|Date(s):||20 February 2012 - 20 July 2020 (manga), 6 April 2014 - present (anime)|
|Medium:||Manga, anime, stage play, video game, mobile app|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official website (JP)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The series follows Hinata Shouyou, who falls in love with volleyball after seeing a match on TV. He enters Karasuno High School, a school that was once powerful but is now low-ranking. There he meets Kageyama Tobio, his rival from Junior High and a "genius" volleyball player, who has also joined the team. The team quickly realizes that despite their opposite personalities and constant fighting, Hinata and Kageyama can perform amazing combination attacks.
The manga first started as a one-shot in “Jump NEXT!’’, prior to being serialized. After launching as a series in February 2012, Haikyuu ended in July 2020 with 402 published chapters (the finale was intended to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics which were then cancelled due to the [Covid-19] Pandemic). It was also adapted for an anime series, which aired in April 2014. The third season aired in October 2016, and the fourth season aired in two cours, the first between January and April 2020 and the second between October and December 2020. Season four began with two OVAs ("Land vs Sky” and “The Path of the Ball”).
Haikyuu fandom expanded significantly when the anime aired, existing mostly on Tumblr and Archive of Our Own. It currently has a significant presence on both websites, having been the most reblogged animanga fandom of 2015 , and being the most popular animanga fandom on AO3 as of March 2017. The fandom is also heavily present on Twitter, which also hosts accounts for headcanons, confessions, the fanweek calendar, and other major events specific to Haikyuu fandom.
Teams & Characters
- See Haikyuu Teams for full list
Haikyuu fandom is large and diverse, generally separating themselves by their respective canon-related interests. It is comprised of fanartists, writers, translators, scanlators, gif makers, cosplayers, and vidders. Though there are 20+ year old fans, a significant portion of the fandom is in their teens, fitting with the recent emergence of the animanga itself.
Unlike existing sports animanga, such as Kuroko No Basuke, Yowamushi Pedal, and Oofuri, Haikyuu - along with Free! - became a landmark within western animanga fandom, particularly in the sports genre. Though other titles tend to do just as well in the Japanese market, Haikyuu is remarkable in gaining such prominence among western fans since 2014. In 2015 particularly, the number of fanworks had actually doubled in its fandom tag on AO3.
Being so recent and among young western fans, Haikyuu has little to no presence on LiveJournal nor has it followed other popular fandom migration trends; fans exist primarily on AO3, Tumblr, and Twitter, while vids are on Youtube and tend not to be crossposted. In October 2015, the Haikyuu!! tag on Archive of Our Own reached over 10,800 works, becoming one of the top 5 most used Anime & Manga fandoms on the site when it surpassed Free!. It continued to climb through the ranks. In January 2018, the tag hit over 32,200 works, surpassing Attack on Titan, which had been the most popular fandom since March 2014. The fandom hit over 50,000 public works on AO3 in January 2019. Haikyuu maintained the top spot for years until March 2019, when Boku no Hero Academia surpassed it by hitting 50,900 works. Haikyuu has since remained the second most popular fandom in the category.
Its newer nature, along with the Tumblr-heavy presence, also allows for much discussion about social justice within fandom. This includes trans and nonbinary headcanons, neurodivergent headcanons, fanart of characters with darker skin than in anime/manga art, and acknowledgment of other topics in Social Justice and Fandom have spurred since the mid-2010s. Oikawa, the most prominent rival character in the text, tends to be featured in a lot of this fanon.
Teams and Niches
- See Haikyuu Teams
Being in Haikyuu fandom allows for fans to find similar-minded fans as themselves; outside of fen who focus on one or two particular pairings, many others can be divided due to their team and character interests.
Karasuno may possibly be the most popularly liked team, being the protagonist team, though fans don’t tend to group themselves as such. However, most of their rival teams’ fans tend to group themselves in a type of niche, such as Nekoma, Fukurodani, and Datekou.
Significant to mention is also Aoba Johsai (also known as Seijou), despite being a narrative rival team, but has a remarkable following particularly among western fans. These fans tend to ship Iwaizumi/Oikawa and Hanamaki/Matsukawa - the team’s second semester third years - predominantly, sometimes cross- or poly-shipping.
It is easy to find one’s niche within Haikyuu fandom, as there are a large number of ships and teams; if one does not like anything largely popular, all they have to do is to find or create a work for a ship or team they like, in order to interact with and meet other fans. The attitude and abundance of wanting to give rare ships love allows the fandom as a whole to act with diversity rather than engage in single-minded behavior.
Though Haikyuu is vast in itself (and not just quantified by the number of works on AO3), these separated niches - particularly with cross-team relationships and minor teams - tend to be much smaller, due to the large number of them.
Despite that there are presently no canon ships in the animanga itself, an immense amount of shipping is done within fandom due to the large ensemble cast. Almost all popular ships are yaoi, with few het and even fewer yuri outliers. Fandom tends to name smoosh to refer to pairings, emulating Japanese fandom which does the same.
The most popular ship is Kageyama/Hinata (also known as kagehina.) Kagehina was number twenty as one of the Top 20 ships "most reblogged" in 2016 on Tumblr. Fan-wise (and fanwork-wise) it tends to be followed by Iwaizumi/Oikawa (iwaoi), which is the most used ship tag for the Haikyuu fandom on AO3 as of February 2017; and Daichi/Sugawara, (daisuga.) A portion of the fandom likes to distinguish what they refer to as popular or “canon” pairings, versus “rare” pairings; “canon” pairings tend to include:
- Kageyama/Hinata (kagehina)
- Iwaizumi/Oikawa (iwaoi)
- Daichi/Sugawara (daisuga)
- Asahi/Nishinoya (asanoya)
- Akaashi/Bokuto (akaboku or bokuaka)
- Kuroo/Kenma (kuroken) and Kuroo/Tsukishima (kurotsukki), which are equally popular Kuroo ships
- Tsukishima/Yamaguchi (tsukkiyama or yamatsukki)
Though “canon” is not used in the traditional sense, most of these ships are considered as such due to their close relationships in canon, in which they tend to have a relationship of setter/spiker, captain/vice captain, childhood best friends, or senpai/kouhai. Such pairs are frequently featured together in official merchandise. Within fandom, this basis usually attracts a large following, also adding to the “canon” context of being widely popular. Further analysis will also note that most of the ships are within the protagonist team, all others being members of the more significant rival teams. Kuroo/Tsukishima is the only of the listed above that is a cross-team ship.
Additionally, there are characters who tend to be paired together, often as comic foils, to form ubiquitous ships which are more likely to be found as secondary pairings in multi-ship fanworks. These include Hanamaki/Matsukawa (matsuhana), Kyoutani/Yahaba (kyouhaba), and Yaku/Lev (yakulev.) The small amount of popular het ships include Daichi/Yui (daiyui), Yamaguchi/Yachi (yamayachi), and Akiteru/Saeko (akisae), the last of which features characters who are older siblings of characters from the protagonist team. The most discussed F/F pairing is between the protagonist team’s managers, Kiyoko/Yachi (kiyoyachi). Occasionally fanworks may also mention or focus on some adult characters, most notably Ukai/Takeda (ukatake.)
Recently,Sakusa/Atsumu (sakuatsu), a ship featuring relatively minor characters with minimal interaction introduced far later in the series than most suddenly skyrocketed in popularity, gaining over 4000 new works on AO3 in just over a year and outpacing more established ships like Asanoya.
This wide variety of ships in the Haikyuu fandom has led to much debate about what constitutes a “rare” ship. However, due to the size and nature of the cast, there is also a strong tradition of shipping characters who have little to no interaction in canon. Many of these “rarepairs” have attained a significant following.
A notable difference between English and Japanese fandom is that while many of these "canon" ships overlap, Kageyama/Sugawara and Oikawa/Kageyama are largely prominent in the Japanese fanbase, while receiving much less attention among western fans.
A large component of Haikyuu fandom is its fanweek events, which often run for a week, though there have also been “months,” “weekends,” and ten-day periods in similar formats. Most Haikyuu fanweek events are for particular ships, like Kuroo/Kenma Week or Oikawa/Sugawara Week, although there have also been events for particular characters (like Iwaizumi Week), or teams (like Datekou Week.)
In March 2016, Haikyuu Fan Weeks (@hqfanweeks, hqfanweeks on Tumblr) was created in addition to the fanweek calendar maintained by togekissies, to help fans keep track of all present and future fanweek events.
Also noteworthy is the Haikyuu Holidays Exchange (stylised as @hqhols), a biannual event hosted each summer (hqsummerhols on Tumblr) and winter (hqwinterhols on Tumblr). The first exchange was hosted in winter 2014. The exchange takes place on Archive of Our Own and has grown from 49 participants in winter 2014 to 144 in summer 2016, making it one of Haikyuu’s largest fandom events.
Several other gift exchanges have also taken place within Haikyuu fandom:
- HQ!! Secret Santa (2017) - url previously belonged to a 2014 secret santa exchange, but was deleted
- Haikyuu!! Secret Santa 2014
- HQ!! Secret Valentines (2015)
- HAIKYUU!! Secret Santa 2015
- Haikyuu!! Valentine’s Fic Exchange 2016
- Haikyuu Ship Exchange 2016
- Haikyuu!! Rare Pair Exchange 2016
- Haikyuu!! Magic Fest 2016
- Conquering the Great King by SuggestiveScribe
- to be first, to be best by kittebasu
- bell, book, and candle by skittidyne
- pudding in your hands by togekissies
- I like the way your clothes smell by Mysecretfanmoments
- Mountain and Sea by stelluric
- but for me, there is a storm by Authoress
- by any other name by renaissance
- tea-stained polaroids by dalyeau
- sometimes things change by anonymous
- national hot dad alliance is now calling... by dicaeopolis and owlinaminor
- Game Face by kingdra (aroceu)
- Close to the Chest by darkmagicalgirl
- a charmed life (could be so much more) by nautilics
- How (Not) To Share A Bathroom by renaissance
- You'd fit my lonely arms so perfectly by boxofwonder
- karasuno in casual clothes by doraeguk, 2016
- Divine (Haikyuu zine)
- Birds of a Feather (Haikyuu zine)
- This Is Also Volleyball
- High Rise: A Shiratorizawa fashion zine
- High Voltage (Haikyuu Zine)
- Spellbound: A SemiShira Zine
- Sincerely Yours (Haikyuu Zine)
Archives & Fannish Links
- Haikyuu!! Wikia, which is editable by fans
- Tumblr’s 2015 Most Reblogged Anime/Manga
- 2015 A (Statistical) Year In Fandom
- Fandoms on Ao3, archived March 26 2019
- "How about some details on the Haikyuu fandom? :)" ; ToastyStats: Fandom statistical analyses. Destination: Toast!, November 27, 2017. Archived on September 25, 2021, Archived version
- 2016’s Top Ships
- hqrarepairweek 2015 on whether kiyoyachi counts as a rare ship, Haikyuu!! Rare Pair Exchange 2016 exclusion list