Haikyu!! (Haikyū!!, from the kanji “volleyball”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate.
The series follows the story of Shoyo Hinata, a junior high boy who is determined to become a great volleyball undeterred by his disadvantage of being short in height.
An anime television series adaptation by Production I.G has aired three seasons and the first part of the fourth season as of now comprising of a total of 74 episodes as of now.
The second part of the fourth season is set to be released in October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 5 is delayed and will be released at a later date. As of May 2020, Haikyu!! had over 38 million copies in print.
Shoyo Hinata is a short and bright-minded junior high student. His inspiration to play volleyball comes after watching a player nicknamed “Little Giant” in action and decides to form a volleyball team at his middle school.
The oddball team formed by Shoyo plays their very first tournament only to lose to Tobio Kageyama, popularly known as the “King of the Court”. Shoyo is now determined to improve his skills and surpass Kageyama.
After middle school, Shoyo joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team and is met with an unwelcome surprise. In an unforeseen twist of fate, Kageyama is now Shoyo’s teammate.
As Shoyo struggles to find his spot on the team, he soon learns that his sworn rival Kageyama has problems of his own. The story revolves around these two characters and Karasuno’s volleyball team working together to make their team the best in Japan.
Haikyu!! is an inspiring and emotional sports comedy that urges you to go above and beyond what you think you can accomplish by truly believing in yourself and your dreams. Shoyo Hinata’s character is fitting for a protagonist as he is strong, energetic, and willing to overcome the obstacles that come his way with sheer determination and the power of teamwork.
Haikyuu!!Air Date: April 6, 2014 Status: Airing Studio: Production I.G No. of Seasons: 4 No. of Episodes: 85
3. Is it worth watching?
Haikyu!! narrates an interesting tale about overcoming the odds through sheer will and determination. The story revolves around energetic and cheery Shoyo who represents your typical shonen genre protagonist.
The highlights of the show are the character development and the emotional yet motivational storyline. If you want to watch a show that sends a volley(couldn’t help it !) of emotions your way, then prepare yourself because Haikyu!! is an ace you do not want to miss.
Shoyo Hinata, a short middle school student, falls in love with the sport of volleyball after watching a national championship match on TV. Determined to become the best at the game, he joins his school’s volleyball team.
Haikyu!! narrates a tale of determination, teamwork, and achieving your dreams by fighting against the odds. The story is refreshing and simple to follow. The animation and art are visually appealing and perfectly suited for the show.
Shōyō Hinata is the main protagonist of the Haikyu!! series.
He has a cheerful and energetic personality. Shoyo’s character is rather simple-minded but also observant when it comes to understanding what the other characters are going through emotionally. Even though he is seen as a cheery and fun character, this attitude is replaced by a serious and determined demeanor when he is playing volleyball.
Tobio Kageyama is the secondary main character of the series.
When he was in middle school, he was given the nickname “King of the Court”, because of his praiseworthy volleyball skills. Kageyama’s title of being a prodigy changes after he joins Karasuno as he learns that he has some flaws of his own and he swaps out his self-centered attitude with becoming more of a team player.
Kei Tsukishima is a first-year student at Karasuno High School and a middle blocker on the volleyball team.
Tsukishima is very blunt and rather hostile which annoys Shoyo and Kageyama. Despite coming off as arrogant, his character displays a genuine love for the sport of volleyball. Kei pretends to not let anything bother him but hates being underestimated.
Asahi Azumane is a third-year student at Karasuno High school, one of the club’s wing spikers and its current ace.
His appearance makes him look like a strong and confident young man but his personality is the exact opposite. Asahi is quiet, shy and takes everything that is said about him to heart, earning the name, “Glass Heart”. As the story progresses, we see significant development in his character’s personality.
The series is set in Karasuno High School – a fictional public high school that supposedly exists in the Miyagi Metropolitan Prefecture in Northern Japan. Interestingly, the school itself is based on the real-life Karumai High School in the Iwate Prefecture.
The opening theme songs from Season 1 are “Imagination” (eps 1-13) by Spyair and “Ah Yeah” (14-25) by Sukima Switch. “Ah Yeah” is also used as the ending for episode 14, which has no opening. The ending theme songs for Season 1 are “Tenchi Gaeshi” (eps 1-13) by Nico Touches the Walls and “LEO” (eps 14-25) by Tacica.
Season two’s opening theme songs are “I’m a Believer” by Spyair (eps 1-13) and “FLY HIGH” by Burnout Syndromes (eps 14-25). The ending theme songs are “Climber” by Galileo Galilei (eps 1-13) and “Hatsunetsu” (“Fever”) by Tacica (eps14-25).
Season three of Haikyu!! opened with “Hikariare” by Burnout Syndromes, while the ending theme song is “Mashi Mashi” by Nico Touches the Walls.
Season four opens “Phoenix” by Burnout Syndromes and the ending theme is “Kessen Spirit” by Chico with HoneyWorks.
The theme songs used in Haikyuu! set the mood perfectly. The music is inspirational, high-spirited, and upbeat. The songs’ lyrics are motivational and convey the character’s journey and struggles throughout the series.
4. Grade: 4 out of 5
5. Final Thoughts
Haikyu!! is a remarkable story of will power and volleyball. The art and animation are great overall. The soundtracks used in the series really highlight the intended mood. Throughout the show, we witness significant character development. Even though the series is mainly focused on volleyball, the story is interwoven with light-hearted humor which brings the whole show together.