Fandom Features #4: Haikyuu!!

So you’re probably wondering why this blog went sort off dead when I was doing really well in posting regularly. Suddenly I disappeared again, despite saying that I had more free time than ever. Well, event plannings happened, midterms, final exams for my last legitimate term before internship… You get the picture.

(Actually, I also blog at Stay Bookish now. So I am not exactly dead. Come visit me there sometimes, hahaha.)

So here it is: the big one. The big part of my disappearance. Do I regret not posting? Not really. Am I in hell? Yes. But the main reason of course, is because this bloody fandom took over my life. Greetings from Haikyuu hell, this is your fangirl speaking.

I am a big fan of sports animes, or at least I thought I was when I realized that I only watched Slam Dunk and Kuroko no Basket. KnB gave me this huge anime slump, because I was so engrossed with it that I read the manga when we were given the cliffhanger for Season 2. I was so devastated when it ended, and then I slowly drifted away from watching anime. But it’s a good thing, I guess. Because after that, I realized how much books meant to me. Anyways, back to the main point. I wanted to watch more sports animes. So during that slump, I tried watching Free! but I could not keep a straight face on because they were showing a lot of abs around, okay? Then I watched Yuri!!! On Ice, and to be honest, my Fandom Features post for that one will explain itself. After YOI, I wanted more. And the next best thing is Haikyuu.

HAIKYU!!

59955Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant” in action, small-statured Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. The newly-formed team even makes it to a tournament; however, their first match turns out to be their last when they are brutally squashed by the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama. Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and so after graduating from middle school, he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team—only to find that his sworn rival, Kageyama, is now his teammate.

Thanks to his short height, Hinata struggles to find his role on the team, even with his superior jumping power. Surprisingly, Kageyama has his own problems that only Hinata can help with, and learning to work together appears to be the only way for the team to be successful. Based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular shounen manga of the same name, Haikyuu!! is an exhilarating and emotional sports comedy following two determined athletes as they attempt to patch a heated rivalry in order to make their high school volleyball team the best in Japan.

(Season 1 synopsis from MyAnimeList)

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So when we had four days off school, I decided to watch Haikyuu on a whim. It was fun at first, and then I got sucked into this black hole. Too late have I realized that I may have already sold a part of my soul to Furudate Haruichi without knowing about the transaction. The process was very quick actually. The first episode managed to hook me in a single heartbeat. I managed to watch Seasons 1 and 2 in three days, each season consisting of 24 episodes, with maximum intervals that consist of eating, semi-sleeping, slight concern over school projects, and slight hesitation to watch it immediately because every moment is precious. (And I also tend to pause the episodes a lot because I was laughing too hard, up to the point where I can’t breathe.)

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I seem to have forgotten what it was like to obsessively fangirl over an anime. The feelings that resurfaced after watching Haikyuu Season 1 were ridiculous. I read Volumes 1 – 12 of the manga. I watched 2/4 productions of the stage play, and I am updated with the current production. I could not stop myself from looking at tumblr posts, memes, artworks… HECK I EVEN WATCHED A LOT OF Multi-Editor Projects again. I started dabbling with video editing again so I can make an editor project of my own. I developed ships again. Things got even more intense because I was even reading fanfiction (*winks*) again. Language should have been a barrier, but I didn’t even care and I watched the 4 full seiyuu events without subs. I love their seiyuus so much that I planned to binge watch the other animes that they are in. In short, Haikyuu took over my life. I became a trash, and I basically spam Twitter with incoherent fangirl noises everyday because of this show. I can’t think of a day where I haven’t mentioned my love for my ships. So if my ship sinks, I’m planning on taking everybody down with me. *evil laugh*

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So how on earth did a single anime turn me into a more ridiculous fangirl? Does that kind of power even exist? Truth be told, I am just an inch closer to bursting a blood vessel from too much fangirling because of this show. I love it so much, I could probably list down a thousand reasons on why this show is just the best. But like everything else, those reasons can be simplified. Here’s a rundown:

1. Every character has their own way of expressing their love for volleyball.

Everyone has their own motivation to love the sport, and that motivation radiates to boost the entire team’s morale. It is a story about rising to the top again, with the mighty crows proving that they can fly again and will surpass anything that blocks their goal. Volleyball is all about connecting, and everyone in Karasuno’s team knows that. Which is why every member strives to become a better player than they already are. There’s passion in everyone’s eyes. Also other than improving their own strength, they remind the audience of the most important strategy of all: teamwork.

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2. It’s funny.

What I also love about Haikyuu is that it does not lack a sense of humor. It is probably one of the factors that carries the series all together. When I rewatch a certain episode, I come back for the humor. Haikyuu has a natural feel to it, and it feels so good to just laugh your heart out with the players’ antics. Everything works well together, like perfect cogs. They are all such huge volleyball dorks, and their humor supports each other. It is fun to watch a show where they put all of their heart and soul into the sport, and they still get to be funny and crazy. Yes, they take volleyball seriously, but they also want to carry out that it’s not a fun sport if you do it alone. (Also, did I mention that they are dorks?)

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3. Good luck choosing a team to support.

One thing that Haruichi Furudate emphasized in this series is the team dynamics. Yes, we have Karasuno and they are the main team that you would want to support… okay maybe not because they are not the only high school that is competing for the championship in the prefecture, let alone in Japan. There are a lot of teams in this series, and they are all amazing in their own hilarious ways. Furudate even gave some of them side stories and it will make you want to go, “OKAY. WHO DO YOU REALLY WANT ME TO SUPPORT NOW? “

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My personal favorite besides Karasuno would be Aoba Johsai/Seijoh High School (because of my ship). They are such a cool team, and they analyze their opponents well. They really are one of the best teams in their prefecture.

Just imagine my agony when they are battling each other. I want Karasuno to win, but I will cry buckets if Seijoh loses. It’s just too much for my poor heart. (And because my OTP is the captain and the ace, hoho)

4. In every game they play, you cannot help but cheer for them.

Despite the eternal agony of feeling like I don’t know what team to support, my heart will always go for Karasuno. They are the underdogs rising back to the very top. And their journey to reach the orange court is heartwarming to watch. Their matches are so intense. Every play makes you want to go “NICE SERVE!”, or “NICE RECEIVE!”, and when they look like they are just building pace or they are one score behind, it will get you to scream “ONE MORE!”, and when they miss, it will make you scream “DON’T MIND!”. It brings out that feeling of support, like if you’re rooting for your favorite team IRL.

But yeah, “GO, GO, KARASUNO!”

5. Amazing character development.

Majority of the things I listed down are for Haikyuu Season 1. Basically, everything levels up in Season 2. And when I say character development, I really mean it.

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Haikyuu, in the simplest terms, is amazing. Honestly, I don’t know when was the last time that I got too passionate about a certain fandom. I don’t mind that it took over my life, because it turned into an inspiration that reawakened a certain side of me that I unconciously repressed. Haikyuu can really motivate its viewers with all of the positivity that it radiates on the screen. And I believe that people need that kind of positivity in their lives. Like its main character, Haikyuu is like a ball of sunshine. It makes you smile just thinking about it, and all is well on a rainy day.

It’s the sort of anime that just sticks to you. If you’re in an anime slump like I was, this is the perfect show to watch. If you’re also just starting out, and you don’t know what anime you should watch first, go for this one. Or rather, don’t take my word for it. Dive in yourself, and maybe see for yourself on why I cannot seem to stop talking about it. Just a reminder though: if you do decide to watch this, your body might slightly itch and it will make you want to play volleyball.

And there we go. Been a while since I have poured my soul out unto a blog post and it feels great. If you ever decide to join the Haikyuu fandom, I will welcome you with open arms. (And I will thank you eternally for keeping me company as I burn in hell.)

“Bianca, are you okay?” You’ll probably ask.

“Yes, I am perfectly fine.” I reply as my eye twitches, my blood pressure rises, and as I hold non-existent Haikyuu merch. (Which I will probably hunt down soon because no one can stop me.)

Now, question time! What fandom do you want me to feature next? Or rather, what fandom should I convince you into joining? (Based on my charts, it may or may not involve ice-skating boys.)

Twitter || Goodreads || Letterboxd || MyAnimeList

One thought on “Fandom Features #4: Haikyuu!!

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