YMMV / Haikyuu!!

  • Accidental Innuendo: Takeda's cheerful "I'm good at getting on my knees and begging" certainly counts. If you're curious, he's talking about begging for practice matches with other schools.
    • Oikawa's favorite quote ("If you're going to hit it, hit it until it breaks") sounds very oddly sexual if taken the wrong way.
  • Arc Fatigue: Despite them being hyped as the strongest team in their area, the battle against Shiratorizawa is considered this by some fans. It lasted over thirty-five chapters, while an average match ends in ten chapters or fewer. The fact that most of their team consists of entirely new characters certainly doesn't help, especially when one of them is a Base-Breaking Character. Taken even further when you consider it happens right after the 18 chapters fight against Aobajousai, who are much better-liked by fans.
  • Awesome Art: The action scenes are very well done and the character designs are well thought-out. Every character has distinct features.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tendou from Shiratorizawa. Either you think his constant bragging and shouting is obnoxious, or a saving grace for the relatively bland Shiratorizawa.
    • Terushima. Ever since he made his introduction by hitting on Kiyoko and making her uncomfortable, to say that he's been a polarizing character within the fandom is an understatement — either he's a horrible human being and a sexual deviant, or a high school boy whose actions, while dumb, are blown way out of proportion. It's pretty rare to come across a fan who doesn't have a strong opinion of him one way or another.
    • Oikawa is either a childish bully who tried to beat up Kageyama and has an incredibly unsportsmanlike attitude, or he's a misunderstood kid who wants to see all of his hard work pay off, but never gets to. Other people try to compromise by interpreting him as Jerk with a Heart of Gold, their line of reasoning being that while he isn't a perfect kid (being that he's introduced as an antagonist), his dedication to his team and his stellar work ethic compensate for his flaws. To say the least, it's an issue in the fandom, and let's leave it at that.
  • Bishonen Jump Syndrome: And friggin' how. Although in this case the character designs are a bit more Moe than other Jump series.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fact that Sentai Filmworks decided to release this series sub-only while giving a widely panned Madhouse-produced action anime an English dub did not win any favors.
    • The fanbase is especially divided over the Karasuno vs. Shiratorizawa match. Was Karasuno's win over Shiratorizawa well-earned and realistic, or was it an Ass Pull that only happened because of Plot Armor? Was it well-paced and down to the finest detail, or was it needlessly dragged out and slow? Was Tsukishima's development during the match a cathartic moment for the character, or did he take up too much focus at the expense of other characters? Did the backstories for some of the Shiratorizawa players make them endearing and sympathetic, or were they just pointless Filler that added nothing to the characters? It's very tough to get any real consensus about this match among the fandom.
    • On a meta-level, fans are torn about Yumi Kuroiwa's termination from the animation staff. Was it unfair that she was fired for simply posting not-safe-for-work yaoi fanart of the characters from Haikyu!! on her Twitter account, or was it justified since she was part of the official production and thus had the responsibility of maintaining the series' image? Was she fired because of the fanart, or because of her unprofessional behavior regarding her absolute hatred for working on Kuroko no Basuke?
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor, poor Yui Michimiya. Ever since she was revealed to have a crush on Daichi in Chapter 150, the more militant Daichi/Sugawara fans have started bashing her relentlessly. The sad part is, before Chapter 150, she was actually a fairly well-liked character, and if not well-liked, then at least the fans mostly left her alone. But, unfortunately, that seems to be a thing of the past now. All of this becomes even more ridiculous when you realize that Sugawara ships her and Daichi in canon.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Sugawara. He ranked fourth in the first popularity poll despite not playing in any matches since Kageyama became the regular setter (he only played in one match for a partial amount of time during their official match with Aobajousai). In their second official poll, he got second, just behind Hinata and beating Kageyama, who got first in the last poll.
    • Yamaguchi too. Despite being Tsukishima's Tagalong Kid and not having a lot of action, his feature moments and boundless effort for growth seem to really make him stand out because he got seventh place in the second popularity poll, right behind Noya, Oikawa, Tsukishima, and the top 3 mentioned above.
    • Akaashi is pretty popular as well. He got 14th place when Bokuto, who does a lot more during the training camp arc and is their team captain, got 18th.
    • The most impressive case has to be Iwaizumi Hajime, Aobajousai's ace. His canon role is basically Oikawa's friend/handler, yet he placed 9th in the second popularity poll, being the third highest-ranked non-Karasuno character (after Oikawa and Kuroo) and beating three Karasuno regulars. He's also a party member in the fantasy-themed game Haikyuu Quest and one of PV narrators in Haikyuu!! 3DS game (again, determined by fan votes – Iwaizumi placed first).
    • Nekoma in general is very popular, but Kenma is probably the one who takes the cake for that team. It helps that he’s somewhat relatable to many viewers (especially Western fans), due to being introverted, socially awkward and fond of gaming.
    • After Karasuno lost to Aoba Johsai, Haikyuu!! took a tumble in ratings and became the least popular manga in Weekly Shonen Jump for several weeks (which could have caused the series to be canceled). Yachi's introduction in the series boosted its ratings back up again.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Kuroo, captain of a team which has cats as their defined Animal Motif and who's occasionally been drawn as a cat in extras, is often assumed to be a trickster with ulterior motivation, despite there being no reason to think so, save for the occasional provocation and his trademark Cheshire Cat Grin. Indeed he's generally quite a nice guy (not to mention a bit silly) most of the time, as lampshaded by himself. Not too different from the bad rap cats themselves get.
    • Ushijima doesn't believe Karasuno can win — if Aobajousai is "infertile soil", then Karasuno to him is "concrete". But there's one major problem with that comparison: Plants that manage to grow through concrete have to be a lot tougher than plants that are grown in perfect conditions, hence Karasuno beating Aobajousai and then Shiratorizawa after immense growth both individually and as a team.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While Haikyuu is fairly popular in Japan, it has attracted a large fanbase in the West as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: As much as Tanaka and Noya going out of their way to prevent other teams from chatting up Kiyoko is played for laughs, Chapter 105 of the manga shows that there might be some very good reasons for their overprotectiveness.
  • Het Is Ew: The fandom has started to fall under this. It started in Chapter 150, when a blushing, stuttering Michimiya gave Daichi a good luck charm for Karasuno's match against Shiratorizawa.. The fandom went up in flames during this moment. It got worse in Chapter 175, when Kiyoko grabs Sugawara's hands to warm them up before he takes the court to start the fifth set against Shiratorizawa. Sugawara gets flustered at the contact, and the fangirls went insane.
    • Some fans really don't take very kindly to those who like to ship Yachi with any of the males, an attitude that really started to crop up once she finally made her appearance in the anime.
    • Surprisingly averted by the revelation that Akane has a crush on Yaku, though this is probably justified given that Yaku isn't especially popular and Akane is too young to plausibly end up with him anyway.
  • Ho Yay: It's kind of inevitable due to having a primarily male cast, but it's less than what one would expect.
    • Hinata and Kageyama's Vitriolic Best Buds friendship attracts a certain type of shipper like flies to honey, and it doesn't help how their relationship grows into one so deep that even other characters often mistakenly think they've known each other much longer than they actually have.
    • At their introduction, Nishinoya and Asahi behave like a couple trying to make up after a big argument.
    • Oikawa and Iwaizumi are really close, the two act Like an Old Married Couple, and are rarely ever seen apart.
    • There's quite a bit between Childhood Friends Kuroo and Kenma, largely because Kuroo is the only character besides Hinata that Kenma is comfortable around.
    • It’s almost inevitable to see some of this between Sugawara and Daichi, thanks to their status as Team Mom and Team Dad for Karasuno and Sugawara being Daichi’s Number Two.
    • Furudate's habit of introducing characters in duos provides fans with a lot of conveniently non-intersecting, ready-to-ship pairs with unique dynamics. In addition to mentioned above, there is Tsukishima/Yamaguchi, Takeda/Ukai and Bokuto/Akaashi. Tanaka, being the only Karasuno regular without an "obvious" pairing sometimes gets shipped with Ennoshita, or Nishinoya, if the shipper is willing to break up Asahi/Nishinoya and have Asahi be the loner.
    • It's also worth noting that every setter except Kageyama is commonly shipped with his captain/ace.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Kageyama is this at the very beginning of the series and in the events leading up to it. In his middle school days, he constantly yelled at his teammates, put pressure on them to perform to his standards and refused to listen to their input. It got so bad to the point where his teammates abandoned him in the middle of a game and labeled him the "King of the Court" due to his near-tyrannical behavior. But once he got to Karasuno, his sincere desire to change because of that moment, combined with the panic he feels to win (especially during Karasuno's first official match against Seijoh) and his general Adorkable nature have pretty much won the hearts of the fandom, to the point where he's arguably become more Woobie than Jerkass.
    • Tsukishima definitely falls under this. He spends a good portion of the early parts of the series constantly razzing and belittling Hinata, taunting Kageyama by calling him "King" (a nickname he knows Kageyama hates), and even snarking off to his senpai. It's easy to see why people might not like him at first. But then, his backstory comes along, how he Used to Be a Sweet Kid, and idolizing his older brother, only to have his faith completely shattered once he catches said brother in a lie. Combine this with his Character Development in the Shiratorizawa match, and fans have far more of a difficult time hating him than they did before. He's still an asshole 85% of the time, but an asshole you'd still want to root for.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Hinata, good God Hinata; there's Hinata x Kageyama, Hinata x Tanaka, Hinata x Tsukishima, Hinata x Nishinoya, Hinata x Sugawara, Hinata x Yamaguchi, Hinata x Kenma, Hinata x Kuroo, Hinata x Lev, Hinata x Aone, Hinata x Kiyoko, Hinata x Yachi, Hinata x Oikawa and the list goes on; quite literally, Hinata gets shipped with everyone.
    • As the series has progressed, so has the crack shipping. There are so many interesting, dynamic characters now that just about every single character can fall under this trope. For example, other than Hinata, Kageyama has been shipped with Sugawara, Oikawa, Iwaizumi, Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, Yachi, etc. Yachi is shipped with Kiyoko, Hinata, Yamaguchi, Kageyama, Tsukishima, Asahi, Kenma, Tanaka, Nishinoya, Lev, and so on. It's pretty much Everyone x Everyone at this point.
    • While most characters tend to have only one or two really popular ships with a bunch of smaller, crack pairs, Kuroo stands out for having significantly popular ships with Kenma, Tsukishima, Daichi, and Bokuto in addition to all of the crack, not even counting the platonic ships. No other character has as many pairings actively generating a lot of fanwork.
  • Les Yay: Yachi and Kiyoko. Yachi only agreed to become a manager at first because she was spacing out admiring Kiyoko's beauty and not listening to what she's saying. Kiyoko herself also became much more talkative when talking with Yachi than the boys.
  • Moe: Hinata, Sugawara, Yachi, and Kenma are adorable. Nishinoya also counts, especially with his hair down. Asahi hasn't exactly got the look, but he sure does have the personality.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm Charm: Ushijima's speech about fertile and barren soil as analogy to talent sprouting, as well as Hinata's reply (that if such thing was true, he must have sprouted from concrete), has this effect on some people. It does manage to set the point across, but such an intricate and out of the blue comparison coming from the stoic and blunt Ushiwaka, with background plantations and growing tomatoes to illustrate his point, is just inherently funny. The fact that it managed to become a meme based around the character (see Memetic Mutation right above) speaks for itself.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Terushima's introduction, in which he persistently hits on an unwilling Shimizu and only gives up after getting distracted by Hinata's arrival. The manga doesn't mention this afterwards (aside from him cheerily greeting her later, in front of the whole Karasuno team this time), nor anything of the kind comes from him again, but it still leaves a sore taste in the mouths of more than a few fans to this day.
    • In arguments about Oikawa, the time when he had an angry outburst fueled by jealousy and stress and nearly hit a young Kageyama will always be brought up. This isn't helped by the fact that, since Iwaizumi restrained him before it could happen and Kageyama never even noticed what was going on, the manga never goes deep into the situation itself (and likely never will, a hundred chapters later), and so it tends to lead to strong discussions that never amount to any solution.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Kageyama's face after Hinata hit him in the head with a failed serve, Hinata himself says it's his scariest memory.
    • Hinata's smile in the match against Nekoma.
  • Periphery Demographic: Like many other sport anime, a large amount of its fans are Yaoi Fangirls who are there to see the boys' interactions, and not the sports.
  • Self-Fanservice: In canon, Oikawa is the only guy noted to be particularly attractive. Fans tend to pretty up other characters such as Suga, Kuroo, Kenma, and especially Akaashi, who is often portrayed as stunningly handsome and the object of Oikawa's envy in fan works.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Tsukishima's Character Development in the Training Camp arc sums up to: you don't need a big dream goal in order to justify your hard work on a sport, or even to play that sport at all. Even if it's just a school club activity, you can play it seriously because it just feels really good to win, and to have a personal Moment of Awesome. It doesn't need to be grander than that.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Whenever a team loses, especially in the episode where there's an entire montage dedicated to showing all of the different teams who have lost, and a subplot about the girls' volleyball team losing their match.
    • Karasuno losing in the second to last episode of the first season. It doesn't help that the next episode shows them all quietly beginning to cry as they eat.
    • On a more meta level, Kazunari Tanaka, Ukai Jr.'s seiyuu, sadly passed away during production of Season 3 of the anime. As it turned out, the final line he recorded for the show was a speech by Ukai Jr.: "Don't you dare look down! Volleyball... is a sport where you're always looking up!" To the fans who were aware of Tanaka's passing, this uplifting moment became so much more emotional and heartbreaking.

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