Review and Synopsis by Anime Girl
Haikyuu!! Review By Anime Girl
Haikyuu is a story that has been adapted from a popular manga series to an anime. The anime version was produced through Production I.G. and aired from April 6 to September 21, 2014. It was about a year later when the second season premiered in October 2015. The series continued to follow the main characters including through high school and before. There was a total of four seasons, the second half of that ending in December 2020.
The Haikyuu story follows junior high school student called Shyoy Hinata. Hinata becomes obsessed with the sport of volleyball after catching a glimpse of it on TV. At first, he worries that he is not able to play the game because of his short stature. But Hinata is inspired by one of the players who is known as “The Little Giant”, who is the wing spiker for the team.
Even though Hinata has no experience with the sport of volleyball, he is athletic and can jump impressively high for his size. With that in mind, he decides to join the school’s volleyball club. The catch is that he is the only member of the volleyball team, making it almost impossible to to play any games or have any practice. As a result, Hinata spends his time trying to convince other students in the school to play with him so he can get some practice.
During the third, and final, year of junior high, Hinata finally has a few of his friends come to join the club, allowing him a chance to compete in the tournament. In the first game they ever play, they suffer a huge defeat by the team who was favored to win the competition. The other team has the third-year Tobio Kageyama, who is considered a prodigy setter with brutal play style and a lot of skill.
At this time, Hinata and Kageyama begin a short rivalry, with Hinata vowing that the next time the two meet in a game, Hinata will win. Hinata continues to study and finds himself accepted to Karasuno, the same high school that the famous “Little Giant’ played for. While Hinata is excited to get to go to the same high school as his idol, he is surprised to find out that Kageyama is also going to attend the same school.
Since the time that the “Little Giant” was in the school, Karasuno has lost some of its reputation and the volleyball team is not as great as it once in. However, by combining the athleticism from Hinata with the genius playing skills of Kageyama, the duo come together to create a new volleyball tactic that works well and they set up one of the most powerful setter-spiker partnerships.
What once started out as a rivalry between the two players soon turns into something else. Kageyama and Hinata work hard to push the other to reach their full potential. It is during this time that Hinata develops a relationship and gets to play with a real team, helping Karasuno be redeemed and gives them their reputation back.
I really found this story to be enjoyable. It was one of the few where two rivals, who didn’t really understand each other all that well, came together and made a difference. I liked seeing the determination from Hinata and how he was able to finally reach some of his own goals in the process. And the character development was amazing as we got to watch the two characters interact and really push each other to be better.
The Main Characters
There are two main characters found in the Haikyuu who interact throughout the story, beginning as rivals and becoming friends along the way as they help their school gain back its reputation. The two main characters in this story includes:
The first main character is Shouyou Hinata. Hinata has an amazing ability to jump high, despite being short. he has spent a lot of time training his legs to be strong to help compensate for his short height. He decides through the story to join the Karusuno High School volleyball team after falling in love with watching the national games on TV. Even though he is a complete beginner with no experience and not very tall, he ends up having a natural ability for the team and his experience and skills get better through each match.
Hinata is well-liked through this for his energetic and cheerful personality. He is good at schmoozing others and we see a few times through the story that his teammates will use him to get something they want, especially if they want to win someone over. This character gets excited easily and likes to talk loudly, which does cause a few issues along the way. He is one of the loudest members of the team, though there is a little bit of competition for that. However, his personality is really friendly and he does well making friends with anyone he meets.
Despite having a personality that is easy to get along with, Hinata does have a very competitive streak that he uses quite a bit on the team. Hinata has the fortitude necessary to win and he is never going to just give up until he has a chance to win. Whether he plays during a real match or he needs to impress during a practice, he will bring the best game. This sometimes brings out some intimidation when someone starts to underestimate him.
This fierce nature helps Hinata during the matches and while playing the game. However, he does get scared easily. This is even more apparent a few times during the series when Hinata experiences some of the stronger opponents on the field. The good news is that he is able to recover quickly and that allows him a chance to challenge his opponents and win.
I really liked seeing this character. There are so many anime series where the character only has one personality trait and then there is nothing else to them. Hinata has a lot of different sides to him. He is loud and friendly, he is easily scared, he is hard working, and he does well with playing on the team. All of this makes for a fascinating character along the way.
The other main character in this series is Tobio Kageyama. At the beginning of the series, this character is known as “King of the Court”, which is basically meant to be a derogatory nickname that insinuates the autocratic nature of the character. Former teammates that he played with in junior high were the ones who gave him that name.
Kageyama is widely thought to be a prodigy when it comes to playing volleyball and many of his coaches and other players will consider him a genius in the way that he is able to play. When this character starts to play for Karasuno, he has a change of heart and makes some big changes to his attitude, for what is the better, thanks to the help of his new teammates. During that time, he is able to learn more about what it means to be part of a team and have to work together with others, rather than doing it all on his own.
While a lot of the other people at the school do not realize it, Kageyama is actually a sensitive person and sometimes shows some childish traits that others may not realize. He has not learned how to handle and control any of the frustrations he may experience in life, or even while playing the game of volleyball. This problem is made even worse because he also does not know how to express his emotions and thoughts in an appropriate way to others.
Since he joined Karasuno, Kageyama is able to learn how to show more respect to the upperclassmen in the school. He also starts to accept the views and abilities of others who do not share his talents or thoughts. This character has a lot of growth through the series as he starts to see how everyone is a little bit different and he realizes that he has an unusual ability at volleyball that a lot of people wish they had. He learns how important teamwork is as well and becomes a completely different character by the end of the series.
This character has a lot of growth during the series as well, which I really enjoyed. He starts out as almost the perfect villain, being arrogant and with a short temper. Hinata even sees him as a rival at the beginning. Kageyama is not able to handle his emotions, thinks he is one of the best, and is disrespectful even to those who are older than him.
However, he makes a lot of progress. He learns how to get along with others better, how to show respect, and how to handle all of his emotions and frustrations that come with life. He and Hinata learn how to get along throughout the series as well, getting along as teammates and more by the end of the series as they have to learn how to work together to win at volleyball, create a good team, and help the school regain its reputation.
Overall, I really enjoyed this manga. There was a lot more to it than just the sport of volleyball, giving me something to enjoy. I liked that this series followed the characters along as they grew and learned something new. I enjoyed that the characters saw changes and did not just hold onto their own views for the whole thing. They learned to see things differently, they worked hard, and they were able to make some improvements on their own characteristics and personalities as well. I loved how captivating the series was and the great story that comes throughout, whether the characters are playing the sport or going to school.