What are the best boxing anime of all time?
Sports anime has always been great to watch, but boxing especially makes for a fantastic show.
While there are many anime series that feature boxing, some stand out more than others for their action, story, and characters.
Today, we’re rounding up the best boxing anime series ever so you can find some new favorites!
The 15 Best Boxing Anime of All Time
All of the boxing anime series on this list have been chosen based on their overall popularity in the community.
While we’ve tried to be as objective as possible, do let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite shows!
That said, get ready to go toe-to-toe with our list of the 15 best boxing anime of all time:
Kicking off our list, we have Rainbow, an anime from 2010 that tells the compelling story of seven teens.
Set in 1955, this anime follows the story of Mario Minakami, a delinquent sent to a brutal reformatory school.
At this facility, he meets an older inmate named Rokurota Sakuragi, a former boxer who decides to teach Mario the sport.
While the boxing in this 26-episode anime is superb, there is also an underlying emotional story to explore.
Forced to survive in a broken system that is filled with abuse, it’s hard not to feel for the seven main characters in this series.
Rainbow is a must-watch for boxing fans, but it can also be enjoyed by anyone interested in well-written, compelling characters.
14. Ring Ni Kakero 1
Ring Ni Kakero 1 was another great anime from the early 2000s, and it demonstrates the sport of boxing while also adding a little fantasy.
This boxing anime follows the story of Kiku and Ryuji, siblings seeking to fulfill their father’s last wish that they become great boxers.
Wanting to live up to their father’s legacy, Kiku and Ryuji venture to Tokyo to pursue their goals.
While living up to their father’s legacy is easier said than done, the story that plays out is incredibly compelling.
Watching these siblings learn to come into their own is very engaging, and every boxing match is brilliantly animated.
Ring Ni Kakero is easily one of the best fighting anime series, and while it isn’t extremely realistic, it is a delight to watch.
This is really a great boxing anime for the whole family, and it draws you in from the very first episode.
13. Ayane’s High Kick
This anime is all about kickboxing, and it follows the story of skilled fighter Ayane, who ends up being tricked by her trainer.
At the start of this series, Ayane wants to become a pro-wrestling champion, and when Kunimitsu Tangay offers to train her, she jumps at the opportunity.
Unfortunately for her, Tangay doesn’t prepare her to become a wrestler and instead trains her to become a skilled kickboxer.
Although she feels betrayed, she has earned enough of a reputation that she ends up having numerous challengers lined up to fight her.
Now, Ayane has no choice but to fight and prove her skills, even if it’s not in the sport she had her heart set on.
Ayane’s High Kick is incredibly entertaining, and the story really gets you rooting for Ayane as she decimates her opponents in the ring!
12. Ganbare Genki
Ganbare Genki is an incredibly wholesome anime from 1980, and it should be a must-watch for any anime fan.
This series follows the story of a small boy named Genki who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps as a professional boxer.
Unfortunately, having been taken in by his grandparents after his father’s death, Genki has to start training in secret.
Despite his grandparent’s disapproval of his goals, Genki remains determined to restore his father’s name and rise to become a great boxer himself.
Although the path isn’t an easy one, Genki refuses to give up, no matter how many obstacles get in his way.
A must-watch for boxing anime fans, Ganbare Genki is incredibly moving, and you’ll find yourself rooting for Genki every episode.
While he’s not one of the strongest anime characters, Genki’s unwavering dedication to his goals makes him remarkable.
There is also an exceptional Ganbare Genki manga series, which the anime is based on, that is worth checking out!
11. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure doesn’t feature boxing in a traditional sense, but it sure is an amazing series.
This anime revolves around the story of the Joestar bloodline, a powerful family that is dedicated to fighting supernatural forces.
While it covers several generations of the family, it starts off with Johnathan in 1880, and his boxing match against Dio is incredible.
That said, all generations of this family have something to love, and each new adventure is bigger than the last.
As the title suggests, this series is rather bizarre, but that is what keeps it so engaging, along with its compelling characters.
It’s like the ultimate boxing power trip, and it is filled with action and adventure from the first episode to the last.
That said, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and it’s certainly become a classic in its own right.
Plus, its unique art style really makes it stand out from other anime series, and it really makes the fights look amazing!
10. Baki The Grappler
While Baki the Grappler includes many forms of martial arts, it also highlights the sport of boxing.
This series is centered around Baki Hanma, a boy who has been training to fight his whole life.
All of this training has been to help him live up to his father’s exceptionally high expectations, which creates an important plot point.
While Baki proves to be incredibly skilled and enjoyable to watch in a fight, it is his personal journey that keeps viewers invested.
Throughout his training, Baki meets tons of different fighters who demonstrate specific skills and teach him new disciplines.
However, all of this culminates in Baki coming to realize that his own self-worth isn’t tied to the expectations of his father.
Overall, Baki is a great boxing anime but also a great story about following your own path and inner strength.
This is something that a lot of viewers can relate to, and it definitely is very inspiring to watch Baki find his way.
9. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Following the story of 16-year-old Kenichi Shirahama, this is one the best sports anime series to watch, hands down.
Kenichi starts off as a weak teenage boy, but after seeing a new student, Miu, save an old man from being attacked, a new passion is ignited.
From that moment on, Kenichi begs to be taught how to fight and is introduced to Miu’s masters.
To his and everyone else’s surprise, Kenichi makes very quick progress in his training, truly proving to be the mightiest disciple.
Unfortunately, all of the gangs in the city have caught wind of his impressive abilities, and now they want to fight him.
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is a very fun story from start to finish, and it’s great to watch Kenichi’s progression.
Plus, with over 50 episodes to binge, there is plenty of content to get you hooked when you start watching!
Of course, Megalobox makes the list, it is possibly one of the most well-known boxing anime series around.
Set in a future where the wealthy are segregated from the underclass, who are forced to live in slums, this is the ultimate underdog story.
Megalobox follows a young boxer from these slums called Junk Dog, who moves from underground rings to the big leagues.
Not satisfied with his standing, Junk Dog takes it upon himself to enter the global Megalobox Tournament to prove his skills.
The matches in this anime are truly spectacular, and you’ll be on the edge of your set for every one of them.
Unlike traditional boxing, Megalobox involves competitors using exoskeletons that allow for much more intense combat.
Released in 2018, there are 26 episodes of this boxing anime, with each more engaging than the last!
It’s impossible not to become invested in Junk Dog’s rise to the top, and his final matches end up being real nail-biters.
7. Nozomi Witches
This is another older anime, and it was adapted from the Nozomi Witches manga, which finished its run in 1996.
Following Nozomi Egawa, a famous actress, and her neighbor Ryoutaro Shiba after she persuades him to join her at the boxing club.
While Ryoutaro is hesitant at first, he soon discovers that he excels at the sport with a natural talent.
With the encouragement of Nozomi, he decides to stick with it, all the while trying to figure out what the famous actress wants from him.
The only bad thing about this boxing anime is that it only has 3 episodes, and we really wish there were more.
While its original run started in 1992, it ended before the finale of the manga, which left many fans upset.
Nozomi Witches definitely deserves more love and possibly even a remake, seeing as the story has a lot more to offer!
6. Kengan Ashura
The world of this anime is all about corporate luxury and sleek, suited businessmen, but it comes with a darker underbelly.
Instead of having constructive business meetings, the businessmen in this anime use bare-knuckle boxing to settle their differences.
Ouma Tokita is one of the fighters hired by the business class, and he wants to be the strongest in the world.
He gets a chance to rise higher in the ranks after being hired by the Nogi Group to represent them in a competition called Kegan.
However, Kegan is very dangerous, and in order to become the best, Tokita will have to defeat a number of very powerful opponents.
Fortunately, with his fighting prowess and determination, Tokita has a good chance to settle some scores and come out on top.
Since being released in 2019, Kengan Ashura has become one of the best action anime series of all time, and it is certainly a must-watch.
5. One Pound Gospel
One Pound Gospel is a combination of the best romance anime and boxing, and it follows the story of a boxer and a nun.
No, this isn’t the start of a bad joke, but rather an odd match-up that ends up making for an incredible story.
The story follows Koksaku, a boxer with a love of junk food that forces him to compete against heavier opponents.
However, after meeting a nun called Sister Angela, he starts training to become better under her guidance.
While the boxing matches in this anime are incredibly fun to watch, it is the fascinating relationships between characters that make it shine.
It is very easy to become invested in Sister Angela and Koksaku as they help each other grow to become better people overall.
Although it is easy to overlook this anime, given its weird premise, it is definitely worth watching for the boxing and the characters.
4. Slow Step
Slow Step can be considered both a boxing anime and a romantic drama, and it has a little something for everyone.
The story centers around a love triangle between a softball player, Minatsu, her classmate, Shu, and their friend Naoto, a boxer.
While Shu loves Minatsu, she is in love with Naoto, which leads to a lot of hilarity throughout the series.
Making things even more complicated is that Naoto is in love with Maria, who ends up actually being Minatsu in disguise.
With such a complex setup, you can imagine that things get complicated quickly between these characters.
Drama aside, the boxing matches in this anime are incredibly engaging, even though it isn’t a major focal point.
Making it even better is the classic art style that makes everything feel so vivid and alive throughout every episode.
Levius is a unique take on boxing, and it is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from episode one.
Set in a steampunk world, this anime explores metal boxing, which is made up of cybernetically enhanced fighters.
With their upgrades, fights can be particularly brutal as metal fists make quick work of exposed weak points.
The story itself follows Levius, an up-and-coming professional boxer who sports a mechanical arm.
After his idol is defeated, Levius vows to do anything it takes in order to rise to the top and become the best.
Unlike real-life boxing, the matches in this anime are life and death, and it doesn’t hold anything back.
While it is undoubtedly one of the best boxing animes, Levius could easily be considered one of the best sci-fi anime series as well.
If the boxing matches aren’t enough to keep you enthralled, the intricate steampunk sci-fi world will be.
2. Ashita No Joe
This anime is a timeless classic, and it still holds up over 40 years after its initial release.
An inspiring story that follows a troubled orphan, Joe Yabuki, Ashita No Joe is incredibly gritty when it needs to be.
After spending most of his life in state orphanages, Joe finds himself wandering the streets without any real direction.
However, in the slums, he ends up meeting a retired boxer, Danpei Tange, and the two end up getting into a fight.
After a few punches, Danpei recognizes Joe’s natural talent and starts hounding him to become a professional boxer.
While Joe won’t entertain the thought at first, once he starts in the ring, things really kick off for him.
What makes this anime truly special is that it doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and it presents the world without a rose-tinted hue.
It also boasts one of the most hotly debated endings in all of anime, and if you haven’t watched it yet, just get the tissues ready.
1. Hajime No Ippo
Taking our number one spot is Hajime No Ippo, a truly classic boxing anime that you absolutely can’t miss out on!
Hajime No Ippo is all about Ippo, a high school student constantly bullied by those around him, though he never lashes out in retaliation.
Instead, Ippo decides to channel his anger into a passion for boxing after being saved from bullies by a rising boxer, Mamoru Takamura.
Takamura introduces him to the sport, and Ippo eagerly starts learning at the local boxing club to hone his talents.
While the training isn’t easy, Ippo excels and dedicates himself to becoming the best he can be.
Not only does this anime highlight the importance of having a healthy outlet for anger, but it also demonstrates hard work.
Watching Ippo grow from being a shy, introverted boy into a talented and powerful boxer is incredibly rewarding.
Hajime No Ippo is the quintessential boxing anime, and it ticks all of the boxes needed to make it an exceptional watch.
Even if you’re not a fan of boxing, Ippo’s story remains one of the best in anime, and it is remarkably inspiring.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 15 best boxing anime series of all time and hopefully found some new ones to watch!
Boxing is an incredibly fun sport, but when you combine it with anime, some real magic happens.
All of these series deserve a watch, so if you haven’t seen some of them, make sure to queue them up for a weekend binge!
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 best boxing anime of all time:
- Hajime No Ippo
- Ashita No Joe
- Slow Step
- Ring NI Kakero 1
- Kengan Ashura
- Nozomi Witches
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
- Baki The Grappler
- Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Ganbare Genki
- Ayane’s High Kick
- Ring Ni Kakero
Which of these boxing anime series will you watch first? Leave a comment below.
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