10 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Haikyuu episode 1 – Frowny face


Don’t worry mate, if your volleyball career doesn’t work out, you can always pursue a career in scowling.

First off the bat, Haikyuu is the best animated thing this season. It was even better animated than the Bones anime original mecha series and that’s saying a lot. Some of this fluid animation is used for seemingly otherwise unremarkable scenes, like an incredibly well animated guy tumbling into a wall and falling into a funny pose. Great animation does not necessarily mean visually interesting, as every KyoAni anime should indicate. And yes, I prefer the look of shows like Jojo’s to Haikyuu. But it’s still very expressive and brings an extra layer of character to the series.

Haikyuu!! - 01 -19[2]

Seriously though, that guy can scowl for Japan.

I liked Haikyuu a lot. It’s had the most impressive first episode of a new anime this season so far (so discounting Jojo and Mushishi). I know a lot of people will compare this to Kuroko Plays With His Balls because that’s the hot shit right now, but it has a lot more in common with Big Windup. Perhaps it’s an age perception thing, but the characters feel younger and more human, which makes them feel more vulnerable and emotional. It gives you more to care about. I like these people. Well, I like the main character. Scowly face is an asshole, but that gives room for the story to develop.

The good animation also adds to that perception because it makes the scenes more dynamic. There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about that match this episode because the result was never in doubt, but the scenes where they did try to make something happen were well presented and felt like they meant something. I even quite liked that scene where the main character suddenly turned into a stencilled blur, because it gave the perception that the show wasn’t going to necessarily be totally rigid with its art style. I thought after Kuroko that maybe I had gotten tired of sports anime, but looking back I think it had more to do with Kuroko not being very good. The characters were shallow, their motivations boring, and the animation was quite shit.

Hey, it wouldn’t be a Scamp first impressions post if I didn’t needlessly go off on a tangent to bash some other anime I never got around to bashing before.

Haikyuu!! - 01 -29[2]Also another thing Haikyuu has in common with Big Windup: Blushing teenage boys everywhere. There were so many of them that it started to get a little comical. I’d call it fangirl pandering but there weren’t any knowing winks to the audience, and I think I might prefer it that way. Haikyuu could easily still stumble if the main character just remained being a genki bundle of goodwill and energy and scowly face just stayed being an asshole all throughout the series, but I’m hopeful this will actually develop. I just hope the pacing is fast enough that we get to see significant development in this season.

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  1. gedata
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    “The characters were shallow, their motivations boring, and the animation was quite shit”

    2 out of these 3 things apply to Haikyuu too (for now)

  2. Hanasra
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Since the scriptwriter is also write for Usagi Drop and Silver Spoon, I hope this show don’t do pandering (too much).

  3. shytende
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    This episode’s pacing was good, so I hope it’ll continue that way. That’s the reason I stopped watching Yowamushi Pedal after all.

    I honnestly don’t think the main will change a lot, that frowny guy will probably become less frowny on contact with the main. We can alreaddy sees that he isn’t that much a bad guy, but just have difficulty to express his views.

    If it stay as competently done throughout the whole season, this can be a pretty enjoyable ride.

    • jherb33
      Posted April 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      yowamushi pedal is AMAZING!!! pick it back up! i think its up to ep 27 currently, and things are getting crazy!!!

  4. Aethelwulf
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The lovely background music also gives me high hopes for the series. The staff clearly cares about the finished product.

  5. leokiko
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    “and scowly face just stayed being an asshole all throughout the series”

    Well, rest assured about this.

  6. hint
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    This was more Kuroko no Basket than anything but i prefer volei to basketball and this short guy to that tall expressionless as main character.
    For the first episode my preference goes to Baby steps even though it was the “slowest” of the season and had limited animation thanks to studio pierrot.

  7. Fifteenth
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    You made me realize why I stopped watching Free and Kuroko, the artsyle just scream ~pretty boys~.
    My sport anime right now is Yowapeda, it still has stereotypes, but at least there are weirdos and not conventionally attractive characters that are actually important.

    • jherb33
      Posted April 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      hell yes.

  8. jherb33
    Posted April 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    are there 38 episodes of yowamushi pedal scheduled through the end of the summer? i thought i read that somewhere…

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