I had just joined the Graphic Novel / Manga Challenge of 2016 recently, so here is my entry for January 😀
Before I get into the review, just a small blurb on my preferences for manga. It’s actually quite different from my choices of books. My taste in manga tends to lean towards the shounen and seinen, I do enjoy a spot of josei and shoujo once in awhile, but usually when it comes to manga, I’m not as partial to the romance genre (interestingly enough). For manga, I actually enjoy fantasy, supernatural, sports, and mystery; I’d even go so far as to read/watch (for anime) certain dystopian themed works, I don’t actually enjoy dystopian genres for books 😀 If you’ve not heard any of the Japanese words I’ve used above, click here for a better definition by Kotaku.com; they’ve managed to explain it a lot better than I would.
Now on to the review!
This title was brought to my attention by a friend of mine awhile back. Although at the time I was a little distracted and so I kept the title in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I was suffering from my reading slump did I decide to pick it up.I had also received multiple advice to try read something light, like a graphic novel or manga to help with this slump. I didn’t expect to run through this many volumes, but it was quite addictive.
“Junior high school student Shōyō Hinata gains a sudden love of volleyball after seeing a national championship match on TV. Although short in height, he becomes determined to follow in the footsteps of the championship’s star player, nicknamed the “Little Giant”, after seeing his plays. He creates a volleyball club and begins practicing by himself. Eventually 3 other members join the team by his last year of middle school, pushing Hinata to persuade his two friends who are in different clubs to join just for the tournament. However, they are defeated in their first tournament game after being challenged by the championship favorite team, which includes the so-called “King of the Court” Tobio Kageyama, in the first round. Though Hinata’s team suffers a miserable defeat, he vows to eventually surpass Kageyama and defeat him.
Fast-forward to highschool, Hinata enters Karasuno Highschool with the hopes of joining their volleyball club. Unfortunately for him, the very person he swore to surpass appears before him as one of his new teammates.”
– Taken from Wikipedia
(I won’t be giving a play by play summary of what goes on in each volume, rather I’m just going to give my reaction to the story so far.)
Sports genre manga have a very typical formula, you normally have a main character who is somewhat flawed but at the time is also has a specific skill set which will become very important to the team; usually they join the team during their first year of high school and somehow manage to make it on the starting string of a deteriorating sports team or a team with little to no members. Eventually they will train and sweat and cry and suffer and the underdogs will come out victorious! That is usually how it goes, but the reason I read this genre is for the process – how they overcome the trials and errors and for all the wonderful bromance and comedy 😀 Haikyuu! happens to have lovely bromance chemistry and their team is good fun to read about. I also like the characters from their rivaling team, and together they all have really good chemistry!
I know nothing about volleyball and this manga is full of explanation of how the game is played, but to be honest it is a lot more complicated for me to grasp than basketball, football or tennis (which I actually do watch), but that doesn’t deter me from getting through the story. At least up to this point, I’m still learning a lot about the sport.
This series has quite a lot of good characters, some are pretty typical stereotype characters, but somehow they still manage to entertain 😀 The main character, Hinata, is energetic, raring to go, and gungho type character, and is super adorable; like an over hyper puppy. I love his never give up attitude and how he gets excited by stronger opponents than himself, as well as how he easily makes friends. He also has this way of conversing with people that baffles some of his teammates where they wonder if he is even speaking Japanese. His partner Kageyama (as well as his rival), is the complete opposite of him, who is sullen and short tempered, but he works hard to change his bad habits which makes him quite adorable as well.
I could go through the whole team and more and continue gushing about them…but I feel you should really read the manga and discover them for yourself 😛
Would I recommend this? Yes! It is quite motivating (as is with most sports manga), they’re not over the top with special power skills which are impossible in the real world. The mangaka, Furudate Haruichi, has done his best to keep it as realistic as possible, there is no superpower moves which makes you go, “WTF?!”. There is a ridiculous move which the Hinata/Kageyama pair manages to execute, which I donno if it is possible in real life but in general it doesn’t look overly comical or unbelievable which I enjoy. So yes…I would totally recommend this at this stage 😀
Have you read it? Would you read it? Feel free to leave me your comments and opinion below!!!