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36% Of Haikyuu!! Fans Agree This Is The Best Team Besides Karasuno

"Haikyuu!" is a shonen sports anime, but fans will tell you that one of its strengths, aside from delving into the intricate details of volleyball, is characterization. The show focuses on the rebuilding team from Karasuno, which includes the skill of shorter-than-he'd-like-to-be Shoyo Hinata and setter Tobio Kageyama. They may not mesh off the court very well but together, create a quick spike attack that opponents have been hard-pressed to match. 

Of course, Karasuno isn't playing the game in a vacuum. During the course of the show's existing four seasons, the team gets to know plenty of other high schools, some of which prove to be formidable in their own quirky ways. For example, Inarizaki High has the Miya twins — who surprise Karasuno when they are able to replicate their quick attack after seeing it in action. Aoba Johsai has Tooru Oikawa, who has a searing service attack and was once a mentor to Kageyama. One of the best parts of following the series has been getting to know not just the Karasuno players, but their counterparts from other elite volleyball schools. And, as Polygon noted, another strong point "Haikyuu!' brings to the table is how it uses its minor characters and their storylines to "add further nuance to the simple plot line of competitors wanting to win."

But of those rival teams, which do fans consider the best? It turns out, there's a clear favorite, and if you think about it, the one fans like the most is pretty obvious.

Reddit users have chosen Nekoma as their favorite team

A Reddit poll isn't the most scientific method out there, but it does at least have the virtue of attracting plenty of voters. In this particular poll started by u/lgbtqlemon, 545 votes were tallied. So as not to skew the results, Karasuno was not included, but six of the high schools with the most intimidating teams were.

It's no surprise that Nekoma led the way with 194 votes, or 36% of the vote. The high school is presented as a major historic rival for Karasuno, thanks to the relationship between their respective coaches, and Nekoma gets plenty of narrative time in "Haikyuu!" Fans may naturally be drawn to the school's similarities to Karasuno, such as charismatic characters like Kenma and the fact that both their mascots, the crow for Karasuno and the cat for Nekoma, are "garbage dump" animals. 

Nekoma was even the protagonist in the "Haikyuu!" OVA special "Land vs. Air." CBR, explaining why Nekoma doesn't need its own show, noted that "much of Nekoma's story has already been told, culminating in the long-foreshadowed 'battle of the garbage dump,'" and that "Haikyuu!" is, in a way, also Nekoma's show. Furthermore, u/holidayfromreaI, explaining Nekoma's appeal, noted in a separate Reddit post, "I love the dynamic of the team and the way they play appeals to me — the fact that there aren't really stand out players, they all work together."

Inarizaki, Fukurodani, and Aoba Johsai followed Nekoma in popularity

Inarizaki came in second in this poll with 134 votes, which is good for a 24% share. That, too, makes some sense; this was the team Karasuno played in the second half of the fourth season — an epic match that lasted the better part of 12 episodes! With so much airtime, it's no wonder that the team whose motto is "Who needs memories?" gets plenty of love. Fukurodani was next, with about 16% of the vote. The team from Fukurodani Academy was introduced in Season 4 during training camp – a slightly friendlier environment — making the team, at least in some fans' eyes, seem less of a major rival for Karasuno's team.

Not far behind was Aoba Johsai at about 13.5% with 74 votes. u/memorybreeze wrote, "I love how obstinate they are ... I knew they (probably) wouldn't win their second match against Karasuno, but I cheered for them anyways. After they left the spotlight in the story, I missed them deeply."

Sadly, Shiratorizawa, with 39 votes and 7%, and Date Tech, with 18 votes and 3%, took up the bottom two spots. However, if you don't like those results, many other Reddit threads exist for you to find like-minded fans. For example, one other recent poll posted by u/FifiBaker had Fukurodani in first place (well, outside of Karasuno, anyway) with about 17.6% of 562 votes, and had an "Other" selection that came in right after that with 16%.