Let’s Have a “Ball”!

November 17th, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Haikyuu by

Let's have a ball blog 108OK, it’s another sports anime. “Haikyuu!!” (“Volleyball!!”) takes us into the marvelous and interesting world of…..volleyball! Oh, yeah! I can hear you stomping your feet and pounding the table. Serve it up! Sorry, it’s Men’s Volleyball and done inside (Sure, if this was Ladies Beach Volleyball, that would be COMPLETELY different).

OK, it’s another sports anime. This one tells the story of Shōyō Hinata (the carrot top near the right). He watched this student athlete play called “The Little Giant”. He was short, short, short, but managed to dominate the game big, big, big and became a real force to contend with.

OK, it’s another sports anime, so we see the trials and tribulations as the divergent members of Karasuno High School start to come together and form the team into not only a cohesive whole, but try and revive the greatness that this school once had.

Our Hinata tries to get a team going at his middle school, but they lacked focus, direction, coaching and talent and had their butts handed to them on Styrofoam plates (Yes, I know, it’s not true Styrofoam, but you know what I’m talking about!)

A couple of years later, he has a chance to be on a volleyball team at his new school, but there is a problem. HE is the problem. Too much zeal, not enough support.

Also trying out is Tobio Kageyama (off Hinata’s right), rudely referred to as the King of the Court, in the fact that he got rather tyrannical about the game. Sure, this guy was talented beyond belief, a most amazing setter, but he ‘does not play well with others’ to the point that he had to sit out the rest of the season, as no one would play with him. They would rather lose games than have him on the court

What makes this show an interesting twist is that the First-Years are the butt head jerks, whereas the Third-Years are mature and supportive. They, in fact, challenge these two newbies to work as a team or NEITHER will get on. Oh, no! What is going to happen?

Despite the initial good idea behind it, it did fall into the trap of showing too much of the gameplay. That got tiresome after a while, and you reached a point where it felt like ABC’s coverage of the Olympics, where you got “Up Close and Personal” with the players, to understand their motivations, their drives, their desires, their needs, their inability to find a good barber or hair stylist. I did like this show, but it slowly turned until it was me watching a volleyball match. I can go to the local high school and do that. I would have liked something more. Yeah, you saw some good game play, but it was relentless.

When I watch a sports anime, I want to see in inside game, not the game itself, and this show forgot that. The last 11 episodes were game, game, game, with the final seven being Karasuno’s match with Aoba Johsai. Too much, in my opinion. And the way it ended sets up a second season, as it seems to be the case with any and every sports anime. I have mixed feelings about this one, so I am going to suggest you watch it for a long as you can tolerate it, and then leave. Besides, you want to try and beat the traffic home and get to bed at a reasonable time

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 6 (Why is everyone so angry?)
Plot 7 (Standard sports approach)
Pacing 7 (A bit too much of the game logistics)
Effectiveness 7 (Worked early, but not later)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)

Overall 6 (Too much game play)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Send it to me!

2 responses to “Let’s Have a “Ball”!”

  1. Kylar200 says:

    I find that criticizing a sport anime for too much sport is equivalent to criticizing an action anime for too much action. It really depends on whether you’re a viewer that wants more plot diversity in his/her anime.

  2. The Droid says:

    And I am the kind of person who want the plot and character development over the sports. As i said, if I wanted to watch volleyball, I’d watch volleyball, not a volleyball anime. It’s just the ending arc was pulled out for far too long and got into such minutae, the story lost its focus, which was to be how these people of diverse talents and backgrounds can come together when it means the most and what they can learn from it. You need a tricky balance. It can be achieved, as with “Bamboo Blade” and “Big Windup”, but fell apart with “Ace of the Diamond” and Yowamushi Pedal”, when things got too clued it. It was trying to find an elephant with a microscope.

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