Haikyu!! Vol. 2

Haikyu!! Volume 2 by Haruichi Furudate

I thought that the first volume of this volleyball manga series was unusually strong, and it set up some interesting dynamics between Hinata, the enthusiastic volleyball player with untapped athletic abilities and absolutely no experience, and Kageyama, the star player who is incapable of being a team player.

The second volume opens with the team getting a chance to play a practice match against a rival school where some of Kageyama’s former teammates ended up. This provides an opportunity for the Karasuno High volleyball team to test out their newest players. As with the best sports manga, this volume does a great job maintaining the tension and action of competition, sprinkled with a bit of exposition of volleyball rules, with a great deal of character development packed into a single game.

Hinata’s overwhelming enthusiasm about the simplest things like getting a team jacket also has some ill effects, as he is so nervous about playing his first game he keeps visiting the bathroom every five minutes leading up to the match. Kageyama finds himself in the position of being an unlikely sports psychologist, which serves to contrast the personalities of the two protagonists of the series even more.
Hinata ends up awakening Kageyama’s full potential as a volleyball setter, as Kageyama finally realizes that he needs to consider the player he’s feeding the ball to. Hinata’s jumping abilities also inspire a degree of trust in a teammate that Kageyama that he never had before. He gets the timing down so exactly that Hinata just has to jump and expect that the ball will be there when he arrives for that brief moment at the top of the net.

The ending of this volume showcases the potential of the scrappy Karasuno High team. They might not be functioning as a full team yet, but they have a lot of potential and a real future, if only they get some help working on some fundamentals and even more practice time. The volleyball action scenes were as dynamic and gripping as the first volume. I’m happy that this series is on an accelerated release schedule, so I don’t have to wait too long before the next volume!


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