It’s been 2 years since I reviewed the first season of Haikyū. And before you click on it, it’s… not exactly my best writing, as it glosses over the highlights of the series, but provides very little meaning. I’m going to change that.
For this review, I will be discussing seasons 2 and 3 of Haikyū together, as they comprise the whole narrative of Karasuno High’s second prefectural tournament. While the new plot developments and characters are interesting to evaluate, I am departing from the analytical mindset in search of overall meaning of the narrative instead, in relation to these elements.
That being said, SPOILERS will ensue, tears will be shed, and the crows will fly. So if you want “one more,” here’s my second take on Haikyū the animation!
There’s no denying it. I love this series, and I do think it deserves as much attention as it has gotten since last year. I admit, that’s a rare thing for me to say, considering my track record for downplaying popularity as a factor for anime.
I appreciate that fans and critics alike have had a lot to say about this series already, so I won’t be sharing anything particularly new about this series. One thing I should point out though is that its use of homoeroticism, while a very important theme, isn’t the only thing is worth noting. I’m kind of a figure skating otaku myself, so watching Yuri Katsuki’s journey to lutz his way to the Grand Prix had extra appeal. But before I get into this review, there is one thing I have to say to the folks who dismiss the series, solely because there’s a romance between two guys in it:
This month I have been featuring anime that speak to the theme When determination is not enough. And I know what you’re thinking: this anime has its answer right in the opening theme song, “Believe in Yourself.” That would be satisfactory if you liked straightforward answers to all of life’s toughest problems.
But since I’m a critic who has no soul, giving such a vague, cliché claim is easier said than done. And thank goodness, our protagonist Eichiro Maruo doesn’t get it right away either! So rather than just stipulate that believing in yourself is what you do when determination isn’t enough, I will be deconstructing what this tennis anime has to offer about what it takes to get to that point. After all, Eichiro is so good at analyzing things, he makes note-taking so intense!
Don’t get too confused! This series is about survival games that use airsoft guns for sport. But since I like making things a little more complicated, there’s more to it than fun and games. After all, this series explores the psychology of these kinds of games as well as a critique on the assumptions of gender roles for those who play them.
I will be discussing these aspects of the series, but my main focus will be about passion and determination that is involved in hobbies like survival games. After all, simply enjoying what you do gets messier when other people with different ideas are involved, kind of like discovering other people’s opinions about anime, right? Sigh.
But I’m not that heartless. This is a comedy series, so I will continue to keep this review fun. And if you don’t like what I have to say, then go back to reading your erotic fictions or something.
I don’t normally review a series that is still going, but then again, I also don’t watch a lot of shows that KEEP GOING AFTER TWO YEARS! (Not that I’m complaining.) But a significant amount of this series can be covered in the first six-cour installment of the anime, lasting roughly 75 episodes if you include the recaps along the way. And from what I have gathered from this sports epic that continues to air as of today, I have to say, it is an epic drama about one of Japan’s favorite pastimes (and America’s too), for a sport that goes beyond the scope of the team’s ace.
And so, to beat the summer heat and celebrate a continuing animated series for once, I will be talking about the first six-cour season of Ace of the Diamond.