Haikyuu Anime Review: Not Your Average Sports Anime
Sports is something that has always been talked about in the anime world. It is not new for fans to see a sports anime that depicts the game more severely and passionately, whether it is Prince Of Tennis, which depicts a game like tennis and makes it seem so much more than a game, or Inazuma Eleven where football was shown as not only a sport but a feeling or an emotion.
It is always some sport or another that a writer takes and makes into an anime, only for the fans to love it and fall head over heels for the show.
The concept of taking a sport and delivering it to the audience after spicing it up has been doing wonders for the producers as it is a concept that never fails to impress. Not only do the people who play that sport fall in love with the anime, but those who have never played it also start taking an interest in it.
So, after such great sports anime like Blue Lock, Inazuma Eleven, and Prince Of Tennis, let us talk about another one of such great successes. Haikyuu is a volleyball sports anime. It first aired on April 6, 2014, and after running for a full five seasons, with each season having 25 episodes, the show finally came to a halt on December 19, 2020.
It is based on a manga written by Tako Kishimoto, and the anime was released by a Japanese animation studio name Production I.G. Since its release, Haikyuu has become very popular amongst fans, and it has received an immense amount of love and support.
If you are looking for an intense sports anime that has some breathtaking moments to keep you on the edge of your seats, then Haikyuu is just what you are looking for. It is available on Netflix and Crunchyroll. But, if you are having doubts and still don’t know if this is the right anime for you and whether or not you should invest your time in it, then we are here to help.
Haikyuu is not an anime that consists of a lot of suspense, mystery, or plot twists. There are not many spoilers that will ruin the show for you, so you can read the summary without any worry, as it will not take the fun of Haikyuu away from you.
The show opens up, and we are introduced to Hinata Shoyo, a young orange-haired boy. We see this boy, maybe 12 or 13 years old, watching a national volleyball game. He sees the passion the players have and how intense a game can get. His eyes widen with shock, and that is the moment he falls in love with the game of volleyball.
Hinata idolizes a player who is nicknamed “The Little Giant” because he can do wonders on the field despite being at a height disadvantage. Hinata sees a part of him in “The Little Giant” as he is also a short guy who has been underestimated his whole life.
Hinata has a great passion for the game, and the story of season one is about him trying to get a spot in the nationals with his team. He goes to a school named Karasuno H high, where he meets some exceptional players such as Kageyama, also known as “The king of the co.”t.” We see Kageyama helping Hinata get better at volleyball, and they both successfully clear the trials to become a part of the Karasuno High volleyball team.
Kageyama realizes that even though Hinata is not the best is still swift and can easily reach the b. This is the ability of Hinata to be exploited by Kageyama, and it helps them win several matches. The team also gets a new coach to help the move in the right direction, and some other powerful characters, such as Asahi Azumane, are introduced.
Asahi is known as Karasuno’s Ace because he is one of the most powerful and well-known players in the school. The team then participates in several matches, each one being more difficult than the previous, but somehow manages to make their way to the semifinals.
Unfortunately, they lose and are not able to compete for a place in the nationals. The Karasuno High volleyball team learns a lot of new things during their journey. They realize that it is not over yet, and the season ends with them looking forward to the spring tournament.
Later, we see that the school’s team is invited to train at an academy situated in Tokyo. Only a handful of teams get the opportunity to train here, so the players happily agree and start preparing for their journey.
The school implements a rule that only those who score well in the upcoming exams will get a chance to go to Tokyo. A small problem arises when both Kageyama and Hinata fail one of their tests and have to stay back at the school for an extra day to give a retest. Everything is sorted out in the end, and the two reach Tokyo to meet up with their team.
We see the players training hard, improving themselves, and trying not to make the mistakes they made before. Everyone is pumped to play against some of the greatest teams from other schools and academies, and we see Hinata and Kageyama training together to improve their combined abilities.
After their training in Tokyo is complete, they return and are now focused on the spring prelims. Karasuno High has to win two matches to reach the qualifiers. They successfully did so and won not only the two matches but managed to reach the finals of the qualifiers.
In the final game, both the teams lock horns and start what some consider one of the most intense matches in any sports anime. Both teams give it their sweat and blood, doing all they can and not leaving any room for mistakes. Each of them overdoes the other at every round of every set. In the end, Hinata smashes the winning shot earning the team a well-deserved victory.
After the match, we see that Kageyama gets an opportunity to train at the national youth academy. Another player named Tsukishima is invited to join the Shiratorizawa Academy. Although Hinata is not invited, he tags along with Tsukishima to Shiratorizawa Academy, where he is given the position of a ball boy.
Hinata takes this offer and works as a ballboy there. During his time in the academy, he gets to see a lot of great players. He watches them, trying to figure out what makes these guys so great and powerful. Slowly Hinata starts learning some new tips and skills that improve his game majorly.
Kageyama also trains heavily at the Youth Academy, and after his training is over, he goes back to school to meet up with his team. A problem arises when the team starts having issues with Kageyama’s behaviors, as he now thinks he is better than the rest of them. This creates tension between him and the rest of the guys.
At last, Karasuno High’s volleyball team goes on to participate in the nationals. They win their first match, and along the way, Hinata finds his rival, another short kid named Hoshiyumi. After watching Hoshiyumi play, Hinata realizes that he is way behind him and has to practice more and get better if he wants to compete against him.
In the second match, the Karasuno teams seem to be weaker than their opponents. The final season ends without telling us the final result of the game. What will happen? Will they win? Will Hinata make a miracle happen? All these questions are going to be answered in the next season of Haikyuu.
Haikyuu: Final verdict
Haikyuu is not your typical volleyball anime. As most sports anime adds extra spice to the game and make out one person to be a complete hero, Haikyuu does things differently. One of the best things that the anime did flawlessly was to capture the essence of volleyball.
Viewers who were into the sport long before the show was released agreed with the way it is portrayed. They say that the feeling is similar to what was shown in the series. Haikyuu did not miss when it came to an understanding of the game and the overall volleyball experience.
The characters are very well written, and each and every player on the team had some flaws and strengths that they fixed and used to become better every day. The main character was not a prodigy and gave it his all to be recognized. All the other characters, such as Kageyama, Asahi, and Tsukishima, also had weaknesses that they had to overcome.
The character development is amazing and feels neither rushed nor boring. All the characters have been written with great thought, and the outcome was awesome.
The story is not one of the things that you should watch Haikyuu for, as it is not some twist-filled mystery story that will keep you guessing. It is a basic story about a boy who loves volleyball and joins a team, after which he competes against different teams, with each being stronger than the previous one.
The animation of the show is great small moments, such as service or saving the ball right before it hits the ground, are depicted in a serious and intense way that makes the audience forget everything and get lost in the moment. Haikyuu has lots of such moments where the world around you blurs out, and all you focus on is the show and what you are seeing.
So, if you are watching Haikyuu because you want to enjoy an amazing story, maybe it is not for you, but if you’re looking for an intense sports anime or any intense anime in general that has some sick moments to get you fixated on your seats, then it is just the show for you.
Out Rating: ⭐️ 4/5