Loving What You Love: Haikyu!
I’ve loved Haikyu ever since I watched the first season. Whilst I knew little to nothing about the sports going into the anime, it made very little difference as with any sports anime. What I fell in love with wasn’t the sports but the characters and the way the story is told.
The characters in Haikyu are quite unique and stand out even if they are minor characters. Sure Hinata and Kageyama steal the spotlight more often than not, but Tsukishima and Yamaguchi get their own character stories and growths meaning no first year is really left out of the loop. The same can be said for the third years. They get a lot of time to grow and for the audience to understand them, especially in first season. However, it does move beyond that because we see their growth and the amount of effort they put into the club through their training and performance in matches. The second years are basically the same. Like Hinata and Kageyama, Tanaka and Noya usually steal the spotlight but the other second years have gotten their little moments as well. This was especially the case for Ennoshita, who I have to admit, is my favourite second year from the team. He may not stand out but he does keep the team together and keeps the first and second years in check which is a great thing. He can’t be overlooked.
So, I love the characters that make up the main team. We’ve seen their growth from day one and they’ve come so far. There’s an emotional bond created between characters and audience which made me feel like I was part of their journey. This made me all the more attached to them – more than I thought I would be anyways!
It’s the same with the opponents they play. They are all great and there wasn’t one team that I wanted to see lose. One of the things Haikyu has constantly gotten right for me, is the way it presents these teams. They’re not made out to be evil or simply stepping stones for Karasuno. Instead, they are given backstories and built up as individual characters and teams that could have been the protagonists in another world. It’s probably why I can remember teams that have only appeared once and recall just how fun the matches were to watch. I really like that about Haikyu!
Of course, Haikyu has a great story for a sports anime as well. It’s not just about getting to the nationals for them. Each member of Karasuno is working towards that goal but they have their own little goals along the way that usually make up the smaller arcs of the story. For example, Tsukishima’s story about his blocking skills and relationship to volleyball tied in very nicely with the training camp arc as well as the match against Shiratorizawa and you bet I was screaming at the screen when he blocked Ushijima! That was a great moment. The reason why it worked so well was because time was spent in building everything up brick by brick. Nothing was rushed. The ground works were laid from season one and because of that, the final moment was all the more effective.
The same can be said for the development of the freak toss and spike that was and is Kageyama and Hinata’s special move. Once again, the ground works were laid, even if that was a surprised development in first season where Kageyama used his genius to pull it off. However, it was because such a foundation was created, the shot itself, that the problems with it could then be identified first on a smaller scale, and then on a larger scale. This led to the ultimate development of not only a new move in the form of a new serve, but it also gave Hinata the initiative to go and improve his own skills so that he could be a better spiker and could receive Kageyma’s tosses.
Nothing in this anime ever feels unnecessary. Each encounter, each moment links to something later on so nothing is ever wasted. That’s what I love about this anime and it’s probably why I’ve become so attached to it. I’ve never felt bored watching it and have watched it multiple times and have enjoyed it and felt the same emotions as the first time I watched this anime.
So yeah, I absolutely love Haikyu and everything about it. I’m looking forward to seeing what season four has in store but I already know, I’m going to love it!