The following article contains spoilers for Haikyuu!!
Even if you’re not into sports anime, you’ve probably seen or heard about Haikyuu!! It is one of the most popular sports anime in recent years, consisting of four seasons and a ton of movies and OVAs.
It follows a high school volleyball team as they compete in tournaments, with the story mainly focusing on the rivals Hinata and Kageyama as they push each other to fulfill their dreams and reach their true potential.
Hinata aspires to be a great volleyball player despite his lack of height, and together with Kageyama, the two work together to return Karasuno High’s Volleyball Club back to its former glory.
It’s been dubbed as one of the best sports anime of the decade, with the manga selling thousands of copies and achieving widespread recognition worldwide.
Fans of this anime series are so enthusiastic, that even if you have never watched the show in your life, you are bound to recognise some of the characters or understand key points in the plot.
Which makes it so concerning when you see posts appearing on your feed saying ‘RIP Daichi’. So what’s the deal? Did a character really die in Haikyuu!!
After all, death isn’t really something you would associate with a sports themed anime. Although they can be tense and psychologically thrilling, they hardly ever contain something extreme as a character dying.
In fact, Haikyuu!! Is often referred to as a heartwarming and wholesome anime, more likely to inspire and motivate you rather than move you to tears of despair.
So to hear that a character has potentially died in such a tame genre of anime, especially when compared to the likes of Attack on Titan or Corpse Party, it can come as a real surprise. Who would have thought that a sports anime could take such a dark turn?
Or…did it really?
If you are thinking of watching Haikyuu!! But you are concerned that it’s been ruined for you, or you are unsure if a sports anime featuring character deaths is for you, then don’t worry.
The answer to the infamous question, ‘Did Daichi Really Die?’ is just a bit further below in this post.
And the answer may surprise you.
Who Is Daichi?
If you are unfamiliar with the series, the supposed deceased is Sawamura Daichi. Daichi was a third-year student at Karasuno High School and was the captain of the boys’ volleyball club, so he was a main character with lots of screen time and had a fairly sized fanbase.
His maturity made him a natural leader and a perfect fit to be the team’s captain. He has been described as responsible and very caring, always putting his team first. So all in all, he’s a well rounded and likeable character, much loved by his teammates and fans alike.
So much so, he would probably take a bullet for them, right?
So is that what happened? The brotherly captain of the volleyball team took a hit for one of his team members and ended up dead? In a sports anime?
Well, not exactly.
The Scene Of The…Crime?
The rumours surrounding Daichi’s supposed ‘death’ began when Haikyuu!! Season 2 Episode 16 first aired back in January 2016 .
The incident occurred towards the end of the episode, during a match against Wakutani Minami, where Daichi was excelling in his role as captain. During one of the rallies, Daichi collided with another team member, Tanaka, as they both attempted to save the ball.
The episode ends with the still image of Daichi’s motionless body lying on the ground – and the cliffhanger became a hit meme in the fandom.
This is where the idea and rumours that Daichi died began to spread. Fans of the show took to the internet to begin sharing their condolences with pictures of Daichi attached, saying how much he will be missed and may he rest in peace, despite his status being unconfirmed.
Thousands of mournful posts began to circulate regarding Daichi, and eventually made their way onto the feeds of those who do not watch the show regularly, causing widespread confusion.
The Autopsy Results
It was all a joke, however.
No, Daichi did not die.
In fact, Daichi was just knocked unconscious. In the next episode, Daichi is shown to wake back up, confirming that he did indeed survive the collision with Tanaka.
However, he did sustain injuries to his face and lost a molar tooth, and so he also had to be taken out of the game in order to have a medical assessment for concussion.
But Daichi returned after the match, alive and well, complimenting his substitute for doing a great job in his absence. He even comforted the player he knocked into, ensuring them that it was not their fault he was injured.
The rumours and widespread messages around his supposed ‘death’ was just an extreme reaction to a cliffhanger and a hilarious joke made up by the fans.
Those who do not watch the show, however, were left confused when they saw posts claiming that a character had died in a sports anime and led some to believe that Daichi actually did die.
He didn’t, though. He’s alive and well. In fact, after the show’s timeskip, he is shown to be working as a part of the Miyagi Police Force after graduating from high school.
So if you ever see a post with a picture of Daichi’s lifeless body attached with the caption ‘Rest in Peace’, you can rest assured that it’s all just a big joke.
Fans of the series have now turned Daichi’s ‘death’ into a running joke, along with related jokes poking fun at Tanaka, the player Daichi collided with, labelling him a murderer and blaming him for Daichi’s supposed ‘death’.
But don’t worry: Daichi did not die, and probably never will on screen.
Due to the tame nature of the sports anime genre, it’s extremely unlikely that anything like a sports-related death would happen.
Haikyuu!! Is far more known for its comedy rather than its shocking character deaths, and you’re more likely to get a few laughs out of this anime rather than shed tears. So if you are thinking about watching Haikyuu!!
Then you have not spoiled a huge plot twist nor is it an anime you think would be too upsetting to watch.
Haikyuu!! Is a motivational sports anime about a team’s journey towards greatness through hard work and honing each other’s skills and talents to become the best high school volleyball team there is.