Bingo 1: Sportsball
Haikyu!! Translates to “Volleyball!!”, thus this series is fitting for the Sportsball square. Here I present volumes 1-2.
In most every way this is a standard school sports story. There are two different guys, they were rivals, but now they have to figure out how to get along. One has some natural talent but not training and a lot of enthusiasm (Hinata), and it’s been his dream to be like a kid he saw on tv playing in a volleyball championship game; both he and his idol are short. Hinata goes so far as to form his own team in middle school, and during the only official game he plays, loses very badly to a team that includes a very well trained and talented but with an attitude guy named Kageyama. Fast forward a bit, and it turns out Hinata and Kageyama both want to join their high school volleyball team, and they’ve gone to the same school. They now must be teammates, and it turns out their respective skills might actually work out well together. Their school team used to be really good, but hasn’t been lately. The seniors want to get back to the glory days with a big national tournament win, and now we have the end-game of the series, probably. Because Hinata has very little actual experience, he’s a good excuse to explain rules and game-play strategies to, assisted in this role by the team advisor, a literature teacher who has no actual sports experience.
This manga is all kinds of predictable so far, and assuming the anime follows it, will continue to be just that. The other members of the team fit predictable types, like the usually nice well-rounded captain, the smart, strategy specialist vice-captain, the high energy prodigy (a second year who’s shorter than Hinata), the other newbie with attitude and talent who likes to psych out his opponents, and the cute lady team manager. Volume 1 introduces the characters and scenario, and volume 2 shows the first game of the high school team. It’s a practice game against a much better team although it turns out they’re missing a star player for much of the game. Nevertheless, our heroes manage to pull off a win, barely. There’s a few more players and an actual coach to add, these are hinted at in volume 2, and of course many personal and sports-related shenanigans to come.