Anime Series Like Stars Align

Out-performed by the girls’ club and facing disbandment, team captain of the soft tennis club Toma Shinjou is desperate to recruit members. He immediately targets new transfer student Maki Katsuragi for his solid reflexes. After a few rejections, Maki joins and quickly shines. This causes complicated feelings among the rest of the team who feel outperformed, but also propelled forward by Maki.

It looks sports anime generic at a glance, but this series is a fantastic treasure trove of character stories that isn’t afraid to not focus on victories alone. If you want more series like it, then lets go down below.




For Fans of Down to Earth Character Stories

Tsuki ga Kirei

For the first time in their third year, Azumi and Mizuno became classmates for the first time. These two, alongside their other classmates, relate to their peers through their feelings. As the year progresses, the group must come to face themselves as they mature and overcome challenges.

While Tsuki ga Kirei is obviously different as a romance series, it is similarly down to earth with its story. There is no over the top action or comedy to it, but it keeps things really real much like Star Align. Furthermore, there is also that same soft color palate to it.



O Maidens in Your Savage Season

The girls of the literature club have recently been reading sexually charged pieces of literature. This combined with a newfound interest in adult relationships sends each member spiraling off into the world of sex and intimate relations.

Like Stars Align, you get that same sort of animation and color palate that signals it is more about emotions and relationships than anything else. While O Maidens is also set in middle school, it focuses on all women and their budding sexuality and romantic struggles. However, both series have some similar sexuality issues explored and aren’t afraid to delve into real emotions.



Hanebado

Ayano and Nagisa are two girls at the same school. Ayano has superior badminton talents, but avoids the sport. Nagisa, on the other hand, endlessly toils to become better. Together, they end up on the same team, and along with their team mates, are pushed toward badminton greatness.

A lot of sports series dip their toes into the complicated relationships and emotions that go into competitive sports. However, both of these series aren’t afraid to jump right in. it explores those dark corners when people are faced with those better than them at something.

For Fans of Shanghaied by Sports Teams

Battery

Takumi is hailed as a prodigious pitcher. When he moves to a rural town, he is convinced his greatness can make them a powerhouse. However, he struggles to find a catcher that can keep up with his pitches and clashes with his new teammates.

Both series have characters who are sort of dragged into a sport, some more willingly in Battery. However, the biggest similarity is that both series show one guy that really shines and how the others struggle to catch up with them, sometimes feeling quite malicious that they need to.



Big Windup

When it came to batting, Ren Mihashi was an ace of his middle school baseball team. However, it was his pitching that lead to their constant loses. The bullying of his teammates got to be so much that his self-esteem was crushed and he moved to a new prefecture for high school with no intent on playing ball. However, while is unwillingly dragged in, he finds that this team might just be his perfect match.

Stars Align takes sports tropes and delves into the different areas. Big Windup is more what you would expect out of the tropes. Both are about guys dragged into a sport, but Big Windup is about how they all elevate each other with teamwork.



Run With The Wind

Once an elite runner, Kakeru is now only running to escape those accusing him of stealing food. While fleeing, he meets another runner, Haiji, who persuades him to live in his old apartment complex. There, Kakeru finds it is full of fellow residents who all have one goal – to enter the Hakone Ekiden Marathon. Unfortunately, aside from he and Haiji, they are all pretty novice.

While the sports differ, both series are about guys dragged into a club and then ends up being a shining star there. Run With The Wind also explores real issues with sports, but mostly because the characters are college-aged. So this means they face some different issues compared to the middle school students in Stars Align.

For Fans of Slower Paced Sports Series

March Comes in Like a Lion

Rei Kiriyama recently started to live alone in his last year of high school. He is able to financial support himself as a professional Shogi player, but while he officially became a pro in middle school, he is collapsing under the pressure to succeed. Burdened with his own problems, Rei has found solstice among a kind family of three sisters, the Kawamotos. The oldest, Akari, likes to take in strays and Rei is the latest. While he feels conflicted about spending time with them, they provide accepting affection that he has gotten nowhere else.

Shogi isn’t much of a sport, but March Comes in Like a Lion and Stars Align are barely about the sports sometimes. Instead, they are about the characters and their own issues, both personal and related to the sport. While slower than other sports series, there is so much depth in both.



Stop This Sound

After the senior members graduated, Takezou is now the sole member of his Japanese string instrument club. Facing termination, he now begins his search for new members when suddenly a wily one bursts right into his club room.

Both shows follow a club that is in dire straits until a new member appears in one way or another. Stop This Sound features a different dynamic, but both shows are about characters forcing a change in perspective.



Tsurune

Kyuudo is a modern martial art with a focus on archery. Minato used to be into the sport in middle school, but gave it up after a certain incident. Now forces conspire in high school to bring him into the newly founded Kyuudo club.

This series has some more traditional tropes, but because it focuses on a non-mainstream sport, it allows the series to focus more on the characters. Essentially, if you want a nice medium between more popular series and the character stories in Stars Align, this ends up being a good one.

Do you have more anime series like Stars Align? Let fans know in the comments section below.


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