Manga Review: Haikyu!! V 17 by Haruichi Furudate @shonenjump

Contains Spoilers

The final game between Blue Castle and Karasuno continues! It’s do or die time! Can the Karasuno team fight back from game point to take the match and advance to the finals??

So many speed lines! So many action sequences, marching panel by panel as Hinata and Kageyama struggle to defeat their opponents. The entire team gives it their all, ignoring their fatigue, sweat, and aches and pains. Oikawa, despite a bout of self-doubt about his abilities early on, takes advice to play his hardest and believe in himself to heart. Rallying the team around him, Blue Castle looks like it’s going to smash through Karasuno’s blockers and take the match. Until a brutal series of plays has Kageyama and Hinata sitting in the winner’s seat. FINALLY!! Looks like the crows are back in business, but can they take on Shiratorizawa in the finals?

This was a great volume. We are given a flashback to the 3rd years’ first day on team, when they learn that Karasuno has fallen on hard times. With no coach and little administrative support, they have to fight for time to play in the gym. Despite the grim prospects of ever advancing to the semi-finals, let another the finals or Nationals, the younger Daichi, Sugawara, and Asahi never stop practicing or hoping for a break that will allow them to return Karasuno back to its glory days as a volleyball powerhouse.

The volume ends on a cliffhanger, of course, with the team struggling to find their footing in their finals match against Shiratorizawa. Ushijima, a strong, athletic leftie, gives them no end of grief as he smashes volley after volley over the net. Will they be able to adjust to the spin on his smashes, or are they going down in a painful loss? Tsukishima is crippled with doubts, and he is grappling with the impossibility of beating this capable team. He has grown on me over the last 17 volumes, and I hope he can find a spark of courage to ignore his logical mindset and get a rally going against Shiratorizawa.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy purchased from Amazon

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! Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?
It’s the final set of the Spring Tournament Qualifier semifinals, and Aoba Johsai has game point! With their backs against the wall yet again, Karasuno digs deep and throws their greatest efforts into one final rally. Will they be able to take the set and overcome the Great King?!

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