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Why are the main characters of Haikyuu!! a setter and a middle blocker? The manga's creator reveals the reason

Write what you know, right?

Haikyuu!! main characters
Image credit: Production I.G.

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If you don’t know anything about volleyball, watching Haikyuu!! is a good place to start. Because creator Haruichi Furudate came to the original manga as someone who had played volleyball before, he was able to make it fairly realistic, from the moves that the players use to the make-up of the team. His experience as a player also influenced which positions the main characters took up in Haikyuu!!

Fans of Haikyuu!! will know that it focuses on Shoyo Hinata, who plays middle blocker on the Karasuno High School Volleyball Team, and Tobio Kageyama, the team's setter. This is a bit of an unusual combination for a volleyball story – normally a setter works with a wing spiker to deliver the big, dramatic shots that make for exciting stories and images. However, Furudate once again drew on his own experience when creating Haikyuu!!

“The starting point for this project was ‘Let’s draw a story about an amazing setter who makes a perfect toss to a spiker!’” Furudate explained in an interview. However, he didn’t play as a wing spiker during his playing days. Instead, Furudate was a middle blocker when he was a student, just like Shoyo Hinata. The creator of Haikyuu!! built the story around the idea of a setter making a toss to a middle blocker like himself, which is what formed the basis for Hinata and Kageyama’s dynamic in the manga.

Of course, things got changed to make the story more dramatic. Hinata’s short stature and impressive vertical leap make him an ideal decoy and give him a barrier to overcome throughout the story. Even though the anime is coming to an end soon, it is hard to argue with how captivating it has been to watch his journey over the years. All because Furudate wanted the main character of Haikyuu!! to have the same position he had back when he played volleyball.

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