Who is a better player? It’s the ultimate question in Haikyuu that can wage war in the fandom. Especially when it comes to the fan favourite Oikawa, one wrong move will lead to utter chaos.
Comparing Oikawa and Kageyama is like walking on a thin thread; you never know when it will snap. They are two different characters of two extreme poles, but at the same time, they’re similar in some aspects.
Kageyama has admired Oikawa since his middle school years; he is an inspiration for Kageyama. And Oikawa has struggled with his inferiority and insecurity of his place being taken by Kageyama.
It was apparent from the start Kageyama’s talent will eventually surpass Oikawa. This fear has constantly affected Oikawa’s growth and rationality.
Ever since Kageyama joined Karasuno, he has found a great medium to channelize his strength and has grown on an unparalleled level. But has Kageyama reached Oikawa’s level, or has he surpassed his idol.
In the high school period, the third year Toru Oikawa is better than Tobio Kageyama. Kageyama falls short on the experience and skills required to be an exceptional setter like Oikawa. However, later in the manga, Kageyama outshines Oikawa.
1. Serve: Kageyama vs Oikawa
For a setter, serves are a vital deal that can either make or break the entire game. Although everyone has different styles, Oikawa and Kageyama stand at the top hierarchy level, but how are they different?
How does the Great King serve? No, no, it’s a wrong question, I believe. Oikawa doesn’t serve; he charges up and smacks the ball with so much power that it’s hard to catch up. His serves are powerful enough to be considered as a spike.
Usually, even before he reaches the ground from the jump serve, his ball is already touching the floor; you can just imagine the speed. Most of the time, his serves are challenging to pass back.
As a result, only a handful of people like Daichi Sawamura have successfully passed his serve.
All of us know that Kageyama is a competent individual. He picked off the jump serve technique from Oikawa just by watching him play.
His pinpoint accuracy is also top notch; he quickly analyzes the area and charges the volleyball in that direction. And Kageyama has a lot of potential to grow as well.
If we consider different aspects of their strength and accuracy, we can safely conclude that both Kageyama and Oikawa’s serving skills are somewhat similar, aside from their power.
However, the current Kageyama still lacks the skill to perfect his serve like Oikawa because he can’t adjust himself according to the spiker. Nevertheless, Manga Kageyama has toughened himself up and learned how to depend on his spiker and accommodate accordingly.
2. Setter: Kageyama vs Oikawa
It’s a tough competition between Kageyama and Oikawa when it comes to the position of being a setter. Oikawa is one of the best players in the entire prefecture.
As a setter, Oikawa is known to bring out his team’s utmost strength. In addition, he is said to bring out 100% potential of his spikers. Currently, Oikawa is a better setter than Kageyama.
If we consider Oikawa’s strengths as a whole unit, he is better because of his intelligent game skill. Certainly, his intelligence is superior as he can quickly catch on to his opponents’ weaknesses and use them to break them.
His perceptive skills let him plan trajectories of the ball and, at the same time, predict its position as well. Ushijima has also stated that Oikawa could reach the nationals if it weren’t for his pride and team.
Speaking of teams, Oikawa plays well with strangers; the team’s change doesn’t affect his position or gameplay. However, it’s difficult for Kageyama to do that due to his people’s skills and trust issues.
Let’s not forget Oikawa is a third-year student and has a lot of experience compared to Kageyama. Besides, Hinata also contributes a lot to Kageyama’s current success.
As of now, Kageyama needs to improve more. But manga Kageyama is God sent. His skills are out of the world. He is on the same level as Oikawa; instead, I would say he has become a better setter than Oikawa after the time skip. He fared surprisingly well and has learned what it means to be a good setter.
3. Spiker: Kageyama vs Oikawa
If not for his love for the setter’s position, Kageyama could have easily aced being a spiker. He is capable enough of playing as a wing spiker. No doubt, Kageyama is one of the best spikers in Haikyuu. Kageyama’s strategic and technicals abilities can alter the position of the ball.
Also, the Hinata-Kageyama combination is over the top that is known to surprise Karasuno’s opponents. His athleticism and speed, and flexibility combined overpower Oikawa.
Although Oikawa is plenty athletic himself, Kageyama has more advantage due to his talent. Oikawa built himself up with intense training, and to be a spiker, he would have to focus his attention and train hard to master it.
4. When Does Kageyama Surpass Oikawa?
Oikawa has always felt inferior to the prodigy, Kageyama. Throughout the series, he dreads the day when Kageyama will eventually surpass him.
For that trains till he drops, but one can’t really stop a natural talent to flourish into its utmost. Something similar happens with Kageyama’s case; after all, he surpasses Oikawa.
Towards the end of the manga, Karasuno beats Seijoh to enter the Japan nationals. However, Oikawa being the person we know doesn’t give up on the love of his life—volleyball.
Kageyama reaches Oikawa’s level at the international stage at Olympics. Then, after immense training, hard work and guidance, he becomes the perfect setter who adjusts himself for the spiker and finally surpasses Oikawa psychologically and in skills as well.
5. Where to Watch Haikyu!!
6. About Haikyuu!!
Haikyu!! is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Its publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump began in February 2012 with 42 collected tankōbon volumes released.
Hinata Shoyo is a highly passionate boy who wishes to follow the steps of his idol, ‘The Little Giant’ in the field of volleyball. Hinata’s resolve is unbreakable as he faces gruesome defeat at the hands of the ‘King of the Court,’ a genius prodigy setter Kageyama Tobio in middle school. Hinata’s dreams take fruit as he enters high school.
He joins the declining volleyball team of Karasuno High and is appalled to find the very same Kageyama as his teammate. The story follows the revival of Karasuno High and the unity they maintain to pave their way for nationals.