Less of a review, more a tsunami of intense feelings
First point of service: what is it with sports anime and exclamation marks? They drag your credibility and social life violently downward whilst yelling their title in glee. Honestly, it’s sick.
Despite that, Haikyuu is a show I will happily have my life ruined by, and it’s second season did not disappoint in the slightest. It succeeded in having the heart and energy of the first, whilst expanding the personality and motivations of many secondary characters, in addition to developing those in the lead roles. I also found the comedy in this season to have vastly been upped, which fits into the tone of the show, and made for a much more captivating and entertaining viewing experience.
This series, anime-only fans (though I intend to read the manga in full soon) were introduced to a whole host of new characters. Yachi is excellent, and her presence also brought out the best in Kiyoko- if there’s one thing many sports anime could do with, it’s female characters who interact with one another and have a place in the narrative aside from as a manager stock character. The dynamic she added to the first year’s relationships on the whole was downright adorable. Yamaguchi and Yachi both being anxious small children together warms my heart and brings light to my dark, empty life. Ushijima also added an interesting element, in his conflict with Oikawa, which I’m excited to see built upon in the third season that has now been confirmed. With the training camp arc another team was introduced: Fukurodani Academy. Bokuto is currently topping the list of my favourite characters by far. His outlandish and immature personality, contrasted with his undeniable ability at volleyball made for a really interesting disposition. Again, where Haikyuu really excels is at character dynamics, and in the training camp arc this really shone through- the 3rd gym’s antics were easily the highlight of the season. Bokuto and Kuroo being *bros* much Akaashi, Kenma, and Tsukiyama’s pain, was something I, for one, would happily watch hours of. Other teams were briefly introduced for one off matches, but with little standout characters- aside from Terushima whom, despite any criticisms, I have to credit for being the one to single-handedly cause the most arguments and- perhaps unnecessary- discourse amongst the fanbase.
After the aforementioned training camp arc, I must admit, there appeared to be a slight lull in the events of the series. Old favourites barely appeared, and as Karasuno were playing through the initial rounds of the qualifiers, teams were introduced on a one-off basis, making it hard to get quite as invested. There, of course, was Tsukiyama’s backstory built upon, and Ennoshita’s day in the spotlight, as well as Daichi heckinG DYING, but these did the bare minimum to keep me invested.
Thankfully, then came our Lord and saviour, Yamaguchi Tadashi, absolutely smashing his pinch serves, and generally causing all viewers to act like proud parents.
This then led into the final events of the series: facing off against Seijoh. Though I love other individual characters dearly, Aoba Johsai has to be the most mesmerizing to watch in game- the introduction of Kyoutani ‘mad dog’ just being the icing on the cake. Despite the spoilers already littering this review/ recap, it would feel weird to declare the outcome here. Yet, I will say this: it succeeded in making a very emotional finale.
If you haven’t watched this series, have somehow followed my emotion driven ramblings up until now, I would highly recommend it. If you have, well, want to join me in hibernation until season three comes in Autumn?