Haikyuu !! it’s a manga cool, or sports, focused on men’s volleyball. First published in Japan as a one-shot in the magazine Jump NEXT!, the series, written and drawn by Haruichi Furudate it was then published in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, published by Shūeisha, from February 2012 to July 2020. Since then, the manga has come a long way, conquering fans all over the world. In Italy from November 27, 2014 the manga is published by Star Comics editions which announced the conclusion with the number 45. An ending, this, which will happen with a bang and that will delight all fans of history.
The publishing house has in fact announced that the July 7, attached to the last volume of Haikyuu !!, there will be an unmissable gift, or a mini-shikishi, term used to indicate the traditional paper support, of variable thickness, used in Japan for calligraphy, poetry, paintings and autographed drawings. The number 45 of Haikyuu !! will be made available for sale in the comic shop, bookshop and online store, a limited edition!
That said, there are great reasons to start reading the manga, and if this little treat isn’t a juicy enough incentive, here are some more reasons.
Haikyuu !! between volleyball and friendship
Haikyuu !! it’s not just the classic sports manga focused on men’s volleyball. History is overflowing with important values, first of all friendship and trust in one’s teammates.
The protagonist of the story is Shoyo Hinata who, after attending a volleyball match, is fascinated by the skill of a boy, a student of the liceo Karasumo, nicknamed “The Little Giant” because, despite his low height, he is able to literally take flight, jumping on par with players much taller than him. Hinata then decides to follow in his footsteps and to start playing volleyball, a path that is far from easy given that the club is missing in her middle school. He decides to create a team with his friends and faces his first inter-school tournament with them. Predictably his team loses his first match in which he finds himself facing Tobio Kageyama, called the “King of the field”.
Hinata decides not to give up and to enter the school of her idol, Karasumo. Too bad the difficulties are not over! First of all, the Karasumo volleyball team is known by the unpleasant nickname of “The crows that can no longer fly” due to the constant defeats, and it is no longer that strong team in which the little giant played !. Furthermore, Hinata comes face to face with her rival Kageyama, whom she had decided to defeat. The two have no choice but to collaborate and fight on the same playing field.
The manga then follows the personal growth of this team that, after numerous defeats, blind alleys and difficulties, once again stands its wings and returns to fly. Friendship, courage, desire to win, personal struggle and for one’s team, these are the values of Haikyuu !! (word which literally means “volleyball” in Japanese). The competitive tension is always present, both in Karasumo and in the opposing teams. Each character has a dream and would be willing to do anything to make it happen.
Numerous volleyball techniques are also analyzed and deepened, which will appeal to anyone who practices this sport. But the deeper teaching is definitely what there are no limits for those who want to practice a sport. With dedication, passion and constancy everything is possible. The important thing is not to give up. Just look at Hinata to believe it!
The manga, as mentioned before, is published by Star Comics editions, and this is the plot taken from the first volume:
Shoyo Hinata is an eighth grade student who, after attending an exciting volleyball match, decides to take the long and tiring way to become a top level player! With the school club team, the boy first of all has to face the inter-school tournament, during which he will have to deal with much more prepared opponents. The defeats, however, serve to fortify the spirit, so Shoyo does not give up, on the contrary … He is more and more determined to break through!
The anime and theatrical adaptations of Haikyuu !!
The first anime adaptation of the manga was produced by Production I.G and aired from April to September 2014 for a total of 25 episodes, immediately followed by a second season, also of 25 episodes, which aired from 3 October 2015.
The third season of the anime was made up of only 10 episodes that aired from 6 October until 10 December 2016. Unlike the previous ones, this one focused on the meeting between “the Ravens” of Karasuno and “the Eagles” of the fearsome Shiratorizawa academy, a formidable, virtually unbeatable team whose captain Ushijima is part of the Japanese national team. This meeting will show the full potential and playing styles of both teams and their differences.
The fourth season, entitled Haikyuu!!: To the Top was announced at Jump Festa 2019 and the first part was aired from 10 January to 3 April 2020. The closing theme, Kessen Spirit, was played by none other than CHiCO with HoneyWorks, a Japanese VOCALOID orchestra, in which the singers’ voices are created through software that allows users to synthesize their own singing. The second part also aired in Japan on October 2, 2020 and ended on December 18.
A series of OAVs (Original Anime Videos) are also part of the franchise. The first, Haikyuu!! Quest Picture Drama, consists of 3 mini episodes lasting 4 minutes, bizarre and absolutely funny in which our protagonists find themselves having to face some quest in a fantasy way threatened by a terrible villain. Haikyuu !!: Riku vs Kuu covers the events of the Tokyo regional tournament in two episodes: Break VS Moon e Ball no Michi, which see the Nekoma, Fukur’dani, Nohebi and Itachiyama teams competing for the three places available for access to the national championship. Another OAV, titled Haikyuu !!: Lev Kenzan! as the name implies, it focuses on the character of Lev Kenzan and his early days at Nekoma.
Where is it possible to watch the anime? Haikyuu !! was bought by Yamato Video, which aired it from 10 October 2016 on Man-ga. It was later made available on Netflix.
The manga has also inspired several theatrical performances that are part of the project Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu !!. The last of them, Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!! – The View from the top 2, was staged from 20 March until 9 May 2021. The entire project, which started in 2015, was carried out by the director Worry Kinoshita, Norihito Nakayashiki, screenplay writer and Shunsuke Wada responsible for the musical direction.
That said, it is really worth venturing into the exciting world full of action, dreams, tears, and joys of Haikyuu !! To buy the first volume in digital format go to Amazon: the dream of Hinata and her team awaits you!