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Spoilers prior to Season 4 of the anime are unmarked.


  • Abandon Shipping: Sakusa and Komori are a popular ship since they are the two prominent Itachiyama members and the latter has a good understanding of the former. Sakusa's backstory reveals they're close because they're cousins and grew up together. Naturally many fans who don't support Kissing Cousins jumped ship.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Takeda's cheerful "I'm good at getting on my knees and begging" is easy to misinterpret out of context. If you're curious, he's talking about begging for practice matches with other schools.
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    • 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.
  • Adorkable: A number characters are perceived as adorably awkward by the audience.
    • Goshiki is a talented first year who's determined to be as good of an ace as Ushijima, but the way he easily riles up and seeks his upperclassmen's approval makes him endearing.
    • Akiteru is a timid guy who is the total opposite of his aloof irratable younger brother. This makes his attempts to support Tsukishima all the more hilarious, like when he sneaks into the Shiratorizawa game with a pathetic disguise to cheer him on without getting recognised, only to get found out and cower in fear when Tsukishima gives him a Death Glare.
    • Michimiya acts hilariously flustered whenever she's around her crush Daichi, and it's incredibly endearing.
    • Takeda is a dork who's known for his begging and excited grins, not to mention his overly poetic speeches to Karasuno which he feels embarrassed about whenever he finishes them, realizing that certain members (ie. Hinata and Kageyama) might not understand nor appreciate them.
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    • Yamaguchi's shyness and Yes-Man behavior towards "Tsukki" is just too adorable. His dorkiness also tends to show around Yachi, whom he finds cute and is implied to have a crush on.
    • Asahi practically embodies the trope the most out of the team, with his timid personality and sensible nature. He also tends to get easily intimidated, especially around teams like Date Tech and players such as Hyakuzawa and Aone.
    • Kageyama's social awkwardness can be quite endearing, especially when he tries to act more friendly around his teammates and fails because he isn't used to simple gestures like smiling, complementing, giving high fives etc. He often has no idea how he comes across which leads to some hilariously awkward situations. Whenever he's shown to be excited about volleyball he sometimes breaks out of his default stoic expression and the results are actually rather cute.
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    • Hinata's clumsy and The Ditz moments put him in an endearing light. This can be seen in the eyecatches whenever he messes up or is in some other fickle and reacts in a hilarious manner.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Despite them being hyped as the strongest team in their area, the battle against Shiratorizawa is considered unnecessarily long by some. It lasts 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 Aoba Johsai, who are much better-liked by fans. The anime adaptation manages to avert this by condensing the match to 10 episodes, with critics praising the anime for its pacing and ability to maintain suspense all throughout.
    • The official matches of the Nationals arc begin in Chapter 233 (not counting the teams' arrival and warming up) and lasts up to Chapter 369. Even discounting a few breaks to show how Nekoma and Fukurodani are doing, the number of chapters focused on Karasuno's matches can be considered overwhelming when reading as it's released. The matches from Round 2 onwards (against Inarizaki) in particular are considered to be extremely long, with the Round 3 Nekoma match dragging on for a particularly long time due to the frequent cuts to Nekoma's side of the court, strategy, and background.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Itachiyama is one of the favourites for Nationals and hinted as a serious threat for Karasuno and others. They are never shown playing and lose off-screen to an unknown team just before the Time Skip kicks in. Although it fits the "anyone can lose" theme and occurs just after Karasuno's loss, all the hype for Itachiyama being thrown away is rather unnerving.
    • Kamomedai and Fukurodani both losing to an unknown team in the semifinal and final of Nationals (respectively) off-screen, while being a nod to the "defeat helps you grow" message, raised some eyebrows, given the emphasis on their good form at the tournament and the two being the only known teams after Karasuno's defeat. In Fukurodani's case, seeing them lose despite their development as a co-protagonist team and the "hints" of their potential victory is shocking.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The third years' graduation being given few panels and little fanfare in Chapter 369 was met with ire from fans who were looking forward to the moment and thought the characters in question deserved more. In the official volume release, extra pages were added where Daichi reminisces over his last three years of high school volleyball and tells Kageyama and Hinata he's looking forward to their progress, which at least gives the graduation a little more emotional impact.
    • Sakusa being such a mysterious player to the point that he and Itachiyama are never shown playing during Nationals was seen as a let-down for fans interested in him and his reputation. After the Time Skip, he's made a pro-player of the MSBY Black Jackals (the team that is also home to Bokuto, Atsumu and eventually Hinata), thus giving him another chance to shine in a match and reveal his backstory. This also sheds more light on Itachiyama, notably giving the captain some proper characterisation and a happier send-off than his tearful injury-induced exit out of Nationals.
  • Awesome Art: The action scenes are very well done and the character designs are well thought-out. Every character has distinct features. Furudate is extremely good at motion shots that convey the speed in-game without sacrificing the audience's understanding of each play.
  • Awesome Music:
    • As usual, Yuki Hayashi (along with Asami Tachibana) composes some absolutely immaculate pieces that perfectly fit the anime's most exciting and emotional moments:
      • "Above", an exciting and optimistic piece that places the violin and cello in the spotlight while the rest of the band backs them with just as much vigor.
      • "Supernatural Haste", an absolutely dynamic piece that is driven by truly exceptional cello line, followed by a just as energetic piano and violin. Any time this one plays, expect Karasuno do something badass as hell.
      • "Cho Sokko", an amped-up version of "Supernatural Haste" that puts more emphasis on a looming orchestral sound that is driven by both acoustic and electric guitar. Powerful and exciting, this one keeps you on your toes as each part builds on top of each other in a truly satisfying way.
      • "Makko Shobu", an electrifying rock-orchestral fusion piece that plays over the final point of Karasuno's rematch with Aoba Jousai. Tense, thrilling, and filled with energy, it captures the frantic pace of that final point and eventual win of Karasuno beautifully.
      • Borrowing some themes from "Above", "The Battle of Concepts" captures the tension and exhilaration of the final point of Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa, reaching a high point when Hinata is about to make the final spike that grabs Karasuno the win.
      • "Greed", an emotionally resonant piece that drifts away from the usually energetic sound of Haikyuu's OSTs. The orchestra truly shines as the synth piano and guitar ornament the melody, highlighting the anime's emotional moments, before wrapping up quietly with a light guitar and bass.
      • "Frustration", another quieter piece that brilliant illustrates the most frustrating and most hopeful moments of the story.
    • Shunsuke Wada definitely delivers in the stage plays:
      • "Conductor of the Wind", the opening theme of the third stage play is an orchestral masterpiece to behold and highlights both the dramatic and excitable tension in the story, especially when paired with the choreography. You have Aoba Johsai acting as an orchestra, while Karasuno plays a marching band. At one point in the song, Hinata makes everyone clap along!
      • The ''Summer of Evolution'' opening is a dramatic shift from the play's orchestral focus, replacing with a fun synth-pop sound that illustrates the generally lighthearted tone of the Summer Training Arc camp wonderfully.
      • "The Battle of Tokyo" is another dramatic shift from the stage play's orchestral focus, instead mixing glitchy dubstep with a traditional orchestra and making it work. What puts it over the top is the cast rapping, with Nohebi getting some particularly catchy lines.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tendou from Shiratorizawa. Either you think his constant bragging and shouting is obnoxious, downright creepy, 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, especially since most of his more unforgivable scenes took place 3 to 4 years before the beginning of the series (and they're teenagers). To say the least, it's an issue in the fandom, and let's leave it at that.
  • Bishōnen Jump Syndrome: Although the character designs are a bit more Moe than other Jump series, the majority of the cast leaning towards the bishounen side has certainly helped gain its female audience.
  • Broken Base:
    • 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? Was Shiratorizawa's strength impactful and scary, or unrealistic and overhyped just so they could be the big bad of the preliminaries? 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.
    • Season 4 had a change in the production team, with a few of the old animation staff having left and a new director taking over. This is part of the reason for the changes in animation and art-style. While half the fandom (especially manga readers) have embraced the new art style, the other half prefer the previous style and disagree with the "sudden" change (some fans are unaware the new art better resembles the manga's Art Shift, while others prefer the manga art but think the previous seasons' art suits the anime better). Fans have also criticised the different approach to animating certain sequences, while others are okay with it and think it's unique.
    • Very split opinions were made about Furudate doing a several-year Time Skip to an adult Hinata in Brazil at the end of Chapter 369, right after Karasuno's run at Nationals and the third years' graduation. Is it an interesting and bold choice that avoids any repetitive storylines that would had happened if the series covered Hinata's second and/or third year? Or does it come at a terrible time and is a disservice to the buildup made for next year's Karasuno members and rivals, as well as killing the Nationals hype by not revealing who won it (with Fukurodani and Kamomedai being in the running) until many chapters later in a flashback?
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor, poor Yui Michimiya. Ever since her crush on Daichi was made more apparent 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 Dark Horse:
    • Akaashi is pretty popular, placing 14th place in his first chatacter poll 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, Aoba Johsai'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, and he tends to get a bit more screentime than the rest save Kuroo due to his friendship with Hinata.
    • 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.
    • Hanamaki and Matsukawa are one of the top ten ship tags on Archive of Our Own despite being only Those Two Guys on the Aoba Johsai team and the more focused characters on the Aoba Johsai team being Oikawa, Iwaizumi, Kindaichi and Kyoutani. They are, however, often a backdrop in fanfiction to the much more popular Iwaizumi/Oikawa ship.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • The second and third years of Hinata's cohort is a popular theme for fanfics and headcanons, including the speculation of new members. Moreso after the Time Skip happened, with much of that high school period being left to fans' imagination.
    • Due to the lack of intersection between Tokyo teams and Miyagi teams other than Karasuno, characters from the two groups meeting each other is a popular plot (settings vary from practice matches to college teams (this is before it's confirmed post-Time Skip who's gone pro and plays for which team) to even alternate universes).
    • After the big reveals in the final arc about the new groups of teams, especially MSBY Black Jackals (Bokuto, Atsumu, Hinata, Sakusa) and Schweiden Adlers (Kageyama, Ushijima, Hoshiumi), fans have had a blast writing all sorts of fanfics, headcanons and silly posts about how these characters interact with one another.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Few couples are established in Haikyuu!!, but many fans like the idea of Kanoka getting together with her crush Tanaka who at the very least supports and admires her. Even after Tanaka marries Shimizu, some still prefer him to be with Kanoka.
    • Despite the relationships between teammates intended to be strictly platonic in-series, many ships like Hinata/Kageyama, Oikawa/Iwaizumi and Bokuto/Akaashi are still extremely popular.
  • Foe Yay: It's become popular to ship Hinata with Atsumu or Oikawa despite the two coming from two of Karasuno's toughest opponent teams. This is due to their gradual interest in him and their desire to play as a setter on a team with him. Not helped by Atsumu chummily referring to him as Shouyo-kun during their matchup. Amplified after the Time Skip when 1) Oikawa reunites with Hinata in the Brazil flashback and has a good time playing beach volleyball with him (and later having another happy reunion at the Olympics itself), going as far as to switch from Shrimp to Shouyo, and 2) when Atsumu actually does become Hinata's V-League teammate and develops a trusting setter-spiker relationship (although the "foe" bit is moot at this point).
  • Good Bad Translation: It's technically correct to translate the Japanese waseigo volleyball terms to its Western equivalent, such as feint -> dink, receive -> dig/bump, one touch -> deflected etc. Many fans (especially those who don't already follow real-life volleyball) nevertheless become accustomed to hearing the original Japanese terms in the anime and end up preferring the literal translations.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • As much as Tanaka and Nishinoya going out of their way to prevent other teams from chatting up Shimizu is played for laughs, her encounter with the uncomfortably persistent Johzenji members shows that there might be some very good reasons for their overprotective side.
    • Bokuto and Akaashi's talks of winning it all at Nationals, making use of Fukurodani's final days and being the protagonists of the world takes a disheartening turn when Chapter 392 reveals their team lost in the final, subverting any expectations or hopes that they would win.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • When the newly retired third years of Date Tech tear up after their final match at Interhigh, Moniwa (the now former captain) reassures them that next year's Iron Wall will not crumble. During the Time Skip, Date Tech beats Karasuno the next school year to qualify for Interhigh (where they reach the Best of 16), making it the first time in 11 years since the school goes to Nationals. The upperclassmen can be seen proudly cheering for the new Iron Wall in the crowd while the team cry Tears of Joy and Aone and Futakuchi hug each other.
    • Bokuto and Hinata develop a close mentor friendship, with Bokuto boasting about Hinata being his No. 1 Disciple and Hinata clearly idolising the former. After the Time Skip, Hinata joins MSBY Black Jackals and becomes Bokuto's teammate, and the two are very comfortable around each other compared to the members from high school (Atsumu takes a liking to Hinata but struggles to handle Bokuto's energy, and Sakusa can barely tolerate any of them).
    • Atsumu's initially unimpressed by Hinata but gradually warms up to him during their Nationals matchup. They become teammates in V-League and it's shown in their match against the Adlers that they've developed a close friendship and good on-court chemistry.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Sakusa (with his usual mask on) cowers in the corner by himself while all the teams wait for the opening ceremony of Nationals, since he hates crowds. The anime adaptation of this scene aired while COVID-19 was becoming a major crisis worldwide. Putting aside the shades of Harsher in Hindsight (due to the severity of the virus), the scene is amusing since Sakusa's antisocial behaviour and drastic measures to stay clean suddenly aren't so silly anymore.
    • Yamaguchi struggles to keep up with Hinata while the latter zooms his way to the stalls at Nationals to buy the same t-shirt as Bokuto. One of the things Yamaguchi exclaims in the manga is, "Is he a ninja!?" Jump to the Time Skip where Hinata's developed a bit of fame in the Brazil beach volleyball scene as "Ninja Shouyou".
    • Although there is already emphasis on saying the middle syllables of Akaashi, the way Bokuto pronounces his name stresses it even more in the anime and drama CD. In a flashback of Akaashi first joining Fukurodani, Bokuto was shown mispronouncing his name as Akashi the first few times, which probably explains his peculiar way of saying it in the present.
    • Bokuto's (one-sided) rivalry with Sakusa becomes funnier after the reveal in Chapter 379 that the two are now teammates in V-League post-Time Skip.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Kageyama, at the very beginning of the series and in the events leading up to it, is often unlikeable in his approach but is shown to have a lot of justification behind 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 gets 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 Aoba Johsai) and his general Adorkable nature have pretty much won the hearts of the fandom.
    • Tsukishima 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 – he Used to Be a Sweet Kid who idolized his older brother, only to have his faith completely shattered once he catches said brother in an ''enormous'' 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, and his main target – Kageyama – gives as good as he gets.
  • 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. It doesn't help that he's a bit of a magnet in-universe who other players frequently mention has brought out the best in a formerly haughty, reluctant, or even just quiet player.
    • As the series has progressed, so have the Crack Pairings. 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.
  • LGBT Fanbase: When a series is as packed with much bishounen as Haikyuu!!, it's bound to have hordes of gay male fans.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Calling Tsukki or Oikawa a shit. In a similar vein, referring to Oikawa, Kuroo, Tsukishima, and sometimes even Lev as "trash" in various ways.Explanation 
    • Sugamama! Alternatively, Mama Suga. Also "Dadchi". Explanation 
    • GO GO LET'S GO LET'S GO DATEKOU, GO GO LET'S GO LET'S GO DATEKOU, GO GO LET'S GO LET'S GO DATEKOU. Explanation 
    • Solia K. Rabu. Explanation 
    • Oikawa Tooru is Not a Genius. Explanation 
    • Oya? Oya oya? Oya oya oya? Explanation 
    • "But why?"Explanation 
    • Swageyama Tobiyolo. Alternatively, Koolgeyama.Explanation 
    • "You should have come to Shiratorizawa." Explanation 
    • Farmer Ushiwaka. Explanation 
  • Misaimed Fandom: Not unlike most Shonen Jump titles, there's a strong yaoi following for Haikyuu!!, especially the Kageyama/Hinata pairing. When the official English translation for Chapter 400 came out, a number of Western fans were disappointed that a few lines concerning the duo lacked the same "romantic" connotations that a Korean-to-English fan translation of the leaks had, and even wrote threats and accusations of homophobia towards the official English translator Adrienne Beck. She and other fans had to reassure them that 1) her translation was correct and more reliable than a fan translation of a Korean fan translation (not to mention leaks are frowned upon), and 2) the original content never insinuated the two have feelings for each other beyond a Friendly Rivalry.
  • Moe:
    • Hinata, Sugawara, Yachi and Nishinoya are bright and bubbly, making them very endearing. Hinata, Yachi and Nishinoya (especially with his hair down) look even more adorable thanks to their small statures.
    • While Asahi hasn't exactly got the look thanks to his Face of a Thug, his Shrinking Violet personality is more than enough for the audience to coo over him.
    • Kageyama, even despite his aloof and moody temperament, is often described as "autistically moe" because of his adorkable tendencies.
    • Kenma is introverted and awkward in an amusing way, and is even more cute when interacting with his polar opposites like Hinata.
  • Narm:
    • The official English manga translation has Tanaka frequently say "bruh" at the end of his sentences, as a vague equivalence to his rough manner of speech in Japanese (which includes his kora/"dammit" Verbal Tic). This unfortunately makes it hard to take his him seriously at times (especially in the dramatic moments), with the insertion of "bruh" coming off as awkward and unrealistic (especially when said multiple times in a short span of time).
    • Ushijima compares Aoba Johsai to infertile soil, as a way of saying they're weak without Oikawa. In the original Japanese, Hinata suggests that Ushijima must consider Karasuno "concrete" if he doesn't even acknowledge Aoba Johsai's talent, and thus introduces himself as "Hinata Shouyou from the concrete". In the English dub, Hinata compares Karasuno to "parking lot concrete", which leads to him introducing himself as "Shouyou Hinata from the parking lot". Needless to say, many fans found this line change too ridiculous to take seriously.
  • 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 Ushijima, 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 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 series 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 so it tends to lead to strong discussions that never amount to any solution.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Furudate used to do horror manga. Naturally, Haikyuu!! is not immune to such horrifyingly drawn scenes.
    • Kageyama's terrifying face after Hinata hits him in the head with a failed serve. Hinata himself says it's his scariest memory.
    • Hinata's smile when he's getting overly hyped up in his matches (such as the match against Nekoma) often crosses into creeper territory.
    • The look in their eyes that quite a few characters get when they reach peak intensity comes off as chilling enough to startle several players who bear direct witness. The biggest example is Hinata's absolutely CHILLING expression, which was sent to and able to leave Ushijima himself taken aback!
  • Periphery Demographic: Like many other sport anime, a large amount of its fans are there to see the boys' interactions, and not the sports.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Quite a few of former Tokusatsu actors (both minor and major) appeared in the stage plays prior to playing more well-known on-screen roles.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Less extreme examples with Karasuno's opponents who are antagonist teams at best but are never nasty, let alone evil. The members and their backstories are written well enough that the audience easily sympathise with the opponents and may often root for them to win instead of Karasuno. The most popular example is Aoba Johsai's loss in the Spring High preliminaries.
  • Self-Fanservice: In canon, Oikawa is the only guy noted to be particularly attractive. Fans tend to pretty up other characters such as Sugawara, Kuroo, Kenma, and especially Akaashi, who is often portrayed as stunningly handsome and the object of Oikawa's envy in fan works.
  • Signature Scene: The scene that's often cited as the most iconic moment is Tsukishima epically blocking Ushijima in the Shiratorizawa match. The anime episode that contains this scene (Season 3 Episode 4) was even voted the best episode by fans in 2019.
  • Signature Series Arc: The Spring High Preliminaries arc (notably the Miyagi portion) is the best contender for the most memorable Haikyuu!! arc since 1) it brings back Miyagi opponents as well as introduces new ones, 2) Karasuno wins it all, and 3) it includes fan-favourite scenes or mini-arcs, such as Tsukishima's development, Yamaguchi's improvement and the Aoba Johsai vs Karasuno match in general.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Tsukishima's Character Development in the Training Camp arc addresses an important issue with one's commitment to their extracurricular activities: 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 awesome moment. It doesn't need to be grander than that.
      Yamaguchi: A reason to work hard...? What more do you need besides pride?!
    • Health is just as important as results, and it's not worth straining your body while training or in a match. Resting and prioritizing your body will do many favours for your sports career in the long-run.
    • As exciting as this series makes it out to be, high school sports isn't everything. You are perfectly okay to move on to another interest, and it doesn't invalidate your passion or or dedication to your club. Alternatively, you have more sport to look forward to as an adult (whether it be pro or casual), so it's not the end of the world if your high school experience isn't as great as you wanted it to be.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • In Season 2 Episode 22, Yamaguchi racks up points with his serve and helps Karasuno see multiple match points in the second set. Since this is a 25-episode season, the audience can assume Aoba Johsai manages to turn things around and force a third set.
    • While no one would be in doubt to begin with, the anime audience can safely guess that Karasuno will save the match points they face in the Shiratorizawa match in Season 3 Episodes 6 and 8, since the season is 10 episodes long and focuses solely on this showdown.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Tanaka and Shimizu's marriage after the Time Skip. Although the former is known to crush on the latter, the latter clearly shows no romantic interest in the character in question prior to becoming offcial. The way the series gives their interactions the Played for Laughs treatment gives off the impression that the crush should never be taken seriously and the pursuer is doomed for heartbreak (even the character in question never seems to actually expect their feelings to be returned). The only bonding moment Shimizu shares with Tanaka that stands out from her interactions with other Karasuno members is her accepting his offer to carry the bag for her, which was after the third years (herself included) played their final match. Between then and their first appearance as a couple, there are no other developments or hints about the two.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Kiryuu and Sakusa are hyped as the other top high school aces in Japan alongside Ushijima, with Sakusa's team Itachiyama in particular considered the biggest threat. While Kiryuu's skills are shown off and his characterisation is well done, his only significant appearance is his loss against Fukurodani, which can feel shorter than he deserves; meanwhile, Sakusa is never even shown in a high school match (other than the match point against Fukurodani in the Preliminaries), leaving one to wonder if there was any point in giving any attention to the famous second-year ace. Author's Saving Throw has him appear on Hinata's V-League team after the Time Skip to give him more exposure, but his lack of presence in the Nationals arc as a Top 3 Ace is still strongly felt.
    • Out of the three "ungrateful" second years (aka the benchwarmers), Ennoshita is the only one with a backstory and character arc, while Narita receives almost no development nor characterisation. Standing awkwardly in the middle is Kinoshita; the story starts to give him more focus in the Nationals arc and how he's determined to help out the team even as a benchwarmer. Although he has many significant moments in the Inarizaki match (including a friendship moment with Nishinoya, his screentime dwindles down again afterward, leaving his character arc without a proper conclusion and the build-up to his "big moment" ultimately going nowhere.
    • Kanoka is the first character from a top girls' high school volleyball team introduced in the series, and there is a minor arc of her and Tanaka finding inspiration from each other (on top of the Ship Tease). A few plays is all we ever see from her, and after the Inarizaki match she doesn't appear again until the final chapter; all is known about her at Nationals is that her team won their Round 2 match, giving her a lack of closure and also wasting some decent opportunities to show any top level girls' matches. Some criticism has been made of Kanoka existing only for Tanaka's development.
    • A big deal is made about the Little Giant by Hinata and the Karasuno circle. When the series officially addresses his current status, he's revealed to have quit volleyball and pursued other interests while also admitting he wasn't as talented as he thought he was. While this has actually been well-received by fans, what many find disappointing is that he and his backstory are nowhere near as developed as one would expect for such an important figure, and he makes little impact after his official introduction.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • From the Spring High Preliminaries to the end of the Nationals arc there's frequent talks of how Karasuno and their opponents will fare in future tournaments, with a lot of buildup for a second year and rematches (such as with Date Tech and Inarizaki). After Nationals, the series rushes into a Time Skip around five years into the future while glossing over Hinata's remaining high school years; this is thought to have wasted a lot of setup and character development, with plot points including potential showdowns, younger members taking up leadership (such as Ennoshita), and how the teams adjust to losing and gaining members (new members in particular were a popular topic for fan predictions).
    • The end of Chapter 377 shows Hinata leaving for Japan with intentions of trying out for the MSBY Black Jackals and reveals that two members of the aforementioned team are none other than Bokuto and Atsumu themselves. Chapter 380 skips to several months later where Hinata is about to have his first match with the Black Jackals. Many have expressed their disappointment at the lost opportunity to focus on Hinata (and Sakusa)'s performance at the tryouts and settling with the team — in particular is their uh peculiar dynamic with Bokuto and Atsumu that's often shown throughout the V-League match, which is entertaining but also bizarre and confusing without any background to explain how their relationships got to this point.

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