For many reasons, Haikyu!! has seen phenomenal success and praise as one of the most memorable sports anime ever. Although it centers on the concept of a small-town high school team coming together to play volleyball and accomplish goals that feel larger than life, at its core, it tackles a lot of concepts that speak to a wide variety of fans from all walks of life.

Haikyu!!’s impact on its viewers can be attributed to any number of the show’s delightful qualities. Among these are its ability to introduce a large cast of unique yet relatable characters, its gorgeous art style and impactful animation, the heartfelt narrative about pursuing your passions, and the inspiring growth of its characters that encourages spectators to stick along for the ride.

10 Haikyu!! Encourages Empathy


It seems only natural that a sports anime would want viewers to sympathize and connect with the show’s main team. However, in addition to this, Haikyu!! truly encourages viewers to empathize with the characters and teams outside of Karasuno as well. Fans of Haikyu!! get the opportunity to spend time with the series’ other teams both on the court and off, seeing more about their individual members through their relationships with fellow teammates and the members of Karasuno.

Every team that Karasuno faces is an intimidating obstacle on the path to victory; nevertheless, the anime also stresses that these ‘obstacles’ are matches played by equally invested and determined players. Every team experiences losses and victories and every match is a battle of skill and emotion. Because Haikyu!! spends time with these characters, explaining their motivations and what they’ve been through, Karasuno’s victories can also feel a little bittersweet. Karusano’s victories mean another team is possibly being sent home with tears clouding their eyes.

9 Haikyu!!’s Art Style & Animation Are Outstanding

Haikyuu!!'s Sugawara & Asahi

Haikyu!! is a phenomenal series to watch just on a visual level. Artistic direction can play a huge role in whether fans pick up a series in the first place, and Haikyu!! doesn’t disappoint with its visuals. One of the most striking things about Haikyu!! stylistically is just how expressive its characters are and how their emotions can really draw viewers in. On top of that, the combination of beautiful fluid animation and the drama of fluctuating line density really makes fans feel the weight of each impact, especially in the more action-based sequences.

The additional juxtaposition with gorgeous scenery helps emphasize strong moments of symbolism and also gives viewers a chance to breathe and take in the beauty before being launched back into the action. During the fourth season of Haikyu!!, there’s a noticeable change in art style as well, meant to more accurately reflect the style in the manga.

8 Haikyu!! Shows The Significance of Losing

Haikyu's Main Cast Eating and Crying

Fans love to see their favorite team win, this is true in and out of anime, but stories don’t often acknowledge how important losses are in sports anime storylines. Haikyu!! isn’t afraid to say that there’s beauty and dignity in defeat, as long as one takes the opportunity to learn from it. Sometimes loss feels inevitable and sometimes it doesn’t feel like loss when a previously disjointed team goes out there and gives every match their all.

The victories in Haikyu!! feel even more satisfying after viewers are given the chance to see their favorite characters contend with loss and then find the strength to stand back up again. Haikyu!! does a great job of balancing the idea that this team will lose from time to time, it’s only realistic. However, after the grief of a loss, comes a renewed hope, which is made infinitely more powerful.

7 Haikyu!! Has Incredible Character Growth

Tsukishima from Haikyu raising his fist

Pretty much every character on Karasuno gets the opportunity to shine throughout the entirety of Haikyu!!, which means they have a lot of great moments that demonstrate their growth. Whether that growth encompasses a character coming to terms with an aspect of themselves, reigniting their passion for the sport, or developing a new skill that helps them discover what they’re capable of, there are a variety of gradual arcs that Haikyu!!’s cast of unique characters go through and come out stronger on the other end. Needless to say, those new to the series will find these arcs satisfying to witness.

6 Haikyu!! Features Beautiful & Poetic Writing


Haikyu!! is an anime that definitely makes use of not only different methods of storytelling but the variety of artful ways one can convey a story. Like many sports anime, there’s an abundance of helpful and thought-provoking metaphors that assist viewers in understanding more about the sport. In addition, there are some straight-up beautiful and lasting lines delivered by the characters throughout. There are simple ways to describe a situation (for instance, “When we realize a shortcoming, we compensate for it in different ways”) and then there’s the Haikyu!! way (“Because people don’t have wings… we look for ways to fly.”) and the latter often reads like pure poetry.

5 Haikyu!! Explains Volleyball Intuitively

Haikyu!! Score Card

Fans-to-be do not have to be sports experts to find this show approachable. Yes, there is some technical talk and field-related terminology; however, because some of the supporting characters are actually fairly new to the sport, the series weaves in its explanations in a pretty intuitive way. Characters ask questions if they’re not as knowledgeable about certain plays, which can be helpful for anyone trying to understand the specifics in their game plan. New fans also don’t even need to be a fan of volleyball to enjoy the series. The volleyball is at the center of the story, but the way that Kurasano goes about their matches is intriguing and driven by story and character.

4 Haikyu!! Has Great Emotional Payoffs

Haikyu's Characters Crying

Since viewers are with them every step of the way, through many disjointed practices and the scenes of their biggest mistakes, when the characters of Haikyu!! accomplish their goal, it’s exceptionally satisfying. When they cheer, viewers will find themselves equally enthusiastic about the obstacles that they’ve overcome. It’s a journey of the heart, to be sure, and the characters are only human. They make mistakes and they fall down, but they eventually get back up and try again. It’s also important to note that some characters don’t get back up again right away, they struggle with their momentary defeat and then are able to eventually push past it. These emotional struggles make for rewarding victories, no matter how small.

3 Haikyu!!’s Characters Are Relatable


Viewers don’t need to be in a volleyball club to relate to a lot of what Haikyu!!’s characters go through. Sure, a lot of their emotional struggles exist in the context of their relationship to volleyball and their team members, but viewers can recognize the larger issues behind those struggles. Issues like characters not feeling as though they’re good enough to do something they’re passionate about, the anxiety of letting someone down, the fear of failure or never being enough, leaning on apathy when the only other option is leaving oneself open to more pain. At the center of those concerns are all emotions that humans experience in many aspects of their lives: fear, anxiety, and despondency. On the other hand, however, are hope, fulfillment, pride, and joy. Haikyu!! offers the full human experience.

2 Haikyu!! is About More Than Volleyball

Haikyu!!'s Characters Cheering

Haikyu!! might center on its characters playing volleyball, but it’s quickly made apparent that it’s about more than just the volleyball itself. There are a variety of themes prevalent throughout the series that make for a heartwarming and emotional story that many viewers can connect with in some way. One of the most recognizable themes that Haikyu!! focuses on is friendship. In the beginning, there are several characters, including the main two, that don’t initially get along. However, fans see those characters grow closer in their own ways and those relationships seem to improve their life inside and outside of volleyball. This strongly correlates to additional themes surrounding teamwork and personal growth, which are all things that viewers can connect with and see in their day-to-day lives, as well.

1 Haikyu!! Has a Good Heart

The Karasuno High volleyball team determinedly entering the court in Haikyuu!!

Haikyu!! does a great job balancing the character’s individual goals and points of pride with the very real fact that volleyball is a team sport, and there needs to be connection and teamwork to make things work. The interactions between the characters as the series goes on show growth in their relationships in a steady and believable way. This can sometimes mean that characters aren’t necessarily friends, but they understand and even respect each other more. They’re willing to celebrate each other’s victories even if they don’t always get along, to treat each other as part of a team. While individual growth in characters is important and rewarding to witness, so is the eventuality that everyone will come together as a team.

Whether a viewer enjoys sports anime or not, Haikyu!! is worth the watch. If the charm of its characters and art style don’t hook someone immediately, its soul-stirring narrative and explosive moments of victory are sure to have them on the edge of their seat. Viewers will laugh, cry, smile, and cheer alongside these characters as the characters of Haikyu!! climb their way to the top.

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