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As this is my first review I welcome everyone’s honest Feedbacks.
Genres:Comedy Drama School Life Shounen Sports
Publication:Weekly Shounen Jump
Start Date: Feb 2012
End Date: N/A
Number of chapters at review:41
Number of chapters read by reviewer:41
General Overview: Hinata Shouyou, upon seeing a volleyball match, is aiming to become "The Small Giant", and joins his middle school volleyball club. After finding new members, they set out for the middle school tournament, where they've cross paths with a formidable school with the "King of the Upper Court", Kageyama Tobio. Although their team lost, Shouyou is still determined to aim for the top and exact revenge on Kageyama. Upon entering high school, he recieved the biggest surprise--he and Kageyama are on the same school and club!
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
This manga has 2 distinctive art styles. 1 of them as detailed and crisp as a photograph used for mainly important events like matches and close-ups. Other one simplistic, almost caricature like and childish used for comical affect . Furudate either knowingly or by pure luck managed these 2 different styles like an expert. This way the mood of the manga gets through to the reader without the need for excessive commentary. Also the game scenes have been created in such a way that it feels you are right beside them. Important scenes also moves like a cinema reel thus upping the ante.
What this manga’s visiual style lacks thou is the character design. Almost every character has some similarities with some1 else even the main chars. This issue is not so important in a seasoned mangaka but for someone writing only his second one a very problematic issue that has to be fixed. Moreover facial expressions are either nonexistent or overly simplistic. Therefore making the art seem somewhat rushed. Another issue is the some panels have mistakes like limbs being out of proportion or just drawn without attention.
The aim of the manga is moving forward and growing together regardless of the hurdles you might encounter on your way. Protagonist Hinata’s dream is being the Ace of his High-School Volleyball team even thou he is small.Together with deuteragonist Kageyama and their team-mates they start the road of being the best. What makes the plot interesting thou is that even though this is a sports manga ; volleyball is used a weapon rather than the main focus. This way mangaka managed to give very moving insights about growth without the need to know the sport.
Characters in this manga are loveable and easy to relate to. They are created like high-school students. This makes understanding their issues much more easier. Hinata isn’t all that much different than classic shounen protagonist. No intelligence with one-trick mind. The rest of the characters do have some of their unique quirks but none of them have been entirely fleshed out yet. Either cause the mangaka decided to make the growth a longer process like in real life or cannot decide yet even though we are this deep in story. But for now this slow growth doesn’t seem to affect anything.
Always look forward. Now your limitations but never give up.Things that seems impossible to one person will be much more easy to accomplish with help.
This manga at first glance walks the same well trodden path of shounen sports manga. A not so good character decides to be the best. This one though manages to pull away from the rest by its usage of the sports as a means and not the only issue. The real problems are not so different than an average school kid to have just in the background of volleyball. This has been used pretty well and shows promise to grow more than it is now.
Overall this manga is one of the suprise packages of the year. It manages to differ itself from the pack with its moving and enjoying story. Also regardless of the above mentioned issues in art it still is better than most (most have been fixed on the tankoubon). Great humour and relatable characters to boot. This may not win any awards for being a literature masterpiece with its simple conversations, but it does mange to say what it wants without the need for high dollar vocabulary. This is a manga for everyone to enjoy and is sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
Last edited by cearon; December 13, 2012 at 02:04 PM.
Nice review, cearon! just want to give a quick comment on this one, starting from things that I disagree with:
1. Art : While I might agree on what you said about the character design, I tend to disagree with the lack of characters's expression. I personally believe that Furudate knows proportionally when to use funny expressions on the characters or when he chooses to draw a static, or probably cold, expression. This manga in its essence is a sport manga, not gag, so I do think that various expressions on every chapter is necessary. The out of proportion limbs or anything like that is basically the mistake that almost every Mangaka makes in the weekly chapter. I have some Haikyuu! tankobons, and I think the limbs are perfectly fine.
2. Theme : I think you might want to expand your description about the theme a little bit. Sure, that's pretty much sums up Haikyuu!'s theme in general, but I believe that you could make it broader than that.
Apart from that, you might want to do some spell checking here and there, since I saw several misspelling, but this is just a minor details.
Overall, it's a nice and good review, I'm looking forward for your next one!