Top 10 Most Interesting Soccer Anime of All Time

04/25/2023 by

There are many types of soccer-themed anime, including “Captain Tsubasa,” which sparked a soccer boom throughout Japan, and “Blue Rock,” the newest anime that prioritizes individual egos over teamwork.

ANIME SAMURAI conducted a survey among 150 Japanese people to determine “The most interesting soccer anime of all time” The results are presented in a ranking format along with the reasons for their choices.

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 1 “Captain Tsubasa”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:1983年
General Manager: Hiroyoshi Mitsunobu (chief director)
Original Work:”Captain Tsubasa” by Yoichi Takahashi
Production Company: Tsuchida Production
Theme Song:”Moete Hero “ by Hiroyuki Okita,Youko Ogai
Official Website

No. 1 went to “Captain Tsubasa,” a popular manga series that sold over 80 million copies worldwide and has become a milestone in the soccer anime genre. It quickly ignited a soccer craze in Japan when the anime was aired and expanded the population that people played soccer, which until then was still a minor sport in Japan. The story follows Tsubasa Oozora, an elementary school student who believes that “The ball is my friend” as he battles with various rivals and eventually expands his field of activity outside Japan. Tsubasa’s goal of becoming a professional player and leading Japan’s national team to victory in the FIFA World Cup was the object of admiration among children of the time. The anime series has been broadcast up to the fourth series, and two OVAs and four animated films have been released in theaters.

Reviews and comments

“Tsubasa has been working hard since elementary school, and it is wonderful to see him meeting various people and growing. I am moved by how he works hard despite being injured. The other characters are also very attractive.” (Suika)
“I used to watch it when I was in elementary school. There were many strong characters, especially Tsubasa Oozora, and the unrealistic kicks were very interesting to watch. No wonder it is so popular among the people who play soccer all over the world.”(mint)

“Captain Tsubasa is the original soccer manga, and I think it is fair to say that Japan’s soccer world has made great strides thanks to Captain Tsubasa. It even caused a social phenomenon with people imitating special shots. The story of how Tsubasa grew up is also very moving.” (Black Mark)

“It is a soccer manga that is loved by people all over the world, and I was influenced by this anime too. I think any soccer fan will be drawn in by the homages to actual players from other countries and the unrealistic performances in soccer matches!” (Mandoneru)

“I think it is a representative work of Japanese soccer animation that has continued from 1983 to the present. I think it is a wonderful composition that even those who do not know the early work of this manga can enjoy, and it is also amazing that some of the various special moves have been created and realized!”(Sugi)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 2 “Blue Lock”

Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:2022
Director: Tetsuaki Watanabe
Original Work:Muneyuki Kaneshiro(Original Work)、Yusuke Nomura(Drawings) “Blue Lock”
Production Company: Eight Bit
Theme Song: “Chaos ga Kiwamaru” by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
Official Website

Second place went to “Blue Lock” To create an absolute ace striker who will lead Japan to the World Cup soccer championship, the government launched a project called “Blue Lock (Blue Prison)”. Under the condition that anyone who fails the test will be permanently disqualified from the national team, 300 high school students, including the main character Yoichi Isagi, are gathered to take the test to become the world’s best striker. The story grabs viewers’ attention by introducing a unique setting in which the most powerful players are those with overwhelming individuality and egos, rather than teamwork and friendship with their peers, its death-game-like development in which losing is the last straw, and its fascinating characters.

Reviews and comments

“Blue Lock is the anime I am most addicted to; I have watched all the Original manga and the anime. Although some parts of the storyline are not realistic, I am fascinated by the way the characters bare their egos and fight. Another reason why I chose this is because of the unique characters that emerge in each story!” (Merobon)
“The novel setting and its world-building, which has never been seen in soccer anime before, will draw you in. Furthermore, the characters are all quirky yet fascinating, and it is painful to see their latent abilities awaken and push them beyond their limits! It is as exhilarating as watching a battle manga!” (Kevin)

“In sports anime, where team bonds tend to be depicted, the setting that ego is the greatest power is new and interesting, and the different rules for each stage make it feel like a game.” (Non)

“The setting is interesting. It is not just a story about trying to play soccer but has a survival element, and the unique world-building is addictive. The main character is an awakening type, but he doesn’t suddenly go off the rails, which is good.” (ar)

It is interesting to see how the film is set up, only those who deny the Japanese virtues of “reserve” and “mutual aid” and instead put their egos forward can become top-notch strikers. Also, all teammates are rivals, and you cannot take your eyes off the players’ obsession with goals, who cannot be pleased with anything but their own goals. (Tirano Mama)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 3 “Aoashi”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:2022
Director: Akira Sato
Original Work: Aoashi by Yugo Kobayashi
Production Company: Production I.G
Theme Song: “Mushinpakusuu” by [Alexandros]
Official Website

Third place went to “Aoashi.”
Ashito Aoi, a soccer boy who proclaims himself a genius, plays forward for a weak soccer team in Ehime Prefecture but loses his final junior high school tournament due to an incident of violence. However, he later meets Tatsuya Fukuda, the director of the youth team of “Tokyo City Esperion FC” of the J-League, who sees his unlimited potential, and he takes the entrance examination. The story focuses on the protagonist growing up and his friendship with his friends as he experiences setbacks.

Reviews and comments

“The main character’s clumsy but work hard attitude is heartwarming. It makes you want to cheer for him, and I think the story of his teammates is also interesting.” (Susumu)
“I like it because it shows the seemingly ordinary protagonist growing and becoming increasingly active, and we learn the importance of hard work and the importance of friendships. I also like that the matches are simultaneously easy to understand and realistic.” (ri-bokku)

“The main character, Ashito Aoi, who genuinely loves soccer, sometimes clashes with his friends, encourages them, and grows through trial and error in his pursuit of glory. The main character, eager to move forward with his dream, makes us want to root for him as we watch the movie.” (Supika)

“I was drawn into the story because the main character developing his talent was realistic, unlike unrealistic shots like in Captain Tsubasa or Inazuma Eleven. The characters are cute, and I just can’t stop watching.” (Ma-min)

“It focuses on the club youth, unfamiliar to us, and is a fresh subject matter. The storyline was also good, each character expressing the differences in their approach to soccer and their thoughts on the game.” (saya)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 4 “Inazuma Eleven”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:2008
Director: Katsuhito Akiyama
Original Work:Akihiro Hino
Production Company:OLM TEAM WASAKI
Theme Song:”Tachiagari-yo” by T-Pistonz(FRAME/Up Front Works)
Official Website

Fourth place went to “Inazuma Eleven.” This soccer anime comes from the “Inazuma Eleven” soccer RPG series for the Nintendo DS. Mamoru Endo, captain of a weak soccer club at a private junior high school, continues to practice while struggling to gather members to participate in the “Football Frontier” a national junior high school soccer tournament. The story follows Mamoru, who vows to become like the legendary “Inazuma Eleven” team he longs to play for. He faces various obstacles in his quest to win the Football Frontier with his friends, including the genius ace striker Shuya Gouenji. The famous work, released as an animated feature film in addition to the three anime series, also features a line that appears in the work and is picked up at the end as “Quote of the Day.”

Reviews and comments

“This is the anime version of the game with the same title. You will be drawn into the success story of the weak soccer team that follows their grandfather’s dream and takes it to the strongest level. There are many special moves and very interesting!”(Peso)
“I used to watch it with my children when they were young. It was a great anime, though all the techniques and things that would never happen in real life, my children and I were addicted to this anime. The personalities of the characters were amazing.”(Rose)

“It’s an anime sort of Sci-fi version of soccer, and it’s a don’t-miss anime for my generation. The story is about the main character, Endo, who gathers his friends and aims to become the best in Japan. There was also a video game version, and many people played the game. It is a science-fiction soccer game, the special moves are cool!”(Akito)

“This is a famous soccer anime with strong science-fiction elements. It is so popular among elementary school children that it is regarded as must-watch soccer anime. It is also popular among adult women, not as a soccer anime but for its characters. Also, this anime is frequently used as a topic of discussion on the internet.” (Otakki)

“For me, the most interesting soccer anime is Inazuma Eleven. It is a royal road story of friendship, effort, and victory. The process of gaining friends and defeating overpowered enemies is fascinating. It is also the reason why I started playing soccer!” (Rinrin)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 5 “DAYS”


Quote: U-NEXT

Release Year:2016
Director: Konosuke Uda
Original Work:”Days” by Tsuyoshi Yasuda
Production Company: MAPPA
Official Website

No. 5 was “DAYS,” a popular comic selling over 13 million copies. Original Work is a famous comic that has sold over 13 million copies, featuring the main character, Tsukushi Tsukamoto a former bully and inexperienced soccer player. He joins the soccer club of Tokyo’s prestigious Seiseki High School. Tsukushi grows up and is accepted as a friend by his teammates, including the lonely soccer prodigy Kazama Jin, the captain Hisahito Mizuki, a super high school player who is set to become a pro, the excellent commanding leader Kimishita Atsushi, and the big forward Kiichi Oshiba, who has big potential. The film is a coming-of-age story depicting the team growing up and their development as they are accepted as friends by their teammates. The highlights of the story are their friendship, which forms an irreplaceable bond during the rigorous club activities, and the struggles of Tsukushi, who is clumsy but has incredible perseverance and ambition.

Reviews and comments

“I was drawn in by the story of the main character, who started playing soccer as an absolute beginner and grow not only as a skilled soccer player but also as a person. He grows as a player and human being and eventually becomes an essential team member. Also, watching how the main character works through his passion for soccer and its journey is fascinating!” (A-san)
“The main character, a good-natured, athletically inept boy, meets an all-around athletic friend and starts playing soccer. He grows up to be accepted by his peers. I was struck by how he worked hard more than anyone else and grew up with his dedication and hard work.” (Taro)

“I think the game’s highlight is the interaction between the characters as well as the flow of the matches. It was interesting to see how the main character, who belongs to not in the “not good” category, but the athletically inept category, found what he could do in his way and grew as a person.” (Sara)

“A royal road soccer manga where a beginner and a so-called genius come together. The characters from the author’s previous works appear in the enemy high school, making this a manga that can be enjoyed beyond the manga. The characters are much like those in shounen manga, so it is recommended for those who want to read a royal road shounen manga!” (Rebi)

“This is a very inspiring anime about a former amateur soccer player with no experience and not athletic, who became successful only through hard work. Although his efforts are not always rewarded, watching the main character, Emoto, makes you want to root for him and the people around him!” (Shima)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 5 “GIANT KILLING”


Quote: U-NEXT

Release Year:2010
Director: Ko Yu
Original Work: “GIANT KILLING” Written by Masaya Tsunamoto, Illustrated by Tsujitomo
Production Company: Studio Deen
Theme Song: “My story 〜Madaminu Asu he〜” by THE CHERRY COKE$
Official Website

Also in fifth place is “GIANT KILLING. The 35-year-old Takeshi Tatsumi, who led Eastham, a fifth-division English amateur club, to the 32nd place in the FA Cup, becomes the director of East Tokyo United (ETU). This weak Japanese professional soccer club is still in the doldrums. However, ETU is Takeshi’s old team. The supporters hate him as a traitor who abandoned the team and is opposed by the veteran players. The story focuses on Takeshi’s struggle to become the director of ETU and the team’s success. The book is also popular among businesspeople.

Reviews and comments

“The characters are very realistic, and you can get lost in the game! It also feels like a real soccer team, and the “big game” that the teams that Director Tatsumi is trying to leverage are on the edge of their seats is very entertaining and thrilling.” (Suzu520)
“This is the most interesting anime to watch as a Soccer Director. It has numerous quotes and interesting descriptions. It is also easy to understand from a commentary point of view, as it describes how a weak team can strategize and practice, how to beat a superior team, and how it should develop in a match!” (PHOENIX27)

“An animation modeled on the J-League. The club’s former superstars return as Directors to strengthen the team. While most traditional sports stories are from the players’ perspective, this anime is fresh because it is shown from the eye of the director as well as the staff and their own perspective.”(Kunseinenko)

“I think it is rare that a film focuses on the director rather than the players, and I think it is interesting that the focus is not only on the players but also on what the director wants to do with the team and how the management and fans see the community-based team.” (Kashiyun)

“I was drawn by the fact that the Director is the main character, but it is also interesting that this Director has a bit of a story to tell. At first, the director is distrusted, but the team gradually gets caught up in the director’s pace, and everyone trusts him. There is more to the story than that, and I think it is an interesting anime!” (KM)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 7 “Aoki Densetsu Shoot!”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:1993
Series Director: Daisuke Nishio
Original Work:“Shoot!” by Tsukasa Oshima
Production Company: Toei Doga
Theme Song: “Yell 〜Anata no Negai ga Kanaumade〜” by Wendy
Official Website

The seventh place was “Aoki Densetsu Shoot!”. The original comic book “Shoot!” has sold over 50 million copies. Toshihiko Tanaka, Kazuhiro Hiramatsu, and Kenji Shiraishi, all first-year high school students who spent their junior high school years on the same soccer team, admire high school fantasist Yoshiharu Kubo. Still, Toshihiko is the only one who has joined the soccer team at Kakegawa High School, where Kubo is a player and director. For different reasons, the two had left soccer behind. What brings the three of them back together on the field is a girl they have known since childhood, Kazumi Endo… The dramatic story depicts soccer, friendship, and love, with the main character at the center. The story has many memorable scenes, including the legendary “getting through all 11 opponents”, and has been adapted into animated TV and theater films and a live-action movie in 1994.

Reviews and comments

“Toshi’s evolution, other characters, and rivals are good, and the content itself generally interesting. It’s good that the stories are not only domestic but also international.” (1031)
“As is common in older soccer manga, the characters often pull off superhuman plays that you wouldn’t expect from high school students. But I like that these plays are just on the edge of being realistically possible to imitate. The occasional gag scene is also amusing.” (aki)

“It was an interesting coming-of-age sports manga with a romantic element.” (josi)

“I like that there are no special moves in soccer and that the play is legitimate. Usually, there are some big special moves, but I can watch this from a more realistic point of view so that I can enjoy it from a different perspective from other soccer anime.” (Freedom)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 7 “Whistle!”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:2002
Director: Hiroshi Fukutomi
Original Work: Daisuke Higuchi “Whistle!”
Production Company: Studio Comet
Theme Song: “DOUBLE WIND” by Minako Komukai
Official Website

Also in seventh place was “Whistle!”. The popular manga has been made into an anime series. A stage play and a video game are Original works. The main character, Sho Kazamatsuri, who attended Musashinomori Gakuen Junior High School, a prestigious soccer school, but was sent to the third team because of his small height, was transferred to an ordinary Sakura Josui Junior High School in search of a new environment where he can play his favorite soccer game to the best of his ability. On his first day at school, he is mistaken for a regular-class player and loses his place in the club. Still, Sho refuses to give up and eventually grows as a soccer player and a human being through hardships with his friends and rivals. The story is a passionate portrayal of soccer itself, as well as the friendship between the boys.

Reviews and comments

“It’s interesting to see how the main character, despite not having a naturally good physical frame of body, manages to turn this disadvantage into an advantage and grow over time. Another interesting aspect is the variety of characters. Another interesting aspect is that it depicts a girl playing soccer, a rare occurrence then!” (Ko-hei)
“It is interesting that the main character, Sho Kazamatsuri, is a small boy, so his improvement in technical skills is depicted more clearly than in other soccer anime. One of the characters, Tsubasa Shiina, is so attractive with his neutral beauty that he could be mistaken for a beautiful girl like Bridget (Guilty Gear series)!” (Bonkers’ Kagura)

“The charm of the story is that it is not only about the main character and the main character’s team but also about other schools…and I feel that other schools have their own stories. The story starts with junior high school soccer. Then it moves on to the selection process, including the Japan-Korea match (between the Tokyo Metropolitan and Korean teams), which I remember watching while learning.” (Mikan)

“I think it’s great when you practice something steadily and you see yourself getting better over time. In addition, I really appreciate how the main character expresses his feelings toward the number 10, which used to hold a lot of significance. I also enjoy reading the commentary on the little tricks mentioned in the “Omake” section.” (tic-tac-toe)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No. 7 “The Knight in the Area”


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year:2012
Director:Hirofumi Ogura
Original Work: Shin Kibayashi(Original Work), “The Knight in the Area” drawings by Kaya Tsukiyama
Production Company: Shin-Ei Doga
Theme Song: “Higher Ground” by S.R.S
Official Website

Seventh and last is “Knight of the Area.” Suguru Aizawa, the elder brother of a soccer boy, Kakeru Aizawa, is a genius soccer player who was selected for the U-15 Japan national team. After a traumatic experience, Kakeru has left the field and spends his days as a manager of the same soccer club as his brother. One day, they are involved in a traffic accident, and Suguru dies, but Kakeru survives after receiving a heart transplant from Suguru. The story is an ensemble drama about Driving, who inherited his brother’s spirit and grew up with his friends in junior high school, high school, and the professional soccer world, aiming to become a “knight of the area,” an ideal player of a forward who can do decisive work in the penalty area. The highlights of the story are the struggles and emotional conflicts of Kakeru, a hard-working boy who never gives up, and the tense depiction of soccer.

Reviews and comments&lt

“The younger brother, who compares himself to his older brother and feels inferior, has an accident and grows up taking over his brother’s heart, which makes you want to watch and cheer him on. Also, the love affair with the girl of his first love is good for a slow and sweet-sour feeling.”(sak1_3228)
“The story has many interesting developments that make you wonder what will happen next, and it is interesting to see the mystery being solved. It is good that it is not only a sporty story but also has many scenes that make you cry. The heroine is also very attractive, and the fact that not only men’s soccer but also women’s soccer is depicted, something that is not often seen in other soccer anime that you can enjoy watching it!” (Mapipi)

“The game of soccer is portrayed very clearly. It shows that soccer requires not only individual skills but also the ability to work together as a team is important. Various tactics are introduced, which changed my view of soccer!” (Metal Kinoko)

Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time: No.10

No.10:Inazuma Eleven: Blanace of Ares
No.10:Off side
No.10:Ganbare, Kickers!
No.10:Farewell, My Dear Cramer
No.10:Aoki Densetsu Shoot!
No.10:Detective Conan: The Eleventh Stricker

Most Interesting Soccer Anime Q&A

Q1 What are the top 3 interesting soccer anime?

Based on the survey, here is the ranking of the top 3 interesting soccer anime.
1 Captain Tsubasa
2 Blue Rock
3 Aoashi
For more information, click here.

Q2 What is the most interesting soccer anime?

According to a survey conducted on 150 Japanese people, Captain Tsubasa is selected as the most interesting soccer anime. For more information, click here.

Q3 What soccer anime I should watch?

Here is the list of what you should watch.
Captain Tsubasa/Blue Rock/Aoashi/Inazuma Eleven/DAYS. For more information, click here.


This article introduced the nine animes ranked in the “Ranking of the most interesting soccer anime of all time.”

※ This information is for 04/25/2023. Please check the latest delivery status on each site.

#Captain Tsubasa #Aoashi #Blue Lock #Inazuma Eleven #DAYS #GIANT KILLING #Aoki Densetsu Shoot! #Whistle! #The Knight in the Area
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AMIME SAMURAI brings you information about Japanese Anime which makes you “Waku-waku” which means so excited in Japanese and makes your life more enjoyable. We write a wide variety of articles such as the ranking of anime, the ranking of animation films and the characters of the anime based on the questionnaire.

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