We’ve watched 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu (2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team) and we are ready to share our overall thoughts about this Winter 2021 sports anime. It’s definitely not Haikyuu!! but this doesn’t mean that it should be compared to this volleyball anime megahit. 2.43: Seiin plot-wise invests in the relationships between its cast and focuses on emotion, and the reality of being an athlete in competitive sports, not so much on the sport itself. The result is unbalanced yet enjoyable, with some strong moments, especially considering character development and an impressive final match. Let’s take a look!
2.43: Seiin has a large cast, dedicating whole episodes to both the Seiin team and their main rivals, the Fukuho team. The most screen time goes to the main cast Haijima, Kuroba, Oda, and Aoki from Seiin, and Ochi and Mimura from Fukuho. It helps for the plot that all these characters have some pretty serious dilemmas or emotional baggage to deal with and we get to see them progressing. It can get confusing, considering that up until the middle of the show we keep getting new characters introduced. If you don’t mind ensemble anime, you won’t be bothered by that, though.
Volleyball & Storytelling
A character-driven anime, 2.43: Seiin gave us exciting matches, especially in the second half, but their main purpose was to show character growth. The significance of volleyball in their lives and all the factors affecting success, bad luck, injuries, physical abilities, inform the storyline.
For example, injuries are a reality for volleyball players and we see how Mimura’s bad knees affect his worldview. The injuries put him in a tight position, and explain his unwavering motivation to win. It’s refreshing to see Mimura deciding to take care of his health and after recuperating, get back to his volleyball, his passion.
Oda’s storyline was interesting, too. Seiin’s team captain being the shortest, he’s got to realize his limitations and his strengths. He ends up owning them and achieves wonderful character development by the end of the anime.
Haijima’s character development is one of the main storylines. By the end of the series, he has learned how to communicate and not rely solely on his volleyball genius status. He also gets the healing experience of having the team captain support him, when the rest turn against him, as it sadly happened with his former team. The team is projecting on Haijima because they are afraid to believe in their ability to improve - due to his harsh way of delivering truths, he often gets misunderstood. As soon as the team realizes that Haijima deeply cares about their collective success, their attitude towards him changes. That was one of our favorite moments. Also, the resolution between Haijima and Mimura, the two competitive masterminds, was a nice touch.
This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the ships 2.34: Seiin introduced us to. Haijima and Kuroba are the ultimate pairing, with lots of tsundere moments from Haijima’s side. Ochi and Mimura share a strong bond based on mutual respect and dedication. We shouldn’t forget about Oda and Aoki, the powerhouse duo behind the Seiin team’s strong morale, and the best parents to their Seiin sons. If pairings are your jam, you should give this series a chance, because it has plenty!
Finally, let’s not forget the amazing OP, which could be about volleyball, but it sounds more like a lovesong to Haijima and Kuroba’s connection.
2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team was an anime series with highs and lows, but with a strong finale, wrapping up adequately the main characters’ struggles. Full of flawed characters, it’s a solid watch for sports anime lovers, drama enthusiasts, and BL fans.
The OP was phenomenal, too.
But, what did you think of 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team? Did it live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below and thank you for reading.