Anime: Haikyu!! Season 2 Complete Collection
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Retail Price: $99.98
The volleyball centric anime series Haikyu!! has a massive history of utter success. From the perspective of a sports anime viewer (because we know there are several) it can go either way. Some find that justified notoriety from athleticism that they have had to work hard to solidify - while others find more generic success for the idea of guys getting ‘physical’ in general - if you're an anime fan, you are all to familiar with what I am referring to. Some series like Yuri on Ice and Free capitalize on sports and character growth, but others like Yoamushi Pedal and Kuroko no Basket receive followings of fans despite it's weaker plot and overall storytelling methods.
After an intense first season that brought out sportsmanship, entertainment, growth and responsibility - it became a no-brainer that Haikyu has rightfully earned another chance to return to the story for a second season (and additionally a third.) As we have experienced in the first chapter of the Haikyu story, there is a place for tension/rivalry between some of the members with the most notable being between Hinata and Kageyama. Filling the role of the series main characters, the two are destined to clash on occasion, but their joint passion for volleyball is what truly sets it up as tow that may have more in common than they originally anticipated. After the disappointment in the teams preliminary rounds, Haikyu gives the characters a chance to improve upon their skills and shine as a team with heart and skill that they know lies dormant within themselves.
The second season really brings out a new viewpoint for the team as well as others, because now Karasuno High will receive the opportunity to train amongst several elite schools with athletic achievements. In order for it to become a reality however, Hinata and Kageyama will be required to pass exams which is sure to be a struggle on its own for both players and their respective team. The exam portion of the plot plays a comedic role in the re-introductory portion of the anime, before getting to the semi-serious change when training takes focus towards the middle of Haikyu’s second season. By the time the tournament rolls around in the season’s end - if feels like a full-circle transition that properly shifted through the variety of emotion that you can expect from an above average sports anime.
Characters are also offered in masses from team based animes, with ones like All Out, and Haikyu being best known for large group settings. Because of that fact, it generally avoids extreme repetition by bouncing back and forth between the team members. We do meet a new character / coach for Karasuno named Yachi Hitoka before diving back into what we know from the core cast. It successfully characterizes opposing teams as well, so it doesn’t make things so black and white (or hero vs villain) but the heart of the anime is with team Karasuno. For the most part, we do tend to see Hinata and Kageyama more than others, but that doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t have their moment to shine.
The animation in Haikyu is the same strong, perfect flowing quality that we had seen in the first season. As mentioned earlier, the anime is divided into three sections that gravitate towards comedic, serious and intensity from the sport that is as well rounded in animation as it was in general plot progression. Sentai continued to smartly dub the anime in English which isn’t the case for everything, but is perfect for a sport series that could entice viewers in either English or Japanese. Overall, Haikyu season two brings back the strengths of the first season but maps out the direction more efficiently and it makes Haikyu all the more enjoyable.
Haikyu!! Season 2 is available on Blu-ray now from Sentai Filmworks and watch out for season 3 coming soon!
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- It’s good to see Haikyu flourish in the second season without falling short of fans’ expectations.
- The series is about on par with the first season with the only differences being narrative direction and more minimal roles from the supporting team members.