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How ‘Haikyuu!’ teaches flightless birds how to fly

In a sport of height, the court of ‘Haikyuu!!’ is symbolic in the complexity of different players and individuals we meet in real life.



Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Admittedly, I thought the interest and excitement for volleyball games in high school intramurals would remain fleeting and temporal since this was an event we’re innately compelled to anticipate and cheer for. Little did I know that an anime with multi-colored haired boys would prove me wrong. 

‘Haikyuu!’ is a Japanese manga and anime written and illustrated by Furudate Haruichi in 2012. The ongoing series circulates over a persevering protagonist, Hinata Shoyo, and his unfaltering endeavors in being a volleyball player despite his small frame in Karasuno High. 

Well-deserving of its growing anticipation and popularity, the sports anime transforms the mundane intricacies and technicalities of sports into vibrant, humane, and compelling plot and characters with impeccable development the show’s strongest theme. This aspect is introspectively written, that the perspectives of each team are balanced out, allowing the audience to empathize and connect with all characters, without overshadowing the main protagonists, Karasuno High. Paired with its uplifting soundtrack, it perfectly captivates elements of comedy, relatability, and meaningful narratives in each stroke of the beautifully animated scenes. Moreover, the show seamlessly writes and philosophizes characters that touch the inner conflicts and doubts that the audience can resonate and empathize with the most. 

So, who are some of these characters that make the show so compelling and what do they represent? 

1. Hinata Shoyo

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Freshman underdog Hinata Shoyo is the epitome of what a perceivably main character exudesundermined yet determined. Despite his miniature height and inadequate skills in the sport, the middle-blocker’s fast reflexes and ability to jump high compensates for this, surprising fellow teammates and opponents by his quick attacks. 

Amidst his optimistic and extroverted persona, Hinata faces an internal battle of doubt and insecurity on his abilities. From being deemed as a mere decoy that is only valuable with the coexistence of his setter to being belittled as a ball-boy, these have taken an emotional and mental toll on his psyche. However, he gradually overcomes these shortcomings by continually learning and observing techniques and skills from different angles, which magnificently displays his monumental growth and self-determination on the court. 

2. Kageyama Tobio

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Depicted as the deuteragonist, freshman Kageyama Tobio is the setter for Karasuno High who has formed a friendly rivalry with Hinata, perfectly complementing their dynamics. Despite his naturally gifted abilities, his tyrannical and egocentric nature has clouded his true potential, making his previous teammates abandon and label him as “King of the Court”. Utter trauma and regret ensued with Kageyama since his perfectionist viewpoint of succeeding was never intended to hurt his team. Rather, he only lacked communication. 

Along the way, he faces the dilemma of demanding or adjusting to his team. As the story crafts his redemption into gauging the strengths of his spikers, learning new strategies, and assessing what’s best for the team, he cultivates a newfound philosophy of being a setter openness to setbacks but a refined understanding of a team that assures his sets will be hit and that they will be there for him. As he is symbolically recrowned into a new King, Kageyama’s smooth redemption is gratifying as he embarks on a mental journey of encapsulating the virtue of leadership, communication, and adaptation the key components of a setter. 

3. Oikawa Tooru

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Does hard work beat talent? A character that I perceivably see myself in the most is Kageyama’s opposing foil, Oikawa Tooru, a junior, captain, and setter from Aoba Johsai High. The evident layers of his character are first presented as prideful and flamboyant. His beaming talentry on the court is vividly admired due to his inherent ability of drawing the best from any team the elements of an ideal setter that Kageyama lacked.

Painstakingly so, the disparity between Oikawa’s pompous persona and inner depths of his character were unveiled, humanizing his archetypal rival role. Repressed envy towards the naturally gifted in the sport had rendered his impostor syndrome destructive, as his ambitiousness made him fall into an abyss of desperation and overexertion to make up for his lack of natural talent. His wish to be a prodigy only made him feel like a fraud. 

Is hard-work, fluidity, and admirable work ethics enough to strive in a world where the naturally gifted thrive? It is in this imperfect yet humanizing and transcendent acceptance to defeat that makes the characters of ‘Haikyuu!’ feel so agonizingly realistic when feelings of incompetence and mediocrity blind us from seeing the larger picture of our hard-work. 

4. Kenma Kozume

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Another relatable character who reflects our inner shyness and attachment to videogames is Kenma Kozume, a sophomore and setter from Nekoma High. If Oikawa is to Kageyama’s antithesis, Kenma is Hinata’s Yin to his Yang. 

Established as the brain of Nekoma High, the cat-like and calculated setter perceived volleyball as a mere hobby to pass time by. In contrast to Hinata’s idealism and optimism, Kenma is grounded on rationality and practicality   withdrawn from the absurdity of societal validations and entitlements. However, Hinata’s extroverted and outgoing spirit complements his introverted and reclusive nature. As Hinata slowly entangles him from his comfort zone, he explores his capabilities and sees a newfound perspective for volleyball. By meeting an individual who mirrors his complete opposite, Kenma’s demotivation and incuriousity for the sport is replaced with contending to level up, not only in his video games, but with his growing commitment to his team. 

5. Tsukishima Kei

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Similarly, the theme of demotivation is beautifully dramatized through Tsukishima Kei, a freshman and middle-blocker from Karasuno High. Despite having the largest advantage in the team due to his height, Tsukishima displays a defeatist attitude towards those who exude the most effort and idealism. 

In spite his cynical mindset due to trauma that had instilled yet distilled his admiration for the sport, a certain hunger for succeeding still throttles in him as he competes with Hinata’s exhilarating effort and passion for the same position as a middle blocker paving for one of the most iconic developments in the show. His metaphorical role as a middle-blocker against a deemed undefeatable opponent has allowed him to eradicate the barriers that have mentally blocked him from unlocking the inner child that once loved volleyball. It is in this cathartic moment that manifests his hard work, sheer growth, and momentous realization for still clinging to the sport. 

6. Yamaguchi Tadashi

Screengrab from Haikyuu!!

Tsukishima’s closest ally and childhood friend is Yamaguchi Tadashi, an irregular player and freshman from Karasuno High. First depicted as snarky alongside Tsukishima, the pinch server is more than what meets the eye. 

Bullied in his childhood, this affected his self-image and his perception of strong and capable individuals, traits he heeded in Tsukishima. As the only irregular player among the freshmen, this fuels his drive in standing equal with his teammates on the court by crafting his only strength as a pinch serverperforming jump floats that either hit or miss. His growth flourishes gracefully, as his dynamics with Tsukishima are ardently written in which the two emotionally push and motivate each other in doing their best. Gradually, confidence looms over the insecurities of Yamaguchi as his tireless spirit of practicing allows him to transcend his fears of ineptitude, rightfully earning his place on the team. 

In a sport of height, the court of ‘Haikyuu!!’ is symbolic in the complexity of different players and individuals we meet in real life. The feel-good show ironically brings euphoric and tear-jerking scenes despite its focus on humor, thrill, and motivation. From two-dimensional characters bickering around about meat to dramatically spiking the ball, the show fully explores its creative liberty in realistically depicting cycles of failure and success by giving us a glimpse of how the world of sports is not so cruel when we transcend our limitations and work with others. Its lessons and stories wield inspiration and reason, as we understand that there will be shortcomings, but we always look for ways to fly.  

Themes of cheesy motivation, zero-to-hero, and the underdog tropes have never been my cup of tea. However, it is once in a blue moon when shows like ‘Haikyuu!!’ flawlessly deliver the humaneness and spontaneity of finally achieving success and learning how to fly. I am aware that watching volleyball games will never be the same, as these boys feel like friends I’ve known in real life. 

So, who’s your favorite character and team? Watch these crows flock together and be in for an adventurous and worthful ride on Netflix now! 



Thomasian musicians to add to your playlist

With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists.



The rise of Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and other music-streaming platforms paved the way for more artists to share their craft with a broader audience. It is now easier to promote your material through social media, while people can seamlessly listen to your music through different audio platforms on-demand without splurging too much cash. A basic subscription plan lets anyone stream all the music they want and play your songs on repeat. With this boom in the music industry through technological advancements, artists are inspired, now more than ever, to produce more music and give sick beats to avid listeners.

Here is a shortlist of Thomasian musicians you can stream on your music platforms.

1. Al James

(Photo courtesy of Jilson Tiu)

Before he was front and center in most gigs and before his music was blasted through the speakers of bars, Alvin James Manlutac, famously known as Al James, also sat in the rooms of Beato as a student under the College of Fine Arts and Design. In launching his first hit, he also doubted himself because he knew his style did not follow hip-hop norms. But fast-forward to today, his crafts are among the most famous songs played in the nightlife scene, as well as in casual get-togethers with your friends.

Manlutac permeated the fine line between underground and mainstream when he released his song ‘Pahinga,’ gaining more than 7.3 million views since its release three years ago.

Screengrab from Presko Life PH

2. Migo Señires

(Photo from DBTK)

Like Al James, Migo Señires also spent his college days in Beato, studying Advertising Arts in the College of Fine Arts and Design. They are both a part of the Baryo Berde crew, a multi-talent collective that fixates on culture and art. 

Señires released his song, Kara,which garnered more than 141,000 views since it was posted on his channel. He claims that he wrote it for the younger people who forgot their roots and the older ones who get frustrated when they can’t keep up with modern times. 

3. Schumi

(Screengrab from YouTube/Schumi)

When he is not walking around the halls of Ruaño, he may be singing center stage. Albert Guallar, famously known as Schumi, has been catching ears in the local hip-hop scene. He first started producing music and uploading it to SoundCloud, which then garnered the attention of people who had an interest in hip-hop. In an interview with TomasinoWeb, he said that his Schumi persona — writing music and such, is his gateway to express his emotions. It was an effective venue to vent out feelings of heartbreak and sadness, which, in this instance, was his breakup with his girlfriend. 

Schumi’s hit song ‘Bakit Why Not’ talks about breaking norms and protesting against some stereotypes like gender roles. Its music video has amassed more than 10 thousand views within two months of its release.



4. Himig Borhuh

(Photo from Himig Borhuh’s official Soundcloud)

From walking around the halls of the Albertus Magnus to being in the spotlight of #USTPaskuhan, Himig Austin Borja, a Music Technology student from the Conservatory of Music, has been making a name for himself. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he said that he didn’t really envision himself to major in music since he was inclined to sports and was a basketball varsity player during his high school years. He also did not expect his hit song, ‘Watawat,’ to become well-known and was surprised that lines from his song became widespread after its release.

Himig Borja’s ‘Watawat,’ featuring Schumi, was a song that garnered attention during the last UAAP season. The line ‘ang medalya at korona ibalik na sa España,’ reflected the community’s yearning to secure another championship and showed the support Thomasians have for all our sports teams as well as the pride we have for our school. 

5.  Adrian Aggabao

(Photo from Adrian Aggabao’s official Instagram account)

Adrian Aggabao, popularly known as ‘Don Bao,’ is a Raymund’s local from the College of Commerce and Business Administration. Like Schumi, his music career also began when he started publishing his music on SoundCloud. Since then, he has secured multiple gigs during his downtime. Most of his music speaks about social realities and what’s nice about it is that he has his family as his inspiration. 

Don Bao’s song ‘Pasanin’ emphasizes on the lessons that a life filled with struggles and obstacles brings. Having dropped this first video on his Youtube channel about a year ago, it has garnered more than 2.3 thousand views. 

6. BarbaCola

(Photo from BarbaCola’s official Facebook page)

From UST Musikat’s band pool, the band BarbaCola was formed with Renz Jerique from the Faculty of Arts and Letters on vocals, Raja Rayas from the College of Education on bass, Cedrick Santa Cruz from the Faculty of Engineering on lead guitar, and Raemonn Petr on drums.

BarbaCola’s song ‘Senseless’ runs along with the themes of alternative and indie genres, mainly focusing on the ups and downs of love and how it is a war that one might not survive.

7. VFade

(Photo from Patrick Valentine Cabanayan’s official Facebook account)

Patrick Valentine Cabanayan, more commonly known as VFade, hails from the College of Science under the Department of Mathematics. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he stated that his interest in music developed when he was in Senior High School, specifically during an apprenticeship under the Music, Arts, and Design track. He tried out music production and also ventured into rapping. 

His song ‘Andito Lang Ako’ expresses love and affection for a significant other. The song itself embodies the wide array of emotions one might feel when in love and how some minute details in the world seem brighter in the presence of strong feelings of attraction.

8. OMEN, Carty and Ballen

(Screengrab from YouTube/OnlyOneOmen)

All coming from the same Advertising Arts class in the College of Fine Arts and Design, third year students OMEN (Ron Flores), Carty (Zack Garcia), and Ballen (Allen Agulay) recently made their brainchild available to the public. The trio, who consider themselves brothers from another mother, has collaborated to release a new song entitled ‘Karma Comeback.’

As a collective, they claim that they made the song ‘Karma Comeback’ for fun since quarantine made it hard for them to bond and share their sentiments. By collaborating, they delved into their passion, music, art, and dumb sh*t, as they say.

Thomasians have always been present in every field, more prominently in the music industry. Their growth as artists and musicians will be exponential if we continue to support them and their work. With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists. 


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How to apply clown makeup

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free?



(Artwork by Patricia Jardin/TomasinoWeb)

When Miles Edgeworth said, “You are not the clown. You are the entire circus,” I felt that.

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free? It’s the first day of April and what better way to commemorate this annual holiday than putting on your best clown makeup! From McDonalds to your local emoji, we’re here to help you channel that inner Boo Boo the Fool in you. 

First, make sure your skin is prepped nice and clean. Bold assumptions and hasty generalizations usually make a good base. These tend to last longer because you refuse to take them off. You can use your two fingers, a sponge, or your foolish thoughts to apply it evenly. 

Now it’s time to build on those assumptions and paint your canvas. Start off by carving out spaces on your eyes and mouth where you will be applying the colors. Depending on your preference, you can choose to paint the eye with the same color or two different colors. When deciding which color, be quick and impulsive. Then, remember to paint it with inconsistency just like your thoughts and words. 

The cheeks and mouth will be red. Luckily, there are a variety of rouge shades in clown makeup. We recommend using the palette “Red Flags,” which you can get for free when you use the code “NOLABELS” or “CAN’TCOMMIT” at checkout. Color in your cheeks with a soft red color, perhaps in the shade “Here for a good time, not a long time” or “Only talk about themselves but never ask about you.” Don’t spend so much time blending because the key here is completely ignoring it.

The mouth is the highlight of clown makeup. Our tip is to overline your lips to the degree you overthink. You can then go ahead and color it in, but this time with a more intense shade of red. The shades “Entitled,” “Manipulative,” and “Caught cheating in 4K” are the most tolerated in the clown community. 

Accentuate the details of your look by making outlines around your eyes and mouth. Again, depending on the look you’re going for, you can make the outline as thin as your chances with that person you’re simping over or as thick as your audacity to get back with your ex after getting off a 3-hour phone call with your best friend who clearly told you not to. 

Of course, we can’t forget about the cherry on top and the crowning glory of clowns: the wig. There’s a wide variety of colors you can choose from but select a wig that will fit your head and perfectly cover up all your tomfoolery, bamboozlement, and wishful thinking. 

If you have cash to spare, throw in a costume and some oversized shoes that will help you jump into conclusions better. Don’t forget to pop on a red nose and voilà! The circus is complete. 

The art of clownery is one that is hard to master, yet the community keeps growing. And that speaks volumes. Clowning isn’t just a coping mechanism, it’s a cultural reset, a lifestyle, a reason to breathe, and an escape from this cruel world. 

Most importantly, it’s harmless because the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Happy April Fools‘!

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