To be honest, I'm guilty of being biased and judgemental, and more than once to boot. A few years ago I had seen my friend's collection of Naruto manga. I scoffed and even teased him a bit, having seen what appeared to be ridiculous anime promos on TV aimed at children. Within a year, I had discovered anime and manga myself. I have since apologized. Then, a year ago in the fall FAL league, I found myself incredulous at how popular and highly praised the sequel to Kuroko no Basket was. Subsequently, I stumbled across a volleyball anime with what seemed to be an interesting
Therefore, I believe apologies are in order. I'm sorry, sports anime genre. I'm sorry I looked down on you. I'm sorry I didn't give you a shot sooner. I'm sorry I wrote off Kuroko no Basket and Yowamushi Pedal and the several other of the genre I have since added to my plan to watch list. If you want to give thanks for my change of heart, you need look no further than a wonderful little gem called Haikyuu!!
Quickly becoming one of my favorite anime, Haikyuu!! was the show I looked forward to most each week. It is a well-rounded work that made every Sunday a little better. As today is the day it finished airing, I'm a bit surprised that more people haven't completed it and/or written reviews. Hoping to help others that may not have given Haikyuu!! a chance, here I am now expressing my humble opinion.
Adapted from a Shounen Jump manga, the story could be boiled to to pretty typical shounen stereotypes. It contains an underdog, teamwork, perserverance, etc. However, in my opinion, Haikyuu!! integrates these themes incredibly well, and also sets itself apart from your run of the mill Jump product. The protagonists are relatively inexperienced and are far from being the best volleyball players out there. Crazy quick 'level up's don't exist, and you will find no inexplicable victories here. Instead, we receive a well crafted story with good pacing that follows the formation of the Karasuno to their foray into the high school volleyball circuit.
Another issue people typically have with the shounen genre is flat, 2-dimensional characters that have little or poor development. I like to think this problem does not plague Haikyuu!! In fact, I'd say this is a strong point in relation to many other anime/manga. Haikyuu!! mainly focuses upon the exploits of the two main characters and the team as a whole, but does take the occasional detour to explore backstory, relationships, character development, comedic moments, and minor characters. That last item especially separates this show from the rest. A recurring theme throughout this sports anime is, not surprisingly, losing. I was very impressed with Haikyuu!! on how it depicts the emotions and point of view of nearly all minor characters, whether they appear again or not. For me, the level to which they were explored is rare among any story I've come across. On a side note, having not experienced not much from the sports genre, I am no authority on how others deal with losing games. However, subjectively, I think it handles the concept fantastically, and possibly better than the above-mentioned basketball and biking anime. It spends a fair amount of time presenting how the characters react and cope with loss.
As far as technical aspects go, Haikyuu!! does not disappoint. The artwork is clean and the animation fluid. Production I.G. did a wonderful job putting together a great visual work. In addition, the OST is superb. Personally, the background tracks helped set the scene and kept me emotionally invested throughout intense, comedic, and dramatic scenes. I cannot compliment the audio side of this anime enough with how well it worked. As a bonus, I fell in love with all of the openings and endings. Hopefully, you're as lucky as I was.
I pray you give Haikyuu!! a chance. If you are new to the genre, this might be a gateway to a new horizon for you. If you have enjoyed sports anime before, Haikyuu!! will continue your enjoyment of the genre. Inevitably, this show is and will be compared to Production I.G.'s other sensation, Kuroko no Basket. In the interest of bipartisanship and brevity, I will simply say that the main difference is that Kuroko no Basket relies more on spectacle, whereas Haikyuu!! integrates more realism. Regardless of opinion, I believe that you will really enjoy Haikyuu!!and, quite possibly, like me you will be eagerly awaiting season 2.
Uh oh, I'm about to do something not many have done: bring up problems with Haikyuu! Disclaimer: I do play volleyball, so please understand where I'm coming from.
Don't get me wrong, I liked Haikyuu! and will be watching the second season, but in this review I'm going to talk about what I didn't like because everyone else gushes over it. Remember, I did genuinely like it.
When I first found out there was an anime about volleyball (and not only that, it was really popular and well-liked) I kind of got really excited and placed it near the top of my "Plan to Watch" list.
I'm not quite sure what I expected, but this wasn't it. I had expected something intelligent, engaging, and meaningful, what I got was a typical shounen.
Let's start with the plot. Nothing really special about it. A band of unlikely heroes come together one year to form a volleyball team that just so happens to be really good, they set their goals to be in the Nationals, they go through certain hardships to get there only to come up short when they near their goal. But fear not! There is a second season! The plot was pretty generic sports anime for me. Not much else I can say about it.
Here's where the problems I, personally, have begin. Everything feels dumbed down, like it was made for someone who knows absolutely nothing about volleyball to watch. Now I'm not saying "You should only watch sports anime if you've played the sport", on the contrary, in fact. But they shove down explanations of the most basic moves into your throat, even down to the second to last episode. They always try to mask it (by explaining to other people the rules), but they never do a good enough job at it. It should be implied that your viewer is smart enough to be able to pick up on certain things with the sport after watching, rather than having everything explained in crystal-clear clarity. Take [i]Ping Pong the Animation[/i] as an example. They lay everything out to you clearly, but don't tell you specifically what it is you're supposed to see. It's your job to figure it out. That's a smarter show with more subtlety and more respect for the viewer's intelligence.
There were so many weird volleyball technicalities. I didn't understand if volleyball in Japan was that different, or if Haikyuu just honestly thought nobody watching would know anything about volleyball so they could cheat a little? I tried to look up the rules for Japan, but could only find certain things, nothing decisive. Here are all the little, weird, things happened:
Kageyama is supposed to be a genius setter and yet he's never set a back-row attack up until this point? And he's never even attempted to do a jump-float? Those are things we learn to do in club volleyball when you're like 12. And it also seems like he never dumps despite it being an easy strategy to get 2-3 points per match (also, he's tall and can jump high, it'd be even easier for him than most).
They don't use any conventional terminology when being set. They just say "set me". This doesn't tell the setter how fast or where you want it. A Go ball, a Shoot set, and a 4 set are very different sets, but all to the same person. There's never any indication anything changes. They also have a position called an "Ace", which I have looked up, but cannot confirm to exist. I know that Japan has "Wing Spikers" instead of Outsides and Opposites, so no problems there, but I don't know if Ace actually exists. It seems to just mean their best player?
How is there always a triple or double block on every hit? Most of the time, you're lucky if you can get a double block on a outside hitter, but they get triple blocks, even on quicks! Even at the Olympic level they don't do that. And when every hitter goes up to hit the ball, they always hit straight down the line. I honestly saw 3-4 cross hits the entire series, no joke. They always hit straight, which leads to them getting blocked. Then when they do get blocked, they don't go "Hey, next time roll/tip it over the block, put pressure on the back row to get that", they just say "[b][i]Hit it harder![/i][/b]", like that's not how it works. They also never intentionally aim out so the other team accidentally blocks it straight down out of bounds, and they never wipe the ball off the block. There's never any strategy in their hits.
And there's almost zero free balls (or "chance ball!") in the show. Even if it's a bad first dig, they somehow manage to get a full attack almost every single time. That's just not how it works. And one of the one times the opponent's had to just pass one over, everyone was downright amazed with how smart it was to pass it to the setter. That's not that clever at all. A common strategy to break teams with really good setters is to hit, pass, and block everything in their direction to either force them to have the libero set or to get them out of rotation to compensate for it. It's something almost every team of every skill level does, surely a team that has a chance to go to nationals would know this stuff.
This is more of a minor detail, but the portrayal of the females in this show was slightly derogatory. I'm not going to go full SJW and preach to you right now, but this stuff was kind of obvious. The females were all strung over the hotshot athletes, the female volleyball team was the weak and helpless team that needed the boys' team's strength to pick them back up after the loss, and all the explaining that got done to help the audience was 80% of the time done to some "helpless and confused" girl watching from the sidelines. Sure, the main girl (if you can even call her main) had some strength, but it was just stereotypical, shounen strength, nothing resembling a real personality.
I'm going to be honest with you, I just absolutely couldn't stand Hinata, the MC. He was the stereotypical genuine, happy-go-lucky protagonist. His motivations were extremely one-dimensional and weak. You lose 1 game in Junior High to a good team while you have a shit team so you swear revenge for life? And that's your driving motivation for the rest of the series? To beat him in a 1-on-1? His personality was so bad. Every interaction he had with other people was a "feel-good" talk, something to pick another guy back up on his feet, which got really stale after about, hmmm, 2 episodes. This problem existed with lots of other characters as well. Interactions that just started with someone feeling down and ended with them magically being inspired again, after like 2 sentences. Super cliché, shounen nonsense.
Kageyama and Asahi were the only ones who went through any type of development (although Asahi's was condensed within about 4 episodes), which isn't [i]too[/i] big of a problem, if I actually liked any of the other character's personalities. Honestly, the only 2 I liked were Tsukishima (because he has the same kind of "wtf are these people doing" attitude I have) and Nishinoya because all liberos are cool.
The art and animation were definitely great all-around, but I did have some issues with them as well. For one, some character's necks were really long or really weird, which honestly made some characters look like literal dickheads (Oikawa I'm looking at you). Also, there were tons of reused and recycled animations. Because everyone hit line, all they had to do was switch the character who was "receiving" the ball and reuse the animation over and over. There was no variety with the hits so they cut corners on animation. I don't know if this was due to limited budget, but it was quite noticeable.
One thing I do have to commend them on are the volleyballs themselves. They were well-detailed and looked almost exactly like the ones we use in real life, down to the little tiny ridge details on the ball.
I have no complaints, but I honestly don't think sound matters that much (unless it's awful or amazing).
[b]Personal Enjoyment: 7[/b]
I genuinely did like this show and I will be watching the second season as it airs. I'm just confused as to why so many people heap praise upon this show. It's a good shounen, absolutely, but it's too much of a shounen.
Thank you for reading my review and if you have any feedback (positive or negative, I don't mind) feel free to message me.
The most important thing in a team sports is, without a doubt, the team. This holds especially true for volleyball. Having six talented players is all fine, but as long as they aren’t a team and don’t show team spirit, that talent is surely in vain. But what if it’s the other way round; is it a surefire way to win when you have one team where not everyone is talented?
Not really. But the chances are higher when there’s one team, rather than six players.
Haikyuu!!, or High Jump in English, is about Hinata and Kageyama, two players who originally stand at the opposite side of
the volleyball net – plus are personality-wise polar opposites too - and are, due to the fact that they attend the same high school, forced to work together. During that process, they learn the importance of a team and that you don’t lose or win alone. The show eventually does focus on the entire Karasuno volleyball team (and on other teams too), but it’s still obvious who the main characters are.
As with most sports anime, the plot starts with Hinata and Kageyama meeting (and fighting), then joining the Karasuno volleyball team, and the team battling others all the way to the Inter-Highs. The volleyball aspects are well explained though and nicely weaved into dialogues. We learn about the libero when the libero appears. We learn about Quick As when Kageyama and Hinata perform a Quick A. There is no huge info dump in that manner; the viewer is pretty much spoonfed with information, one term explained at a time. The plot isn’t very original and average at best, but to be fair, Haikyuu is an anime where it’s more about the characters than the story.
What I liked about Haikyuu was the fact that the show doesn’t rely on superpowers, even though it was somewhat unbelievable at some points. There is the fact that Kageyama can exactly pin-point where to toss the ball, for example, or Hinata jumping a felt hundred metres high. But except that, there are no laser beams emerging from the player’s eyes, there is no “super saiyan”-mode, nothing like that. And the best part is: Even the supporting cast thinks it’s weird. They think it’s weird when Kageyama perfectly tosses the ball to Hinata, who jumps a felt hundred metres high. They laugh when a character names his moves. I simply loved that because most sports anime tend to take those things for granted, which isn’t realistic at all.
As previously mentioned, Haikyuu lives off its characters. The first eleven episodes are about the main team, Karasuno, which helps the viewer to learn and love the boys one by one, as most are characterized well, have good interactions with each other and their motivations are shown too. Then the opposing teams and characters kick in. There is the ”fated rival” Nekoma, who appears in three episodes and then vanishes into thin air with the promise to meet again in the Inter-Highs. There is Tokonami, the loser team, and Dateko, the team that caused the ace Asahi to have a volleyball trauma. But the only opposing team truly worth mentioning is Aoba Johsai which we get a lot to know of, as many of the players were once teammates or upperclassmen of Kageyama, but especially so Oikawa, who can be seen as the antagonist of Haikyuu. He gets such strong characterization and his motivations are laid out so well that it makes him easily one of the best characters in the series. Other characters who develop really well are Karasuno’s Tanaka – who gets introduced as one of the comic relief characters in the beginning and gets fleshed out properly later on – as well as Nishinoya, who is introduced as a hot-blooded, loud character, but quickly turns to one of the pillars of the protagonist team.
I wish I could say the same about Hinata, but sadly, that isn’t true. While his motivations do get shown early in the series – as he is the main character – he still acts most of the time like a “volleyball Naruto”; hotblooded, highly friends-focused and especially annoying in matches, when he screams “Bring it on!” for the tenth time (even if it does get revealed that it has a reason why he screams that way). As for the other main character Kageyama, he certainly develops from the mean, oppressing attitude which brought him the nickname “King of the court” (no, that’s definitely not praise), to a person who learns to depend on others and to listen to them for once. I really like Haikyuu’s cast, save one or two characters, and they make the show very good.
The animation, as the studio behind the series is Production I.G, certainly does not disappoint. The scenes look crisp, the matches look fluid, and what I loved especially was, in some parts of the show, when the characters smash the ball – that was when the animation became a lot like a sketch and that was very impressive in my eyes. There is also a scene which was reminiscent to the Monogatari Series to me in Episode 21; when the vice-captain Sugawara wants to tell Kageyama to “do his best”, but stops in the middle of the sentence and the plain text “Let’s win” gets shown for two seconds. Sometimes the characters look off-model (especially the ones watching the game), and sometimes scenes are reused over and over again, but overall, it’s certainly a visual feast.
As for the sound, it always fits to the mood, and varies from electronic to straight up swing over rock; this applies to the opening and ending themes as well. A special mention belongs to the voice cast; there were many familiar and unfamiliar names, and all of them did a great job. All of them suit to their respective characters, but the one that shined the most was Oikawa’s voice actor and my favourite, Namikawa Daisuke, who made Oikawa to the great antagonist that he is.
When I watched Haikyuu on a weekly basis, I was looking forward to every next week, and loved every single episode. When I rewatched it once the show was over, I didn’t enjoy it that much. I thought the events before the Inter-High (which starts in Episode 15) to be average at best. But after the Inter-High started, that was when my enjoyment had a peak, especially so in the last match, Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai. To me, that’s when the series really evolves from the average sports anime to a great one.
Haikyuu’s core theme is the team. It’s about learning to trust each other when you’re in a team, it’s about winning and losing as a team, it’s about overcoming obstacles as a team. For being that team-focused, Haikyuu really spends lots of its time for the viewer to get to know the team, and handles its characters with great care, even though the plot is by no means unique. It has great animation, a fitting sound and a wonderful voice cast. If you are debating whether or not to watch this, then don’t hesitate and start Haikyuu. You won’t regret it.
So if you can tell from my score, I really freaking love this anime. I have to preface this by saying, I am NOT a sports anime fan. It's one of the last genres I look to because I've disliked/dropped over 90% of the ones I've seen. So I'm incredibly biased.
The story in Haikyuu! is what amazes me most possible.
It's all volleyball, volleyball, volleyball, yet I'm never tired of it (despite not being an avid volleyball fan). The relationships between the players develops in all aspects: the relationships between the players as friends, as teammates, as students in different school years, as a
cohesive team against other teams. In between is volleyball. At every corner is volleyball. This is literally a volleyball explosion. But you really see the story behind why the characters love it. How the love developed for them. How much of themselves and their past they've put into the game. What torment and triumph they feel from the sport.
Like every other sports anime, Haikyuu! there are out of this world, impossible moves that even pros can't do. BUT I never feel that way. They don't drag it out or make it ridiculously over the top. It happens, then they move on with the game.
In sports anime, another thing I noticed that can drag a story down is when they try to work in explanations of how certain aspects of the sport works. Haiykuu! manages to work it in flawlessly. My knowledge of volleyball stops at the grade school level (where all we did was rotate, the positions weren't named, and players weren't allowed to even dive or roll). The explanations are short, to the point, and staggered. But now I know all the positions, the rules, the different types of moves, special attacks, formations, etc., without really realizing at the time I was being schooled on the subject.
Every single sports anime I've seen, I'm guilty of fast forwarding through games or matches or tournaments. Literally every one. I've never done it with Haikyuu! Not even when I rewatched the whole series.
The art is very good, a solid 8, but not the best ever. It really works to highlight the fluidity of movement throughout sports play. It's not over the top or excessive, so it's a bit quiet with how good it is. I think the best indication of how good the art is, is when you're looking at someone on the opposite side of the net, and the player is basically melding into the net, but it doesn't look weird at all. If you watch it, you'll get what I mean.
I also really like the character designs. The characters are drawn in the more realistic, life-like style vs. cartoon-like. This really adds to the game play; their muscles tensing, their movements, their presence.
The sound is what gets me. It's really effective. Just like the art, it's not over the top. A certain sound happens and you know something is about to go down, like a cool move. A certain tune plays and you know you're about to see someone who is a worthy opponent. It really highlights the mood. Also the sports sounds, the squeak of shoes on a gym floor, the smack of the ball, even the sound of the ball slicing through the air makes everything more believable.
The voice acting is very good as well. The tones and nuances fit each character's personality. I can't say any examples without giving things away (because not all characters are introduced at the same time).
Haiykuu! does a really good job of developing the characters. You know what each character's personality is like. What their role is on the court and on the team. Even the characters that are on the bench, you really feel it and connect with them even if they aren't the ones playing in the main match (i.e. their disappointment at not playing, their desire to be on the court, their feelings of support for their team).
If someone does something hilarious or quirky, as the viewer you can easily think to yourself, "that is SO like so-and-so to do that."
You really get a sense of the character's ability, athletically and emotionally. their maturity levels (both mentally and sports-wise). Their tendencies and characteristics that make them, THEM.
Even a lot of the teams they face, you can easily fall in love with the opposing players, because they make sure to develop them as well. This also makes matches much more interesting and makes you more emotionally invested in them.
I personally love Haikyuu! to beyond the moon and back. I'm going to state it here, that this is the first time ever that I have liked an anime much more than the source manga it's adapted from. I'm just being honest. If someone had told me to read Haikyuu! the manga, I would have eventually dropped it. I started reading it after I started watching the anime, and I'm only continuing because I'm so emotionally invested in the characters and want MORE!
The anime really brings the story to life.
Plus the overall humor woven throughout the whole series, is an awesome bonus
Yeah, 10 out of 10. Again, this coming from someone who is not a sports anime fan. Or maybe I just hadn't been introduced to the right one, ehem, in order to see the light.
“So long as I am here, you will be the strongest” – Tobio Kageyama
“Haikyuu!!” is one of the most successful shows in the 2014 season and is consistently well appreciated within the Anime community. Based on that face and that I’m indeed a pretty big fan of the sport Volleyball, I’ve decided to give Haikyuu a chance and I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact it beat all of my exceptions I had in this Series.
I won’t go any deeper in the synopsis, because I think it’s already covered well enough by MAL.
Overall the story itself is pretty solid and well executed,
even though the Series has some rather dragged out episodes, especially at the end, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact it provides more realistic development in my opinion.
One issue I’ve already mentioned before is the pacing of the story. Sometimes it’s really fast and a game is settled within about three minutes, when I actually wanted to see more of the match. The last match is dragged out for about four episodes, which wasn’t really my cup of tea either. Other than that, I think the studio did a good job as far as the pacing goes. One thing that really amazed me is how well they executed all of the character and story dynamics in the training episodes.
The Art is solid, but not really more than a solid 7 I think. I didn’t like the character design at first, but I got used to it, as well as the sometimes a bit off pace Animation. One thing I was irritated at first is, that you can see the other player’s face through the net, which I think they could’ve executed better, but that definitely is moaning on a very high level.
I really liked the Opening and the OST was solid as well, even though there unfortunately weren’t too many memorable ones in there, if there was even one.
One of the biggest strength of Haikyuu is definitely the characters, as well as their dynamics and interactions. While a Sports-Anime like “Kuroko no Basket” rather focuses on the single players and their “superpowers”, Haikyuu surely set an eye on the characters as a team, which was just perfect and way more realistic in my opinion. While there were definitely were characters, who are memorable as individuals (Kageyama, Nishinoya, Tanaka…), I really enjoyed watching how the team grew together and how they worked together while training and playing. The development was superb as well, especially for an Anime about "just" Volleyball.
As you’ve might already noticed, I enjoyed this show a great deal. While I was incredibly satisfied with the story and especially with the characters and their development, I could forget some of the mistakes Haiykuu made.
It was certainly not a perfect show by any means, but if you’re into a decent story with a lot of development, light-hearted comedy which even got me several times, and/or you’re enjoying Volleyball or simply Sports a great deal, I would recommend you to give Haikyuu a shot, I’m sure you will love it as much as I do!
Jumping out of the wreckage that is the Summer 2014 anime season, Haikyuu triumphantly spikes its nakama-drenched, bromance-filled volleyballs into the chaotic mess, pummeling its viewership with its unflappable spirit and verve. In a season where anime about intergalactic war (sort of), terrorism (not really), and rebellion (or bad politics or comedy or whatever the hell Akame ga Kill is supposed to be) compete to see who can be the very edgiest, it is with some surprise that I declare to you that an anime about volleyball has turned out to be one of the best anime of the season.
is nothing special on the surface; a hotheaded upstart and his outstandingly talented rival from middle school join their high school volleyball team and work together to help their team win a tournament. The details might be a little different, but the general template for the story has been used countless times in both anime and other media. So what makes this anime so damn enjoyable?
Well, it’s the execution. I’ve long maintained that clichés aren’t a bad thing as long as they’re well-executed, and Haikyuu delivers on this front. Characters are tropey, but very believable. The pacing is a bit slow, and the show drags a bit during the first half; however, the intensity picks up in the second half of the anime, when the InterHigh tournament starts. The matches are engaging and exhilarating. The frequent cliffhanger endings will leave you desperately wanting for more. Is it the most original plotline ever? Certainly not. Is it endearing, fun as all hell to watch, and convincing in its emotion? Absolutely.
One of the best things about this show is its characters. Haikyuu has a pretty large and fairly diverse cast, and many of the characters are well developed throughout the course of the show. Again, some of them are a bit tropey – Hinata is the standard high-strung shounen protagonist, Kageyama is his more serious counterpart and rival, Tanaka is comic relief, etc. – but they’re all fun to watch and feel very human. Hinata, Kageyama, Sugawara, Daichi, and several others are given backstories and developed into well-rounded personalities, and the chemistry between them is astounding. It’s not just the protagonists, either; several antagonists are developed in conjunction with the main cast, the most notable of which is probably Aoba Josai’s setter, Oikawa, a character that you might actually find yourself rooting for at times because of how well he’s developed. Certain characters could’ve used more screentime, particularly Kiyoko, who we really don’t see or hear much of at all; but with such a large cast this is to be expected, and surprisingly isn’t that much of an issue.
Another great aspect of this show was its matches. I’ve long complained about the abundance of horrendously slow battle scenes in a lot of shounen, but these matches are almost perfectly-paced. The rallies are dramatic, suspenseful, well-timed, and exciting. All the typical stuff, like the internal monologues and the speeches of teamwork and friendship and whatnot, are well handled and generally do not detract from the momentum and intensity of the on-court action; in fact, they frequently added to it. The matches are surprisingly grounded, though of course many pivotal moments are exaggerated for dramatic effect (Hinata's quicks, in particular). The episode endings are also handled really well. One of my biggest complaints with cliffhangers (I tend to complain a lot when it comes to anime…) is that most of the time they tend to come off as cheap and uninspired by drawing out the episode unnecessarily to withhold vital information that they’ll then give you in the next episode; Haikyuu does a much better job of delivering strong episode endings while still leaving the matches unfinished, and keeps you wanting for more. All in all, these matches are sure to leave you breathlessly entertained.
Now, all that being said, the anime does have some issues. As great as the second half of the anime (when the InterHigh tournament, and consequently the matches, begin in earnest) is, the first half is slow and can test your patience at times. It’s not bad – some of the episodes, especially the first one, are high quality – but overall, there is too much exposition, and the monologues dragged more often than not. The humor can also be hit-and-miss; depending on your tolerance for the exaggerated facial expressions and reactions common to anime humor (you know what I’m talking about), it may wear on you. Overall, though, it’s not really a huge deal, and many of you might end up enjoying it, which will only enrich the experience for you.
The art, animation, and direction are excellent, and given that Production I.G. is behind the wheel, this should come as no surprise. The artwork is very detailed and character designs are faithful to the original manga. The animation is fluid and the strength of the direction is evident in the matches. The voice acting is great, and the VAs do a top-notch job of conveying the fire and emotion of the characters without ever sounding too cheesy (okay, maybe a little cheesy, but the good kind of cheesy). The soundtrack is superb – I actually think that this is one of the best OSTs I’ve heard in a while, and is probably one of the more underrated aspects of this anime. The BGM music in particular really helps make the matches that much more exciting. The music really is one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed this show, and the OST is definitely worth a listen on its own. The OP/EDs are pretty good, too.
This anime was a blast, and being that this is only the second sports anime I’ve ever seen, whenever someone asks me how to get into the sports genre, this is one of the first titles I’ll be recommending. It’s not the deepest or most original anime out there, and it does have a few hiccups, but it embodies so well the themes of teamwork, dedication, perseverance, overcoming the odds, and really everything else about the sports genre that we tend to pass off as hammy or overdone but appeals to most of us deep down.
So from all of us Haikyuu fans to you, IG, get on that season 2.
There’s a phrase that goes “dynamite come in little packages”. The meaning implies that someone who is small can achieve big accomplishments. Shoyo Hinata, the protagonist of the series is a perfect example of this. Standing no more than 6 feet tall but yet has a big heart, Hinata is someone filled with integrity. Witness the extraordinary journey that Hinata undertakes to prove the whole world his worth as a volleyball player. And believe me, it’s worth it especially when it’s someone named the “Ultimate Decoy”.
The anime is based off the manga of the same name written by Haruichi Furudate. What started out as
a one-shot transformed into a sports series that captures the very essence of volleyball. As a sport, volleyball tends to be one of the underrated activities when it comes to competition. While this may or may not be true coming from where you are, the sport hardly is ever seen in animation form. Haikyuu!! on the other hand takes concept of volleyball and chronicles it into a series of profound discovery.
As a sports show, most often or not, it involves competition. But to build from that, we have to start from scratch. Haikyuu!! does that essentially by creating a foundation for the sport and its competitors. While Hinata is the main protagonist, his teammates aren’t left in the shadows. The story focuses them each individually and collectively as a team as they work their way on their journey. While not an easy one, the anime smoothly details their motivation and development. In fact, the story is relatively simple as it takes place in Junior High School, a setting perfect for growth. As a young boy, Hinata develops a fascination for volleyball after witnessing a national championship on TV. From that one single memorable moment leaves a profound memory in his mind. To put it simply, he wants to be like them and perhaps even win a championship himself. Beginning as a club but later capturing the attention of other fans as a resilient team, Hinata is what some people can describe as the hardcore underdog.
And it’s true, the team starts in the beginning not being featured on national news like the one Hinata witnessed on TV. Instead, they work themselves up with training, willpower, and motivation. The teammates that Hinata works with have not only diverse personalities but also skillsets. This offers a decent amount of game-play as no match will feel the same coming from these players. But more importantly is how the team functions in unity. Because really, without teamwork, the game itself would be lost most indefinitely. Luckily, we witness most often the opposite of this as teamwork is skillfully indulged into the show. It creates inspiration, realism, and admiration towards Hinata’s team. At the same time, Haikyuu goes to lengths to show how far they develop. Win, tie, or loss, each game fought takes every ounce of their sweat. By the end of the day, it’s what they learned that matters. Well, we can’t also forget about rivalries of course. In the sports world, there’s always a bit of that that gives the birth to drama and personal pride.
Enter Tobio Kageyama (aka the King of the Court), a first year at Karasuno High School. Playing as setter, he is the opposite of Hinata. A genius on the court with a cold attitude, Kageyama serves as Hinata’s foil. And throughout the series, Hinata tries to desperately earn his respect by defeating him. Perhaps desperate might be the wrong word to use here though as the skill difference between the two is quite far-reaching, at least in the beginning anyways. Yet at the same time, Kageyama lacks something Hinata has and that’s the motivation to work with others as a team. Kageyama is a lone wolf and prefers to do things on his own. That spells out a recipe for disaster when it comes to teamwork. However, the show takes advantage of this concept by building on Kageyama’s weakness and mutates it into growth. It’s not measured by height standards, but by connection as he learns the true value of teamwork. That my friends is something to appreciate.
Speaking of appreciation, the show also gives the other players a chance for spotlight. Characters such as the captain Daichi Sawamura, vice captain Koshi Sugawara, and ace Asahi Azumane are just a few that makes the presence known. Additionally, certain players get back stories to enhance their credibility in development. The most prominent relationship though is still Hinata and Kageyama. It’s easy to notice them on the court because of their polar opposites. The series cleverly illustrate that through actions with dialogues, body language, and moves on the court. Collectively as well, it establishes the fact that Hinata seeks to earn respect from others by not just winning but also through his abilities. It’s a team that will inspire hope and one the audience can find themselves easily rooting for. Ask yourself this: was there a time when something felt utterly hopeless but still fought until the very end? If you go down, go down swinging. Think Haikyuu!! next time as the prime factor.
What’s also impressive about this show isn’t just the players or story but rather its style. Unlike certain shows where superhuman moves are adapted as a gimmick, Haikyuu!! retains its realism. There’s no absurd movements that seems utterly impossible to pull off in the real life. Instead, Haikyuu!! dynamically feature moves that can be adapted with fine degree of realism. These include the dives, spikes, serves, passes, and among others that can be seen in a common volleyball game. Only here, Haikyuu!! doesn’t push its buttons to outdo itself by incorporating inhuman moves like jumping 50 feet in the air. No, what you expect is what you will see and that’s a solid foundation of what volleyball really is. It even focuses on the very roles the players are part of such as wing spiker, setter, libero, and outside/weakside/middle hitter. In retrospect, the show will make you feel like you are also part of the game or even a player yourself because the moves that can be performed. Haikyuu!!’s performance is also more just realism in this way as it fuses together teamwork and realism for a show you won’t forget.
By all means though, Haikyuu!! is no perfect anime and it suffers from some flaws. The show can feel repetitive with the rivalry that may seem stale between Hinata and Kageyama. Their rivalry becomes less favorable as a plot device and can feel cheesy with their dialogues. Not to mention the fact that the story is predictable, their rivalry isn’t so far off as well. Furthermore, the story can sometime feel a bit slow paced on numerous occasions. And speaking of occasions, there are also some cliché factor and generics when it comes to gimmicks. The classic ‘manager beauty’ and intimidation from rival schools are a part of this. And although it is suitable for this type of show, it’s been done over and over again.
Animation is handled by Production IG, a studio that deserves praise for this adaptation. The character designs are smooth and in rhythm with the style of the show. Each of them matches their personalities and none of them stand out as Mr. Fan service just for showing off. Further testament of the strength for its animation is the game-play involved. Whether it’s teamwork or individual play, the camera smoothly captures a fine degree of the players’ movements. Nonetheless, it’s not a surprise for the studio considering its experience with action scenes and noticeable staff involved. It’s pure and solidifies its foundation of realism when it comes to the game. Even comedic scenes are humorous without trying diehard to appeal to the audience.
The soundtrack isn’t a powerhouse but is decent when it comes to execution. The OST has a well balance of intensity and calm moments. Whether on or off the court, the music retains its credibility to establish Haikyuu!!’s style. Dramatic moments are also captured on screen with the music to make it feel and look real. As the OP and ED song goes, they have likeability with decent pacing. But on character voices, Hinata’s mannerism might take a while to get used to. His squeaky voice can sound childish despite his intentions while his rival has the voice mannerism of an ego-centric. Ultimately though, it can be a mixed bag so better get yourself suited for it. On the other hand, a few noticeable OST will be memorable especially at some of the more significant games.
Haikyuu!! takes the sport of volleyball and delivers it to the audience in more than just a profound way. It rides this epic journey not just by winning or losing games but with development of the characters. The riveting style the show delivers also expands more than just simple teamwork but how players come together through their experiences. And thanks to its realism, Haikyuu!! represents a superior sports show that people can find relatable. You don’t need to be an athlete or familiar with volleyball to enjoy Haikyuu!! Instead, its rich realm of game-play and powerful animation will be enough to satisfy your needs. By the end of the day, you’ll find yourself smiling and admiring this show like the way Hinata did for his hero.
The realm of sports usually involve all of this, and needless to say, it was told brilliantly through Haikyuu. Unlike previous sports anime I've seen, Haikyuu remain grounded and down to Earth, despite the obvious impossibility of such talent in a Japanese high school setting. But hey, if you were ever watching anime for the uber realism of it, you're probably not in the right medium.
The story of Haikyuu is fairly straightforward but with a small unique feature. A high school volleyball team which was once a strong team is now slowly rebuilding. The team is joined
by 2 1st year students, Hinata Shoyo and Tobio Kageyama, who were originally rivals but now has to work together. As someone coming into a series without any knowledge of its adapted material or volleyball rules in general, I really had no idea what was in store. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, you will get obvious character archetypes and roles. Yes, you will get games that comes down to the last few points. Yes, you will get "lucky" plays. Yes, you will get problematic team mates. And finally, yes, you will get tons of bromance (#nohomo). But, that is sports. If you're watching a sports anime, these are all fundamental characteristics inherent to the genre. What truly elevates Haikyuu is creating a team with players that feel very real, despite their extraordinary talent or potential. There is a consistent dynamic relationship between team members, and progressive buildups that really showcase teamwork, hardwork, and all the motivation involved in these characters.
Yes, the characters have extremely high potential and ability. Kageyama and Hinata have almost an unlimited amount of potential and talent within them. And no doubt would there be some viewers who found that aspect unrealistic. However, their abilities never become the sole premise of the series. Unlike other sports anime that truly go all out on how supernatural the players have become, Haikyuu is rooted in its focus on the emotions and values that change over time in its lovable team members. Additionally, these players have obvious flaws in their characterization that usually limits their full potential. How can Hinata overcome inherent biases against his height and his lack of training? How does Kageyama finally learn essential values of trust and teamwork? So, while a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required, it shouldn't really take away just how brilliant Haikyuu showcases the challenges and achievements a team and its players can go through.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of Haikyuu is its careful consideration to just about every aspect of the sport. One of the most memorable scenes in the series was a short compilation of teams and players facing the effects of defeat and loss. In my viewing experience, this was rarely shared in a story, or even, generally speaking, in sports in general. Usually, a team faces loss as a ground for improvement. And that's about it. However, in Haikyuu, you really feel the intensity, the emotions, and truly, the psychological effects of losing. Losing isn't simply a means to an end. The present emotions are real, the loss is final, and the moments will be remembered.
On a much lighter note, Haikyuu also had comedic moments that felt like comedy relief, but it was incorporated seamless enough that it felt like comedy relief was something these characters would've wanted it as well. Another highlight of the series is the attention it gives to supplementary team members, which again, highlights the dynamic of teamwork. Everyone have a role, even if it's about being a player that can only come once in a game, or a team member that is shadowed by someone with greater talent.
Added to that, the sense of strategy involved in the beautiful game of volleyball also keeps each game interesting, but not overly analytical. Certain series definitely go way beyond in over analyzing plays that viewers can feel bogged down by how complex the game had gotten. Haikyuu, while strategic in many ways, also raises the important concept that sometimes, thinking too much will slow you down in a game that involves quick judgments and reflexes. In general, I believe the consistent touch of realism involved in an obviously extraordinary setting truly elevate the series forward as a whole. It keeps things relatedable, and you feel like you can truly experience the challenges and achievements the team will go through, even though it's just an anime.
The one potential issue I had with the series, though, is how fast developments can be and the pacing in general. You will literally have players going through epiphanies after epiphanies in a single match. On one hand, it had to be that way due to the limited time given for a series. But on the other hand, sometimes it feels like it becomes so plot-driven, the desire to highlight developments, that it might cheapen the changes the character went through. For myself, I watched the series on a biweekly basis, so each development felt important in its own way and it didn't feel like I was desensitized with emotions. For someone who is marathoning Haikyuu, there will probably be a different opinion of the series. Additionally, the pacing through the beginning of the series after the initial two episodes can feel slow, despite necessary introductions to new members of the team and their ongoing developments.
In terms of things like art, animation, and sound, I felt it was a complete package in terms of presentation. The manga-like art quality keeps the animation stylish, while not limiting it to feel simply like it was just a series of stilled images. Each character have some unique physical quality to them, and the art was simple, but not minimalistic enough to feel cheap. The animation can truly highlight the importance of a strategic or power play, and the music only adds to the overall atmosphere of the series. Perhaps I'm a bit too sensitive to music, but when the piano starts to play in an obvious emotional setting, I couldn't help but feel the same emotions the players go through. There are times where you really want to cheer for the team, and times where you want to comfort them. In general, the music, including the OP/ED seamlessly complement the series.
To sum it up, I enjoyed immensely the first season of Haikyuu. I really hope a second season is coming, not really because I want them to eventually win a tournament, but just how invested I have become attached to the characters. Haikyuu truly embodies the concept of teamwork, hardwork, and the challenges and accomplishments of being in a sports team. As being one of the few anime, if not the only anime that was about volleyball, I honestly feel lucky to have this anime graced my viewing experience. Haikyuu is obviously not an anime everyone can enjoy. But even from someone who may not necessarily enjoy sports anime, as long as you're open-minded and wants to watch something that showcases character developments and group dynamics, Haikyuu can be a very enjoyable series. I'd even argue that someone might enjoy the series more if they didn't know much about volleyball. It's seriously that good.
Wow... I was never really planning on writing a review on MAL, but I just feel compelled to share my thoughts on this breathtaking anime.
Story [ 9/10 ]
It's everything you would expect in a sport anime, and more. It's a narrative about a school that was once successful, but is on its decline. Now the volleyball team has to rise back from it's grave. But what makes the story of Haikyuu!! stand out for me is how you get engrossed in the development of each character; you actually feel for them. Also, there are twist and turns here and there to keep you on your
Art [ 9/10 ]
Stunning. The characters were drawn beautifully, facial expressions are on-point, and the in-game animation was choreographed perfectly. Each character has their own special feature so there's no confusion in distinguishing who is who. Only minor problem I noticed is that some shots were reused.
Sound [ 10/10 ]
I am absolutely in love with the sound of Haikyuu!! The voice actors did an amazing job really portraying the personality of each character. The OPs and EDs fit the anime very well and are enjoyable. The soundtrack, oh man the soundtrack... it compliments and enhances every scene perfectly; it really hit the feels.
Character [ 10/10 ]
By far my favoirte part about Haikyuu!! From the very first episode, you can already feel the amount of personality that is in this anime. You would expect typical stereotypes brewed into all the characters, but no. Every single character has there own unique personality. And although, they are all on the same journey to greatness, each character has there own back story that shaped them into who they are. You really feel for them and get immersed as soon as you start watching.
Enjoyment [ 11/10 ]
As you can probably tell, I extremely enjoyed Haikyuu!! I honestly was not expecting much from it because I thought it was just going to be another spots anime, but man was I wrong. Haikyuu!! is a rollercoaster of emotions that will have you laughing, crying, and cheering throughout the whole ride.
Overall [ 10/10 ]
Truly a masterpiece... I would recommend Haikyuu!! to anyone, but especially to people who are fans of sports anime or looking to try one.
I think this anime series had a perfect mix of it all.
When you get past the first episode the real fun begins. The story is simple, but wouldn't most sports-anime be?
The episodes flow into a beautiful storyline in which the pace never become particular slow.
As this has been adapted from a manga and it is 25 episodes long against 120+ chapters there is more than enough material to make sure the pace is at its best and I think it is. The series ending is great considering future events in the manga.
The games keeps ones attention throughout it and there is no supernatural awesome
power that come into the game out of nowhere that is a deciding factor for the game (luckily) and the interaction between the characters is a joy to watch.
The art is just as realistic as the story is, which is a great plus.
An example of how the art is used is the ongoing symbolism between the team's/school's name "Karasuno" and being able to fly, and the execution of this is great. It only gets one anticipation to grow. It sometimes gave me goosebumbs, which is the highest score in my rules.
The cast chosen as voice actor did an excellent job. Hinata's voiceactor had this highpitched (excited) sound to its voice, while Kageyama's voice actor had a voice completely different from Hinata's. It suited them perfectly,.
As for the music, it build and helps hold the attention during the matches without taking the spotlight, so shortly put, I think the asyncron sound (love that word) - the music, fitted just fine.
The opening- and ending songs are also worth listening to.
They are believeable.
the characters are not invincible, they have hardships.
The maincharacters are not the only ones to who get the attention, to get their story told, even the "bad guys" do to. We don't simply get to enjoy some games of volleyball but also the struggle the characters have to get to that point. (even if that is common enough in many sports-anime, but I think it is extremely well done in this one)
The two main characters - Hinata and Kageyama, are as different as day and light. So even if alot of the characters struggle in the series - main- and supporting cast alike, it is not the same problems, and the characters themselves are vastly different. There is both a joker, a king, and a prince among the characters, which one will come to like for their differences (watching the series one will understand what I mean)
Enjoyment: (9) and overall score 9
- Realism: There is no extra powers or something else like in some sports-anime that gives it a supernatural edge (critic goes to Kuroko no Basket and Prince of Tennis, only a little to Major)
- The interaction between Hinata and Kageyama. If one cannot laugh at this, half of the enjoyment is cut of. also the other characthers is great to watch, althrough there is one characther who irritates me, but this one gets his story told later on in the manga, NOT the anime
- the pace of the series. the flow is so natural, so I really think it is a serious plus for this series.
I had wanted to see Haikyuu for a while and I was so surprised at how much I liked it. I knew I would like it but not the 'I'm going to marathon the entire thing in one night' type of like.
I don't think there was a single character I didn't love. All of them are very well done. It's like you can grasp their personality straight from the beginning and they're all likable, even if some aren't the nicest.
This show was very inspiring. It made me want to play a sport and have a team to rely on. Haikyuu is just really encouraging
by making you want to get up and do something. It's funny, refreshing, and you will feel those sad feelings when the team is depressed. But they never stay that way for long and before you know it, you're cheering along to another game!
Alright, I'm going to preface this review by saying that this will for the most part be subjective, with only my final comments justifying why I believe Haikyuu is a 10.
Story (10) : In comparison to the other sports anime I've watched ( KnB, Ippo, Prince of Tennis, Eyeshield, Diamond no Ace) Haikyuu does follow some of it's fellow shows in the genre but also manages to add subtle changes to cliche'd scenes. For another thing it's about freaking Volleyball, which before watching I always thought was lame. In sports anime pacing is a huge factor in determining whether it stands out among
others, how close the win was, the build up to pivotal play etc. Haikyuu is a master in this regard. I remember being on the edge of my seat, literally sweating at three separate times in one ep during the match against Dateko. Without having any flashy superhero-like moves (looking at you KnB) Haikyuu manages to create countless badass moments while still being completely realistic.
Sound (9) : The OPs and EDs I felt were pretty good. I have rewatched the show three times (once while it was airing, and then twice afterwards) and I still sometimes like to watch the OP bc it's so good. (This part is subjective, but idk… it's pretty good)
Character's (10) : All of the character's in Haikyuu, including enemy teams are well developed, and you can see the author put a lot of effort into creating the group dynamics of each team. There is a lot of depth as well as character development for every player on the Karasuno team, and if not for all there are definite hints about future development. I found all the character's to be extremely lovable, relatable, and cool in their own way. When watching you often see the dialogue between char's in the background even when there are plot related conversations in the foreground. This brought a lot of replay value to the show, every time I re-watched it I picked on more of the smaller minute details that before I may a missed. I have seen this used in other anime as well, but with such a lovable cast Haikyuu's group dynamics never cease to make me laugh.
Art/animation (9) : One of the main aspects of Haikyuu that makes it stand out in general as a anime is it's character design. The character's have rather pointed features that make them sometimes resemble lizards, and very interesting shades of colors. There are chars with different colored hair and eyes, like in many animes, but they have a mellow, almost pastel quality to them that is very distinct (look at Oikawa). I really feel in love with the art style, even though some of my friends have different opinions about this. The production company that made Haikyuu is the same as KnB which should be enough to say about the quality of the action scenes. The shots and movement of characters are very fluid, and make volleyball seem extremely badass. But I must admit, after watching the show 3 times I did notice certain moments where the quality faltered. But this was minor and they never skimped on the parts that mattered.
FInal thoughts/ enjoyment (11) : I really enjoyed this show. I would tentatively say it's my favorite show of all time, definitely my favorite sports anime. Now I know a lot of you may be screaming, "what about Ippo, or KnB" and now I will address why I believe Haikyuu is better than them, at least in my opinion. FIrst of all I have watched both shows and while they were both great I have never rewatched Knb, and I have never finished Ippo (which says more about me but nonetheless). I think for me character's play a huge role in my desire to rewatch a show or continue it and Haikyuu definitely has some of my favorite characters.Once again the group dynamics of the team in Haikyuu are the most developed, natural, and hilarious I have seen in any sports anime. One of the parts I always never liked about KnB was the heavy focus on the two MCs, and while there were jokes scattered throughout the show they always seemed pretty standard/cliche to the genre. In Haikyuu the humor was so well integrated into the show that it felt like you were really there with the team and knew all of the inside jokes. I am on the shorter side, and always struggled in basketball because of that so I could easily relate and admire Hinata as a protagonist. The bonds the viewer creates to the characters also helps to heighten the joy when you see the team succeed or get over a hurdle, and the despair when they fall short of victory. For these reasons I would give Haikyuu a 10. I know I said this would be objective but I think I may be impossible. Anyways I would would highly suggest anyone, even if they aren't into sports or anime to watch this.
**Extra side note about it's similarities to KnB:
While watching I saw many people would comment about how a lot of the characters' in both shows are similar in function to one another, (Kageyama- Kuroko and Taiga- Hinata) and in response I would say both shows do incorporate the idea that alone they are weak but combined they are awesome, but Haikyuu is much more of a niche. Without each other both players would not succeed nor grow half as much over the course of the show. Kuroko and Taiga could easily be on opposite teams and still flourish. For this reason I think Hinata and Kageyama make a much more interesting pair, playing-wise as well as character-wise.
Haikyuu is a volleyball anime that tells a story of a not-gifted-in-terms-of-height freshmen high school student named Hinata Shoyo, who dreams to become the next "little giant" in volleyball.
Just like any other sports anime, it tells a story of hope and dreams but one thing that sets it apart from other sports anime is the realistic nature of it. Without any supernatural moves like in Kuroko no Basket, Haikyuu successfully make the characters' development as real as they can. Hinata's super fast reflexes, Tobio's monstrous tosses, and Nishinoya's great saves can be attain in real life with years of practice and dedication to the
What amazed me more than the other sports animes I've watched, Haikyuu delivers the message that nothing is impossible with great work and dedication like Hinata's height disadvantage, but nonetheless excels in the sport he truly loved. And the beautiful photo of what a captain really is, Daichi-kun! To never break down, to never lose hope, and to hold the team until the end.
The other thing that makes Haikyuu unique is the perfect display of volleyball as not only a mere sport but a fight that can only win with a connected team. Tobio character brings this message into light as he slowly learns himself to play as a team, not an individual and to trust his teammates in the game. He even had the best rival and the best partner he can ever wishes for, Hinata!
Haikyuu has also this special thing about it; that sets them apart and form a big gap among the other sports animes. Its a rarity for a sport animes to concentrate on the extra characters or those characters who are created merely to make the protagonist/s shine even more brightly. They even have a long part of expressing their regrets and their thoughts about losing, which made me cried a lot because I knew that feeling too well.
Overall, Haikyuu is a emotional ride of tears, laughter, and frustration that you can feel from the characters, whether main character or extra-character. An anime where you can learn a lot and reflect a lot about your life.
"There must be thousands of guys in this country, whose last season gets cut short. Winning all the preliminaries and going on to the nationals. If all this were a work of fiction, those guys who go to the nationals would be the protagonists, and the rest of us would just be extras. But regardless, we got to play volleyball" - Hayato Ikejiri
“I may be small, but I can jump!” - Shouyou Hinata
Oh no, Japan has gone and done it again. I honestly didn't think it was possible to make an equivalent impact as Ping Pong the Animation in terms of intensity and inspiration within a sports anime, but Haikyuu! came awfully damn close. Debuting in 2014, the same year as Ping Pong, this anime initially gave off the “typical sports” aura to me, and I actually avoided it. There's so many out there these days, it can be hard to distinguish yourself, but for relatively rookie director Susumu Mitsunaka, he nailed it.
Haikyuu! is an intricately crafted, intense and motivational story about high school students maturing and finding themselves through the medium of volleyball. The art style is crisp and the characters are endearing, making Haikyuu! that much more enjoyable overall. I agree that while some could be quick to give it a 10, I will refrain due to some minor issues I had with the series. On with the review.
The story in this anime focuses around Shouyou Hinata and initial rival player, Tobio Kageyama. The two first meet at Hinata's first and last middle school match, in which he finally convinces enough of his friends to enter a tournament with him. They are completely overwhelmed by Kageyama's team, but more importantly, Hinata gets a taste of what playing volleyball in a real tournament atmosphere is all about. He was inspired and motivated to play the sport by watching the success story of Karasuno High School's “Little Giant” during a spring tournament in Tokyo. It gave Hinata real hope that someone of his size could eventually prosper in the sport, normally dominated by those of taller stature. More importantly, Kageyama takes notice of Hinata's spunk and stamina, and the two become overnight rivals as a result. Hinata wants to grow as a volleyball player and one day surpass Kageyama's skill. I thought this intro was written very well, and although Hinata's first tournament ended almost as soon as it started, it gave you real insight into his energetic personality. It also gave the viewers glimpse of Kageyama's raw skill on the court. The plot unfolds as the two enter high school, ironically on the same volleyball team, but for very different reasons. Many teammates have difficulty playing to Kageyama's tempo, and as a result have disowned him, whereas Hinata went to Karasuno to follow in the footsteps of his idol. The look on their faces when they realized they were now teammates was pure gold. That whole scene was executed beautifully. The rest of their volleyball team is broken, but through seeing Hinata and Kageyama's awkward, but unique cohesion, the team begins to form around them in an effort to catapult Karasuno back to their former glory.
Where Haikyuu! really stood out to me in terms of story was balancing the wins and the losses. There are too many anime that take the overpowered approach, where you know the main characters are going to come out on top every time (No Game No Life/Sword Art Online for example). When the characters end up losing matches, you truly FEEL the heartache they have. The intensity of each scene leading up to the match point is raw and believable. Anyone who's played sports competitively can relate to the plethora of emotions you can feel during a match... and just how quickly the tides can change in the race to victory. From what I understand, this anime was adapted quite well from the manga too, giving great credit to the source material. The pacing alternates throughout the series, but I can say that although slow, the pacing of the last match in the anime was incredible and needed. I could actually feel my chest tightening during certain moments of that match, and it left me with a strong outlook on the series' future. Even the opposing school's players were treated as real characters. Much like with Ping Pong's Kong and Kaizama, Haikyuu! made it a point to give the viewers a backstory to most of Karasuno's opponents. Rather than get pissed off when the main characters lost, you kind of gained a sense of respect for the rival schools. I found myself saying, “Are they gonna go there? Are they gonna explore the 'villains?” They definitely went there, and it made the story that much better.
I was so excited when I heard there was a second season of this show as well. It didn't necessarily end on a cliffhanger, but more so paved a street for the second season to drive down. It got me pumped up. There are too many shows out nowadays that forcefully end on cliffhangers in hope of getting enough funding for a second season and end up being mediocre, standalone animes as a result, so I am grateful that Haikyuu! didn't take that approach. The only areas I could think of for the second season to improve is to add more backstory to the supporting cast and uncover more about Karasuno's former glory days. Overall, the series does a great job balancing serious moments with a healthy dose of comedy, and I actually found myself laughing on more than a few occasions.
The characters in Haikyuu! bring a healthy amount of complexity to the series. The main characters Hinata and Kageyama play off each other quite well due to their polar opposite personality types. Hinata is jovial and excited, whereas Kageyama is dry and focused. Needless to say, he doesn't get along with many people. The fact that they end up locking in a strange synergistic play style makes their relationship even more dynamic. It's nice to see their bond grow stronger as the series progresses, as Hinata becomes more serious while Kageyama's arrogance comes down a few pegs and he starts to give teammates compliments. Hinata's energy makes his such an enjoyable character, and even though the plot isn't focused entirely on him, I feel that the show would be average without him. His comic relief is refreshing and can come at the most random, but well timed moments. As previously mentioned, the development of the opposing players that Karasuna faces is short but effective. It is normally done mid-match, but adds to the emotional aspect of whether or not you want to see them lose. It's written very well.
The rest of the cast is incorporated well, but many lack significant development. The other first year players Tsukishima and Yamaguchi are first introduced as friends who challenge Hinata and Kageyama. Tsukishima is an intelligent but uncooperative individual, who adds random sarcasm throughout the series, but there was literally no effort into exploring his backstory. I'd like to find out why he is the way he is, but I might have to wait until season two for that. I almost entirely forgot that Yamaguchi even existed until he reappeared in the final match. The other members of Karasuno are introduced with small amount of backstory, but aren't really explored again other than for the occasional side comment or joke. Most notably is the libero, Nishinoya, who ended up being kicked out of the club for reasons that aren't really discussed, other than plot convenience. I'd also like some character development to emerge from him. Possibly the largest lack of character depth is from that of Karasuno's captain, Daichi. He seems so caring and passionate about the game, but it doesn't really go any farther than that. Oh, and there's the random addition of the teacher and other third year hottie that do almost nothing for the series. Again, I don't want to come across like I hated the character development, but I just would like some expansion on many of the members of Karasuno in the second season. I think some of the time spent on action sequences could've been better utilized to go in depth into the character's backstories.
The art and sound in Haikyuu! are both fantastic. I like the character models a lot. The way the animation will zoom in on their expressions before they execute a powerful volleyball move is excellent and fluid. Might I add that the action sequences themselves are atmospheric and intense. Either the director himself played volleyball or had an expert weigh in while writing the script, because even though I've only ever watched a few games myself, I think he was right on the money. Even the character's voices appear to echo like they're actually in a gymnasium. I also like how Hinata is drawn. He's made to look like no other character in the show, with his orange spiky hair. I mean, what is it with the Japanese and orange/auburn hair colors??? The sound effects used in the games themselves sounded incredibly realistic, and made you feel like you were actually there in person. Both OPs were alright, and they gave a positive outlook on the show's energy. The EDs weren't anything special, and I found myself skipping them most of the time. The rest of soundtrack was uplifting and fast paced. It gave a strong sense of life to the action sequences during matches. I really liked the voice actors in Haikyuu! as well. Kaito Ishikawa (One Punch Man, Zankyou no Terror) delivers again as Kageyama and his hard-toned, sarcastic mannerisms, while Ayumu Murase (Gangsta, Gatchaman Crowds) kills it as Hinata, and it seems like he actually stepped out of his comfort zone for this role.
Overall, Haikyuu! is an extremely enjoyable anime. I definitely never got the vibe that it was overrated in any way. It lives up to its hype, and I repeat... I do NOT watch sports animes. (You can check my anime list!) I would strongly recommend this series to casual anime fans as well as serious critics who are looking for something a little bit different to mix things up. If I could sum up Haikyuu! in one word, it would be “fun”. It's jam-packed with emotional and inspirational matches which help to strengthen the bond you have with the characters. The art is vibrant and the sound is realistic and consuming. If more attention is given to the Karasuno player's character development, this second season has the ability to skyrocket up my favorites list. It seems like my opinion of sports animes is starting to change little by little.... Thanks for reading!
Haikyuu manages to strike a happy medium between the conventional shonen sports anime and something more realistic, which leaves out the hyperbolic special techniques of manga like Eyeshield 21 or overt melodrama. It is, above all else, solid and and a competent piece of work.
As with most sports animes, the plot isn't particularly unusual or exciting - the genre is limited to a pretty standard formula of introduction, practice matches, training, a tournament arc, and repeating the process. The characters are also largely drawn from the typical mould - a cool, highly talented loner, a solid and experienced captain, a kind senpai with wisdom
to balance out his lack of talent, an enthusiastic and slightly delinquent-ish enforcer - but they manage to be fleshed out and distinguished beyond their stereotypes. The protagonist, Shoyo Hinata, is arguably the least interesting character, being that there's nothing beneath his earnest and naive volleyball-loving surface, but the rest of the cast makes up for him in spades.
Kageyama ("King") is highly talented and aloof, and in another anime this would be the end of our insight into him, but Haikyuu gives him the familiar neuroses of a high-strung perfectionist who couldn't accomodate his team and wound up alone, and also gives him a satisfying arc by showing him learning to step outside his shell and grow as a person. Another conventional feature of sports anime - a player's position being in some way a metaphor for their personality - is used throughout Haikyuu in a far more interesting way than we'd usually get. As the aggressive and antisocial type, Kageyama would usually be a spiker, but as the setter, he needs to be able to provide service to his teammates in a way that brings out everyone's full potential - to do his job well, he needs to actually communicate and get to know them.
The most magnetic of the side characters in this season, Oikawa, is a former senpai of Kageyama's, and a thoroughly unpleasant, smug, cocky, and psychologically insightful guy, who uses his ability to read people to vicious effect in games. But despite all those seemingly-villainous attributes, he too is a setter, and in his masterful ability to connect with his team, he demonstrates a maturity which makes him more complicated than you might assume. That ability to provide a surprising dimension to seemingly-flat characters is present throughout Haikyuu, which finds a way to make everyone feel a little real.
Tanaka might be a bit of a delinquent, but he's also comically elated by being called senpai, and his superficial (but hilarious) idiocy hides mature resolve and a surprising amount of wisdom. Karasuno's team advisor Takeda might be a volleyball amateur, but he shows both wisdom and adorable ingenuity and perseverance in making sure they get the best practice matches. Unlike the drama resulting misunderstandings and standoffish idiocy in a lot of other media aimed at Haikyuu's demographic, the characters in Haikyuu talk to each other and communicate constructively to reach a shared understanding and help the team.
Aside from its characters, Haikyuu's other main strength is its keen sense of development - where you might initially think "Why doesn't he just spike it like THIS?" of Shoyo's early stumbles in matches, later training and innovation on his part (and others) show an evolution in techniques and strategy which makes volleyball seem genuinely interesting - and I say that as someone with no interest in it. The key to a good narrative is following premises to their logical conclusions, and when it comes to character development, Haikyuu demonstrates growth and change on the part on almost everyone in response to their changing circumstances.
Rather than flaws, what keeps Haikyuu from being a masterpiece are its limitations - the limitations of conventional shonen sports anime and a focus on the sport itself which doesn't allow for the concerns of real life to intrude on it. One of the things that struck me as surprising near the end of the season was the third-years conferring with a guidance counsellor about whether they should keep going with club activities or focus on their exam - this shouldn't have been a surprise at all, as it makes perfect sense, but Haikyuu is so laser-focused on the sport that you gain no understanding of what lives Shoyo, Kageyama, Daichi, Tanaka, Oikawa, or the other characters lead when away from the court and the gym. The fact that it's able to make them engaging (for the most part) despite this is impressive, but given the grounded realism of Haikyuu - its lack of overly flashy techniques and the relatively subdued nature of its characters, who all (besides maybe Shoyo) seem like people you might've known in school - some details of the world outside volleyball would have helped make it even more real and immersive.
Regardless, as it stands, Haikyuu is a well-put-together anime with a strong grasp of traditional narrative techniques and solid characterisation and development, as well as excellent animation and an attractive art style. It's a good advertisement for the value of the medium, and that's more than enough.
I can not express how happy I am that I stumbled across Haikyuu!!
It's really incredible how everything connects well into almost perfection.
The story is simple but at the same time manages to hook you up. I ended up making a all nighter just to finish it. The characters are so well developed and alluring that I found myself almost screaming every time they succeeded or crying when they didn't. In contrast with many of the sports anime out there, Haykyuu is real. It shows the reality of training everyday, of victory and defeat. As a former athlete I could relate to all the experiences
mentioned in the show.
In my humble opinion the art is amazing. The way the movements flow is great, being volleyball a fast paced sport, the animators managed to show that quite well and without losing quality. Can't really say much more. It's that good.
The sound works very well with the animation and the story, complementing the scenes that don't have any talking characters and adding to the dramatic or fanny moments. The openings and endings are catchy specially the first opening and the second ending! :D
I really liked the show, I felt like I was in my competition days again. It's real and it's funny.
In these past few years, there have been a lot of sport manga that have been emerging and are being adapted into anime for good reason. They are great, further justice can only be done to these sports manga if a good animation studio pick them up and Haikyuu was one of the very lucky ones to get picked up by a well-known studio “Production I.G”. Haikyuu as a sports anime is amazing, thrilling and something that gives a blast from the past of my High-School life revolving around sports and science.
Haikyuu is an anime about high school Volleyball. Now, I don’t play volleyball
much but watching this show makes me want to start playing. There is the passion of loving a sport, there is the sense of rivalry between team-mates and rival teams alike, the passion and encouragement of great teammates surrounding you and helping you get better every step of the way. There are obstacles to overcome your weakness and so on. You can refer to the synopsis if you want details about the shows plot but to be honest, I feel that if you just watch the first 1st episode you will be hooked and would want to go all the way to 25.
As an entertainment product, if you enjoy sports you will like this show. It has a well-developed story and it progresses nicely with a flow which is just about right. Animation is solid and I would recommend watching it in either 720p/1080p if you can. It’s by no means perfect but it’s good enough to do justice to the manga.
The soundtrack of this show is really good. It fits the mood really nicely and the tone of some of the OST is very relaxing but also sometimes very intimidating and suspenseful. The animation studio does a really nice job in syncing it properly with the mood of the show which is why it’s good.
Overall, the show is extremely enjoyable (for me anyways). I would love to give it a 10/10 but the only problem is that it’s not done yet. There is still much of the story left and I would love to see a second season for this show. As a side note, I personally don't understand why people have the concept of Shonen anime being all about power battles. There is more than one way of fighting a battle, it doesn't always have to be about landing punches and kicks. But that's just me... and with that I end this review.
I had my reservations going into this one. I was just getting into sports anime at the time, and I came across this one looking for another great one to watch. The only image I saw of it beforehand was Hinata and Kageyama doing their setter and spiker poses in front of an orange and black backdrop. For some reason, my instincts were telling me that I really needed to watch this one, whilst the rest of me was questioning what was so good about volleyball anyway.
I am really glad I have such great instincts, because this anime is a gem.
First of all, you
don't need any prior knowledge of volleyball; Takeda-san, faculty advisor for Karasuno's volleyball team, acts as an audience surrogate. He knows basically next to nothing about volleyball when the anime begins, but slowly and surely he starts to learn and we learn alongside him; the positions, the rotations on the court, all the moves that setters, spikers and middle blockers perform.
The reoccurring theme amongst sports anime is that they push the sports to the side for a while and focus on characterisation. This, I believe, is why a lot of people relate more to sports anime than, say, actual sports. On television, when watching live-action sports, we know next to nothing about the players unless we do some hardcore research. In sports anime, you get acquainted and attached to all sorts of characters as you go on this journey with them.
Here, we have our two focal characters; Hinata Shouyou and Kageyama Tobio, two volleyball fanatics on separate spectrums of ability; Hinata has amazing reflexes and an almost inhuman jumping ability, but his skills as a volleyball player are poor at best, but he aims to be the Ace of the team primarily given to a spiker. He's far removed from his full potential. And then there's Kageyama, a genius player who can basically play all positions with ease, and focuses his overwhelming talent on the setter position, which unifies the team.
These two are backed up by well-rounded characters on both their team and others, topped off with a coach that uses alcohol analogies to describe things to minors, a shy female manager that evokes the jealousy of those on opposite teams with male managers. Sometimes we only see minor characters for maybe one episode, but every single person that appears on screen has a personality, a back story that helps you connect to them. Characterisation is a strong point in Haikyuu!!
The animation is really smooth, too! There are some parts where I just have to go back and watch it over and over because I am in love with how it looks. Admittedly I can only watch videos in 360p so I don't get to see the art at its best, but even at that quality you can really see the detail and the amount of care that went into every single frame.
The music is amazing too; especially the opening songs. I don't think I've skipped over them more than about twice, not counting the episodes I clicked on just to skip to my favourite parts. When the music kicks in, usually in a pivotal moment, you're on the edge of your seat waiting with bated breath to see what happens.
Overall, I give this anime a solid 10/10. I caught up with the manga, so I cannot wait to see my favourite parts get animated in the second season which airs in October. Definitely one of the best sports anime out there!
Short / Honest / Free of spoilers review
I deliver a fast way to get an opinion about this anime!
I'm not really a fan of sport anime, for one reason: its made in very similar structure and its easy to guess whats going to happen in plot. This anime makes no difference, but it has to offer something that i have rarely saw in other anime over all.
What is great in most of sport anime? You get introduced to some type of sport and it shows how that sport works in pro world. Who could thought that volleyball is so complex and strategic ? Not
me for sure. (unless some rules are made up, i hope not)
So what is so great about this anime and why should you watch it you may ask? Do you hate cardboard characters (boring, plane, and useless)? Well there are only few of them here and you won't even notice them. Great thing for sport anime which has a lot of characters. So you have pile of different, interesting characters who complete each other in some way.
Show it self is really funny, but it can be sad, serious too if it wants to. You will notice that not only teams fights with each other, but single players will have inner conflicts and personal fights with other team members. Players evolving in the middle of the match, not only after and before games.
And if my memory is not wrong, this is the first anime which shows how loosing team feels. (But wait reviewer dude, we saw that 100 times) Well only from protagonist perspective, but what about teams that lost to protagonist? This anime creates a wold and shows more, not only main characters. Dialogs get interrupted by random figures, you get to see what is going on in different places that has nothing to do with characters or plot. It makes this anime to feel alive, like a real place.
So in the end i would recommend this anime for all. Even if you don't like sport anime, I think you could give it a shot. Its not the best thing you could watch, but it still is a fun/interesting way to spend your time.
(I had even more stuff to talk about in this anime, but i wanted to make this review as short as possible, when most of review are like books some one needs to make a flyer. Joke! )
First off, when i started watching this anime, I didn't expect much. Well i expected something but not really that much. I have a fondness for sports anime but i was quite hesitant to start this anime. I mean it's just volleyball, i don't even have the slightest interest in it how can i really relish it. Well, it turns out that i was erroneous. SO so wrong. It seems that i was watching a contender for Anime of the year. This anime is the type of anime to make you want to play the sport no matter how much you suck
at it. This anime is the type to make you want to try out for your local team.
The story was flawless. It began with Hinata and Kageyama not getting along, and when they finally bonded, then the bigger picture loomed: getting to nationals. The entire way there was filled with good plot. New characters that were introduced were actually well developed and fit into the story (not just randomly thrown in just because). The main characters had character development, the side characters had character development, everyone was getting character development.
The art is very, very elegant. It doesn't look half-done at all (which was the problem I had with a lot of sports animes) and the characters actually look different, instead of having all the same face but with different hair and eye color. (...) Some have sharp features, some have soft, and they're all built differently so they actually seem like a group of real people.
Definitely the best part of the show. A good Op and ED is always something i appreciate in shows, but most of the times they come up short and i end up skipping them. That is not the case in Haikyuu, at least not for the ED. A pretty good OP and amazing ED makes this show even more of a bliss to watch. But the best part of the sound department is the OST. It's really good. I don't usually take to much notice to the background music in animes, but sometimes a show has some really outstanding tracks in the OST that just fits perfectly into the show.
Now, here's the aspect where Haikyuu!! particularly shines in compared to most other sports anime, or anime in general: its characters. Everyone is realistic and nonuniform. Hinata Shouyou, who would naturally seem like the never give up and naturally gifted character, is actually just a young boy who's really passionate about volleyball but has only subpar abilities (barring speed and jumping). Kageyama Tobio has exceptional characterization in that one would think he was the cold and aloof kind of person, especially with the rumors of being the "King of the Court". And yes, he did seem like a jerk in the beginning, but he turned out to just be someone who was merely misunderstood. He wasn't at all kingly. A little bit selfish, yes, but overall just an awkward, socially inept guy who's a genius at volleyball and just as passionate about it as Hinata. And no, he's not quiet and aloof at all. Far from it, actually. Naturally, these two end up meeting as rivals, and eventually they form a duo. It's at the formation of this duo, where Hinata is the "light" and Kageyama is the "shadow," where Kageyama's characterization really develops, because you see him actually making an eventual effort to think of someone else (ie. Hinata) instead of himself.
Now, I could talk about these two forever as well as the other amazing characters of Haikyuu, but in general, everyone is basically three dimensional and even the smallest background characters get backstories of some sort. It's hard to hate anyone because there isn't a reason to hate them. They're all just like people; they have their bad sides, but they have their good sides too. There isn't an "evil" team, and that's what's so amazing about it. Everyone just really wants to play volleyball, and sometimes, because all the characters are so lovable, it's surprisingly hard to pick who to root for sometimes!
The enjoyment was tremendously great, yet not perfect. Referring to animes such as Kuroko no basket or Free , and many more the plot had a similar feeling to it. In Kuroko no basket they lose and that’s the end of the season, Free same thing, and for Haikyuu it was very predictable that the same concept would be applied in this situation. Now I haven’t read the manga but my guess is for season two the come back and beat the previous school they lost to. But the plot had its positive sides, it had a ton of character development, a team that has great potential but don’t start off too well, and most of all a great pace.
Haikyuu was one of the year’s best anime and one of the best sport animes of all time. It had a great story and everything more. Very little flaws which is expected because no anime is perfect. Character development was on point! You get to learn about every character and their weakness. No character is overpowered and ruins the show. Overall, I had a great time watching Haikyuu and even though i’m not a big fan of volleyball this had me wanting to play in real life! Great anime, I recommend to anyone starting to watch sport animes.