Anime Review: Haikyu!!, Seasons 1, 2 and 3

Details: The anime first aired in 2014. There are currently three seasons. There are twenty-five episodes in seasons one and two. Season three has ten episodes and is called Karasuno High School vs Shiratorizawa Academy. Each episode is about twenty-four minutes long.

I’m mostly embarrassed at how much I enjoy sports anime. It’s pretty cookie-cutter stuff at this point, but I fall for it every time. First, I wonder to myself how an anime about basketball, rugby, golf, bicycling, or volleyball (in this case) could possibly be interesting. Then I watch a few episodes to see what’s going on. Before I know it, I get sucked into the hype and am binge watching the whole series. Despite my awareness of this weakness, the same thing happened again for Haikyu!!.

Haikyu!! is about a high school volleyball team and their pursuit of being national volleyball champions in Japan.

If you’re wondering how an anime about volleyball could be interesting, it’s mostly because it follow the classic shonen formula. Using volleyball as a medium, people constantly combat against each other and try to figure out who’s the strongest. There’s training plot arcs, rankings, special moves, etc. It’s almost like Naruto or Dragon Ball Z except that you replace jutsu and energy blasts with volleyball techniques. They take some ideas from volleyball and then stretch those ideas into moves that can almost be considered superpowers. It’s not all that realistic, but in that world of hyper-dramatized volleyball, it works. There are lots of anime out there that fail to keep my attention. Haikyu!! kept my attention just fine.

The genre of sports anime is set in stone nowadays and this anime does not deviate from the formula. There’s a lot of sports related drama here. Little to no romance. Lots of comedy. Sports matches play out like fights from other popular shonen anime. Common themes in sports anime are about overcoming adversity and clever use of abilities. There’s a lot of that in this anime.

The animation is pretty good and generally doesn’t dip in quality. The music is also good.

In regards to each individual season, seasons one and two are pretty good and consist of a number of matches and training plot arcs. Season three consists of a single match against a single opponent. With that said, the best of the three seasons was season three in my opinion. Animation, pacing and music were all superior in season three and this season is what pushes the anime from a 7/10 to an 8/10 for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. The two other sports anime that I’ve enjoyed are Hajime no Ippo and Kuroko no Basuke. This series is far more similar to Kuroko no Basuke because of the team element in the story. Haikyu!! isn’t over yet, but I would say I enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke more. Still, this is a fun series to watch and, unlike Kuroko no Basuke, isn’t over yet so there’s more to see and more developments left.

Score: 8/10


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