Anime Talk & Review : Haikyuu !! / ハイキュー!!
“You don’t win alone. That’s just how it is.” by Kageyama Tobio.
Hello there this is my first installation of Anime talk and Review and also this is how my passions of Anime as well . So keep reading it till you love it Haha. Well this review goes for the whole series. It has no spoilers for any important plot points. A warning: it is a bit long, but only because I went into deep detail for the sake of the reader.
Haikyuu!! is a sports anime centered around the volleyball team of Karasuno High. Once champions, they are now called “The Flightless Crows” - but not anymore. With the new additions of the first years, most notably Hinata, who decided to become a volleyball player after seeing “The Little Giant” from Karasuno on T.V when he was young, and Kageyama, who has been playing volleyball seriously since middle school, the team is back on the rise.
Even if you don’t like volleyball or haven’t the slightest clue of how it works, like me, you can end up liking and enjoying this anime to the fullest. It’s not just about volleyball - it is hilarious at times, suspenseful and action-packed at others, and shows the importance of teamwork. The last part sounds cliché or cheesy, I know, but it’s true. You follow the characters as they go from hating each other and not getting along too well to developing strong tactics and a unique playing style - because they learned to work together. The two main characters, Hinata and Kageyama, started off as “sworn enemies” due to their past, albeit brief, meetings and conflicting personalities - then end up on the same team and become a near inseparable, unstoppable duo.
The matches are intense, - the kind of intense that would make you stop and immerse yourself in it if you happened to be idly channel surfing. You feel the characters’ emotions, passion for the sport, and everything that’s at stake for them - you form an emotional connection with them. The comedy mixed in during the matches to lighten the mood and slice through the tension is definitely appreciated as well.
Just watching the first episode will surely prompt you to continue. Honestly, I almost skipped out on this anime - I needed a lot of convincing from a friend, since this became my first sports anime. If you’re anything like me, you might think “What’s so good about watching some random guys playing volleyball? It’s just like watching a sport on TV..” and have all your expectations shattered from the get-go.
The progression is comfortable - familiar. You get introduced to the main characters, the basics of the game, volleyball, are explained very well through the characters themselves, and Karasuno faces stronger and stronger opponents each time as the show goes on. Though, Haikyuu is different, too. It has a strong focus on character development and interaction, showcasing Hinata and Kageyama’s playful bickering and conversation, keeping the show light and fluffy when it’s needed. Team interaction is placed above all else, which seems like a different way to approach this genre - and it’s portrayed stunningly well, too - as shown by the quote I chose at the start of the review.
Pacing is pretty well done. Obviously, they’re high school students, so it can’t just be match after match after match. There are breaks in between to develop the characters and add on to the main plot, and to stay realistic to the fact that they are high school students. (One of the genres is School, just a reminder.) I’ve heard multiple people complain that the start of this season (second season) was “too boring” - since it includes the characters doing regular high-schooler things (studying, examinations) - but just think about it. In no school would they allow the members of a sports team to continuously fail tests just to play matches. These “regular high-schooler things” are actually very strong contributors to the character development. It shows that they care that much about volleyball to dedicate this time to studying so they can continue to play and not fail their tests. It’s not boring or unwanted, either. Really, if this anime was just a bunch of volleyball matches it wouldn’t be an anime. As I stated before, it really would turn into you just watching another sport on TV. All in all, the pacing for each episode and the anime is a whole is pretty on point.
The characters are, for the most part, realistic as well. They each have their strengths and weaknesses - some of the team isn’t very smart, but are highly capable in volleyball, and the opposite goes for some of the other members, etc. Even in volleyball, each player has things they excel at and others.. not so much. In addition to that, Hinata’s and Kageyama’s best attack eventually gets beat down by their even higher skilled rivals, which in turn, pushed their team to improve. Each character has a unique personality - I never really found myself thinking that two or more characters were too alike. For example, Hinata is energetic and friendly, Kageyama is arrogant and unsociable, Sugawara is kind and supportive. The exception was that Hinata, Nishinoya, and Tanaka all seemed to have the same base personality, energetic/enthusiastic - the fine details are definitely different, though. Likewise, the supporting characters and opponents were all fleshed out nearly as well as the main cast.
The characters all undergo major change and develop their personalities - they learn from their experiences as the show goes on. They’re not your average 2D cast, as I’ve elaborated on earlier.
The animation and art is superb!!!. Production IG does an amazing job here - like with every other sports anime they’ve taken on - most notably “Daiya no Ace” or “Kuroko no Basuke”. Their high-quality animation makes moving picture look awesome and insanely beautiful at the same time. They have magnificent skill with animation and a large range of genres and experience under their belts. The art style is unique - take note of the eyes - and very appealing. Production IG’s astounding visual narration pulls you in effortlessly. The backgrounds are beautiful and add to the overall quality of the art.
The OST is just breathtaking - it fits each scene almost perfectly and really helps immerse you into the show, like it’s supposed to. In most animes, the OST goes unnoticed by me, but not for Haikyuu. They did everything right here.
Each character’s voice actor portrayed their character extremely well. The OP’s and ED’s really fit and depict the theme of the series, getting you hyped up.
Overall, this is a highly enjoyable anime. Even though the story isn’t completely original, I honestly had fun watching it - and hopefully you will, too. Haikyuu!! is not something I’m going to easily forget - the great animation and art, memorable cast, and awesome music all come together to create this wonderful show that almost anyone would enjoy. You’ll learn a bit of volleyball as well, so that’s a plus.