As part of the series’ 10th anniversary project, mangaka Haruichi Furudate gifted his readers Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot. It is a single chapter continuation of the main series, set a few months after fans leave Kageyama and Hinata to World Championship Finals match at the PalaLottomatica.
Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot captures the growth of the characters, especially of of Hinata and Kageyama. It subtly hints at the result of the 2020 Olympic match from the main series as well. However, Tetsurō Kuroo is undoubtedly the lynchpin of this chapter.
Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot chronicles the lives of fan-favorite volleyball players after the end of the main series
The chapter is titled “Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot: A Party Reignited.” It begins with Kuroo wanting to reignite the love of volleyball in Japan and across the world. To this end, he tracks down players from the Generation of Monsters, and collaborates with old friends to bring together an exhibition match between the best volleyball players in the world.
To this end, he goes to San Juan to recruit Oikawa, and to Warsaw for Ushijima. He goes to Rome for Kageyama, and brings Kenma to Rio De Janeiro to recruit Hinata. He lures Oikawa in by stroking his ego, while he points out to Ushijima that he would be able to beat both Hinata and Oikawa through this game.
Kageyama is fairly simple to handle as he is easily enticed by the chance to play with a tall middle blocker who has a high reach. Only Hinata does not need an incentive, as he still treats every game as a gift and an opportunity.
Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot ends with the opponents meeting on the court, with many reunions and long-anticipated first meetings. Hinata and Kageyama once again shake hands, presumably as the captains of their respective teams.
Surprises and easter eggs
Fans had long anticipated the meeting between Miya Atsumu and Oikawa Toru. In Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot, the two setters are antagonistic towards each other as they meet, but Hinata points out that at least this is better than Oikawa being on the same team as Kageyama.
Another easter egg was when Kuroo was talking to Oikawa, his speech made it seem like Argentina had won the 2020 Olympics finals. Some readers might miss Nishinoya in Rio with Kenma and Hinata. Furudate manages to sneak in the hard life of manga editors through the panel of Akaashi waiting for a draft in Tenma’s hallway.
Additionally, this chapter shows that most of the main cast remain the same years later: Oikawa is still afraid of Iwaizumi, Daichi and Suga still hangout together, Suna’s habit of recording everything has not gone away, Yaku is still sensitive about his height, and Ushijima and Kageyama are still very dense outside of volleyball.
Hinata, Kageyama, and the world of volleyball
Speaking of Kageyama, the setter has matured. This is shown when he tells Kuroo that he doesn’t mind if new fans start watching volleyball because they find him or Atsumu attractive, since volleyball is interesting enough to draw their attention sooner or later. This is, as Kuroo notices, a far cry from the boy who neither knew nor cared for any different approach to volleyball than playing it.
Kageyama also seems to get along better with his teammates, who are very affectionate with him. However, he still retains the sort of respect he had as a teenager for every player who wants to hit his tosses, a comfort and a novelty to a setter whose toss was once rejected.
Hinata seems to be the only one who has and has not changed. Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot makes it clear that people like Ushijima or Oikawa, even Kageyama, who were gifted with a traditional aptitude, would never have the same appreciation for every game as Hinata.
Hinata, who was born for Volleyball but not necessarily made for it, had to build himself up with a different sort of perseverance than Kageyama’s relentless self-discipline.
This is reflected beautifully when he promises Kuroo that he will do his best at the exhibition game, thanking him for the opportunity, even though he is a world-renowned player. Kuro notes that Karasuno’s Rookie Duo can still both frighten and surprise him.
Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot was more of a status report than anything new. Every character continues down the path they have set for themselves. Everyone has matured, but their love for volleyball has not diminished.
Haikyuu!! Special One-Shot also serves to make fans more anticipatory towards the illusive 5th season of the anime. Slated to feature the match between Karasuno and Nekoma, the next season promises to be incredible.