Haikyu!! Is one of the hottest anime series out there right now, it has swept the world gaining positive responses, a huge fan base and finding with all that such a massive success. Why you may ask? Well, Haikyu!! Is simply just amazing and in this article I will be reviewing the first season of this now iconic anime series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. It was first aired on television in 2014 and has risen to the top of almost every ones to watch list. I waited a good four years before attempting to watch it, see I believe there is a certain fear when you start hearing about some thing that other people praise in such high regard. To me, that fear was that I would not like or appreciate the series as I should. Be it my lack of skill and understanding toward any thing sports related. When quarantine started I finally decided that enough is enough and that it was finally time to watch the show on such a high pedestal. I went on the internet and found the first episode and I was instantly hooked.
The first season begins with the introduction of Shōyo Hinata who was riding his bike when he saw some people huddled around a display television which was broadcasting the National High School Volleyball Tournament. There he sees the local team of Karasuno High, specifically number ten of the team. The ace known as The Little Giant. A fire ignites within Shoyo and he proceeds to tell his adviser that he will be joining the volleyball club. His adviser explains to him that their middle school does not have a boys volleyball team, what it used to have in place of that was kind of like a fan club. His adviser jokingly asked him if he wanted to join the girl’s team. Hinata bravely proclaimed that if that were the case then he would be the only member. He started practicing on his own, but volleyball is a sport that a team place so there was only so much you could practice individually. To amend this he would ask his friends who were on other sports teams to set for him. Hinata’s stamina however was next to endless so most of the time his friends would try to get out of setting for him. In those kinds of times, Hinata would resort to training his stamina or watching the volleyball team play. When he was in his final year of middle school he managed to recruit some first years and he asked one of his friends to toss the ball for him. Towards the last one his friend messed up the toss but Hinata managed to still spike it with his astounding athleticism. See, Hinata is actually a very small player but he manages to jump very high. This would be put to the test when Hinata along with the first years and two of his friends are able to join their first tournament. Immediately they are matched up with a tema from Kitagawa Daichi who, according to the other players were the candidates to win Nationals. Hinata is unfazed despite hearing that the team also has a very skilled setter also dubbed as the King of the Court. It was none other than Kageyama Tobio.
When the match started, Hinata would soon find out that Kageyama not only towered above him in height but also in skill. Kageyama’s team mates are relaxed during the game as Hinata’s team is barely scoring their own points. Kageyama tells them to play their best even if they seem to be weak. He is seen to be met with hostility from his team. Hinata’s team loses their first set, they continue off towards the end of the second set with Kitagawa Daichi leading by a large margin. When they reach set point, set point is when the team only needs one more point to win. Hinata’s setter messes up the set and tosses to the opposite side of the court. The players on the other side of the court are surprised to see the toss go there when the spiker is on the other side of the court. In those moments it almost seems like the end of the game was finally here and it would end because of the setter’s mistake. That is, until Hinata is suddenly on that side of the court. He spikes but it hits just barely outside the line and Kitagawa Daichi is deemed the winner. Kageyama amazed at that display of skill but also incredibly frustrated asks Hinata albeit meanly what he has been doing the past three years. Implying that he has been playing around which is why they could not win. Hinata vows to defeat Kageyama one day and they both part ways after the tournament. Hinata continues training and enrolls at Karasuno High. Ecstatic to finally be able to play with a real team he heads to the gym, he happily opens the gym. Until he sees Kageyama inside, in the flesh.
He is hesitant at first, doubting that this was actually the real Kageyama. But when he sees the scary look in his eyes and the arrogant air he has to him, he is sure that that was indeed Kageyama. He asks Kageyama why he is in Karasuno, stating that the king of the court should be in a power house school. Kageyama tells him not to call him that and reveals that the strongest school in the prefecture, rejected him. He apparently heard that Karasuno’s legendary coach Ukai who lead the team to Nationals once would be coming back this year which is why he came to Karasuno. Hinata is visibly frustrated as he wonders how he can possibly defeat Kageyama when they were on the same team. The third years, one of them the captain of the team, Daichi enters the gym and sees Kageyama. He expresses visible surprise as he says that the first setter of Kitagawa Daichi is actually at Karasuno. Hinata also introduces himself and the third years remark that they saw him at last years game and praised how high he could jump despite being so short. Daichi is pleased that both of them are on the team and Hinata and Kageyama start arguing. The vice principal hears them and enters the gym. Daichi explains that they are just energetic and asks them to stop but the two are already fired up. The vice principal remarks that the first years don’t seem to listen to their captain. Hinata challenges Kageyama stating that he is not the person he was in last year’s tournament. See, after that tournament Hinata trained with all kinds of people, even the neighborhood women’s volleyball team. Kageyama says that he is not the same person either and that if Hinata wants to prove that he has to be able to receive one of his serves. They get into position and Kageyama serves with a powerful jump serve. Hinata dodges it and it instead hits the vice principal whose toupee or wig falls off and lands on Daichi’s head.
They are sworn to secrecy without punishment thankfully. Daichi tries to once again talk to the two but they start arguing once more. Daichi tells them that until they can start working like team mates that they are banned from the club. The two are frustrated at being kicked out and each try to appeal to Daichi but he sees through them. They try to come up with a way to get Daichi to let them in and so starts their development into actual team mates. The first season has, in my opinion one of the best first episodes. It manages to keep the back story of the first main characters short but meaningful. Within the first episode we already understand what these characters basic motivations are and what they are willing to do to achieve it. It also builds up enough question to make you want to watch the next episode. It is amazing and is worth every minute spent watching it.
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