Haikyuu! caught my attention since a few years back since it has mixture of the things I like from anime/manga series: school theme, sports theme, and a sports which is not basketball or soccer. I was waiting for Elex Media Komputindo to release the Indonesia version of the manga before following this. That does not happen until now. That is why I was paying more attention towards Kuroko no Basuke. Currently the second season is showing in Japan but that is not the reason for me finishing the first season over the weekend. Lol. I watched this because it is available for streaming at the same website where I watched Saint Seiya; Soul of Gold earlier.
There are no surprises for Haikyuu! as there are limited plot options for school + sports genre. The story begins with Hinata Shoyo being impressed while watching a short volleyball player dubbed "Small Giant" jumped to spike during a match in TV. Fast forward to Hinata's first encounter with Kageyama Tobio during a match in their junior high school which ended with Hinata's team loss. After graduation, Hinata and Kageyama ends up in Karasuno High School Volleyball Club. Being rivals, they have to learn to work as a team and it starts Karasuno Volleyball Club's adventure with the super rookies duo.
I may be biased -because I come to know Kuroko no Basuke first- but I see too many similarities with Kuroko no Basket: super rookies duo having to learn to fight as a team, a match with rival school, the return of great players who go missing during the initial match for various reasons, competitions at the Interhigh which ends with a loss and the story continues in season 2.
In the midst of similar series in which the characters have special inhumane techniques, Haikyuu! bravely does not follow the same suit: the characters are all normal players without superhuman abilities during the match. Honestly, that makes the matches somewhat more uninteresting. Despite that, team development, team bonding, and the emotional roller coaster during the matches are still top notch and I am still looking forward to the second season. I admit that it is an amazing feat to still able to craft such plots even without superhuman abilities.
Another formula that Haikyuu! breaks away from are arrogant antagonists who wants to crush everyone else and schools which are undefeated champions an so on. For example, Toru Oikawa from Aoba Johsai -which eventually defeats Karasuno- is very likeable and I am not surprised if people can even be rooting for him instead. Haha.. This approach makes the characters, the story, and the rivalries more down-to-earth and relatable.
Haikyuu! has a lot of potentials with the characters which are sadly not fully developed. The characters are quite one dimensional: we have the cheerful main character and the socially-awkward genius, strict and feared captain, caring vice captain, a kind hearted with thug appearance senpai, reluctant ace, cool manager, the benchwarmers and so on. The only missing element is an injured player. The interactions between the characters are very superficial and I don't really feel that they are well united as a team. I really hope that they dig the characters deeper and develop relationship better for the second season.
Overall, I think Haikyuu! is so so at the very best. While I don't find Haikyuu! bad, it is not good enough to pique my interest to get the figures of their characters. That may be a blessing in disguise as I have no space for new figures and new series. Having said that, I still bought the artbooks, I will definitely be watching the second season, and I am still hoping that Elex Media Komputindo will release Indonesian version of the manga. And most importantly, Haikyuu! is good enough to have the privilege of being the 1000th post for my blog. Lol :)
|Final shot to end season 1 with all members of Karusuno. Another similarity to Kuroko no Basuke? Haha..|