Ranked #42

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
Producers: Aniplex, Dentsu, Fuji TV
Source: Manga
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 8.691 (scored by 35,789 users)
Ranked: #422
Popularity: #662
Members: 67,341
Favorites: 3,351
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 across Japan gather for the 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.

Promotional Videos

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, Key Animation, Animation Director
Choi, EunYoung
Choi, EunYoung
Episode Director, Key Animation, Assistant Director

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

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
Jul 7, 2014
It's a rarity nowadays to find many series or studios willing to take risks. Much of the anime industry has taken to fan-service oriented pandering and it's left me craving for something new. Something that can blow me away with it's creativity and unorthodox presentation. Utilizing its unconventional style, fantastic character development, symbolism, and occasional moments of witty dry humor, Ping Pong The Animation is that something.

When I first started this series I had low expectations. How could a series about ping pong be any good? It seemed like the flop of the season. Fortunately, I have never been so wrong. Despite its appearances of read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 25, 2014
"Chant these words three times in your mind!"
"Hero kenzan!" "Hero kenzan!" "Hero kenzan!"
"Do that, and I'll come to you!"

From time to time, a show will be despised by some for the unorthodox and uncommon mediums of presentation and execution. I hold the notion that Ping Pong The Animation truly uses its unorthodox way with great triumph and success.

Ping Pong The Animation is set in a local Japanese town and portrays the lives of two young boys in the local table-tennis club. Having an innate talent for the sport, Makoto Tsukimoto, nicknamed Smile, and his close friend Yukata Hoshino, nicknamed Peco, are depicted read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 20, 2014
Have you ever wondered if people can fly? Have you ever sought for a hero to set you free? Ping Pong is not a typical sport anime. It's an anime about life, coming of age and friendship.

Ping Pong is an anime adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto's original manga from year 1996 and it is directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the man who is well-known by his unusual and free art style.
It is set up as a story about high-school level competitive table tennis in Japan. In the sport's anime series we are following the quiet and stoic boy Smile, who by his ironic nickname never smiles 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: Kemonozume
Same director. similar character development strategies, but a completely different story.
Unfortunately also the same horrible art-style 
reportRecommended by skyscan
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

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Poll: Ping Pong The Animation Episode 3 Discussion ( 1 2 3 )
Stark700 - Apr 24, 2014
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Feb 3, 4:30 AM
So, is this series based on the 2002 movie Ping Pong?
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