The best volleyball anime of all time


Longtime anime watchers have gotten a little taste of volleyball across many episodes, from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War to Prince of Tennis. However, if you’ve gotten hooked on the sport, you’re likely looking for something that covers it in its entirety.

There aren’t too many out there, so we’re here to show you the best volleyball anime and where to watch them. 

2.43 Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team cover
Image via David Production

2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Starting off strong, we have 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team. This show isn’t just about volleyball; it’s about the emotional journey of the characters. We meet the setter, Kimichika Hajima, and the wing spiker, Yuni Kuroba, two childhood friends whose reunion in middle school takes a surprising turn. As they navigate their differences and rediscover their shared love for the sport, you can’t help but feel invested in their story. 

We see how these two characters, who have drifted apart over the years, are forced to come together again in the boy’s volleyball high school team. The anime explores the question of whether their friendship can be rekindled to benefit the group or if it will lead to the team’s downfall. To find out, you’ll have to immerse yourself in the 12 episodes of this gripping series. 

Attack No. 1 anime
Image by Destructoid

Attack No.1

Where to watch: DVD

Attack No. 1 is the perfect choice if you enjoy the classics. It’s one of the very first volleyball anime, following the journey of the young player Kozue Ayuhara. Her primary goal is to make it to the Japanese national volleyball team, which will require much work and mental effort. One of the things that I admire about this show is that it doesn’t stray away from the hardships of a sports player. Not only is it physically straining, but it can also be mentally draining with thoughts of self-turmoil. 

Even though Attack No. 1 was made in the ’60s, it still stands the test of time by showing all sides to sports, both in a negative and positive light. 

Shoujo Fight Norainu-tachi no Odekake
Image via Production IG

Shoujo Fight: Norainu-tachi no Odekake

Where to watch: N/A

Shoujo Fight: Norainu-tachi no Odekake is a reasonably short anime, lasting only 30 minutes. But, despite its small timeframe, it captures the essence of volleyball beautifully. The story centers around the high schooler Ooishi Neri, who was once a volleyball team captain at her elementary school. The ensemble was so good that they were worthy enough for nationals, but things have changed for Neri since then. 

After her success in elementary, she took the backseat in her junior high school days, only playing as an alternate. It’s a mystery why she decided to go this route, yet she seeks to prove herself again in high school. Shoujo Fight: Norainu-tachi no Odekake is a classic redemption story that any sports lover would enjoy, and it doesn’t hurt that it can be finished in less than an hour. 

Harukana Receive cover
Image via C2C

Harukana Receive

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Volleyball doesn’t always have to be on the court, especially with the tropical settings of Harukana Recieve. Here, we meet the high school second-year, Oozora Haruka, who recently moved to Okinawa. Her cousin Kanata Higa picks her up at the airport, and they eventually dive into the competitive beach volleyball sport. The two are the perfect match, with Higa being experienced but short, and Haruka being too tall and a rookie player. 

Together, they must learn to help each other with their differences in these competitive 2v2 matches. If you’ve never experienced the world of beach volleyball, you should definitely give this one a try. It differs from the standard court matches since two people must rely heavily on each other to cover their side of the field. Not to mention that the sand is its own challenge, making it much more difficult to move.

Plus, Harukana Recieve is just plain pleasing to look at, as a more modern anime. I mean, who doesn’t want to gaze at the tropical wonders of a beach?

Extreme Hearts cast
Image via Seven Arcs

Extreme Hearts

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video

While Extreme Heart isn’t a volleyball anime per se, it is a show that covers all sports. It gives you a taste of various popular competitions, from baseball to basketball, but the one that takes the cake is its volleyball arc. The anime depicts beach and regular volleyball, with a twist of superpower-like abilities. 

Instead of typical students playing on a volleyball team, Extreme Heart focuses on a group of aspiring singers with the main protagonist, Hiyori Hayama. I know it sounds strange that singers are mixed with sports, but it all leads to the end result of getting their big break as a winner. It’s intriguing to watch complete amateurs try their hand at this, as opposed to other anime that feature some experienced players.

The volleyball matches play out differently from what you may have seen before. Extreme Hearts presents ability-enhancing gear that takes things up a notch, featuring super moves in the matches. The visuals are akin to Blue Lock’s vibrant imagery, switching up the dynamics of traditional sports. No matter which sport the girls tune in for, they will undoubtedly get your heart pumping, especially when it is time for the volleyball matches. 

Attack on Tomorrow! anime
Image via Nippon Animation

Attack on Tomorrow!

Where to watch: DVD

Attack No. 1 is said to have inspired other volleyball anime, including Attacker You! and Attack on Tomorrow! (Hence, their titling.) Attack on Tomorrow! is a classic underdog story of a team that could be better versed in the sport. Nevertheless, they strive to practice as much as possible to make it to nationals. 

Like Attack No. 1, the road to victory won’t be easy, but at least they have each other to strengthen their weaknesses. Their team camaraderie is the highlight of Attack on Tomorrow!, showcasing the values of friendship and girlhood. Its artwork also depicts the times of the groovy ’70s, for those who enjoy a more retro style. 

Attacker You! Anime
Image via Knack Productions

Attacker You!

Where to watch: DVD

Moving onto the ’80s era, we have Attacker You!, a story that follows yet another young high school girl, You Hazuki. She has the makings of an excellent volleyball player, earning her a spot as one of the top contenders. However, she isn’t the only star of the show with her arch-rival Nami Hayase. Their heated rivalry will keep you on the edge of your seat as the two fight head-to-head after joining opposing professional teams. 

Attacker You! also features a touch of romance to add a more personal side to the competitive sport. The captain of a boy’s volleyball team catches Hazuki’s eye, and she will do anything to get him to notice her. It helps capture the entire schooling experience, filled with competition, love, and friendship.

Haikyu!! cast
Image via Production I.G

Haikyu!!

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Ending things with our best-of list is none other than Haikyu!! It’s quite frankly the best volleyball anime ever, following the epic journey of the Karasuno team. You’ll meet the beloved underdog, Hinata Shoyo, who strives to be like a fellow short king known as the “Tiny Giant.” He uses this drive to make his own volleyball team, until he faces a brutal loss to the genius setter Tobio Kageyama.

Years later, Tobio and Hinata meet again, but this time, they must work together as allies on the Karasuno team. Even more so, the team has declined since the Tiny Giant days, forcing the group to prove themselves once more.  

Haikyu!! was one of the main reasons why I got into sports anime in the first place since it knocks everything out of the park. It helped me venture into the volleyball world as a complete amateur, explaining terminology and rules in detail. Kageyama and Hinata’s development is also entertaining to watch, primarily due to their heated rivalry. Well, practically, the whole cast, even the opposing team, is lovable, making it difficult to choose who to root for. 

The entire journey of Haikyu!! is a rollercoaster that is more than worth the watch. You’ll experience the highs and lows the team faces, either leaving your heart full or broken It’s the only volleyball anime with multiple seasons, including the upcoming films set for its conclusion. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, you better start catching up for one of the best volleyball anime experiences. 


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