12+ Motivational Anime Like Haikyuu To Start Watching

haikyuu anime cast 1
Written by Theo J Ellis

Haikyuu has become one of the most motivational anime shows in the industry ever since it dropped. And that’s especially true in the sports genre which was a little dated at the time.

Haikyuu breathed life into the genre again comparable to shows like Slam Dunk, Kuroko No Basket, and others.

With Hinata, the orange haired guy being the main highlight and “energy” of the series, and his friend Kageyama who he meets early, the anime goes through a set of:

  • Hardships.
  • Challenges.
  • Setbacks.

And more which end up becoming life lessons, inspirational, and motivational content both genders can learn from.

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Here’s some motivational anime just like Haikyuu!

 

1. Bamboo Blade

Bamboo Blade characters cast

Bamboo Blade is an anime series from the early 2000’s. It’s a sports series just like Haikyuu but with female characters being the MAIN leads.

Tamaki Kowazoe is a small girl who even though she’s soft spoken, she’s sharp, nifty, and strong when it comes to the art of Kendo. She’s been practicing since childhood.

This is the reason Kirino, another MC wants Tamaki to join her team that she’s building up with the help of her Sensei.

Eventually they have a Kendo team to speak of, and they all start training to become stronger and even take it further by joining big competitions.

Bamboo Blade is an anime that defines Kendo and purely focuses on it more than any other comparable anime. With plenty of motivational aspects to it.

Relevant: 17+ Of The Greatest Female Lead Shonen Anime Worth Watching

 

2. Slam Dunk

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Slam Dunk is an old school anime series from the 1990’s. It might not have been as big as anime like DBZ but it’s a classic known to many fans of that era.

It’s a Shounen/sports anime with the highest ratings long before shows like Kuroko No Basket came into the picture.

The main character is new to the sport of basketball, and wants to take it to new heights. Energetic, determined, but with the storytelling of the 1990’s that still makes it unique to this day.

 

3. Bakuman

Bakuman manga anime

Bakuman is an anime about manga artists, authors, and their journey to success in a nutshell. It’s told in a less comical or “cute” style compared to anime like Comic Girls.

1 guy (Akito) wants to work with Moritaka after seeing his talent, and they both pair up to make manga and become Mangaka together. Moritaka has his own agenda of wanting to impress a girl he likes.

Plenty of important life lessons throughout and the series is a must for those who are considering following a similar path.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Help You Get Into The Anime Industry

 

4. Idolmaster Cinderella Girls

Idolmaster Cinderella Girls idol anime

Idolmaster Cinderella Girls is a about a dozen idols in an idol agency. As you can imagine their personalities different drastically since there’s so many different characters.

There’s a set of cute twins who stand out, a girl who’s like a tom boy, but more importantly, all characters work together as Idols and go through their many trials an tribulations doing so.

This is the main influence and inspiration behind later Idol anime like Love Live.

 

5. Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia crying

Little Witch Academia is one of the best anime to come out of Studio Trigger. It chooses its a different route to many of the studio’s counterparts.

Atsuko Kagari is a girl who wants to be a witch, but doesn’t have the innate talent for it. Still, she pursues it head on despite being bullied and teased for it later on after joining a witch academy.

Most people can’t understand her motivation or why she bothers. But that’s part of the life lessons and the motivational aspects this series offers up to the audience.

It’s a female driven series with some solid writing.

Related: 17 Inspirational Anime Moments That Are Unforgettable

 

6. Kuroko No Basket

Kuroko No Basket sports anime

Kuroko No Basket is a staple in the sports anime genre, and even to this day the animation and art style has a quality to it that newer anime don’t have.

Like Haikyuu it’s full of motivational lessons, it has 3 seasons, a lot of movies, and tons of content overall.

It takes you back to the times when anime shows had a lot more episodes and a lot more seasons compared to how it is in 2022 and beyond.

 

7. Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple hermit

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is an anime series about growth and standing up for yourself when dealing with bullies. Kenichi is the uncool kid at school who’s bullied by everyone it seems.

He never stands up for himself, or fights back. He takes it on the chin and puts up with constant abuse. This changes when Miu Furinji, amartial artist comes into his life.

He goes back to her dojo where he’s trained by a set of martial arts masters. Judo, Muay Thai, Karate, and a mix of other disciplines are taught to him.

Once he learns some skills and becomes more confident, this helps him deal with his own problems with bullying. It’s to the point where the bullying stops and he’s now able to help others.

 

8. My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia bakugo all might deku moments

My Hero Academia is a franchise with 5 seasons so far, and a 6th season headed for Fall 2022. Izuku Midoriya is also a character who’s bullied just like Kenichi.

In this case Izku his bullied by his friend Bakugo after Bakugo gains a “quirk” as a child, which is a supernatural ability.

Fast forward and Izuku has no quirk to speak of, and is hopelessly hanging onto his dream of becoming a hero like his idol All Might.

A chance encounter makes it possible for Izuku to become a hero and he uses the name “Deku” as his hero name, a name Bakugo (his past bully) calls him.

Even as the seasons progress the anime still stays in touch with the important aspects of what started this anime, and maintains its substance.

 

9. Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru romance josei

Chihayafuru is about a card game called Karuta. Chihaya is the female MC of this Josei series, and the main star of the show.

This is one of those motivational anime where you can see how much effort is put into the writing, the episodes, the game, the scenery, and the emotions and how they’re expressed at the right moments.

It’s underrated seeing as how highly rated it is and how few seem to talk about it.

 

10. A Place Further Than The Universe

A Place Further Than The Universe shirase hinata

A Place Further Than The Universe starts with Shirase Kobuchizawa making a declaration. This comes after being criticized, something which she decides to turn into a strength.

She’s not one to let criticism define her, stop her, or weigh down her dreams.

Shirase is joined by other characters like Hinata Miyake and they all go on a journey together. They learn a lot about themselves through all the challenges they face along the way.

This is another underrated and underappreciated anime that’s not as famous as others.

Relevant: 27+ Inspiring Anime Characters You Can Learn Something From

 

11. Food Wars

Food Wars soma

Food Wars might be an anime where clothes start flying off, body’s get revealed, fanservice pops up, and “moaning” can be heard, but in the end it’s a motivational anime series.

What Food Wars does best is take the concept of food, culinary battles, and then turns this into a Shounen style of fighting between chefs.

No other anime has managed to create a mix of these concepts and deliver it almost flawlessly. This is why for an Ecchi series it’s in a league of its own.

 

12. Hajime No Ippo

Hajime No Ippo boxing anime

Hajime No Ippo is the final anime I’ll mention here for anime similar to Haikyuu!

Ippo, the main character is a lot like Kenichi Shirahama. He’s so used to being bullied that it’s normalized for him. He’s made to run errands and is constantly beaten up by his manipulators.

He’s relatable in this way for his lack of self esteem.

It’s not until he gets into boxing that all this starts to change, and his entire world warps to fit his new found confidence, passion, and even success in life.

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