Spring 2014: Haikyuu!!
I’ve never been a big fan of sport-themed anime. They just don’t seem realistic to me. However, I always try to have a look at the new airing series, regardless of the genre. That’s why I decided to watch the first episode of Haikyuu!!
OP: The song is fitting for the anime – fast and cheerful. Good that it is sung by a male singer. The animation shows interactions of the members of the volleyball team and is filled with volleyball, as expected. In general – a decent opening.
ED: Ending song is similar to the opening song in “sportyness”, although I like it more than the opening. Animation once again focuses on the volleyball team, and the main character in particular. Some flashbacks from 1st episode are shown at the beginning, alternating with the new setting.
Voice acting: Main character (Hinata Shouyou) sounds almost like a girl. I would expect his voice to be deeper at the age of 15, as it usually is in anime, but nope. Not very fond of high-pitched voices. Other characters were voiced relatively well.
Visuals: The art reminded me a lot of [C] – Control. Especially the main character. Otherwise, it’s very good-looking with all the shadows and reflections. Quite unique compared to other series too, which is definitely a plus.
Characters: Leaving aside all the side-characters, who will probably never appear again, there are two main characters: Shouyou Hinata and Tobio Kageyama. In a way, they are complete opposites of each other, with different backgrounds and opportunities. However, they are still very similar. Both believe in never giving up, and for both winning is very important. Shouyou (or Sho, as his friends call him) is a 15-year-old who used to go to a junior high where he was the only member of the male volleyball team. Nevertheless, he practiced all the time, in order to participate in a real match one day. Tobio on the other hand went to a school with great reputation in the volleyball scene, so he had it easier. His personality is very demanding of his teammates, giving him a nickname “King of the Court”. Another reason for this is his skill. He refuses to go easy on his teammates. Both Sho and Tobio end up in the same team in high school.
Story: Sho has been practicing alone for 3 years during his junior high years. Now is his first and last chance to appear on the court in the name of Yukigaoka Junior High. For that, he finally convinces his friends and a few first-years to play as his teammates. He is confident they will win. However, as their opponents – Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High – appear, his friends lose all hope. The reason I generally dislike sports anime is due to the miracles. Well, a miracle did not happen – our protagonist’s team lost, with only a small glimmer of hope appearing at the end. Shows that you can’t win a team game alone (*cough* League of Legends *cough*). However, Sho got even more motivated now, and together with some new teammates joined the girls’ volleyball team, where he practiced till he graduated. He then proceeded to join the Karasuno High, determined to beat Tobio once he meets him again. Once he enters the gym, he sees that Tobio has become his new teammate, and both are shocked at the fact. A bit predictable, but oh well. They’ll probably become the best friends.
Conclusion: As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of sport-themed anime. The only ones I’ve really tried watching were Area no Kishi and Free. Both disappointed me, although for different reasons. This seemed better than the others, but it was just the first episode. As I remember, Area no Kishi impressed me quite much by its introductory episode. Let’s just hope this won’t take the same route in development. Then I might even stick around, even though I’m not too interested in Haikyuu!! Oh well. Maybe just one more episode, or two.