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Haikyuu!! – 25 (END)

「三日目」 (Mikka Me)
“Day 3″

While the epilogue finale of Haikyuu was mostly subdued like I was anticipating, there sure were a lot of frustrated outbursts to keep things interesting. It was somewhat humorous since it’s not often we see Kageyama blow his cool

Aside from that, this episode proved to be both a heart-wrenching and promising look at Karasuno’s volleyball team, whose desire and determination to improve foreshadows some exciting things to come. It also re-emphasized that Shiratorizawa—and not Aoba Jousai—is the real team that they need to strive to beat if they expect to have any hope of getting to the nationals and doing well there. That in turn implies that they will at some point improve enough to compete with not only Oikawa’s group, but also Ushijima Watatoshi’s (Takeuchi Ryouta). The mere thought of that makes me tempted to go check out the manga, but I’ll refrain from doing so in anticipation of a second season. With that said, on to the final impressions!

 

Final Impressions:

To Random Curiosity readers old and new, the most meaningful impression that I can probably say about Haikyuu is that if I had known about it sooner, I would’ve gotten out of my two-plus-year blogging hiatus sooner. That’s coming from someone who doesn’t normally follow sports anime too, except the odd one that catches my eye while doing research for a season preview. However, as someone who used to play a fair bit of volleyball and been enamoured by the sport, I’ve longed for a modernized anime about it. There’s a lot of anime about baseball and soccer given their popularity in Japan, but volleyball always seems to be forgotten for some reason despite its popularity. Along comes Haikyuu and that void is finally filled. It’s not filled in just any old way though, as Haikyuu turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and engaging anime series that I’ve watched in a while.

That’s largely credited to how the series highlights many aspects of the sport, presents them in a non-alienating way to those who are unfamiliar with it, and features a huge cast of unique and relatable characters to draw viewers in. That last point is especially important, as Haikyuu not only tells a multifaceted and layered story from the protagonists’ perspective, but also from those of their opponents. At times, I found myself torn between whether I wanted our protagonists to win a match or their opponents. Because of that, I found the series very true to the friendly yet competitive nature of volleyball, where the lack of direct contact with one’s opponents makes it really easy to appreciate what they do well on their side of the net. Generally, nothing is considered a “dirty play” in volleyball, so once a match is over and the disappointment for the loser has subsided, experienced players will generally take away what they did well and how they can improve based on how their opponents played. Haikyuu has done an exceptional job at depicting this nuance, and uses it effectively as a means to propel the story forward for the members of Karasuno High.

Volleyball aside, I can’t stress enough how good Haikyuu is to those who aren’t into sport or sports anime altogether. The series has a knack for engaging viewers by telling a story where subplots just flow seamlessly into one another. It also has the perfect balance of seriousness and comedy, and knows when to use each of them so that it doesn’t disrupt the competitive mood. The production values—despite some dips in quality in one or two episodes—are well above average thanks to Production I.G and the music that goes with it is incredible for inducing feelings of excitement and anticipation. When we put all of that together, it simply means that Haikyuu has all the makings of a great anime. This adaptation is well-poised for a sequel and based on how the manga volumes are selling in Japan, it looks like it will probably get one. If you haven’t gotten on the Haikyuu bandwagon now, as one fan of anime to another, I strongly suggest that you get on board now and find out first-hand what all the well-warranted commotion is about. It’s been a pleasure covering the second half of this adaptation and I look forward to covering a potential second season in the future.

 

Full-length images: 15.

September 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm
23 comments »
  • September 23, 2014 at 12:12 amLem

    Where my season 2?

    • December 20, 2014 at 6:48 amLau

      It’s coming! * u * Sometime in the near future, too.

  • September 23, 2014 at 12:36 amshifobrains

    The third years are only staying to play for the spring tournament. They’re not staying in high school for another year. The teachers wanted them to quit playing volleyball so they’d focus on studying for college exams.

  • September 23, 2014 at 12:39 amPockyG

    I’ve never been a big volleyball fan before this anime but one of the great things about a series like this is showing the complexity behind it all with solid and steady storytelling to keep you enraptured.

    I’m really glad to have your insight as it really did help with some of the more technical aspects of the series that weren’t covered in better detail in the anime. Thanks for covering this one. I really do hope that blogging spirit has been rekindled for the next season.

    Disregarding the sport itself, even a layman like me has to admire how well every aspect of the anime was handled by Production I.G from the music, characters, animation and direction that seemed to pull in every emotion in the book effortlessly. In my book this is right up there with classics like Slam Dunk which can be enjoyed without understanding on technicalities of the sport. Personally I can’t wait for a S2 despite the total lack of knowledge of volleyball or in the worst case scenario pick up this totally addicting series in manga form.

  • September 23, 2014 at 1:13 amnagi

    Can’t really blame sensei on his seemingly weak advice to the third-years – I’m pretty sure he had wanted to say a lot but he just chose that one since he saw that those four are pretty much resolved to stay already.

    Anyway, thanks very much for blogging this Divine! Your volleyball insights were always helpful since I know nothing about the sport, and your animation error-spotting skills are amazing lol

    As for the show itself, Haikyuu is definitely my AOTY (I don’t see a potential contender on the Fall 2014 lineup). Noya is my favorite character, although everyone’s so lovable, even Tsukki lol. My favorite match is the recent one with Aoba Josai’s just for the great camera shots and unexpected but seamless back stories (I will never forget Kunimi’s).

    I think the only negative thing I can say about my Haikyuu experience is the overwhelming number of fujoshi fanmade stuff. It just leaves a bad taste when say, I want to search for nice wallpapers and then boom – I can’t help but wonder how tight those goggles are for them, especially when I think the show has zero fujoshi pandering (unlike say, YowaPeda).

    TL;DR Haikyuu is the best thing since sliced bread Chihayafuru, I guess I’ll just stick to official artbooks or something…

    • September 23, 2014 at 8:31 amMiaminights

      Chihayafuru /nod /nod

  • September 23, 2014 at 2:59 amRed HeartGold ZX

    I hope they’d have the second season (if there is) sooner than later. This anime is just too good to end there, and in all honesty, I can say that Haikyuu is much better in animation form than manga form, unlike the often-compared-KuroBasu which its manga is almost as good as the anime in entertainment value.

  • September 23, 2014 at 3:09 amSamu

    “To me, the only sensible thing for Karasuno’s third-year players to do is take part in the spring tournament, give it their all to make one final year push for the nationals, and leave it at that.”

    Don’t worry, Divine. That is all they are doing, nothing more. It’s just that the Spring Tournament would come at the very end of the year and likely clash with exams and whatnot, which is why it’s being made a big deal. It’s a matter of the teachers telling them to focus solely on their education rather than having to balance it with their sports activities.

    A perfect ending to a perfect series. I enjoyed every part of it, and can only be thankful of Production I.G and their absolutely stellar job. I honestly cannot think of an adaptation that I have ever been this satisfied with. Loved it. Hopeful for a S2 once we have enough chapters to cover!

    • September 23, 2014 at 7:02 pmDivine

      Yeah, my misunderstanding. See below. Thanks Samu.

  • September 23, 2014 at 7:02 amLikeAni

    “That, and the third-years’ ridiculous idea of sticking around for another year just to play more volleyball.” – you said.
    I think there is a misunderstanding here. the third year guys are not plan to repeat to play another year. In Japan, the school system usually has …. three semesters a year. and most third year students will stop “playing/activity” and only focus on study for the ENTRANCE EXAM.
    If they are not aiming for high degree university, they should be fine with study while having volleyball club a little longer.
    that is my understanding on this issue …

    • September 23, 2014 at 7:51 amDivine

      Seems like that’s the case, but even from the Japanese dialog, they made it sound like they planned to stick around for a “victory lap” in high school.

      • September 23, 2014 at 5:16 pmSivilySlare

        Actually, Divine… I found it to be quite clear, at least from the subtitles. However, knowing you view anime uninhibited, I suppose, I can’t say I judge, but I generally trust the subtitles, which were very clear the 3rd Years weren’t sticking around. Aren’t language nuances thrilling, though?

      • September 23, 2014 at 6:55 pmDivine

        Yeah, after rewatching the scene with Takeda, I think it’s much more clear that he’s talking about third-years quitting the club early so that they could study for their entrance exams. What caused my misinterpretation is the idea that it had to be one or the other, because I’ve never heard about all grade 12 students quitting their sports team to study for finals (at least not in North America anyway). In any case, I’ve edited that part of my impressions out so that it doesn’t mislead anyone else.

  • September 23, 2014 at 7:57 amrandomly

    Haikyuu! is totally the show of the year for me. Thanks again for covering it, Divine; your insights and knowledge of the game really added to my enjoyment of this series! Looking forward to your coverage of Season 2!

  • September 23, 2014 at 8:07 amGracelyn

    I loved watching this show every Sunday, and I’m worried that nothing in the Winter season is going to quite live up to it.

    At the same time, I know that this series and these characters are going to stick with me for a long time (especially if I re-watch it with the uninitiated!!)

  • September 23, 2014 at 8:30 amMiaminights

    What a great ending. The last two episodes really frame why this anime is so well done. Excellent work Production I.G. Really looking forward to whenever s02 comes out.

    Thanks for the coverage Divine! As a fellow former Volleyball player your added insight into the episodes tactics and hapennings really added to the overall experience.

  • September 23, 2014 at 10:36 amRok

    Thank you for blogging this divine. Maybe it’s because OMNI and yourself were the first bloggers in anime I’ve followed and essentially set your writing styles as the gold standard, but this anime combined with your weekly takes proved to be one of the most relaxing parts of my weekend. Thanks again for seemingly coming out of the blue to blog this and enhance my enjoyment of this series.

  • September 23, 2014 at 10:58 amAni_BEE

    I end up marathoning Haikyuu!! in two weeks (the madness) up to the the last 3 episodes before I caught up. I really not a sports anime fan either but Volleyball is just one of the few team sports I enjoy through school myself but the team character developing was excellent as well with all these odd balls. ;)

  • September 23, 2014 at 7:36 pmRenachi

    The comedy! The animation! The story! It was all infectious. Started marathoning a few days ago so that it would coincide with the final episode. Worth it. :)

  • September 24, 2014 at 8:43 amLithonite

    Final Impressions here – Made me decide to watch this

  • September 27, 2014 at 1:30 amshytende

    I totally agree with that last part of your final impression.

    I honnestly wasn’t particulary interrested by it at the start, due to my relative indiffer rence towards sports anime and volley.

    And now, it’s one of my favourite anime of the season, and even of the year.
    I was completely hooked by this show every weak.

    The only anime that made me feel a similar way Hunter x Hunter.

    This showid fully empathetic to absolutely every characters, and that’s why makes everything so special.

  • September 28, 2014 at 9:20 pmRonbb

    Haikyuu!! is one of the best shows this season and last — love how authentic the characters are and how engaging the storytelling is. It feels so real, pure and genuine throughout the 25 weeks, and the high level of respect the show has to its characters totally pays off. It’s gripping, funny and endearing. It so totally deserves a season two. Thanks Divine for blogging Haikyuu!! — your appreciation of the show and your knowledge of the sport absolutely add to the enjoyment of it. Hope that there will be more shows like Haikyuu!! that’s enticing enough to keep you blogging.

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