Sports anime are to me, a gateway to a type of person or people whose ilk I would wish to have more in my life. Those sorts of people who always give 100% and are excited by a challenge, etc. It is hard to have ambition, work rate and determination for everyone needs to do on a daily basis. At least that’s how it seems to me at the moment. If there are those who have enough intrinsic capabilities to be absolutely consistent in everything that they do, I applaud you and I wish I was more like you.
But at times I need that external factor. That is where my fandom for sports anime comes in. The vast majority of these shows feature characters that define being driven. They have all set before themselves the highest goal they can, they all work hard to achieve that goal. Their focus is unwavering, singleminded. Success is the only thing on their mind. But they do it out of a passion for their favorite sport. And they also push each other to their limits day in, day out. It is amazing that they can make shows where characters only train and play a sport I never watch like baseball, karuta, or volleyball, and yet am glued to the screen. It is really hard not to care for those kids who give it their all every day.
The two shows I’m currently keeping up with, that fit the lavish descriptions above, are Ace of Diamond and Haikyuu. The first follows the exploits of a baseball team named Seido and their freshman southpaw pitcher Sawamura. The second is about a school that used to be a volleyball powerhouse, but its reputation is deteriorating, that is until two freshmen join the team, a hyper-athletic spiker, and highly talented setter. Both of them are a perfect fit, even if Ace of diamond is a bit more serious and Haikyuu has an abundant arsenal of jokes.