Never knew a sports anime could change my life like this, considering I might just be the most uncoordinated person ever to live.
Finding Haikyu! during one of the lowest moments of my life felt like sunshine on my skin after long days of storm. Despite not knowing a single thing about volleyball, I was able to celebrate and cry with the teams’ wins and losses. I definitely came out wiser after going through screens and manga panels of this shōnen sports anime series.
Here are 7 lessons from Haikyu! that have molded me into becoming a better person:
Dancing With The Geniuses
Is it game over once we come across naturals in fields we have spent an absurd amount of time getting better in?
A recurring theme within the series was how there was a definite distinction between volleyball prodigies and “mere mortals.” This was observed in the feud between the characters Oikawa, captain of Aoba Johsai, and Kageyama, setter for Karasuno. Oikawa constantly beats himself up for not being able to catch up with Kageyama’s progress, who is a natural talent.
Mediocrity is just day one—and there are tons of tomorrows to try and try. Being a mechanical genius isn’t the only way to be “good” at anything. Just because you are not immediately as good as the others doesn’t mean you are bound to fail.
The Hatching Baby Crow
Hinata, the main character of the series, is the epitome of tenacity and perseverance. Despite his disadvantageous physique, he does not let this get in the way of his dream of becoming the next “Little Giant.”
After winning against Shiratorizawa, Hinata pushed boundaries by becoming a ball boy. Despite being put into such a position even after advancing to the Nationals, Hinata saw this opportunity for growth. He could watch the court from a different perspective, allowing him to execute high-level receives during the latter part of the series.
No matter what circumstance life decided to put him in, he could still brave through it. From a little baby bird to a towering crow, Hinata proves that hard work never betrays.
Dealing With Mediocrity
The show is filled with geniuses and prodigies who are just *too* passionate about volleyball. Another setter who was deemed inferior to Kageyama was his own senior, Sugawara. Before Kageyama’s arrival, Sugawara was Karasuno’s official setter.
The series teaches us how to deal with mediocrity and being “overshadowed” by naturals in the same field. And the thing is, it’s okay! Still pursuing standing in the same stage with the gifted people is a strength in itself.
Having strong people around you does that necessarily mean that you are weak, and this is what Sugawara’s character teaches us. With his teammates’ top-notch abilities, Karasuno can play more games, giving him more opportunities to stand on the court. It was not just his fight, but the whole of Karasuno.
Six Who Are Strong Together
Haikyu! has put immense importance on themes of teamwork and using numbers to advantage. During the Tokyo Training Arc, Karasuno devised an attacking format called “Synchronized Attack,” wherein several spikers, along with the receivers, all charge in for an attack, confusing the opponent’s blockers.
This arrangement was significantly observed during Karasuno’s game against Shiratorizawa, a school with exceptional individuals. This strategy by Karasuno has become an integral way for them to score against big individuals like Ushijima, the captain of the opposing team.
Individually, the team members could be deemed “less than” their opponents. But by incorporating attacks that involve the whole team, they can stay on par with far more polished opponents.
Let’s Take It Easy
Speed is a curse. Though it is cool and flashy, it has a knack for narrowing out the vision, making you lose your breath, and pulling you down completely. The constant rush to be able to do things right away is what makes us stray further and further away from the goal.
During Hinata’s ball boy arc, he was able to teach Hyakazawa, a volleyball newbie, a valuable skill in volleyball that many tend to ignore: Taking it easy. Hinata’s advice to Hyakuzawa to pass the ball in a high and relaxed manner is what made their team win. Mundane moments like this make us realize that some things can only be fully attained if we take it easy.
The Losers And The Winners
One excruciating thing about the series is the inevitability of losing. But thanks to this, we are shown a healthy way of dealing with losing. Haikyu! has an incredible ability to make you root for all the teams. This makes the losses more painful and conflicting for the audience. But with this, we can pick up a thing or two about loss and revival.
One of the most soul-crushing defeats Karasuno had to face was when they lost while using what seemed to be an “invincible attack.” Due to this, Hinata and Kageyama could redesign the said attack, making it an integral part of their win against Aoba Johsai the next time they faced them in a game. This loss teaches us that after every fall, the only way is back up.
Eating And Growing
Grind culture was valued all throughout the series, the same time as resting and eating well. After losing an important game against Aoba Johsai, Karasuno had no choice but to retreat and try again. But before doing that, Coach Ukai bought them muscle-repairing food.
A hearty meal after defeat was what the members needed during that time. It was a touching moment of realization that in order to grow, one must learn to take care of themselves as well. Haikyu! has had such an incredible impact on my life, not only in terms of entertainment but also in self-development.
For those who haven’t watched the series, there is still time to catch up as the next installment is a Haikyu! movie featuring the highly anticipated trashcan battle between Karasuno and Nekoma to be released on February 16, 2024! We’ll be seeing you on the sidelines!