Manga Review: Haikyu!! V 22 by Haruichi Furudate @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

This volume didn’t work for me as well as previous installments, and that’s because Karasuno takes a backseat to the other teams attempting to qualify for the Spring Tournament. And while my favorite team other than Karasuno is probably Nekoma, I just don’t feel as invested in their players. This volume is all about Nekoma playing against Fukurodani, and then against the smarmy Nohebi team.

98% of this volume features volleyball games. Fukurodani’s Bokuto is a gifted, intense player – until he forgets how to hit a cross shot. Nekoma’s Lev is a tall, imposing guy, but he lacks confidence, and that bites the team in the butt more than once. Nohebi’s Daisho is just a jerk, but he knows how to play an audience, and he quickly has the line judge eating out of his hand. Lots of mental games played on all sides, and lots of players falling prey to the mental manipulations.

One thing I noticed on this reading that I haven’t in the past is the quality of the artwork. It’s just not as clean as Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s, but I attribute that to reading so many volumes of Kuroko’s Basketball in a row. So while I don’t find the art as attractive as I did before, the emotional anguish of the players is so intense that it’s hard not to get caught up in the powerful emotions filling almost every page. These guys all want to win, but their opponents are determined to do everything in their power to stop their advance to the Spring Tournament.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

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?
The semifinals of the Tokyo Area Qualifiers for the Spring Tournament have begun! It’s Nekoma vs. Fukurodani in a win-and-you’re-in match! Fukurodani’s ace, Bokuto, is in top form as he goes head-to-head with Nekoma’s defensive master, Yaku. Will the Cats be able to take down the Owls?!