It was two months ago or so, I was thinking about why I love Haikyuu to this extent after the manga had officially ended. I know we have our reasons to love things; some are expressible with words, others are not. And I love thinking on why I love the things I love, more often than not I discover something different; both about the show and about myself.
Loving Haikyuu this much would kind of make sense because I had many of those reasons: I started the series with anime, which started airing back in 2014. I love sports anime in general, there’s a special thrill I get from watching aesthetic and fit bodies in motion. I love volleyball as well, it was natural that I checked it out.
Then came the characters, so lovable and so natural in their daily interactions. Nothing forced or out of place. This kind of natural flow of exchange between characters, I noticed, is a bit better in light novel adaptations. To give an example, I adored Oregairu’s continuous bickering. All of the characters in Haikyuu are your usual, dime a dozen high school students with their daily problems, joys and shortcomings. I’m way past the high school stage and naturally it’s not too often that I find high school setting this interesting, but these characters sure keep me glued to my chair.
Related to this, I am almost always not fond of the shounen anime protagonist. It’s either the side kick, the mentor or more secondary characters I feel more drawn to. But Hinata’s desperation, hunger and resolution was written so beautifully that he’s the very first shounen protagonist that, although I can’t say I empathize with him on many things, I felt him. Whatever that entails to. For the first time I felt that drawn to such conviction that he excruciatingly slowly, but sturdily brought into life.
Not only Karasuno members, but every other team or side character is tied to the story in a very organic manner. Be it their friendship, rivalry or providing support from the side, these are all added on top of each other like building blocks and in a non-overwhelming way. How is Furudate able to keep such balance with so many characters, I am still in awe.
Female characters, likewise, have characters of their own in this heavily male-centered story. Not just in relation to boys they are taking care of in different forms (as a sister, team manager, school mate etc) but as their own worries, problems and quirks.
While I’m not going to talk about the later stages of the manga to avoid spoilers, the ending was impeccable as well. I’ll be entering a dangerous zone now and may be slandering your favorite show a little without naming names, however, in my humble opinion, the worst thing that can happen to a show is to be dragged or stretched out more than it needs. While I understand consumers have hard time letting go of what they are used to, be it the animation style, the voice actors, direction or the story itself, a good work deserves a good ending and continuing just for the sake of continuing just tarnishes the series itself. I remember leaving shows in the most plot-wise crucial moments because I just couldn’t stand the dragging anymore. I’m sure there are times where we just finish something for the sake of getting an answer to “How will it resolve?” but even my curiosity had died at that point.
I have to admit I needed time to come in terms with Haikyuu ending, even though there was still a lot to animate and the fandom still contributing. But I think it’s an amazing accomplishment that I didn’t have one aspect I thought should’ve been expanded in this way or that arc should’ve been added/subtracted. The series were wrapped in a clever way, it was quite emotional and ended on a positive, uplifting note.
As I got more and more invested in the show itself, I also started to interact more with the Haikyuu fandom. If you’re a part of it, I’m sure you know it’s one of the most engaging and productive fandoms and it was a great experience to be a part of it and create together with the rest. I made many friends, one of them I still keep in touch.
Looking at it from a wider perspective now, I’ve spent my past 6 years with Haikyuu and never once I got bored or got detached, in the end it became my comfort series that I always go back. All the other shows I watched had a certain combination of these reasons I listed above but kind of fell short in other aspects.
All of these are part of my feelings I can put into words, the rest are like a tightly tangled ball of yarn I can’t seem to untangle. Sometimes, even though you don’t necessarily learn something new from what you consume, the piece gives you the necessary words or the frame you need to express yourself and maybe look at it from a different perspective when you’re at it. And Haikyuu, in my opinion, manages to approach it in a manner that says “This is my experience, and where I come from. You can take it to heart and bend it in a way that you’ll benefit or throw it away. What matters is that you grow from it.”, parallel to Bokuto’s advice for Tsukishima in the famous 3rd gym arc.
My first time trying to brave what other blogs have been doing for so long of course had to be with Haikyuu. My biggest concern getting into weekly reviews, apart from a regular schedule you have to keep up with and the number of shows I watch, is I find it hard to find something to say for each episode that is worth reading. As you can see, I have a lot to say about Haikyuu. I didn’t want to add this incoherent ramble, which may as well be a love confession letter I could leave in Furudate’s shoe locker, to my first episode review so here’s a separate post.
Are there different reasons that made you feel attached to Haikyuu? Are you keeping up with the series and feel as hype as me? Meet me in the comments, and see you tomorrow!!
Edit: I totally forgot it was the twins’ birthday!!! They totally crashed into my most favorite character list and wiggled their way to top 10. Long live Miya twins !!!