This is my first review ever and I absolutely loved the show, so expect this to be very biased.
Story: The story is the best one you can get from a sports anime. Of course there's nothing complex, such as a great mystery or an awesome plot full of twists and something like that. Nevertheless, it's still awesome and original. We actually get some background on almost every character, even the less important ones. Our main characters are a yin-yang duo: they are opposites of each other, and yet, they become a single destructive weapon for their team. We also have Hinata's ambition on the Little
Giant and the rivalry between Tobio and Oikawa. But overall we have a typical shounen plot: a lot of action given by a group of friends trying to become the strongest.
Art: I don't have much to say about this because I don't understand too much about drawing and art style, but Haikyuu!!'s one of the best i've ever seen on a shounen anime. The style is unique and very well made, you can see the mark of the mangaka on each character despite the fact that they are all very different.
Sound: The soundtrack is very good. Every scene has a song which fits perfectly. Each track is able to get us in the mood for the specific moment, being it sad, funny or exciting.
Character: Here's the best part of the show. Haikyuu!! has incredible characters on every team. This is not that kind of show where we care only about the protagonists. We actually love all of the players and the teams. It's hard to decide which one we want to cheer for. The character development is something amazing. We see how Karasuno's pinch server who used to be a shy and weak boy become something essential for his team, while growing his confidence and pride. The relationships between team members is also very well executed, like the one of Hinata and Kageyama or even with opponents, like Hinata and Kenma.
Enjoyment: Extremely exciting to watch. I get goosebumps on every game and I almost cry with the flashbacks. The animation studio is godlike and each movement flows like magic on the screen. Haikyuu!! is also funny and is full of "chill out" moments that make us smile. The background stories, the side characters talking on the bench, everything is just amazing to watch. One of the best shows ever, it never gets boring.
As you probably already know, competitive spirit, teamwork, communication, and perseverance are all common themes that unite the sports genre as a whole. Therefore, to truly differentiate one show from other similar shows, scriptwriters need to engage the audience in a remarkably new and refreshing way.
I think for some people, this show is able to connect with them on some deeper, meaningful level. The way that this show engages with its audience is truly something else. The way Karasuno interacts, the way they crack jokes, and their never-ending drive to succeed – it makes you feel excited. It’s as if you are there physically with
them, cheering the underdogs on as they take on the world around them.
For me, I appreciate how some individuals who were disregarded in the first season are now given much more depth. Consider Tsukishima, for instance. After losing to their ever-so-favorite rivals, the Karasuno team is rebuilding as a team and honing their skills by attending training camps. It is during this when Tsukishima’s time to shine came. In a single episode, we learned why Tsukishima is so deeply affected by his brother’s betrayal and why Tsukishima is such a lone wolf. Thanks to a push by his close friend Yamaguchi, Tsukishima finally learns the true meaning of teamwork, and, from this, he begins to participate in team-building activities (i.e. playing mini-games against with other schools in the training camp). In the first season, you know he would never ever do something like this. It is very fortunate that Tsukishima decided to change; if he didn’t, he would never have been able to hone his skillset, which becomes especially important during the spring qualifiers. Another example: Ennoshita. He becomes a key motivator for the team. He has some big shoes to fill, and he would never have been in this position if it weren’t for Daichi.
Another thing that I really liked about what Haikyuu is how the antagonists (i.e. Karasuno’s rivals) are also characterized. How many shows out there have you watched where you have had one-dimensional villains (or antagonists or bad guys or whatever you want to call them) that you couldn’t relate to? Too many, right? Fortunately, Haikyuu breaks away from this by giving a lot of the antagonists some serious backstory. Most of the time we are able to learn what volleyball means to the rival, what kind of a team player they are, and why the match means so much to them.
But there’s only one major downside that I can think of: there’s an obvious imbalance regarding the characters. Haikyuu has a tendency to characterize just one individual at a time. People who were given a decent amount of screen time during the first season (e.g. Nishinoya) are suddenly ignored this season; others (e.g. Hinata and Kageyama) decrease in significance. On the other hand, some of the second year benchwarmers still get no screen time. It’s a shame, really. If the show were able to balance out its characters better, we would have been able to understand better how the team operates as a whole and see much more team synergy as a result.
Now moving onto the plot – the plot is more of a mixed bag, to be honest. Yes, it’s exciting to some degree, but the pacing of the plot is not Haikyuu’s strongest point. It’s rather sluggish, and it’s usually due to the following factors:
- The characters talk a lot. Like a lot. Imagine you and your best friend talking. Multiply that by 10.
- They all think a lot too. They are trying to anticipate their opponents.
- The characters are given a backstory.
- Characters are trying new flashy moves. Groovy.
- Sensei is playing the “I’m new to volleyball please explain everything to me” or the “listen to my wise words” role for you.
- The team that Karasuno is playing against is surging ahead in number of points, and the characters are trying to think of a way to fight back.
- Or they’re literally just hitting the ball back and forth endlessly. Who’s going to get the point?
This constant pattern causes each major match drags out over 2-3 episodes. I’m not entirely sure if this is necessary – although they are all technically well-incorporated, there is a point when you become impatient and want to know what the results of the match are. As for non-matches, there is sometimes extraneous information that really serve no purpose in the context of the show. I wouldn’t say 10 minutes of eating BBQ after a nice, long training camp and male volleyball players commenting on the superficial looks of the high schools’ assistant managers was necessary.
And then there’s plot armoring. I really hate to say it, but for shows like these, plot armoring is inevitable (would you want to keep watching a team that keeps losing? Unless you’re a diehard fan, I didn’t think so), so it really is a question of how well-balanced it is. It is easy to say, “You know, they deserve it, they’ve been working hard as a team” and allow the underdogs to keep winning consecutive matches. Fortunately, for Haikyuu, plot armoring is heavily restricted to what is absolutely necessary. For instance, Karasuno doesn’t have to win every practice match (as an audience member, however, I know you’re secretly praying for them to win. Don’t worry, I did that too) and good thing they don't – otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to learn from their mistakes.
Now briefly for one more positive thing about the plot: there's humor and it's well-incorporated throughout the show. Haikyuu would have been utterly flat without it. The way the characters interact and make fun of each other came off as very natural. It kept the ball rolling, especially when things got extremely sluggish.
Art and sound were all excellent. Animation was done very well by Production I.G (see Ao Haru Ride, Kuroko No Basket, and Kimi ni Todoke), although nothing was truly that remarkable. For sound, the OP was very moving and embodied the whole competitive spirit. Voice acting was decent too for the context of this show.
So is it the best sports anime ever? Eh, debatable. It has a lot to offer in terms of characters and will keep you on your toes, but the show is terribly paced. Given this, if you thoroughly enjoyed the first season, don’t worry; you will like the second season too due to its similar execution.
Now that that’s all out of the way, it was a fun ride when it lasted. I can’t wait to see what the third season has in store for us.
Author's Disclaimer: Please remember, this is my own personal opinion. I critique anime primarily on how the story is executed and how well-rounded the characters are. This review is not meant to target any other review but was intended to provide a more holistic analysis.
It should also be noted that this is a full-fledged review of the entire season.
The sports genre.. if you're not a fan of it then it can't be helped but GODDAMN how much you're missing out. Most people don't start watching anime with the sports genre and even when they dive deeper into the vast sea of anime genres, it is one that usually is missed out.
Now how does Haikyuu, a simple series mean that you miss out a lot?
Well, a lot of sports genre is usually thought the same way as battle shounen where "friendship is magic" since many times in sports anime, as well as in Haikyuu also, shounen genre plays a great role. Even tough
there are some moments that give you the shivs, make your hair stand up or get you super thrilled by a game, that's just one part of what makes Haikyuu so amazing. The real awesome parts are the most memorable characters, their individual in-depth development and the great comedy.
The story isn't anything new. A team sport: our main characters are obsessed with winning and want to make it to the nationals with their team. This is the basis for many team sport or solo sport game. It's just executed so well that you forget that it is kinda generic. While Haikyuu's storyline revolves around their team progressing towards the nationals, the ultimate goal, it is not the focus point of the story. In other sports animes, like KnB (Kuroko no Basket) or DnA (Diamond no Ace) where the team aspect is important they focus more on the skill aspect rather than, like in Haikyuu, the team synergy/team synchronization.
As the story progressess the team evolves. Sure their individual skills grow as well but that's beyond the point. One of the main characters, Hinata Shoyo, is a great example of that. The only time when we have focused on his individual development and skill growth a lot was in one or two episodes. Before that, we were given a quick flashback in the beginning of the first season of how he became what he is now. The first seasons' story as well as the seconds' focus on the combination plays of the team more than Hinata's solo growth.
there are two main art styles here. The shounen artstyle, very riveting and intimidating which makes your heart throb. The other one is the more comedic artstyle, which is actually used quite a bit. One great plus of the show is how they use these two styles together. Because of the nature of the main characters, the comedic artstyles can be used everywhere. Because one of our MC's is so hyper and energetic it creates many great opportunities to use both artstyles. And when it comes to the former one, the shounen style, it makes everything extra exciting because we normally see our main character used in the more comedic artstyle.
The other main character that our story focuses on, is Tobio Kageyama. As he is seen as Hinata's partner throughout the series, he is characterized on the contrast side to Hinata. Where Hinata is energetic and easy-go-happy, Kageyama is more silent, serious and intimidating most of the time. Because he is the counterpart to Hinata and is the complete opposite of him, you can almost guess it, when he is normally used more in the shounen style, and suddenly used in the comedic style.. it is super hilarious. These two create one hell of a combination which benefit from each other in every aspect.
While other shows usually use quite flashy colors *looking at you KnB*, Haikyuu actually is one of those series where the color differentiation is not that flashy. Sure you can make the argument that Hinata has different colored hair than anyone else and one member of the core team, Nishinoya, has one part of his hair way different than the other but that's about it. It isn't used as generically as in KnB (it is the easiest one to compare this show to xD).
The general artstyle of the show, how the characters are drawn and what kind of backgrounds there are is very simple but still unique. I just love the way Haikyuu looks like.
I guess there is not much to say about characters anymore. The one and only being that Haikyuu really explores one or two players of the opposing team always. To some of the antagonistic characters we are given a full detailed backstory and Haikyuu really does that well. In the long running series it's always great to have a full in-depth backstory to every main- and side character (well at least to the bigger side characters).
What really is the advantage of this show is the fact that you can't hate anyone (at least I couldn't). Every single character is made so lovable, so interesting in their own way or relatable that they just seem to stick in your head. It is rare for team sport games to have memorable side characters since they usually are shown only for a little while and are not given much of a perspective. This is what separates haikyuu from every other sports anime. The second season of this show is the prime example of this.
The shounen aspect of this anime really brings out the greatness of the voice actors/actressess. Be it Hinata's screaming "give me the ball!" Or the whole team giving the simultanious "bring it on" it is always a great moment that really highlights the characters themselves as well the team aspect and Haikyuu's own athmosphere. During the intense matches there are always playing these 'shounen type' songs which really lift the athmostphere to to max.
It isn't only during the games that the sounds are great. When giving a flashback, or Hinata and Kageyama are riling themselves up for the upcoming match, there can be heard awesome music playing in the background. So the soundtracks and voice actor/actress performances are alwyas top notch but what really highlights the most Haikyuu's sounds are the openings. The opening songs are probably one of the most intense, mood lifting and hyping song you could've hoped for.
You are most likely familiar with One Punch Man or Fullmetal Alchemist. Their openings are really the ones that get you riled up. They set the mood and get you ready for the epicness that is going to be unfold. Haikyuu rivals if not for some, exceeds these two. Haikyuu's openings, be it from season 1 or 2, are the best to get you ready for the show when it comes to the sports genre.
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL
Most of you who are reading this probably are a fan of sports genre. Then you should know that sports genres' anime are really enjoyable, especially when there are lovable characters and epic moments to share. These are what Haikyuu offers to you. Great characters, awesome shounen moments, intensive games featuring aspects from comedy to drama.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and can proudly say that this is one of my all time favorites. As far as a single season by itself, it did pretty frickin' well. You can easily see that from MAL's score. Throughout the season it was always in the Top 20 highest rated of all time. When the season ended, no surprise, a sudden increase came, and now it is almost rivaling a place in the Top 10. That's how good it is.
Should you watch this series?
Fan of sports genre or not, yes. Absolutely yes. This is a great show to start the sports genre with or if you're familiar with it, why haven't you already seen this? Sure KnB was probably more popular but this is what sports anime should be like.
This review comes from someone who actually plays volleyball, so my opinion is god ;)
Hello everyone, it’s your family friendly, volleyball playing, review writing member of the MAL community here, bringing you what is known as a "review”. I hope I can do the series proper justice and be fair to the quality of the show while also conveying the series from the perspective of someone who is passionate about the sport. This review is going to be pretty unconventional and non-structured, so I’m sorry about that, do your best to follow along with my style of reviewing.
To start, I want to say that Haikyuu
is not a complex show. This isn’t necessarily bad, but if you’re going in expecting sophistication and subtle themes to be brought up in a thought-provoking manner, you’re not going to get it. If you’ve watched season 1, you generally have a pretty good idea about what you’re getting into, but if you haven’t (not sure why you’d be reading this if you haven’t lol), don’t expect anything more than a really good shounen. Not an FMA or HxH type shounen, but still great nonetheless.
One of the main problems I had with the first season and in my review after the show had begun airing, was how basic it was. The moves they were doing weren’t that significant if you’ve ever played volleyball, and nothing was very noteworthy or impressive, yet they were treated as such. This seriously put me off at first and I couldn’t get over it. Now, however, I’ve come to tolerate it much more than I did before, so I won’t get into all of the technicalities I had previously listed out because I simply don’t care anymore. Well, except one that needs to be brought up. The whole “Kageyama putting crazy spin on the ball so that its momentum stops and Hinata hits it” is illegal. A set ball is not legally allowed to get more than about 3 rotations. Anything more than that and you’ll get called on a double. I’m not even going to bring the stretching of physics into it, but it shouldn’t matter. The set has no practicality and is completely illegal. I don’t know why this was included and it does bother me a bit, but if you didn’t know it was illegal, it probably didn’t bother you at all, so this is mainly a personal gripe.
Throughout the middle part of this show, I began to get a little bored. There were a lot of matches that started to blend together and I was craving for something to change. I was even considering dropping my score to an 8 because of it. This is probably only a problem if you were watching it as it’s airing, week by week. I imagine that a marathon would help make each part more distinct because you’re being fed it faster and can thus make the distinctions more easily. Anyway, this issue I had was completely shattered in episode 23 and 24. These two episodes were phenomenal. For sake of not spoiling anything, I won’t go into detail, but the final match they played, specifically how it ended, had me sitting on the edge of my chair throughout. The very final still-frame scene gave me chills. The build-up was great, the final play was appropriate, the atmosphere was perfect, and everything in the 5 minutes leading up to it were nearly flawless. I was extremely impressed.
In this season, each major character was developed to a much greater degree than in the previous season. This is probably because we had already been introduced and familiarized with them, so it was now possible to go into depth with each of their personalities. I really appreciated this and it was much improved from the first season in which only Hinata and Kageyama received a serious amount of backstory and motive explanation. The side characters (meaning the people on the opposing teams that received at least a considerable amount of screentime) were very appropriately handled. They didn’t get much depth, but they didn’t need to. They’re outsiders after all. It would be weird to give them so much development seeing as they don’t affect anything about the story at all aside from one match or a practice session. It was very realistic. I can say from personal experience that during club season, you do pay attention to certain people more than other people and you gravitate towards watching their matches because you think they’re good, have an interesting playstyle, are an athletic freak, or any other reason. When you play these people you want to do as well as you can, subconsciously trying to impress them, even if you’ve never spoken to them in your life. This is what happens for Hinata and Kageyama quite a bit, and to restate, it really captured a realistic feel.
The animation is stellar as always, but this is Production I.G. we’re talking about, so that’s to be expected. The slow motion shots looks great, it’s fluid throughout, and everything is high quality, so you’ll find no complaints from me. Similarly to the soundtrack, however I must say that nothing truly stood out for me. With the OST, everything is solid, but nothing is exemplary. It makes the show better, but it doesn’t go above and beyond, which is certainly all right. Not every show needs a grammy nominated soundtrack accompanying it.
I personally found the comedic aspects of the show to be spot on. I cannot tell you how many times I had to pause the episode, take a screenshot of whatever was going on, and then send that screenshot to my friends in Skype, usually pissing them off while I’m laughing throughout the whole process. I wouldn’t say I’m a comedy critic or expert or whatever, but I’ve listened to a lot of standup comedy and I can at least say that I can usually weed out good comedy from bad comedy, and while this isn’t necessarily the most witty and clever, it’s absolutely better than most of the shows that try to do the same thing. It was almost always hit and rarely miss.
Time to bring it back down to earth for a minute though. I have heard many people say that this anime got them into volleyball, either playing or watching, and I have to warn you guys. Haikyuu volleyball is not like real volleyball. Haikyuu is a lot more exaggerated and precise because it’s an anime. You can’t capture the complexity of the sport or the sheer amount of things going on around you and the chaos of volleyball in an anime. Just as an example, there are many times in real life where you get a great set, you go up to hit, and you just hit the ball into the net or straight out. I’ve done it plenty of times, your average player does it a lot too, and it commonly happens to even the best players. These simple mistakes just aren’t present in Haikyuu. If you want to see what high-level, real volleyball is like, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEB96RVl_Ww (if you don’t care about all the warmups or the preliminary commentary, skip to 7:30).
I think I’ve sufficiently summarized Haikyuu, so I suppose it’s time to wrap things up. With this show, there just aren’t a lot of things that you can point out as problems. The pacing in the middle, sure, the lack of complexity or depth, maybe (but it’s a sports shounen, don’t come into a show expecting something you know you won’t get), and the OST, maybe, but that’s about it. My problems with the volleyball playing itself and the fact that I dislike drama is exclusive to me, so others may not have these issues. Everything else ranges from very good to outstanding leaving little room for criticism. This is the most overall enjoyable and well-made show to come out in the past 2 season, which says a lot considering the fact that we’ve been bombarded with One Punch Man and Erased hype throughout each. When all's said and done, Haikyuu is a show that you should not miss. I’m looking forward to watching season 3 when it comes out.
Thank you for reading my review. If you have feedback of any kind, please tell me, I’m always open to conversation.
“La semplicità è la suprema sofisticazione” or, in english, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", one of my favorite quotes from Leonardo Da Vinci.
(Hi human! This “review” will cover the 3 seasons WITHOUT spoilers, sorry for my mediocre english)
My character development:
2 WEEKS AGO: i don’t get how people can write long parragraphs just about one anime, they are so good, i wouldn’t find so much things to say.
1 WEEK AGO: I would love to review this show! I have so much thoughts i want to express!
Hi! I have to say, this is my first review here, so if you want you can run away from it
AHAHAHAH. Really i don’t mind if you won’t read aaaall of this because it’s boring, i wrote it especially for me (cathartic purposes). But PLEASE! Give this show a shot. PLEASE!! You won’t regret it (hopefully). PLEASE!!!
-STORY: 9/10 (AND MY OPINION ON THE SPORT GENRE LIMITATIONS)
I’m not going to lie to you, its Premise is cliche and not “original”. Actually, is the Apotheosis of Simplicity: basically an underdog tale. You all have watched something like this at least once, right? yes and No.
It may be cliche, but i took some cinematography classes, so i’m a strong believer (like, SUPER STRONG BELIEVER), that is for 90% the EXECUTION what makes a show/movie/whatever worth and great, not its premise. A theorically interesting premise can end up being shit, or vice-versa. So, i want to “explain” why Haikyuu!!, despite having a cliche premise, not only succeeds, but excels (for me, obv) in its genre and in general too. The universe the story takes place in doesn’t glorify volleyball, nobady is gaining Super Sayian power ups to make things more extraordinary than they need to be and the major climactic payoffs can be something as simple as “one payer learning to block one smash”. This may seem simple but Haikyuu proves itself with HOW it executes these scenes.
Sport genre: who critices Haikyuu!! for being cliche and predictable, really doesn’t get how HARD to execute is the sport genre. No lying, this might be worst genre to handle for a mangaka, because of hoy difficult it is to maintain it interesting for a long time, and particularly it’s the work of a God regarding Haikyuu!! which is a fucking long-runner, meant to have hundreds of chapters. This genre has a lot of limitations and restrictions that other genres don’t. The characters in Haikyuu can’t travel around the world exploring new and interesting places like other genres do. It’s really hard to draw a lot of volleyball matches and make every match look “unique” or “different” from another, because the setting (field) is always the same and so are the volleyball possible moves. It must be hard for a mangaka not to be repetitive in drawing a large amount of matches, but matches can’t be eliminated because the genre requires them.
Predictability is not a flaw per se (unless this is a detective story), but it’s better if something is surprising, right? Of course. Unfortunately, in the Sport Genre (long-runner) the predictability simply CAN’T BE TOTALLY AVOIDED because of the genre.
Please, think about it: if you make a show where the formula of one loss equals elimination, losing means no championship, and without it there is no show. So, it’s near impossible for the protagonist team to lose because as i said before, if they do there is no show. You have to deal with it.
That’s why it’s very difficult to create a TRUE sense of tension in this genre… BUT.
But Haikyuu!! is actually able to provide an amazing feeling during the matches in a way that is utterly brilliant and makes it one of my favorites anime and piece of medium of all time.
How does it? Haikyuu creates tension by GIVING THE OPPOSITE TEAM A REASON TO ROOT FOR THEM, breaking the cliched "Protagonist/good – Antagonist/bad" theme. Yes, Karasuno is favored team, but opposite teams aren’t portrayed as mean and rude “villains” bump in the road on the way to the top.
Haikyuu gives them amazing traits, quirks and a decent development that once everything is reveald makes you question: “Who I REALLY want to win?”
That’s why Haikyuu stands out, it not only makes you care about the teams Karasuno is playing against, but this attachment creates a new sense of tension that it’s alright and makes you forget about the almost inevitable defeat.
So, what i’m trying to say is: the unavoidable trait of “never losing”, nearly impossible to get rid of it, makes the sport genre an incredible difficult genre to create amazing tension in, BUT instead of doing the impossible eliminating this all together, Haikyuu puts this element in the farthest corner of your mind, and doing this means that Haikyuu is able to BREAK THE MOLD OF THE SPORTS GENRE.
THE RIGHT EXPLOITATION OF A LONG-TERM PLOTTING:
Things are casually shown or mentioned in earlier seasons that show up later and may even evolve into major events. It's a sort of quiet foreshadowing -- you see it as part of the current happenings and don't even realize how significant it will become in 30 episodes.
Honestly, it’s hilarious. The perfect balance between comedy and “drama”. The goofy moments never undercut the seriousness or break the tension. It was always a hit and rarely a miss.
Fun fact: i was in the bus watching one episode, the none of the characters did something and… i couldn’t help but laugh HARD, bur REALLY. I usually laugh “in the inside” or i smile at best. It’s so rare i actually LAUGH for fiction, but that time i couldn’t really stop and everyone stared at me like i was crazy. One of the most awkward moment in my life :’(
-CHARACTERS: 9.5/10 (My cinematography teacher was right: You DON’T need complexity to be great)
(Super small detail: Haikyuu has 0 (really ZERO) fanservice with sexism and sexualization. The female characters here are traited with RESPECT unlike the 99% of anime in existence where the girls are constantly portrayed with huge boobs that make other girls jealous of them. Strong positive.)
I’m a really lazy person, REALLY. I never liked sport, doing it or watching it. But THESE CHARACTERS are the reason why now i could accept to play some volleybal “matches” for fun, instead of avoiding them. The characters, the author, the anime and the producers of it really love volleyball or at least respect it, and it shows a lot.
Many times they accomplished to show and talk about volleyball stuff like roles and moves in a kinda poetic way that truly made me understand deeply the passion for this sport, and how is not the “single” that matters the most, but the whole team.
As i explained, the key here is wiritng characters that we GENUINELY CARE ABOUT, to the point where we become as passionate as they are for archieving their objectives.
Finding characters compelling naturally makes us care about whatever they care about. So they are basically using empathy as a narrative tool. That’s why ultimately the stake doesn’t matter, if it’s the fate of the universe or a simple game of volleyball.
“Stakes” aren’t proportioned by the magnitude of the “disaster”, but by the importance of it in THE EYES OF THE CHARACTERS. There are many movies about distruction, but we just are disconnected from all the explosions because the characters don’r care about (or maybe we don’t care about them).
But WHY did we end up CARING about these characters to begin with?
Maybe because they are endearing to watch (Hinita’s enthusiasm, Kageyama’s smugness…), but this may be very subjective about which types of characters i like or not. So, is there something OBJECTIVE that explains why the majority of the viewers care about them? YES, there’s an objective reason (i will explain it the art/animation section).
Just like many other anime, Haikyuu has a semi-huge cast of secondary characters: the Karasuno players. But unlike most of the others, these characters are not underdeveloped. Actually, Haikyuu might have one of the most well-assorted and brilliantly handled cast of characters. They are not the most complicated or layered ever seen, but this has never been a requirement or a “parameter” to judge the quality of a piece of medium.
Our protagonist is, of course, special in some ways, BUT he is not the one who saves the day nor most talented one (and will never become). Is he good at volleyball or strong? …Ehm. But he is necessary in a way that is masterfully handled by the author, despite him not being objectively “strong” in a conventional way. But he is necessary for the team, and NOT ONLY HIM.
Usually, teammates are often forgotten or only used as pawns in sport shows, but in Haikyuu NO ONE IS LEFT OUT.
Each temmate in the cast is given a role, a strenght they build upon and grow as people because of, and most important, just like in real sport teams, they are all connected to each other.
Each character is also given a good amount of personal development as well corresponding to the role on the team.
EVERY PLAYER has its own very moment to shine and show his ability, and, most important, every player is necessary for the victory.
And this happens not only with the protagonist team, but the ANTAGONIST TEAMS as well (Episodes 16 of S1 and 23/24 of S2 are the peak of it and true masterpieces). Also the “main” antagonist (Oikawa) is a genuinely well-written character and it shows in the 2 seasons.
Also, the interactions between the players of the protagonist team feel extremely genuine and realistic, but even better are the interactions between them and the antagonist teams: their personalities reflect in each other and thus creates interesting social situations or funny banters.
Haikyuu always keeps you interested merely because you see two sides of the story. You know the struggle and passion of both the protagonists AND the antagonists. The screentime of them is not given too minimal to feel uninteresting and not given too much to where it feels overbearing. So, the protagonists success is even more rewarding and exciting when they beat someone with an equal amount of work and passion. This show and manga truly shows the importance of characters in a story.
These characters of course want to get better at volleyball but on top of that thay are also dealing with adolescence, expectations of each other and of themselves, self-esteem issues, school life and uncertainty of the future. CHARACTERS OF HAIKYUU DON’T MERELY CHANGE, THEY GROW.
What is so damn impressive i show Haikyuu manages to give this meticulous traitement to a cast that spend the majority of time playing or talking about volleyball.
So far Haikyuu has had 60 episodes and all of the characters still feel oddly fresh. That’s because the show knows when to focus on which characters that way that everybody get the time they need to find their place within the narrative.
Of course writing and directing are both strong elements when it comes to crafting characters that we care about, but let’s not forget that ANIME IS A VISUAL MEDIUM. Is there anything in Haikyuu’s visuals that makes us care about the characters even more? YES.
ART/ANIMATION: 11/10 (Very important FOR VALID STORYTELLING REASONS)
Well, the show does a lot of different things with its visuals: the simplistic cartoony moments for comedic purposes, the “i can’t believe this is not an anime film” levels of animation, and there are some visual metaphors too (crows).
But, what does Haikyuu do visually that is UNIQUE TO IT IN THE VISUAL PRESENTATION?
The style that they are drawn in really unique, they look different from every other anime which suffer from “Same face Syndrome”. Haikyuu’s designs manage to look very distinct while still looking like anime characters. And…
-EXPRESSIONS (the most important thing)
Facial expressions in animation is one hell of a challenge.
Unlike real faces which have THOUSANDS of different details and lines, anime characters consist of just a few. This could called the “Same Expression Syndrome”. In anime, most of the times it just feels like there has been used templates for each emotion.
The thing is: if you ask a hundred different people to smile, you don’t get five different types of smiles, you get a HUNDRED. Every person looks slightly different when they express an emotion.
And Haikyuu has managed to showcase this in the animation. When Haikyuu’s characters express an emotion it doesn’t feel superficial or like it is drawn off of a template, it feels real! Like a REAL person is emoting something, like the expression is UNIQUE TO THEIR CHARACTERS, and that is INCREDIBLY ENDEARING. Distinct and believable facial expressions help selling a character’s emotions (like Hinata’s stare in episode 1).
The expressions of Haikyuu’s characters speak volumes of who they are and they make us remember them long after the game is over.
Nothing to say, the sound is good and of course it makes the show better, but it’s not an important aspect to me unless it is very good or very bad. Also, the voice acting’s are just fantastic and “give life” to the characters.
IN CONCLUSION, ENJOYMENT: 11/10
This might be the most enjoyable show i’ve seen. And as i clearly explained (hopefully!), Haikyuu is a great show that makes you care about the characters for subjective but also objective reasons, that exploited animation and visual storytelling to present visual metaphors, and that has a “cliche” story with such a masterpiece of execution, despite all the limitation of the sport genre that i mentioned preaviously.
In my opinion this is an anime that should not be passed up, it is one of my most memorable shows for creating tension in innovative ways in a genre which i preaviously thought to be impossible, as well as making a diverse team where everyone has a role to play and feels like a genuine sports team. And this is why i recommend this show to literally everyone. Of course i can't guarantee you will love it as much as i did, but it surely will be a good time because this show is really hard to hate.
I know nobody will read this fucking long stream of consciousness, but somehow if you decided to watch this show because of my “review” (or whatever reason), feed me back, it’s always a pleasure to share opinions about such a great and important (for me) piece of art.
P.S. I won’t write reviews again, this was terribly exhausting ahahah
Haikyuu's second season continues with its excellent high-quality storytelling that made many fall in love with the first season. While Haikyuu is most certainly a sports anime at its core, it's also an extremely well-crafted tale of the trials and hard work that every player goes through. Most importantly, Haikyuu makes you actually care about what happens in the show. Whether it's a loss or a victory, Hinata or a player on the opposing school's volleyball team, the show manages to grasp us as viewers and force us to invest heavily in the fictional world of Haikyuu.
With most sports anime, the pacing of the story
is hard to bear. In some shows, a match can last nearly half a season. With Haikyuu, it never felt this way. Each episode had a succinct amount of storytelling and the pacing was perfect. From the training camps they attended, to the matches that were played, every episode was a thrilling ride that always managed to be satisfying. One of Haikyuu's biggest strengths is how it properly sets up each story arc with the necessary back stories to each character. This type of information provided is exactly why this show is so good. It gives you the “why should you care” for nearly every aspect of the show. Haikyuu also mixes the elements of a story masterfully. Comedy, action, shounen, it's all there and perfectly balanced. Comedy was put in at the right times and had me rolling on the floor on more than one occasion. The action is thrilling in the big matches and the shounen aspect of “improving” is so engraved in the viewer, it just feels so good to root for Karasuno. The attention to detail in the story is by far one of the best of any shows I've seen and it truly makes for a great watching experience.
Production I.G has done a great job with the animation for Haikyuu. The animation quality is top-notch and most importantly, consistent. In fast-paced action scenes, the animation becomes incredibly intense, but it's very well done and gives a much needed “oomph” for climaxes in the story. Character design is varied and unique as well. Far too often in other anime shows, the characters all look alike. Haikyuu does not experience this with its large cast of characters that are appealing and uniquely designed.
Haikyuu's voice acting, background music and OST are, like the rest of the show, great. The OP and ED are fitting for the theme of the show. The background music in scenes are also utilized very well. Some other shows try to force insert songs in scenes that do not fit well but Haikyuu does not suffer from this. Haikyuu's OST is near perfect and manages to help emphasize the emotions experienced in the show. Google Haikyuu's OST and prepare to be blown away (or just listen to it while watching).
The characters of Haikyuu are most definitely its strongest point. I briefly mentioned this earlier, but Haikyuu fully develops each character in the show. The characters all grow throughout the series. None of them are 'perfect' from the start and altogether gives it a certain type of realism. Most people like to root for the underdogs and that's essentially the same feeling you get from Haikyuu. There is no 'Gary Stu' as each person has their strengths and weaknesses. Even the seemingly perfect Oikawa Tooru has his own weaknesses in that he is not a 'prodigy' but someone who worked his way up. I also appreciated that each character in the show has an impact. For example, Yachi, the manager, is not someone who just stands on the sidelines cheering Karasuno on. Haikyuu shows you her back story as well as her perspective. This greatly adds to the storytelling and to her character in general. Same goes for Tsukishima. His backstory is fleshed out and tells us why he acts the way he does. Each character is important to the overall story and is truly a 'cog in the machine' for Haikyuu.
My initial thoughts upon seeing the preview for the first season of Haikyuu is that I couldn't possibly find volleyball interesting. Now, 50 episodes later, I can't fathom how I'm going to wait for the third season. Haikyuu is not 'perfect' and of course has certain elements like 'they can't be losing all the time' armor plot. But again, Haikyuu is a fictional anime with the sole purpose of entertaining you. In this case, it is very much about the journey, not the destination. If you only care to look at the small conveniences that a story may take, you'll miss out on everything else that makes it great. For me, Haikyuu was an enjoyable show that I looked forward to watching every Sunday. With fully developed characters that you can care about, a great OST and masterful storytelling, Haikyuu is worth your time as it is an excellent example of just how entertaining anime can be.
Just one more point. You take a deep breath in, trying to truncate the overwhelming anxiety infiltrating your own body. Your pulse quickens and your mouth feels like gritty sandpaper, all while trying to keep your body from collapsing out of sheer exhaustion. The raucous cheering from the crowd serves as nothing but a muffled backdrop to the sound of your intensifying heartbeat.
Just one more point. It's your turn to serve. Countless nervous eyes upon you, the florescent gymnasium lights oppressively beat your feeble body down with rays of warmth. The thought of the win or loss being on your shoulders causes your legs to
quake with fear. Your arm feels like jello as you throw the ball up, sweat running down your forehead and stinging your eyes as you struggle to track it in the air.
Just one more point. As you smack the ball your hand begins to throb, your heart begins to beat louder as you tirelessly contemplate the quality of the serve you just made. Will it make it over the net? How easily will they receive it? I wish I would've hit it harder. I should've used a jump serve, but I wanted to be conservative. All these thoughts run through your mind as the ball sails through the air.
Just one more point. THIS is the glory that is Haikyuu.
Intensity may only be a nine letter word, but the plethora of emotions derived from it are unquantifiable. Anger, doubt, fear and adrenaline are all feelings that stem from being placed into an intense situation, and perhaps no anime series sheds light on this phenomenon better than Haikyuu. I've seen a handful of shows struggle with trying to balance moments of suspense with plot or character development. What some writers fail to realize is that the synergy created from combining the two elements together, births an even more remarkable method of storytelling. The hype factor in Haikyuu season two is unreal, and the writers checked off my list of issues from the first season one by one as the show went on. Edge of your seat action, coupled with enjoyable/developed characters and stunning visual sequences helped this season of Haikyuu storm to the top of my favorites after a jaw-dropping final two episodes.
This season picks up right where the last left off, and while most teams would be struggling to pick up the pieces, Karasuno is banding together to become even stronger in the Spring tournament. It was refreshing to see Hinata actually open his eyes (both literally and figuratively) when it came to execution, and he got proper technique training from one of the best in the biz. While many may be quick to toss aside the episodes at the training camp, I believe those episodes were critical in the development of the story. Hell, they even gave us backstory on Tsukishima... turning from a sarcastic know it all to a rather redeemable character. The relationship between Kageyana and Hinata is as polarizing as ever, and their chemistry as teammates constantly evolves as the series continues.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Haikyuu is the character development of Karasuno's opponents. Why must we constantly be flooded with vanilla antagonists having virtually no backstory, and a motive with no justification? Many bad guys have a reason for their behavior, thus having this information presented to the viewer deepens the conflict and adds feelings of empathy. Haikyuu mends this chronic error by delivering sufficient backstory to even the most insignificant character. On the contrary, this could also be seen as a shortcoming due to the overwhelming amount of characters the series already contains. A delicate balancing act is concocted but I feel overall Haikyuu remains in the green here. A few new characters were introduced, including one black haired enigma (who I can't remember the name of) filling in for the captain who seemed to come out of nowhere. I relied on the flashbacks to cover my mental gaps on that one.
As much as I appreciated the story progression, the middle third of season two is a tad slow. Due to the seasonal episode structure you pretty much knew Karasuno would make it through the first few rounds, so it was difficult to get attached to any of those matches. Also, due to the sheer intensity in most of the second season, the comedy took more of a backseat then in the first installment. Not a major complaint, just more of a blemish if anything. The writers buff the show back up with a remarkable ending, with episode 24 being one of the most memorable of all time for me. The way each character strained to get every percent of use out of their body was inspiring, and the final exchange between teams was epic.
Though I haven't actually played volleyball before, I can speak for the amazing use of sound effects throughout the series. The squeaking of sneakers, and thuds from players hitting the gym floor were spectacular. It took me back to my days in high school while playing indoor sports. Not to mention the palpable atmosphere created by the roaring crowd and pumped up teammates. The series isn't entirely focused on one character, but how they fill each other's voids or weaknesses. Through quality writing and vivid visuals, the matches themselves are a sight to behold. This is some of the best art in modern anime, and not necessarily from a technical perspective, but from the ability to prompt emotions out of the illustrations. The hype factor is off the charts.
I can only imagine how fun it must've been to be in the recording booth with some of Haikyuu's voice actors. The amount of screaming they do throughout the series would burst any normal man's vocal chords. Both openings were intense and added excitement each time I turned on my computer to watch the show. I didn't care much for either ending, but these seem to be hit and miss for me these days. The rest of the music was seamless, transitions seemingly invisible. Smooth transitions and peppy, fast paced tracks to go along.
Watching the crows grow together was a delightful experience. Although I enjoyed the first season, I didn't have as high of expectations for season two. I was completely knocked off of my rocker with this one. I urge those of you who haven't had the pleasure of watching this gem, BELIEVE the hype... Embrace it, and enjoy the ride that is Haikyuu!
The second season of the Haikyuu!! surpasses the first one by having more creative “funny” moments, longer screen time for the secondary characters, and impressive plot/character development. I’m sure many of us watch anime out of enjoyment but having an anime that is motivating & inspirational will eventually leave a deeper impact — I’ve started running after watching Hinata and Kageyama run during practice, no jokes.
The strongest element of the show is hands down, the characters. Not only do we focus on the achievements of the main protagonists but we also get to see more of the “secondary” characters in the show (I hate
calling them secondary because I feel like they’re all equally important). You cannot watch Haikyuu!! and not want both teams to win because you see how hardworking and talented each team is.
I must say, the creator is a genius for coming up with such diverse group of characters, artwork and story. In addition, the animation team did an excellent job bringing the manga to life and keeping it real. I hope everyone gives this wonderful anime a chance and experience all the goodness it has to offer.
To be honest at first i dont like volleyball that much but when i gave haikyuu!! a try it seriously made me want to watch it more. so here's my review. This is my opinion so you dont have to argue with me. XD
Story : All i can say is wow it met my expectations. These guys i love the team they are fun, silly, and awesome characters. I enjoyed most of the parts which were funny also. I like how they say the story of each member. So we can understand them more. We have Hinata dreams to surpass the "Little Giant" which
is from the team he joined. A lot of action to look forward to with the determination and help of his teammates "Karasuno High School" to become the strongest and best.
Art : I dont know much about what art is but one thing is the Animation of the anime is good. and also every look of the players. Looks really the same as the manga itself. Some anime tend to change the looks of the characters
from the manga which is disappointing.
Sound : the sound in each events in the anime blends in quite nice. Especially in some moments were there is an Intense Match between the teams it gives you excitement. And goosebumps. Other parts also.
Character : Every character in the anime is awesome. Its not a one man spotlight. We see the whole characters improve from the matches they played. And also made some new weapons to use in their matches. The characters are funny, awesome, entertaining. And also we get to see the team's development to be the best in the league and relationship to each other.
Enjoyment : Overall I extremely recommend to watch the anime. It gave me a big thumbs up. Funny, Entertaining, Awesome characters to look forward and how the 'Karasuno High School Volleyball Club' improve from every problems they encounter. It never made me boring and it never gets boring!
To Whom It May Concern: The following review will be an unbiased, honest & systematic review that's just to the point. I will refrain from spoilers to the best of my ability. This critical review is mainly intended for people wondering whether to watch the second season since they finished first or for newcomers who are for some odd reason wants to start this anime for second. Please don't be the latter.
Haikyuu!! Season 2 attempts to refrain from being just another sports anime while still incorporating most of the tropes throughout the entire season. The story, being simple as it is, continues from
first season and never really becomes complex. This is a very straight forward shounen style anime that motivates you. We have the struggling protagonists fighting against odds/antagonists/self to achieve their dream. The pacing in the first half of the season is really slow. The show really tried to develop almost every player on the volleyball team in the first half. Each of them learning new techniques to harness the power to unite for a common goal. However the second half it started picking up pace but it felt like the matches became monotonous. It's really cliche how they handled it and went about presenting it. If I watched in a weekly fashion, I would've just abandoned it or wait till the entire season ended. Atleast they didn't have any filler episodes and the comedy has a natural feel to it since most of the time it's not too forced. If there is any merit, the last few episodes of the show really delivered top notch story that will keep the viewer wondering what will happen next. So alas, the ending was satisfying and it resolves the minimal plot holes this show has.
The characters in this show are most if not all relatable characters so everyone can connect to their own counterparts. They present each character with a particular flaw and overtime shows how to overcome such flaws. This season, the characters become more fleshed out and they provide a better foil for the two main protagonists. Each of them finally have their own unique personality. So they become more likable. However, this case is only true for the major handful of characters. Everyone else, including the antagonists, are just a duplicate with minute changes, making them not so different from one another. To be blunt, there aren't any memorable characters that stick out except maybe the main two protagonists since they sort of give off the Naruto & Sasuke vibe from the first Naruto series. Maybe the creator of the show just wanted to do that for easy success to attract target audience, who knows.
Now let's look at the technical aspects!!
Art: 7/10 & Sound 7/10
The anime is fully hand-drawn, no CGI or blends and it really gives the viewers the closeness and nostalgic feel for this show. The animation looks crisp and the action sequences are really well drawn. Like most sports anime, this anime also abuses the slow-mo action shot of the final shot but it doesn't do it too much. It manages to figure out the just amount as the show progresses. They really like to accentuate tense moments. However, being a show that has a lot of minor characters, it faces the traumatic consequence of new characters being drawn almost identical to the main handful characters only to be differentiated by a small detail. Fortunately, this show has good opening and ending songs. The background score isn't extravagant. It's simple and the acoustic string instrument based scores gives this anime the push it needs. Also, a big kudos for the voice actors, they do a phenomenal job!
For a shounen anime, the show delivers. The characters are fun to watch and the secondary characters are great caricatures. The show exemplifies the whole theme of the power of friendship and team building pretty well. The slap-stick comedy provides a nice laughter. Even the fan service is very tastefully done. Not too much to complain about since I binged it. It's not addicting, it's just fun to watch.
Anywho, overall, I would give this show a 7/10. The show isn't just fine or really great, as die hard fans hype it out to be. It's just a damn good show (provided you binge it and not watch it on a weekly basis) albeit it's ever present flaws. Would I rewatch it? Not really. However, I don't regret watching it. So I guess that's something to be hopeful about if YOU decide to watch this show.
Thanks for reading, feel free to share your opinions/criticism with me. I don't bite. I hope you find this review helpful! Sayonara!
Story: After their bitter defeat against Aoba Johsai, the team carries on through training with the same determination. A summer camp filled with new and strong opponents becomes the catalyst for Karasuno's evolution. When the evolution is complete, Karasuno forges ahead to the Spring High with the same goal as always-to go to nationals.
Art/Sound: The new characters this season are drawn perfectly, and the voice actors assigned to them do very well in portraying the characters' personalities. In addition, the 4 OST's do well to set the mood of the anime. The opening songs/videos give viewers a feeling of perseverance and determination that usually
comes during a match, while the ending songs/videos conjure up a feeling of bitter defeat/grim determination that usually comes to the near conclusion of a match.
Character: In this season viewers will be introduced to new players from new teams, some of the highly anticipated players being the rowdy, charismatic, and immature Bokuto, his younger but more responsible and mature setter, Akashi, the flirtatious and fun-loving Terushima, and the choleric yet extremely skilled Kyoutani to name a few. In addition, we see some regular cast members like Tsukishima and Yamato go through a dynamic change. As far as the story goes, there aren't any unlikable characters; they are relatable, endearing, and funny. Every shout of victory and shout of frustration of the characters is echoed in the viewer. The term 'antagonist' is used very lightly because they aren't evil, they are just as hard-working and generous as the protagonists. It just so happens that every team is in it to win it, and when all is said and done there can only be one victor.
Enjoyment: Every episode is worth replaying. There were moments of drama, but it would be balanced with comedic relief. If you want to watch a show that's light and doesn't require psychoanalysis, then this is one of them.
Before we begin, I'd like it to be known that this series of Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) has been highlighted as my favorite show for quite a long time. How exactly is this a big deal? Despite the ratings that I give to almost every anime being generous, I would have to say that this one is well worthy of the rating-scale at 10. There comes too of the saying that I am, in actuality, a very meticulous person when it comes down to watching a show; I'd prefer the shows that I've watched to be meaningful, containing some underlying message that may be served as a
moral— and yet at the same time, I'd also like them to be absolutely thrilling to the bone, in other words, interesting/enjoyable enough to maintain my attention throughout the whole episodes.
Now, onto the main review. Please be mindful as there may be MINOR SPOILERS up ahead.
• Story: 9.5/10
In the second season, we continue to follow the tale of Karasuno team taking on the obstacles in order to reach for the top. That's it; that's the whole story put into short. However, it's how they took on the obstacles that significantly places an imprint on how the tale is executed. Asides from the main characters, we could see various supporting characters are also struggling with their own issues as well.
Since the beginning of the first season, we could see that the series is bundled up of several things— and they've made sure to include a few matters that are or could be inevitable in real life, such as the importance of exams. It's an understatement that the story does mainly revolve around set of emotions, the challenges taken up by people, and how they respond to/cope with their current situation. What I like about the overall story is how realistic at times this series can be: like how people deal differently with their losses, that talent is something that is nurtured, etc. Furthermore, in the second season, we get to see some more of the supporting characters having their screen time and tidbits of their background.
And while those things I've mentioned above are happening, regardless, they still managed to make them related to volleyball as how it should be— to which pinpoints the fact that they did not get sidetracked from their main plot line.
What makes Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) even more unique is how they explained the volleyball game exactly works which includes the basics, and the tactics/techniques on how to do each move. Throughout the whole seasons, they have also shown that teamwork and communication are the key factor within the game. But most of all, they had done a particularly good job in conveying their messages; one example being that no team is guaranteed to be more invincible than the other; no individual is better than the other.
The only complaint that I have here, however, is that there is a lack of small injuries that could be inevitable when it comes to playing volleyball in reality. As a volleyball player myself, I've always come out of the volleyball practice with few injuries, and I had a sprained finger for few times. It's quite baffling that they didn't mention any of this as volleyball is a game full of risks, what more with mainly hands, but then again, if exercised and played with enough caution and in a proper form, it's possible to come out of the game unscathed. Still, they should have mentioned this— in fact, the Mangaka should have mentioned about the possible risk of breaking a finger or a hand.
Other than that, there were also few moments within the anime that feels unnecessary to me, including a few ones that are unrelated to volleyball, but I realized it's these little things that make the show and its story more believable and realistic. After all, the world is not thoroughly centered around volleyball. I'm glad that this series had also displayed that at few points.
• Character: 10/10
What is a show with a story line that has potential but with butchered up characters? Horrible. On the other hand, what is a show that seems to have a boring story line, but has characters that are written well? The opposite. As much as characters do share the same important role as the story line, characters play a significantly higher factor in becoming a great story. No one would want to watch a show with an interesting plot but all of its characters are written so badly, they basically ruined the potential of the show. Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) is fortunately, and definitely, the latter.
Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) showcases that the supporting characters in here also get as much support as the main characters. It doesn't matter how minor or insignificant they are, in the end, they've brought something to make the show have more purpose. Perhaps this is one of the few things that the series is trying to highlight; in one of the early episodes, and since the first season, we could see that the supporting cast got to have their own screen time. But wait! This may be a coincidence, but they've also put in a message that supporting characters do matter. This can clearly be seen in the episode where Hinata Shoyo, the main character, told to Hitoka Yachi, whom is a supporting character, that even the supporting characters can fight.
Quote taken out of context: "Townsperson B can fight too!" [ From Hitoka Yachi to Madoka Yachi, her mother. ]
Moving further, all of the characters in this show are quite impossible to hate. Or at least, I found it impossible to hate. I could have disliked a few of them but as time grew, I found myself to become fond of them. In general, every single character here has a personality of their own and there are those that share a few similar traits among them. Now that I look back, there's not a single character in this show that has uniquely stood out from the rest; it's as if they were all equally unique altogether. Yet at the same time, each character has their own quirks and perks that made them distinguishable from the rest. If you think long and hard enough about it, it could be safely deducted that these characters are quite a paradox. Hinata and Kageyama, for an example, may seem like they're complete opposites of each other when in truth, they share many similarities.
Character development is evident in this series. Overcoming fears, handling insecurities, going through conflicts, effort in order to become a better person/player— it's right there. I'm pretty sure that by now, you've all noticed that I'm mostly talking about the characters but that's because, and I repeat, they are the MAJOR key factor in a story. The progress of the character development is at the right pace; not too slow nor not too fast, otherwise, the off-pacing will make it seem unrealistic. By the end of this second season, you could see that our characters ( especially the ones in our protagonist team, Karasuno. ) are different compared to before. They've changed but not completely enough for us to notice right away. And it's not just them.
I'd love to say more about the characters, because really, they're all superb in their own way. Honestly. I love all of them.
• Art & Sound: 9/10
The art is not that unique, but it's enough to make it seem decent which is also a factor ( but not much ) to make a great anime. The background noises are subtle often times, and depending on the atmosphere of the moment, the soundtracks fits the mood suitably. The voice acting of the characters are quite great, they've done a good job in expressing themselves! On the other hand, the opening and ending songs are all nice as well, catchy even, and in my opinion, they are better than the ones used in the first season.
• Enjoyment: 10/10
I think it's very obvious that I enjoyed Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) a lot. From the small and fleeting moments, to the sad ones, to the ones where hilarity ensues, and some more; this show is comprised of a lot of things. Truth to be told, even with this quite long review I put here, it still can't do much to express my love for this anime series.
• OVERALL: 9.5/10
If you haven't watched this anime, please do give it a try! But that is only if you're willing to do so. I, myself, admittedly felt bored in the first few episodes of Haikyū! (ハイキュー!) but it really depended on my mood that time around. On the other hand, to those who have already finished the first season but has yet to watch the second— then I recommend this season to be watched. ♥
I made an account just to review this show and how crappy I thought it was.
It's a sport anime. Now I love sports anime; I've seen the most popular ones of the genre and some of the lesser known ones like Over Drive and Softenni. I came to Haikyuu!! with some pretty high hopes after all the positive reviews the show got, but I still can't think of anything that set sit apart from all the other sports animes.
Weak yet skill protagonist? Saw that in Kuroko no Basket, Eyeshield 21, and Yowamushi Pedal.
Secondary protagonist that starts of somewhat antagonistic? Saw that in Daiya no
Ace, Eyeshield 21, and hell, even Naruto. This trope has been done to death.
Formerly strong main team that has fall from power? Saw that in Daiya no Ace.
The exposition itself isn't just what bothers me. I've seen each of these tropes many times so seeing them again is rarely a deal breaker. What IS a dealbreaker is how this show somehow manages to complain all of those tropes into this mishmash of a show.
THh way the plot moves forward makes it soooooo predictable. Character wants to complete in national level tournament, teams gets close to finals, team loses to elicit sympathy from the audience, team agrees to participate in the conveniently placed 2nd tournament a few months after this one, team wins matches and replays previously introduced teams to create a surprise final boss, team beats final boss and everything is super!
Yes i'm well aware that KnB used a formula similar to this one but it get s a pass because the execution was so much better.
I liked shows like Eyeshield 21 because the team wasn't awesomely powerful. They were a ragtag group of misfits that weren't presented like they could always win. Having only one chance to make nationals make it seem a thousand times more interesting when the characters lost.
The animation was great at moments during matches. I have no notes for the art or animation. The only thing that really bothers me is when a character is presented as attractive but has the same jawline/eye shape as almost every other background character.
Hinata's voice was annoying. I didn't find the little sounds he made cute either. In other news, the first op and second ed was cool.
OH MY GOD HERE WE GO
This was my biggest problem with this show. I could not relate to any of these character except on the most basic level. Only, like, nine characters had a good personality or at least an interesting take on one that's been done before.
I could describe all the major characters using TVTropes alone:
Hinata- Adorkable. Determinator.
Sawamura- Team Dad.
Sugawara- Team Mom.
Asahi- Broken Ace.
Tanaka- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
Tsukishima- Deadpan Snarker.
Yamaguchi- Shrinking Violet.
Oikawa- Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
Iwaizumi- Vitriolic Best Bud.
Aone- Gentle Giant.
Kenma- Brilliant but Lazy
Kuroo- Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
Lev- Unskilled by Strong
There it is. That's the base amount of personality from all of these character. I'll admit that some characters had an interesting take on their generic personalities but it wasn't enough take make me like them.
Besides the animation and 2 of the themes, I found very little enjoy as I sat through this show.
I added up my scores and they average out at 3.5. Taking out the two 6's a gave for art and sound and it averages out to a 2.25.
"Some people want it to happen, Some wish it would happen, Others make it happen." - Michael Jordan
Haikyuu freaking second season. There's this term called escapism, it carries a negative connotation with it because the assumption is that one is running from reality through some medium. Lots of time, as anime fans, you may browse through endless sites saying "aw man anime is escapism" or some bullsh!t like that. However, sports can be looked at the same way and nobody bats an eye, very hypocritical of the world today isn't it? Many athletes, whether professional or recreational have a different persona when it comes to
the sport they play, and it may very well be their true nature. Sports is something that one can participate in to forget about everything else, it clears one's mind. I like to draw this parallel between sports and anime as I watch Haikyuu because what I see from it is a great look into an athlete's psyche. Just like people watch shows, movies, play games, etc, to remedy boredom or stress, athletes take the same approach in their respective sport. As an athlete myself, everything about Haikyuu was amazing in terms of team, psyche, and attitude. Haikyuu does a great job at targeting a sports audience while keeping it simple enough a simpleton can follow. It doesn't take understanding of volleyball, although there is some implied knowledge, to get across to viewers. However, Haikyuu does suffer with a lot of meandering between characters, scenes, and in the worst moments as well.
So if you aren't aware, this is the second season, so if you're reading this I'm expecting you finished the first season. We start right after the loss to Aoba Jousai, and as you can tell the team doesn't look so great after taking that HUGE L. But fear not, these guys are motivated to no end because of that loss and we go on their little journey of going to nationals. Second season is definitely a lot less focused on the volleyball action, rather wayyyyyy more exposition than necessary for a simple plot. The problem with this second season is the crazy influx of characters, which many were significant for like 1 minute an episode. Lots of screen time was devoted to these imbeciles and often times it happened during the volleyball action scenes, which takes away some of the adrenaline and instead slows down the pace of the viewer and the show. This rather unrealistic approach is a turn off because many times, whenever a flash back occurs it's highly predictable the result.
This was a big issue throughout Haikyuu because these scenes could be upwards a minute, and that is just too much precious time to take away from the action. In the case of Haikyuu, there wasn't enough FANSERVICE. I'm talking not enough VOLLEYBALL! Too much thinking, too much spoon fed context that viewers can catch on with. It's good that we get to dive into what an athlete's psyche, but I believe Haikyuu took too much time to go into EVERY character. It's a little ridiculous because scenes late into second season are incredibly inducing, with extreme tension and then flashback boom: predictable and takes away from the experience. However, Haikyuu does a great job of bringing the viewer into it's setting, almost like the viewer can be at the bleachers watching alongside the fans. It's immersive and fun.
Characters took a nosedive that I didn't appreciate. A lot, and I mean A LOT of characters are introduced. And you can probably guess from that last statement that MANY were one and done. Many side characters seem to fill the plot convenience whenever necessary and it once again takes screen time away from the Karasuno team, who arguably is the most interesting team. Our two main slugs are no longer the stars of the show it seems, with lots of emphasis going on the side characters. This is a problem because the first season did a great job displaying how two polar opposites can come together and play a sport well. This season is...too lackluster. But there was great characterization for most characters, i guess due to the flashbacks that flesh them out. Also Yachi is like the most useless character ever. Her arc was just pathetic, I mean she is barely fan service if that's what the writers were thinking of adding her for. She's comparable to Nunally from Code Geass, just being plot device. She had some personality, but Haikyuu would be the same without her. Overall, the Karasuno group was a good cast to follow, with their chemistry together, the nice senpai's, the dumb and overreactive 2nd years, the polar opposite freshy (both pairs), and a playful coach to boot. They got a lot less screen time, but doesn't stop them from kicking ass!
Animation could be sooo much better, if the volleyball scenes were played out in succession. Many times its just different angles with the ball going down and someone diving for it. A bit repetitive in that department. The facial features were great though, whether someone was mad, sad, or indifferent was very distinguishable and comical as well. The character design is up to the viewer though, whether one thinks its good or not, but Haikyuu does a great job depicting volleyball as real as possible, although I can do without the pauses in midair. That just doesn't happen hate to break it to anyone interested in volleyball.
Sound is great. OST is amazing and sound effects are great.
Haikyuu is a great sports series, it has many elements to the show that makes it good like it's characters, storytelling(half n half), and charm. While the first season was stronger on focus and characterization, second season has more exposition for those that love the funny interactions between characters. It still is intense as it was in the first season and able to bring you into the audience. If you play volleyball, this is a must watch. If not, it's definitely try to get as much out of the first season because second season has implied terminology and diction. It's still informative, but don't look at it like its how to play volleyball because it's whole lot harder than it looks.
"I've failed over and over again, and that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
The “second season” for a lot of anime series tends to bring out amazing set-pieces, better story progression as well as the fact that, since the show was successful in the first place, the viewers would love to see more of it. Haikyuu: Second Season is a hidden gem that I loved for the first season, but this second season especially, for the first 13 episode and beyond held a special place in my heart because it was this show during Fall of 2015 that literally brought me back up to speed in terms of my education and just real life struggles. The mental impact
it had on me during the first half of the season is something I can’t really share, but I can give you a glimpse of what to expect from the second season of this phenomenal Sports/Shonen anime.
The first season ended with a cliff-hanger where, Karasno saw the end of their inter-high tournament at the hand of one of the powerhouses of volleyball, Aoba Josai. This specific event sets precedence for the second season where Karasno has to make a choice to either get better as they practice more, or evolve the current style of play to something that can stand up against a powerhouse. New teams and characters are introduced in the series and for the first half of the season; it’s ALL about CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. THIS is how you do character development. Showing the characters struggle to improve in the game with the emotion and tension that come with it. Each character that the show focuses on had some part in that struggle and the way it was portrayed in the anime was nothing short of amazing. To me personally, it was something really relatable at the time as I myself was going through some struggles during the first half of the season. They weren’t the same but the crux of it was essentially relatable.
In terms of the animation, Production I.G. knew exactly where to spend their budget and how to make full use of it. The animation is nothing short of outstanding and something that should be considered High-Quality. The fluidity of movements from the hair all the way to the full body movements and action scenes are done with precision work and something the company should be really proud for. This is quality animation and nothing less. As for the soundtrack, it’s amazing and fits the mood perfectly and if I had the opportunity, I would buy and listen to.
Overall, I would say that Haikyuu second season is a real master piece. It has a full on training arc with major character developments, a thrilling tournament to boot and great lessons and struggles for people to learn from. The animation is top notch, the OST is freaking amazing and the story is overall progressing smoothly and greatly. I really hope you got something out of this review and I wish if you checked out the first season to check out the second one as well. The great news is that the THIRD SEASON has been announced so we can all look forward to that!
I tried to find a flaw to justify a 9 out of 10 but failed. This anime just did everything right in this.
It was great. Seeing them go through bootcamp, struggle to find their own groove. Watching Hinata and Kageyama find a new super quick. Watching the 3rd years overcome the fact this is their last year. The story behind the other teams they played, the back stories of the aces too were well thought out and unique.
Art - 9/10
I've seen better but this was very good especially when it mattered.
Soundtrack - 10/10
It's perfect, the OP and ED, the OST gave the most sophisticated
atmospheric mood within a sports anime. I couldn't stop feeling in awe of how well it fitted into the scenes, the plays and the overall atmosphere. What's so good about the soundtrack, it both sounds good on its own and perfectly in sync with the mood of the series.
Characters - 10/10
EVERYONE got airtime. Do you know how rare fairly distributed airtime on an anime is? And now an anime has it, it made everything so much better. The back stories were great, the triumphs of Tsukki and Yamaguchi were awesome they really came into their own.
Enjoyment - 10/10
Thoroughly enjoyed it, I have NO COMPLAINTS.
Do you think sports anime are corny?
Are you curious to watch one sports anime?
Do you hate anime that has an exaggerated superpowers and there are random electricity coming out of their eyes or Sharingan is activated in the middle of the game? (Don't get me wrong. I love KnB).
THEN WATCH HAIKYUU!! DAMN IT! IT'S SOOOOO GOOOOD.
*Ehem* Anyways, if you're reading this review and you haven't watch season 1, well, here's a synopsis.
One guy named Hinata loves volleyball and dreams to be the ace of one team (Ends up being a decoy). During his middle school, he had a volleyball club but, it had no members
at all. He had a rival named Tobio Kageyama a.k.a. the King of the court. He's called the king because of his selfishness and bossy attitude towards his teammates. When they were high-school, both rivals are now teammates. This is where their journey begins.
On this season though, this will tackle on how Karasuno will get back up again for the second time.
The first half of the second season is really just character development as a team on how they'll get back up. What I like about the story is that it's not only about the matches. Sure, the matches make a big impact on the story, but they also give time to develop the characters outside of the matches like their training. Haikyuu is very light to watch and it seems like you're watching a slice of life anime except there's sports "feels" on to it. This anime gives so much time on character development and it maybe boring for some, but not for me. The humor on this anime is also outstanding.
The second half is where the matches kicks in for the Spring Tournament. Honestly, there was never a match that disappoint me. Every match really has a big impact to it (The last match on this season is still the biggest though). Sure, they show a minor match just to see that Karasuno will advance (minor spoiler right there), but it's not just some any minor match. There's a lesson to it. This is where I was VERY IMPRESSED. Even minor matches has a big impact not only to the characters in the story, but pretty much to every sports players out there. I thought it was very heart-touching. I sound corny, but it's true.
I gave story a 9 because despite all its greatness, it still hasn't concluded, so maybe if the next season will conclude and its greatness is consistent, maybe it'll get a 10/10. The characters though are a 10/10. Despite the huge cast it has, almost every cast are memorable and that is because they really give time for each cast to shine.
The animation is great though, it's art style is where I have to get used to. But hey, I'm used to it already. I mean, this is the second season already. What matters is on how fluid the animation is and they're consistent like Kuroko no Basket (Not surprising considering that they have the same studio). There are so many memorable moments on this anime and one of those reasons has something to do with the animation. The soundtrack for the second season is really good. There are some light soundtrack while there are some epic soundtrack. There's this one soundtrack where I really like (I don't know what's the name) where the bass guitar goes crazy and it really pumps me up.
Overall, very enjoyable anime and season 3 is already confirmed and will air this Fall of 2016. I can't wait! If you haven't watch Haikyuu, watch it now! Seriously!
This anime is on par with Baby Steps except Baby Steps has romance and it's only 1 v 1 (Tennis). Both anime have great character development and great matches in different ways (Read my Baby Steps review if you're curious). So, if you're looking for an alternative for Haikyuu, go watch Baby Steps. It's underrated and it seriously needs attention.
SUPER SHORT VERSION: If you're a Haikyuu fan, then of course you're gonna like it. If you love sports anime but have never watch Haikyuu, then I strongly suggest you to start watching the first season since there's a huge chance that you'll love it. If you don't like sports anime, then I'll still suggest you to give it a try. It's a refreshing take on the sports genre and you'll definitely appreciate numerous aspects of the anime even if you don't fully enjoy it.
Haikyuu 2nd Season: the season of development and growth. If the first season focuses more on introducing and establishing
the newfound strength of Karasuno(the main team) and how they're no longer the "flightless bird", then second season focuses more on developing and growing the strength even further and also adding and developing some characters that were sidelined quite a bit.
I will start off with the strongest element of this series: the characters. Most people and fans praises Haikyuu the most on how it handles the characters, and rightly so. This is not just limited to the characters in the main team, they also gives quite an ample amount of focus on minor characters from other opposing teams. And they don't paint this 'rival' characters in a bad way as well. There are lot of the characters from the other teams that you will find quite likeable. Because of this, you will find yourself empathizing quite a lot with some of the minor characters in some parts. Everyone wants to win the match, everyone wants to be the best and this show handles it brilliantly well.
There were quite a number of new characters that were added into this season, but there was only one character that was added to the main lineup. Yachi Hitoka was added as a future or a replacement manager for the current manager who's a third year, Shimizu. Her impact on the series was not really that huge, but she was definitely a pleasant addition. Her addition doesn't felt forced and she connected really well and naturally with the team.
The story and plotting of this season was done really well. The first half of the season focuses a lot on the growth and improvement of the team. It was handled realistically well, in the sense of "You cannot improve overnight". It takes time but it doesn't feel like it's too dragged on. The build-up towards the tournament was also done brilliantly. There are some aspects of the story where it suffers quite a bit. This one I think is a problem where almost all shounen sports anime have. Too many expositions. Though in Haikyuu, the expositions are not as derailing as some anime are. It doesn't disrupt the flow too much so it doesn't come out as too sluggish. Also, the show handled the slice-of life aspect of it quite well. All of the characters bounce off each other quite well. You can't help but smile and laugh through out some parts of the series. It's lighthearted and also very enjoyable.
Another highlight of this series is the quality of art and the soundtracks. The animation sequence of this anime, especially during the matches, is seriously one of the best I've ever seen in an anime, or at least in a sports anime. It managed to stay pretty grounded with its sense of realism, but also pretty epic at the same time. The expressions of the characters whether it's anger, intimidating, or sadness, was animated and portrayed really, really well. The soundtracks throughout the series also definitely helped in elevating the level of excitement and thrill from the audience. The showrunners definitely know when to keep certain moments silence and when to add in music to add more thrill and excitements. The OPs and EDs of this anime also fit the mood of this anime quite well.
To say that this series is enjoyable would be a massive understatement. Honestly, I've never been as worked up when watching an anime as I was when I watch Haikyuu. Like I said before, the slice of life aspect was done really well. So this series is quite funny through out. And the level of intensity and excitement during the official matches is hard to describe by words. I'm well aware that I might exaggerate it quite a bit but I just can't help it. The flow, the sequence, and the level of intensity during the matches was just nothing short of brilliance.
All in all, this was an amazing series and an excellent sequel to the first season that was already great on its own. It's a highly enjoyable series for all ages to enjoy.
Overall, I chose to give this anime a 10/10. One of the best sport animes out there. The characters and their development in the story is A1. This anime is the type to get you hyped after every play. The storyline and plot really make you want to binge watch for days. I'll admit that I'm guilty of doing it >_<. I'm planning to get the Karasuno High Banner "Fly" tattooed on my back sometime soon as this anime really inspired my and influenced me. This anime is a MUCH WATCH, regardless if you're not into sports. It is a Masterpiece. Can't wait for the
third season to come out.
Listen, you might prefer One Punch Man or Death Parade or Your Lie in April or what have you, but this was my favorite anime of 2015 by far. (I know it went into 2016 but technically it's a 2015 show)
Like the first season, the second season's storyline is very simple. Karasuno wants to do well in this tournament and get to nationals. Typical of the genre, nothing too special or new.
This was the thing that made season two so great for me, and there was no way I could give it less than a ten. With a simple plot and
a simple goal, this series ends up being very character-driven and this season especially makes that crystal clear. At one point fairly early in the season, the character development parade begins for a multitude of characters and it is absolutely glorious. Of course, it helps that the characters are interesting and fun to watch, too. By the end of this season, you'll only love the characters more, including characters you didn't know you loved at all.
The animation is a little rocky sometimes, but overall it's pretty great. The art style is the same as the first season, and it still works.
The openings and endings are all phenomenal, and they all serve their purpose. The openings are catchy head-bopping tunes that get you hype for the episode while the endings make you not want to wait another week. Being the nerd for this show that I am, I've listened to both volumes of the soundtrack, and it covers a wide range of genres, instruments, and feelings to fit the moment (*cough* that one scene in episode eight *cough*).
Every Saturday for six months starting in early October 2015, I would get home from my piano lesson, put a pot of mac and cheese on the stove, and settle in for a ride, and that was the highlight of my week. This show made me laugh, it made me cry twice, it made me ship things because I'm trash, and most importantly, it made me happy and it was a feel-good series most of the time. I looked forward to every new episode from the minute I finished the last one, and it was an extremely fun six months that I would repeat in a heartbeat.
This series isn't full of deep themes about the nature of humanity or stunning visuals or a dark and gritty storyline, but there's a lot to appreciate. From the fitting theme music to the cute designs to the varied and lovable cast of characters, the second season of Haikyuu!! goes above and beyond the first's achievements and you'll definitely find something to fall in love with.