WARNING: Spoilers in review read at own discretion
Genre: Sports, Slice Of Life
Producer: Production I.G
This is the first review as part of my 300 followers special if anyone didn’t know people had to pick from 20 anime, the five with most votes I would watch and review. A lot of you guys chose popular titles and one of those was infirmus Haikyuu.
Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant” in action, small-statured Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. The newly-formed team even makes it to a tournament; however, their first match turns out to be their last when they are brutally squashed by the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama. Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and so after graduating from middle school, he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team—only to find that his sworn rival, Kageyama, is now his teammate.
Thanks to his short height, Hinata struggles to find his role on the team, even with his superior jumping power. Surprisingly, Kageyama has his own problems that only Hinata can help with, and learning to work together appears to be the only way for the team to be successful. Based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular shounen manga of the same name, Haikyuu!! is an exhilarating and emotional sports comedy following two determined athletes as they attempt to patch a heated rivalry in order to make their high school volleyball team the best in Japan.
This is my first ever spoiler review I am doing, all of mine have always been spoiler free. The fear of writing spoiler reviews I am over as I always avoided writing them, Haikyuu help me get over that threshold. To the extent I enjoyed Haikyuu felt I couldn’t bring myself to write a spoiler free review, no way could I convey of the moments that had me tearing, yelling.
I’ll start by saying this show deserve all the praise and hype people have given it since it aired in 2014 after finally watching it. Sports anime has all the usual cliches of an individual or team having their ups and downs to reach their goal, is always the main cliche. Haikyuu had all the typical cliches in a sports series but it was done right in a way that makes this series a memorable one for me.
The greatest standout for me watching Haikyuu how over three seasons no matter how minor or major any character was, you got to know them. One of the hardest things I find in anime is having equal screen time for any character, handling this aspect I can get picky about sometimes. Haikyuu amazed me while concentrating on Karasuno a lot but showing back story of opposing teams they had to face.
Every opponent Karasuno faced Date Tech, Shiratorizawa, Aoba Johsai you learned of their own goals they had and the reasons they played volley ball. One best moment I can recall from season two where Karasuno playing Aoba Johsai for the third time, in order to face the unbeatable Shiratorizawa. Arrogant Oikawa leader has a lapsed moment towards the end of the match, where Karasuno comes fighting back. You see a time when his deep grudge against Shiratorizawa’s Ushijima consumed him of how better he was than him. His friend made him snap out of his wallowing, selfish hole to make him see, should not be so focused on himself. I still don’t particularly like Oikawa but seeing the weaker sides of arrogant, self absorbed characters like him, shows how hard we don’t want to look weak at times.
I learnt something from every team Karasuno faced, their aspirations they had, this aspect made it than more enjoyable to watch. The intense atmosphere in every match, expressed through the characters faces, had you feeling their desperation and need of wanting to win. But Karasuno’s burning desire to want to make it to nationals just got brighter and brighter through every trial they faced.
I can’t see any reason why no one would not enjoy of the Karasuno characters, I enjoyed learning something about every individual. From starting with no team but big factor that changed this was Kageyama and Hinata the crazy combo duo. Hinata there is nothing I would change about him, right off the bat his huge love for volley ball was infectious. Everything about him is infectious, the desire to show you don’t have to be tall to play volley ball. His needs of his skills to grow only got bigger and became a force to be reckoned with. Being a small person myself Hinata I easily connected with and had me rooting for through his growth of a character. Hinata was the main heart of the team, to give them a boost of when needed. A favourite moment relating to this was in season one Asashi completing whether to return to volley ball, Hinata abruptly saying shouldn’t deny your love for it and not put all the blame on yourself.
This was a beautiful moment for Asahi overcoming the blame he placed on himself for not being able to get over Date tech’s Iron Wall. It’s amazing of surrounding yourself with positive people, that encouragement just lifts you, to overcome that fear. All the team had their moments to shine and again great to see they had their individual screen time. But above anyone else Tsukishima in season three when facing against Shiratorizawa. Through seasons one and two, was unclear if he loved volleyball or desire to play. Wasn’t until the influence of Ushijima that switched his attitude around completely, I was very surprised up until that point I felt the least for his character. The moment he stopped one of Ushijima’s spikes, yelled for the first time in triumph, it’s where you find yourself screaming yes with him. Tsukishima was the last of the members to have his moment but the wait was worth it, he made season three that much more memorable.
Out of the Haikyuu cast of characters most who grew obviously was King of the court Kageyama. Primely focused always trying to solve things on his own, Kageyama never looked at the big picture around him, isolating himself in his own bubble. Meeting Hinata, someone very pushy Kageyama not used to a person of that nature around, became the turn around for him. It was funny any moment like the picture, Kageyama comforting Hinata, was an indication of him residing in his own bubble less and less. Playing his opposing team Aoba Johsai was hilarious his former team mates, in utter shock at how Kageyama has changed. I love Kageyama developed in the end into accepting that he doesn’ t have to take on everything, he can rely on people. Him and Hinata together I thought were amazing, just had laughing every time they used their insane super quick attack the expressions of their opponents was priceless.
Favourite Moments and Ones that Killed Me
Episode 10 Season 3 – Asahi, Sugawara and Daichi moment realising they just won and going to nationals, was crying so much that moment.
Episode 25 Season 1 – Karasuno losing to Aoba Johsai totally shocked me, seriously thought they would win
Episode 22 Season 2 – Yamaguchi’s moment redeeming himself as pinch server and given Karasuno the advantage against Shiratorizawa
Episode 9 Season 3 – Tsukishima moment he finds his hook/love of volleyball
All of the Haikyuu opening and ending themes I loved all of them, gave a snippet peak into what was involved in each seasons. But Opening one “Imagination” by SPYAIR is my favourite out of all, perfect high energy I work out too on a daily basis now. All of the music in Haikyuu fitted perfectly with all those built up moments that were coming, can’t fault anything on that.
Haikyuu delved deep into the desperations winning, coming back after so many down falls, this is all convey through the amazing cast of characters. My first sports watch Chihayafuru was a emotional but now the experience Haikyuu gave me is on another level in terms of emotional struggle. Production I.G soft tone animation heightened the important scenes of the losses, wins, and individual loves of volleyball, those scenes had me always on the brink of tears, because I am a sap. From the other two sports anime’s I have seen, Haikyuu wins the award for emotion.
I love the cast of characters from Haikyuu a lot even the annoying ones. But I have two guys from Karasuno absolutely love but right up first Noya Nishinoya. He may be a bit of a delinquent but one of the most level headed out of the team to keep everyone calm. Particularly in season two and three any panic among the team, his silly natures quickly made nerves disappear. He has such a optimtaisc nature about him and just loved watching him in matches, so focused on his duty to the team. He was the only one that could keep Asahi calm as the strong friendship they shared. Noya is a very likeable and loveable character.
Second favorite surprisingly is Sugawara another level header individual. You could really count on him when things got in a bit of a pinch for the team. He’s not someone to say what he truly feels sometimes, for example his secret jealously towards Kageyama as being used as the main setter in a lot of the matches. He knew as a setter he didn’t possess some of Kageyama’s genius skills but gave it 100% in honing his own skills, no matter what he thought. His sweet, calm nature and reliability are the reason I really love Sugawara.
For anything I didn’t like about Haikyuu are really minor, when Oikawa does one of his insane serves and the crowd shouts “Ole”. Haha that got old after a while and crowd you saying that is getting old. I can’t from my point fault much on Haikyuu, it was so dam enjoyable in every aspect. If you have never seen Haikyuu the first few episodes can seem slow to some people but once things get going you’ll become hooked, like I was told numerous times. Haikyuu is a series others should feel necessarily the need to nit pick but enjoy it for what it is, it’s the reason the show has been hyped so much. Like with any sport anime I learnt a lot from a educational point of view about volleyball, the strategic aspect was easy and fun to follow.
Haikyuu is the kind of series that can just lift your spirits and have fun with. Strategic, entertaining matches, loveable characters and emotional ties this show what it is. Your on the emotional ride with all the characters of the win, losses and revelations they all have. The comedy relief aspect in the show will have you laughing barrels, very cleverly used throughout all seasons, just can put a smile on your face. I’ll say it again I had so much fun with this series and know others will too, it’s gone up on my re-watchable list.
I do hope my followers enjoyed the first review from my 300 followers special, sorry it so long to come out, as I had a lot to say. Next up for me to watch and review is Yona of the Dawn I’ve chosen so look forward that !!
Time for me to learn that super quick attack ahaha !!
Please comment below any thoughts you have !!
I’ll see you all in the next post !!