Haikyuu!!: Volleyball has never been this exciting. A shounen sports comedy full of dorks!
In A Nutshell
Haikyuu!! follows Shouyou Hinata, a hyperactive high schooler who loves volleyball. Hinata wants to surpass Kageyama, also named “the King of the Court”, who squashed his team in a previous tournament during middle school. To his surprise, Kageyama joins his volleyball high school team, Karasuno. Despite being short and getting incredibly nervous before games, Hinata is an excellent jumper and also has very admirable work ethic. Hinata and Karasuno will have to learn to get along to make their team win.
Meet the Characters
Hinata is the main character and a first year student at Karasuno High School. He is quite short for a volleyball player but he makes up for it with his jumping power. He plays as a blocker. He’s always very active, often coming off as annoying. He’s all about teamwork and helping his teammates.
Kageyama enters the scene as Hinata’s rival. However, he ends up in the same team as him, meaning that he has to learn to be more flexible and deal with Hinata’s personality, game style and general clumsiness. He plays as a setter. He is seen as arrogant and was formerly known as the “King of the Court”, a nickname that he despises. Thanks to Karasuno and Hinata, he learns the importance of teamwork.
Contrari to Hinata and Kageyama, Tanaka is a second year student. He is very loud and can be a bit intimidating, but he actually cares about juniors and making newbies feel welcome. His appearance and behaviour get him in trouble sometimes, often needing his friend Sawamura to help him calm down.
(The whole team of Karasuno could be considered main characters. However, I have only included those who feature more heavily in the first couple episodes to avoid spoilers as well as an endless list of characters).
A Brief History of Haikyuu!!: The Where, When and How
Haikyuu!! is based on a shounen sports Japanese manga by Haruichi Furudate. An anime version by Production I.G. began airing in April 2014. The first season consisted of 25 episodes and earned instant popularity. Its second season has just begun airing.
The series has met generally positive reception and it has a very big fandom on Tumblr, making it one of the most successful sport animes in the most recent years.
Why It’s Awesome
If you like anime sports, or sports in general, you will enjoy Haikyuu!!.
As the usual anime sports, this show is heavy in male characters (and yes, there’s plenty of yaoi in the fandom). The series starts off a bit slow at first but it’s because they take their sweet time to introduce the main characters and develop them so that you can actually feel the excitement and care about the team in the games they play in the future. However, many of the characters could appear to be quite cliché and like you have already seen them before if you have watched a lot of shounen.
I know what you are thinking and no, you don’t need to be a volleyball expert to watch this. I didn’t know much about this sport when I started watching it but the show spares you the effort of Googling it by explaining the basic game positions in the first few episodes. You still will need to pay attention but you will have time to learn the basics since there are many workouts and preparation games before the important tournaments.
The series also has a great animation, which always helps in sports anime, where there’s a lot of attention put into movements and velocity.
After all, Haikyuu!! has the qualities of any other shounen sports anime: it’s fun, it’s exciting and it comes with the usual sports lessons, such as teamwork and the importance of having fun.