Anime Review: Haikyuu!! (#GetYouIntoHaikyuu)

Haikyuu!!

Studio: Production I.G

Producer: Mainichi Broadcasting, TOHO animation

Genre: Sports, Comedy, Drama, School, Shounen

Episodes: 25

Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:
“Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant” in action, small-statured Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. The newly-formed team even makes it to a tournament; however, their first match turns out to be their last when they are brutally squashed by the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama. Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and so after graduating from middle school, he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team—only to find that his sworn rival, Kageyama, is now his teammate.

Thanks to his short height, Hinata struggles to find his role on the team, even with his superior jumping power. Surprisingly, Kageyama has his own problems that only Hinata can help with, and learning to work together appears to be the only way for the team to be successful. Based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular shounen manga of the same name, Haikyuu!! is an exhilarating and emotional sports comedy following two determined athletes as they attempt to patch a heated rivalry in order to make their high school volleyball team the best in Japan.”

This past week, Wren and I hosted #GetYouIntoHaikyuu which was a watchalong of a sports anime called Haikyuu! It was so much fun, and we hosted a chat at the end. So for this review, both Wren and I are excited to share our thoughts and feelings on the show!

Characters

Wren:
Hinata isn’t a bad main character. I love his pure determination. Sure, he might not be the best receiver, but does he let that drag him down? No! He actually uses it to his advantage, wielding his faults like a pro. He doesn’t back down from a challenge. Hinata would make an amazing role model.
Kageyama is a child prodigy. Let’s not attempt to dumb it down. He’s amazing. I love his character development. He is originally a stubborn king who doesn’t pay attention to anyone else, but, by the end of the series, he trusts everyone else. He plays on a team at last.
Kageyama and Hinata are awesome together. I love their teamwork. The two of them work well together, complementing each other’s skills. Just watching them practice is amazing. I’m in awe.
Overall, the teamwork in the entire anime is strong, even with the other teams. They work together, as an unit not as a single player. Each has their own part to play. And they do it very well.
Sugawara is awesome. He’s calm and collected. But has so many emotions. You never see the yearning within him. He’s very good at controlling his feelings. He is very smart, and I admire him. He lets Kageyama take the setter position. But he watches from the sidelines and learns so much about the other players.
Daichi is kinda ignored at times. But he’s a super cool character! He’s the captain. While, the series focuses on Hinata and Kageyama, Daichi’s there. A strong and steady leader who offers up his best advice and supports the team. I’d like to be a leader like him, one day.
And not to forget Asahi. He’s a quiet and kindred soul. But he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He took the brunt of the loss to the Iron Wall Team (whose name I forget currently.) He feels so much. He looks like a roughhousing bad boy, but he’s so quiet and nervous.
Nishinoya is by far one of my favorites. He’s a delinquent. And he’s a perv. But he’s a fantastic libero. Without him, I surely doubt that Karasuno would be able to receive a lot of the serves. He’s creative in his receiving, even using his shoe to throw the ball into play. Sure, he’s a comedy character, but I love him nonetheless.
When you are first introduced to Nekoma, you think, ‘Wow. They’re exactly like Karasuno!’ I know this was on purpose, but the similarities just showed the vast differences between the two teams. The two of them are so vastly different. Not that Karasuno is weak and Nekoma is strong. But they have different strengths and weaknesses.
I love Kozume’s story. His story reminded me of…well…me. I saw a part of myself in him that I’d never seen before in any character. He was a loner. And it seemed like it didn’t faze him. But he had friends and a team to support him. So maybe there’s hope for me after all.
I didn’t particularly understand the introduction of the girls team. Why did we need to know about them? They didn’t become cheerleaders to the boys team or anything. While they had an interesting story, it wasn’t expanded, so I felt like they were useless.
Oikawa is kinda boring. Cute and smart doesn’t mean a lot to me. Plus, I hated how he antagonized Kageyama. Sure, his story is fascinating, but that doesn’t mean that an eager kohai is bad.
Em:

These characters are so adorableeeeeee. I love them all! In this season, the main characters are mainly the only ones developed due to the short time span. But Hinata and Kageyama are amazing. Individually they learn and grow so much, it makes my heart hurt. It’s like watching children grow and ahhhhh. Their banters and relationship grew and developed so much throughout the story that I was hooked and eagerly awaited the next season to see where their abilities would take them. But that aside, I noticed a lot of common sports anime tropes in this one. Of course, I wasn’t surprised because I mean what is an anime without its stoic, dark haired, sports-obsessed- genius boy. I know for me, I didn’t mind too much because I quite like that character trope lol. While this anime does have all those commonalities, this one does something quite different. Haikyuu made me root for all the teams playing, even if they were against the protagonist team. In Kuroko no Basket or Diamond no Ace, I would always root for the main characters team because the author pointed that slant. I feel that Furudate-sensei left it open for viewers to interpret and that’s what I loved about this one. 

Plot


Wren:
The episodes leave off a lot and force you to watch the next one. It really builds up the tension, even ending an episode in the middle of a match. Which is a so so for me. I don’t mind furiously watching 3 or more episodes a day, but I have a life (sorta). I gotta do my homework and all.
The first half is super boring because they aren’t in tournaments. They go through a lot of practice matches. Which aren’t REAL matches. Well, sorta. They do act like they are real matches. In the first half, we see a lot of slow-motion and a lot more dramatization. Which I didn’t really like.
On the other hand, the second half is much more interesting. The matches speed up, and you really get to see Karasuno in action. I loved this half much more. It felt like watching an actual tournament. And there was a lot of tension because of this.
Somewhere in the middle, the show introduced the opposite of Karasuno. By this, I mean, showing the game from the opponent’s viewpoint. And it was amazing. You got to see the people who lost and their emotions. (Especially the team that Daichi’s friend was on.) It made me love this show.
And right about there, (ep 16, I think) this show acknowledged it was a show.
Life isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about learning from your mistakes. And changing your ways. This show proclaims this message loud and clear. You have to get up when you’re knocked down. It’s a fact of life. And this show is by far the best example of getting back up I’ve ever seen.
Em:
Okay, so this anime is sort of a typical sports anime. There are those cliffhangery moments at the ends of episodes and they make you keep watching which is great. But it’s not great WHEN YOU HAVE TO WAIT A WHOLE NOTHER WEEK FOR THE NEXT EPISODE. Well at least when I originally watched it, that’s what happened. At least this time I got to binge watch it lol. Personally, I was hooked from the beginning. After watching Kuroko no Basket, I needed a good sports anime to get me going and Haikyuu started airing around that time. The plot I found, picked up right away and had these amazing lessons that were packed into beautiful animation and characters. As Wren said, the message is loud and clear with this one. And it’s absolutely beautiful.

Art

Wren:

Okay…I’m not a huge fan of the art. At times, it looks off. The proportions don’t seem right or something. Plus, the shading on the characters is really distracting for me.Also, that ball animation! It’s great. I love how they gave the ball life and motion. Like a really volleyball.

Em:

Oh my Lordy, the art was magnificent for this anime. Furudate-sensei has this amazing and unique style of drawing which I love so, so much. It’s so different from the other major sports animes since it has all the extra lines that make the story so much more fun and cute! Honestly his style is absolute goals.

Soundtrack


Wren:

The first OP is insane. I love it. It sets the perfect tone. I’m ready for an awesome battle. I got pumped up. I wanted some awesome volleyball action. I was ready!The second one is much more tame. Which I don’t like. The second half is made up of the tournament. The calmer OP doesn’t match the intensity of the matches. The first OP would suit the second half much better.

Admittedly, I didn’t listen to the endings. I’m not a huge fan.

But in the second half, there was this background song that I ADORED. It was so cool. I don’t remember what episode it starts in, though.

Em:

I don’t really pay attention to the music all that often lol. I loved the OP and EP from what I remember. The in-episode music was pretty good. I sometimes watch anime without sounds since it doesn’t make a big difference to me lol.
All in all, this is one of my favourite animes ever. The friendships and teamwork is one of my favourite things ever, and deserves the 5 amazing stars we gave it! If you are into sports or anime, I highly suggest you try this one!

end

 Will you be watching Haikyuu?

Untitled

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