If we go for somewhat safe here, it’ll mean we never changed!Sugawara Koushi
This quote summarizes the new Karasuno boy’s volleyball team. Throughout all of the three seasons, change and risk have been the only constant for them.
Haikyuu is the first sports Anime I have watched (although I have read some sports Manga before) and I wasn’t expecting it to be so intense. Watching it felt like I watching a real live volleyball match! I could hear myself screaming, cheering and getting all worked up but that was the last of my problems; I was more worried about the ball hitting the floor or the spike getting blocked!
Although the story doesn’t have any incredible plot twists or a big suspense and the outcome can somewhat be predicted (like which team is going to win), it’s more interesting and fun to find out how. Say, Karasuno is on match point. You already know they’re going to win, but what’s more important is how they get that final point! Will it be a service ace? Or a deviant fast attack by Hinata and Kageyama? Maybe it’ll be a synchronized attack by the whole team? What if . . . All of these different possibilities is what makes everything so exciting.
Even though the main characters of the story are Hinata Shouyou and Kageyama Tobio, it doesn’t mean that the other characters aren’t thrown into the spotlight. As the Anime progresses you end up finding out the backstory of all the starting players on the Karasuno team and some from the other opposing teams as well. This really helps you understand each character better and empathize with them and you even sometimes end up cheering for the opponent. It’s really exciting to see characters progress right in front of your eyes. Kageyama, who used to play selfishly and like a dictator started to act like a real king of the court, Hinata, who only knew how to jump and move started to actually think during the matches, Tsukishima, who never really seemed to enjoy volleyball finally found his moment and Yamaguchi, the pinch server finally gained the confidence to do a jump float at critical moments of the game and likewise other players improved.
One of the most thrilling moments in Haikyuu was witnessing the rivalry: Kageyama and Oikawa, the first a junior and the second a senior, both setters and both exceptionally good. Seeing them face off against each other added a flare to the story.
The Anime wasn’t only just about volleyball though. The struggles and youth of high school students; giving exams, taking re-tests, talking about girls, was also shown. Though the actual volleyball matches never failed to be intense there are many light and humorous moments as well.
My favorite match is definitely the finals between Karasuno and Shiratorizawa. Those five sets were filled with hope, despair, frustration, teamwork and the cannon spikes of Ushijima. The whole match took ten episodes (the whole of season three) and I was on edge for the entire thing. Ushijima was already a one-man army that Karasuno had to deal with, and add Tendou, the guessing monster to it, it was looking good for Karasuno. The fierce battle dance between the eagle and the murder of crows is truly a sight to behold!
Now, I just wish that the season 4 of Haikyuu come out fast!