This is review number two hundred and ninety five. This anime is part of the Spring 2014 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is the second most voted anime on my review poll. It’s Haikyuu!! It’s a twenty five episode anime about the sports of volleyball with Kuroko teaching the main character how to do a misdirection. Hahaha. I just made a joke about how this anime is like Kuroko no Basket. *sigh* This review is abnormally long though so let’s just read on.
This show is about an enthusiastic boy named Shouyou Hinata who was awe-inspired to become a volleyball player after he saw a small athlete seemingly fly during a national championship match on TV. He has since decided to be like his idol and fly in the court as well. It’s a shame though that he is the only member of his junior high volleyball club. He got a few of his friends to join and he barely made it to an official volleyball match. He was excited nonetheless. His first match is up against a formidable team though with a talented setter named Tobio Kageyama. He is also dubbed as the King of the Court by some people. Hinata fought hard but his team eventually lost and his defeat was much more bitter because of the arrogant attitude Kageyama displayed. Hinata has since vowed to defeat Kageyama once he entered high school. He went to Karasuno High in hopes of being in an actual volleyball team that will defeat the arrogant Kageyama. He opened the doors to the gym only to be surprised by Kageyama practicing by himself. It seems these two “rivals” are ironically in the same team.
Taking the Pants Off
It’s safe to say that Production IG renewed interest in the sports genre. Kuroko no Basket is a mega hit and a bunch of studios immediately started doing some sports anime as well. I watched the shows released before Kuroko and it is quite clear Kuroko started the sports trend. Production IG doing a sports anime is an instant success though no matter what sports manga they adapt. It’s because of their high quality animation. They make moving picture look stunning and awesomely pretty at the same time. They have this tremendous skill at animating and a flexible range of genre under their belt. A sports anime is a guaranteed hit for this monster studio. An anime about cool guys playing basketball immediately became a mega success. Naturally, a show about a bunch of cool guys playing volleyball is also guaranteed massive success. It’s one of those no brainer things. I don’t really have to review it. Haikyuu is a great anime by default. Sure, a part of me wanted it to fail (because I’m an assh*le). If it’s any other studio except Production IG then it’s likely to happen but c’mon, such a thing is impossible. From the moment you see Hinata spike a volleyball then you immediately know you’re in for a good time. The experience is exactly the same as Kuroko though. I say in both a good and a bad way. It’s good because the story is paced the same way and the action packed matches are just as intense. Kuroko no Basket has this amazing ability to get you into the moment even if you are just watching one random match on TV while you’re flipping through the channels. The excitement and the experience are intact even if you skipped the heavy exposition episodes where characters are introduced. Haikyuu is the same. When you see a match against another team, the same excitement and thrilling experience is intact effectively making each moment as awesome even if you skip a few episodes or not. Production IG’s amazing visual narrative can easily draw you in. I was personally so caught up in it that I finished the anime in one day. I did the same to Kuroko. That’s just how epic a Production IG sports anime is, damn it. It’s bad though because both shows are exactly the same. In terms of the story, Haikyuu is predictable because it’s has the same progression as Kuroko. Characters train in the first half, they enter a tournament in the second half facing off against strong teams with strong players in it and they also had the same defining ending. It’s the small details that separate the two but the predictable element is so strong that it often cuts the excitement in half. You’re basically watching Kuroko and Taiga play volleyball and the similarities might be a bit distracting.
I know a lot of people are already shaking their head. “No, Haikyuu is not the same as Kuroko. Haikyuu is better. Hinata x Kageyama forever!!”. This statement is actually true. The similarities end in the narrative progression. Haikyuu actually sets itself apart from Kuroko in a bunch of ways. First of all, there are no super powered monsters in this anime. Kuroko featured near impossible athletes fighting each other. It was the thing that turned some people off and excited others. Haikyuu has no super powered characters. They’re all just highly skilled players in a volleyball court. Although, I honestly think Haikyuu isn’t just direct about it. Hinata and Kageyama actually possess some super powers as well and the show actually featured it heavily. Their combo attack is beyond human and it’s really the same as Midorama shooting a three points from the other side of the court. Haikyuu is impressive though because the character’s growth reflects their skill. Volleyball is all about team work and the more they cooperate as a team, the more their super power is pushed to the side. Secondly, Haikyuu is a lot more comedy centric. Again, it’s because of the sports. Since opposing players don’t actually fight, the interaction on the player’s side should always be refreshing countering the serious pace of the matches. A lot of comedic moments happen inside the court and outside of it as well often being focused heavily just as much as the game itself. Kuroko had some comedy but basketball is so interactive that the anime can actually focus on the one on one face offs and build up on it. One on one face offs in Haikyuu is just short with players just returning serves and spikes. Seeing a dump serve by Kageyama in front of Oikawa is certainly not as exciting as having Taiga go up against Aomine. The way Haikyuu cuts the tension by utilizing comedy often makes the dump more memorable over the one on one match though. Both shows excel in some area over the other so the similarities won’t really ruin the show for anyone who has seen both anime. As an impartial review, I just need to mention it because it does affect a small aspect of the overall experience. Some characters often look the same. Hinata’s decoy often feels like Kuroko’s misdirection and Date Tech’s iron wall is also a bit similar to Yosen’s impenetrable defense. Seriously, the small similar undertones personally distract me and I often think that if Kuroko plays volleyball instead then it’ll be exactly like Haikyuu. I know most people won’t see it though. Production IG’s amazing visual narration easily trumps whatever similarity both shows might have.
Anyways, this anime is about an overly enthusiastic player named Hinata being forced to be teammates with an arrogant guy named Kageyama. I’m not sure how most viewers are familiar with volleyball but this anime did a good job of presenting how fun the game is. It doesn’t go overly technical though. The characters mostly just play the game while the audience slowly follows the basics being shown in the story. Tossing a ball from the other side of the court isn’t all that complicated as well but the show doesn’t feel alienating with its sports premise. It immediately featured the characters and impressively highlighted the appeal of the sports genre. Simply seeing the first episode is enough to convince you to keep on watching. Sports anime always have passionate players consumed with the game and Haikyuu easily presented that with how Hinata and Kageyama interact. It really progresses quite familiarly as well. Some of the important characters are introduced, the basics of the game are smartly explained and the Karasuno team gradually faces stronger opponents as the show progress. It contained the same format of characters playing their hardest, training to defeat a stronger team and some inspiring moments to entice the audience to play the game as well. Haikyuu is particularly special though because it really put the colorful character interaction above all else. The sports elements might be present but the playful banter between Hinata and Kageyama often comes first. It hooks the audience and the anime just gradually turns serious while the interaction remains light and fluffy. It’s certainly a different approach to the sports genre. This genre is often a bit stiff really just presenting the love for the game but its evolution is remarkable. I also think that volleyball is really an uncharted territory so there is enough room for some creative changes in regards on how to deliver the sports centered anime. This is the first one I’ve seen where teamwork is the most important and intense one on one face offs aren’t a component. It doesn’t have those Tsubasa vs. Hyuga (from Captain Tsubasa) moments or even an Arata vs. Shinobu (from Chihayafuru) showdown as well. It’s a different kind of sports anime and I think that’s why the team interaction is heavily presented above all else. It’s also why a tremendous amount of characters are shipped together. I’m guessing it was intentional but I sure hope it’s not.
Anyways, this show has a pretty simple presentation. It’s divided into the first and second half. You can tell by the different opening songs and the focus of each half. The first half is where most of the heavy exposition is dumped out. The characters are introduced, the team dynamic is set and the abilities of each character are presented as well. It doesn’t have a lot of exciting matches in it since they are all saved in the second half. The first half is mostly where the characters intensely trains and develop their skill. It is punctuated by some pretty amazing practice matches though. For the first half, the focus is divided into two arcs. The progression is mostly the same for both arcs but they focused on characters that have their own conflicts to resolve. The first arc is about Hinata and Kageyama. Hinata has sworn that he’ll be part of an actual team in high school and he’ll wipe the arrogant smug look out of Kageyama who bluntly made his first time in a school tournament such a bitter experience. To his dismay, Kageyama is actually part of his team and he hugely objected to it. His entire high school goal is ruined now that they are team mates. The two of them just don’t go well together and they made a huge spat in front of other Karasuno team members and the school’s dean that ended in a big disaster. The captain of the volleyball club is then forced to take some action. Hinata and Kageyama’s application form is rejected. They are both out of the volleyball club until they find common ground. Hinata really hates how Kageyama acts like a bossy douchebag and the other dude hates how annoying and immature Hinata is. The captain made a deal for them though. They can re-enter the club and join in on the practices and matches if they can win a match against him and the other first year applicants that joined the team. If they win, their application is accepted and they can re-join the club. If they lose, the captain simply asks that Kageyama can never be the setter for the team. It’s a huge shock for Kageyama but Hinata wonders why the consequences only affected the other guy. He’ll soon learn though just how much Kageyama loves being a setter and Kageyama will soon discover just how passionate Hinata is at volleyball.
I love the first arc. It really just focused on the relationship of Hinata and Kageyama. They started out as indifferent people who have zero respect for the other. Hinata thinks Kageyama is too bossy for his own good and Kageyama thinks Hinata’s talents are being wasted because of how careless he is. Hinata thinks that Kageyama might be a genius setter but he needs to humble himself and Kageyama thinks that Hinata needs more experience before he can acknowledge the other guy as his equal. They need to find something to agree on though because their chances to actually play in a team hang in the balance. While the two are trying to train for the upcoming match, the show slowly fleshes them out. The events back in junior high, where they first met, are actually a crucial moment for both of them. Hinata always played volleyball by himself back in junior high and he managed to gather a team only for them to be decisively beaten by Kageyama’s team. All his hard work amounted to nothing and he has since dreamed to be in an actual team where he is among other fellow volleyball enthusiasts working hard for the team. Kageyama’s life also changed in that tournament. His team mates actually hate him because of his self-serving attitude and it got to a point where they outright refused to play with him. He has the skills to enter a more impressive school but he wound up in Karasuno. The captain actually hit him where it hurts the most because Kageyama is a genius in the court and the only place for him is to be the setter. It’s a cool role because it’s his tosses that assist a spike that wins them a point. This is a surprise though because Hinata actually thinks being a spiker is the role suited for him. Slamming the ball on the other side of the court seems to be his calling. As they continue on training, they seem to slowly learn more about the other and actually become impressed with each other’s abilities. They soon started to think the other person is great. I just love how the relationship really started from a negative one and slowly grow to a positive ten. It seems that the two can get along but Kageyama remains a bit stubborn. He refuses to give Hinata one of his tosses until Hinata can prove that he deserves them. Hinata is an honest guy though and he keeps on constantly reminding Kageyama that he’ll be there when he needs it. Volleyball is a team sports and Kageyama needs to learn that you need to depend on others for your team to win.
The first arc soon culminates in the three-on-three matchup against the captain and the other two first year applicants. This is also where the magic really happens. During the match, with the future of both players riding in the game, the colorful interaction and the intensity of the matches really blend well together making every moment interesting. Kageyama and Hinata are facing experienced people in this three-on-three matchup and they might lose if they aren’t careful. They must play together as a team if they want to win the match. The result of their teamwork though, is something both of them could never have imagined in a million years. I really love the show started from nothing. It established the characters, the status quo and the initial premise well up to the three-on-three match. I think it’s at episode five or six. The anime created a story basically from scratch and then slowly introduced everything awesome from that patient build up. You’ll be lured in the amazing animation and the familiar sports elements but I think the culminating story between Hinata and Kageyama will make you stay. After all, the combination attack they literally made up on the spot during the three-on-three match is something I think everyone would enjoy. Of course, this is also the first time where we see an actual volleyball match with all the important characters. As I said, the wonderful interaction between the characters really made the match special. The hot headed team mate of Hinata and Kageyama, the mild mannered captain, the uninspired first year and the interesting characters making up the spectators turns the straightforward volleyball match into something more interactive. How exactly do you make a sport where you toss the ball to the other side of the court special? Haikyuu answers that by making every player as eccentric as possible. Other sport anime would resort to drama as a culminating emotion where all the hard work is paying off. Haikyuu does comedy. When Hinata misses, Kageyama would yell at him. When a team scores, the loud enthusiastic character would taunt the opponent. When the match becomes too serious after the main characters are three points behind, the show would make Hinata do something stupid to undercut the tension. Volleyball is such a different sport that I think Haikyuu really needed to be different as well. I think this is why the anime is interesting in a whole lot of levels.
The second arc is about the remaining members of Karasuno. After their three-on-three match, the captain mentioned that the guardian of Karasuno is coming back. One of the shortest members of the team is soon introduced and he is actually a very strong player for the team. The guy refused to play though. He said that he won’t play volleyball as long as their ace isn’t back as well. It turns out that the two had a falling out after their first round match at the previous preliminaries where the ace’s spikes where all blocked by the opposing team. Hinata thinks that the team definitely needs both men so he tried to persuade them both. The ace is actually a bit demotivated after their loss. As the ace, his spikes are supposed to deliver the score for the team. When he keeps being shut out, he feels like he let the whole team down. Fighting against a team built on defense ruined his confidence and he has since felt scared to spike the ball knowing that he’ll let his team down. Karasuno is in a pinch without their ace and their talented libero. To make matters worse, the team’s coach has requested a practice match against Karasuno’s long standing rival. They need all the power and talent they can gather in order to stand up against the school’s rival. Of course, there’s not a lot to worry about though. When the team’s ace see Hinata and Kageyama’s impressive combo then I’m sure his motivation and passion for the sport will soon be re-ignited. The story between the libero and the ace is a pretty interesting side story as well. It had the same vibe as Hinata and Kageyama’s story. The setter makes the spiker score and the same principle goes to the libero saving the ball so the ace can win the score for his team.
The second arc also completed the entire scenario of the anime. At the culminating practice match, all the important components of the show are finally set into play. The different colorful personalities that comprise Karasuno, the amazing skills of the athletes and the boundless potential of the matches when they finally take on an opposing team all come together in the second arc. Going back to how the show builds everything from scratch, the second half is basically where everything finally feels complete and the real story can finally commence. Their practice match against the school’s rival is also pretty intense. It featured an amazing bunch of rivals that can finally go up against our main characters. After all the character drama and establishing the initial premise, the sports element can finally shine in an exciting match with talented opponents. The slow buildup is actually an important thing for this anime. Since volleyball is a heavily team centered, introducing the various Karasuno members is crucial. I think that’s why the anime started out with two arcs. It was solely trying to introduce all the characters. I think the slow introduction pays off though because the team aspect shines through in this match of Karasuno. Kageyama setting the ball and figuring out who’ll score the most in every scenario, Hinata’s amazing ability to steal the attention from other players, the libero’s ability from preventing the ball to drop to the floor, the ace’s intimidating attacks, the captain’s sound receives and all the other important players soon started to come together making this practice match that much more exciting. With so many amazing characters, Karasuno really excels in a lot of places. As some would point out though, the matches might be filled with strong athletes but the pace still remains grounded. No one enters “the zone”. It’s a silly trance-like state where your abilities rises from beyond 100% as seen in Kuroko. Instead, the characters still make basic mistakes of the ball hitting the net when they serve, being not quick enough to save the ball, fumbling when receiving the ball and so on. While Hinata and Kageyama might have their freakish combo attack, they remain grounded with how a realistic pacing of a volleyball match closely applies to the show. They even employ the method of calling time out to break the opponent’s momentum when they score consecutively. The basics are soundly intact in this anime and the characters just carry the rest of the load. Just by watching the match against their rival then I’m sure you’ll soon understand just how perfectly presented the show is and you’ll soon be finishing it in one sitting as well.
The second half is really where the real action takes place when team Karasuno finally participates in the preliminaries for the Inter-High tournament. No more practice matches and friendly rivalries and every other kind of buildup. Things finally start here. All the trainings, all the emotionally charged moments, all the comedic banter, all the weak points steadily developed are finally about to show some results when the team now compete in an actual tournament where you are eliminated when you lose one match. It’s that do or die stipulation of the Inter-high that makes it all the more exciting. Of course, all the teams Karasuno are scheduled to face are also some of the most formidable teams around. One of those teams involves a team they previously had a practice match against. Aoba Johsei is considered a premiere school and it’s considered that every starting member of the volleyball team is good enough to be an ace if they were in any other team. Aoba Johsei is all the more interesting because most of Kageyama’s former junior high team mates are part of the volleyball team. In their practice match, the other players can clearly see that Kageyama has changed and this considerably affected the pace of the match. That was just a practice match though. This time the stakes are high. This time as well, the genius setter of Aoba Johsei is confronting Kageyama in an actual match. We saw a glimpse of his scary abilities in the practice but this time, the two genius setters are out to prove they are better than the other. In the practice match as well, it was clear that Karasuno excels in attacks but Aoba Johsei, and a lot of other teams, have a lot more battle experience than them. In a drawn out match like volleyball, offense is only as good as your defense and Karasuno is badly imbalanced. This tournament will now display just how good Karasuno has grown since their practice matches and it will showcase just how Aoba Johsei earned their top four spot as best team in their last tournament. The match against this team is the highlight of the anime. Literally everything was building up for this match and I swear to gawd, I was always at the edge of my seat seeing the actual match happen and seeing Karasuno hang out for so long. It’s a gripping match and I’m sure you’ll easily be caught up in it as well.
Another notable team they are up against is Dateko High. This was the impenetrable defense that crushed the ace’s confidence. As strong as he is, Dateko had such a strong block that he could not freaking score. It’s now time for redemption. After licking his wounds and finding his resolve, the ace is now back to exact his revenge on the team that almost made him stop playing. Dateko’s blocks are really amazing when you see their front man lead the charge. Soon, it came down though to just how fast Karasuno can be. It’s a battle of speed vs. defense as the pair of Kageyama and Hinata goes up against the iron wall of Dateko. This is one of the finer matches in the anime for me because it show case the growth of Karasuno as each player was able to present their special abilities for the team. This is doubly better because Dateko is no push over. It’s a team so focused on blocking the ball that they often do it on auto mode and Karasuno really dug deep for each score. They are able to overcome a huge hurdle and still look pretty damn awesome while doing it. I also quite love how they were able to use all the things they’ve learned from previous matches and eventually try to overwhelm a much better team than theirs. Another thing I love is the face off against Hinata and Dateko’s giant, Takonobu Aone. It’s the epitome of speed vs. might displayed so wonderfully in the volleyball court.
The characters are all interesting. I don’t want to draw out this review some more by going into details with each and every one of them though. I also think that discovering each and every quirky character is actually one of the best parts of the anime. It’s also quite fascinating how much they grew throughout the run of the series. It’s not much but the team spirit rings through to all of them and they made every match point of a game truly amazing to watch. There are some characters that truly stand out though and some that comes into focus because of the colorful interaction they have with the rest of the cast. Hinata is obviously a huge standout. His never say die attitude really captures the appeal of the anime but his fumbling personality and inexperienced body grounds the show to make the volleyball matches as believable as possible. Kageyama is outstanding as well. Did anyone notice his hair flip in the first few episodes? I bet some lonely fujoshi noticed it. Tell me in the comments. I want to meet the fellow freak that saw that feminine side of Kageyama as well. This dude is highly skilled in the game though and I love how every strong point of his personality clashes with Hinata’s. The first half is so enjoyable because of his amazing bromance with the other lead. The libero and the ace also had some kind of bromance. They aren’t notable by themselves though often being only noticed when they show their talent or when the libero confesses his undying loyalty to the ace. The rest of the team mates are also pretty cool. From the overly enthusiastic third year, the other setter of the team, the lackadaisical first year, the cool coach and even the silent team manager, they all contribute to the dialogue and often steal the spotlight for themselves. The manager is pretty special though because she’s the only girl in this sausage fest of an anime. I love her quiet demeanor as oppose to the other bright personalities of the team.
The opponents are also pretty amazing as well. From the genius of Aoba Johsei to Nekoyama’s introverted tactical genius to the iron wall of Dateko, they might not be generation of miracles but they had enough awesome abilities to really set themselves apart. Their strong reliable game experience and their strong drive to win also make them really formidable. The storytelling in the court is so amazing that every member from each side of the court has a chance to really display their skill. It’s one of the reasons why the various opponents are so amazing when they play. I remember how I keep feeling defeated when Aoba Johsei wins a point thanks to their skilled setter and I also remember how loud my voice was when Hinata blazes past the iron wall of Dateko. Each match is really fun to watch and it’s partly thanks to the amazing opponents Karasuno faces.
Obviously, a second season is coming. If it is exactly like Kuroko, in terms of story, then another season is really needed to give closure to the whole thing. There are a lot of things left untended to in the anime. We still didn’t get to see the best volleyball team display their monstrous ability. We didn’t get a chance for the two rival schools in Nekomata and Karasuno face off in an official match and there is still some room left for an epic Kageyama and Toru Oikawa rematch. I honestly think that Production IG will deliver on this. There are a lot more cool stuff in the manga that haven’t happened in the anime yet so I can see a second season not that far behind. Susumu Mitsunaka is a pretty small time director. I think it means a lot though to be working at Production IG so good for him. His only other work as a director is Cutice Tantei Inaba. He is certainly a bland director because all the awesomeness of Haikyuu sprung from the manga. Haruichi Furudate is an amazing storyteller and I am just glad Susumu is able to adapt the work decently. I am so excited for the second season. I recently discover that most season twos tend to suck big time but I think a second season of a sports anime will rarely disappoint. Judging by my experience with Kuroko, Haikyuu is really only going to get better with another season. I cannot f*cking wait. With the potential being so absolutely limitless and boundless for this anime, one can only wonder how amazing the experience will be with another season of this magnificent show.
Sight and Sound
Haruichi’s design is pretty great. I do notice a lot of pointy things though. The face is round but the sides down the chin is very sharp. The sharp details are also very present in the eyes and the various points of the hair. This makes most slender character types look very meek but then they’ll sport some awesome emotions that’ll tell you otherwise. There are some wide ranges in the design. Some characters look pointy while others have boxish faces and it often supports their personality. I quite like the character design though because it’s not your typical sports character design where muscles are a huge appeal for them. Most muscles are in the legs so the faces often look gentle and the body built isn’t all that muscular. Of course, this doesn’t mean that their bodies don’t look great. There are still some great proportions in the body and there are some great tones that shape up certain parts. When you see Hinata speed up, the body tones are insanely beautiful as you see the muscles tense up. I think Haruichi is able to capture a pleasing sports character design while also making sure the characters aren’t too overly muscular. But seriously though, the character design shines through the most because of Production IG’s high quality presentation. The color palette and the subtle character traits are carried over wonderfully that you are really seeing Haruichi’s vision come to life. Another thing though that I quite like and hate at the same time is Production IG’s ability to make masculine characters look feminine. When I saw Kuroko no Basket, I noticed how really feminine Kuroko looks. He is much rough looking in the manga but Production IG said to make him unconsciously an uke so Taiga can be a seme. This won’t make sense for some so I think a GIF will help you understand. Take a look at this:
It’s a short scene but in one fell swoop, he took off his clothes, put on his glasses like a dreamy manly man then swayed his hips walking towards the court. He was masculine and a bit feminine in the same shot. This was really the ground breaking idea that made Kuroko famous. It appealed not only to boys and girls who are fan of sports but also to people who love shipping pretty faces together. It is a subliminal bait that I think hooked a lot of fishes. Remember how Taiga looked while crawling like a baby when the puppy was trying to lick him. Kageyama does a lot of hair flips in this anime and a ton of characters blushes…a lot. It attributes to the comedy but also flashes some subliminal hooks. Watch this anime you fujoshi b*tch and love it. Production IG can rule the world if they aren’t careful.
The animation is obviously outstanding. I don’t have to point this out. Production IG can make a checkers match intense. The right amount of flashy animation coupled by some impressive camera angles and close up shots really add a lot to the visual narrative. The fast spikes, the devastating blocks and the serves all look freaking amazing. It captured the proper body poses and the correct posture for each move that it’s freaking amazing how much detail is put in every frame. Even the practice sessions look pretty awesome. The facial expressions are so alive that it was able to give us a great detail of the pace of the matches. Production IG is a monster when it comes to animation. There is no need to question if the animation is good. It obviously f*cking is. This comes out as well in the comedy. The various outbursts and the comedic responses to them are also pretty amazing. Most of the jokes are physical gags and the animation gave justice for every punch line a character gives.
The anime has two OP. The first one is “Imagination” by SPYAIR. This is an amazing OP song. It gets you pumped up from the very first beat and the wonderful verse. It then explodes in an exciting chorus that’ll set the tone for the rest of the anime. Spyair is actually one of the best new bands on the scene and their great style certainly fits in the mainstream market. It’s no wonder they’re one the fast rise because they make wonderful songs like this one. The OP sequence features all the Karasuno members practicing. It also shows off the impressive animation of Production IG. I think I drooled the first time I saw the ace toss a ball and three players missed it. The timing is so precise and the movement flowed like poetry, damn it. It matches the energy of the song setting up the tone for the show as well. The second one is “Ah Yeah!!” by Sukima Switch. My gawd, I really like this singer. He has a laidback style that I am a huge sucker for. The OP song is a more mellowed out version with some strong guitar rhythms but certainly not as pumped as the first one. It does have some great lyrics to it that I think really captured the feel of the anime. The pumped up energy is brought upon by the OP sequence though. It featured an intense scene of the characters playing in the court with the camera moving from one player to another It’s pretty damn awesome.
The anime has two ED. The first one is “Tenchi Gaeshi” by NICO Touches the Walls. This is one hell of a band. I’m glad their style is being featured in an anime. They usually have a strong acoustic beat that is complimented by the singer’s amazing cool voice. They then layer the whole thing with a catchy beat that’ll make people bop their heads to the catchy rhythm. The same style is present in this song. The singer’s cool voice is accompanied by some amazing arrangement all throughout the run of the sequence. The ED sequence features Hinata running and the rest of Karasuno looking on capturing his never ending spirit and the team spirit ringing true as well. The second one is “LEO” by tacica. This is a mellow song and it is accompanied by a mellowed out sequence. The song is just like Nico’s but it is more relaxed of sorts. The singer’s voice is amazing though being able to slow down the fast lyrics with his steady cool voice. The ED sequence features Kageyama acting all emo and cute. It ends with a ball hitting him in the back. He crunches his face with a cute scowl and then relaxes it for a smile. It is absolutely incredible to watch especially after learning a lot about him in the run of the show.
9/10 “The amazing visual narration coupled by the great story and memorable characters makes this one of the best sports anime around.”
I stand by my statement. This is a unique sports anime because of how different the game of volleyball is. Every character is given a chance to shine and the team centric sport gave us a lot of memorable characters to easily fall in love with. Coupled by the slow buildup of the story and the massive pay off the final match gave us, I honestly think that the anime experience Haikyuu gives us is unlike any other. If you’re a fan of the sports genre then you’ll easily love this anime. If you simply enjoy Production IG anime then go check this one out. If you loved how impressive Kuroko no Basket is then you should definitely see an anime up to par with it like this one. If you like shipping characters then there is a b*tch ton of them here and you’ll love each and every one of them. It’s one hell of a sports anime for me. I highly recommend it.