Fitness games based on the cartoon we love to play

Fitness games have been around for a while, with the most popular being Dance Dance Revolution and Ring Fit Adventure. There have also been a number of games based on anime, including those based on sports anime.

Related: The sports anime games have not yet been released outside of Japan

But while there are similarities, the anime series and fitness-based games don’t intersect as much as you might think, with games like Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star seeming to break the mold and set the stage for more anime-based fitness games to come. Of course, some anime series fit the genre better than others.

8 Absolute muscle

Ultimate key anime muscle art and unlock animation

Ultimate Muscle, better known as Kinnikuman Nissei, is the sequel to the original Kinnikuman wrestling manga and anime series, with many Western fans already familiar with 4Kids from the Ultimate Muscle anime series. A fitness based game based on the series could revive interest in it.

It can be difficult to get the old Japanese or English voice back again, but giving the new voice actors a chance to shine would be a fair trade-off, especially if it helped lead to a new series. The virtual game might have you training with different characters to prepare for matches with or against them, with subsequent matches helping you see how far you’ve come since you started.

7 Prince of tennis

Main images of the Prince of Tennis anime with different cast members

A tennis manga and anime series, The Prince of Tennis has yet to have a fitness-based video game despite the popularity of the Mario Tennis series and the tennis mode found in the Nintendo Sports series.

Like Mario Tennis Aces, the fitness-based Prince of Tennis is likely to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive title due to the Joy-Con’s ability to mimic the vibrations of a ball hitting a tennis racquet. Playing a game like this may not have you making shots so powerful that a tennis ball becomes an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, but it will still provide a fun workout.

6 Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo Part 1 Phantom Blood and Part 6 anime pictures Key Ocean Stone with the main characters

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure may not seem like a traditional anime-based fitness game. However, with how polished the characters are in it and how many characters are named after songs, bands, and music artists, you’d think there would at least be a dance game based on the anime adaptation, perhaps in a similar vein to the character dance rhythm game series.

It can be difficult to license all of the songs the characters are named after, so they will have instrumental covers of those songs, opening and ending vocals, and other music composed by the anime.

5 Captain Tsubasa

Captain Tsubasa rise to cover new heroes and play with kicking tsubasa and saving wakabayashi

The most internationally popular soccer manga and anime series, Captain Tsubasa, has also inspired several other soccer-related things, such as the Shaolin Soccer movie, the Level 5 multimedia series Inazuma Eleven, and even some real-life soccer players from around the world. However, she never had a game based on her physique.

Related: Ranked: The best soccer video games of all time

The Captain Tsubasa virtual fitness-based game may be Nintendo Switch exclusive due to the Joy-Con’s motion-sensing functionality and leg strap attachment already used in games like Ring Fit Adventure and the soccer portion of Nintendo Switch Sports. Since there are many characters, you can choose the one you want to train with depending on the job you want to train for.

4 Pokemon

Pokemon sands weightlifting and boxing pikachu

Pokemon may have had some games and peripherals that indirectly involved fitness, like Pokemon Go, but it didn’t have a game that revolved around exercise. While there can be many different workouts with Fighting-type Pokemon due to all the martial arts and sports that are based on it, a Pokemon’s potential fitness game can feature more than just them.

In our dream title, you can find arm conditioning exercises with Geodude, running exercises with Rapidash and Dodrio, and wrestling moves with Incineroar. There could also be a Pokémon dance game similar to the Japan-exclusive Wii U Yo-Kai Watch Just Dance, featuring songs from both the games and the anime series.

3 Hajime no Ippo

Main images of the anime Hajime no Ippo with Ippo and other boxers

The most popular boxing manga and anime series of all time, Hajime No Ippo, also known as Fighting Spirit in some regions, has had a few video games here and there, including some on the Nintendo Wii, but essentially none. Focus on fitness.

Related: The best boxing video games of all time, according to Metacritic

It’s shocking that Fitness Boxing has yet to get over with Hajime No Ippo, as you’d think he would be a perfect match, or at least a better match than Fist of the North Star. Like Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star, Hajime no Ippo Fitness Boxing will allow you to train with and fight different characters from the series.

2 Naruto

Naruto and Boruto anime cast and train Naruto and Neji

A manga and anime series with martial arts roots, Naruto and its sequel series Boruto do not feature character training in quite the same way as in other series – ninja training techniques are slightly different. However, they also practice taijutsu, which consists of any martial arts techniques with body movement.

The fitness-based Naruto game will focus primarily on taijutsu, with different character teaching techniques based on different martial arts styles. Naruto and Sakura can teach warm-ups and general taijutsu exercises, Rock Lee and his assistant Might Guy can teach Jeet Kune Do and Zoe Kwan, or Drunken Fist, and Neji and Hinata can teach aikido since their clan’s techniques are based on it.

1 dragon ball

Dragon Ball Goku does push-ups and Vegeta does push-ups in the hypergravity chamber

One of the most popular manga and anime series of all time, Dragon Ball began as a comic adventure manga focused on martial arts. Even when the story gets more serious, it always remembers its martial arts roots. Much of Dragon Ball also features characters training to become stronger and push their limits.

Shockingly, the closest thing to a fitness-based Dragon Ball game we’ve had is the Dragon Ball Z Kinect, which didn’t end up quite as cool as the concept of physically imitating Dragon Ball Z’s explosion-centric techniques. This virtual fitness-based Dragon Ball game can have you training with Goku, Vegeta, Master Roshi, and more, but don’t expect to learn how to become a Super Saiyan.

Next: Fitness video games that actually make you sweat

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