HAIKYU!!, VOL. 34
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia
MANGAKA: Haruichi Furudate
TRANSLATION: Adrienne Beck
LETTERS: Erika Terriquez
EDITOR: Marlene First
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0780-8; paperback (September 2019); Rated “T” for “Teen”
200pp, B&W, $9.99 US, $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK
Haikyu!! is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. This manga was serialized in the manga magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump, from February 2012 to July 2020. VIZ Media has been publishing an English-language edition of Haikyu!! as a paperback graphic novel series under its “Shonen Jump” imprint since July 2015.
Haikyu!! focuses on Shoyo Hinata. As a child, Hinata saw the legendary volleyball (haikyu) player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals. From that point, Hinata began a quest to be the best volleyball player ever. In a sport in which tall athletes dominate, however, Hinata's height of 5'4” is considered too short. Now, he plays for Karasuno Public High School with his rival, Tobio Kageyama. Hinata does not believe that a player needs to be tall in order to play volleyball, especially when a player can jump higher than anyone else – as he can.
As Haikyu!!, Vol. 34 (Chapters 297 to 305; entitled “Cats' Claw”) opens, the “National Spring Tournament” continues. Now, the long awaited match-up between Karasuno (representing Miyagi Prefecture) and Nekoma Municipal High School (Tokyo Venue Sponsor representatives), which some call the “Dumpster Battle,” begins.
Nekoma is know for their defense, but they immediately shock Karuso with their aggressive “synchro attacks” on offense. Meanwhile, Nekoma's master “middle blocker,” Tetsuro Kuroo, plays mind games with Karasuno's master middle blocker, Kei Tsukishima. Are Karasuno, suddenly favorites in a match for the first time, ripe for an upset?
[This volume includes “Haikyu! vs. Let's Haikyu?! – Special Collaboration Bonus Short” drawn by Retsu. Let's Haikyu!? is a gag manga based on the Haikyu!!]
THE LOWDOWN: I had not read the Haikyu!! manga in almost a year and a half. Now, I have read four volumes in seven months.
Haikyu!! Graphic Novel Volume 34 begins the Karasuno-Nekoma Dumpster Battle. Creator Haruichi Furudate has been telling readers that this is the match for which the players of both schools have been waiting for quite some time. Well, the wait was worth it for both players and for Haikyu!!'s readers. Vol. 34 is one of the better recent volumes. Furudate is so good at depicting the excitement of volleyball matches, and he excels here, making sure that the Dumpster Battle does not become a narrative “dumpster fire.”
As usual, Adrienne Beck's translation captures the game action and, when necessary, the evolution of the characters. Letterer Erika Terriquez shines as she continues to create the furious comic book noise of the game.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of sports manga will want the “Shonen Jump” title, Haikyu!!
9 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douressseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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