Sports anime like Haikyu! and Blue Lock thrill audiences with high-flying acrobatics and dramatic competitive action. While they draw fans in, characters in non-sports anime often have even greater athletic abilities and physical prowess than those in sports series.
While sports anime have a lot of seemingly super-human feats of strength that make them just as entertaining as a traditional sports competition, non-sports anime series showcase characters who can achieve similar feats – if not greater. Still, athleticism isn’t always about pure strength and speed; anime’s greatest athletes from non-sports series also have the skills to back up their superhuman physical abilities.
10 Ichigo Always Has A Fallback Plan
Ichigo is known as one of shonen anime’s most powerful warriors. As a substitute Shinigami, he can use special powers and skills that are far beyond the average human being’s capability.
Not only is he incredibly strong, but Ichigo was actually offered money to play sports for his high school teams, showing that he also has the competitive talent to back it up. Fans can rest assured that even if things don’t end up working out in Ichigo’s favor as a Shinigami, he can always fall back into a career as a professional athlete instead.
9 Light Would Be Great At Sports If His Mind Weren’t Elsewhere
Though Light is generally seen as all brains and no brawn, he does have a surprisingly well-honed athletic side. Light showed his skill in tennis when he played in an all-out match against his ultimate rival, L, in Death Note.
In their match, L and Light used not only their athletic skill; they also demonstrated how sports is just as much about mental strength as it is about instinct and physical prowess. Every move that Light made seemed to provide L another hint that proved he was Kira, though it also proved they both would be incredible tennis champions if they could solely focus on the game.
8 Trunks Is To Dragon Ball What LeBron Is To Basketball
Being the competitive guy that he is, it should come as no surprise to Dragon Ball fans that Trunks is great at sports. Trunks has been honing his hand-eye coordination through martial arts since a young child and even acquired a level of strength and speed that his father didn’t have until he was much older.
However, even without using the extent of his superhuman strength and speed, Trunks is an excellent basketball player at his local high school. Though it’s kind of an unfair match given his Saiyan heritage, Trunks could easily go to the pros right out of high school like LeBron James if he wanted to.
7 Yor Forger Is A Little Too Good At Sports
Spy X Family
As a world-renowned assassin, Yor Forger already has the skill set needed to compete in any sporting event. Her speed, strength, unrivaled agility, and reflexes put her far beyond the level of athleticism displayed by players in most sports anime series.
Her assassination training has given her amazing coordination and flexibility that could rival that of a Parkour master or an Olympic gymnast. Yor has even shown an affinity for actual sporting events: she’s a pro at tennis and has trained Anya to execute her ultimate killer move on the dodgeball court.
6 Mirko Is The Most Athletic Pro Hero
My Hero Academia
Since her first appearance in My Hero Academia, Mirko impressed fans with her unmatched resolve and strength in being able to take down Super Nomu on her own. What is really most impressive about this is that Mirko’s quirk is largely physical: she is simply so fast and strong that she can take down the most powerful villains in a matter of moments.
Translating that unparalleled strength and speed into any sports event would be almost unfair, but anime has enough superhuman heroes to give her some competition. Still, in comparison to most sports anime characters, Mirko would be an athletic powerhouse who would take down her competition just as quickly and ruthlessly as she does any other villain.
5 Hisoka Has Already Won Once He Explains His Nen Ability
Hunter X Hunter
Hisoka is already in prime physical shape with enough speed and power to match any pro athlete. However, on Greed Island, Hisoka demonstrated how he can use his Nen ability to gain the upper hand in sports just as well as combat.
When he, Gon, and Killua were locked in a deadly dodgeball match vs Razor, Hisoka was able to use his unbreakable bungee gum to catch Razer’s throw and send it back at him without losing speed. In case Hunter X Hunter fans were unaware, bungee gum possesses the properties of both rubber and gum.
4 Luffy Is Flexible Enough To Play Any Position
Though he won’t be winning an Olympic medal in swimming anytime soon, Luffy is definitely one of the most naturally athletic characters in anime. Luffy has plenty of experience playing soccer: his Gum Gum Shot technique was powerful enough to leave a hole in the back of the goal during the Straw Hat’s match against the Villain All-Stars.
Aside from being supernaturally strong and fast, Luffy also has an even greater leg up on the competition: his flexibility. Luffy is definitely the most flexible hero in shonen anime, and that fact will undoubtedly come in handy during any sporting event.
3 Kanna Just Wants To Make Miss Kobayashi Proud
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
In the big sports festival at her school, Kanna does her best to impress Kobayashi who she sees as a mother figure in her life. While Kanna is stronger and faster than humans due to her being a dragon, she can’t really go too far with her powers otherwise it would break her cover.
Still, Kanna shows her overwhelming speed to win the relay race even after her team was way behind. Kanna has even kept up with the adult dragons in a game of dodgeball, proving that her superior athleticism is still impressive even for those of the dragon race as well.
2 Mugen Knows How To Pitch A Strike
Samurai Champloo’s token sports filler episode consists of an utterly ridiculous baseball game between Japan and America. Due to America’s dirty tactics, the Japanese team is all but taken out, but Mugen isn’t going to let that happen.
Mugen faces off against America in a 1 v 9 matchup, and ultimately knocks out or kills every player on the opposing team with his overpowered pitching technique. His natural strength and ability to decimate the other team with no prior baseball training prove that Mugen has some of the strongest natural athletic instincts of any anime hero.
1 Yamcha Finally Found His Calling
While Yamcha may be the weakest of the Z Fighters, his physical prowess and reflexes are nonetheless far superior to any other human being on Earth. In taking that into consideration, Yamcha put his talents to good use in becoming a world-famous baseball star.
Not many anime heroes can say that they’ve also been pro athletes, but Yamcha is that rare case. After all the times he literally gave his life fighting super powerful villains in defense of the earth, Yamcha deserved to finally get some well-earned respect for the strength he trained his whole life to achieve.