Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Haikyuu!!

Go To
"Before my eyes, it blocks my path. A high, high wall. What sort of view is on the other side? What will I be able to see there?"
Shouyou Hinata

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.


Haikyuu!! (meaning "Volleyball") 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, and the third season aired as part of the Fall 2016 season. In December 2018, the fourth season was announced. Starting in October 2015, a stage play called Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!! was released in Japan.

Spoilers prior to Season 3 are unmarked.


Haikyuu!! provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Narita, Kinoshita, and Shimizu are not present in Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!!. Narita and Kinoshita are Bit Characters to begin with, and Shimizu's role (which is admittedly small early in the story) is delegated to the third-years and Ennoshita. Shimizu and Yachi are added in the later installments.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Due to the large casts, many characters other than the main duo Kageyama and Hinata get some attention and development at some point, especially the other members of Karasuno and the star players of their rival teams.
  • Animal Motifs: Volleyball teams are symbolised by animals so often that it could be considered a signature of the series. Some characters in those teams even have their own distinct animal motifs.
    • Crows for Karasuno. The Karasuno players are compared to crows several times:
      • 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).
      • Crows are 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. Bokuto in particular greatly resembles the animal thanks to his spiky hairstyle.
    • The 'shiratori' kanji in 'Shiratorizawa' means 'swan'. Interestingly enough, Ushijima is shown symbolically with an eagle.
    • Snakes for Nohebi, which comprises rather unpleasant players that sneakily rely on cheap tactics to win points.
    • Foxes for Inarizaki. Inari is the Japanese god of foxes, and most of the members are named after different species of foxes.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Yamaguchi, of all people, dramatically delivers a question to Tsukishima in Chapter 88 which stuns him.
    Yamaguchi: Motivation? WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED THAN PRIDE!!!
  • Art Shift: The manga and manga can go from chibi-like drawings to amazingly stunning artwork in one page or second.
  • Backstory: You can bet that every character who says at least a few lines has got some sort of backstory, whether it be the main characters or players from a team that has only appeared for three chapters.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Tanaka, Nishinoya and Nekoma's Yamamoto are all hot-blooded boisterous guys with similar personalities to one another. Tanaka and Yamamoto clash initially due to this, with their similar habit of picking fights with opponents over trivial things. They all also 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 talented regulars of the Karasuno volleyball club, which contrast with their terrible school grades. They're forced to amp up their studying when they find out the supplementary exam period clashes with their first trip to the practice games in Tokyo — while Tanaka and Nishinoya scrape by, Kageyama and Hinata fail one exam each and miss part of the trip in order to retake the exams.
  • 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. Opponents are often annoyed by how frequently he thwarts their attacks and comment that Karasuno's defense would be a lot weaker without him.
    • Nekoma's entire play is summarised to be mundane but very effective. 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. Their moves are flashy, but their overall playstyle is not.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Downplayed. On-court members of Karasuno will mentally yell out their synchronised attack whenever they plan to carry out this technique.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Although only Oikawa is explicitly stated to be attractive, the character designs of most guys are generally easy on the eyes.
  • Cast Herd: This being a sports story, characters are sorted with the team they're affiliated with.
  • 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. This is more obvious in the anime.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Kenma and Kuroo. Kuroo and Kenma were each others' only playmates when they were young, and Kenma brought Kuroo out of his shell as a child while Kuroo convinced him to join and continue with 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. Michimiya in particular crushes on Sawamura, but unforutnately he's yet to pick up on that.
  • Combat Commentator: Match commentary is often provided to the audience by benched players, coaches, or veterans like Shimada, Takinoue and Akiteru.
  • Crowd Chant: The more established teams tend to have set team chants at matches.
    • Date Tech High School's team chant, which is lampshaded to be rather catchy:
    • One of the teams at nationals, Inarizaki, even uses this to their advantage. They know that they're a popular team with a wildly large crowd following and school cheer squad, so their cheer squad has specific cheers designed to destabilize the other team while they're serving or trying to make snap judgements. The stadium gets noticeably quieter and more positive when Inarizaki is serving, and the crowd goes as far as to boo players on the other team who made a good save or scored a point. It's a stunningly effective demoralizer.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Prior to the Spring High preliminaries final, any high school volleyball team in the Miyagi prefecture are usually on the receiving end of brutal scorelines when faced against the powerful Shiratorizawa Academy.
    • Hinata’s first match against Kageyama went poorly, with their scores not even surpassing 10 points. Hinata’s team was composed mostly of amateurs, while Kageyama’s team was the championship favorite.
    • Karasuno's match against Datekou prior to the story was so one-sided that even Asahi, the ace, couldn't fight against their height.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Attractive amicable female students acting as the manager are very prevalent amongst the boys' volleyball teams, including Karasuno and the other teams at the Tokyo training camp. The boys often have crushes or soft spots for them, and teams without female managers usually bemoan their lack of this trope. Although played straight, the focus and development of Karasuno's managers remind the audience that their jobs genuinely are important: Shimizu takes her duties very seriously which is what spurs her to look for a successor, and one of the first things Yachi does as manager is to make a poster advertising Karasuno to raise funds for their trips.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The unexpected result of the Spring High preliminaries. No one in the Miyagi prefecture sees Karasuno coming since everyone's focused on powerhouses like Shiratorizawa and Seijoh. When Karasuno defeats Seijoh, the TV news focuses on Seijoh's loss and laments how they wouldn't be participating in the finals. When Karasuno wins in the finals, the audience is completely stunned since Shiratorizawa were the expected victors.
  • Desperate Object Catch: Desperate diving saves are common during the climaxes of matches. One particularly notable example is during Karasuno's Interhigh match against Aoba Johsai — 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 comically whacks Oikawa often, and threatens him with it just as frequently.
    • Kageyama tends to grab people's head and squeeze them in annoyance, with Hinata (unsurprisingly) the most common target.
  • Down to the Last Play:
    • Karasuno's Interhigh match against Aoba Johsai goes to the maximum three sets, with the final set score going into the thirties.
    • Taken Up to Eleven during Karasuno's Spring High preliminary final against Shiratorizawa. The match goes to a full five sets, and Karasuno has to fight through deuces for every set they win. Even the final set, which only needs to be won in 15 points minimum, ends up being a final score of 21-19 in Karasuno's favour.
  • Epic Fail: The Johzenji team attempt to imitate Karasuno’s synchronized attack after seeing it just once, surprising everyone. The build-up hints that a really badass moment is coming… and they just fail spectacularly, much to Karasuno's confusion (and Johzenji's coach and manager's embarrassment).
  • 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, with Akiteru being a year older. However, only Akiteru and the Small Giant were acquainted with each other at the time thanks to being club members. Saeko had personally encountered the Small Giant just once during one of his practicesl and she only knew Akiteru by his surname which she remembers when finding out Tsukishima (Kei) is on the current Karasuno team, and she doesn't seem to recognise him when she catches him at the Shiratorizawa match.
    • Ukai, Shimada, and Takinoue were teammates on the Karasuno volleyball team. They maintain their friendships through adulthood and play on the neighbourhood association team together. Their connections end up being important for Karasuno, as Shimada and Takinoue often support the team in their practice and official matches and Shimada in particular mentoring Yamaguchi.
  • Excited Show Title!: Haikyuu!!
  • Eye Catch: Different eyecatchs are rotated around 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).
  • 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 of flipping the middle finger to intimidate or provoke others.
  • 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. Karasuno's main power is in their intense and versatile offense, while Nekoma simply outlasts their opponent. As most sports critics in-series have put it, Karasuno is an "unstoppable force" while Nekoma is an "immovable object."
  • Friendly Rivalry:
    • Karasuno and Nekoma. Their teams have had a great relationship even before the events of the series thanks to Ukai Sr and Nekomata's friendly rivalry with one another. The relationship is maintained with the current lineups of each team.
    • Everyone in Karasuno has an amicable rivalry towards each other to some extent, and is actively encouraged by Ukai and Takeda because having a worthy rival prevents them from stagnating.
    • Nekoma and Fukurodani, as well as the other teams from Fukurodani Academy Group's training camp, are good terms with one another. Although being localized in the same region means they'll definitely play against each other at some point, outside of official and practice matches they enjoy training with each other and don't hesitate to mingle or give advice.
  • 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 had to slap some sense into Oikawa during junior high school, after the latter lost it and tried to hit a younger Kageyama (who had only asked for guidance) out of resentment for having lost to Shiratorizawa.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Contrasting hair colours are often used to compare 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 first-year 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.
    • Team Mom Sugawara has blonde/ash gray hair and is the vice-captain to the Team Dad and captain Daichi who 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 Manchild ace spiker Bokuto has white-gray hair with dark streaks, contrasting his quiet deadpan setter Akaashi's dark hair.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Player's skills and results coming down to hard work vs natural talent is a frequently discussed trope in the series, with those doing hard work sometimes falling short of the naturally talented. However even the ones with natural talent are still made put in some effort into the training to improve themselves.
    • The tropes does not look like it applies to Oikawa at a glance, as he's considered the top setter in the area and is a dangerous threat in matches, seemingly with little effort. However he laments he's no natural talent and that he would hardly be half as good as he is if he didn't work as hard as he did. While the hard work certainly pays off, he resents the fact that he still can't win against Shiratorizawa which is lead by the powerful Ushijima, and it's implied that Kageyama, his naturally-gifted junior, will one day surpass him.
    • Tsukishima is initially a believer of this thanks to his older brother Akiteru's unpleasant experience in high school volleyball. Despite being an ace player in junior high and putting a lot of effort into his training, Akiteru was not deemed good enough to be a proper member of Karasuno's team, which made him break down after Tsukishima found out as a chikd. As a result, Tsukishima is rather half-hearted in his high school volleyball training and matches and even sincerely thinks Hinata will surpass him with his natural talents; it takes an Armor-Piercing Question from Yamaguchi, nagging from Kuroo and Bokuto, and a heartfelt talk with Akiteru for him to give up this belief and put more effort into his training.
  • 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, deliberately obscuring the view of the flag referee, and sucking up to the net 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. Justified as volleyball is a sport where height is advantageous, and it's extremely difficult to face off against players who are 6+ feet when you're below 5'8" or so. The libero is the one position where being small isn't a disadvantage, so players like Nishinoya aren't as fazed (although he is shown to be annoyed when Hinata points it out his short height).
  • 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 Fukurodani during their last practice match together at the training camp, leaving everyone (including Bokuto himself) incredulous?
  • Hot-Blooded: Hinata and Kageyama are always over-enthusiastic in anything related to volleyball, and they often get told off for needlessly wasting energy by screaming or running around. Tsukishima even comments on it.
    Tsukishima: Uselessly hot-blooded people irritate me...
  • Huddle Shot: A shot of the team huddling together is a prerequisite before matches.
  • Idiot Crows: Crows appear in the anime 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 Aoba Johsai, Oikawa points out that Karasuno is still very inexperienced at receives, and repeatedly aims for their weakest receivers (Tsukishima and Hinata). In their Spring High preliminaries match, Aoba Johsai loses their decisive and last point thanks to an unsuccessful receive, and from Oikawa, no less (although it is pointed out that if Aoba Johsai's block hadn't touched the ball therefore changing its course, he might've received it well).
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Kageyama delivers 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: With the boys' volleyball teams often being rather colourful in personality, it's not unusual to have at least one member who acts over-the-top in everything they do. This varies from Nishinoya and Tanaka from Karasuno to Bokuto of Fukurodani.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A rather sad example. After losing to Karasuno in the Inter-High preliminaries, Ikejiri comments that if they were in a work of fiction, those that won and go on to nationals would be the protagonists, and those who lost and had their season cut short were just the extras. Even if it does miss a little after Karasuno lost in the first tournament, it's a little heartbreaking.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Hinatanote  and Kageyamanote  have this in their names to drive home just how different they are. This also reflects in their appearances and personalities, since Hinata is a cheerful redhead and Kageyama is an aloof guy with black hair.
  • 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: It's not unusual for the losing boys' volleyball team to tear up after the match.
    • After the painful loss to Aoba Johsai at the Interhigh preliminaries, Ukai shouts the Karasuno team out for a meal. While eating, most of the team goes on a conjunct silent crying.
    • Oikawa and Iwaizumi shed bittersweet tears at the end of their middle school lives where they narrowly lost to Shiratorizawa, while swearing to defeat them in high school.
  • Meaningful Name: Characters' names often have some significant and relevance, whether it be Theme Naming or to highlight certain characters being Foils to one another.
  • Night and Day Duo: This motif is present in the contrast between Karasuno's two first-year middle blockers, Hinata note , who is friendly, vibrant, and warm, and Tsukishimanote , who is cold, aloof, and distant. It's acknowledged in-series.
  • 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 at Interhigh.
    • 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. Bokuto, in turn, will frequently do his best to see Akaashi's point of view and remind him that he's allowed to rely on others.
    • 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 looks terrified when he realizes he's accidentally served the ball into the back of Kageyama's head in their practice match against Aoba Johsai.
    • During the Spring High preliminaries match against Aoba Johsai, Hinata panics when he jumps to avoid the blockers and ends up way too close to the net.
    • Tendou mutters "Dammit!" in horror during the final set of the Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno match when Karasuno are about to do their synchronised attack on their match point and he realizes no one will be able to stop them.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Hinata yells something along these lines to Kageyama, after the latter is subbed out during the Interhigh game against Aoba Johsai:
    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:
    • Kageyama tries to go scout around Aoba Johsai in such an obvious disguise that it would only make him stand out more. Thankfully, Yachi convinces him to change to more discreet clothing.
    • Akiteru sneaks in to see Karasuno play Shiratorizawa since Tsukishima does not want him there. However his sunglasses, cap and mask makes him look suspicious, leading Saeko to accuse him of being a Shiratorizawa spy and dragging him to Shimada and Takinoue. In the anime adaptation, Yachi lampshades how Akiteru and Kageyama are similar in their poor disguising techniques.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Asahi and Nishinoya, two very highly capable players, appear out of nowhere after 15 chapters/7 episodes to play for Karasuno. Not only that, but they play the exact positions Karasuno needs to round out the team. The explanation given is that Asahi quit volleyball after being discouraged due to having a terrible game in the previous tournament and Nishinoya was suspended from club activities due to breaking a vase while arguing with Asahi about this in a school hallway.
    • Later on, Nekoma has a new starting player, Lev, in their second appearance. The explanation given is that he wasn't with them in their first appearance because he was still a newbie and they only took their main squad to training camp. In the two months between their two appearances, he developed enough to become a starter. The OVA of the first season helps introduce the audience to Lev and the struggles of him syncing up with Kenma.
  • Rousing Speech: Takeda is fond of giving motivational speeches. They tend to be full 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 is frequently vomiting during bus or car rides (especially when he's nervous), which is Played for Laughs.
    • Hinata tends to run into people from opponent teams while going to the restroom before a match. It even gets lampshaded in Chapter 108.
    • People from other schools often misread the kanji in Karasuno as "Torino".
    • Whenever a stealthy reference is made to another school when they are absent, one of them will sneeze. For example, at the mention of an iron wall, a guy from Date Tech starts sneezing. Most apparent when Nekoma is mentioned, and Inuoka starts wondering if he's catching a cold.
  • 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 senpai'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:
    • When comparing Hinata's height (roughly 160 cm) to Hyakuzawa (roughly 200 cm), Yachi and Yamaguchi remark how there's a whole Ketty-chan or Tekachu size difference between the two of them.
    • 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. 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: This series is the gender-inverted version of the all-girls Attacker You! With Hinata strongly echoing the characteristics of Attacker You's heroine, You Hazuki.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The first opening spoils that there are two more Karasuno players, Nishinoya and Asahi - when the first years joined, Asahi had quit and Nishinoya was briefly suspended from club activities because their match against Datekou the previous tournament left Asahi depressed and Nishinoya accidentally hit the vice-principal when he got too angry about him leaving. 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.
  • Spoiler Title: Don't want to know who wins the Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai match at the Spring High preliminaries in Season 2? Good luck avoiding the Season 3 title which is Karasuno High School VS Shiratorizawa Academy.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Characters 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. Played for Laughs when Akaashi contemplates whether to toss the ball to Bokuto and thinks through three scenarios, all in a span of 0.5 seconds.
  • Team Hand-Stack: Hand stacks are frequently done by the teams.
  • Teens Are Short: Zig-zagged. 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, but has their fair share of smaller people.
  • 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 briefly dropped from the club at one point in their first year because they couldn’t take Coach Ukai Sr’s training.
    • When the first years join the team, Asahi and Nishinoya are not present despite being members. Asahi quit after losing to Datekou; after his supension for accidentally hitting the vice-principal during his fit of rage against Asahi is lifted, Nishinoya refuses to come back if Asahi doesn't. A practice match convinces them both to come back.
  • 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".
  • Training from Hell: Coach Ukai Sr. apparently is a specialist in brutal training and put Karasuno through one of these.
  • Tranquil Fury: The angrier Kageyama gets, the quieter he becomes. Hinata lampshades it after he loses focus during the practice match against the Neighborhood Association and takes a spike to the face.
    Hinata: Crap... Kageyama isn't yelling at me. That means he's really angry.
  • Transplant: Wakutani's captain Takeru Nakashima is originally introduced as the brother of Makoto Nakashima in Kiben Gakuha Yotsuya Senpai No Kaidan, the author's previous work. Makoto herself appears as a cameo when supporting her brother at his matches.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Zig-zagged. The fallen team Karasuno narrowly loses to powerhouse Aoba Johsai at the Interhigh preliminaries match but gets their revenge on them in the Spring High prelimanaries semifinal match, giving them the chance to top it all off with the reigning Miyagi champions Shiratorizawa in the finals. To everyone's shock, they succeed, propelling them to Nationals once more.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Karasuno and Nekoma fondly consider each other worthy opponents, 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 improvement, both teams will revert to this trope.
    • Ushijima considers Oikawa to be the only noteworthy rival 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 a respectable opponent, shaking his hand, objecting when his teammates badmouth him, and even going as far as to tell Koganegawa 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, reassures Hinata (albeit in a rough manner) in their practice match against the nierboughooud association team when the latter starts feeling that his power as a decoy isn't good enough compared to a real ace’s height and power.

Alternative Title(s): Haikyuu


Example of: