The sheer kaleidoscope of sporting activities that have appeared in Japanese animation is best described in the style and spirit of We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel:
Flying Circus, karuta, car racing, badminton
Ballroom dancing, Megalo Box, 'merican football
Horse girl racing, swimming backstroke, shooting arrows, beach volleyball
Moe warm-ups, diving in pools, marathon running
Basketball, keijo, team cycling, Sensadou
Kendo, table tennis and hitting people in the face
Figure skating, baseball, freerunning through the streets
Track and field, pro-wrestling, card games on motorbikes
Yep. We've reached the bottom of the barrel here. It's time for Japan to be creative and not just make another baseball anime. Since Japanese anime producers always greatly value the opinion of their Western audience, I've written this comprehensive list to help them out.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are just around the corner, and what better way to promote it to anime nerds who don't care about sports than through an anime series? Rather than spending over a billion dollars on a new stadium that will go to waste when the Olympics are over, put that budget into an anime that will leave a greater legacy. While realism would dictate that the United States and China would win the most medals, Japan has a chance to show them up... in fiction, at least.
The journey of an athlete to the Olympics is filled with struggles, noble hardships,
doping, and great triumphs, all of which would make for a great anime story.
Aussie Rules Football
⚽ Football? Has an anime.
🏈 Football? Has an anime.
🏉 Football? Has an anime.
It's time for the most superior branch of football to enter the world stage in style: Aussie Rules Football.
No bias here.
It has the crazy passing and goal shooting of ⚽ football, the ruthless tackling of 🏉 football, the excessive injuries of 🏈 football, and the blind umpiring of all three — everything a sports fan could want. It's high-energy and full of clutch plays, and an anime about it would leave audiences on the edges of their seats.
The wacky hairstyles of many AFL players are also a perfect fit for anime:
And I don't mean the fake, wannabe quidditch.
Japan loves Harry Potter as much as the rest of the world, and they even have their own Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan (I'm totally not jealous... not at all...). You can play as Japan in the Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup video game from 2003 and play at the Japanese home ground pictured above, so it's 100% canon that Japan plays quidditch in the Wizarding World. This is also confirmed by existing lore.
The anime can depict the climb from competing at a school level to playing for the national team. Knowing her track record, I'm sure J.K. Rowling will let us know at some point that Japanese quidditch players all wear a mawashi underneath their uniform and nothing else... or something like that.
Anime characters project unrealistic body expectations that wreak havoc on the mental health and self-love of most anime fans. It's time for plus-size characters to take the stage in a violent fight for victory. Anyone who has watched a Ghibli film or cooking anime knows how dazzling anime food can be. Competitive eating is intense and requires great self-sacrifice, the perfect recipe for a great sports anime.
Sports anime often presents some of the most top-notch animation you can find — Haikyuu!!, Yuri!!! on Ice, Ping Pong the Animation. But sport isn't just about the broad movement of limbs to jump or hit a ball; there are fingers, toes, and other little bits that are just as important. Therefore, I suggest dedicating an anime series to a sport that requires a lot of physical skill and detailed animation: toe wrestling. Wiggling, tugging, twisting, squeezing — it has it all.
It's also guaranteed to pull in an audience since there are enough anime fans with a keen foot fetish out there. Trust me, I would know.
Hockey is one of the only mainstream sports that hasn't been adapted into anime yet, but that is likely because, well, hockey is flat and boring. Thus, to ensure it makes an impact, it should be unicycle hockey instead. Players have to overcome brutal challenges like balance, endurance, accuracy, and how silly they look to become the very best there ever was in this game of champions.
Fans loved the tense chess games in No Game No Life and the explosive fights of Megalo Box, so why not combine both into one series with a Chess Boxing anime?
According to the official Chess Boxing website, a game consists of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The 6 chess rounds are each a total of 18 minutes, giving a total of 9 minutes on the clock for each player. Fighters win by knockout, by checkmate, by the judge's decision, or if the opponent exceeds the time limit. The structure and nature of the sport would make for well-paced arcs for both training and tournaments.
Wife Waifu Carrying
Having characters that aren't in high school or university for a sports anime is just too preposterous, so a direct adaptation of "wife" carrying simply isn't possible. Therefore, I propose injecting 20 ccs of moe and adapting it into waifu carrying.
An anime about cute girls being carried in awkward positions through the mud in an intense race? May as well make five seasons, an extra raunchy special, and a prequel movie from the get-go. 💸
The ball's in your court now, Japan.
Happy April Fool's Day!