Honda Mio, Azumane Asahi, and the Parallel of Conflicts

This hasn’t come into my mind until this morning where I came across a post on twitter defending Mio’s conflict in the anime; soon after that, I realized her story in the anime and Asahi’s story in Haikyuu are quite similar, albeit with the difference of their confidence.

So I decided to write an in-depth post about it.

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Let’s talk about Mio first. She’s a personal favorite of mine that got trashed a lot by CG fandom because of her story in the anime, even her fans consider the anime as a failure for ‘not portraying her nicely and made people hates her’.

But personally, despite the forced drama– Mio’s story can be considered as one of the most important aspects of CG anime. From how she started, once quitted, then continued and aspires to improve further in her career. I’m not saying it’s well written. A lot of aspect of it was forced for the sake of drama. But, to me, Mio’s development shines her through the anime and it’s very important to consider before baselessly hating her.

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Mio quits once in season 1, due to her first live concert not being as expected. She was very devastated after she puts so much expectation in herself yet it doesn’t go as expected. You can say she were overconfident all you want because even as a Mio fan, I admit she was. But she’s still a teenager; it’s natural for her to feel that way, especially with the hurdle she puts high in herself after the crowd in Mika’s concert and being the ‘starter’ of 346pro’s Cinderella Project.

Let’s talk about Asahi’s problem before continuing.

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While Mio’s problem spur through the fact that she’s over-confident, Asahi’s problem was his lack of confidence. While in my opinion, this problem of his in Haikyuu is written better than Mio’s problem in Dereani, I do not mean it would belittle Mio’s character either. Mio is a strong character in herself, just not written properly enough for her to be as sympathetic as it was with Asahi.

Moving on. Similar to Mio, Asahi quits, though it was some time before Hinata and Kageyama got into Karasuno, a quite long time of 2 months compared to Mio’s week of break.

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He didn’t attend the volleyball club practices after the match with Datekou resulted in defeat without him being able to score properly. He got scared of being blocked and lost his confidence as the team’s ace. Suga did say, ‘he puts too much responsibility on himself that he ends up quitting’.

While the same thing could’ve been said to Suga himself, we’re here to talk about the parallel between these two conflicts in Haikyuu and Dereani.

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The thing is, people often do not notice how similar this was with Mio. Mio also puts the responsibility on herself, as proved by how she immediately said ‘was it because I’m the leader?’ after the final blow she got. Even after she realized where she was being wrong, she cried because she felt really bad for the rest of the unit and caused them enough troubles.

Yes, most people didn’t realize the final blow of Mio quitting was what the Producer said after that.

He said ‘it’s a natural result’, but the thing is; it’s a cruel thing to say to a teenaged girl, who puts an expectation and responsibility too high on herself while being over-confident of the result. Later on, we learned that it was a miscommunication, but it does not justify the fact that Producer has broken Mio’s confidence as a leader, even if he didn’t mean to.

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While Mio’s conflict risen up from miscommunication, it was more quickly resolved. As for Asahi, since he puts the blame (and similarly said cruel words to himself)… well, there’s a reason why he quits for a whole 2 months. He needed a little push for it, and that push ends up being Hinata, our protagonist who noticed that Karasuno’s Ace does still want to stand in court with everyone. If it wasn’t for Hinata and Kageyama’s little push, he might not return at all.

There might be other factors that pushed Asahi down below. In the manga we see it more clearly that he heard how people are talking about how his attack aren’t proper to beat Datekou’s ‘iron wall’, it might be similar to the impact of Producer’s miscommunication to Mio; he ends up taking the responsibility for himself.

Let’s talk about another aspect of their similarity is; they got over their respective fears by the support of people around them and continued on their journey to be their better selves.

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Mio finds support from her friends, the Producer, and her fans’ letters. She realized where she had been wrong, and she improves herself as the time goes on as she finds her own path. She now enjoys acting and while able to support her unit, tying them together and becoming true friends with them aside from just ‘unit partners’, isn’t it?

I think the scene in the end of season 1 where Mio reads the letter from her fan was the most touching part of season 1.

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As for Asahi, the little push he got from Kageyama and Hinata made himself realize that he’s not fighting alone and there’s no need to put himself being responsible for it. He got everyone’s support and Karasuno were even able to defeat Datekou in season 1. making him getting over his fears.

He also got more confident in his status as Karasuno’s Ace— while beginning to have a rivalry with Hinata on it.

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The people around them supports them and made them got over where they fell down. I think it’s a wonderful thing in their respective stories….

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….And that’s how I view these two conflicts as similar and might be why I find both characters really endearing!

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