Manga / Haikyuu!!

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In junior high, Shouyou Hinata gained a sudden interest in volleyball due to seeing a match on television, which featured a star player nicknamed "The Small Giant", and yearned to follow in his footsteps to become a volleyball ace despite his short stature. Hinata starts his own volleyball club, which no one joins, and practices rigorously by himself. Eventually he convinces enough people to make up a rag-tag team consisting of a couple of members who haven't even played volleyball before just so he could compete in a tournament. His team is quickly annihilated by Tobio Kageyama - "King of the Upper Court" - and his champion team. After suffering a miserable defeat, Hinata vows to defeat Kageyama and surpass him as a volleyball player.

Upon entering Karasuno High School - the school "The Small Giant" attended - Hinata learns that he's now on the same team as Kageyama. The two must learn to work together so they can restore Karasuno to its former greatness.

This story is written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate, and is currently being published in Weekly Shounen Jump. An anime adaptation aired during the Spring 2014 Anime season for two cours produced by Production I.G, and has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in America. The second season aired as part of the Fall 2015 Anime season. A third season, to be part of the Fall 2016 Anime season, was announced shortly before S2 finished airing. Starting in October 2015, a stage play called Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!! was released in Japan.

Haikyuu!! provides examples of:

  • Action Duo: Kageyama and Hinata.
  • Adapted Out: Narita, Kinoshita, and Shimizu in Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!!. Narita and Kinoshita are Bit Characters to begin with, and Shimizu's role (which was admittedly small early in the story) is delegated to the third-years and Ennoshita.
  • Animal Motifs: So prevalent that it could be considered a signature of the series. Nearly every team has its own animal motif, with some characters in those teams having their own distinct animal motifs.
    • Crows for Karasuno. The Karasuno players are compared to crows several times, notably: the fact that like small birds breaking the egg's shell and learning to fly, they're continuously trying to evolve; they eventually learn how to unify the team's strengths like a color blend that achieves pure black (black, naturally, being the color of crows); finally, due to crows being omnivorous, which relates to the team's hunger for victory and evolution.
    • Cats for Nekoma. In their very introduction, Ukai compares them to cats due to their flexibility (in the context, their power of defense). They also have other similar motifs inside their own team, with the "Inu" in Inuoka meaning "dog", fitting to his role as Hinata's 'chaser' during the practice match against Nekoma, and Lev meaning "lion" in Russian, owing to his large build and seeing himself as Nekoma's ace.
    • Owls for Fukurodani.
    • The 'shiratori' in 'Shiratorizawa' means 'swan'. Interestingly enough, Ushijima is being shown symbolically with an eagle.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Tsukishima gets a couple of chapters that focus largely on him in the Summer Training Camp arc as well as in the later stages of the Shiratorizawa match.
    • Opposing teams almost always get this as well.
    • Yamaguchi gets this during the second match against Aobajousai. It doesn't end well. And in the Summer Training Camp arc as well, related to Tsukishima.
    • Ennoshita gets one when Daichi gets injured in the middle of the match against Wakutani South and has to be replaced.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Yamaguchi, of all people, to Tsukishima in Chapter 88.
  • Art Shift: The manga can go from chibi-like drawings to amazingly stunning artwork in one page.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: With the exception of Daichi and Nishinoya, Karasuno's starters tend to have laughably weak receives. To compensate, their offense is very powerful, especially with the addition of Hinata and Kageyama, and most of the time they rely on their attacking power to score points. By the time of the Spring High national preliminaries, the team's receives are much better, with Asahi and Tanaka having solid receives as well, and Kageyama and Tsukishima not being far behind. Hinata is still terrible on average, but he manages to pull off several jaw-dropping receives when it counts. However, their attack strength is easily national-level by then, so the trope still fits.
  • Backstory: A whole lot of them, starting with the main characters, all the way to players from a team that has only appeared for three chapters. You can bet that every character who says a few lines has got some sort of backstory.
  • Benched Hero: Sugawara used to be Karasuno's primary setter. However, when Kageyama joins, he gives up his spot. Eventually though, they become a sort of team and Sugawara is put in games as a backup when needed..
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Tanaka and Nishinoya, and also Tanaka and Nekoma's Yamamoto. The latter duo even clashes initially, due to their similar habit of picking fights with opponents over trivial things. They then bond over their admiration for Shimizu.
    • Hinata and Nishinoya get along instantly, as they're both short and very boisterous.
  • Book Dumb: Tanaka, Hinata, Kageyama, and Nishinoya are this. It causes Kageyama and Hinata to miss the first day of the practice games.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Daichi's playstyle doesn't stand out much and mostly consists of receives, but he's a very good all-rounder and probably the most stable player on the team.
    • Nekoma's entire play can count as this. They have no outstanding moves but the steadiness and precision of their receives make it hard to predict who the ball will be tossed to.
    • Shiratorizawa is an example of what happens when this trope is taken to its logical extreme. Oikawa says out that they use "all that is tried, true, and tested," while Ukai Keshin points out that their attacks are ridiculously simplistic, being "addition" compared to Karasuno's "multiplication". However, they're still the strongest team in Miyagi because they have incredible players and amazing individual power. While their moves are flashy, their overall playstyle is not.
  • Break the Cutie: When Yamaguchi fails his serve when being brought into the Aobajousai match.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Nishinoya does this once, clearly in an attempt to look cool. Reactions were mixed, and most of the team just wondered what the hell that had been for (and someone mentions it was really just a regular receive). Hinata on the other hand seemed quite impressed.
  • Can't Catch Up: While Oikawa is still superior to Kageyama, he knows that he is no match for his former kouhai in terms of talent as a setter and that he will be surpassed eventually.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: As with any sports anime.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Every single player on a team gets a name and has very distinct features. A lot of detail is put into the spectators too.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Kenma and Kuroo. Kuroo was Kenma's only playmate when they were young, and is the reason Kenma still plays volleyball.
    • Iwaizumi and Oikawa have been playing together since childhood, which is the reason for their synchronicity on the court.
    • Tsukishima and Yamaguchi, as seen in backstory; the former inadvertently rescued the latter from bullies and Yamaguchi is shown to hero-worship him afterwards.
    • Sawamura, Ikejiri and Michimiya went to the same middle school and are shown to still be good friends.
  • Combat Commentator: The benched players and coaches (sometimes from other teams) usually fulfill this role, but some spectators do as well, like Shimada and Takinoue, and Saeko and Akiteru.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens whenever any high school volleyball team in the Miyagi prefecture faces Shiratorizawa Academy.
    • Hinata’s first match against Kageyama counts as this as well. Hinata’s team was composed mostly of amateurs, while Kageyama’s team was the championship favorite.
    • Karasuno's match against Datekou the previous year, in which even Asahi, the ace, couldn't fight against their height.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Shimizu is competent, composed, and noted to be beautiful, although she's more quiet than the usual example. Yachi is a straighter example, as she directly interacts with the boys more. As seen at the Tokyo training camp, the Tokyo teams have them too. Other teams without female managers bemoan their lack of this trope as well.
  • Crowd Chant: The more established teams tend to have these at matches.
    GO GO LET'S GO LET'S GO DATEKOU
    GO GO GO GO GO GO SEIJOH / PUSH IT PUSH IT PUSH IT SEIJOH
  • David vs. Goliath: At first, Karasuno is the underdog in nearly every match they play. This trope is especially prevalent in their first match against Datekou, which pits small, inexperienced Hinata up against giant blocker Aone. They get better, and as Shimizu notes, have nationals-level offensive skills by the second season.
  • Decoy Antagonist: In the beginning chapters, Kageyama is set up as The Rival. Flash forward a year, and we see both Hinata and Kageyama showing up for volleyball practice at their new high school, Karasuno.
  • Defrosting Ice King:
    • Kageyama. After what happened at his last junior high tournament (his entire team abandoning him), he realizes that he needs to trust his teammates more and not just do everything himself. He is slowly starting to do this at Karasuno.
    • Shimizu is a lighter example; she's introduced as quiet and stoic but warms up when Yachi joins the team.
  • Desperate Object Catch: Desperate Diving Saves are common during the climaxes of matches. One particularly notable example is during Karasuno's first official match against Aobajousai — Hinata's spike gets blocked and three people try to save the ball as it does a Dramatic Drop, but all of them fail.
  • Dope Slap:
    • Iwaizumi does this to Oikawa often, and threatens him with it more often.
    • Kageyama tends to grab people's head and squeeze as his version of this; Hinata is (unsurprisingly) the most common target.
  • Down to the Last Play:
    • With Karasuno's first official match against Aobajousai. They lost, but the score goes into the thirties.
    • Taken Up to Eleven during their Spring High preliminary final against Shiratorizawa, taken to a full five sets and Karasuno having to fight through deuces for every set they won. They won the match - after 35 or so chapters.
  • Epic Fail: The Jouzenji team’s attempt to imitate Karasuno’s synchronized attack can come off as this, especially because the build-up hints that a really badass moment is coming… and they just fail spectacularly.
  • Everyone Went to School Together:
    • The Small Giant, Tanaka’s older sister Saeko and Tsukishima’s older brother Akiteru all attended Karasuno at the same time.
    • Same goes for Ukai, Shimada and Takinoue, who were probably even teammates.
  • Excited Show Title!: Haikyuu!!
  • Eye Catch: Rotate around different ones each episode, and consist of players attempting to hit the drink bottle on the other side of the net with the ball with various results and reactions (such as Kageyama succeeding and getting excited about it, and Hinata failing to even get the ball over the net with Tsukishima and Yamaguchi snickering beside him).
  • The Faceless: "The Small Giant", who’s only seen from the back or with his face hidden. We do get one shot of his eyes however, which look eerily similar to Hinata's when he's in the zone.
  • Fallen Hero: The Karasuno team was considered to once be a remarkable volleyball team. However, they soon declined and were considered less than stellar by the start of the manga. Individuals in series would refer to the team as "The Flightless Birds" and "The Fallen Champions."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Being forced to work together as teammates is what causes Hinata and Kageyama to become friendly with each other.
  • Flipping the Bird: Tanaka is a regular offender.
  • Foil: Nekoma to Karasuno contrast each other, as rivals tend to. Initially, Nekoma is as stable and blended just as Karasuno is scattered and mostly unaccustomed to working together due to the new first-year players; Nekoma's biggest strength is their steady receives, which are Karasuno's immediate weakness since only Nishinoya and Daichi are particularly good at them; Nekoma is a team that works together in order to support their setter, whereas the Karasuno team is essentially unified by their own talented setter.
  • Friendly Rivalry:
    • Karasuno and Nekoma. Their teams have had a great relationship even before the events of the series.
    • Everyone in Karasuno has this sort of relationship towards each other to some extent, and is actively encouraged by coach Ukai and Takeda-sensei because having a worthy rival prevents them from stagnating.
    • Also Nekoma and Fukurodani, and more broadly, the teams from Fukurodani Academy Group's training camp. Although being localized in the same region means they'll definitely play against each other at some point, they all seem to be in very friendly terms with each other.
  • Funny Background Event: While Sawamura gives a speech at a school assembly with the other members behind him, Tanaka can be seen throwing in a sneaky peace sign... only to be slapped on the hand by Sugawara, who doesn't even have to look to know what he's doing.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Iwaizumi does this to Oikawa after the latter loses it and tries to hit a younger Kageyama out of resentment for having lost to Shiratorizawa. It works.
  • Hair Contrast Duo: Used to contrast several pairs of characters.
    • Vibrant, Hot-Blooded Hinata's personality matches his bright orange hair, and contrasts with the dark-haired, aloof, and collected Kageyama. Together, their hair colors are orange and black, which are Karasuno's official team colors. When they're paired with Tsukishima (Karasuno's other freshman starter) or Yachi (their second manager, whom they befriend) it becomes Blonde, Brunette, Redhead.
    • Karasuno's managers. Quiet and composed Shimizu has dark hair while friendly and neurotic Yachi has blond hair.
    • Suga has ash gray (lighter in the manga) hair, while Daichi has dark hair.
    • Takeda (dark-haired) and Ukai (yellow-haired) are a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man duo.
    • Kenma's hair is naturally dark, but it's dyed blonde, which helps highlight his shy introverted nature versus the dark-haired Kuroo's cooler, confident, more extroverted personality.
    • Energetic Man Child ace spiker Bokuto has white-gray hair with dark streaks, contrasting his quiet deadpan setter Akaashi's dark hair.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • Subverted with Oikawa. All he is comes from tireless practicing, since he's no natural talent, and he would hardly be half as good as he is if he didn't work as hard as he did; despite this, he still can't win against Shiratorizawa, and all points to Kageyama, his naturally-gifted junior, one day surpassing him. However, his hard work was far from being in vain, as he is widely considered the best setter of the region even by the opponents he feels inferior to, capable of improving any team he plays with even if he has no familiarity with them, which is an incredible deed that even Kageyama considered out of his league. And according to Oikawa, his career in volleyball would not stop in high school. So, while his hard work couldn't make him a genius (and not being gifted impacted his self-esteem for a good time), he's still a force to be reckoned with in his own right, and is one of the best players of the manga.
    • Tsukishima is a believer of this at first, but it was really played straight with his older brother, Akiteru.
  • Hate Sink: Nohebi Academy. In a series where almost every opposing team is treated as sympathetic and honorable, they stick out for having a Smug Snake as a captain and using dirty tactics like provoking their opponents with trash talk and sucking up to the referee. Considering that their match is a direct followup to the Nekoma vs. Fukurodani match, between two teams of lovable rivals, it makes quite a contrast.
  • Height Angst: Smaller players such as Hinata tend to angst a bit about their height. (Not so much Nishinoya, as he's already a very skilled libero, but he is shown to be annoyed when Hinata points it out). Justified as volleyball is a sport where height is advantageous.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A light example during the Summer Training Camp arc. Bokuto decides to teach Hinata a “special finishing move!” (a feint). Guess what technique Hinata uses effectively against Bokuto's team, Fukurodani, during the last practice match of the training camp, leaving everyone, including Bokuto himself, incredulous?
  • Hot-Blooded: Hinata and Kageyama; Tsukishima even comments on it.
    Tsukishima: Uselessly hot-blooded people irritate me...
  • Huddle Shot: A prerequisite before matches.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Ushijima is a ridiculously powerful ace, has spikes that even Nishinoya struggles to receive, and has excellent ball control as well as a skillful receive of his own. Surely he can't become any stronger, right? Dead wrong. By the end of the game, he's doing ridiculous moves like timing his jump to screw up the blockers just enough so that he spikes over them and pulling off a perfect cross even under the worst possible circumstances. Even up to his last play, he continuously gets more and more amazing. Bonus points for him actually being a southpaw.
  • Idiot Crows: They appear after Hinata and Kageyama realize that they've run too far and have no idea where they are, crying "Aho! Aho!" and flying away, leaving them all alone.
  • Irony: In the practice match against Aobajousai, Oikawa points out that Karasuno is still very inexperienced at receives, and repeatedly aims for their weakest receivers (Tsukishima and Hinata). In the second official match between both teams, Aobajousai loses their decisive and last point thanks to a poor receive. From Oikawa, no less (though it is pointed out that if Aobajousai's block hadn't touched the ball therefore changing its course, he might've received it well).
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Kageyama delivers a pretty awesome one to Oikawa on Chapter 49 (Episode 19 in the first season of the anime). After the latter scores by delivering a dump shot (in volleyball terms, a bold surprise attack executed by the setter), he tells the Karasuno players to "pay attention, because I'll be doing the same thing next time". Not long after, Kageyama also scores with a dump shot and repeats the exact same line to Oikawa.
    • Tsukishima gives one to Tendou after the latter calls him "the ordinary one". Tendou tries a one-man time differential against him (a move that previously fooled Hinata), but Tsukishima smacks it down with minimal effort.
    Tsukishima: Hello. I'm the ordinary one. A one-man time differential may be able to fool our team's wild child, but it won't have any effect on me, so please go right ahead.
  • Large Ham:
    • Nishinoya nearly all the time. Tanaka has his moments of it too, especially after scoring a point.
    • Bokuto also counts, even more so in the anime.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A rather sad example. After losing to Karasuno in the preliminaries, Ikejiri comments that if they were in a work of fiction, those that won the preliminaries and go to nationals would be the protagonists, and those who lost and had their season cut short were just the extras.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The author will name every player from every team that shows up with very rare exceptions, even if Karasuno only plays against them once (though sometimes they come back). They all have generally distinct faces and sometimes even backstories to boot.
  • Manly Tears:
    • After the painful loss to Aobajousai, Ukai takes the Karasuno team to share a meal together. While eating, most of the team goes on a conjunct silent crying.
    • Also Oikawa and Iwaizumi shed these at the end of their middle school lives, while swearing to defeat Shiratorizawa in high school.
  • Meaningful Name: Has this in spades, whether as part of Theme Naming or to highlight certain characters being Foils to one another.
  • Not So Different: Despite being complete and intended foils to each other at first, on closer look Hinata and Kageyama do have some similarities. Aside from their devotion to volleyball and (for different reasons) the lack of true teammates in middle school, they're both Book Dumb and very simple-minded kids who come to Karasuno solely because of a person who was once on the team (the Small Giant for Hinata, Coach Ukai Sr. for Kageyama). Both also take offense when someone doesn't give their all for even one point in-game (though this wasn't so much a true Berserk Button for Hinata until he believed Kageyama himself had done a shoddy job as setter), no matter if they're winning or set for a loss. These similarities allow for them to eventually become partners.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Kenma and Hinata. Kenma's shy and lazy nature greatly contrasts with Hinata's loud, extroverted personality (not to mention they’re from rival teams). Despite this, they get along surprisingly well.
    • Aone and Hinata, despite also being in rival teams. They develop a very deep mutual respect for each other after Karasuno defeats Datekou.
    • Kuroo and Kenma also make for quite a contrasting pair. Kuroo is a sociable guy who's obviously comfortable in the position of team captain, has a way with words and whose appearance immediately makes people (In-Universe, even) think of him as a shady or manipulative kind of person; Kenma, on the other hand, is quite the introvert, outright admits to disliking interacting with people, despite being insecure about what they think of him, and doesn't care much for volleyball.
    • Bokuto and Akaashi from Fukurodani. They act straight-up like a Boke and Tsukkomi routine, with Akaashi snarking in a completely deadpan way while Bokuto is hot-blooded and energetic to a fault. However, Akaashi has great respect for Bokuto's abilities, and in a flashback he looks like he's practically ready to tackle him in delight after Bokuto's straight spike wins them a difficult match. He also goes along with Bokuto's outrageous demands and excessive training, which likely isn't something you'd do for somebody who isn't your friend.
    • Kuroo and Bokuto also have a strong Friendly Rivalry going on despite contrasting each other as people and as captains. Whereas Kuroo is a level-headed guy who's often suspected by others to have ulterior motives and serves as the voice of authority of his team, Bokuto is a Hot-Blooded young man with a tendency to mood swings and usually talks in a blatant manner, who's considered The Baby of the Bunch of his team despite his position of leader. The friendship is also full of Worthy Opponent shades, especially from Kuroo towards Bokuto.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Hinata, when he realizes he accidentally served the ball into the back of Kageyama's head.
    • Another for Hinata, during the second Aobajousai match, when he jumps to avoid the blockers and ends up way too close to the net. Ends up fortunately though, as Kageyama's idiotic brilliance combines with Hinata's awkward position to create a new technique.
  • One Head Taller: Nishinoya (the team's short, brash libero) and Asahi (the team's tall ace spiker).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Hinata yells something along these lines to Kageyama, after the latter is subbed out during the game against Aobajousai:
    Hinata: I already said I’m definitely going to be the one to defeat you! Until then, you’re not allowed to lose to anybody else!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
  • Rousing Speech: Takeda is fond of using these, with plenty of analogies, though sometimes he ends them wondering if his words were too flowery or pompous for the boys to understand. Hinata and Kageyama indeed sometimes don't quite get it, but intention is what counts.
  • Running Gag:
    • Hinata's vomiting, as well as him running into people from opponent teams while going to the restroom before a match. It even gets lampshaded in Chapter 108.
    • People from other schools misreading the kanji in Karasuno as "Torino".
  • Sempai/Kohai: A very present trope in the series.
    • Nishinoya and Tanaka are delighted to have -senpai added to the end of their names by Hinata and Kageyama.
    • Kenma appears to resent this kind of relationship, because his former senpai from the volleyball club used to ignore him and see whatever he had to say as impertinence, just because he was an underclassman. He even promptly stops Hinata from getting worked up just because he's an upperclassman.
    • Oikawa was also Kageyama’s senpai in junior high and still considers him his kouhai, but coming from him and given that he used to flat out reject Kageyama's requests of teaching him to serve, which goes well against a proper sempai's behavior, it's almost certainly an example of Terms of Endangerment. To take it further, now that he attends Karasuno, Kageyama himself addresses Oikawa only as the more distant "Oikawa-san".
  • Shout-Out: Kuroo and Yaku argue over their preferences, and somehow even end up which member of Perfume they prefer.
  • Significant Birth Date: Almost all of the the characters with listed birth dates are significant in someway, listed here. Here are some that stand out:
    • Asahi and Nishinoya have mirrored birth dates (01/01 and 10/10 respectively) to fit with the theme of the two being complete opposites in every way.
    • Oikawa and Iwaizumi are born on Alexander the Great's birthday and day of death respectively. Oikawa is called the Grand King (which in Japanese is similar to Alexander the Great's title) and has exceptional leadership abilities. Iwaizumi's presence humanizes Oikawa as a character, much like death would to a king.
  • Sneeze Cut: To the point of becoming a Running Gag. Nearly every time a character, usually someone from Karasuno, mentions a player from another team, there’s a panel showing said player sneezing and a teammate suggesting they caught a cold, and then it goes back to the original scene.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The first opening spoils that there are two more Karasuno players, Nishinoya and Asahi - when the 1st years joined, Asahi had quit and Nishinoya was briefly suspended from club activities because their match against Datekou the previous year left Asahi depressed and Nishinoya accidentally hit the vice-principal when he got too angry about him leaving. Both come back.. It also spoils Ukai becoming Karasuno's coach, first as a temporary one after giving in to Takeda's pestering, then their official one after he becomes determined to win again Nekoma.
    • The second opening of the second season spoils the outcomes of Karasuno's matches in the Spring High. It's show like a highlight reel of the tournament, showing big plays and, since they're playing four different teams, the fact that Karasuno must have won at least three matches.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Character's are free to monologue on the court. Most noticeable when they're in the air for a spike or block or when a setter is waiting for the ball to come to them.
  • Team Hand-Stack: Comes with the sports anime territory.
  • Teens Are Short: Averted. Teenagers in the series range from Yachi (4'9") and Nishinoya (5'2") to Ushijima (6'2") and Lev (6'4"). The cast is generally on the taller side, as height is advantageous in volleyball.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The plot starts off with two bitter rivals having to compete on the same team, and learn how to work together.
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • The second-years Ennoshita, Narita and Kinoshita dropped from the club at one point because they couldn’t take Coach Ukai’s training. They eventually came back.
    • Asahi and Nishinoya. Asahi quit after losing to Datekou and after Nishinoya's supension for accidentally hitting the vice-principal during his fit of rage against Asahi is lifted, he refuses to come back if Asahi doesn't. A practice match convinces them both to come back.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Shimizu is the only girl in the team, acting as the manager. Which is justified considering it's about boys volleyball team. When Yachi arrives, it becomes Two Girls to a Team.
  • Throwing the Fight: Discussed. Tsukishima offers this to Kageyama and Hinata upon meeting them for the first time, mainly to show his indifference towards the match. He isn’t taken seriously, of course.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Averted with Karasuno and Nekoma who have different Animal Motifs (see them above in this page), but played straight with players Tanaka and Yamamoto from those teams respectively, whose given names’ first and last characters (Ryuunosuke and Taketora), respectively, mean "Dragon" and "Tiger".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Karasuno by the end of the Golden Week and summer vacation training camps.
  • Training from Hell: Coach Ukai Sr. apparently is a specialist in this type of training and put Karasuno through one of these.
  • Transplant: Wakutaminami's captain Nakashima Takeru is originally introduced as the brother of Nakashima Makoto in Kiben Gakuha Yotsuya Senpai No Kaidan, the author's previous work. Makoto herself appears as a cameo as her brother's supporter.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Averted in Karasuno vs Aobajousai match.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Yamaguchi is guilty of this, but he makes it work for himself. He doesn't have physical advantages like Hinata, Tanaka, or Asahi, nor skill like Daichi and Tsukishima, but he practices his floater serve until he could use it at will. He shows how much he's grown against Shiratorizawa, scoring multiple points and buying time for Tsukishima after the latter's injured.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Karasuno and Nekoma fondly consider each other this, though neither are in their times of glory anymore (though Nekoma is still in better shape than Karasuno when the story begins). Nekoma's coach hopes that with Karasuno's recent improvement, both teams will revert to this trope.
    • Ushijima considers Oikawa to be the only one in the entire prefecture. And by that, he means only him, attributing even the latter's team Aobajousai's success to having Oikawa as their setter.
    • Aone sees Hinata as one, shaking his hand, objecting when his teammates badmouth him, and even going as far as to tell the new member of his team that it isn't always the big ones that you have to watch out for. Particularly noticable because of how little he generally talks.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Kageyama, of all people, delivers (perhaps a rather rough) one of these to Hinata in Chapter 23, when the latter starts feeling that his power as a decoy isn't good enough compared to a real ace’s height and power.


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