Haikyuu!! has returned in manga form for a special one-shot in honor of the series’ tenth anniversary. “A Party Reignited”, which was published today in Weekly Shonen Jump, centers around Kuroo travelling all around the world to recruit members of the Monster Generation for an all-star volleyball match.
“A Party Reignited” is basically a dream situation for Haikyuu!! fans. We get to see fan-favorite characters just existing, being their best selves. Sawamura and Sugawara still hanging out a decade outside of high school is great. The comments on Kenma’s livestream were hilarious. I loved seeing that brief shot of Coach Tanaka. Knowing that Asahi designed the uniforms and Yachi made the poster for the special match makes me happy; I don’t think Kuroo is the type of person who would give someone a job just because he knows them, so they must be good at what they do.
Hinata, Kageyama, Oikawa, and Ushijima playing with teams in different countries is a little sad – mostly because I love the idea of them having regular matches – but they’re all clearly happy where they are. I love to see that both Hinata and Kageyama are still so in love with the game years later. Hinata was so excited to hear about some of the other players involved, even though he has played with or against all of them. And Kageyama being so blasé about being a “hot” volleyball player was hysterical.
By the way, did you spot Nishinoya? Keen-eyed fans spotted him in Argentina, Poland, and Brazil. That’s either an extremely huge coincidence, or it’s just Furudate reminding us of Nishinoya’s wanderlust. (Or he’s stalking Kuroo.) Furudate didn’t have to include Nishinoya at all – not all of the Karasuno players are featured in the one-shot – but I like that he’s there. I think fans were most surprised by Nishinoya’s future after the time skip, so it’s good to see that he’s safe and sound.
We also get interaction between characters that never got to meet in the main series. Some of these interactions – like Kuroo/Oikawa or Oikawa/Atsumu – have been speculated about by fans for years. (The faces Oikawa and Atsumu made when confronted with each other.) I got a kick out of the Hinata/Suna interaction (with Suna still eager to embarrass Atsumu), and Hinata, Oikawa, and Iwaizumi fanboying over Romero (still). I would love more special chapters in the future, because there are still some meetings that need to happen (Bokuto and Oikawa, please and thank you).
I actually love that some of these high school rivalries are still going strong. Ushijima still wanting to crush both Oikawa and Hinata (potentially the only player to beat him twice) is kind of hilarious. He doesn’t strike you as the type of person that would hold onto something like that. It’s pretty well established that he’s just a generally chill kind of guy. But Oikawa being petty and dramatic is totally on point, and I will never be disappointed with my alien trash boy.
It’s implied by the conversations that Kuroo has with both Oikawa and Ushijima that Argentina beat Japan in the Olympics, the match which was briefly featured in the final chapter. Considering that in the actual Tokyo Olympics Argentina ended up with the bronze while Japan was knocked out during the quarterfinals, I think Furudate must be psychic. (The two countries didn’t actually play each other, but wouldn’t that have been wild?)
The beauty of “A Party Reignited”, indeed the beauty of Haikyuu!! in general, is that it shows how sports can bring people together. Most of these characters were rivals, but they are still so excited to play as teammates. (I’m thinking particularly of Hinata and Goshiki here. They were so happy to see each other again.) I mean, even Kenma was willing to not only play volleyball again, but to do so in sand, and on camera!
If I were to have any complaints about this bonus one-shot, it would be the length. It’s too short! I was so happy to see my volleyball boys back in action after almost two years, and I feel like the chapter ended just when it was getting good. I don’t really need to see the match; an all-star match would just be a re-tread of the final arc. The team lineups would be slightly different, but it would lack the same kind of tension and wouldn’t really add much to the story.
But I would love to see more of the characters interacting. I would absolutely be thrilled to have more of that totally mundane conversation with Kageyama, Ushijima, and Bokuto about white charcoal. If they wanted to do an additional bonus chapter, I would not be averse to a montage of moments from the match followed by the teams going out to dinner or otherwise hanging out. Give me a post-training barbecue redux, please!
Speaking of the match, though, can we talk about how stacked Team B is? That’s a lot of power on one team. As impressive as the players on Team A are, they’re definitely going to have some issues returning spikes. They do have some pretty good receivers, though, as well as the sneakier setters.
One more note on the match itself, it seems to be tied into the special V. League exhibition match scheduled for August 13-14 in Tokyo. We may not get to see the match in manga form, but we’ll get some version of it in real life.
We still have two more anniversary projects left to be announced. My fingers are crossed that one of them will be news about season 5 of the anime. But in the meantime, “A Party Reignited” is a wonderful bonus to the rest of the series. After two years, I would have been happy to see these characters doing literally anything. I’m so happy that Furudate took the opportunity to have characters interact who had never done so before. It will fuel fan discussions for ages and help keep the series alive.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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