Haikyuu has consistently showed up in a lot of my feeds from people who absolutely adore this title – and I can see why. From the exuberant hero, Shoyo Hinata, to his cranky uptight rival, Tobio Kageyama, we have the setting for a very fun and earnest sports manga. It all comes down to the characters here as you find yourself wanting to cheer for them.
Story: Hinata has had one goal: to become the best volleyball player he can be. Unfortunately for Hinata, he’s very short and so has to make up for vertical challenge through mobility on the court and teamwork. But he hits a wall when playing a neighboring middle school: Tobio Kageyama. Nicknamed “king of the court”, Kageyama has a talent for the sport but terrible interpersonal skills. The two are opposite sides of the same coin: one motivates and one demotivates. But when they find themselves in the same team in high school, they are going to learn some hard lessons about volleyball from their older teammates. And maybe in the process, they will become not only better volleyball players but also better people.
Clearly, the reason to read Haikyuu is for the characters. Hinata is so much fun in his undying optimism and energy. Contrasting with down to earth Kageyama, the sparring of the two is quite fun to watch. But the other characters are also interesting, especially the older teammates and a smart captain who knows how to bring out the best in his players. His schemes to get Kageyama and Hinata to work together are smart but also fun.
The best description I can give for Haikyuu is that its ebullience is infectious. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously and allows the characters to breathe and grow. And at the same time, readers will grow to love our scruffy heroes and their volleyball pursuits. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.