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The Haikyuu!! creator's biggest challenge when making the manga was not getting bogged down in the rules

You're allowed a bit of creative license when creating a best-selling manga, we think

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Image credit: Production I.G.

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Sports anime usually live and die by their drama – the over-the-top relationships that give us a reason to care about the action. However, depicting the intensity of most sports requires careful planning and knowing what to include and what to leave out. For Haruichi Furudate, the creator of Haikyuu!!, the biggest challenge in depicting volleyball in a manga was telling the reader enough about the sport without getting bogged down in the details.

Because Furudate pulled so much from his own experiences as a high school volleyball player when creating the manga, Haikyuu!! tends to remain grounded pretty well in reality. There aren’t many flashy moves or named attacks like in other series, which means that the writer was tempted to overexplain the intricacies of playing volleyball. “I think the majority of Jump readers are not originally interested in volleyball,” he explained during an interview. “So I always worry about how to incorporate [the rules] into the story without making readers think it’s a pain to read.”

The biggest difficulty, however, lies in the rotation of players. In volleyball, players rotate around the court, spending time in the front and the back throughout the match. As a result, what a player can do in a scene is often dictated by where they are in the rotation at that moment. “The difficult part is that it’s hard to match the highlights of the story with the actual rotation. Just when you think, ‘I want the main character to do something great here!’ he ends up in the back line!”

This is why most writers try to leave pesky things like rules and reality in the background, but it is a big part of why Haikyuu!! is so special to fans – Furudate took extra care to get the details of the game right without turning every chapter in a How to Play Volleyball guide.

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