Haikyu!! Episode 1 Recap – “The End & The Beginning”
This was bad. Really bad. Bombastic and entirely silly in exactly the wrong ways, Haikyu!! is looking to be the first cut from my reviewing list. Shoyo Hinata is the only boy in his middle school that wants to play volleyball. There’s a girls team, but he is the whole members list of the male’s volleyball team. But with determination he gets together a team just in time for their first (and last) middle school volleyball tournament; only to be crushed on court by a team lead by Tobio Kageyama, “the King Of The Court.” Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and tries out for his high school volleyball team, only to see that Kageyama is trying out for the exact same team.
The opening is a generic “I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve got my friends” speech that feels almost entirely lame. After that, we go back in time to see the formation of that middle school team (through a sports montage no less), made up of Hinata’s friends and a couple of first years. They head off to the tournament, where they run up against the favorites to win, headed by Kageyama.
Though it seems Kageyama’s teammates or either alternately frightened of him, or tired of his personality shenanigans. And I can’t really blame them, as he is way too uptight, way too serious and way too annoyingly stand-offish. In addition, he is always framed in hilarious idiotic slow motion, complete with imagery of king’s robes and crowns. It makes you laugh more than take him seriously.
During the game, Hinata’s team is thoroughly getting whomped, even with Hinata’s upbeat attitude. In contrast, Kageyama’s team don’t seem to be taking their opponent too seriously. Kageyama is impressed by Hinata’s all out attitude, even in the face of defeat, and yells at his teammates to start doing the same. Hinata manages to get one impressive point in, showing that even though he is small in stature, he has a powerful jump. This again, is noticed by Kageyama. After his team wins, Kageyama meets Hinata outside and they have the usual, “we’re rivals now” speeches.
What I noticed right away was how obtrusive the musical score is, and the off putting animation, which is sometimes very cheap and at other times alarmingly detailed. It kind of makes the characters look like aliens to be honest.
Jumping forward, Hinata is in his first day of high school and he rushes off to the gym to try out for the volleyball team. But just who is standing there, practicing his serve? Kageyama of course.
This was almost like a parody of a sports anime. It was hard to sit through, not the least of which because both our main characters are abrasive and annoying. I don’t see myself sticking with Haikyu!! unless it improves in the next two episodes.
Interest Level: Low