A few days ago I read a post from another blogger—the always wonderful, informative, and amazing Karandi—and it got my brain working harder than I thought it would. But, that’s inspiration for you, right? Anyway, Karandi’s post about teamwork (which you can find here) talked about a few anime, and one of those was Haikyuu!!
Now, if you think you know anything about me, you might think/know that I’m obsessed with Haikyuu!! (which is 100% true by the way). I started watching it in January 2018 after playing volleyball at my university. So, what is it about Haikyuu!! that I love so much? Let’s get into that!
When I first started watching Haikyuu!! I wasn’t too impressed. The first few episodes were a bit slow, introducing us to Hinata and Kageyama and showing us the members of Karasuno’s volleyball team. Well, that’s where we start to understand Hinata and Kageyama. And they’re the typical shounen archetype characters. I’ll put it this way so I don’t have to explain it in depth: Hinata is Naruto and Asta while Kageyama is Sasuke and Yuno.
While that might make for stereotypical character development, I think there’s a lot to be said about those two in their own respects. Hinata first saw volleyball on a television when a member of Karasuno’s volleyball team (The Little Giant) was playing at the national tournament. Hinata was younger then, and that got him to practice on his own and even form a team of rag-tag friends during middle school for a tournament. In the one game he played during his middle school career, Hinata went up against Kageyama, who had the nickname “King of the Court.” Hinata lost, but there was one point where Kageyama was overly impressed: Hinata, being insanely quick, struck a ball at the edge of the court and scored a point.
After this, Hinata and Kageyama ended up going to the same high school and playing on the same team: Karasuno. That’s where we really get to learn about the characters.
Throughout the first season of Haikyuu!! we get to meet the other members of the team, most of them all at once, but some of the more interesting characters are introduced at their own time. Here’s a list of the Karasuno Volleyball Team members:
- Asahi Azumane—Wing Spiker
- Chikara Ennoshita—Wing Spiker
- Daichi Sawamura—Defensive Specialist, Karasuno Captain
- Hisashi Kinoshita—Spiker, Pinch Server during National Arc
- Kazuhito Narita—Spiker (middle blocker), plays as sub for Hinata and Tsukishima
- Kei Tsukishima—Spiker (middle blocker), Karasuno’s brain and strategist
- Koushi Sugawara—Setter, Karasuno Vice Captain
- Ryuunosuke Tanaka—Wing Spiker
- Shouyou Hinata—Spiker (middle blocker), decoy, quick attacks with Kageyama
- Tadashi Yamaguchi—Pinch Server
- Tobio Kageyama—Setter, quicks with Hinata
- Yuu Nishinoya (my personal favorite!)—Libero, Karasuno’s “Guardian Diety”
The team gets a coach after they’ve been playing together for some time. Yeah, that’s a bit odd, and eventually they begin playing practice matches. However, that’s not really what I want to talk about here. What I truly love about Haikyuu!! both the anime and the 300+ chapters of manga that have been released is the cast (not the entire cast, but most of it).
Throughout the story, we’re introduced to multiple teams and many characters with their own quirks, likes, dislikes, and whatever else you can name. There are even mirror image characters from some teams! Karasuno’s team, a team called Nekoma, a third named Aoba Johsai, and another called Fukuroudani…the list can go on and on.
So, what about Haikyuu!! really got to me? Honestly, it was Hinata and Kageyama (the high-flying middle spiker and genius setter). It was Nishinoya (the team’s libero and excitable character). It was Tanaka (the outgoing and hard-headed spiker). It was Tsukishima (the meticulous robotic genius middle blocker). It was Asahi (the anxious, powerful, hard-hitting spiker).
Hinata and Kageyama’s relationship is a special one, though, considering they’re the two most main characters of the series, and they’re constantly at each other’s throats. They’re so similar and play off each other so well. They’re constantly fighting and arguing, Kageyama is calling Hinata a dumbass, but they both know that without the other they’re nowhere near as strong as when they’re playing together and getting excited with each other.
Kageyama and Hinata’s attacks, which are called quicks (yeah, that’s an actual thing) are used to keep the opposing team off-guard. They’re actually hard to read as a blocker, and the fact that Hinata can pull them off with almost no experience is actually surprising. However, those quick attacks are what make Karasuno, well, Karasuno.
While Hinata is being used as a quick attack specialist and decoy, that opens up Tanaka and Asahi and even the other attackers. The way the team plays off each other’s strengths is outstanding. Each character brings something to the table, whether it be genius setting, being a decoy and being able to hit a quick strike from anywhere, being a meticulous and robotic blocker, a hard-hitting player, or even a crazy defensive specialist (Nishinoya), the team’s chemistry grows and grows throughout the series.
There are a few arcs to Haikyuu!!—all of which I believe I’m going to cover in future posts, considering if I wanted to write everything I’m planning in this one post it would be pages upon pages of information.
So, that’s going to be all for this post, just an introductory post!
Future Haikyuu!! Posts:
- Interhigh Arc
- Spring High Preliminary
- Tokyo Expedition
- Tokyo Nationals (currently being printed in weekly Shounen Jump)
Thanks for reading!