Hinata is a middle school kid who wants, badly, to be a star volleyball player. However, he has a couple of problems. One, he’s short. Five foot four in fact. Two, he’s the only member of his middle school’s volleyball team – and you need at least six players to field an actual volleyball team.

Then, suddenly, a couple of new recruits show up. And Hinata manages to cajole a couple of players from other sports to join as well. Just in time to compete in the big middle school tournament – only Hinata’s team gets paired up against a powerhouse school in the very first round. This school has an arrogant but extremely talented player named Kageyama that Hinata immediately clashes with. Hinata is determined to win – but his cobbled together team loses.

Hinata picks his high school with the express purpose of defeating Kageyama. He shows up to the volleyball team, only to discover that Kageyama is there too. It turns out Kageyama has gone to the same school as Hinata.

Now they must learn to play together in order to revive their high school’s former volleyball glory.

Haikyu!! is a sports manga is the tradition of classics like Ashita no Joe and Slam Dunk. It does a great job of drawing out the suspense of the various challenges the players face and depicting the different personalities on the team bouncing off each other. There’s plenty of humor between the characters, but competitions grow really intense as the team advances.

The art is fun and dynamic. At first you may have a little difficulty following exactly what’s going on occasionally, but you will get used to it sooner rather than later.

Haikyu!! is strongly recommended to anyone who likes sports drama, but anyone who gives it a chance may find themselves sucked into the characters and their struggle to win and get better.

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