Manga Review: Haikyu!! V 14 by Haruichi Furudate

May Contain Spoilers

Oh! Noes! Team captain Daichi Sawamura is injured in a collision with Tanaka and has to leave the game! Gah! Coach Ukai puts 2nd year wing spiker, Chikara Ennoshita in the game to replace him. Can Ennoshita overcome his nerves – and his low self-confidence – and help carry the team to victory over Wakunan? IDK, but it’s going to be another nail-biter!

Obviously, the whole momentum of the game switches from Karasuno to Wakunan after a pillar of the team is replaced with a guy who is not so sure of himself. Ennoshita had some ups and downs his rookie year, and he even quit for a few practices when the training got too tough for him. Eaten up with guilt, he asked for forgiveness and hasn’t missed a practice since, but his feelings of unworthiness persist. Can he overcome his biggest challenge – himself – and help lead the team to a victory?

The game play gets so intense after Daichi is replaced. Karasuno struggles to gain a toehold over Wakunan, and the guys are just flailing around like a boat without a rudder. Then Ennoshita, still under so much pressure, embraces the challenge. He decides he’s going to rise to the challenge, and do something about the other team. He is going to play as hard as he can, and he’s going to rally his guys around him. Because that’s what leaders do, and he’s been nominated to replace Daichi as the team captain.

I really enjoyed this installment of the story. Everyone plays their heart  out, even when winning seems impossible. Still, they keep pulling gravity defying plays out of nowhere, diving for a dig or jumping for a spike. Everyone starts to feel comfortable playing with Ennoshita, and as they subtly adjust their strategy to combat Wakunan’s more technically advanced players, they finally start to dig themselves out the hole they’ve fallen into.

Grade: 4.25 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?
It’s the middle of the quarterfinal round of the Spring Tournament qualifiers, and Karasuno’s captain, Daichi Sawamura, is injured! With their most reliable player out of the game, the only one who can replace him is…Chikara Ennoshita?! This volume also includes the bonus one-shot chapter “Nisekyu!!”—a collaboration with the author of Nisekoi!