Truthfully, I was very skeptical about this anime. An anime about a volley ball club? Please, don’t tell me that this will be the kind of over-the-top-loud-chanting-special-move sport anime thing. And I was thinking this anime would also have some yaoi-ish atmosphere by the looks of it. However, I was so wrong about my prediction (as always, hahaha). I have watched until the 3rd episode and so far I enjoy it very much. I would go as far to say that this is what a sport anime should be. If you are worried that I will spoil the episode by this review, you don’t have to worry. I will only discuss about the aspect which makes this anime interesting instead of the story itself.
Now, the most important factor that makes Haikyuu!! so fun to watch is the story is simple. No gimmicks, no special moves, just people playing volleyball in a competitive manner. This anime’s story based really resembles that of Giant Killing or Slam Dunk, where you have an underdog team trying to make it to the top without any hidden powers or improbable scenario. It’s interesting because it’s relatable to us. Remember when Sakuragi finally master the layup? Yes, that’s the kind of character development I’m looking for. Watching Haikyuu!!, I’m really excited when finally Hinata Shouyou, succeed in receiving the ball. Yes sure, he has a super athletic ability such as he can jump very high and run very fast although he is small. However, he is not perfect and he’s still raw. He even can’t receive a ball for the first time. It makes me so goddamn jolly when Hinata successfully learn new skills just like Sakuragi Hanamichi able to do something that was unexpected.
Second, the rivalry between teammates are very interesting to see. You have Hinata Shouyou, the main protagonist who is high-spirited and have a lot of guts and Kageyama Tobio who is an arrogant genius and savvy as the setter of the team. Both of them are very competitive especially Hinata Shouyou who was beaten by Kageyama Tobio in their junior high school tournament. The interesting part is that eventhough they from time-to-time clash with each other, they got each other’s back. And that my friends, is what’s essential in a sport anime. We don’t go all soft and cuddly with teammates. There are frictions, egos, and pride but at the end of the day, it’s all about teamwork and professionalism. There is some kind of a rival-friend bond in Hinata Shouyou and Kageyama Tobio in Haikyuu!! similar to the bond between Sakuragi Hanamichi and Kaede Rukawa.
Last but not least, the power balance in the team is very realistic. You don’t have an overpowered character that can win virtually on his own and I assume it is impossible to introduce such a character because it’s volleyball. Like it or not, you can’t spike the ball by yourself so you will have to rely on other teammates. Hinata Shouyou although has a rock solid determination and high athletic ability, he still lacks the skill and technique. Kageyama Tobio although is a brilliant setter that can feint opponents, he is a self-centered individual. I’m looking forward to watching they overcome their weakness.
So there you have it. Haikyuu!!, a very interesting sport anime that I will definitely put in my watchlist. It’s been so long since I watched sport anime that fit my taste and preference that I feel really nostalgic when I watch Haikyuu!!. I recommend this anime if you also love Slam Dunk or Giant Killing. I hope I am right in giving this review since I have only watched 3 episodes of it. Please don’t tell me that there will be somekind of a special power introduce in the middle of the series because that would piss me off.