu Drops presented an intriguing example of how basketball can be mixed with other genres like romance.
14. Heong-geuli Beseuteu 5
This 1995 Korean film demonstrates a basketball lesson that is frequently taught: basketball revolves around teamwork. The film chronicles the ascent of Korean basketball player Kim Youngwoong to national acclaim.
After an impressive win at the Asian Cup, Juniors Division Youngwoong is on the map and garners every school’s attention. However, despite being sought after and recognized by the top schools, Youngwoong supports an underdog team.
Youngwoong’s decision is partially due to the coach’s recommendation and the fact that Youngwoong can develop even more as a player by playing alongside a team that is hungry for wins.
Complete List of 41 Basketball Anime TV Shows and Movies
Below is a list of basketball anime movies sorted from the newest to oldest.
- The First Slam Dunk (2022)
- Breakers (2020)
- Ahiru no Sora (2019)
- The First Step (2019)
- Barangay 143 (2018)
- Onagawa Chuu Baske Bu: 5-nin no Natsu (2017)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game (2017)
- Hiyoko no Basket Movie: Last Game 0401 (2017)
- Ninjas: Soccer (2017)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Oshaberi Shiyou ka (2017)
- Kuroko’s Basketball Movie 3: Winter Cup Highlights -Crossing the Door (2016)
- Kuroko’s Basketball Movie 2: Winter Cup Highlights -Beyond the Tears (2016)
- Kuroko’s Basketball Movie 1: Winter Cup Highlights -Shadow and Light (2016)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: The Greatest Present (2015)
- Kuroko’s Basketball 3 (2015)
- Kuroko’s Basketball 3: NG-shuu (2015)
- Kuroko’s Basketball 2: NG-shuu (2014)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Oshaberi Demo Shimasen ka (2014)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Let’s Do That Again (2014)
- Kuroko’s Basketball OVA (2013)
- Kuroko’s Basketball 2 (2013)
- Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS (2013)
- Ro-Kyu-Bu! Tomoka no Ichigo Sunday (2013)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Tip-Off (2013)
- Kuroko’s Basketball (2012)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: Oshaberi Shiyokka (2012)
- Kuroko’s Basketball: NG-shuu (2012)
- Ro-Kyu-Bu: Fast Break! (2011)
- Eddie the Fast Break (2009)
- Basquash! (2009)
- Buzzer Beater 2nd Season (2007)
- Honey x Honey Drops (2006)
- Buzzer Beater (2005)
- Dear Boys (2003)
- I’ll/CKBC (2002)
- Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman Tamashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu (1995)
- Slam Dunk: Shôhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi (1995)
- Slam Dunk: Zenkoku Seiha da! Sakuragi Hanamichi (1994)
- Slam Dunk: The Movie (1994)
- Slam Dunk TV Series (1993)
- Dash! Kappei (1981)
If you are looking for more fun anime genres, then stop by Anime Planet for some new ideas about what to watch.
Popular Basketball Anime Questions
Which basketball anime is the best?
Slam Dunk is the highest-rated basketball anime series on IMDb, with Kuroko’s Basketball coming in with a close second, although with more votes.
Is there any basketball anime?
Over 41 basketball anime movies and tv series date back to the 1980s. Some of the most popular basketball anime shows are Slam Dunk, Kuroko’s Basketball, Ahriu no Sora, Dash Kappei, and Barangay 143, to name a few.
How tall is Kuroko?
Tetsuya Kuroko is 5 feet 5 inches (168cm) tall.
Is Slam Dunk anime canceled?
The basketball anime series Slam Dunk ended after episode 101. However, Slam Dunk is still releasing movies as recent as 2022, The First Slam Dunk.
How tall is Kagami?
Taiga Kagami is 6’3″ or 190cm.
How tall is Kuroko?
Tetsuya Kuroko is 5’5″ or 168cm.
Brandon started FeaturedAnimation.com and has been writing about animation since 2013 to celebrate animated movies, characters, and songs. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.