Sunday, 27 July 2014

[Discussion] Haikyu!!

I'm taking a detour from my usual YA Book Blogging and doing a little anime blogging.

You are totally not in anyway required to sit through this, but you totally can!

But today's discussion: Haikyu!! (Or, Sports Anime in general.)

Now, you might recognise those two central characters from some of my headers. I adore them.

Now, it's summer, so obviously I'm getting pumped by all these Sports Anime.

They're just... Ugh. My top three so far are Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Kuroko no Basuke, and Haikyu!!

I suppose in all honesty, today I'm going to be comparing the two latter ones, KnB and Haikyu!!.

That's because they're both quite different to Free!, and quite similar to each other.

The premise of KnB is as follows:
The basketball team of Teikō Middle School rose to distinction by demolishing all competition. The regulars of the team became known as the "Generation of Miracles". After graduating from middle school, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams. However, a fact few known is that there was another player in the "Generation of Miracles": a phantom sixth man. This mysterious player is now a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, if little-known, team. Now, Kuroko Tetsuya, the sixth member of the "Generation of Miracles", and Kagami Taiga, a naturally talented player who spent most of middle school in the US, are aiming to bring Seirin to the top of Japan, taking on Kuroko's former teammates one by one. [Wikipedia]
Here is the promotional picture:
(Again, you probably recognise a couple of these characters)

And for Haikyu!!, it's:
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 "Small Giant", after seeing his plays. He creates a volleyball club and begins practicing by himself. Eventually five other members join the team by his last year of middle school, but they are defeated in their first tournament 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. When he starts high school, he is shocked to discover that Kageyama is attending the same one, and he is also on the volleyball team! How can he defeat someone who's supposed to be his team mate? [Wikipedia]

Oh man, I got shivers just reading the plot for KnB, despite having already watched the show. That is just how good it is, how in love I seem to be.

With both being a sports anime, naturally, they are competitive and follow the same structure - team competing to become the best in their respective sport.

Bar the different characters, they should be identical.

But they're not!

You may have already noticed, but their drawing styles are quite different. This is reflected upon the atmosphere of the show- you see, every single one of these characters are the same age. Yes, even the short ginger (Hinata).

Actually, okay, that's a lie. All of the basketball guys, the ginger one and the one with black hair are the same age. The men in the background of the Haikyu!! picture are a year or two older. But they're all still in high school!

For KnB, the drawings are very realistic, with the characters being portrayed as look quite old. This gives the show it's seriousness. I mean, just watch this clip: (Speaking is in Japanese, and the subtitles are foreign, but you don't necessarily need to know what is being said.)

First off, how does that not get you pumped?!

Right from the music, to the fast paced action, the sound effects, the lightning coming from their eyes. Kagami and Aomine have so much passion for their sport, it's infective. (Aomine is the blue haired from Gakuen, whilst Kagami is the red from Seirin.)

But now, compare that to this clip from Haikyu!! (This time the subtitles are English)
Do you see how it is in no way was serious as KnB?

Even the characters look youthful.

Sure, there are serious moments in Haikyu!!, just like there are many light hearted scenes in KnB (my personal favourite is the running gag of Kuroko appearing randomly, stating that he was "already there", yet no one noticed. It's brilliant.)

There are so many more bodily features drawn onto the characters from KnB than those in Haikyu!! There's more muscle definition, a wider contrast in appearance.

(Though, if it's muscle definition and a distinct lack of shirts you're after, then I highly recommend this clip from Free!)

Just look at those pretty boys and shark teeth and sparkling water and toned bodies. Why can't boys like that exist in real life?! (Minus the shark teeth)

So, really, all Sports Anime are competitive. They all have their serious moments, they're funny ones, and their female manager who is usually not as attractive as the opposing female's manager.

Honestly, they're filled with tropes. They're not necessarily bad tropes, but because they're so repetitive they are a little annoying. But every now and then there's a twist on some of the tropes, which is brilliant. Every now and then.

In conclusion, I declare that you must watch every sports anime show that you can. Because they are the best, and are perfectly ideal for the summer we're currently in.

Again, sorry for the YA readers, but if you read through this anyway, thank you!


  1. I'm not watching Kuroko no Basuke or Haikyu!! but Free! <3 I really like the characters in that anime. (and "shark teeth" is my favorite) And I do like sports anime in general as well. My favorites are Prince of Tennis, Hikaru no Go (go is a sport, sort of) and Ookiku Furikabutte :)

    1. Oooooh, I really think you should start KnB and Haikyu!! ;) Free is great, right? I just think that Sports Anime are so addictive when it comes down to it. I don't think I've seen those 3! I'll have to go check them out, see if I like them :D