All of my life, I had absolutely, no interest in sports. None whatsoever. Somehow, Haikyu, an anime I only picked up because the seasonal anime was shit, won my heart. Anime has this amazing way of convincing the viewer to give it’s subject matter, no matter how boring to you, a shot. Thanks to Haikyu, I was able to open my mind to a whole nother realm of anime that I normally wouldn’t watch and somehow made me remotely interested in Volleyball. If it wasn’t for Haikyu, I doubt I wouldn’t have been swooning over Welcome to the Ballroom but what about Haikyu left such an impact on me? That’s what I’m here to talk about.
For those who don’t know this by now, Haikyu is a volleyball anime. It centers around Hinata, a young freshman who fell in love with volleyball after catching a game featuring his now idol, The Little Giant. Like The Little Giant, Hinata is short but feels that he can prove to be the ace of his team. The Ace is technically the star player. When he attempts to join the team, he meets an old rival who also wishes to be the ace. They bicker, they clash but ultimately, together, they become Kurasuno’s(the name of the school) secret weapon.
Pretty simple and basic Shonen premise right? It is. I won’t lie, on the outside, I couldn’t really see what was so compelling about this series that everyone jumped on it when it aired. Thankfully, there’s more than meets the eye.
What initially grasped my attention was the humor. It almost felt like it was catering to me how well each comedic moment was delivered. As funny as some scenes are, they somehow didn’t take away from the conflict at hand. It only eased the tension to keep you excited and emotions high for dramatic moments. I also must say, this anime has some of the best gif worthy shit in my opinion. Even if you haven’t watched this series, you must have seen a few gifs from it.
A Large Cast That’s actually Developed Well
This may be one of the big points of a successful sports anime. At the end of the day, most of these sports anime will have a huge cast but it can be difficult to give all of them the spotlight and provide an emotional connection with the audience. Haikyuu does it right and somehow even made me love a character I initially hated. This series also provided just enough development for characters who are on the sidelines who don’t really get to play. It amazes me how a series can make me forget that there is a main character without taking anything away from the main protagonists. Haikyuu just knows how to get you emotionally invested.
When You Go From No Interest To Screaming At Your Television
When you watch a series like this, it gets pretty predictable. I believe this is a given when you know how shounen series work. I knew when Kurasuno would win or lose. I didn’t know how it would happen but because I already knew the outcome shouldn’t it be less interesting? NOPE. Each finale of the series, tensions are high not only for the players but for the viewer as well. The last play of the second season had my screaming and even left me in tears. Very impactful.
As I mentioned before, I had absolutely no interest in sports anime but gradually, I started to pick all the rules up pretty fast and start getting pumped when the next game would start. Haruichi Furudate, the mangaka for this series, made Haikyuu in an attempt to get other people into volleyball, a sport he loved to its core. When you are passionate about something and you want to share your love with others, this is how you do it. Provide a medium that can make it easily accessible. So thank you Haruichi. Job well done.
With a studio like Production I.G. behind this series, there was no way the animation quality would be poor. In all honesty, what helped me make the decision to watch this, was seeing their name attached to it. Some moments in this series are so well done that you would think this was the animation of a crazy battle anime. Well, I guess it’s technically a battle anime but you get the point.
Openings That Are Consistently Great And Get You Pumped
Now, let me tell you, I had to change my top OPs ever because of this series. You know a series is good when multiple OPs can be placed on your favorites list of all time. This series does that. I’m not the only one that thinks these OPs are great. I would say this guy’s somewhat of a specialist in the subject matter. He goes by the name Mother’s basement and he has a whole series breaking down what’s in an OP. You should definitely check this out! Great Content.
There’s so much to say about this series but only so little time. I personally think it is for everyone. This is why all three seasons are within the Top 25 of Top Anime of all time on MyAnimeList. That’s insane. So go try it! What are you waiting for?!
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Are there any sports anime I need to check out? Let me know in the comments below and hit that like button if you enjoyed!