Anticipation and Mythos in Haikyuu!!

Anticipation and Mythos in Haikyuu!!

Season 1 of Haikyuu!! Was an adrenaline-pumping hypefest. A lot went into creating that atmosphere—a killer soundtrack, a fiery protagonist, creative animation, etc.—and that’s all still present in Season 2. Yet, to just ride the same waves as the first season would be lazy. It’d be unlike Haikyuu!!. Season 2 comes at us with even more tactics to excite us, most of which only work because this is the second season. So, without further warm-up, let’s figure out why we get so pumped.

The questions to ask are: what does a first season set up? and how can a second season capitalize on what’s been set up?

Most obviously, a first season provides a ‘past’ for the story. We know volleyball as it exists in this universe; we know our main cast; we know what the characters have achieved or failed to achieve. We know Hinata and Kageyama have grown from hot-headed rivals to a freak-of-nature tag-team. We know Asahi was convinced to rejoin the team, finding his love for volleyball in the process. We know all the third-years are risking poor college entrance exam grades in order to play one last tournament. Yeah, we know a lot.

These classroom shots in Episode 25 are incredible, by the way.

This gives us two important tools to start Season 2 with: inherent stakes and inherent familiarity. We go into this season with investment because we’ve experienced this team growing and fighting. Instead of ‘Who are these guys? What do they want? Why do I care?’, we ask ‘How is my boy Hinata going to become the ace? Will Yamaguchi get to successfully serve in a match? Can Karasuno get revenge on Aoba Jousai?’ There’s a promise that the characters we already love will be tested at the end of this season. We don’t need to discover that this time around.

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