Anime Spotlight: Haikyu!! Second Season

Haikyu!! Second Season is the second season for the anime adaptation of the Haikyu!! manga series. The anime is produced by Production I.G and is directed by Susumu Mitsunaka. The 25 episodes of series aired on Japanese television from October 3, 2015-March 27, 2016. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution rights for Haikyu!! Second Season.

The second season picks up with Karasuno coming off of their defeat at the Inter-High volleyball competition and wanting to practice harder than ever. The team is invited to participate in Nekoma’s training camp, but it almost looks like Hinata and Kageyama won’t be able to attend due to their grades. They receive help from a new character named Hitoka Yachi, who is being recruited to become a new manager for Karasuno’s volleyball team, since Shimizu is a third year student and will be gone the next school year.

Much of the first half of the second season of Haikyu!! focuses on the training camp and on the improvements that the various members of Karasuno’s team makes with their skills. But there’s no time to catch their breath after the training camp, because it’s time to participate in the qualifiers. The rest of Haikyu!! Second Season sees Karasuno bringing the action and volleyball competitions that the series is known for, and it all leads up to Karasuno playing against Aoba Johsai again. Both teams are determined to win.

Early in the season, it was being emphasized that the third years will soon be leaving the team, and that their current manager, Shimizu, will also be leaving. It made sense for Shimizu to want to recruit a younger student to be a new manager and learn the ropes before she graduates. Yachi is rather unsure of herself at first, and we got a story arc that showed some development and character growth for her before she really starts delving into managing Karasuno’s volleyball team. She also becomes friends with Hinata and Kageyama, which ensures that if the series continues after the third years leave, she’ll play a central role since Hinata and Kageyama are both major characters. Yachi is adorable, and I think that in the long run, she made a good addition to the cast.

This season also introduced new teams, as well as new characters for teams that were already introduced in the previous season. We even got to meet Ryu’s older sister, who went to Karasuno at the same time as Hinata’s idol, The Little Giant. Some of the new characters introduced this season received just as much character development as characters who had been around a while. This season also brought some of the lesser developed or background characters for Karasuno’s team to the forefront. Tsukishima finally got a needed backstory that explains why he acts the way he does. Ennoshita, a team member who had basically been in the background, finds himself unexpectedly in the spotlight during the prelims when something happens to Daichi. I liked many of the new characters and appreciated seeing some of the older characters getting fleshed out as well.

I enjoyed Haikyu!! Second Season as much as I did the first season of the series. The nice thing with this season is the fact that the main characters are already established, so it could simply focus on continuing the story and building on what had already been established. The match between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai is quite the nail-biter, and I found myself intently watching those episodes as the adrenaline was pumping.

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