There are numerous reasons why sports shonen anime series aren’t so popular internationally. If we talk about Japan the craze for manga and anime in the sports field is somewhat equal to other anime genres. The famous anime Haikyuu!! and Slam Dunk has a huge fan base internationally breaking various records in the anime continent.
But unfortunately, if we consider an international fan base for sports-themed anime series it’s below the average. Though having a good storyline including competition, zeal, passion, emotional touch. But then also the reach for the sports anime internationally is very less.
Reason why Sports Shonen Anime Genre is underrated
In many of the sports shonen anime, such as ‘Eyeshield 21‘, illustrated by the creative personalities Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata. The storyline of this anime is surrounded by an underdog, who seeks to win the championship with his unskilled teammates.
They go through very hard training and explore their talents in the training period. During their training, they developed a sense of camaraderie towards their colleagues. The sports anime series has such a pattern that it is so predictable to know the outcomes of the series. Since the viewer already knows the Ending: Always the underdog wins.
The driving force in sports shonen anime is the competitions, where we get a full package of skill, action, passion, the sole purpose of fighting, to live. The arena gets full of unrecognizable energies, emotions. Damm! That’s where the interest gets to its peak. Some special characters are only there to explain the whole sport to the viewers if they have missed it. To make a better picture of the game, the story is made a little bit more dramatic, such as explaining the backstory of the characters, how they overcome their struggles from childhood.
Some of the series with Epic action and hustle can also get so boring, such as Kuroko’s Basketball. This anime has so many repetitive incidents that every viewer gets bored till the climax comes.
There are some sports anime like Haikyuu!! which have inspired and moved the spirit of the youth with their storyline, action, and plot. But if we talk about Kuroko’s Basketball, it shows every competition in detail. It tries its best to make the filler episode a bit interesting by making the opponent the bosses of “dungeon” and giving them superhuman powers, more skills on the basketball court, such as Seijuro Akashi’s “emperor’s eyes” which can see through opponents every movement and proceeding steps.
These special abilities make the plot more interesting and entertaining for viewers. But there is Shintaro Midorima who is the anime version of the real Stephen curry.
Regardless of the sports, these shonen anime series give a spicy performance by giving a beautiful narration, showing the difficulties and pain of the characters, and how they become the best rivals in the battle.
George Morikawa’s Hajime no Ippo is one of the anime that kind of shows some comedic moments. It is one of the best series which has a superb narration with awesome action scenes. Ippo is on the verge of getting harassed and beaten up, he is saved by Mamoru Takamura, a professional middleweight fighter, who later takes Ippo to Kamogawa gym. Takamura helped Ippo in getting stronger and becoming the expert in fighting, Takamura is the one who uplifts and shows the right direction to Ippo.
One of the crucial steps in producing a good shonen sports anime is the passionate narration, which is the stepping stone of any anime series. Series like Haikyu!! and Free! are doorways to many sports shonen anime series.
The growth of sports anime is because of the fan services, Which brings out more viewers and is a great source of amusement. Sometimes, to some extent, fan services also show the wrong direction and mislead the main agenda of sports anime. The sports genre is misrepresented and is not able to put out its full potential, what the sports genre means.
It has come to notice by sources, That this could be a reason, due to which the sports shonen anime will always be left behind the great series like Naruto and My Hero Academia, even if it has powerful characters, storyline or narration.