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Haikyu!! Vol. 1 by Haruichi Furudate (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 18, 2016 by  



haikyu-1

If you love sports manga series, Haruichi Furudate’s volleyball manga series, “Haikyu!!” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © HAIKYU!! Haruichi Furudate. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Haikyu! Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Haruichi Furudate

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Shonen Jump

RATED: T for Teen

Available on July 5, 2016


Ever since he saw the legendary player known as the “Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to-and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

After losing his first and last volleyball match against Tobio Kageyama, the King of the Court, Shoyo Hinata swears to become his rival after graduating middle school. But what happens when the guy who is supposed to be his rival ends up being his teammate?!


From Haruichi Furudate (“King Kid”, “Kiben Gakuha, Yotsuya Senpai no Kaidan”) comes his popular manga series “Haikyu!!”.

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump since February 2012, the manga series has a total of 21 volumes released in Japan thus far and also received an anime adaptation with a third season set to premiere on October 2016.

And now the sports/volleyball manga series has been released in the USA.

“Haikyu!!” begins with a junior high volleyball competition.  Shoyo Hinata may be short, clumsy and weak, but his passion is volleyball and he has been inspired by spikers, that despite his physical challenges, he has worked hard to have extraordinary reflexes and jumping ability.

Because his team didn’t have a volleyball team, he managed to get a team together in order to compete in one match and where he would meet a student who would become his rival, Tobio Kageyama.

Tobio on the other hand is well-known for his abilities and his setting and blocking abilities.  But his arrogant demeanor has earned him the nickname “King of the Court” but not in a good way.  Because of his terrible social skills, his team abandoned him which despite his magnificent skill, his coach had to bench him.

As both Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama start attending Karasuno High School, both are shocked that they are teammates.  But because they dislike each other, it interferes with the player dynamics with the volleyball team.

So much that the captain of Karasuno High School volleyball team, Daichi Sawamura, has the two locked out of the gymnasium until they prove to each other that they can function as teammates.

As Karasuno High School are determined to developing a solid team for the school year, will Shoyo and Tobio ever get along?


“Haikyu!!” joins the list of other popular manga series turned anime series which have gained a fan following.

Similar to “Prince of Tennis”, “Haikyu!!” has earned a huge following of female fans because of its male characters but for sports manga fans, the series is reminiscent of the popular basketball manga series, “Slam Dunk” in which we have teammates who dislike each other at first, but they know in order to become successful, they must find a way to work together.

The first volume focuses on the dysfunctional relationship between team members Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama.  Loud and always bickering, the two don’t realize that together, they would become an explosive duo because of Shoyo’s spiking abilities and Tobio’s setting abilities.

Because a volleyball team has several team members, the manga series focuses on two people but carefully integrates the other team members, may it be through practice or whichever way they can instruct their new team members.

And if you think Shoyo and Tobio can’t get along, wait until you see how both are treated by another freshman duo on the team, Kei Tsukishima and Tadashi Yamaguchi who immediately are mean and abrasive towards Shoyo and Tobio.

There is a lot featured in volume 1 of “Haikyu!!” and what I found interesting is most sports manga, may it be “Prince of Tennis”, “Slam Dunk” or even “Cross Game”, with “Haikyuu!”, there is no utilizing pages or two pages for one panel.  “Haikyu!!” features a lot of dialogue and I was surprised because with sports manga series, a graphic novel is a quick read.  For “Haikuu!”, a lot went into the storytelling and so, there are no one-panel pages and I like how Haruichi Furudate is able to utilize each page to benefit the story.

As for the artwork, the character designs are fun to watch as Furudate experiments with humor to serious-based emotions of its characters.

While it’s too early for me to make any judgments on “Haikyu!!”, I do know that I found the series to be exciting and fun and I can’t wait for volume 2.

If you love sports manga series, Haruichi Furudate’s volleyball manga series, “Haikyu!!” is recommended!

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