For a long time, I felt like Haikyuu!! was grossly overhyped. But when Kuroko no Basket came to an end, I picked up the volleyball anime in an attempt to fill the void. It didn’t work. In fact, I was so turned off by the idea of Haikyuu!!, that it stayed on-hold on my list for over a year before I picked it back up. I even thought of dropping it at points. But man, am I glad I didn’t.
For whatever reason, I tend to spend an entire cour warming up to the characters in an anime, especially when it comes to sport. So it wasn’t until I was half way through the first seasons that I actually started enjoying this show. But when it finally happened, I couldn’t put it down for one second.
At first glance, the art style looks immature and innocent, not at all what you’d except from a high-budget 2014 anime. But the more you look at it, the more you notice how incredibly detailed everything is, down to the strands of hair on someone’s head.
The greatest strength of Haikyuu!! is the animation that takes place on the court and in the OPs. And it was this that turned my mind around about the anime, that kept me watching. Animation isn’t cheap, but Production I.G. has spent their money well here. Some of the sequences in this anime look drop dead gorgeous, and will mesmerise you.
The characters are fun, but initially hard to grasp. As with any show that introduces a cast of 15+ members in the first couple of episodes, it’s going to take some time to get to know everyone. That’s where I feel the anime falters, but it makes up for it later on. Once the characters get explored in detail, especially in the second season, their arcs become relatable and touching.
Plot-wise, Haikyuu!! takes an interesting approach to the sport genre. Unlike in KnB, the rival themes aren’t portrayed just as evil obstacles that must be overcome, but as groups and characters with their own hopes and dreams to achieve. This makes it easy to sympathise with the other teams, and makes for intense matches where you’re not even sure whose side you’re on.
Yes, Haikyuu!! is a great anime. Although it’s got way too many characters, and a very slow start, the gorgeous animation makes up for it. Once the pace picks up (but let’s be real, it’s a sports anime – the pacing is weird), it gets harder to put down the anime. An easy Friday night easily turns into an all-nighter of “just one more episode.” I really like Haikyuu!!, I gave the first season 6/10, and the second season 8/10. Here’s to hoping the third season will be even better!
- Kuroko no Basket