The Haikyu!! anime, known in Japan as Haikyū!! (ハイキュー!!), is a Japanese sports anime series based on Haruichi Furudate’s manga of the same name. It was produced by Production I.G and directed by Susumu Mitsunaka, with Takahiro Kishida providing character designs. The series premiered on April 6, 2014, and ran for 25 episodes until September 27, 2014. An additional episode was released online on March 23, 2015. The series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America.
Table of Contents
Haikyu!! follows the story of Shōyō Hinata (voiced by Yūsuke Kobayashi), who began playing volleyball after seeing a national championship match on TV when he was in elementary school. He suffers a crushing defeat in his first and last tournament in middle school at the hands of his rival Tobio Kageyama (voiced by Ayumu Murase). So, Hinata joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team where he gets to meet new friends such as: Kōshi Sugawara (voiced by Toshiki Masuda), Shōyō’s calm and composed friend; Yū Nishinoya (voiced by Kaito Ishikawa), the energetic setter who is known for his bad behavior; and Yui Michimiya (voiced by Satomi Satou), the team’s manager.
How popular is Haikyu!! anime?
Haikyu!! has been a hit with critics and fans alike. The manga sold more than 1 million copies in Japan alone as of August 2018. In addition, it won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2014. The show also received a fair amount of praise from both critics and fans for its compelling story and well-developed characters. In addition, many people have praised the show for its character development, especially Ichikawa, who goes from being a bratty child to being an integral part of Karasuno’s success as it makes its way to the nationals.
How Much Filler is in Haikyu!! ?
There are no filler episodes in the Haikyu!! anime, which are episodes that do not take place in the manga. There are a total of 85 episodes in the series. Let’s take a recap at the episodes in chronological order that are not fillers, but still interesting nonetheless.
Quick Filler & Canon Lists
Complete Filler List
|End and Beginning
|Karasuno High School’s Volleyball Club
|The Formidable Ally
|The View From the Summit
|A Coward's Anxiety
|An Interesting Team
|Versus the Great King
|He Who Is Called "Ace"
|A Toss to the Ace
|The Neko-Karasu Reunion
|Winners and Losers
|The Iron Wall
|Guarding Your Back
|Oikawa Tōru is not a Genius
|Senpai's True Abilities
|The Point that Changes the Momentum
|Removing the Lonely King
|The Third Day
|Let's Go To Tokyo!!
|Simple, Pure Strength
|To the Next
|The Fight of the Spineless
|The Iron Wall Can Be Constructed Any Number of Times
|The Fight of the Previously Spineless
|Switch for the Utmost Limit
|Declaration of War
|The Threat of "Left"
|The Halo Around the Moon
|Individual VS Numbers
|The Chemical Change of Encounters
|An Annoying Guy
|The Volleyball Idiots
|The Battle of Concepts
|Take It Easy
|A Chance to Connect
|The Second Day
|Cats vs. Monkeys
|The Ultimate Challengers
|The Birth of the Serene King
|The Promised Land
List of filler episodes for Haikyu!! in chronological order – Learn if it is worth watching
Episode 1: End and Beginning
Hinata practices by himself and runs into Kageyama, who then tells Hinata that he can’t do anything on his own. He adds that he’s not interested in the weak but warns Hinata not to mistake his attitude for kindness.
Hinata tells his friends about Kageyama, and they’re surprised at the fact that he’s in their grade and that he’s so tall. They also speculate that since Kageyama is also a first year, they might have to play against him during the tournament. This worries Hinata, but Nishinoya tells him not to worry since the upperclassmen are all taller than them. Hinata gets excited at what could be their first win ever as he runs off.
The next day at school, Hinata practices his spikes and then bumps into Kageyama again. He apologizes and states that he’s not good at talking to people, but Kageyama replies that he only talks when it’s necessary. Hinata then asks who he is and Kageyama introduces himself as the setter for Kitagawa Daiichi’s volleyball team. When Hinata asks why he’s so tall, Kageyama replies that it comes with the territory of being a setter and leaves.
Hinata then remembers what his middle school coach told him about a “Small Giant” who was part of the national youth team and how amazing he was to watch. In gym, Hinata’s teammates are surprised that he hasn’t improved at all since then. When Hinata states that he thinks he can become a Small Giant, Kageyama appears behind him and asks if Hinata is an idiot. He explains that the Small Giant of their middle school was only good because of his height but without it, he’s nothing more than a regular player.
Hinata finds Kageyama practicing alone and asks for some advice on how to become taller but Kageyama tells him to give up on that first. Kageyama continues to practice his serves while Hinata watches from the side. After school, Hinata is amazed by how far he can serve and wants to be able to spike the ball that high. Kageyama walks up to him and tells him not to get too carried away because it’s his serve that’s impressive, not his height.
Hinata goes home and wishes that he was taller so Kageyama wouldn’t have to stoop down so much when he serves. His mother notes that he’s gotten taller since the beginning of the year and Hinata replies that he wants to become taller than Kageyama one day. His mother then tells him that when she saw Kageyama practicing with him, she was happy because she knew how hard it was for him to make friends. She then encourages Hinata to ask for help if he needs it, and Hinata replies that he’ll ask Kageyama.
Hinata approaches Kageyama at school the next day and asks for some advice, but Kageyama states that he doesn’t want to help a loser like him. Hinata then tells him that he’ll become his practice partner, and Kageyama replies that it’s not like he needs one. Hinata then takes out a volleyball and challenges Kageyama to a game of volleyball. Kageyama accepts and they play together in the gym after school. As they play, Hinata thinks back to his middle school days when the Small Giant helped him out with his tosses and was able to spike the ball just like he did now.
Episode 2: Karasuno High School’s Volleyball Club
This episode is about how the Karasuno High Volleyball Club came to be, and how Hinata and Kageyama came to meet. We see a flashback of Hinata’s first match in junior high, where he suffered a crushing defeat by Kageyama’s hand. Given the fact that Hinata was playing as a setter and not a spiker, even if he had been able to receive Kageyama’s spikes, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game. However, Kageyama didn’t take into account that Hinata was playing defensively against him because he thought that it would be more fun to play against someone else if he could play as aggressively as he wanted to.
In the present, Kageyama and Hinata are playing against each other in a 1-on-1 match, where they both try to prove that they are no longer the players they were back then. It’s revealed that Kageyama didn’t get into the most prestigious volleyball team in the prefecture and is instead going into the same team as Hinata. While it’s not entirely clear on what happened (unless you read the manga), it’s possible that Kageyama didn’t get into Karasuno solely because of his personality. The school itself doesn’t seem to take interest in him either, but when he sees Hinata trying his best to be a better player than before, he changes his perspective of the latter and ends up working with him to become better as a team.
This episode also introduces some of the main characters, such as Hinata, Kageyama, Daichi, Tanaka, Tsukishima and Yamaguchi.
Episode 3: The Formidable Ally
This episode further develops Hinata and Kageyama’s rivalry. It is revealed that Sugawara’s the official setter for Karasuno, which also gives Hinata the opportunity to become a full-time spiker. However, he is unable to take advantage of this because he can’t accept that Sugawara is stronger than him. He still believes Kageyama is his superior and his goal is to stop being inferior to him so he can defeat him someday.
The team dynamics between members are also further emphasized in this episode. Both Kageyama and Hinata are shown practicing by themselves, but Tanaka helps out Hinata by secretly tossing to him. Sugawara also trains with Hinata. This demonstrates how Karasuno is a very close-knit team with each player supporting the other.
The anime completely omits the scene where Hinata and Kageyama are arguing in front of the vending machine and Sugawara hears them from inside. Instead, it shows Sugawara walking out of the gym after Hinata and Kageyama leave.
In this episode, Tanaka reveals that he’s been secretly helping Kageyama and Hinata train by tossing to them from outside the gym. This is an instance of him going out of his way to help others, which is a trait that’ll become more apparent in future episodes
The plot of this episode is the foundation for the rivalry between Kageyama and Hinata. It explains why Hinata wants to defeat Kageyama and it also shows how close Karasuno is as a team.
Episode 4: The View From the Summit
Episode 4’s plot is centered around the 3-on-3 match. A 3-on-3 match is different from a regular volleyball match, where it’s played with 6 people per side, but it’s not much different from a regular volleyball match. The key distinction is that there are no substitutions and players can only be on one team at once. This makes for very intense matches because you have to win your side of the net 1 person at a time.
The match ends with Tsukishima and Yamaguchi’s team winning 2 to 1. Kageyama was able to spike past Tsukishima but Tanaka wasn’t able to get over him after getting past Yamaguchi’s blocking, resulting in a loss for their side. Tanaka’s depressed about losing but Kageyama tells him that it’s fine, since Tsukishima would have won if the score stayed 1-to-2 anyway.
The match was intense because it was played very seriously by both teams, and because of Tsukishima’s spikes, Kageyama is starting to improve his offensive attacks. This episode also showed the new dynamics of the team: Tanaka and Kageyama are getting closer and Hinata is becoming much more aggressive in matches.
The mood of this episode is serious. The sense of tension is ever present in the match, both because of Hinata’s height and Kageyama’s inexperience in dealing with blockers. The match is also very serious because it’s a 3-on-3 match, so there’s that feeling that there are no substitutions, and every member has to win their side of the net, 1 person at a time.
This episode also has a very serious tone to it. The topic of height comes up here, really showing how important height can be in volleyball.
The last thing I want to mention is how serious the match is. There’s no joking around, no jokes, just a very intense match. The mood of the episode is serious and it really showcases how important this game can be.
Episode 5: A Coward’s Anxiety
This episode was an interesting example of how sports anime can portray the characters and their personalities very well. It also shows how a team can be so dependent on each other.
The main character in this episode was Sugawara, because he was seen as the person who noticed what Kageyama and Hinata’s problem was. This is also shown when he brought out his shoulder pads to help Hinata and Kageyama with their problem (the problem being that they were getting tired).
Kageyama and Hinata’s team won the first round with a score of 25 to 23 against Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, and Daichi’s team. Will they win against Inarizaki?
This episode was overall a great watch. The best part of the episode would have to be when Kageyama and Hinata’s team won the game. This episode also showed how much Sugawara cares for his teammates.
This episode was the second match of Karasuno High School vs Inarizaki High School, and Kageyama and Hinata’s team had started off really well in the first round, but they struggled a bit in the second round.
Kageyama and Hinata’s team wins against Inarizaki High School with a score of 25-20. They will face off against Aobajohsai High School in the third round.
This episode was the third match of Karasuno High School vs Aobajohsai High School. Kageyama and Hinata’s team won with a score of 25-20. They will face off against Shiratorizawa Academy, which is considered the “King of the Court”, in the fourth round.