Haikyuu! follows the story of Hinata Shoyo, a young man who, inspired by the mythical volleyball player “The Little Giant”, decides to play and become like him, a powerful player who triumphs despite his size. At the cost of many efforts, he trains in his school, until he manages to form a team with which he will face the Kitagawa Daiichi school in his first tournament. Kageyama’s skillful Tobio defeats Hinata and her team, starting a great rivalry that must end in years to come, when they meet at Karasuno High School’s volleyball club, where the little giant once studied.
The plot can be great, but if the characters driving it aren’t good, it all ends up screwing up. Fortunately, this is not the case Haikyuu, which makes all of the above believable because its characters express their ideas, thoughts, talents, scenes, and personalities well. The protagonists of this story are two in number: Kageyama, a talented playmaker, and Hinata, small, lacking in technique but passionate. The contrast between this pair is remarkable. But together, before being rivals, they end up forming a very powerful duo, whose only reason to function is, neither more nor less, than the passion for something. To volleyball. Because the two don’t get along, how different they are; only the love of something unites them and that is how they are well. They form a relationship that is not only pleasant, but also funny.
Haikyuu! ! It’s amazing for anyone who knows the sport or is interested in it. Haikyuu can be, with simplicity, a good theoretical and “strategic” volleyball course, exciting for its players. The amount of techniques, ideas, procedures and, I repeat, strategies, is enormous. Huge, but not tiring. It is, on the contrary, fascinating to understand how volleyball actually works. Understand it, see the wide range of “qualities” one has, feel excited and learn. The anime is good at developing volleyball with absolutely all its aspects, showing the viewer its many wonders, while conveying a certain enthusiasm.
There’s something this series does very well that very few sports anime do: show and deeply develop even secondary characters, including those on the opposing team who easily lose to the protagonists. It’s not that they dedicate a few seconds of dialogue or a few words, they can dedicate entire chapters to these characters. With this, what they do is explore the inspirations and personalities of these secondary characters, showing how much they have tried or what they need to improve as people to finally progress in volleyball. So neither character feels disposable, and although he’s a very secondary character, he’s seen as a real person with his own dreams and goals.
In terms of plot, it is the same structure as the vast majority of spokespersons: phase of training and improving the characters in different aspects and, immediately after, the tournament of the corresponding sport. This structure is used to its fullest in said anime. I say this for several reasons: the first is that they distribute the times of each part well, without giving the impression that there is more than one; the second is that the balance between action and drama of character development is consistent with each part, that is, in training a little more time is spent on character growth without neglecting the action and the tournament is devoted more to this without neglecting the other.