All Out!! is based on the manga series of the same name

There is a Japanese anime series about rugby

Yes, that’s right, there’s a cartoon series about Japanese kids playing rugby. And it’s everything you’d hope it would be.

All Out!! is based on the manga series (a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels) of the same name. In it,  we follow the stories of pupils at Kanagawa High School as they navigate their lives through the prism of the rugby team.

Related: How to spend a week in Kanagawa

The story follows Kenji Gion, a pint-sized scrapper who decides to join the rugby club and learn about the game after watching training. He is joined by Iwashimizu Sumiaki, a rangy, experienced player who has a complicated past.

Other key characters include Mutsumi Hachiōji and the captain Takuya Sekizan. The skipper is painted as a mythical figure who takes a while to open up to the others.

There is a Japanese anime series about rugby

That inspirational moment: Japan beating South Africa in 2015 (Getty Images)

The series follows the team as they come to grips with the notions of team-work and skill as they face a series of rivals.

All Out!! was first seen in comic form in 2013, and the animated series ran on television from October 2016 to March 2017. Which means that it was on the box a year after Japan’s heroics at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Related: All you need to know about Kanagawa

Kanagawa, where this anime is set, is the prefecture where the 2019 Rugby World Cup final will be held. Yokohama – capital of Kanagawa – will host New Zealand v South Africa in Pool B, Ireland v Scotland in Pool A, England v France in Pool C, Japan v Scotland in Pool A.

Yokohama’s International Stadium will then host both World Cup semi-finals and the final.

By late October, early November, Kanagawa will be the centre of the rugby universe.

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