In case you havent seen Haikyuu S2 yet Ill be spoiling a lot of S1 and S2 in this review so you are warned. So after the match between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai ended with Karasunos defeat last season where does the story go from there. In usual shounen anime affair a training arc But this time the training arc is actually really good. Haikyuu is an anime that manages to hold every bit of your attention even in its downtime and this training arc is no exception. The season starts with the introduction of Hitoka the future manager for Karasuno and she quickly became on of my favorite characters. Her bouncy upbeat personality made for some very entertaining moments and the expressive animation adds to the comedy by quite a lot this goes for every character not just Hitoka. While her arc is short it stands out in this series as a perfect introduction to one of the best new characters. As for new characters this season introduces an insane amount. While Nekoma returns for the training camp we also see new teams that will definitely become important later on. Bokuto being one of the better new rival characters as he actually fits the role of rival by teaching the heroes while also providing them with a difficult challenge to overcome. The new addition to Nekomas team Lev was also a nice inclusion. Him being another friendly rival to Hinata. Aoba Johsai also has a new member in Kyotani one of the most interesting and formidable opponents to Karasuno. He seemed like a generic lone wolf hothead character but he became very likable towards the end of the final match. Growth seems to be a big aspect of this season as we see Karasunos training help them learn to handle defeat and come up with new strategies to win. Hinata and Kageyamas new quick attack being a perfect example of this newfound growth. One of my favorite scenes in this sequence was when a previous very minor character Ennoshita got his time to shine. I wasnt really expecting him to have a scene like this but it happened and it was amazing. Before this point I didnt really see the point in having Ennoshita and his two friends just in the background doing nothing but this whole scene more than made up for that. It also foreshadowed how he might end up as Karasunos new captain which makes me even more excited for the future seasons of his show. Yamaguchis redemption scene was also really good as well. It was predictable that it would happen but it was still great nonetheless. I didnt mention this in my S1 review but the soundtrack to Haikyuu is very good. Composed by Yuki Hayashi who is now famous for his My Hero Academia score the Haikyuu soundtrack perfectly encapsulates the frantic nature of the volleyball matches and the inspirational nature of shounen storytelling. Its the perfect soundtrack to Haikyuu and each and every song is worth listening to outside of the episodes. The two opening tracks are awesome as well Fly High being a standout. The song that really stole the show for me however was Climber the first ending theme. Its such a fantastic song that fits the vibe of this show so well. Its inspirational while also melancholic perfectly fitting for the training arc that it plays in. It wish it played throughout the whole season because I liked it a lot more than the second ending which was really forgettable and didnt really fit with the show in my opinion. The second arc of this season is the Nationals Qualifiers and it is probably the best Haikyuu gets at this point. Each team Karasuno faces is distinct and has their own quirk or interesting backstory to it. Theyre all exciting to watch and lead into the final rematch very well. Once again Karasuno faces off against Aoba Johsai in a battle of pure adrenaline. While I still liked S1s Aoba Johsai match better this is still not far behind. Kyotani steals a lot of the focus away from Oikawa and Iwaizumi but having the three of them dominate the match made it always fun to watch. Oikawas relentless serves and Iwaizumis insane spikes provided Karasuno with a crazy challenge to overcome and it was always enjoyable to watch. The way Haikyuu pumps the viewer up is something that should be applauded. I cant speak for all sports anime since I havent seen many but if theyre anything like Haikyuu this could be one of the best anime genres. S2 improves very little from S1 for me but it doesnt matter since its really hard to improve whats already great. Haikyuu remains as a must watch for anyone who hasnt seen it yet and Im glad that a show like this has an insane amount of mass appeal. S2 gives me even more confidence to say that Haikyuu is one of the best shows of last decade maybe even of all time.
84 /100
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