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I’ve been thinking about how to tell you guys this story, this discussion I had with an IRL. I briefly considered just making a thread on Twitter but the more I started writing, the more I realized I was saying A LOT. So I decided to just make a post about it
I feel like with that title you might be expecting something fun, creative, or even funny, but that’s not what this post is. It’s just me telling you about an incident and how I badly described a sports anime to someone I know
So this person I was talking to isn’t into anime but they’re very knowledgeable about pop culture and anime falls into that category, and, I was surprised, they even touched on the subject of boys’ love! I know others who like anime and when we talk, it feels like BL doesn’t exist. Not only was I impressed, but I also started to nervously sweat behind my usual poker face (not that anyone could tell, I was wearing a mask). Why? Because I keep my BL loving life separate from my IRL
And somehow we started to talk about Haikyuu. I don’t remember what was said exactly, but we started talking about how the fans usually start shipping characters and how there must be a reason for it (baity, I guess). And so, as a fan of Haikyuu I was like wait no that’s not the show, that’s just the fans (myself included, let’s be real, I always ship someone!)
Then I was tasked to explain sports anime and potentially why fans shipped the characters and I BLANKED.
I kind of explained that all sports anime have the same or similar plot lines: we meet the underdogs who are super passionate about a sport but don’t really have skills, how they’ll eventually join or create a team, go into competitions, win, but also eventually lose to a team who truly has skill, and how they grow from this loss, etc.
But then came the part about explaining the shipping, and I gave them this answer that still haunts me sometimes (when I remember it and wow, my brain likes to remind me of embarrassing things I’ve said and done Often) – you know, it’s just bros being bros.
If it wasn’t clear, I’m very bad at coming up with answers on the spot
I very much regret just leaving it at this but I wasn’t really sure how to go about describing how much I love Haikyuu (even though I haven’t finished it yet, I’m getting there!)
Like, yes, these guys ARE just guys being guys, but maybe that expression wasn’t the right one. Haikyuu guys, and really all 2D sports anime guys (because I don’t know any 3D ones), are just on another level entirely. These guys are not afraid to put out their feelings for everyone to hear. They LOVE the sport they’re doing and it’s not really even just a sport to them, it’s their lives. And you know, your usual American guy is too much of a wuss to ever hope to be Haikyuu levels of manly (whatever that means)
Haikyuu is such a fun little show about a group of guys who just love volleyball, who see each other as a family (even though things were a bit rocky from the start, I see you Kageyama and Tsukishima, even you Hinata), are way too excitable for their own good, cry out mushy and corny lines while playing some of their toughest matches because come on bro, we can do it TOGETHER, I got your back trust me, and just, it’s so many FEELS and WHOLESOME
So yes, an all-boys group of fit and sweaty guys being so tactile with each other IS the perfect place for shipping, but that’s just the cherry on top. The real treat is every character (especially in Haikyuu), their own self-growth, their interactions as friends and rivals with their own team and others, their constant inspiration and pride and admiration, how this all makes them grow, how they are never afraid to be themselves, make mistakes, own up to these mistakes, be their best version, help each other out on and off the court, do ridiculous things that give me secondhand embarrassment but that just makes the team even more tight-knit, and just, feels, too many feels in this show
More people need to see the beauty that are sports anime. It will get your heart pumping