2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu (2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team) is an anime full of intense emotion, conflict, and, of course, volleyball. We want to give a proper chance to Seiin because it is easy to compare it to the mega-hit Haikyu!! So, today, we share our mid-season impressions on a volleyball anime that is mostly about interpersonal dynamics and how these can make or break a team.
It’s All About the Drama
To be honest, it might be unfair to call “drama” what is happening between the Seiin volleyball teammates. Many who have been part of a sports team have experienced the intense pressure Kuroba faces as a talented player who suffers from performance anxiety, how much importance team bonding has, or the impact empathetic leadership has on a team’s success. Haijima had to learn the latter the hard way. Painfully blunt, Haijima might have the best of intentions, to lead the team to the finals, but the way he does that could be kinder.
What we rather mean by “it’s all about the drama” is that, so far, Seiin focuses on specific parts of the narrative, giving us snapshots of the team’s progress. We only get the formative moments, like Ochi’s accident that led him to the team manager position, or Kuroba’s struggle with Haijima’s domineering streak. These moments are also the series’ strongest points, showing how accidents, hardship, or bullying accusations can form a character and color our protagonists’ perception of themselves.
A Large Cast
While there is value to learning about the opponents, introducing new characters in each episode can get confusing. So far, we have met Kuroba’s cousin only to forget about him later on in the series, and all the Fukuhou Technical High School players. Even the Seiin players that were introduced after the time leap in episode 3 do not feel fleshed out yet. Arguably the focus is on both teams’ driving duos, Haijima - Kuroba, and Oda - Aoki for Seiin, and Issei - Ochi for Fukuhou High. We hope that we get to see more of shy Kanno and abrasive Ookuma in the future.
The Case of Haijima Kimichika
This article won’t be complete without a few words about this troublemaker! Haijima is a flawed character, super talented and devoted in what he does, but, without adequate social skills. It’s really interesting to see the flip side of the sports anime MC tope: Ambition is important and this is what we see in so many sports and shounen anime, you can become the very best by sheer passion and dedication. Humility is also important, though, and this is what Haijima has to understand to connect with his peers and achieve their common goal.
In episode 7, Haijima brings up a proposal: he asks Oda to step down in their upcoming match with Fukuhou High because he is much shorter and Fukuhou can use this against Seiin during the match, targeting Oda with high strikes. The way Haijima communicates this though is in his usual cold way, only stating facts and not considering the emotional side of things. Oda is Team Captain and responsible for the team’s morale, so his absence can have a heavy impact on his mates. Haijima is confronted with this truth, showing that our son still has a lot to learn!
2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team is taking an interesting approach for a sports anime but can come off as slightly unfocused. It is based on a light novel series and this might be the reason the adaptation is challenging. What do you think of our Seiin boys? Does the anime do justice to the characters? And, is 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team a Pass or Block for you? Let us know in the comments below.