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On rewatches and the essence of sports animes.

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.

“Name an anime that never gets old no matter how many times you’ve rewatched it.”

Many animes usually lose their charm after their first watch-through. Story driven narratives lose their twist, Slice of Life’s reuse their gimmicks, and Romances, well… end. There’s one genre that never loses that hype for me, whether I’ve watched it two times or twenty. Sports animes excel at building up hype and excitement for a big finale – a clash between two teams with a multitude of skills and ideals that we never tire of seeing.

And Haikyu’s formula pulls this off perfectly.

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A promising rookie duo, senpai’s graduating soon, and an upcoming sports championship, Haikyu doesn’t introduce anything to the sports genre that we haven’t seen. Though that little substance of plot may be lacking, the rewatch happens not to explore a subtle message or a delve into a team’s history. We’re here to see the inspiring shows of teamwork, trust between each player, and the bold plays they make with their unique abilities. Hinata’s and Tobio’s perfected quick, Tsuki’s expertly timed blocks, and Nishinoya’s insanely stylish saves – amazing moments that never grow old on us. Fast paced action complemented by beautiful and energetic animations that gets your blood pumped for the next set.

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I admit, I do skip most of show straight to the games. The intensity of the games, especially that season 3 finale will always blow me away even though I’ve seen the ending countless of times. The build up to those moments are what makes the show exceptional. Going back into a Haikyu rewatch and seeing the highlights of the show is surprisingly entertaining despite knowing what comes next. The training arc, where our favorite players pick up new abilities flows perfectly into the next episode where those very skills are put to the test.

You get a chance to appreciate the smaller details – Ushijima’s left-handed spike or even Oikawa’s heavy-hitting serves; something you would miss when engulfed in the action.

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I’m really hoping Haikyu does something similar to Kuroko’s Basketball, where they have hour-long episodes of the season highlights. Those episodes perfectly display the action while cutting out the fillers that sometimes pull you out of the game.

Though if that happens, I might be stuck watching Haikyu for all of eternity.

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