Haikyuu is one of the biggest sports anime to come from Japan, and its legacy is thriving thanks to its legion of fans. Its fanbase is thriving these days thanks to the anime's recent comeback, and fans are tuning in for Karasuno matches each week. As it turns out, one such fan happens to be a major star in the world of volleyball because Yuji Nishida is a big fan of Haikyuu.
Recently, the pro athlete spoke with Weekly Shonen Jump about his love of Haikyuu. It was there the player, who is part of Japan's national volleyball team, said the manga caught him by surprise. He doesn't read much manga, so the pro player was stunned to find himself so invested in Hinata's journey.
"I don't even read manga usually, but I was shocked by how interested this story was and got hooked on it," the athlete said (as translated by Twitter user TrianaNero).
The volleyball player went on to say he was impressed by how through Haikyuu was in depicting volleyball. While some elements are exaggerated, Haikyuu has long been praised for its discussion of strategy and teamwork. "It's just too realistic," Nishida said.
"It's as realistic as it gets. Although, we can't really spike with our eyes closed, so there's that."
During the interview, Nishida went on to discuss various matches and their impressive technical savvy. He said some of them even made him emotional because they hit so close to home. When discussing one Karasuno match, Nishida talked about his own insecurities on the court and how his teammates alleviate them.
"I'm often trusted to score a point, and I always jump while keeping my teammates and their thoughts in my mind. There's so many scenes I can emphasize with as a spiker."
Thanks to Haikyuu, Nishida is able to find a piece of himself in an industry he never expected. Haikyuu can appeal to athletes with its thorough investigation of its sport, but anyone can fall in love with the series' character. Nishida isn't the only person to get emotional while watching the Karasuno players lift one another up, and their brotherhood is what keeps fans coming back for more.
Has Haikyuu made you more interested in sports? Or even pique your interest in volleyball? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.