Haikyu!! – And the Memories of the Games We Used to Play

Lessons Learned in Haikyu!!

My colleagues won’t understand my Haikyu!! fandom right now. It’s a little bit out of trend now, and they’re not passionate about anime as much as I am. Except for Jeya. Oh well, and our crazy battle of conspiracies about Attack on Titan.

So, allow me to pour my thoughts on Haikyu!! here. And how it made me feel for the last two days.

Yes, I’ve finished watching all four seasons of Haikyu!! in just two days. Not that it’s worth bragging for as I’ve tried marathoning Kdramas in just a day; but for someone who’s pressed with client meetings and deadlines since the start of this year, it’s quite an achievement.

Just A Little Background about Haikyu!!

Karasuno High School Volleyball Club

In case you’ve been so caught up with adulting too, here’s a little background about Haikyu!! It began as a manga series that follows the story of a boy named Shoyo Hinata who fell in love with volleyball. Despite his height disadvantage, he dreams of becoming a remarkable volleyball player.

Haikyu!! was then adapted as an anime series, now streaming on Netflix.

Why the Sudden Interest in Haikyu!!

A change of perspective. I literally need a break from people, from adulting, from anything that would remind me of the long list of things that I have to accomplish. So, when I saw Netflix’s recommendation – and after reading some good reviews from it – I decided to watch one episode of Haikyu!! just to see if it would match my preferences now as an adult.

And obviously, an episode turned into a season. Then it turned into completing all four seasons. Now, I’m doomed to wait for the continuation of Karasuno’s journey in the Nationals.

It was easy to get hooked with Haikyuu!! Aside from the colorful characters that the series had, it perfectly depicted the hows and whys of volleyball: how it is played and why players can’t stop playing it. Being a volleyball player is not a requirement to love this anime series.

But of course, it’s a plus if you’ve experienced playing it on court. And additional points if you’ve been a trained athlete. I am no expert volleyball player. But my affinity for words opened the world of sports in my younger years. Despite the efforts of the arbiters and teacher coaches to keep the ambiance of our game room conducive for playing Scrabble, it’s difficult to conceal the screams and cheers of team games. Curiosity has always been the first step.

Fast forward college, I grew tired of playing word games. Long story short, my friends and I signed up for action. We ended up playing volleyball and softball for the next three years of our college lives – three years of weekend practices, three years of trying to win over seasoned teams, three years of happy and fun memories.

Watching Haikyu!! brought back those years. The crazy energy. The drive. The willingness to practice. The team. So nostalgic. It was the answer to Kei Tsukishima’s question on the first season of the series: if it was just a club activity, why spend so much energy and put your heart into it?

Ironically, I earned more medals in Scrabble though I spent most of my time on field when we were in college. We had a strong Scrabble team back then, with half of the members experienced with interschool competitions. But if I had to choose between Toni Gonzaga’s options – of going ten years back or moving ten years forward – I’ll always choose the glorious days of the past and waste my energy chasing balls.

Lessons Learned in Haikyu!!

While most people think of anime as cartoons meant for kids, the lessons it tries to impart are actually more fitting for adults. As for Haikyu!!, the vigor of the players’ youth was well-balanced by the presence of the adults – each team’s teacher coach, playing coach, alumni, and other side characters.

Despite our age, anime never ceases to teach us lessons to ponder – even if we’re no longer in school. Here are some significant lessons I’ve learned in Haikyu!!

  • A block is not a dead end.
  • We don’t have wings, so people make various ways to fly.
  • If you always look above, you’re sure to trip.
  • There are times when you don’t have to follow temporary emotions.
  • To take the first step, you’ll need a little bit of curiosity.
  • Certain views can only be seen when longer roads are taken.
  • Being weak only means that you still have room for improvement.
  • We’re still growing up. Who knows where we’re going.
  • Don’t use the brain you do not have.
  • The process of growth requires adversaries.
  • What a waste of time it is to be scared.

I had lots of bottled emotions while watching the whole series of Haikyu!! Unlike those freshmen, there’d be no promise of next year waiting for me. So, allow me to hold it a little bit longer. Just a little longer.  

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