10 Sports Anime Series Where The Rookie Saves The Team

Sports anime series like to cling to a highly concentrated series of tropes, and people seem continue to love that same heady amalgamation that comes out of it. One of the most popular tropes in sports anime is where a rookie player, someone with very little experience but perhaps experience in others things that help them, joins the team and shines brightly. It is encouraging for those that think they have hidden potential and if it is your jam, well, there are plenty of sports anime out there for you. Some of them even on this list!




Yowamushi Pedal

A series about cycling, the main character is brought into a realm of bicycle races by a more experienced competitor. However, the main character only has a knack for cycling because he does a lot of hard cycling as transport of his hobbies and it built up his legs.

Stars Align

Stars Align is quintessentially this trope. The captain of the team wants to improve his team’s performance. He then seeks to recruit a new student because they have solid looking reflexes that might transfer well to tennis. After resistance, the new student joins and ends up being really good. However, instead of traditional celebration of this, it shows the drama this causes for the other members of the team.

Slam Dunk

A classic set up, the main character initially joins the team to impress a girl. It turns out, as a very tall thug, he is actually pretty built for basketball. While Slam Dunk doesn’t immediately make him amazing, you watch him grow pretty steadily.

Run With The Wind

The trope s subverted a little bit here. Kakeru was actually a ace runner in high school, but quit for college. He is dragged to the the team by the captain to start running again after demonstrating his skills running from pursuers. However, the rest of the runners aren’t particularly skilled. So this rookie decides to help.

Stop This Sound

In an interesting reverse, the main character is a bit of a thug, but wants to join the Koto team. However, they are hesitant and actually refuse him due to his reputation. Yet, his determination eventually sways them and his hard work inspires them to greater heights.

Hajime no Ippo

While there is no team to be joined in boxing, Hajime no Ippo has that same sort of zero to hero story, but rather following one guy. He got beat up a lot, which allows him to take a punch, so the story is just following him grow as an actual fighter after training with a more experienced fighter.

Eyeshield 21

In this series, the main character is a bit of a nerd, but because he is the target for bullies, it has made him very fast. As such, the captain of the football team spots him and decides he would make a good running back. While the team doesn’t necessarily need saving, this rookie proves to be a lynch pin in their plans.

Hungry Heart: Wild Striker

This series is a little bit different. The main character actually had played soccer before, but was so frustrated by being outclassed by his brother that he quit. So essentially, when he gets dragged into the high school soccer club, he isn’t a rookie, but also really is having been out of the sport for so long.

Aoharu X Machinegun

While this series focuses on other aspects rather than airsoft, it very much fits the trope. The main character is forced to join the team after a destructive event that actually proves to show her prowess at airsoft despite no experience. From there, the team hones her into a valuable member.

Inazuma Eleven

Much of the first arc of Inazuma Eleven is the team captain drafting various talented rookies onto his soccer team. Some of them are experienced, others just have skills that could otherwise be transformed into good soccer skills. So, in its way, it is a series of rookies that keep this team from disbanding.

Do you have more sports anime recommendations where the rookie saves the team by joining? Let fans know in the comments section below.


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