A young boy once saw an amazing player on television who seemed like he was flying on the court – and thus began his hunger for volleyball, more and more. This is what Haikyu brings forth to us. Endless moments of thrill, suspense, and shock. This is Hinata’s journey, ever since he saw Tenma Udai on that big center court. His short height was the least of his concern as he flies to get the ball. All he dreams of is a high wall and a craving to see what’s on the other side.
While Hinata and Kageyama might be the protagonists of Haikyu, the manga never fails to glorify every other character that exists in it. The manga binds all of their emotions, their strength, and weaknesses into a thick bundle of papers and presents itself to us. I cannot emphasize the brilliance of both, the manga and the anime series. While Haruichi Furudate has created the masterpiece, Production I.G animation studio has indeed done an amazing job putting his work into motion.
What makes Haikyu worth your time are not only the exhilarating matches but the compilation of all these moments that sent chills down the spine of the viewers and readers. Haikyu was also the winner of the best manga in the 61st Shogakukan Manga Awards.
As mentioned, Haikyu has some of the best moments, that will definitely make you skip a heartbeat. Here are the top ten moments of Haikyu that made every fan fall in love with the series more.
There are some spoilers in the text so refrain from scrolling further to avoid encountering them!
10. Seijoh Meets Karasuno
Karasuno used to be a powerhouse school in the past that had been to the nationals. However, it was then known as the “fallen crows”, a name given for it’s consequent losses in the past few years. Shortly after Hinata and Kageyama joined, Karasuno started growing, putting their name back in the top. But this did not happen until the later part of the manga. While Kageyama was a well-known setter, Hinata was still unknown, despite his monstrous skill.
In the first season, Karasuno is invited to play a practice match with Seijoh. However, the terms of Seijoh are simple: Kageyama shall play setter throughout the match. Although they had a third-year official setter, Sugawara Koushi agrees to stay back, if it means a benefit for the team. On arrival, Seijoh members Yahaba and Kindaichi (who was Kageyama’s teammate in middle school) are sent to receive the members of Karasuno.
Yahaba inquires Kindaichi about Kageyama, to which he replies that Kageyama is not cut out to be a team player as he is too self-centered. As they are talking about the members, Karasuno enters. I personally find this scene so well portrayed. It never ceases to fill me with a rush of adrenaline as Tanaka says, “Don’t underestimate us, or we will eat you alive.” It is strong and filled with the carnivorous energy of a crow, ready to strike on its prey.
We see Tanaka leading Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, and Kageyama. As Tanaka threatens them, Tsukishima further intimidates them, as he mocks them by calling them “elites”. Such a Tsukki thing to do! Of course, this was enough to get on Seijoh’s nerve right before the match.
9. Minus Tempo Quick!
Season 2 of Haikyu brought us one of our favorite arcs in Haikyu, the Training camp arc. The arc features Nekoma and Fukurodani. Karasuno undergoes a huge development in this arc. They come up with all the new attacks that we see in the coming episodes, one of them being the Synchronised attack. Infact, this is where the renowned Kageyama-Hinata minus Tempo quick takes birth.
After losing to Aoba Johsai in the previous season, Hinata’s greed to grow stronger intensified. He felt the need to improve the freakish quickly. He wanted to keep his eyes open when he spiked, a decision that Kageyama stood against firmly. They fought and practiced separately for days until it finally happened, under the guidance of Coach Ukai, senior.
In episode 10, Gears of the second season, Kageyama watches closely as Hinata plays well. He wonders if they should try the new quick and as he is thinking, he glances over Hinata only to find him already in the air, ready to spike any ball he tosses, undoubtedly wanting to do the new quickly. Later, when Bokuto asks Akashi if they can try it too, Akashi replies grimly that this is simply not something normal people are capable of doing.
8. Azumane Asahi – A reliable Ace.
Azumane Asahi was the ace of Karasuno, introduced a few episodes after the anime started. Ever since the beginning of the anime, we have seen Asahi having trouble facing blocks. While in the first two seasons he depends on their libero, Nishinoya Yuu, later in the series he starts to take steps to fight back himself.
He makes use of brute force to break through Date Tech’s iron wall. In the battle with Inarizaki, we see a point where he can neither go ahead because of Suna’s wide range blocking skills nor can he depend on Nishinoya. Atsumu’s unpredictable serves were causing severe problems to the libero. This is a point where we get to see Nishinoya getting scared for the first time in a match.
However, we see a turn in tables as Azumane finally perfects his timing against their blocks. He had been trying to make this happen for a while, even during the practice match with Date Tech. The tactic was simple yet highly efficient. He times his jump keeping the blocker’s jump in perspective. By doing this, he makes sure that the blocker is already going down by the time he is spiking.
Using this he hits one of the most amazing wipes in Haikyu history. Since season 4 has many other major characters like Atsumu Miya, people often miss out on this scene and the spectacular sight in it. For someone like Asahi, who had left volleyball once because he could not handle getting blocked anymore, pulling this move with that strong wipe was definitely breathtaking.
7. “Hinata from the concrete”
Hinata’s confrontation with Ushijima is probably my favorite Ushijima-Hinata interaction. Ushijima, who had been undefeated for years, stood in front of Hinata, while Hinata didn’t even flinch. Even Kageyama notices how he is usually scared around strong players. This scene from season 3 has fans going crazy to date!
Ushijima refers to Seijoh as weak and that Oikawa was the only strong player, which led to his failures. He calls Seijoh an “infertile land” to which, Hinata only questions back, “if Seijoh is an infertile land, are we concrete or something”. This is followed by Hinata jumping high in front of him, getting hold of a ball that was flying out from the court.
Hinata leaves saying, “I am Hinata Shouyo from the concrete and I will defeat you, and go to nationals”. People often seem to miss the fact that in the scene while Ushijima is standing on grass, a fertile soil, Kageyama and Hinata are standing on a concrete ground. I love how the animators keep including strong metaphors that make watching the anime more fun than ever.
6. King Of The Court
Being called King might fluster any other person, but to Kageyama, it is probably the worst name to be called by. Of course, he has heartbreaking memories clinging to the name, but, in season 4 we finally see him break through those memories and moving on.
After the final match with Ushijima, Karasuno finally goes to the nationals. But before that, Kageyama is selected for The National Youth Intensive Training Camp. Here he meets people who excelled beyond limits. While throughout seasons 2 and 3 Kageyama had been setting according to the spiker’s needs, we finally see Kageyama breaking away from the bounds, not wanting to lower his tosses anymore.
He has a breakdown during the practice match with Date Tech, where he ends up regaining speaking rudely to his seniors as he did in middle school. We loved soft Kageyama but we have to realize that Kageyama is a genius setter with abilities surpassing any normal player. In the training camp, he hit tosses that those players could easily hit. This gave him confidence in his sets. Coming back to Karasuno he could not keep being a “goody-two-shoes” anymore.
When Tsukishima points out that Kageyama had finally turned into a King as he did before, none other than Hinata pulls Kageyama out before he could fall into the pits of despair. Hinata comes to the conclusion that if he is the King, he could be so but he would not bow down to him. He would rather reach up stronger than his standards and defeat him. He takes a towel and crowns him a king.
Even remembering this scene gives me goosebumps! Everything about this moment was perfect and it seems to have left a deep impact on many viewers.
5. Oikawa’s Long Set to Iwaizumi
Somewhere in the timeline, Oikawa figures out that he must keep fighting with all he has, no matter how strong the opponent is. Oikawa was a setter, whose skills are admired by the most powerful ace in Miyagi, Ushijima, too. In the match against Karasuno in the Spring Tournament, Oikawa sends a toss towards Iwaizumi, from all the way across the court.
This was a move that not only focuses on how much a setter can control the game but also on Oikawa’s accuracy. Haikyu has numerous beautiful tosses from different players. This particular toss was one of the most perfect tosses. Following this enigmatic set, we see Oikawa stumble on the bench and get back up without wasting a second. The amount of trust he puts on his teammates definitely shows and that’s the beauty of this scene.
4. Oikawa and Iwaizumi making a Promise
Number four on the list of top ten moments in Haikyu involves Oikawa again. Oikawa and Iwaizumi are always seen pulling each other’s leg or Iwaizumi constantly trying to choke Oikawa. After they lose to Karasuno, Iwaizumi promises Oikawa that he will defeat him one day.
Oikawa and Iwaizumi have been playing together since they were kids. The match against Karasuno was probably the last match they played together on the same side of the net. Not to mention that right after high school Oikawa goes to Argentina with José Blanco.
They have many treasured memories together. It’s sad seeing them move apart from being teammates to rivals. Iwaizumi also tells Oikawa that he is the greatest setter he has ever met. The scene carries heavy emotional weightage, that would make anyone who understands and loves these characters cry. They grew together, they lost together. What makes this scene worth being in this list is the beautiful portrayal of these characters as they radiate a wholesome bond of sportsmanship. Their desire to play again and play more is displayed amazingly.
3. Hinata’s First Receive
Hinata Shouyo is the epitome of strength, speed, and monstrous skills. Hinata has struggled to keep playing volleyball, despite having no professional training nor having an inborn talent for it. All he had was vigorous stamina and a lightning-fast speed. So, in season four when he finally makes his first receive, it is definitely a big deal!
In the final set, in the match against Inarizaki, we see something spectacular – something that leaves us with happy tears.
Inarizaki presents us with some of the best plays, most of which almost made it to this list. Atsumu sets an amazing chance ball towards Osamu. When Osamu notices that he had no opening to hit it, he tosses it ahead to Aran instead of smashing Atsumu’s toss on the other side. Aran spikes it towards Karasuno hoping it would get them a point but, Hinata receives it perfectly.
I was in love with this scene when I saw it for the first time. I can’t seem to get enough of it no matter how many times I watch it! Hinata has had a journey where he is constantly reminded that he was nothing without Kageyama. It was definitely a proud moment for the entire fandom!
2. Hinata Tosses!
On Hinata’s quest to be strong, he decides to learn everything. After leaving High School, he goes to Brazil where he sharpens all his skills. Later in the manga, we see Hinata tossing brilliantly in a match against Schweiden Adlers.
This panel from later in the manga is yet to be animated. I have been anticipating watching it happen on screen ever since I read the manga. Hinata prefers to play the position of a spiker, but, he would rather learn everything if he is to defeat Kageyama. During the match, as mentioned, he tosses his teammates. As a matter of fact, it was no ordinary toss. It was the same toss that Nishinoya learned to make the synchronized attack possible. Hinata presents the same move, as he switches from a receiver’s position to a setter’s, and tosses the ball towards his teammates.
While Hinata’s first receive filled the fans with a gush of adrenaline, I wonder how they would react to Hinata’s toss during the MSBY vs Schweiden Adlers match. This is something I am definitely looking forward to.
1. Tsukishima Blocks Ushijima
I wonder how many people would agree to this, but, for me, no other moment tops this particular moment. Ushijima’s spikes were known for being unstoppable. Tsukishima being the only player in Miyagi to smash it back in Shiratorizawa’s side of the court is in itself amazing. But, that is not the only reason why I cherish this moment. Tsukishima has a story of fear that made him a plain and uninterested person. Seeing his brother work so hard only to never play in the team only filled Tsukishima with pessimistic thoughts.
His indifference to the game is a trait very unlike the other players who saw winning as the only outcome they could accept. Tsukishima is seen as a salty teenager through season 1 and halfway through season 2. Some time in the training camp arc, he comes accross Bokuto, who tells him that in every player’s life, there is a moment that gets them hooked to volleyball.
Blocking Ushijima is that very moment for him. We see him scream his lungs out, which is the complete opposite of his always calm and cool character. We get to see Furudate’s genius work through Tsukishima. To work so hard all the way through the first set only to find the perfect moment to make his move shows his determination towards volleyball.
In an anime consisting of countless moments that makes us hold our breath, picking only ten was not easy. Haikyu has unique characters that end up imprinting our hearts, irrespective of the team they belong to. Even the most minor characters leave behind an impact for us to cling to, something that shows a commendable effort of both Furudate and Production I.G.