Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate
Series: Haikyu!!, #1-402 (45 Volumes)
Published: 2012-2020 by 集英社 [Shūeisha]
Genre(s): Manga, Sports, Shounen, Contemporary
Book Depository – Vol 1-45
Kinokuniya – Vol 1-45
Viz Media LLC
Overall Average Rating:
A wonderful, heart-warming series that starts off with us following the ever-determined Hinata Shōyō on his journey to become a great volleyball player despite his small stature. Then, it quickly evolves into something more as the focus doesn’t only remain on Shōyō, allowing us to witness different facets to the story before it ends by coming to a satisfying full circle.
Haikyu!! is the perfect example of how a simple story can be elevated to the greatest heights just by having brilliant characters, strong characterization and solid character growth. Everyone is so real and so sincere that you can’t help being pulled in and remain pulled in until the very end. Even characters that only appear for a few chapters can leave an impression on you and I find that utterly amazing.
I also really enjoyed the usage of metaphors and symbolism (like crows for those of Karasuno, cats for Nekoma, the iron wall for Date Tech) in Haikyu!! which added another dimension to the story. It gave aspects like volleyball’s ‘connect’ another facet, allowing contemplations between collectivism and individualism, for instance.
There’s not much that feels out of the realm of reality when it comes to this manga series (this is me having flashbacks of Prince of Tennis and their earth shattering moves 😂) and I really adore that the female characters are given chances to shine too. The way lessons and messages instilled here (like never giving up before trying, pushing past your own limits to achieve your dream, how teamwork makes the dream work, etc) can easily inspire anyone as well—another result of the aforementioned brilliant characters.
The ending felt a little rushed, but I greatly appreciate being able to follow the journey of all of these characters beyond their time in high school as well (even though some are only peeks). Everyone grows and there are changes, but the sincerity of their feelings for the sport remains even after.
I’m sure that the characters will remain in both my mind and heart for a long while.