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Haikyuu!! creator thought volleyball was cool enough without giving everyone super moves

Keeping things grounded certainly makes the show stand out among sports anime.

Haikyuu!! Quick Attack screenshot
Image credit: Production I.G.

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Most sports anime focus on the main character’s specific skill that sets them apart from the competition. Blue Lock is notorious for this, with nearly every character having their own special move, but this trope is noticeably absent from Haikyuu!! – and that is intentional. The creator of Haikyuu!! kept special, named moves by players to a minimum to maintain a sense of realism to the anime.

Haruichi Furudate drew from his experience playing volleyball in high school when creating the Haikyuu!! manga, which in turn led him to forgo giving each character a special technique to set them apart from everyone else. “I try to depict plays that are used in real games, even if I exaggerate them,” he said in an interview. “When I was watching an actual match a while back, I was getting excited thinking, ‘This play would be cool if it were drawn like this in the manga!’ so I tried to directly apply that feeling to the match scene. Even if I came up with new techniques on my own, I don’t think I could come up with something cooler than the existing play, so it is what it is now.”

The singular exception in the Haikyuu!! franchise is the Quick Attack that Shoyo and Tobio employ to get the jump on their opponents. That move gets a pass from Furudate because it is so crucial to how the characters function together. And it isn’t really that elaborate of a move. It just requires Shoyo to jump a bit earlier, using his impressive vertical leap to hang in the air while Kageyama sets to him. Furudate seems content with this compromise, saying “I will continue to use it as the only special move that I came up with.”

While we’re huge fans of special moves in sports anime – our personal favorite is the Vacuum Butt Cannon in Keijo!!!! – but the lack of them makes Haikyuu!! feel a touch more unique. There is a grounded aspect to the action that forces the story to focus on the characters and their teamwork over who can pull off their special move at the right time.

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