Haikyuu!! – First Impression Review
Haikyuu!! – First Impressions
That’s the sentiment that I was left with by the end of the third episode of this new series. That, and the need to watch more episodes. “Give me more!!”
Although this might not be “the best sport series ever”, it is definitely worth a watch.
Haikyuu!! has a way of charming the viewer into looking past it’s predictable storyline, and this is going to be one series that I will continue to follow for this season.
“Shōyō Hinata began playing volleyball after seeing the “small giants” who played the sport when he was in elementary school.
He suffers a crushing defeat in his first and last tournament in middle school at the hands of his rival Tobio Kageyama. So, Hinata joins Kurasuno High School’s volleyball team, vowing revenge against Kageyama. However, Kageyama is also on Kurasuno’s team. The former rivals form a legendary combo with Hinata’s mobility and Kageyama’s precision ball-handling. Together, they take on the local tournaments and vow to meet Kurasuno’s fated rival school in the nationals.”
The first 3 epsiodes covers the meeting of Hinata and Kageyama and their slow progress from rivals to partners due to a predicament in which they have found themselves in.
With so many sports series out currently, I was a tad reluctant to watch this series as volleyball just isn’t my cup of tea.
I have tried playing volleyball back in school and I just couldn’t appreciate/enjoy the game, and so when I was told that this series was good, I was skeptical about watching it and entered with much reserve. Surprisingly, I found that I had enjoyed this series quite a bit.
The storyline of the show is predictable and pretty typical, starting from the presence of the stereotype “underdog character” to the existence of the “natural genius” character, followed by the plot progression of Hinata finding himself on the same team as his rival, and due to their hate for one another, they find themselves forced to work together in order to overcome a common predicament.
Cliche can be good at times (but cliche can be bad too). If you are looking for an original storyline, then the first 3 episodes hasn’t hint at any so far. Even the way they had hinted at Kageyama having some sort of “dark past”/”trauma” was done in an a-typical manner. But if you are willing to overlook the lack of originality for the entertainment of watching fun and interesting characters prattle around on your screen, then you would find yourself enjoying this series.
Although the focus currently lies with Hinata and Kageyama, the rest of the Kurasano High School Volleyball Team trumps the two when it comes to the entertainment factor and I can’t wait for when we are able to see the team come together as a whole.
So lets start with Hinata. Hinata is your typical loud mouth talented underdog character. He is meant to be super flexible, super agile and have great instincts. But his main “power” is meant to be the fact that he never gives up. Sounds familiar? 😉
That character profile is nothing unique. The writers do a great job of pushing his character to the limit just before he becomes intolerably annoying, after which they would start backing off by making you feel sorry for him. His sob story of having to play ball all by himself did get me irritated after awhile due to the number of times that fact was repeated through the span of the 3 episodes. But with a character like Kageyama to balance him off, it turned what could have been a bad situation into an rather entertaining one.
Kageyama is the egoistical, perfectionist who expects nothing but the best when it comes to the people he plays volleyball with, and this attitude rubbed his teammates the wrong way in his junior high team. He is demanding, has a bad temperament and can fry people with his eyes (hey, with the way Hinta reacts, you would think that too 😛 ). On their own, the characters might have made me walk away from the show, but together, there is a nice balance of ying and yang as the two characters develop their friendship and soften up to one another (along with annoying each other).
The show successfully engages the viewer by throwing in just enough tension building “action” moments to leave you wanting more as well as a little bit of everything else – from heartwarming scenes to your typical “battle” moments. It manages to capture the essence of a good shounen sports series without pretending to be more.
Personally though, a huge part of the reason why I enjoyed the show was the execution of the animation. The art is lovely, the animation sequences are dynamic and the reactions the characters have are cute.
This is definitely not a macho or serious series the way Hajime no Ippo is, and it sticks pretty close to reality unlike Prince of Tennis, so if I had to pick a show similar to this, I would say Kuroko no Basuke is the closest thing that I can think of (I know Kuroko is not what one would call realistic, but the partnership duo element is similar).
Rating: 7/10 – I am not a big fan of volleyball, and I never would have expected to enjoy this series but I did.So I have to give it credit where credit is due.
Till the next review!
-ra (My ice cream maker arrived today! Yay! now I can make myself some ice cream to eat the next time I write a review. ^^)