Ranked #40

Ping Pong The Animation

Alternative Titles

English: Ping Pong the Animation
Japanese: ピンポン THE ANIMATION


Type: TV
Episodes: 11
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 11, 2014 to Jun 20, 2014
Premiered: Spring 2014
Broadcast: Unknown
Source: Manga
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.701 (scored by 32,475 users)
Ranked: #402
Popularity: #690
Members: 60,860
Favorites: 2,920
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


"The hero comes. The hero comes. The hero comes. Chant these words in your mind, and I'll surely come to you..." This mantra is what Makoto Tsukimoto repeats as a source of motivation when he fights through the stress of not only grueling ping pong matches, but also in situations of his life. Makoto doesn't fight alone; he and his friend, Yukata Hoshino, nicknamed Smile and Peco respectively, are two boys who have grown up playing ping pong together nearly every day. Peco, brimming with confidence, aims to be the best table tennis player in the world; Smile, on the other hand, shows little ambition. Nevertheless, the two have always stuck together, with a bond built upon their mutual love for this sport.

Every year, students from all over the continent of Asia gather in Japan for an inter-high table tennis competition to achieve national and international stardom. Through intense training and competition, only the very best persevere.

From the avant-garde director of Tatami Galaxy, Masaaki Yuasa, Ping Pong The Animation serves a tale of ambition with its fair share of bumps along the way. Whatever the odds, Peco and Smile will face them together.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


Ping Pong The Animation won the Animation of the Year award in the Television category for the Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2015.

Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Tsukimoto, Makoto
Tsukimoto, Makoto
Uchiyama, Kouki
Uchiyama, Kouki
Satomura, Hiroshi
Satomura, Hiroshi
Hoshino, Yutaka
Hoshino, Yutaka
Katayama, Fukujurou
Katayama, Fukujurou
Nishida, Mitsutaka
Nishida, Mitsutaka
Kong, Wenge
Kong, Wenge
Bun, Yousei
Bun, Yousei
Kazama, Ryuuichi
Kazama, Ryuuichi
Sakuya, Shunsuke
Sakuya, Shunsuke


Yuasa, Masaaki
Yuasa, Masaaki
Director, Script, Storyboard, Series Composition
Kimura, Eriko
Kimura, Eriko
Sound Director
Ohira, Shinya
Ohira, Shinya
Episode Director, Storyboard, Animation Director, Key Animation
Choi, EunYoung
Choi, EunYoung
Episode Director, Assistant Director, Key Animation

More episodes Episodes(11/11)

Episode Title Aired
1 The Sound of the Wind is in the Way
Kaze no Oto ga Jama wo Shiteiru (風の音がジャマをしている)
Apr 11, 2014
2 Smile is a Robot
Smile wa Robot (スマイルはロボット)
Apr 18, 2014
3 Devoting Your Life to Table Tennis is Creepy
Takkyuu ni Jinsei Kakeru Nante Kimi ga Warui (卓球に人生かけるなんて気味が悪い)
Apr 25, 2014
4 The Only Way to Avoid Losing by Not Fighting
Zettai ni Makenai Yuiitsu no Houhou wa Tatakawanai Koto Da (絶対に負けない唯一の方法は闘わない事だ)
May 2, 2014
5 Where Did I Go Wrong?
Doko de Machigaeta? (どこで間違えた?)
May 9, 2014

Opening Theme

"Tada Hitori (唯一人)" by Bakudan Johnny (爆弾ジョニー)

Ending Theme

#1: "'Ano Hero to' Bokura ni Tsuite ("あのヒーローと" 僕らについて)" by Merengue (メレンゲ) (eps 1-4, 8, 10-11)
#2: "'Ano Yoake Mae no' Bokura ni Tsuite ("あの夜明け前の" 僕らについて)" by Merengue (メレンゲ) (eps 5-7, 9)

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Nov 23, 2015
This review may contain some very mild possible spoilers so beware.

When two geniuses meet you can have either pretty messy thing or a masterpiece. Thankfully for us Ping Pong The Animation is the later.

Story: The original story of Taiyo Matsumoto's Ping Pong is one of the best sports manga ever created. It uses ping pong as a medium for characters to interact and express themselfs. The complexity of plot threads and use of symbolism is outstanding.

Art: Here is where people seem to have a problem. Taiyo Matsumoto's artstyle is definitively different from the mainstream manga artists. It's not "bad" it's just different. The read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 19, 2014
Ping Pong The Animation is an exceptional show. This is less of a sports anime and more of a powerful emotions series. It's a beautifully crafted coming of age story and one that certainly doesn't come along often. In a word, it's unconventional. Nothing about Ping Pong feels ordinary so love it or hate it, it's hard to not recognize its artistic merit.

The story is a simple one and it chronicles the lives of two boys and their experiences with table tennis. We're introduced to Makoto Tsukimoto, aptly nicknamed "Smile", and his boastful best friend Yutaka Hoshino, or "Peco". These two are polar opposites read more
I found this review Helpful
Nov 24, 2015
~~~~~~~ NO SPOILERS AHEAD~~~~~~~

This anime tv series greatly justifies two things awesomely ->

1> Heroes do exist.

2> Yes People can FLY...

this series isnt like a common sports anime where you have overpowered characters or weak at begining and become strong and win at end, this sports anime greatly deals with human emotions and way of overcoming them in a heart touching manner...yes this anime will surely give you awesome feels ..this series may have weird art style and old class animation technique and look but it hits straight to heart with its valuable life hacks and strong story line which is very read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 2, 2015
I recently reviewed something and gave it praise for the narrative it was able to achieve in 13 episodes. I can’t help but share that sentiment in regards to what Ping Pong is able to accomplish with its 11 episodes. A transformation story from angsty adolescence to enlightened and matured adults, Ping Pong goes well and truly beyond the generic confines of the sports genre illustrating a beautiful narrative of complex emotional growth and maturation, truly cementing its place as a modern classic.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Masaaki Yuasa a genius. Those who have been exposed to his past works will understand read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
A quiet protagonist who seem to be bounded with a mysteriously talented friend/demon whom he can't beat. It also have a very obscure animation style and is enjoyable to watch especially if you like 'weird' perspectives. 
reportRecommended by HazelInv
Anime: Chihayafuru
Both shows are more about character development and life itself, rather than the actual sport. The game scenes also share a similar intensity. Sports that are usually thought of as quite boring to watch - karuta, table tennis - are portrayed as super intense and awesome in both shows. 
reportRecommended by neko-komori
Anime: Tekkon Kinkreet
Both anime are based on manga by the same author, so they have very similar art and story elements. Tekkon Kinkreet is more adventurous and trippy, while Ping Pong is more realistic. 
reportRecommended by purplwig
Anime: Free!
Protagonist for both shows are quiet and are also very talented in what they do. Both are about sports but more importantly a friendship of two great athletes.  
reportRecommended by Cloonster
Anime: Hikaru no Go
Both are good sports anime about kids working hard to be the best they can be at what they love and also the struggles that go along with that. It seemed to me that Ping Pong the Animation may have been partly inspired by Hikaru no Go as a lot of the smaller themes are identical. 
reportRecommended by AWLR
Anime: Hajime no Ippo
Both Ping Pong and Hajime no Ippo are anime based on sports, with Ping Pong being about table tennis and Hajime no Ippo being about boxing. What makes these two anime similar is the character development: both Ping Pong and Hajime no Ippo focus on several character, all with unique personalities and skills. Both focus on exploring the motivations these characters have for practicing these sports. Ping Pong and Hajime no Ippo also deal with similar themes, like for example: talent vs effort etc. 
reportRecommended by BohemianRhapsody

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