We’re all well aware that the theme of sports is intrinsically tied to the Slice of Life genre, which explains why the storylines of sports webtoons or anime resonate with even those who might not necessarily be huge sports fans.
Such plots birth amazing characters who easily grasp the audience’s attention and become their favorites. Sports content, when released in a narrativized manner, brews a mixture of emotions all rolled together. One of the most common themes that we encounter in such stories is that of the underdogs rising to fame. This particular motif is unlikely to ever go out of style, only if stylized and experimented upon in a unique way.
Sports anime have been the talk of the town for quite a while now, and it’s time we got acquainted with their webtoon analogs as well. Nowadays, webtoons have found their niche and made a space for themselves in most of our hearts, hence rendering that possible. So, here’s a list of some great sports webtoons that we need to read as soon as possible!
See also: Top Nickelodeon Cartoons
Best Sports Webtoons
16. Tweener (Manhwa)
Basketball prodigy Min Taehyun returns back to the court with his eyes on the Super Money Player Tournament. The vibrant game of Basketball comes to life in this webtoon.
Webtoons are the modern-day rendition of graphic novels, so their design and illustrations have to be in sync with the text. However, Tweener‘s art style is not something that everyone loves. The webtoon has garnered mixed reviews tilting towards either extremity. People either loved it or found it completely unbearable (taking into count its entire presentation and not just its storyline).
15. Build Up (Manhwa)
Finding your true self during adolescence is a huge struggle. One’s surroundings can become a great influence or simply pressurize one to follow the trend. Kang Maru goes through a similar experience as the ordinariness of life culls him to like and dislike the same things as his peers.
One day he is forced by his father to watch the game of football. Its rush and thrill bewitch him to the extent that he starts dreaming of becoming a football player himself.
The webtoon becomes an account of following one’s dreams and “building up” on its idea. The narrative also encourages young readers to step out of the box and follow their own path instead of treading the steps that society ascribes for us.
14. Golden Waltz (Manhwa)
Hardships and excruciating pains bear the world of figure skating. Yet, the “Ice Dancing” event provides some relief as it allows you to partner up with someone and share the burden. This is why a lot rides on who you pick as your partner, who might even become your “Miracle.” It’s hard for Yoon Hong Joo to see her unrelenting partner as her “miracle.” However, everything is about to change soon with Kim Hye Sung in view.
As hinted by the synopsis, the webtoon isn’t merely a sports-driven plot, and it also involves themes like Romance and Drama that take you on a heart-wrenching ride filled with emotions.
13. Latent Blue (Manhua)
This webtoon takes an unconventional turn. It steps into the scuba diving world, the one sport that has barely been covered by webtoons, or even anime, for that matter.
Water bodies like the sea have been a common recurring metaphor for the tumultuous nature of our lives. And so, this webtoon does exactly that by bringing together a group of youths in a secluded seaside town where the deep blue sea offers them some solace.
12. Girls of the Wild’s (Manhwa)
Creator: HUN / ZHENA
Source: The official Webtoons website
Jaegu receives a scholarship to study Wild’s High School, which was originally an all-girls institute but recently became a co-ed school. The institute is widely known for excelling at combat sports like Boxing, Kick-boxing, etc. Jaegu fears facing the action-packed scene led by girls at this school owing to his own traumatic past experience. Yet, it’s bound to turn into a new learning experience for him.
Other than being an action-driven plot, the webtoon also offers comedic interludes and a romantic subplot. The readers of this manhwa have excessively praised the dynamic art design and its character illustrations. However, you will have to be a bit patient with the pacing of the narrative because it progresses slowly. Moreover, somehow, most of the readership has qualms with the main character and what the story shapes to be eventually.
Still, you must give it a chance before completely shunning it as per the fan reviews.
11. Ecstasy Hearts (Manhwa)
Source: The official Webtoons website
A lot rides on Shimizu Anya’s shoulders, especially since her parents are two former Tennis stars. Now it’s her turn to carry the legacy forward, but once she clashes against her rival, she starts questioning it all. Will she be able to break out of the losing streak for good?
The webtoon soon fuses with the genre of drama instead of digging deeper into the Sports world. The relationships so developed in the process turn out to be quite toxic, which has also been a common complaint of the readers. The drawing style is pretty good, but it isn’t enough to connect with the story itself for some. Yet, on the other hand, other readers have found this very emotionally driven narrative technique to be one of the ups of the webtoon. The latter half of the webtoon primarily focuses on how the characters deal with conflicting relationships, which in a way helps develop their respective characters as well.
10. Skill Unparalleled (Manhua)
Creator: Lejiang Culture
Source: Web Novel
Su Cheng arrives at the world’s largest boxing gym – The Tianwu Boxing Hall in Haicheng City, to become the ace of sparring. His top-class dedication and agility earned him the title “gold medal training” of the gym. Envious of all his achievements, the leader Wang Tingwei puts Su Cheng in a dangerous spot. Instead of being taken aback, Su Cheng accepts this situation and makes the most out of it.
The compelling action sequences are a cherry on top, taking into count the unique conceptualization of the plot. Martial arts with a tinge of suspense bring the webtoon to life.
09. Attaque (Manhwa)
Creator: Lee Sae-hyung
Leesu might not have led a luxurious life, but he still had his pride in being the strongest fighter at his school. However, soon enough, even that is stolen from him as he is met with an accident. Despite it all, he doesn’t give up and turns to fence to regain his lost glory.
This story takes up a unique space in the world of sports webtoons as it is probably the only well-known webtoon that introduces the sport of fencing to the audience. The art speaks for itself and is further supported by the complex multidimensionality of the protagonist. Leesu is not one of your average shounen MCs, he is so much more than that, and it pulls the readers even more into the plot.
08. Is This the Korean Wrestling Club? (Manhwa)
The official synopsis doesn’t give away anything at all:
“Let’s forget grief with Korean wrestling. The devil king thigh band has returned!”
And this makes the webtoon even more of an intriguing subject matter. We’ve decided which title is next on our reading list, have you?
07. Fist of Legend (Legendary Fist) (Manhwa)
Creator: Lee Jong-gyu ; Illustrator: Lee Yoon-gyun
Source: Daum Webtoon
Lim Deok-gyu has been leading his life in despair. To make matters worse, he is pursued by a scout to join “Fist of Legend,” a reality TV program that hopes to entertain its audience by showcasing crude fights between the “legends.”
Despite his refusal, Deok-gyu is compelled to enter the show with his eyes on the prize of 10 million won to help his daughter out of a fix. What plans does fate have in store for him?
The webtoon was also adapted into a live-action film in 2013.
06. Summer Taste (Manhua)
Creator: Bei Xiang
One just can’t go wrong with a basketball story!
Having to transfer schools, regardless of what the reason may be, can be an arduous task. Jiang Xue has had to do that quite a few times now. This time, the new change brings her face to face with Xia Zhi, which makes all the difference. Other than that, she also meets Shi Haitian, who can’t stop thinking about her.
A youthful brew of love, dreams, and Basketball awaits us all!
05. Into the Net (Manhua)
Creator: Cao Bao Jin
Lu Yi Fan wholeheartedly wants to dedicate his hours to Basketball, but the others in his school would like to spend their time on anything but make a commitment to the game. Once he graduates from his middle school, he looks forward to hopeful dreams of a fruitful high school experience. However, the new scenario turns out to be even more dreadful than what he had imagined.
04. Green Boy: Shouting to You (Manhwa)
Creator: Jung Jae-Han
Jae-in aims to become a champion while Tae-jin has fallen in love with her. They have to face hardships while bearing the necessary responsibilities on the road to their championship. An unlikely young love story also develops in the meantime.
They both have polar opposite personalities, which sparks an interest in the other for the first time. As time goes by, the story turns into a heart warming tale about life itself.
03. Backcourt (Manhwa)
Source: Tapas Media (for English translation)
David Suh, the previously known basketball star, currently works at a convenience store. His life is proof that things don’t always go the way we plan them to. Yet, a visit by an old friend sparks a new hope in his life to resurrect his old fame. He offers him a chance to work as a high school basketball coach, and so all his dreams come back to life until he’s finally brought back to reality.
Spoiler alert… the story revolves around a girls’ basketball team that breaks its own constricting mold to reach unprecedented heights.
In a way, the plot is very much predictable because it follows the same linearity of every “underdog rising to fame” story. Nevertheless, we can’t afford to miss this one! This particular webtoon goes to a greater extent to capture the vivacity and dynamism of the Basketball game. Anyhow, a good underdog story is always appreciated, especially because of its ties with the Slice of Life theme. Therefore, the webtoon not only narrates the lives of these characters to us but also empowers us in the meantime.
02. Wind Breaker (Manhwa)
Creator: Yongseok Jo
Source: The Official Webtoons Website
Jay finds a great companion in his textbooks. He is the perfect and ideal student figure, and being the student body’s president is just a cherry on the top. One day, his life takes a drastic turn as he’s forced to join the school’s biking team. A new, strange and adventurous world is introduced to him once he mounts his bike.
The presentation of the story starts off as most sports-centric narratives do. Yet, thereafter, it picks up the pace quite uniquely. Biking as a sport has very rarely been chosen as the plot builder of anime or webtoons. Wind Breaker acts as a fresh take within the fast-paced world of sports anime and webtoons. Furthermore, in order to engage the audience gravely, it also explains the physics behind biking itself.
This webtoon is very much character-driven, so it relies highly on the dynamics shared by one character with another, which makes the direction of the plot matter seem very humanly and personal.
01. The Boxer (Manhwa)
Creator: Jung Ji-Hoon (JH)
Source: The Official Webtoons Website
K, the well-known boxing coach, decides to recruit and train one more world champion prior to his retirement. But, this time around, he aims to reach even greater heights than before with his champion.
The official synopsis of the webtoon barely details out anything, but you can rest assured that it gives way to great character development and an insight into how each of their minds works.
Like most stories, this webtoon also has its primary protagonist as the focal point. However, it delves deep into the lives of other characters equally. The same motif – as is employed by sports anime – of constantly shifting the perspective of the narrative from one character to another is also utilized in this webtoon. Considering how mentally taxing a sport like Boxing really is, the story also brings to light the wavering mental state of the players.
That brings us to the end of this very enthralling and sporty list of webtoons. We hope that these recommendations come to your aid when you’re left wondering what to read next.
There is a perennial web of Sports content available on the net, yet somehow, we fall short when we go looking for worthy titles. This is why we thought it best to compile a list of all these sports webtoons and present them to you altogether.
If you think that there are some other noteworthy titles that we’ve missed out on, then please leave your suggestions in the comments. We would love to go through them! Thank you for staying with us till the end!