I LOVE HAIKYU!!.
Every volume I marvel at its tight-knit perfection. Every volume I open the cover with great anticipation just to read the author’s note at the beginning.
The Johzenji game takes up most of the volume with the last quarter of the book covering the beginning of the Wakutani game. (Volume 14 might be a bit rough; the Wakutani game makes me nervous every time I watch it.)
I think most volumes of Haikyu!! contain the same basic elements: Hinata doing something superhuman; Tanaka being goofy; Asahi busting out an awe-inspiring spike; Tsukishima smirking; the opposing team flashbacking to the words of their senpai; Kageyama being sassy; Noya getting a killer dig; Daichi lying crumpled on the court, dead…
Wait, wut? Hehe…Okay, so he’s not dead. But what a cliffhanger! If didn’t already know what happens from watching the anime, I’d be screaming.
I LOVE “Haikyu!!”. I totally have a soft spot for sports manga but I especially have a cozy place in my heart for great sports manga. I don’t think I’ve converted a single person but I keep preaching, trying to get people to read “Haikyu!!”.
Volume 12 takes us to the Miyagi prelims where those Karasuno boys have to win, win, and win some more. (The anime is ahead of the English version of the manga at this point, so you can probably guess the outcome.)
In the prelims we get more of what “Haikyu!!” does so well–fleshing out the opposing team, building a quick but touching backstory, and making us feel maybe just a little bad that we’re rooting for them to lose. But then it does that other thing it does so well–those moments of ramped up intensity where Karasuno’s fire is lit and their victory feels like your victory.
I’ve said here and on the podcast and who knows were else that “Haikyu!!” is one of the tightest, purest, most perfectly distilled sports anime/manga I’ve ever seen. It’s all the best aspects of sports action combined with unique but lovable characters and the perfect ratio of humor to drama.
Also: the bonus story at the end of volume 12 was perfect and wonderful and Asahi’s panel just made me want to hug him and Noya both.