Sports manga work by the characters; Furudate gets it right with Haikyuu. Volume one gave us two protagonists on opposite ends of the spectrum (quirky underdog Hinata and talented-but-socially-inept Kageyama) and smartly made it so that they balance each other out and create synergy. Now, with volume 2, we are introduced to rivals and new teammates who will challenge our duo to get better in the usual power ups.
Hinata and Kageyama proved they could work together; even more, they proved that they can create amazing plays. But everyone recognizes the team is still full of holes and can be taken out easily. So a friendly game is arranged with another school to see if the boys can pull it off consistently. But it turns out it is the school that most of Kageyama’s former middle school teammates now attend. Both Hinata and Kageyama are in for a challenge.
Most of this volume is the practice game at the other school where Hinata and Kageyama have to prove that they can actually do their crazy “set perfectly and then hit the ball with eyes closed” play. A rival in the form of Kageyama’s super-talented former sempai is introduced and by the end, their team’s ace comes on to the scene.
Haikyu is just good fun. The characters are interesting and Furudate never takes anyone too seriously so the story can flow nicely. As well, the slow introduction of new characters keeps the storyline fresh and gives our characters varied challenges. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.