Manga Review: Haikyu V 9 by Haruichi Furudate

May Contain Spoilers

After coming to terms with their defeat at the hands of Aoba Johsai, the Karasuno volleyball club is working on preparing for the spring tournament. Takeda calls in some favors and gets the team invited to a training camp in Tokyo. There’s just one problem. Finals are coming up, and four players are dangerously close to failing! If they don’t pass their tests, they’ll be forced to miss training camp for make-up tests.

Bwahaha! I really enjoyed this volume. Not so much of it was focused on game play, but instead on the daily school lives of the team. Some of the guys don’t take their studies very seriously. When it’s revealed that Hinata is in danger of not passing his finals, I wasn’t surprised. It’s when Kageyama is another player on notice that I couldn’t believe it. He is so focused on volleyball that he doesn’t give his school work much thought. How did these guys pass the Karasuno entrance exams in the first place?

In addition to the four players scrambling to make up for slacking off most of the year, and still showing up for brutal practices, Kiyoko convinces a first year to consider taking up the manager duties for her after she graduates.  Hitoka Yachi is a shy, reserved student, who is under pressure from her workaholic mom to succeed and tackle every endeavor with a fierce will to excel. When Hinata asks for her help studying, she can’t turn him or Kageyama down. After a few study sessions, it’s no wonder these guys aren’t doing very well in school.

Even though the attention is turned away from the game, the snippets of life off the court were amusing and engaging. When the lens turned back to the game – oh, my! Some of the illustrations are stunning. Furudate is hitting his stride with both his story and his visuals.

Grade: 4.5 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don’t need to be tall to fly!
Ever since he saw the legendary player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?
Motivated by their heartbreaking loss to Aoba Johsai, Karasuno now works towards a new goal—the Spring Tournament! The team gears up for a trip to Tokyo for a training camp with some of the top teams in Tokyo, including Nekoma, but there’s something they need to do first…pass their finals! Hinata, Kageyama, Nishinoya and Tanaka are all at risk of not being allowed to go. What are they going to do?!

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