Top 7 soccer anime to celebrate FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, now streaming on Crunchyroll

Key visual for Crunchyroll's soccer anime lineup.
Key visual for Crunchyroll’s soccer anime lineup. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022 (the final match). It will be the 22nd running of the FIFA World Cup competition (the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the senior national teams of the member associations of FIFA).

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first to be held in the Arab world and the second to be held in Asia (after South Korea and Japan in 2002). It will be the last World Cup to have a 32-team field, in 2026 that will be increased to 48 teams.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first tournament not held in May, June, or July due to the intense summer heat in Qatar and will be played in 29 days. The opening match will be Qatar VS Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor.

The hype is real! Die-hard soccer fans have nothing but soccer on their mind right now. And as for anime otaku, who are also soccer fans, Anime Geek has you covered with this Top 7 soccer anime list! The anime are all currently available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

7. Days

Key visual for the anime Days.
Key visual for the anime Days. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Days anime was inspired by the Japanese sports manga of the same name written and illustrated by Tsuyoshi Yasuda. From April 2013 to January 2021, Days was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shounen Magazine, and its chapters were collected into 42 tankoubon volumes.

The manga’s digital English version was licensed by Kodansha USA for release in North America. From July to December 2016, a 24-episode anime series adaptation by MAPPA aired. Days manga has over 10 million copies in circulation as of December 2020! In 2016, Days won the 40th Kodansha Manga Awards in the shounen category.

The story revolves around two Japanese high school boys: Tsukushi and Jin. Tsukushi is an average student without any extraordinary talents. On the other hand, Jin happens to be a soccer genius. One day during a stormy night Jin and Tsukushi meet, and are dragged into the world of soccer together. A wind of change blows strong in high school soccer as Tsukushi reveals his passionate heart.

Days trailer.

6. Aoashi

Key visual for the anime Aoashi.
Key visual for the anime Aoashi. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Aoashi anime was inspired by the Japanese manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Yuugo Kobayashi, and based on a concept by Naohiko Ueno. Since January 2015, Aoashi has been serialized in Shogakukan’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Big Comic Spirits.

From April to September 2022, an anime TV series adaptation by Production I.G. aired. Aoashi has over 15 million copies in circulation as of August 2022! In 2020, Aoashi won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.

“Ao” means “blue”, which also happens to be the color of the Japanese national soccer team. “Ashi” means “feet”.

The story centers on junior high school student Ashito Aoi, who happens to be the star player in his school’s soccer team. Aoi is known for his unpredictable moves and self-centered playing style, but is his team’s only hope to make it through the high school preliminary tournament. Unfortunately, their winning streak finally comes to an end when an opponent causes Aoi to lose his temper and act violently resulting in him getting kicked out from the rest of the game.

Aoi’s team is quickly eliminated from the tournament afterward. Just when Aoi believes all hope is lost a youth team coach named Tatsuya Fukuda, who sees that Aoi has potential, approaches him. Fukuda invites Aoi for tryouts in Tokyo – a place far away from his rural hometown. Aoi goes to Tokyo and struggles with bringing out the best of his ability in an unfamiliar setting and surrounded by incredibly talented soccer players. Aoi wants to prove himself and secure what could be a life-changing career in pro soccer.

RELATED: Ao Ashi Season 2 release date: Aoashi Season 2 predictions

Aoashi trailer.

5. Farewell, My Dear Cramer

Key visual for Farewell, My Dear Cramer.
Key visual for Farewell, My Dear Cramer. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Farewell, My Dear Cramer anime was inspired by a Japanese manga series of the same name by Naoshi Arakawa about women’s association soccer and happens to be the sequel to her other work Sayonara, Football.

From May 2016 to December 2020, Farewell, My Dear Cramer was serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Shounen Magazine and its chapters were collected into 14 tankoubon volumes. The manga’s digital and print English versions have been licensed by Kodansha Comics for release in North America. From April to June 2021, an anime TV series adaptation of the series by Liden Films aired.

The story centers on Japanese high school student Nozomi Onda, who happens to be an incredible soccer player due to having played for the boys’ soccer club when she was in middle school. Onda feels unlucky since the reputation of women’s soccer in Japan has been waning, but she discovers that there are still some schools trying to keep the sport alive.

Onda believes that playing soccer with fellow girls will only drag her down and only feels motivated when playing against those she deems “worthy opponents”. Meanwhile, Sumire Suou is a promising rookie soccer player whose talent is being hindered by a team that can’t keep up with her incredible growth. Onda is convinced by her former coach to join the Warabi Seinan High School’s girl’s soccer team where she encounters Sumire Suou and her friend and rival Midori Soshizaki.

Instead of holding each other back, the girls realize that they’re finally able to play the kind of soccer they’ve been dreaming of. Now that the girls are able to unleash their full potential and hone their skills their many victories just might gain women’s soccer the recognition it deserves.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer trailer.

4. FUTSAL BOYS!!!!!

Key visual for the anime FUTSAL BOYS!!!!!
Key visual for the anime FUTSAL BOYS!!!!! Pic credit: Crunchyroll

FUTSAL BOYS!!!!! anime was inspired by a Japanese multimedia franchise based on futsal (indoor soccer). From January to March 2022, an anime TV series by Diomedea aired. FUTSAL BOYS!!!!! has inspired a video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment, and its release date is TBA.

The story centers on Haru Yamato, who’s never had an interest in futsal despite the international fame it gained ten years ago in Japan. However, when Haru gets the chance to watch Japanese futsal player Tokinari Tennoji compete at the U-18 World Cup his outlook on the sport completely changes. As luck would have it, as soon as he enters high school he’s given the opportunity to join Koyo Gakuen High School’s futsal’s club.

Haru encounters a variety of talented players, including captain Toi Tsukioka, who was a part of the same U-18 team as Tennoji, who he currently admires. Haru and Tsukioka do their best to assemble a team that can stand up to powerhouse opponents, but Yamato is a total beginner to the sport and doesn’t want to hold his team back.

FUTSAL BOYS!!!!! trailer.

3. Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun

Key visual for the anime Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun.
Key visual for the anime Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun anime was inspired by a Japanese manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Taku Sakamoto. From 2014 to 2018, Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Miracle Jump and Weekly Young Jump, and its chapters have been collected into 13 tankoubon volumes. From June to September 2017, an anime TV series adaptation by Studio Hibari aired.

The story centers on Japanese high school student Aoyama, who is charming, cool, athletic, a good cook, but has an eccentric obsession with cleanliness. Although, Aoyama is respected and idolized by everyone they can’t get close to him due to his mysophobia. Despite this quirk of his he enjoys playing soccer, which is known for being a dirty sport!

Aoyama is Fujimi High School’s soccer club’s “playmaker” and uses his mad dribbling skills to avoid physical contact with other players, including his teammates, as he makes his way to victory. Fujimi’s underdog team won’t have it easy as they aim for Nationals, but he’s inspired by striker Kaoru Zaizen that there are some things worth getting dirty for.

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun trailer.

2. Shoot! Goal to the Future

Shoot! Goal to the Future key visual.
Shoot! Goal to the Future key visual. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Shoot! Goal to the Future anime was inspired by the Japanese manga series Shoot! written and illustrated by Tsukasa Ooshima. Between 1990 and 2003, the manga was published in Kodansha’s Weekly Shounen Magazine. Between November 7, 1993, and December 25, 1994, a 58-episode anime TV series adaptation produced by Toei Animation titled Aoki Densetsu Shoot! aired.

The franchise inspired a brand-new original anime TV series by EMT Squared and Magic Bus titled Shoot! Goal to the Future, which aired from July 2 to September 24, 2022 in Japan.

The story revolves around two high school students: Atsushi Kamiya and Hideto Tsuji. Atsushi Kamiya is a former captain at Kakegawa High School, and he used to be the “courageous captain” for a famous Italian soccer team. Atsushi drove his team back at Kakegawa High School to win a National Championship.

Atsushi decides he wants to coach his new school’s less-than-stellar team. On the other hand, Hideto Tsuji likes soccer but thinks his school’s current team is weak and beneath his notice. However, when these two soccer players meet it is the birth of a new legend.

Several anime soccer fans have claimed this is the anime they’re currently watching while waiting for new episodes of Blue Lock.

Shoot! Goal to the Future trailer.

1. Blue Lock

Key visual for the anime Blue Lock.
Key visual for the anime Blue Lock. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Blue Lock anime was inspired by the sports, thriller manga of the same name written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. On August 1, 2018, the series began publication in Kodansha’s Weekly Shounen Magazine, and its chapters have been collected into individual tankoubon volumes. On November 16, 2018, the first volume was released by Kodansha. Twenty volumes have been released as of July 15, 2022.

The English version of the manga was licensed by Kodansha USA and it began its digital release in North America on March 16, 2021. In January 2022, Kodansha USA announced they would release the manga in print volumes.

The Blue Lock trailer begins by explaining how in 2018, the Japanese national team finished 16th in the FIFA World Cup – a disastrous defeat. The Japanese Football Union regroups and decides to hire the soccer enigma, bowl-haircut sporting, Ego Jinpachi (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya in the trailer) to help them figure out what their team is missing.

Ego Jinpachi’s master plan to lead Japan to stardom is Blue Lock – a training regimen designed to create the world’s greatest egotist striker or “Ace Striker” whose responsibility would be to guide the team to a win as its leader. In order to create a striker who hungers for goals and thirsts for victory, the Japan Football Union gathers 300 of Japan’s best, brightest, and incredibly eccentric youth players.

The story centers on a high school soccer player named Yoichi Isagi, who has a unique play style, and feels he’s hit a wall in his soccer playing. He decides to join the program in order to test himself and aim for the top.

However, those who fail Blue Lock won’t be permitted to represent Japan ever again, and the other potential striker candidates are ready to out-muscle and out-ego everyone who stands in their way. Will Yoichi have what it takes to become an Ace Striker?

Blue Lock trailer.

Are you hyped for the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Which soccer anime is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!

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