blackangel1122 is nothing but an anime and manga otaku who is also a closet fujoshi. Nice to meet 'cha!
When it comes to sports anime, there’s a lot to choose fro the 2016 lineup. You have Stride, Yuri!! on Ice, Days, and so many more. However, if you want the thrill of high school volleyball, then click on the play button for Haikyuu!! Karasuno Koukou vs Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou. Already in its third season, Haikyuu!! tells the harsh yet fulfilling journey that the Karasuno high school team is treading in order to reach their goal of soaring the skies of the nationals! These passionate high school volleyball players will teach you about teamwork, breaking through stereotypes, and how never giving up will always lead you somewhere better.
Haikyuu!! Karasuno Koukou vs Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou is about the battle between the volleyball clubs of Karasuno and Shiratorizawa Gakuen. The winner of the game between these two high school volleyball clubs will gain the right to participate in the national tournament to be held in Tokyo. The series shows the significant growth of the protagonists – the Karasuno volleyball players.
Since the story is already the third installment of Haikyuu!!, let’s talk about Haikyuu!! in general first so that we have an overview on what the entire series is all about. Haikyuu!! is a sports anime that features Hinata Shouyou, a 164cm volleyball player. Hinata is smaller than most volleyball players. Those high school volleyball players of the same height as him are usually liberos. His height doesn’t hinder him from becoming a middle blocker though. He is aiming to become like the ‘Small Giant’, a volleyball spiker who has the same height as him.
With his partnership with Kageyama Tobio, aka ‘King of the Court,’ Hinata is slowly becoming an impressive volleyball player. Kageyama is a genius setter who has problems getting along with other players on the court as he is very demanding and bullheaded. However, with Hinata around, he seems to be able to work better with others and can even max out not only his own but his teammates’ potential as well.
The two of them aren’t the only ones who grow during the series. Tsukishima Kei and Yamaguchi Tadashi, the remaining freshman of the Karasuno volleyball club, are a far cry from how they were in Season 1 and Season 2 of the series. In Season 3, they have become quite capable players that their senpai-tachi can rely on.
The older players have also experienced growth. They have become more composed despite facing stronger opponents. Even those who were always on the sidelines have taken their place in the court during this season. Everyone’s growth is definitely remarkable.
The animation is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum if compared to other 2D animations. I expected nothing less from Production I.G., the animation studio that is considered to be one of the forerunners when it comes to digital animation techniques. If you like the art in Kuroko’s Basketball, Kimi ni Todoke, Pokemon Origins, Psycho-Pass, The Prince of Tennis, and Shingeki no Kyoujin, then you will surely love the art of Haikyuu!! too. After all, these anime come from the same studio.
Both opening and ending theme songs, Hikari Are and Mashi Mashi by Burnout Syndromes, stick to your head like glue. I found myself singing the songs when doing nothing in particular. The tune is laid-back but catchy.
The entirety of the anime is built on the premise that Hinata Shouyou will one day surpass the other volleyball players despite his height. That’s what the audience expects; that Hinata will break through the stereotype that only the tall ones are strong on the court. Even when he is shown the strength of these tall players, he doesn’t give up.
On a side note, do you know that Haikyuu!! follows an animal motif when it comes to the names of the major high school volleyball teams in the series? Karasuno is for ‘crows’, shiratori in Shiratorizawa is for ‘swan’, Nekoma for ‘cats’, and Fukurodani for ‘owls’.
Even when given a whole day, it still wouldn’t be enough to highlight the exciting things to look forward to in this series! Just for the storyline alone, the rate at which our protagonists grow is just right. They don’t just immediately jump from being weak to being strong. You can see their struggles, what made them grow, or the mistakes they’ve encountered and what they’ve learned from it.
Art-wise, how the characters are drawn is quite expressive. The switch from chibi mode to serious mode at just the right timing improves the flow of every episode. Most importantly, the volleyball plays are neatly animated. Seeing how the action sequence in the manga is being perfectly played out in the anime will put you at the edge of your seat.
The best thing about Haikyuu, though, is that the anime stayed true to the manga. The scenes we love in the manga were all brought alive in the anime. That’s the most important thing for every Haikyuu!! fan!
There is indeed room for improvement but I am already satisfied with how Production I.G. animated this amazing sports anime. Good job, staff!
How about you? Do you agree with my rating or do you have other thoughts you want to share? I bet you do! Share your love for Haikyuu!! here in MANGA.TOKYO!